As a WordPress specialist, I get asked this question from time to time by clients that are interested in using the Content Management System. The short answer is YES, the WordPress software is open source which is free to use, distribute and modify. You own all the work you put into it.
So why is this question being asked? It’s because there is a BIG difference between using the free open source WordPress software and using WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a web hosting solution running the WordPress software. They offer free hosting and premium upgrades. It is all setup and maintained by the WordPress team. In return for using their hosting platform you must agree to their Terms of Service, which gives them a license to use the content you create. You still retain ownership, however, your content is license to WordPress.com for their distribution.
If you are using the WordPress software with your own hosting then there is nothing to worry about. You own all content and are not giving WordPress.com a license to distribute. Most websites using WordPress are using their own hosting, and this is how we build all of our WordPress sites at Gravity UX.
Things got a little tricky since WordPress decided to use the same name for their hosting and software, however they are two different solutions from the Automattic team.
- You own all content when using the WordPress Content Management System
- If you are using WordPress.com hosting, you still own the content, but give WordPress.com a license to distribute
- If using your own hosting and WordPress, you own all the content and are not giving WordPress a license to distribute
Hope that cleared some things up about WordPress content ownership. If you have further questions, or are considering using WordPress, please reach out to us and we’d be happy to chat.