The High Price of Free

The High Price of Free

Distributed, open source, and legally downloaded: the high price of free?

When I started moving sites to WordPress, it wasn’t an overnight decision. There is a high price associated with “free.” This isn’t a slick take on thanking the ones who sacrifice so we can be free, that’s a different issue altogether.

The high price of free is reflects in the ever-growing communities of “experts” with advice, help, and guidelines to whiter teeth, better rankings, and trimmer waistline. Reminds me of the fat people who sell wait-loss, or the broke people who sell “Get rich now” schemes.

The problem — for me one of the biggest problems with open-source (free) software likeWordPress is “horsepower.” Bandwidth to some, processor cycles to others. A generated — dynamic is the buzzword — website requires horsepower to look up the required data to generate the site.

In a typical shared hosting environment, lots of traffic can throttle the through-put, an all-inclusive element of WordPress’s hosting requirement.

So the high price of free is carried by bandwidth and server, for starters. Then, too, there’s the burgeoning business of support that’s grown up around the free software. The beauty of the WordPress motor is its inherent custom abilities, most notably through the use of plugins and themes. Plugins are software additions that can be dropped in, to perform a certain function. Like subscription services, as an example.

Thesis Theme for WordPress:  Options Galore and a Helpful Support Community

Themes are another example. While I use the term “skin,” to refer to such items, that’s actually a subset of a theme. Still, the theme is merely window-dressing, the outer appearance of the site.

The wrapper, that’s what this is about. I think of a theme as a wrapper. I’m still toying with it, but the new version is working better. Just a few adjustments, and it might be ready for prime time. The first iteration didn’t impress me, but this latest version has a number of useful elements under the hood.

Over the seasons, as search engines change requirements, this latest version is quite current, and it has the added ability to be “responsive,” as in, it adapts to phones, tablets, and regular computer screens. Content, as always, all about the content first.

Testing and refining continues.


“When I worked for the phone company, we used to eat at Black’s (BBQ Lockhart, TX), the butcher knives were chained to the tables in the dining room.”

And the second most famous needle in Seattle?