WordPress is a free and open source content management system, usually used for managing a blog, but also used to power large publications (including HowToGeek). While the software itself is free, you’ll still need web hosting so your audience can visit the site. These hosting providers run WordPress on their servers and often manage most (if not all) of the technical work for you.
While you can set up a basic site at wordpress.com, the default one has ads, you can’t put your own ads on their regular plans, and they offer much less flexibility and freedom than a paid hosting provider. Most of them have plans for only a couple bucks a month, so if you’re serious about starting a website, it’s best to look for actual hosting.
What to Look For . . .