I used to be a EE user in the early 2000s. I left it after several upgrades. Also found it expensive for a private magazine that I ran. Always loved using it for the precision control of all aspects of a site. I just came by and was delighted to find it’s now free! Are there any annual recurring costs? Thank you
ExpressionEngine is a free and open source product now. Downloading, installing, and using commercially is free.
Third-party add-ons and product support from EllisLab still costs money, but if you don't need add-ons or support, it really is free.