WordPress is one of the most popular tools for website building in the world. According to TechJury, there are over 75 million sites using WordPress today.
Clearly, people find WordPress to be a compelling tool for site creation, but is it the most affordable way to get online too? A lot of people know that the WordPress technology is free (and open source), which makes it extremely flexible, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t spend anything on designing a WordPress website. The true cost of your system will depend on a number of different factors.
Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about building an ecommerce WordPress website from scratch, and how much it might cost.
We’ll also tell you a bit about how you can potentially reduce the costs of your WordPress site too.
Let’s get started.
What Do You Need for a WordPress Website?
WordPress is a free site-building solution for anyone to download and use. This open—source software gives you the freedom to install WordPress on any website, with any kind of host. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily mean that WordPress doesn’t have costs to consider. The fees associated with WordPress come from various other expenses.
The first thing you need to know is that while WordPress.org is free to download and use, the story doesn’t end with the CMS system. Because the technology is technically free, you can save some cash, but you still need to fork over some money for the additional costs of running a website.
For instance, common expenses include:
- Domain name: Around $12 per year (depending on your name)
- Hosting: From as little as around $4 per month (ongoing)
- Themes: Some are free, while others come with a cost
- Plugins: Again, you can get some for free, but others are expensive
- Security: From around $50 (depending on what you need)
- Developer fees: Anywhere from $0 to $1000, depending on your needs
Let’s look at the common expenses in greater depth.
The Domain Name
Before you can start thinking about ranking on Google with SEO, or designing a WordPress theme, you need to know what your domain name is going to be. This is the name of your website, and how people find you. While many website builders come with domain names included in paid plans, you need to buy a domain name from a registrar with WordPress.org.
Ideally, you need a domain name that’s as similar to your site or business name as possible. Your name needs to be short, easy to spell, and memorable. Most domain names are relatively affordable, costing about $11.99 or so per year. However, there are some popular options that cost a lot more.
Remember, when you want to your online store to stand out, it’s best to stick with a .com domain.
The next step in building an online store or website site after you’ve chosen a domain name, is to get your hosting sorted. Aside from your domain name, your hosting is one of the only other unavoidable costs when you’re setting up a site. No hosting means that you don’t have a website.
With a website builder, you pay a small monthly fee for a complete service, which usually includes a hosting and domain name. However, these things are add-ons with WordPress.org, and not something you can whip up with a bit of CSS knowledge.
The best thing you can do is search online for a hosting provider you can trust. There are a lot of options out there, and different kinds of hosting that can suit various companies too.
When building a WordPress website, there are a lot of things you can do to make your site as appealing as possible. This could include getting an SSL certificate for extra security, or experimenting with add-ons for your online store, like a convenient checkout counter.
The easiest way to start making your website more professional, is with themes. Though there are free themes available on the web today, these are rarely the best option for most brands. A lot of companies prefer to use premium themes because they’re more professional and eye-catching.
If you’re particularly low on cash, of course, you can always consider skipping the theme for now. There are a selection of free theme options available on WordPress that you can demo at the click of a button. After you know what kind of style you’re aiming for, you may decide to hire a designer or developer to help you bring your ideas to life.
WordPress plugins are another expense that contributes to WordPress pricing, but doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a fortune. Plugins aren’t a mandatory part of WordPress. They’re an easy way to add functionality to your existing theme or website, kind of like downloading an app for your laptop or smartphone.
You can even find free plugins sometimes, which are actually a lot more beneficial than you might think. Or you can splash out for premium plugins that deliver specific kinds of functionality. For instance, one option is Yoast SEO – a tool that’s perfect for nailing things like SEO and making your site stand out on Google. Another option is to use something like Mailchimp to access email marketing as part of your strategy for business success.
The free version of Mailchimp is suitable for beginners, but you can also enjoy a more advanced plugin if you’re willing to pay the premium price tag of around $59 or more each year.
Unlike a premium theme or a set of plugins, security is one aspect of your WordPress pricing strategy that you can’t afford to overlook. There are some security elements that you might be able to pay nothing for. WordPress has security components built into its software. The core WordPress software does require regular updating and maintenance to keep it secure, however.
To keep your costs low, consider working with a WordPress hosting provider that can offer you automatic updates and backups for your data. There are also some hosting providers out there that can offer you an SSL certificate as part of the purchasing package. An SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer certificate, is a must-have for a secure website, and an essential technology for protecting business websites. SSL will also give your website the padlock you see in the search bar when people visit your site.
Because Google and other search engines are taking security more seriously these days, without an SSL certificate, your visitors may be warned that they’re not entering a secure website, which means that they may decide not to visit your site at all. Website builders often include an SSL certificate as standard, but if you use an CMS like WordPress.org, you’ll need to arrange something for yourself.
Aside from SSL support, there are other things that you can do to boost your chances of having a secure website. For instance, there are security plugins on the market that make it easier to protect yourself with backups and restores if you’re concerned about losing your data. Alternatively, if you need help fixing things like hacks, or you want extra protection from dangerous attacks, then you can pay for advanced security there too.
So what if you want to add something special or unique to your website? That’s where a developer comes in handy. Unfortunately, developer expertise doesn’t come cheap. You might decide to spend money on a developer because you’re short on time and need to get your website running faster, or because you have a very specific design project in mind. If you don’t feel confident with the design process, developers can help with that too.
It’s hard to put a figure on how much these skills might cost, because it’s dependent on what you need. If you just need someone to help you set up a basic site, then that could cost just a couple of hundred dollars. If you want something more complex, you might spend thousands. For instance, if you’re starting a health club, you’ll need a site where people can create profiles, pay for memberships, and book classes with your professionals.
All of that extra functionality is available if you know where to look for it. You can even find plugins to help with a lot of what you need to do. However, a developer will make it easier to create something that’s custom-made.
On the plus side, since there are so many developers out there that specialize in WordPress technology, you shouldn’t have too much of a hard time finding the one that’s right for you.
Exploring the Costs of Building a WordPress Website
Depending on your needs, you could start a WordPress website for virtually nothing, or you might spend a small fortune trying to bring your site to life. It’s important to know from day one what kind of website you’re building, as this will help to move you and your team in the right direction.
For instance, building a basic WordPress website with just enough functionality to have an active blog is very different in terms of cost than building a site where you plan on selling products and services.
Let’s see how much a low budget WordPress website might cost.
What is the Price of a Low Budget WordPress Website?
You can build a fully-functional WordPress website for yourself relatively easily, and your costs can pretty much stay under $100 too. However, you’re going to need to keep your requests to a minimum. For instance, you’d start with the basics:
- A domain name
- A hosting provider
- Basic security
Once you’ve installed WordPress on your hosting account, you’ll be able to choose a design for your website from one of the many free templates that WordPress has to offer. There’s also the option to consider thousands of professionally made themes with a premium price tag- but that won’t be an option if you’re low on funds.
Once you choose a WordPress theme, follow the instructions on how to install it, and look into other simple plugins that can bring your site to life.
Again, if your hosting provider doesn’t offer an SSL certificate for free as part of the hosting costs, then you may need to purchase one of these as well. You can also access products like Sucuri for free malware scanning.
How Much Does a Mid-Budget Website Cost?
Basic WordPress websites are fine, but you will eventually get to a point where you want to add more features and functionality. The best way to keep costs low is to avoid buying anything until you know you need it. It’s tempted to get carried away thinking that you need all of the advanced features that WordPress developers have to offer – but you rarely do.
However, you may eventually decide that you need to access features like advanced forms when you want to collect email addresses for your marketing schemes. Alternatively, you can consider coupon and discount code plugins to help boost the chances of eCommerce success for your website.
Extra features that may make your WordPress website more expensive include:
- Premium themes designed by professionals for your website
- Caching plugins (premium) to speed up your website
- Marketing tools with professional analytics and solutions
- Backup services to keep your data secure
If you have any specialist requirements for your WordPress website, like the need to add a certain kind of booking form for a health centre or fitness club, then you may need to hire a developer to handle this for you.
How Much Does an Ecommerce Website Cost?
WordPress currently powers millions of websites worldwide. Some of those sites sell products to consumers on a global basis, others are just about providing people with handy information. If you’re planning on selling products around the world, or just in a local destination, then you’re going to need to spend a little more cash.
When you design an ecommerce site, you’ll need a domain and hosting, just like you would for a standard website. However, you’ll also need an SSL certificate to keep your customers safe when transferring secure data like credit card information.
On top of your secure domain, you’re going to need the right ecommerce plugins for WordPress. There are a lot of options to choose from, but most people agree that WooCommerce is the top choice. WooCommerce allows you to build a powerful online store where you can take credit card and PayPal payments online.
Installing WooCommerce and WordPress onto your website is simple enough. Most host providers will help you with this, so you can get started easily regardless of whether you’re using WordPress.com or WordPress.org. While WooCommerce is free to use, you will need to use paid plugins if you want additional features. The price you pay for your WordPress site goes on depending on how complex your shop is going to be.
On top of all that, when your site is up and running, you need a drag and drop template that works with your WooCommerce site. Even if your hosting comes with a free domain and extra support from things like HTML coding and google analytics, you’ll still need to pay a little extra for your premium theme or template. The good news is that there are many one-click options out there.
With your template properly set-up, you can start to look into the elements that add extra functionality for your small business to your website.
One of the more expensive features for a WooCommerce and WordPress eCommerce site are the marketing tools. Even if you’re using the WooCommerce free plan, you’re still going to need marketing solutions to get customers to come and spend money from their credit card. This means investing in things like email marketing, and opt-in forms.
Ideally, you’ll want to start with a few basic add-ons at first, then work your way up to more advanced options when you know exactly what you need.
In general, the total cost to build a website for a blogger turned business owner is around 3000 dollars. However, there could be more of an expense depending on the services and addons you want to use.
👉 Check out our complete guide on how much an ecommerce website cost.
WordPress Pricing: Paying for Custom Sites
As we mentioned above, although there are things that you can get for free with your WordPress website, ranging all the way from themes, to a free SSL, there are a lot of components that you may need to pay for too. The more features and functionality you want for your website, the more expensive the solution is going to become.
Custom WordPress sites are often the most expensive because you’re hiring a developer to create everything from the theme to the FAQ page. You can find freelancers online to help you with this process. However, remember that you’ll still need to pay for your hosting plan, either way. Make sure you compare all of your options, like GoDaddy, Bluehost, and more, before choosing a premium plan.
WordPress users that are working with a web designer or developer may want to consider paying for managed WordPress hosting. This WordPress-centric hosting environment allows for managed updates, premium support, developer-friendly tools, and strict security.
When shopping for your WordPress developer, look for an agency with a good support team, and plenty of experience building WordPress sites. You don’t want a Wix specialist working on your WordPress solution, after all.
Sometimes, when you’re shopping for developers, you can ask them to see some of the previous webpage projects that they’ve worked on too. This is a good way to figure out what your web developer can really do. You might also follow the designer on social media.
Depending on your needs, it’s helpful to get a quote from several different professionals, ranging from standalone developers to agencies. The cost you’ll pay for your custom website will depend on various requirements you might have. However, it’s worth remembering that a personalized theme on It’s own can cost several thousand dollars.
If you’re building a website with access to things like eCommerce functionality and checkout tools, then you might find yourself paying in the tens of thousands. It’s best to sit down with your developer and discuss what you need in advance, and how much it’s going to cost before you commit to anything.
So, What About WordPress.com
For the bulk of this article, we’ve focused on building a website using things like WordPress.org – the most popular free CMS for online site development. However, it’s worth noting that there is another website builder service available under the WordPress banner. WordPress.com is something that you will need to pay a small monthly fee for.
Ultimately, you pay the price for a site that’s basically ready to launch already, after you’ve added things like your information and your theme. The domain name that you want for your site will already be included in the price. You’ll also be able to choose hosting as part of the package.
Once you get your pack, you pick a theme and usually you can customize it to include elements that are unique to your brand. If you’re not convinced that you have the knowledge of coding and the background to excel with a WordPress.org site, then this could be the choice for you.
WordPress.com has two pricing plans to consider, the Free Plan and the Pro Plan at $15 per month – which is great for beginners. Because everything you need to blog is already included, this is a great option for beginners. However, it’s worth noting that the eCommerce capabilities with WordPress.com are quite limited.
Although WordPress.com seems more limited at first, it is a little easier to launch a website with this service if you have no prior coding knowledge.
👉 The following guide will help to guide you through the process of choosing between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
How to Avoid Overpaying on WordPress Pricing
WordPress websites can be expensive, depending on what you need from your online presence. It’s rare to find a developer or designer that can provide you with a full money back guarantee either.
The good news is that there are as lot of things you can do for free. Finding a pre-made professional theme on a website like ThemeForest will save you money on a custom design, while giving you more freedom outside of the more basic free themes. At the same time, adding things like stripe and PayPal payment gateways to your site is usually free.
If you want to reduce your risks of overspending on the best WordPress pricing, the best thing you can do is plan properly, and do your research. If you’re running a small business online, start slow and figure out what you really need. For instance, you might need email marketing to help you gather leads, but you don’t necessarily need a real-time chatbot straight away.
There are a lot of premium features out there that may be suitable for your business in the future but will only add bulk and expense right now. Even free WordPress themes can be good enough for your website if you know how to customize them properly.
Start by comparing your options for hosting. Ask your web host what kind of hosting solution is right for you and see what other deals are available on the market before you sign on the dotted line. You can upgrade your hosting later if your site traffic starts to skyrocket.
When it comes to WordPress functionality, start with free plugins and templates. Once you start earning lucrative visitors and traffic, then you can begin thinking about premium features like unique templates, paid backup plugins and powerful tools for email marketing. There’s no need to start rushing in too early.
As you’re building your site, start with the bare minimum in eCommerce tools too. Most customers will be happy to use services like PayPal until you set up a more comprehensive payment portal. You can also find various coupons and discount codes online for certain features if you know when to look.
Remember, even for robust WordPress sites, you don’t necessarily need to hire a developer. There are tons of step-by-step tutorials out there on how to create various kinds of WordPress website too. You might be able to figure most of the work out yourself if you’re willing to take the time and develop your skills.
It’s also worth noting that while all websites do cost money to create and scale, they also generate money in the long-term too. The more you develop your WordPress site, the easier it will be to collect cash from your customers that goes towards future growth.
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