Last updated on December 19th, 2017 by Editorial Staff
One of the questions we often get asked is: how much does it cost to build a WordPress website? While the core WordPress software is free, the cost of a WordPress site depends entirely on your budget and goals. In this article, we will break it all down to answer the ultimate question: How much does it really cost to build a WordPress website? We’ll also show you how to avoid overspending and minimize cost when building a website.
What Do You Need to Build a WordPress Website?
WordPress is free for anyone to download and use. It is an open source software which gives you freedom to install it on any kind of website.
So if WordPress is free, then where is the cost coming from?
The cost of a WordPress site can be broken down into following categories:
- WordPress Hosting
- Domain Name
- Plugins and Extensions (Apps)
To create a Self Hosted WordPress site, you need web hosting to store your files. Every website on the internet needs hosting. This is your website’s home on the internet.
Next, you will need a Domain Name. This will be your website’s address on the internet, and this is what your users will type in the browser to reach your website (example, wpbeginner dot com or google dot com).
With WordPress, there are tons of free website templates available that you can use. However if you want something more advanced / custom, then you can purchase a premium template or have one custom made which will raise the cost.
There are 40,000+ free plugins for WordPress. These are apps and extensions for your websites. Think features like contact form, gallery, etc.
So while you can build a website with just the hosting and domain cost, based on your situation, you may end up paying for additional tools and services. That’s why it’s often confusing for people to find out the real cost of a WordPress website.
Let us walk you through the real cost of building a WordPress site.
Estimating The Real Cost of Building a WordPress Site
Depending on your needs, your cost to start a WordPress website can range from $100 to $500 to $3000, to even as high as $30,000 or more.
It’s important to know what type of website you are building, and what you’ll need for it because that will directly affect your cost.
But don’t worry, we’ll show you how to avoid a financial disaster and make the best decisions.
For the sake of this article, let’s break down websites into different budget categories:
- Building a WordPress website (low budget)
- Building a WordPress website (with more features)
- Building a WordPress eCommerce website
- Building a custom WordPress website
Now let’s see how much each of these projects cost and how you can avoid spending any more than necessary.
What’s the Cost of a WordPress Website (Low Budget)?
You can build a fully functional WordPress website for yourself and keep your costs under $100. Here is the cost break down of a WordPress website on low budget.
First, you will need a domain name and web hosting.
A domain name typically costs $14.99 / year, and web hosting normally costs $7.99 / month.
Thankfully, Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider, has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.
For more hosting recommendations check out our guide on how to choose the best WordPress hosting.
Next, you will need to install WordPress on your hosting account. See our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog for complete instructions.
Once you have installed WordPress, you can choose a design for your website using a free template.
There are thousands of free and professionally designed templates available for WordPress that you can install. See our expert-pick of 43 beautiful free WordPress blog themes for some examples.
Once you have chosen a WordPress template, follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress theme.
Next, you may want to add certain features to your website like adding a contact form, a photo gallery, a slider, etc. Don’t worry there are more than 40,000 WordPress plugins available that will help you do that.
Plugins are like apps or extensions for your WordPress site. See our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Below is our selection of the essentials WordPress plugins that you should install on your website. All of them are available for free.
- WPForms Lite – Add contact forms to your WordPress site
- Envira Gallery Lite – Add beautiful image galleries to your site
- Soliloquy Lite – Add beautiful image sliders in WordPress
- Yoast SEO – Improve your WordPress SEO and get more traffic from Google
- MonsterInsights (Free) – Helps you track visitor stats using Google Analytics
- WP Super Cache – Improves your website’s speed by adding cache
- UpdraftPlus – Free WordPress backup plugin
- Sucuri – Free website malware scanner
There are many more free WordPress plugins to add different features and extend your WordPress site. See our best WordPress plugins category where we have reviewed hundreds of WordPress plugins.
Total Cost of website: $46 – $100 per year
What’s the Cost of a WordPress Site (with More Features)?
We always recommend our users to start small and then add more features as their website grow. This way you will not be paying for anything that you don’t really need.
As you add more features to your website, your website cost will start to increase.
You can continue to use Bluehost for WordPress hosting to keep the cost low and get a free domain name.
However since you will be adding more features to your website, it may make sense to get a more powerful hosting configuration like SiteGround’s GoGeek plan. This will cost you a little more, but it comes with premium features like staging, faster performance, and can handle up to 100,000 visitors per month.
You can use our SiteGround coupon to get 60% off for the first year of your hosting.
You can also go for a premium WordPress template for your site. Unlike free WordPress templates, these templates come with extra features and priority support. See our expert selection of 40 best responsive WordPress themes for some great premium templates that you can use.
For more website features you need to use a combination of free + paid plugin addons.
Here are some essential premium WordPress plugins and extensions that you’ll need as your site grows:
- WPForms (Pro) – Adds a drag drop form builder to your WordPress site
- Envira Gallery – WordPress image gallery plugin for photography or portfolio websites
- Beaver Builder – Adds a drag and drop WordPress page builder
- Constant Contact – One of the best Email marketing services
- OptinMonster – Converts abandoning website visitors into subscribers. Lead generation for WordPress.
- MonsterInsights Pro – See how visitors find and use your website.
- BackupBuddy – For automatic WordPress backups
- Sucuri Firewall – Website firewall and malware protection
There are many more WordPress plugins and services that you can add. Each paid service or addon that you add will increase the cost of your WordPress site.
Total cost of website: Depending on the premium WordPress plugins and services that you add, it can be anywhere between $500 and $1000 per year.
What’s the Cost of a WordPress Ecommerce Website?
WordPress powers millions of eCommerce websites around the world.
The cost of building a WordPress eCommerce website can be significantly higher, but we will show you how to build a WordPress eCommerce website while avoiding potential losses and overspending.
In addition to hosting and domain, your eCommerce site will also need an SSL certificate which costs around $69.99/year. SSL is required to securely transfer customer data such as credit card information, usernames, passwords, etc.
We recommend using Bluehost Ecommerce plan. It gives you a free domain and SSL certificate, plus discount on hosting.
After that, you need to select a WordPress eCommerce plugin.
There are several eCommerce plugins for WordPress, but none comes even close to WooCommerce. It is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin that allows you to build robust online stores to sell your products/services.
Next, you will need to install WordPress and WooCommerce on your website. We have a step by step guide on how to start an online store.
While WooCommerce is free, you will need to use paid addons for additional features. The cost of your website will go up depending on how many addons you need to add on your website.
Once you are up and running, you will need to choose a WooCommerce ready WordPress template for your site. There are several paid and free WordPress templates with full WooCommerce support. Choosing a premium or paid template gives you access to support and extra features.
We have a list of the best free WooCommerce addons, but depending on your needs, you may have to use some paid extensions as well.
Here are some other paid services that you’ll need on your eCommerce website.
- WPForms – To add customer inquiries and feedback forms
- Beaver Builder – To create stunning landing pages using a drag and drop page builder
- Soliloquy – Create beautiful product sliders with their WooCommerce addon
- OptinMonster – Convert visitors into customers with this powerful lead generation tool
- Constant Contact – powerful email marketing service
- MonsterInsights – Ecommerce tracking with real time stats using Google Analytics
- BackupBuddy – Automatic WordPress backups
- Sucuri – Website firewall and malware scanner
Remember the best way to keep your costs down is by starting small and adding extensions and services as your business grows.
Total cost of building a WordPress eCommerce website: $1000 – $3000. It could be higher depending on how many paid addons and services you add to your site.
What’s the Cost of a Custom WordPress Site?
A custom WordPress site is when you hire a WordPress developer to create a unique design and build specific features for it.
Usually well established, large to medium sized businesses choose this route.
To support a custom WordPress site, you may also want to go for a managed WordPress hosting provider. This is WordPress centric hosting environment, with managed updates, premium support, strict security, and developer friendly tools.
In addition to your hosting and domain name, you will also be paying the developer that’s building your website.
The cost of a custom website depends on your requirements, budget, and the rates of the developer or agency you hire.
A standard custom WordPress theme alone can cost you upto $5000. More robust WordPress sites with specific custom features can cost up to $15000 or even higher.
Update: Since several of you asked for a more details on this section, we have created a comprehensive guide on how much does a custom WordPress theme cost, and tips on how you can save money.
How to Avoid Overpaying and Cut Down Spending?
We always recommend our users to start small and then scale their WordPress site as it grows. In many cases you don’t need all the premium features that you see on many well established websites in your industry.
Keep in mind that those websites had a head start, and it likely took them time to figure out how to manage costs and grow their business.
You can start with a budget website using free plugins and template. Once you start getting visitors, you can consider adding premium features like a premium template, email marketing, paid backup plugin, website firewall and so on.
Same goes for your eCommerce website. Start with bare minimum and then as you start selling, you will find out exactly the tools that will help you and your customers.
Look for best WordPress deals and coupons to get additional discounts whenever you can.
Even for robust WordPress sites you don’t always need to hire a developer. We have step by step tutorials on how to create different types of WordPress websites such as:
- How to create a business directory with WordPress
- How to create an online review website with WordPress
- How to build an auction website using WordPress
- How to build a coupons website with WordPress
- How to create a multilingual website with WordPress
- How to create a job board with WordPress
- How to create a questions & answers website with WordPress
- How to create a portfolio website with WordPress
- How to create a wiki knowledge base website using WordPress
We hope this article answered your questions about how much does it cost to build a WordPress website. You may also want to see our list of 25 legit ways to make money online blogging with WordPress.
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