Every website project has two aspects, one is actually developing the website and second is maintaining it. Maintenance includes uploading fresh content, refreshing the old one, updating the server and the software to avoid any security issues.
Many people misunderstand that since WordPress is free the cost of developing a website using WordPress would also be nil. But that's not the case. And we will see how.
Before we proceed further, let us make some assumptions.
- The website will have maximum 10000 visitors per month
- The website is simple and doesn't require custom plugins and custom themes.
- If the website is e-commerce one then there are not more than 50 products on the website.
- We will be discussing wordpress.org and not wordpress.com. WordPress.com is a completely different beast.
First, let us consider the development costs.
WordPress depends on three important things. First is the hosting. Hosting houses the files required by the WordPress application. Actually, the server does much more than just housing the files. But let's not go into the functions of the server.
WordPress runs very well on a Linux hosting, rather than a Windows hosting. And we suggest SiteGround as the preferred hosting for WordPress.
Since the website doesn't have more than 10000 visitors per month, we can make do with the basic plan the hosting provider offers.
The basic plan is available for approximately $4 per month. That amounts to $48 per year.
Now there are certain hostings that are available for as low as $2 per month. But if you genuinely want to build your online business or have a good quality website for your business, then avoid super low-cost hostings.
They are a lost costlier in the long term.
Apart from SiteGround, there are other good quality hostings like BlueHost, A2 Hosting and even GoDaddy.
These are required for high traffic websites.
To round off, let's say hosting cost is $50 per year.
Domain names are an identity of your business. Having a good domain name goes a long way. Domains are available for more or less the same price on all the sites.
I prefer to buy the domains from Namecheap.
Some domains are premium domains and they are very costly. Some domains are as costly as $10000. Some are even more than that.
But for this calculation, I won't consider the premium domains. If we talk about the regular domains, they are available in the range of $5 to $15. Pricing of the domain names is per year.
Let's assume the domain cost to be $10 per year.
Domain names have no effect on your WordPress site, but since they are required, I have taken them into consideration.
How your website will look is dependant on the theme used. WordPress boast's of literally thousands of themes. Now, some themes are paid, some are completely free and some are freemium.
Some businesses have made millions just by developing good quality themes.
The WordPress site does not require more than one theme.
While selecting themes, free themes are quite tempting. But they obviously don't have many features available with them (to be honest, it's a good thing.)
Sometimes they are too constrained and there are very little things you can do with free themes. Additionally, you don't know the quality of the code used to develop the theme.
Having a website with good quality code is required because then the theme doesn't slow down or have security glitches.
Paid themes are available on multiple websites like ThemeForest, StudioPress and Mojo Themes. Actually, there are a number of marketplaces for WordPress themes but these are the popular ones.
WordPress theme costs between $30 to $150. However, the vast majority of them are available at $59. Themes are generally one-off buys. And rarely have per year costing.
So, for the calculation purpose, the cost of the theme is $60.
The last important thing required for a WordPress site is plugins. Unlike themes, you can use any number of plugins. (Don't make blatant use of the plugins. Use too many of them and the site will take an eternity to load.)
WordPress on its own doesn't provide much functionality. So, to have the desired website with its functionalities, one has to use plugins.
Similar to themes; plugins are available in three flavours; free, paid and freemium.
We can very easily build a website without using a single paid plugin. The quality of even the free plugins is quite high.
Plenty of the websites that I have built don't have any paid plugin used and still have all the required functionalities.
Since most of the hostings provide backup and restore option, I will not consider backup plugins too.
The server upgrades are managed by the hosting provider. Plugin and theme updates can be done inside the WordPress admin. It's only when you hire somebody else to do the maintenance, you have to shell out the money.
So for maintenance too, I am not going to consider any cost.
So the total cost is
So, at just $120, you can start developing a WordPress website and with the recurring expense of only $60.
That is really water cheap. Although we had made some assumptions.
As the traffic to your website grows the price increases too. And some high-end WordPress website sot thousands of dollars.
But that's not the part of the discussion here. We are talking only about the basic website.
If you need some help with developing a WordPress website, head over to this link.
Have a happy WordPress journey 🙂