One of the questions often asked is: how much does it cost to build a WordPress website? While the core WordPress software is free, the cost of a website 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.
This is a lengthy read and that’s why we have added a table of contents. Here is what we will cover in this article.
- What do you need to build a WordPress website
- How to estimate the real cost of making a WordPress site
- What’s the cost of a low budget WordPress site
- What’s the cost of a WordPress site with more features
- What’s the cost of building a small business website with WordPress
- What’s the cost of building an eCommerce site with WordPress
- What’s the cost of a custom WordPress website
- How to avoid overpaying and cut down spending
What Do You Need to Build a WordPress 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.
There are different hosting plans available for all kind of websites. You need to pick one that suits your requirements and fits your budget.
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.com or google.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 54,000+ 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 website for small business
- 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 a 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.
Once you have installed WordPress, you can choose a design for your website using a free template.
These design templates are called WordPress themes, and they control the appearance of your website.
There are thousands of professionally designed free themes 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
- Shared Counts – The best WordPress social media plugin that doesn’t slow down your website and is fully GDPR compliant.
- SeedProd Lite – Easily add a coming soon page to your website while you work on it.
- All in One 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
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
- WP Rocket – Premium WordPress caching plugin to speed up your site.
- Beaver Builder – Adds a drag and drop WordPress page builder.
- WP Mail SMTP – improves email deliverability and fixes WordPress not sending email issue.
- 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.
- All in One SEO Pro – Improve your website’s SEO ranking.
- 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 Small Business Website with WordPress
A lot of people often ask us about how much does it cost to build a small business website with WordPress? The answer depends on your business needs and the tools you’ll be using to grow your business online.
Basically, you can estimate the cost to be somewhere between a low budget WordPress site and a WordPress site with more features.
Keeping in mind that you don’t add a full-fledged eCommerce store to your business website. In that case, see the next section in this article for a more accurate estimate.
If you are just starting out and need a simple website showcasing your products and services, then we recommend starting with the Bluehost. Their starter plan will reduce the cost significantly and will leave you with money that you can spend on other premium tools if needed.
If you have a more flexible budget, then you can sign up for SiteGround’s GrowBig plan. They are known for their excellent support, which is a good thing to have for a small business owner with no technical background.
You can choose a free WordPress theme. However, since it is a business website, we will recommend you to purchase a premium theme that gives you access to support and updates.
Now let’s talk about plugins.
You will need to use a combination of free and premium plugins to control the cost. Following are some of the premium plugins that are absolutely essential for a small business website.
- WPForms (Pro) – The premium version will give you access to all the features you’ll need for lead generation. This includes PayPal and Stripe payments, conversational forms, email marketing integration, and more.
- SeedProd – Helps you add beautiful coming soon and maintenance mode page to your site while you are setting it up.
- Beaver Builder – Allows you to easily build professional-looking landing pages for your website.
- WP Mail SMTP Pro – improves email deliverability and fixes WordPress not sending email issue.
- Constant Contact – One of the best email marketing service, specially for small businesses.
- OptinMonster -Helps you convert website visitors into leads and customers. You’ll need it for Lead generation and conversion optimization.
- MonsterInsights Pro – The best Google Analytics plugin helps you see where your users are coming from and what they do on your website. This allows you to make data-driven decisions to grow your business.
- All in One SEO Pro – Improve your website’s SEO ranking.
- UpdraftPlus (Pro) – The premium version of the plugin comes with incremental backups, automatic backups before updates, and several remote storage locations to keep your backups.
- Sucuri Firewall – Website firewall and malware protection
Now there are many more plugins and tools that you would want to use. We recommend you to first try the free version and see if that does the job for you. Many premium tools are available with the free trials, take advantage of those to see if you really need that tool.
As a business website, you would want to spend money to grow your business. We are not advising you against spending money when it makes sense and you can afford it.
For more details see our step by step guide on how to make a small business website
Total cost of website: Once again it depends on premium tools and plugins you purchase. It can be anywhere between $300 and $700 per year but could go as high as $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
- WP Mail SMTP Pro – improves email deliverability for WooCommerce to ensure customers receive receipts, renewal reminders, and other emails.
- 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
- All in One SEO Pro – Improve your WooCommerce SEO ranking.
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 a 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 web developer that’s building your website. Depending on your need, you may want to get quotes from several theme developers, web designers, and agencies.
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 up to $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 some 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, business email address, business phone services, live chat, and so on.
Same goes for your eCommerce website. Start with the 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
Courtesy of WP Beginner