Although WordPress is free to use, there are some other costs that you will need to consider when building your budget. For starters, all sites need a domain name, and they need to be hosted. Then you’ll need to consider your customization options. WordPress lets you customize your site’s appearance and functionality through themes and plugins. Most of these are available for free, but some premium options charge a fee for use.
To help you figure out how much a WordPress site will cost you, we’re going to break down the different costs associated with getting a WordPress site up and running:
The Cost of Web Hosting and Domain Name
Web hosting is how your WordPress site becomes accessible on the internet. This requires that you not only choose a WordPress hosting provider but a hosting plan. The most common hosting plan is shared hosting. With shared hosting, your site lives on a server shared by various other sites. The single server resources are shared among all the sites, and as a result, this is the most affordable option. However, it doesn’t afford your site much storage or bandwidth, so it’s best suited for bloggers or small business websites that aren’t expecting a ton of traffic.
If you are expecting a good deal of traffic, you might want to consider VPS hosting. VPS hosting is like shared hosting in that multiple sites share one server. However, each site has its own allocated bandwidth and storage. As a result, your site won’t be affected by the actions of any other site. This option is ideal for medium-to-large businesses that expect a steady flow of traffic.
The most expensive hosting option is a dedicated server. Dedicated servers give you an entire server to yourself and are best suited for major corporations expecting an enormous amount of continuous traffic.
For most WordPress sites, shared or VPS hosting should suffice. The cost of shared and VPS hosting varies, but in general, you can expect to pay between $5 and $25 a month.
Every site needs a domain name. A lot of times, hosting providers will offer a domain name included with their hosting package. However, if this isn’t the case, you can purchase a domain name from a domain name registrar for around $12 per year.
The Cost of Customizing Your Site
All WordPress sites require you to have a theme. You can choose from their selection of free and paid (premium) themes or build your own.
If you choose to build your own theme, you may decide to hire a designer so you can get your site looking just right. However, this is a pretty costly option, especially if you want them to build the theme from scratch. Therefore another option is to hire a designer to customize a free or premium theme. This is much less expensive but still costly. For building a theme from scratch, you’re looking at approximately $10,000. If you want a designer to customize an existing theme, pricing starts at $300 and can go up to $10,000, depending on how much customization you require.
When deciding between using a premium or free theme, you need to consider how much customization is required. Premium themes often need less customization, and they tend to have more responsive designs, which are ideal for mobile. They also come with better built-in functionality than free themes. That being said, the free themes are fairly high quality and will suffice for most small websites and blogs. So it all depends on whether you have the budget for a premium theme and whether your site needs its perks. In general, premium themes range in price from $10 to $90.
The Cost of Increasing the Functionality of Your Site
Most WordPress themes come with basic functionality like menus and text boxes. However, if you want your site to be truly functional, you will need to add plugins and extensions. There are over a thousand different plugins and extensions, many of which are free. They perform a range of functions from image galleries to SEO to SSL security.
In most cases, there will be both a free and premium version of a plugin or extension. The free versions will suffice for most basic websites. However, for more advanced functionality, you will need to pay for the premium version. The cost for plugins and extensions ranges from $5 to $100.
It’s difficult to say with certainty how much a WordPress site will cost you. It all depends on the hosting plan you choose and whether you decide to go with premium or free themes and plugins. More advanced sites will require more advanced hosting and the features of premium plugins and will therefore be more expensive. Simpler sites can get by with lower-cost hosting options and using free themes and plugins. Consequently, the final cost depends on your vision for your site and the goals you wish to achieve.