WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
With WordPress.org, YOU host your own website, with WordPress.com, you don’t.
Using WordPress.com your domain will, by default, include “WordPress.com”, and can’t upload any custom themes, plugins or modify the PHP code behind your site.
Using a self-hosted version of WordPress with WordPress.org means you can use your own domain name, upload and install themes and plugins, edit the code behind your site and have access to your site’s database (or files). Most of the showcase sites you see on the WordPress site showcase are the self-hosted version of WordPress, since many of them have unique functionality or a custom-made design.
Therefore WordPress.com does not work for me or my clients, and this article is entirely written for self hosted websites using WordPress.org.
What Is Needed to Build a WordPress Website?
WordPress is open source software free for anyone to download and use and the cost of a WordPress site can be broken down into the following categories:
- WordPress hosting
- Domain Name
- Design & Development
- Plugins and Extensions (Apps)
Web hosting is needed to store your files.
The domain name is your website’s address on the internet.
With WordPress, there are many templates available to speed up the process, however if you want something more custom, a premium template / theme may be needed which will raise the cost.
There are 45,000+ free plugins for WordPress. These are applications and extensions for your websites such as a contact form, gallery, etc.
WordPress Website Cost
Dramatic Price Range
WordPress websites can range from $500 to $100,000 +.
On the high end of the spectrum, companies like The Wallstreet Journal, Forbes , LinkedIn, NFL, Mercedes etc use WordPress and have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their websites.
Large companies may have a team of designers and developers working for 6 months or more to a build a single website on WordPress.
On the low end of the spectrum, an individual can put up a page on WordPress.com for free.
Cost of a WordPress Website Low Budget –DIY
First, you will need a domain name and web hosting.
Domain name costs about $15 year, and cheap web hosting normally costs $60 -$100 yr.
Next, WordPress needs to be installed on the hosting account. Once WordPress is installed, a template/theme needs to be chosen and installed.
There are thousands of free and professionally designed templates available for WordPress that you can install.
Once a WordPress template is chosen and installed, plugins needs to be chosen and installed such as a contact form, a photo gallery, a slider, security etc. There are more than 40,000 WordPress plugins to choose from.
Plugins are application or extensions for your WordPress site.
Some examples of popular WordPress plugins are shown below:
Contact Form 7 – Add contact forms to your WordPress site
Yoast SEO – Improve your WordPress SEO and get more traffic from Google
WP Super Cache – Improves your website’s speed by adding cache
UpdraftPlus – Free WordPress backup plugin
Don’t forget to maintain your WordPress website, keeping it updated and backed up on a regular basis or it will break and be expensive to repair!
If you can do the work yourself, you can have a self hosted website for as little as $100 per year.
Total Cost of DIY Low Budget WordPress Website: under $100 per year
A More Typical Cost Breakdown
A typical breakdown of expenses required to get up and running might look something like this:
- Domain: $12/year
- Hosting: $10/month – $30/month
- Premium Theme: $50-$200
- Premium Plugins: $15-$200 (each; some are one-time purchases, others are monthly/annual licenses.)
- Rough Totals: $200-$1,000+
Turnkey WordPress Setup & Maintenance
The next step up ….. let an expert setup and design your small business WordPress site.
The typical WordPress basic small business website package might be charged hourly or have a fixed price and might look something like below:
- Hourly: $50-$100 per hour
- Flat Rate: $500-$1000+
- Monthly: $30-$50/month (in addition to the initial hourly or flat rate fees)
- A-la-cart Extras: $100, $200, etc. per strategy document, training course, and so on.
- Rough Totals: $500-$2,500+ (plus possible monthly or a-la-cart services)
For the right person this sort of service package will provide a lot of convenience, peace of mind, and a smoother navigation of the WordPress learning curve.
Expert WordPress web designers, such as Mark Lovett Web Design has developed a specific small business WordPress website niche, with tight constraints (on time, number of edits, tools, add-on services, etc.), and can take a client from an idea to a fully functioning website in a short amount of time, and can deliver a basic, professional site for $500 t0 $3,500.
If the site requires additional functionality such as membership only areas, eCommerce, online payment, multiple pages, extensive content creation, and SEO work, the build time substantially increases as does the cost $3,500 – $7,000.