How Much Does It Cost To Design A WordPress Website?
WordPress is known as a free content management system or website builder. That is misguided since there is usually a cost involved.
There are two “flavors” of WordPress–WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Although they use the same content management system, they are very different.
These are websites created at WordPress.com. They are limited to using the themes and plugins allowed at WordPress.com. Nothing can be added that is not authorized by WordPress, the company.
What does WordPress.com cost?
The free level is genuinely free. You are limited to the WordPress plugins you can use and the themes you can choose from. There are many free themes and some color variations within the templates. There are also Premium Themes available for a cost.
Plugins cannot be loaded on a free plan. You can pay for plugins, and if you upgrade your plan, there are more plugins to choose from.
Here are the WordPress.com plans:
- Personal is $7 per month
- Premium is $14 per month
- Business is $33 per month
- ECommerce is $59 per month
What is included in WordPress.com Plans?
All options include a web hosting plan, and the storage limit goes up depending on the plan you choose. They all have unlimited customer support via email. The higher the plan, the more WordPress themes, and plugins are included.
WordPress.org is quite different. This is the WordPress software installed on your hosting account. When the software is installed on your hosting, you can add ANY theme and ANY plugins that you need for your new website. Many themes and plugins are free, and some are paid. Some of the free plugins and themes have paid upgrades as well.
What does WordPress.org cost?
The WordPress software is free. There is no cost if you are a technical person and can set up the software yourself. Premium plugins and Premium themes all have their prices.
You will need to get your hosting provider account. I do not recommend Shared Hosting (this is the cheapest). Shared hosting will leave your WordPress site open to getting hacked. It also has usage limits (think of the last time you went to an eCommerce website during a big sale and got a white screen).
Expect to pay $50 per month or more, depending on what is included in Managed Hosting. Premium Websites, LLC offers Managed WordPress Hosting that starts at $60 per month. It includes:
- SSL Certificate
- Servers optimized for WordPress websites
- Server-side caching
- Nightly backups (never worry about losing your website again)
- Your bucket of server resources (not a shared account)
- Staging or testing website included
- Monthly theme and plugin updates are included in some plans
What Does Design Cost for WordPress?
It depends. If you are technically savvy and only need a simple website, you can create your WordPress business website yourself.
If you are not technically savvy, need a shopping cart, add-ons, anything custom or outside the layout of your primary theme, then I would hire a professional website designer.
What does a Website Designer Cost?
You can find website designers that are very cheap (watch out), reasonably priced, and very expensive.
Stay away from a relative, freelance college student, intern, or someone just starting their business. If they get your work completed, likely they will not be available in the future when you need them for optimization or future website needs.
Find someone who has been in business for a few years, plans to be around in the future and has the technical knowledge you need for your type of website. For example, if you need a shopping cart, find someone specializing in eCommerce sites.
It is excellent to find someone local to you. Although website designers can work remotely from anywhere, it is nice to have someone in your time zone who cares about their local reputation.
Here are some questions to ask any website designer. If you are not happy with how they answer these questions, look for someone else.
- Who will purchase my domain name? It needs to be you. Whoever pays for the domain owns it. Do not let a company buy this for you, then you pay the company. They will own your domain and it will bite you in the future.
- Will I be able to add to my website in the future? This is a huge reason to use WordPress. If they require you to go through them for updates, move on.
- Will the website have custom coding? Another advantage of WordPress is that you do not need to know HTML or CSS to use the system. If someone adds custom coding, and you want it changed in the future, you will be stuck finding a developer that knows code or rebuilding your website.
- Where will my website be hosted? Hosting is important for the performance of your website. Do not let a website designer host it for you. You need to pay for your own hosting account.
- What is included in hosting? Get a plan that is specific to WordPress. Also, get one that includes an SSL and automatic backups.
- Is there training on how to update my website? You are not a professional in WordPress. Find a designer that will offer some training for you to be able to maintain your website yourself.
- Who creates the content for my website? Be clear on who will create the content. You know your business better than anyone else. Most website designers are not content specialists. If they create it for you, be sure they are not just copying another website. You need original content.
- Will I be able to call you in the future when I need help? This is a big one. I have gained many clients over the years because they could no longer communicate with whoever created their website. They are now stuck.
- Can my website have lead capture pages? If you plan to use email marketing to gain clients, lead capture pages are important. Some systems do not allow you to create them. Be sure you get a theme that does allow for it.
- Can I add a shopping cart, learning platform, paid events, or other addons if I need them in the future? This is another advantage of using WordPress. There are plugins already created that will do most of any functionality. If you want a shopping cart in the future, can your website designer add that for you?
If I can build it myself–should I?
You will get a better result by hiring a professional to design your own website.
Here is one thing to think about–if it takes you five hours to do something that a professional web designer can do in one hour, what did that project cost you? If you charge your clients $150 per hour and spend five hours, that is $750. If you paid a professional to do the work and charged you $200 per hour, you are better off hiring the professional. Overall, it will cost you less, and you should get a better product.
This analogy can be extended to anything in your business, accounting, taxes, etc.
If you stick to what YOU are good at, your business will thrive. If you get stuck doing things that you are not good at, then your bandwidth and business’s money-making activity have stopped.
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
What is the Real Cost of a Custom WordPress Website?
As you can see, there are a lot of variables business owners should consider for website pricing and no answer that covers all people.
I would expect to pay a minimum of $1800 for an essential five-page WordPress website cost. More pages, anything custom, such as a contact form, website maintenance, user experience, course software, or other premium plugins or functionality would cost more.