Author Archives: Georgi Todorov

How Much Does A WordPress Website Cost?

The cost of a WordPress site is contingent on numerous factors such as :

  • The complexity of the WordPress website.
  • The contract duration.
  • The skill set and reputation of the service vendor.
  • The hourly rates and financial circumstances within the local market.

Sending the same request for proposal to a freelancer in Asia and an agency in the US or Norway will likely result in a 20x difference, cost-wise. While locality is not a factor for building a WordPress website, here is our successful framework you can utilize while preparing the budget for your project.

A] What Goes Into WordPress Website Development?

Let’s consider the entire life cycle of creating a WordPress website – from contacting the vendor to launching your website online.

  • Contacting a professional WordPress development company or a freelancer.
  • Scheduling several calls and exchanging a number of emails clarifying the scope of work.
  • Compiling the list of system requirements – assets, content pages, sitemap, hosting requirements, plugin licenses, access to API providers.
  • Initiating the creative phase (an effort to create mock-ups followed by design deliverables).
  • Building (or integrating) a WordPress theme based on the previous design iteration.
  • Creating and integrating plugins, implementing API protocols, handling all sorts of WordPress development.
  • Internal QA iteration.
  • A QA cycle along with your team – which may result in some back-and-forth until agreeing on the successful implementation of the scope.
  • A release cycle including the hosting management and deploying the solution.

The initial site launch is (almost always) followed by a maintenance phase or ongoing development and other essential WordPress fixes after signing a WordPress retainers plan. To know more about what constituents in WordPress development, check out this comprehensive WordPress website development checklist.

Complexity may vary, and so do costs – let’s see a sample cost breakdown for different types of WordPress websites.

B] Different Types of WordPress Websites

1. Small WordPress Websites

First off, WordPress.com provides free hosting for WordPress websites. That said, it’s incredibly limited and won’t let you scale (feature-wise) over time. Every professional business needs at least a simple, custom build website, letting them grow over time, build an audience, create engagement (through email marketing or any form of digital marketing) – business requirements that always end up with a self-hosted WordPress website.

Tech-savvy business owners can purchase a hosting plan with their own designated and branded domain name for less than $100 a year. If you feel that your website is simple and lightweight, most shared hosting companies use cPanel and include Softaculous or Fantastico. The automated libraries will help you install WordPress with just a few clicks – and you’re up and running within minutes.

You will still need to pick a WordPress theme from the free WordPress theme directory – or a premium theme for under $100.

Most basic WordPress plugins are available for free, too. The more you expand on your feature set, the more you’ll end up purchasing additional plugins or calling freelances for extra development work. Plugins cost anywhere between $30 and $200 a piece, and you may account for 20-40 hours of freelance work (for design and functional integrations).

The final cost of a simple website would be anywhere between $200 and $8,000, with some recurring costs for hosting and domain management.

2. Standard WordPress Websites

The cost of a standard WordPress website builds upon the requirements of a small website.

Businesses that have been around for a few years have already built their brand awareness. This results in a larger volume of customers and website content, additional platform integrations (CRMs, ERPs, marketing automation platforms), and a higher sense of a custom look and feel.

No professional business will depend on a basic set of features or a generic theme. As your company grows, you are climbing up the ladder – working with larger businesses and forming strategic partnerships. Uniqueness is important, and flexibility in terms of features will make or break your business.

Hosting a standard website will depend on the volume of data and traffic, which usually requires a VPS or a dedicated server hosting (or an extensible cloud environment). Annual hosting costs will be within $1000 – $5,000.

Building a custom WordPress theme website or heavily customizing an existing one will be anywhere between $2,500 and $7,000. You will end up using a number of complex plugins or paid 3rd party services and a couple of custom frameworks powering your business logic, leading to another $5,000 – $20,000 in custom development and licenses. Maintenance becomes more and more important. Downtime will lead to traffic drops and result in lower customer satisfaction.

The cost of a standard WordPress website tends to fluctuate between $10,000 and $50,000, with some recurring maintenance costs.

3. Complex WordPress Projects and Platforms

High-scale WordPress projects need a lot of love, increasing their cost over time. On the bright side, complex WordPress websites generate a lot of revenue.

  • Popular magazines depend on ads and partnerships.
  • eCommerce platforms sell a lot of physical and digital goods.
  • Course platforms sell online or on-site training packages.
  • Reputable Software as a Service solutions sell subscriptions to a large customer base.

Your business may employ hundreds of people. Probably 15 of them work in the marketing or customer support department. A single automated editorial platform may save each of your team members 2 hours a week, aggregating to 120+ hours of saved employee time every single month.

This is easily worth tens of thousands of dollars annually in performance saving. A professional WordPress development company may implement dozens of those features – saving you time, indexing your website better through on-site WordPress SEO, increasing your conversion rates and improving the customer experience on your website.

High-traffic websites would pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for hosting on a monthly basis, or anywhere between $8,000 and $30,000 a year.

An ongoing WordPress development retainer would be the way to go. Your competitors are eager to steal a fraction of your customer base – which could be avoided if you work hard and innovate through additional and addictive features that your platform offers. A seamless and intuitive user experience will keep your customers longer, tempting them to pay or upgrade their plans (or purchase more).

All things considered, from hosting through design and development to ongoing optimizations, complex and professional WordPress website may easily cost between $50,000 to $150,000, and rapid development cycles can bump the price to $500,000.

While your company may not be there yet, reaching the first 7-figure milestone may be a great time to consider amplifying your digital efforts and multiplying your revenue year over year. A reasonable return on investment will certainly justify the development costs if your online platform earns millions (or more) in profit.

Georgi Todorov

Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer. He recently started his NGO DigitalNovas. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.

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Top 10 WordPress SEO Strategies You Should Be Using

1. Use URLs Which Are SEO-Friendly

Let’s start with one of the easiest things to do, and one of the most important. Google places most importance on the first three to five words of the URL so for the best results, you should be making sure your target keywords, which will usually be the title of your post, are at the beginning of the URL.

WordPress doesn’t automatically use the title of your post in the URL, but it is easy to fix this. Go to ‘Settings’ then ‘Permalinks’ and change your permalinks to ‘Post Name’.

2. Keywords and Descriptions

Keywords and descriptions allow search engines to know more about the content of your posts and pages. Keywords are important words or phrases that people are likely to search for if they are looking for the content you are publishing.

Choose your keywords carefully. Study Google search results for articles similar to yours and look for words or phrases that they have, which you don’t. Only use these words and phrases though if they are a good fit for your post too.

It is also a good idea to include your keyword in the last 50-100 words of the article. This sends a signal that the main topic of your page is about your target keyword. From the start to finish.

Alternatively, you can use a WordPress plugin such as Yoast, which will make it easy for you to choose keywords. Once you have chosen a focus keyword for your post, Yoast will show you how many times you have used the keyword in different areas of your post.

Instructions for installing the Yoast plugin can be found here.

3. Optimise Your Titles For SEO

Following on from number two, it is important that your title is also optimized for SEO. When you have decided on a keyword for your post, it is better to have this keyword right at the beginning or as close to the beginning as possible.

You may ask ‘How do I know if my Title is an SEO-friendly one?’ Well, there are several sites out there which can help you with this and to make things easier for you, I have listed some of them below:

  • Sharethrough – This is a really great site which will score your title and also give you suggestions on how to improve it.
  • SEOPresser – This resource will ask you to give it a keyword and then take all the hard work out of title generating, by creating several catchy title options for you.
  • Portent – Here, you can enter a topic and the site will not only generate an interesting title for you but will suggest ways that you can create engaging content for the article too. Check it out…it’s a fantastic resource!

4. Utilise XML Sitemaps

An XML Sitemap is a way for search engines to know about all the pages that exist on a website. A WordPress XML Sitemap also tells search engines which links on your website are more important than others and how frequently you update your website. While sitemaps do not boost your search rankings, they do allow search engines to better crawl your website.

The Yoast plugin in number two above can also add XML Sitemap functionality to your website. To access your XML settings – click on Yoast SEO plugin – XML Sitemaps.

5. Word Count

Content is extremely important. Should it be long content or short though?

Opinions vary on this, but on the whole, good quality long content, containing useful information and useful links is more likely to be shared and rank highly in searches.

Long-form content has time and time again proven to win in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). Back in 2012, serpIQ published some statistics on the importance of content-length. As you can see the websites holding the top positions have a lot more content.

So, to sum up: poor quality content is always bad but good quality long content is more likely to raise your website’s profile.

6. Use High-Quality Links

We mentioned above that good content contains useful links. The key here is ‘useful’. If you have found authoritative resources you will not only benefit your reader but also send signals to Google that you are a serious website or blog, providing quality citing to established sources. Just make sure that the links that you’ve added to the post are valid and frequently check these links to ensure that the links are working so that your audience doesn’t land on a 404 Page.

7. Link To Yourself

Internal links will help traffic to navigate your site because they connect and organise your content. There is also the added benefit that if users are checking out other pages on your site, they will stay longer and this, in turn, will help to raise the ranking of your website.

8. Increase Time On Site

Internal links are one way to increase time on your site, but what else can you do?

Have you heard of the concept of ‘10x content’? Basically, it is content that is 10 times better than the rest. This is the kind of content that will lift you above the competition and keep visitors on your pages.

So, how do you create this content?

Multimedia will help to keep people longer such as explainer videos, slide presentations, quizzes and audio versions of your content. Involve and engage your readers by encouraging them to leave blog comments at the end of each post and be sure to acknowledge any comments and respond to them.

Scroll down the Moz blog to watch a great in-depth analysis on how to create 10x content.

9. Return Visits

Repeat visitors are a sure indication that you are creating quality content and there are two things you can do to increase return visits to your site.

Firstly, regarding the content itself. You can create content in parts and mention at the end of the post what is coming next. If you have created an awesome part one, chances are that your readers will be back for part two.

Secondly, you can harvest emails from your readers. This is an amazing way to connect with your visitors. Invite them to sign up for free updates and you can email them whenever you have something new to share. Here are a few tips for successful email marketing. Also, Thrive Leads is a (paid) plugin which can help you to build a mailing list.

10. Optimise For Mobile

If you are not optimised for mobile, you are not getting the best from your site because it has now been shown that there are more searches from mobile than there are from desktops.

And this is from the Google Blog:

‘April 21st’s mobile-friendly update boosts mobile search rankings for pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices.’

So, if you are not mobile-friendly, you are in effect, going to be penalized in Google searches. You can easily check whether your site is mobile-friendly by using Google’s mobile-friendly test.

If your site has mobile issues, there are ways you can fix this. Firstly there is the WPtouch plugin which can create a mobile version of your site, or you can just get a better WordPress theme. The best WordPress themes come already optimised for mobile.

Conclusion:

I hope you have enjoyed reading these tips and have found them useful. Good Luck with improving your SEO. Read this guide if you need more detailed information how to improve your WordPress SEO.

Georgi Todorov

Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer. He recently started his NGO DigitalNovas. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.

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Who are we?

We are bunch of WordPress enthusiasts who have a collective experience of 10 years in the field. We love everything to do with WordPress and will fix any problems related to this amazing tool, within no time. So much so, that if backup is provided, we can fix your WordPress website in an hour, and make sure that it is not vulnerable to hackers again.

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