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 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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