So you decided to build your website on WordPress. Well, the owners of 32% of all websites on the Internet would agree with your choice. With the market share of 60%, the free and open-source WordPress.org ranks as the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. Even though the software itself is free, you still need a budget for your site. Let’s take a look at the real cost of WordPress.org website.
Yes, It’s Free (Well, Kind of)
WordPress.org is a free open-source software that everyone can use to create and fully control their website. Downloading and implementing it doesn’t cost a dime. However, since it is a self-hosting solution, you can’t use it without buying web hosting and a domain name. And that’s where the real cost kicks in.
There are, however, options for free WordPress.org hosting, the most popular and obvious being WordPress.com. Of course, like everywhere – free usually means limited functionality and that is exceedingly true in this case.
Free WordPress.com plan is very limited and suitable only for small projects, like a personal blog. With a WordPress.com subdomain in your website’s URL, ads on your page, restricted storage space and only the essential features, it’s pretty difficult to build a representable and professional looking website.
So if your website will have a broader outreach and maybe even represent your brand – free version should be out of the question.
So, How Much Does WordPress.org Website Really Cost?
The cost of your WordPress.org website will depend on what you’re website is for. A general starting point would be at $200/year but if you’re striving for high-performance and professionalism, the price might reach $800 and more.
If you’re just starting out and want to experiment with creating websites, the bare essentials will not cost you much. If you want to go further – prepare to spend some serious more money.
WordPress.org Hosting Costs
If you don’t expect big amounts of traffic on your website, a shared hosting solution is the cheapest option. Choosing this won’t put a dent in your bank account – you can expect to pay as little as $5/month. However, dedicated hosting is needed for websites with higher traffic. Depending on the hosting provider, this might cost significantly more. All in all, a price tag of $5-$20/month would be reasonable for a high-quality and reliable hosting.
Domain Name Costs
You’ll also need to buy a domain name for your website. The price here will depend on:
- What domain extension you want to choose (.com obviously being the most common one);
- What domain name registrar you pick;
A rule of thumb here – match your domain extension to the content of your website. If you own a tech blog, a .tech extension might suit better than the other ones.
The price of a custom domain name might fluctuate, but realistically you can pay around $15/year. A custom domain name adds a great deal to your online presence and the creation of your brand – pick carefully.
What Other Expenses You Should Consider?
A WordPress theme is one of the most important components of your website. After all, it’s what your visitors will see and use to browse your page. A theme should look good on all devices, meaning that it should also be mobile-friendly.
WordPress.org has a library of some basic free themes. But if you’re looking for a high-quality, customizable and user-friendly design, you might need to invest some money. With thousands of themes available, they go for anywhere between $50-$200+. Give the free ones a try and test their performance – it might be enough for you.
Premium WordPress plugins might also add to the final cost of your WordPress.org website. For example, Akismet Anti-Spam plugin goes for $5/month and it’s a great spam and malicious content prevention system that you might want to include. From security, webform creation to information backup – plugins might be a great investment, so look into them.
Finally, if you’re striving for more than just a basic website, professional help from WordPress developers will also increase the price tag. Website maintenance tasks should be performed regularly and you can do that yourself, for example, creating a backup of your website, updating themes/plugins or running performance tests. But if you’re lacking skills or time, outsourcing a WordPress expert for your site’s maintenance will cost you anywhere from $10 to $70+/hour or a fixed price, depending on a service.
What’s the Final Cost of a WordPress.org Website?
There isn’t one price point for a WordPress.org website. The budget will vary greatly depending on the level of professionalism and performance you’re looking for. Sparing $200/year would be a good starting point for a small/medium website. However, if you want to enhance the experience, the cost of dedicated hosting, premium themes and plugins and help from professional developers might add up to a four-digit number.