Building a website with WordPress self-hosted platform is one of the most cost-effective strategies for small-to-medium enterprises or personal projects. By using WordPress’s free software to craft your site, you remove the more intensive HTML and CSS styling requirements that come with building a custom site.
Essentially, the software empowers people with little to no coding experience with the tools they need to launch a beautiful, slick website in no time. But (there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there?), while the initial WordPress software is free, there are a few other WordPress costs keep in mind when outlining your website budget.
Don’t worry — this piece will lift the ‘cost curtain’ so you know what to expect, with in-depth details on crucial factors such as domains, hosting, themes, and any other additional necessities you’ll need along the way.
The WordPress software on WordPress.org is freely downloadable and open for everyone to use. What makes the software so persuasive is the intuitive customisation and deep functionality offered by the many themes and plugins available. With these powerful integrations, users are able to tweak and optimise almost everything to their liking, including appearance and performance.
Many of these themes and plugins are available for free off the bat, while some require subscriptions or once-off payments. Bottom line is — the core WordPress software is free, which is a veritable boon for small business and professional individuals. But after this initial step, there are a few notable WordPress costs that come into play.
WordPress web hosting
Deciding on your web hosting is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when setting up your WordPress site. Basic hosting options are usually more than adequate for SMEs, bloggers and individual professionals who want to get their first site live with minimum hassle and lower expenses. With that said, the hosting you choose is likely to be one of the higher costs during setup.
The hosting that’s right for your unique needs is dependent on how much traffic you expect and the level of security your require. If you pick a respected, experienced hosting service you can expect your WordPress costs to be approximately $5 and $15 a month, with some web hosting services offering a discount if you pay a year’s fee upfront.
We at Kaira strongly recommend selecting either Cloudways, Kinsta or Bluehost, for the following reasons:
- The usability of their products when setting up a new website is extremely intuitive
- There’s an average website uptime guarantee of above 99%
- All three offer high quality customer support if help is needed for any issues
We would even recommend transferring your website to one of these hosts if you have any issues with your current hosting provider.
Your domain is the name of your home on the internet. Acquiring a personal domain name is one of the most effective ways to appear legitimate and professional to prospective customers or readers. Therefore, purchasing a domain name that aligns with your brand or personal name is crucial.
Generally, you can acquire one from a registrar — though ‘.com’ is becoming increasingly difficult to secure. So if you find yourself in a situation where you’ve got a catchy name but no ‘.com’, consider perusing this handy list of TDL options. These days, you’re looking at $11 a year to secure a domain name that announces your unique product or service to the world wide web.
“WordPress themes are incredibly powerful. But, as with every web design project, a theme is more than color and layout. Good themes improve engagement with your website’s content in addition to being beautiful.” — WordPress.org
Because they take time to develop, many small-to-medium enterprises and entrepreneurs lack the budget to develop a website from the ground up. Thankfully, WordPress offers a seemingly endless catalogue of themes, both free and paid. What makes themes so invaluable to the development process is that intuitiveness is matched by extensive customisation (if you go with an experienced WordPress developer).
This enables you to build the website you’ve been seeing in your mind’s eye for so long, and — once its launched — harness the power of SEO for greater lead generation and improved conversion rates. Depending on the level of customisation and support you’re after, a WordPress theme can cost anywhere between $50 and $200. You can, however, find many themes for free, with the option to level-up to paid versions that offer more value and support.
Since 2010, we at Kaira have been crafting intuitive, fast and high-performing themes for WordPress. You can check out our catalogue here, or view and download our newest theme Overlay here.
Additional WordPress costs
The above points serve as the core WordPress costs to take into account in the planning stages. But what about the costs that come into play after the fact? Indeed, there are countless plugins available for tweaking and optimisation, ranging from free to expensive. And let’s not forget the importance of safeguarding your content should the unthinkable occur and your website goes down!
In terms of free backup, Duplicator is a solid option, and offers a great free version which is perfect for small to medium size websites. The also offer a Pro version for if you want scheduled & cloud-based automatic backups and lots more premium features.
Creating an Online WooCommerce Store
Are you selling products online? Then you’ll need to install WooCommerce, the number one eCommerce platform for creating an online store.
While WooCommerce itself is free, it’s when you purchase the WooCommerce extensions that you start to pay for the functionality you need on your online store… With the extensions ranging from Free, or $29 and up, you can easily scroll through the list of extensions and work out the extra costs that will be involved depending on what you need.
You can find lots of useful lists describing the best WooCommerce plugins to use for your WooCommerce store, like this one from TOPWPBLOG.
But with your online store you’ll be making money so then you can justify having more costs to run your website.
Conclusion: Experience goes a long way towards keeping costs down
Tallying the above WordPress costs, we get a base yearly estimate of $80, with a high spend of $1000 or more. Obviously, annual costs are dependent on what you require from your website, your chosen WordPress theme, and the plugins you install further down the line. All-in-all, that number isn’t too bad! But we can do you one — or more — better, budgetary speaking.
For over a decade, Kaira has poured our experience into crafting WordPress themes and plugins that empower users with the tools they need to create and manage websites that look as beautiful as they are intuitive and functional. If you’re looking for guidance or advice on the next steps to developing your website, please get in touch. To see an example of what your website could look like, check out our latest theme, Overlay. There’s a free version for you to download and play around with, and a paid version that offers even more depth of customisation and functionality. Enjoy!