The True Cost of Building and Managing a WordPress Website

WordPress is the most popular choice when building your own website. It is estimated that as many as 40% of existing websites use WordPress as their base Of course, there is a good reason why this is the case, it is very easy to use, even for those with little or no website experience.  

However, while the uninitiated can create their own website, you will find that a little WordPress help goes a long way. There is more to it than simply choosing a theme and adding content.

Isn’t WordPress Free?

Yes, you can get a WordPress site for free. However, this offers you the basic features and is only suitable for casual users. If you are planning on creating your own blog then this may be the right option. But, if you want to build a serious business, you need to be prepared to spend a little money.

That means committing to a hosting cost, domain name, designing the website, paying for plugins and extensions, and, of course, thinking about the time you spend working on the site. 

Thanks to these elements it can be hard to define a price, it will certainly be different for every website created. The following should give you an idea of what is involved and your likely costs. 

Hosting Cost

All websites need to be hosted, this is the platform they sit on, effectively where the site lives on the internet. On average it will cost you $8 per month to host your site. This is the premium theme that allows you to select an existing theme for your page or design your own. 

Remember, being individual is a good thing, you need to stand out from the thousands of other pages.

You should note that WordPress takes care of security for you, it is included in your hosting cost.

The alternative is to host the site yourself. This is where it becomes more complicated. You can host on a generic provider for the same price as WordPress hosting. This gives you complete control of the site and your theme. But, at this price point, you will be sharing a hosting server, that can slow down the speed of your site.

If you are prepared to pay more for your hosting then you will share the server with fewer people and regain the speed your website needs 

The cost of a WordPress hosting is approximately $96 per year. Doing it yourself is likely to cost you at least $400 because you need security and to purchase a theme, as well as the hosting cost. But, you will have more freedom to control how your site looks and behaves.  

Domain Name

The domain name is the website address that people may use to get to your site. In effect, this is the written address of your site. WordPress offers free domains, but the site will end with WordPress. In order to create a unique website that uses your business name, you need to pay for the domain name. 

The good news is that a domain name can be as little as $15 per year. However, the more in demand the name you want to use the higher the price will rise. If you already have an established business then you will want the domain name to reflect your business name. That means you will have little control over the price. But, if you are just setting a business up you can choose the name of your business to coincide with one of the cheapest domain names.   

Plugins

There are thousands of plugins that can be used with WordPress. A Plugin allows you to create contact forms; galleries, and other useful sections of the website. While some plugins are free, this is not the case with all of them. You are likely to have to pay for some plugins that your business and website will find indispensable.

These can vary greatly in price, depending on whether you take the free option and the risk of being easily hacked, or the more advanced but costlier plugins. 

You will need to make the decision regarding which is the best plugin on a case-by-case basis. 

Don’t forget that your WordPress site also needs an SSL certificate. Without this, you will be unable to transfer customer data securely and this will make processing payments impossible. The cost of this is approximately $70 per year.

The Time Element

This is a difficult one to calculate exactly. Firstly you need to decide what your time is worth per hour. This will allow you to monitor how many hours you are spending resolving website-related issues. The less experience you have the more time you will spend figuring out themes, plugins, and the other elements necessary to get your website off the ground.

At this stage, it is useful to consider professional assistance. They can focus on building the website while you deal with getting the business off the ground and making sure people know about the new website.

This same approach usually works best when you are dealing with day-to-day running. While it costs to employ someone to maintain the site, it is more cost-effective than trying to do it yourself. After all, do you want to be replying to customer comments and running the site?

Promotional Costs

An essential element in getting your website up and running, as well as managing it for the future is to promote it. That means letting existing customers know the site is going live. It also means attracting new customers by letting them know through social media and other marketing channels.

This can be time-consuming and is often a forgotten cost of building and managing a WordPress website.

The Bottom Line

You can spend as little as $100 to get your WordPress website off the ground, although there will be ongoing monthly commitments. Alternatively, you can spend several thousand designing and creating your perfect site. 

There is no right or wrong approach, just the one that works best for your business and you. 

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