WordPress is one of the cost effective ways of building your website.
It’s quite cheaper than other comparable tools like Squarespace, Weebly and wix.
Still the cost of developing a website in WordPress can range from $100 a year to 1000s dollars per year.
In this article we are going to see a shopping list for your WordPress site when you have less budget.
Sometimes in order to reduce the cost of developing a website you tend to select free themes, free plugins and cheap hosting.
But the problem with this is not all free themes and plugins are secure or updated or up to the standard for that matter.
So, I am going to tell you the best themes and plugins and hosting which you can use to build your website using WordPress at a lower cost.
So let’s start.
What are the different things required
Let’s talk about the different things you require to build a website using WordPress.
Let’s start with the themes first.
Themes define how your website is going to look like, it defines the colours of your website, the typography and overall look and feel of your website.
So, what happens when you use a theme that is not up to the mark or of a poor quality.
- Slow loading speed
- Poorly written stylesheet
- Insecure or old scripts used
As you can see a theme is not just required for look and feel but it also determines the overall performance of your website.
Another problem with themes is they look very good on the demo sites, but in reality they are very hard to configure.
That’s why I suggest following themes which are available for free but at the same time they provide an excellent performance.
All these themes have a paid version too.
But to start with you don’t have to get that paid version and you can easily start with a free copy of the theme.
Astra is a theme that I have used for more than hundred websites and I never faced any issue. The theme is available for free and if you require some additional features then you can opt for a paid version of it.
But the paid version of the theme is not going to break your bank. It is still available at $50 per year but that is a decision that you can take at a later date.
When I started using Astra, I used its free versions for more than 20 websites, and only when I needed my development time to reduce I opted for its paid version.
Astra theme is suitable for E-commerce as well and you can read my review on how Astra is better for E-commerce websites by clicking here.
Astra is one of the highest downloaded themes simply because it is easy to use, available for free and fast loading.
GeneratePress is another free theme that I used for many websites.
This also comes in two flavours one is spade and one is free however the free version of the theme is kind of Limited.
Similar to Astra GeneratePress is a high performance theme, it’s lightweight, easy to use and provides great loading speed.
The theme also provides a lot of customisation options however many of them are available on a paid plan.
Again the paid plan of GeneratePress is not very costly and will cost you $50 per year.
Plugins improve the functionality of your WordPress site.
However using too many plugins does slow down your site.
And if you use a poor quality plugin, it will hamper the performance of your website and it may be prone to malware attacks and hackers.
So, I am going to give you a list of essential plugins that will improve the functionality of your website at the same time keeping its secure and high performance.
Elementor Page Builder
To design the pages of our website we need some kind of a page builder, and Elementor is one of the best page builders that I have ever used.
It’s available for free and if you want to have additional features it will cost you $50 per year for a single site.
Unless you are a web development agency you don’t need to buy the multiple site version of Elementor.
Similar to Astra, I have used Elementor for more than hundred websites and I couldn’t be happier.
It provides you all the widgets that are required to design a page out of the box.
- image Box
- Icon box
- Single image and single icon
- And many such widgets
The learning curve of elementor is quite less.
Similar to Astra most of the things required are available in the free version and unless you require some additional widgets you don’t have to upgrade to a paid version
In fact I will suggest you to use free version initially and only when you require additional widgets then only upgrade
To know more about Elementor click here
Whenever we are uploading images on the WordPress site it will not necessarily compress them. due to this the loading speed of your website may get hampered.
Therefore you should use WP Smush.
This plugin compresses the images that you have uploaded on your WordPress site making them leaner.
WP Smush is free to use and there are some additional features that are available at a price but I myself have never used a paid version of WP Smush and I am quite happy with the free version it provides.
Search Engine Optimisation is quite essential to any website and to make our website optimised for search engines you can use Yoast SEO for free.
This plugin also has a paid version but is similar to WP Smush, I have never used its paid version and I am quite happy with the free thing.
Hosting plays an important part in your website performance. and I think you should not use either free hosting or a very cheap one.
You should select a hosting provider that provides good support, keep their servers updated and Secure.
There are different types of hostings and you can know more about them by clicking on this link.
When you are just starting out with your website you should select a shared web host and in my opinion Dreamhost it is a good option for you to start.
It costs about only $2.59 per month and I can vouch for its quality as I have hosted at least 20 sites on Dreamhost.
So as you can see the only expense is hosting and you can choose a free theme like Astra and a free page builder like Elementor to build your complete website and don’t have to pay for anything else.
So start building your website and grow your business.
Best of luck 🙂