What is the cost to develop and maintain a WordPress website by yourself?

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Let us see the cost to develop and maintain a WordPress

Every website project has two aspects, one is developing the website, and second is maintaining it. Maintenance includes uploading fresh content, refreshing the old one, updating the server and the software to avoid any security issues.

Many people misunderstand that since WordPress is free, the cost of developing a website using WordPress would also be nil. But that’s not the case. And we will see how.

Before we find the cost to develop and maintain a WordPress, let us make some assumptions.

Assumptions

  1. The website will have a maximum of 10000 visitors per month.
  2. The website is simple and doesn’t require custom plugins and custom themes.
  3. If the website is an e-commerce one, then there are not more than 50 products on the site.
  4. We will be discussing wordpress.org and not wordpress.com. WordPress.com is an entirely different beast.

First, let us consider the development costs.

Development

Hosting

WordPress depends on three critical things. First is the hosting. Hosting houses the files required by the WordPress application. The server does much more than just housing the data. But let’s not go into the functions of the server.

WordPress runs very well on a Linux hosting, rather than a Windows hosting. And we suggest SiteGround as the preferred hosting for WordPress.

Since the website doesn’t have more than 10000 visitors per month, we can make do with the basic plan the hosting provider offers.

The basic plan is available for approximately $4 per month. That amounts to $48 per year.

Now there are specific hostings that are available for as low as $2 per month. But if you genuinely want to build your online business or have a good quality website for your business, then avoid super low-cost hostings.

They are a lot costlier in the long term.

Apart from SiteGround, there are other good quality hostings like BlueHost, A2 Hosting and even GoDaddy.

Now, these hostings are low to mid-range ones. I will not consider the hostings that are high-end like WP Engine or Kinsta.

When you need headache-free hosting, go for managed hosting.

To round off, let’s say hosting cost is $50 per year.

Domain

Domain names are an identity of your business. Having the right domain name goes a long way. Domains are available for more or less the same price on all the sites.

I prefer to buy the domains from Namecheap.

Some domains are premium domains, and they are very costly.

But for this calculation, I won’t consider the premium domains. If we talk about the regular domains, they are available in the range of $5 to $15. Pricing of the domain names is per year.

Let’s assume the domain cost to be $10 per year.

Domain names do not affect your WordPress site, but since they are required, I have considered them.

Theme

How your website will look is dependant on the theme used. WordPress boast’s of literally thousands of themes. Now, some themes cost money, some are entirely free, and some are freemium.

Some businesses have made millions just by developing good quality themes.

The WordPress site does not require more than one theme.

While selecting themes, free themes are quite tempting. But they don’t have many features available with them (to be honest, it’s a good thing.)

Sometimes they are too constrained, and there are basic things you can do with free themes. Additionally, you don’t know the quality of the code used to develop the theme.

Having a website with good quality code is required because then the theme doesn’t slow down or have security glitches.

Paid themes are available on multiple websites like ThemeForest, StudioPress and Mojo Themes. There are several marketplaces for WordPress themes, but these are the popular ones.

WordPress theme costs between $30 to $150. However, the vast majority of them are available at $59. Themes are generally one-off buys. And rarely have per year costing.

So, for the calculation purpose, the cost of the theme is $60.

Plugins

The last important thing required for a WordPress site is plugins. Unlike themes, you can use any number of plugins. (Don’t make blatant use of the plugins. Use too many of them, and the site will take an eternity to load.)

WordPress on its own doesn’t provide much functionality. So, to have the desired website with its features, one has to use plugins.

Similar to themes; plugins are available in three flavours; free, paid and freemium.

We can very quickly build a website without using a single paid plugin. The quality of even free plugins is quite high.

Plenty of the websites that I have built don’t have any paid plugin used and still have all the required functionalities.

Since most of the hostings provide backup and restore option, I will not consider backup plugins too.

Maintenance

The hosting provider manages the server upgrades. You can update the plugin and theme inside the WordPress admin. It’s when you hire somebody else to do the maintenance; you have to shell out the money.

So for maintenance too, I am not going to consider any cost.

Total Cost

So the total cost is

Particulars Cost Recurring
Hosting $50 Yearly
Domain $10 Yearly
Theme $60 One-off

So, at just $120, you can start developing a WordPress website and with the recurring expense of only $60.

That is water cheap. Although we had made some assumptions.

As the traffic to your website grows the price increases too. And some high-end WordPress website sot thousands of dollars.

But that’s not the part of the discussion here. We are talking only about the first website.

If you need some help with developing a WordPress website, head over to this link.

I hope now you have the idea regarding the cost to develop and maintain a WordPress.

Have a happy WordPress journey 🙂

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