How much does a WordPress website cost?
Whether you're interested in setting up a WordPress.com or WordPress.org website, learn more about the different types and costs involved here
WordPress is a website creation tool that's open source, meaning that in many ways it's free. However, this doesn't fully convey the cost of a WordPress website, as some things still do need to be paid for.
WordPress is an extremely popular website content management system (CMS), and is also used extensively for blogging. In short, it’s an easy way of publishing on the web, or creating a website. So, how much does a WordPress website cost?
Before we answer that, we need to understand a little more about how WordPress works. Then we can work out a more accurate WordPress cost for your website.
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WordPress.org or WordPress.com: What's the difference?
WordPress websites are available through either WordPress.org or WordPress.com. WordPress can be either downloaded for free from WordPress.org or, alternatively you can opt to use WordPress as a hosted service by using WordPress.com.
The single biggest difference between the two is in the hosting of your website. This is the first factor that affects WordPress website costs.
Put simply, WordPress.org is the version of WordPress where you host your own website. Generally, this is more suited to skilled web developers with a degree of technical knowledge and a better option for those that want greater control over their website.
Downloading the software is free, but again this doesn’t truly represent the cost of a WordPress.org website. You'll need to install it on a server, and take responsibility for hosting your website.
You (or your web developer) will also need to do all of the legwork in terms of building your own theme, and researching which plugins you need – which all of course cost money.
WordPress.org is the option when you need more control and flexibility over your website. However, it does take more work. You’ll need your own domain name, which for businesses is a plus for branding, but also comes at additional cost.
Different from WordPress.org, WordPress.com is a hosted service where the server is fully managed by WordPress. You don't need to download the software or manage a server and in some cases you don't have to pay for anything.
It's therefore used by many bloggers, however businesses tend to opt for WordPress.org websites due to the strict limitations associated with WordPress.com. For example, you're restricted by the number of available themes and limited functionality and as such, customisation is finite.
The differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com are key in determining the cost of your WordPress website. As a result, we have explored the cost of both WordPress version websites in full detail below.
How much does a WordPress.org website cost?
WordPress.org offers a free software download. Generally, this is geared towards web developers and those wanting truly bespoke websites. Although the software is free to download, it doesn't represent the true cost of a WordPress.org website.
Once you take into account all of the elements you'll need to pay for, the cost of a WordPress.org website will be clear:
You'll need to pay for your domain name – your website address. The usual costs for this in the UK are between £3 and £10 per year, but the more popular the name, the more expensive it'll be.
Check out domain options here and get the perfect one today.
Building your website using WordPress.org requires hosting. Hosting a website costs between £5 and £60 per month. However, there are some hosting providers that'll offer extremely reduced rates for your first year of hosting for under £10.
WordPress themes and custom designs
Because WordPress.org has been designed to give website owners flexibility in creating unique websites it was built by developers for developers.
If you don't have any programming or web development knowledge then you'll need to pay for a developer to download, set up and design your WordPress site for you. Note, that generally the domain and hosting costs will be included in this stage.
Using WordPress.org, you'll be able to access thousands of different web design templates (otherwise known as themes) that you can buy online and install into WordPress for as little as £30.
However, you'll also need to pay for your developer to set up the theme, which can cost anything from £20 up to £150 per hour for specialist high-end web designers.
For most small business websites you should be able to find adequately skilled web developers who can meet your design needs for an affordable price.
Custom WordPress theme options
Alternatively, if you would prefer to have a custom web design that's totally unique to you or your business then hiring a web designer to create this will be necessary. Often, this is the preferred approach among businesses.
WordPress website costs by type
As with any other form of design, your costs will depend on the complexity and size of the item you're purchasing. The same is true of WordPress websites, with a range of options available.
If you're designing a WordPress website, then you should bear in mind what type or size it is:
Basic website costs
A basic WordPress site will use downloadable themes, available for as little as £30. These are suitable as a basic showcase of your business. However, you'll need to pay around £50 per hour for a web developer to set up the basic website theme for you.
Altogether, a basic website using WordPress should cost approximately £400-£800.
Advanced website costs
With a more complex WordPress site, you're paying for more pages and greater functionality, and you may need a customised theme. These type of websites tend to be a starting point for most businesses.
An advanced WordPress.org website is likely to cost between £1,000 and £4,000.
Bespoke custom functionality website costs
Bespoke websites will either use a theme which is adapted by a design team for your business or the designers will create a custom theme specifically for your requirements. These bespoke designs encompass as much functionality as you need and can offer a great range of features.
You can also expect an ongoing support package run by the same design team. WordPress.org bespoke custom functionality websites typically cost between £2,000 and £7,000. Any maintenance contract will be on top of this.
WordPress ecommerce website costs
To create an ecommerce website using WordPress.org, you'll need to ensure that your design includes an online shop platform such as WooCommerce or Shopify. You'll also need a web developer skilled in ecommerce.
Expect to pay between £300 and £2,000 in additional costs, depending on your needs, to make your WordPress site integrated with ecommerce functionality.
How much does a WordPress.com website cost?
Some business owners opt to create their own website using WordPress.com. However, using WordPress.com can incur some costs, especially for those that aren't tech-savvy and require a web developer to set the website up.
At a basic level, a WordPress.com site includes various tools and guides that'll help your business. Support is available both through email and a live chat function.
You'll also find all manner of tutorials, guides, and discussion forums, based on WordPress.com and how to use it. It's secure, and will be backed up for you.
However, although the most basic option is free, WordPress.com can be quite limiting for business owners, even those who only need a small site.
There are four different plans available on WordPress.com:
The full Store function on WordPress.com is only available on the Business plan in the US and Canada.
Other options for those on a Business or Premium plan include the Simple Payments or PayPal button functions. Third-party themes and plugins are available to those on a WordPress.com Business plan.
Free for as long as you want it, you get a WordPress domain name, and all of the basic features. You also get the community support through the online discussion forums. With the free package you get a choice of dozens of themes.
Within the themes there are further chances to customise elements such as colour and font. There is 3GB of storage space included. Very basic bloggers might opt for the Free package.
The Personal WordPress cost is £3 per month, which you're billed for annually. This is still really geared for personal users, perhaps bloggers, but it could be used for some very basic business purposes.
The benefits over the free plan really amount to being able to customise the domain name (and drop the ‘wordpress.com' element of your web address), and also get rid of the WordPress.com advertising.
In addition to the forum support, you'll also get live chat and email support. Furthermore, storage space is boosted to 6GB.
The cost of a WordPress website using the Premium WordPress.com offering is £7 per month, again invoiced annually. This is the first tier of the truly ‘business’ based option.
It might suit a small ‘one man band’ business, freelancers, the self-employed trades, and some entrepreneurial businesses.
You get much more advanced tools for design, CSS editing, and the ability to monetise the site by using ads.
Support is equal to the Personal package, but you get access to a huge number of themes that are not available with cheaper packages. Customisation is easier, and you benefit from 13GB of storage.
The WordPress cost for a Business WordPress.com package is £20 per month, once again billed annually. This plan is designed with small businesses in mind.
You get access to specific business templates and unlimited storage, allowing your site to grow. Advantageous to business owners is Google Analytics support, so that you can see how and where your business website is performing best.
All WordPress.com branding can be removed if you wish and you benefit from a custom domain name. These sites can be suitable for a wide range of small businesses and start-ups.
However, they aren't suitable for ecommerce. WordPress.com sites are really for showcasing your business, rather than actively trading through an online shop.
Pros and cons of WordPress.com websites
WordPress.com is an accessible way for small businesses to create their own website for minimal cost. It's possible to self-teach WordPress and create your site, but it'll eat up time and resources you could be investing elsewhere.
However, if cost is the deciding factor, this is probably the cheapest option for getting a WordPress business website.
Yet, if you’re going to get a web developer on board, it'll probably actually be cheaper for them to use the downloaded software from WordPress.org.
WordPress.com brings limitations. You're restricted by the freedoms of each plan, yet compared to WordPress.org, they're all limiting. This is good if you want to be able to manage the site yourself as you don’t really need too much technical know-how once the site is set up.
If you envisage a website that doesn’t really change much over time – perhaps if you merely want to create a portal for business contacts – then this can prove a cost-effective solution. You could conceivably do your own maintenance without the need for a web developer.
However, opting for WordPress.com, does mean you restrict your website development. Website design changes over time, and businesses grow and evolve. You may be restricting future options and business ventures by choosing WordPress.com.
You're also likely to find that if you choose a web developer, they won’t want to be restricted by the nature of WordPress.com, and you effectively start again with WordPress website design prices with them starting again using WordPress.org.
Pros and cons of WordPress.org websites
WordPress.org opens up a much wider window of opportunity in terms of functionality compared to WordPress.com. You (or your web developer) are in complete control of your website.
You additionally benefit from your own custom domain name, and different options for hosting. You still have the benefit of various WordPress themes, and plugins, but you can also have ones created specifically for you.
WordPress.org is generally much better for business websites compared with WordPress.com. If you’re looking for ecommerce functionality, it's your only option from WordPress, even though you'll still need to use a plugin, such as WooCommerce.
The main advantage is that you aren’t limited in scope. You can create a website that truly works for your business.
On the downside, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Whilst it’s great that WordPress is downloadable for free due to its open source nature, if you really want to go to town with customisation, then it'll cost more.
You also need to be aware that you, or your web developer, need to have a keen eye for security. With WordPress.com, this is done for you. You’re also going to need to make sure that you’ve got your site maintenance covered.
Who would want a WordPress.org website, and why?
The main benefit of a WordPress.org website is that your web developer can create something truly unique. It's also more scalable in terms of future needs. Therefore, a WordPress.org website is suited to a wide range of small businesses who anticipate growth and development.
Additional WordPress website costs
A final word on how much does WordPress cost needs to come with reference to WordPress plugins. For both the WordPress.com Business plan, and WordPress.org, you may need plugins. Some of these are free, but some cost money.
A plugin in WordPress is a piece of software which can be added to your WordPress website which will increase, create, or extend functionality.
It’s a way of bringing new features to the site beyond the basic programming. They mean you can add to, and develop, your site without knowing the specific code.
There are literally thousands of free plugins available for WordPress. In addition, there are various plugins available to buy.
For example, OptinMonster is a highly popular conversion rate optimisation plugin, enabling you to turn website visitors who are about to leave your site in to email subscribers. It costs up to £47 a month approximately (billed annually), depending on which level you opt for – note that the pricing is in US dollars.
A free and extremely popular WordPress plugin is Yoast SEO. This plugin enables you to easily edit SEO titles and meta tags and more. It also offers a Premium version for £79 (excluding VAT) for one site with one year free support and updates.
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The information on this page should help you to understand some of the functions available with WordPress, as well as the costs of using these functions. For more information that is tailored to you, you should speak to experts – we can help here.