If you thought that creating a WordPress website is completely free, this article will undoubtedly make you change your mind. You’ll see that creating a website on WordPress platform isn’t free and that there are hidden costs you need to anticipate.
A site may indeed be free at first, but if you’re expecting any profit from your efforts, whether it’s ad revenue, affiliate sales, or an online store, the truth is – you’ll get as much as you invest.
Two types of costs are to consider. First, the costs associated with the creation and installation of your website: the purchase of the theme, the possible hiring of a developer, the purchase of paid plugins... Second, the operating, recurrent costs such as web hosting, domain name, etc.
Well! Similar to Wordpress, there are other platforms too that are commonly used by the people for developing the websites which do not include hidden cost. One of them is HubSpot CMS tool.
By spending once according to the tier, you will get an opportunity to perform all the functions. The best part is you don't have to sped extra or hidden cost to avail the benefits.
To know more don't forget to read this- HubSpot vs WordPress: How to Choose the Best CMS.
How Much Does a WordPress Site Cost?
Here’s a summary of the hidden costs (approximately calculated) that you might encounter when creating your WordPress website.
- The Domain name, up to € 20 annually
- Hosting, up to € 30 monthly
- The Theme, up to € 170 single payment
- Plugins, up to € 800 mixed payment
- Security, up to € 400 mixed payment
- Developers, up to € 1,000 single payment
The Hidden Costs of WordPress During the Installation Phase
Choosing a theme, hiring a developer, installing plugins or securing your website... These are all hidden costs for WordPress sites during the installation phase. Let’s elaborate them a little more in detail:
The WordPress Theme (Template)
The great thing about WordPress themes is that you don’t necessarily have to buy one. There’s a selection of free templates in the WordPress collection. You can preview and install it in one click.
These themes were designed by professional developers. That’s one thing. The other thing that has to be emphasized is that they were evaluated by the WordPress team. Also, each theme is rated by users.
Thanks to all this, you can be assured that you won’t deal with phony templates.
While there are many free themes on offer, you can also pay for one through third-party websites like ThemeForest. The advantage of paying for a theme is that you’ll probably end up with something a little less generic and a little more elegant.
How about this - it’s a one-time payment, meaning that you pay for a theme once but you use it countless times on many different websites.
Reading user reviews is a must because that way you won’t come into the temptation to buy inexpensive and sketchy themes. If the theme you purchased doesn’t initially have all the features you need, it’s something you shouldn’t worry about because that's what plugins are for - upgrade the theme when you need more features.
Website Development Costs
These are the reasons to hire a developer to create a WordPress website
- Having a deadline
- Having a very specific design in mind or needing advanced features that require custom coding
- Can’t do it on your own
It’s difficult to quantify this cost because it depends on your needs. If you just need someone to create a basic website, it could only cost you € 150. If you need something quite complex, you could easily spend more than € 1,000. But what makes a website complex?
Imagine you’re starting a gym business. You need a way for people to log into their accounts, pay for memberships, and book training sessions. You see for yourself that the number of additional functions can quickly increase and that you can get overwhelmed soon enough.
If it’s a matter of trust, there are many online sources (paid and free) to guide you through the website creation process. The WordPress community is also friendly and very active.
If you have a specific request, you can bet that it has already been processed online, whether on the WordPress forum or elsewhere. There are also many free tutorials on YouTube that can be very helpful to you.
You are probably wondering why the price range is so big? This is mainly due to the combination of functionality that’s required, how big the company hiring the developer is, or whether the developer will be required to build the entire website or just tune the theme.
You may think that what you need and what you want is simple, but what you don’t know is that the path to achieving a goal and making it simple is very complicated. On the other hand, your developer may be inexperienced (or worse, lazy) so you may not get what you required or what you thought you deserved as an employer.
- You can use existing site structures (Prices start at € 50 and up)
- This option is most cost-effective when you don’t need major modifications and changes to the site structure. If your idea doesn’t fit into a pre-existing structure then structure the site is done from scratch according to your idea and thinking.
- The cost of creating a site from scratch ranges from € 300 and up
- Do you have images and graphic design prepared for the website or is the designer responsible for that part, too?
- If you leave it to the designer to provide, think about how much he can provide.
- Stock photos are available on the Internet but can cost a lot depending on the quality and size. It can cost up to € 20 per photo but keep in mind that some cost a lot more.
Once your design is set up, you’ll need to fill your site with content and possibly start a blog. You can write on your own, but it’s usually the best to hire a professional writer who knows how to include your keywords and turn your visitors into customers.
Depending on your quality standard, you can spend as little as € 1 per page as a novice writer wants and up to € 100 per page or more as professionals demand.
Premium WordPress Plugins
Free and premium plugins exist on WordPress to make your website more powerful, more secure, and with better SEO. If you want to implement an additional function on your WordPress site, you can be almost certain that a plugin exists to do so.
The most affordable ones are WP Rocket or Elementor, while there are those whose prices are quite large such as Yoast SEO. Higher the price, more features are at the disposal for users.
The Hidden Costs of WordPress in the Operating Phase
The Domain Name
Website builders usually include a domain name in their paid plans. On the other hand, when creating a website with wordpress.org, you’ll need to purchase one from a domain registrar.
One of the most popular ones is domain.com. We suggest that you choose a domain name that’s as similar as possible to your business name.
Make it short and catchy. Most domain names display a very reasonable price. Depending on the uniqueness of it, you can actually get your hands on a cheap domain name. You just need to make sure that it is something your clients will find trustworthy. On the other hand, the most popular domain names can reach thousands of euros.
Domain name extension .com is by far the most desirable. If the .com is already reserved, perhaps you should change this extension into .net or .org.
A brand new name can cost you between € 5 and € 20 a year, depending on the registry through which you’ll buy the top-level domain (TLD). A domain is important but not crucial for SEO optimization.
Factors on which the price of a domain depends:
- How old a domain name is
- The rank of a web page on Google
Purchasing a domain name is something you can’t avoid. However, just about the only inevitable cost when building your website is hosting. Buying a hosting plan is your reservation of Internet space for your website.
Without hosting, there’s no website – simple as that. Your web designer may offer you secure web hosting, but it isn’t included in the cost of his job of creating the website himself.
Regarding the choice of a host, we recommend MySQL hosting for WordPress websites. That’s because WordPress uses MySQL database management system to store information. More precisely,
MySQL is an open-source relational database management system, running as a server and allowing multiple users to manage and create numerous databases. At this link that contains detailed descriptions of these hosting plans, you can choose your space, RAM, data transfer, and operating system and get started using MySQL hosting.
If your website isn’t intended to generate heavy traffic, shared hosting is a good place to start. It’s also the least expensive solution: a few euros per month. When your traffic increases, you need hosting to handle traffic spikes. Your options are VPS or cloud hosting, which are more flexible. You must count to spend a minimum of 15 euros per month in this case.
VPS and cloud also have limitations, so once you reach several thousand visits every month, a dedicated hosting plan is an option you’ll need to switch to. As its name says, with these plans, you’ll have your server, meaning an absolute control over resources.
Dedicated plans are the most expensive but you won’t have to pay for these plans until you bring in huge amounts of traffic to your website.
Let’s see what each of these hosting types is consisted of:
Basic Hosting Package (Shared)
- Multiple sites on one server
- It can be presented as a small “building”
- Each “apartment” has its own space and address. You aren’t allowed to expand and upgrade, but you’re forced to use what the building “owner” has offered you
- This is the cheapest type of hosting package
- Prices start at around € 10/year
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
- Multiple sites are hosted on the same server but with more control for each site, something similar to a dedicated server
- You’re still in the “apartment”, but you have the opportunity to arrange your living room as you see fit, to brick up one window and enlarge the other
- Slightly more expensive than a regular hosting package but with much more control and resources for multiple visits
- Prices start at € 5 / month
- You control the server
- You own the “building” and have complete control over it.
- You choose the software to use and how many sites to host.
- This server is most commonly used for sites that have a high number of visits and require all possible security.
- This is the most expensive type of server where you can keep your website.
- Prices start at € 30/month
Plugins are a way to add functionality to your theme - much like downloading apps to your phone or laptop. There are lots of free but also premium plugins that also have free versions.
In case you own a simple personal website, for instance, a blog, you can settle for free plugins. Costs start to pile up only when you want something more complex than that.
Some plugins that will quickly seem essential to you are those related to newsletters such as Mailchimp or those related to analytics such as MonsterInsights.
Securing Your Website
An SSL certificate is essential, standard technology in securing a website, i.e Internet connections. It’s the “s“ in “https“. Plus, it gives your website the padlock in the browser’s search bar, which is an important sign of trust to those visiting that website.
Standard SSL certificates are included by website builders but, if you’re using a CMS, it will be your job to install one. These cost around € 40 per year for basic models, but can go up to € 500 or more for the more advanced options.
Hosts are offering free SSL certificates with at least one of their WordPress hosting plans but that’s not the rule.
Security is another thing for which you could theoretically pay nothing because some fairly robust security measures are integrated directly into the WordPress software itself. Besides SSL certificates, several security plugins can give you that precious extra layer of protection against hackers such as Sucuri or UpdraftPlus.
The basic WordPress software, as well as plugins and themes, will require regular updates. When an update is available, it’s essential to install it as soon as possible. Older versions make you very vulnerable to hackers and viruses.
Conclusion: No, Creating a WordPress Website Isn’t Free
As you can see in this article, creating a WordPress site has many hidden costs. Whether during the installation phase or during the operation phase, the price can quickly skyrocket.
If you want to know exactly how much you’re going to pay, the wordpress.com alternative may be right for you. Indeed, you’ll pay a monthly subscription (not so expensive) with a domain name and hosting included. If you don’t have a lot of time and skill in website building, wordpress.com is an option you should consider.