“How much does it cost to create a website?” is a common question among those who want to launch an online business. The price of a website varies a lot, from a few hundred bucks to thousands of dollars. This large array of prices makes potential business owners think twice. It’s hard for people outside the web design industry to understand why one website costs only $300 while another costs $5,000.
Check out this article to gain a clear understanding of the costs required to create a WordPress website. You will learn why some websites are pricey and be better able to estimate the price of any site.
Ways to Create a Website
There are three general options for creating a website: hire a design agency, hire a freelancer, or do it yourself.
Hiring a design agency implies the highest prices for your site, but you will probably get the most professional site. A team of experts will work on your site, bringing together their expertise.
Most freelance web designers will ask for less money than an agency, but some top-class freelancers ask for huge amounts of money. Indeed, solopreneurs wear many hats, but in some instances, they can’t replace a professional team.
Finally, you can craft your site even if you aren’t a web designer or developer.
Agencies’ and freelancers’ rates vary massively, and it’s impossible to provide a realistic range. Design skills, experience, type of website, client background, current economic situation, and region where the site crafters live all influence the rates. However, you’ll have full control over your site’s cost if you decide to create it by yourself.
Let’s go further and break down the costs of a functional site running on WordPress.
You’ll have to pay for the following items:
- Domain name. In plain English, you have to pay for your site’s name.
- Hosting services. A website is a collection of files, and these should be stored on a hard drive so that they’re permanently accessible to visitors.
- Theme. The theme at the root of the site’s design. You can’t run a site without a theme.
- Plugins. No matter how good a theme is, you will need a few plugins to improve the site’s performance and extend its functionality.
We outlined the role of a domain name in our guide to create a WordPress site in 2020. To refresh your knowledge, a domain name is more or less the name of your site. Make sure that you select a domain name that is suitable for your business. It matters a lot in your long-term endeavors to scale up your business.
No matter your website’s purpose, there are many affordable domain names suitable for your business. You will have to do some thoughtful research and use your creativity to find the best domain name options. It takes a lot of time, but the following tools will help you find affordable ear-candy domain names.
Domain Name Generator
This tool does what its name says: it generates a bunch of domain names from your keywords. The interface is pretty basic, but it’s more than enough to pick the proper name for your site. Domain Name Generators prices are affordable, and you get serious discounts for the first year. Secure your preferred domain name for two, three, or even five years to benefit from extended discounts.
Despite its shady affiliate promotion (a Bluehost page opens practically anytime you click on Name Mash page), it deserves a try. Name Mash gives countless suggestions that fall under categories such as Common, Short, Extra, Fun, Mix, and Similar. There is also a section for premium domain names. You’ll pay more for these names, but they are more suggestive, funny, and attractive.
Domain Wheel doesn’t offer a long list of domain names, but I appreciate its sound suggestions. This tool seems to focus on good suggestions only.
The price of a domain name varies significantly, but on average, you’ll pay under $40 a year to secure your domain name. Search carefully for the best name—your creativity may save you a serious amount of money.
We have written many quality posts about web hosting. For instance, we did a complete analysis of WordPress’s hosting prices, and we featured the best hosting providers in 2020. Read these two posts before selecting the proper host for your site.
Consider every factor before making a decision: site performance, expectations, and budget. Cloud hosting sounds like the best option, but you’ll pay $10–20 a month even for the lowest pricing plans.
No matter the hosting provider, it’s better to pay for two or three years in advance to get serious discounts. The renewal rates are usually much higher than the first-time rates.
Selecting the theme for your site isn’t simple. You’ll probably spend more time finding the proper theme than customizing it. There are themes for even the narrowest niches, so it’s impossible not to find a quality theme for your project.
A custom theme costs a few hundred dollars, but you can find free high-quality themes on the WordPress directory. An intermediary solution is to purchase a theme from a premium seller or a marketplace for digital products. Most people use a free or a premium theme for a brand-new site, while custom themes are good for people with no budget restrictions.
Choose a theme for your site based on your WordPress skills. Experienced users can go with a multipurpose theme that is suitable for many kinds of projects. These themes are complex and come with countless customization options. At the other end of the spectrum, you can choose themes designed for specific niches. These themes usually package fewer options, focusing instead on the features mandatory for that niche.
Regardless of the type of the website you want to build, keep into mind the following recommendations:
- Buy themes from reputable sellers. Luckily, there are many serious sellers out there. We strongly discourage purchasing themes from shady third-party sources. A bargain that is too good to be true isn’t true!
- Check review sites and buyers’ opinions of sellers. Take every review with a grain of salt—what is useless and annoying for one reviewer might be useful for you. Still, objective reviews help shape a clear idea about a theme. We did an honest review of the Astra theme, we tested Neve, and we put together a list of some theme suggestions that we liked the most.
- Speed matters. You may be tempted to choose a complex theme and use it for multiple projects, and it’s not a bad idea. However, on average, complex themes load slower than simple ones. It’s not a rule—there are complex themes that load quickly—but make sure you test the speed of any theme before making a purchase.
- Support matters, too. Customer support reveals how a seller regards their customers. Responsive and warm customer support says everything about a seller.
Some free themes package premium features. Still, most of them stumble with customer support and the set of features. If you need more, you have to pay! The best budget-friendly approach is to install the free version of the theme and eventually pay for the premium set of features if you are satisfied with it.
You have a couple of options when it comes to buying a premium theme. You can buy the theme individually from a marketplace, such as ThemeForest or CreativeMarket, or you can also buy directly from theme creators. Either way, don’t pay more than $100 for a premium theme—the majority of them are in the $50-70 range. One of the most convenient approaches for sellers is to sell yearly subscriptions to a set of themes. We successfully applied this approach to our themes. Customers pay yearly a subscription fee to get full access to our entire set of themes. For $67, you’ll get access to 30+ themes, which means that each theme sets you back around $2.
Allocate around $100 for a WordPress theme to make sure that you have enough money for your desired theme.
It’s hard to believe that any site doesn’t need a plugin. Luckily, many effective plugins are free of charge. Head to the WordPress plugin repository and enjoy 55,000 free plugins! These plugins are suitable for plenty of purposes: fighting against spam, improving site performance, optimizing images, creating site backups, strengthening site security, and inserting shortcodes. Plugins are also useful for creating online stores and membership sites.
The types and the number of plugins needed for a site heavily rely on the site’s purpose. If you’re running a simple blog to share your personal thoughts, and you don’t intend to monetize it, then you don’t need premium plugins. Complex online stores need dozens of free and premium plugins. For instance, you’ll need to invest in a solid security plugin to make sure that hackers don’t take control of your business. E-commerce sites also usually include many images, so you’ll need a plugin for image optimization.
Without a clear idea about each site’s purpose and webmaster’s expectations, it’s impossible to come up with a budget for plugins. Still, we believe you might be interested in learning about the set of plugins we consider mandatory for any site and, consequently, which ones deserve your money.
- Page Builders. These tools aim to help people with no coding skills design the site of their dreams. Some page builders are so powerful that they allow users to create complex web pages, even if their sites run on free basic themes. We consider Elementor to be an outstanding page builder, and the premium version is a real bargain. Do not worry! Even the free version includes many cool features.
- Security plugins. The more successful a site is, the more hackers will attempt to break it down. Many free security plugins are trusted by millions of users. Of course, you should pay for a premium plugin if you run a profitable site.
- Performance plugins. Your site should load fast, and you have countless plugins to choose from in this respect. Once again, check the recommended plugins from the WordPress repository.
- Back up plugins. I hope you won’t need a backup copy of your site, but it’s wise to install and activate a plugin to create copies of your site periodically. You can rest assured that you have a safety net no matter what happens to your site.
- SEO plugins. Webmasters do everything possible to increase organic traffic, and you have to do the same for your site. An SEO plugin is your best friend in this never-ending journey of attracting more eyes to your site.
It’s disappointing to learn that there is no universal equation to calculate the price of a website. There are too many factors that contribute to a site’s price. Generally speaking, $300 is a reasonable amount for launching a good-looking site. It doesn’t include consistent work and upgrades, but it includes three years of hosting services. You’ll pay about $20 for a domain name, $220–250 for three years of good-to-excellent hosting, and $50-70 for a theme. In the early stage, a site may run only with free plugins, but depending on the site’s profitability, you may add premium plugins, redesign the site by installing another theme, and switch to better hosting.
In the end, I recommend checking our site to discover attractive deals and discounts. Check out our themes and plugins; we did our best to craft the best products possible!