We are often asked how much you should expect to pay for a website powered by WordPress.
To this we always answer, “Well, it depends what you want it to do, what you want it to look like and how much of it you want custom designed and developed just for you”
“Oh, you know, just the normal stuff. Give me a rough idea!” we hear in reply.
So how much should it cost?
The easy answer would be “How long is a piece of string?”, but there are some interesting issues that the question of how much WordPress should cost presents.
There are 3 main aspects:
- WordPress itself
- Any premium themes and plugins that you use
- The time, effort and skill of the people you hire to implement WordPress for you
The main part of your website, the WordPress core (aswell as thousands of plugins) are available for free. That’s right, the world’s most popular and arguable best CMS is completely free to use with no restrictions.
This is something that we have to be incredibly grateful to the WordPress community for. It is easy to think that because it is free, it isn’t worth much and that everything that goes with it should cost little or nothing, but that’s not true.
It is free because thousands of developers around the world contributed to it as a labour of love, working together to build something truly amazing that people like you (and like us) can benefit from.
If you valued the time of the designers and developers that have contributed to the WordPress core and over 15,00o free plugins, it would total up to millions of pounds. You are getting for free, a system that could otherwise only be developed by huge (and very wealthy) corporations.
2. Premium Themes and Plugins
If you can’t achieve everything that you want using the free options available, there are many ‘Premium’ themes and plugins that can help you create an amazing WordPress site at relatively low cost.
Themes typically cost in the range of £50- £100 and plugins anywhere between £10 and £200 each depending on what they do and what type of license you need.
Again, it is tempting to think that there is very little work gone into these themes and plugins because they are so cheap, but in actual fact the designers and developers of these themes and plugins invest vast amounts of time (and sometimes money) to give you an incredibly beautiful, feature rich, robust product at a very low cost. But they can do this because they are using the principles of mass production. They can sell the same product to hundreds or thousands of people. For example, if a £50 theme gets sold 1000 times, then it generated £50,000 in revenue. In reality the author rarely gets all of this money as there are other costs associated with retailing their products, but it illustrates the point that there is value in what you are buying.
Just as a mass produced car costs a lot less than a custom designed and built car, a mass market theme or plugin costs you a fraction of the true design and development costs.
3. Custom Design and Development and Hosting & Maintenance
So if you’ve reviewed the free and low cost options available and decided that they don’t exactly meet your needs, then some custom work will be required. Exactly how much this costs depends on two things:
How much work needs doing? Simple changes might only take a couple of hours but complex projects could take weeks
What rate is the time charged at?
As a guideline we know that rates in the UK can vary between about £20/hour (freelancer) and £600/hour (big city agency). This is a huge difference, but there are legitimate reasons why they each cost what they do. There is no right or wrong as there are pro’s and con’s to each option and it is up to you to decide which partner is best able to meet your needs in terms of timescales, quality, cost, customer service, prestige, strategic input, design flair etc etc. At Wholegrain we give a fixed price quote for virtually all projects so that our clients can make an informed decision about whether it fits their budget, and so that they don’t have any nasty surprises down the line.
So how much does a WordPress site cost?
So, back to the original question, how much will a WordPress website typically cost? Here are some examples:
DIY – If you can set it up yourself with free and premium themes and plugins, then it could be anywhere from NOTHING to about £200
TOP END – If you have a super complex project and go to one of the world’s mega agencies, you could pay up to about £250K
Everybody else is going to be somewhere in between and we’re no different.
The best and only real way to find out how much YOUR site should cost, is to write out a clear brief describing the structure, style and features that you want on your site and then discuss it with the freelancer or agency that you’d like to work with. They’ll not nly be able to tell you how much t should cost, but will also be able to use their experience to advise if their are any opportunities to reduce costs by implementing existing technologies.