WordPress may have started small, but look at where they are now. This platform started as a blogging platform back in the day and grew to be a powerhouse in hosting websites. It now hosts popular websites such as The White House, jQuery, Dyn, NGINX, The New York Times; all call WordPress their online home.
With over 20 million websites and counting, there is just no way to stop this platform. However, all that progress is because they are doing something right if not everything. One of them is that rather than charging for their enterprise-level CMS, Automatic chose to keep it open source.
This means that WordPress is technically free but there is a catch to it as nothing on this planet is free. The user will incur some cost one way or the other. The question is how much does a WordPress Website cost then? That is what this post seeks to find out. You are welcomed to read through for more insights on WordPress’s real pricing.
Read more: Laravel vs WordPress – which one you choose for the next project?
Is WordPress Free?
Although WordPress.org will tell you that it is completely free, don’t fall for that total hogwash. If you want a fully functional WordPress website, it will definitely, cost you. It is useless to set up a WordPress website with no functionality and this is the catch. This will cost you extra and these costs include:
- Web hosting
- A domain name
- Design and themes
- Plugins/extensions (also known as apps)
- Ecommerce features
- your time
Let me be your tour guide as I take you through each category and how much they will cost you. By the end of it all, you will make an informed choice of whether you should have a WordPress site or not. Just because plenty of other businesses are using it, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for everyone.
One of the most important aspects of running any website is web hosting. You need to choose a hosting that caters for your website performance, uptime, and security. You can also decide to host your website directly on WordPress. Fortunately, WordPress offers free Web hosting with no strings attached.
This means that they won’t monitor your website for you. They won’t solve any discrepancies neither when using third-party plugins. The cheaper the web hosting, the low the quality. Most cheap hosts tend to cut corners, overcrowding servers for maximum profits. If you don’t know, this negatively affects your site performance.
Registering a domain name means that you’re purchasing a site URL or address. This is where your visitors go to find your website and its contents. There are numerous places where you can purchase domain names, they include Go Daddy and Name cheap is two affordable options.
Whatever the circumstances, you should not opt for a WordPress free domain name option that looks like “www.yourdomainname.wordpress.com.” Just like any other name, your domain name speaks volumes about your business and if you want people to take you seriously, the best option will be to go for a self-hosted WordPress to get your domain name.
Watch out for domain privacy protection, or who is Guard protection, when you buy a domain name. This means that unless you protect your domain name, anyone can access your credentials and this is not good for you.
Design and Themes
As a WordPress user, you will be spoilt with plenty of WordPress themes. Most of these themes are free and some may cost you as much as $200. If you are a beginner, the free theme will be perfect for you.
If you want people to take you seriously, the premium version will be good for you. There is a huge library of themes you can browse through from WordPress. You can later change the theme using a plugin if want to upgrade to a better one.
What should guide you when selecting a theme is the overall feel you want your website to have. Do you want to go for simplicity? Professionalism, Quick to navigate? Fun? Or Intriguing? You can easily download a WordPress theme from the WordPress repository. You can also filter things like search results by the layout, features, and subject relating to your vision.
However, going for the WordPress premade templates is a bad idea. The best thing is to purchase a good theme from theme-providing sites like Template Monster for prices that range from $75 to $200.
WordPress plugins refer to bits of code installed in your WordPress website to enhance its capabilities. They are also called extensions there are available in free or paid versions. The premium version will cost you something from $47 to $200.
These charges can be one-time or recurring. You can get over 50,000 of these plugins on WordPress.org. Here are some of the best WordPress plugins that will help you effectively run your WordPress website.
- Yoast – For your SEO ($0 to $89)
- Gravity Forms ($59) – For creating opt-in forms
- Advanced Custom Fields ($0 to $100) — for advanced customization
- Mail Chimp – ($0 to $35 per month or higher) for email marketing
- Bloom ($89 a year or $249 lifetime) — for leveraging sidebar forms
These are just a few websites that are available on the WordPress repository. There are many other plugins you can choose from to enhance your WordPress website.
To get the best from WordPress, you need to cheap in for greater efficiency. You won’t get much from WordPress if you don’t have a reliable web host, your domain name, and plugins to enhance its functionality, and all these require funds. Therefore, WordPress isn’t completely free.