One of the most important factors when deciding which content management system (CMS) you will use is pricing. If you're considering WordPress, you’ll want to know how much a WordPress website costs.
WordPress is used by hundreds of thousands of users to create professional and beautiful websites that range in functionality and design. For this reason, it may be difficult to predict the exact cost of a WordPress website. To help give you an idea, we’ll provide a detailed breakdown of potential WordPress costs per year below.
How much does WordPress cost?
WordPress is an open-source software, so it costs nothing to use. But you’ll have to pay for a domain, hosting, and premium themes and plugins. You can also create a website on WordPress.com for free, but if you're building a site for your business, you'll likely benefit from a paid plan. Considering these factors and that each website is unique, the cost of a WordPress website can range from $30 to $3000.
Below we’ll take a closer look at the costs associated with building a WordPress website. Feel free to click on any of the links below to jump to that specific section, or keep reading.
Pro tip: Depending on which plan you select, you may also have to factor hosting costs into your budget. You may find that a paid option saves you more money in the long run.
If you’re opting for WordPress.com over WordPress.org, you’ll begin by selecting a WordPress plan that's right for you. There are two paid plans available: WordPress Starter and Pro. Their main differences relate to capabilities, customization, and support. There's also an unpaid option.
Pro tip: If you’re unsure that WordPress is the right CMS to host your site, you can start with a free plan and upgrade as you see fit.
Although the Free plan is technically free, there’s more work to be done on the back end in comparison to the other four plans. For example, the Free plan requires you to purchase a domain while the Personal, Premium, Business, and eCommerce plans will host your domain for free for one year.
While the free plan is technically the most cost-effective, keep in mind that there's more work to be done on the back end compared to the paid plans. For example, the free version requires you to purchase a domain, while the paid plans host a custom domain name free for a year.
Pro tip: If you're launching a small business or personal website, the starter plan may provide all the features you need.
This plan is $5 per month, billed yearly. It offers a custom domain name free for a year, the ability to collect payments, 6GB of storage, and Google Analytics Integration.
Pro tip: If hosting a website that you’d like to scale with your business, choose the Pro plan to remove ads, download plugins, and have more control over your site.
This plan is $15 per month, billed yearly. It has features in common with the Starter plan (free custom domain name for a year, the ability to collect payments, and Google Analytics integration) but also enhanced functionality. The Pro plan provides 50GB storage, unlimited plugins, premium support and themes, the ability to sell with WooCommerce, and removing ads, to name a few key features.
While the cost of a WordPress website is slightly higher if you choose the Pro plan, the additional offerings could make it worth the money.
Pro tip: On average, domain names usually cost between $2 to $20 per year, according to GoDaddy. Of course, this price tag varies depending on the domain registrar, extension, and add-ons selected.
After choosing your WordPress.com plan, or if opting to build your site with WordPress.org, it's time to think about your domain name. This is the home address of your website. An example is Hubspot.com.
If you buy a WordPress.com plan, you are able to register a new domain free for a year. Alternatively, you can connect a domain from a separate domain provider with any WordPress plan — including free options. There’s also the opportunity to add your domain later if you’re not ready to decide on your domain yet.
If you are self-hosting your site on WordPress.org, then your hosting provider may provide a custom domain name for free for the first year as part of its WordPress hosting package. Like WordPress.com users, you’ll have to pay an annual fee after that first year.
This is another factor to consider when calculating your WordPress website cost because domain names range in price. Some are as inexpensive as 99 cents, and others are costly — even thousands of dollars.
There's a wide range of variation because of the domain extension (.com versus .org), where you purchase the domain, and any add-ons selected. Remember that it could be worthwhile to buy the domain name and hosting provider together because sometimes, providers offer a free domain name for a certain amount of time when you register.
Pro tip: When picking a hosting provider, you’ll have to decide if you want shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting. Sharing costs the least, dedicated hosting is the most expensive, and VPS is somewhere in the middle.
Next, if you’re using WordPress.org, you'll need to choose your hosting provider. This is an essential step because the hosting provider is where your website lives on the internet. Selecting the right one is vital because it impacts your site's overall health, speed, security, and functionality.
Of course, there are many providers to choose from, and prices will vary, but there are great options for low-cost WordPress hosting. To help simplify your decision, we've rounded up 23 of the best WordPress hosting providers. Some of our favorites include SiteGround andBluehost.
Their pricing ranges as follows:
- Site Ground: 2.49 €, 4.59 €, and 6.99 € per month
- Bluehost: $4.95, $18.99, $79.99 per month
Note that Wordpress.com provides hosting so you won’t need to find or pay for a third-party hosting provider.
Low-Cost WordPress Hosting
Your WordPress cost per year also depends on the web server you select. Determine the correct web server type for your business by evaluating the amount of web traffic you anticipate. Consider shared hosting if you're trying to keep costs below a certain amount. This affordable option is an excellent move for websites with relatively low traffic volumes. However, if your website begins to see more traffic, dedicated server hosting would be a better fit. Of course, remember that the more exclusive the server, the higher the price tag.
Pro tip: On average, WordPress themes cost around $59. However, a custom-built theme that has additional features or companion plugins could cost much more — anywhere from $6,000-10,000.
When tallying the costs of building a WordPress website, you can't forget the theme! Without a visually attractive theme, your website won't garner nearly as much attention as it could otherwise. A compelling theme will allow you to organize content and display it engagingly. Your branding should help you determine the ideal theme for your site, so take time to choose the best option for your business and goals. Of course, you can always customize your selected theme with your brand colors and logo.
There's a wide selection of free themes from WordPress, but if none of those fit your aesthetic, you can also pay for professionally designed themes. To help get you started, we created a list of 27 of the best WordPress themes for all types of sites, from ecommerce to personal sites.
Again, the price point for paid themes varies and could reach thousands of dollars for highly customized options. However, based on the themes we've compiled, prepare to spend somewhere between $50-200 upfront or annually.
Some popular premium themes include:
- OceanWP: $54 - $159 / year
- Astra: $59 - $523 / year
- Avada: $60 (regular license), $2950 (extended license)
Pro tip: There are over 59,000 free plugins available on the WordPress Plugin Directory, so there’s likely a plugin for whatever you’re looking for. However, you may find that a premium plugin is a better fit. Premium plugins tend to offer more advanced functionality and security features than their free counterparts.
If you're looking to enhance the functionality of your website and improve user experience, you could add plugins to your WordPress site. Think of these pieces of software as apps you download to your phone, but for your website instead.
Like themes, there are free and paid plugins ranging from a few dollars to several hundred as a one-time or annual payment. We compiled a list of 36 WordPress plugins here, but below are two quick examples for your convenience.
Used by over 100,000 websites, theHubSpot WordPress Plugin is a free plugin for your site. This plugin helps capture and engage website visitors with free forms, live chat, contact management, email marketing, analytics, and other features that come with a powerful CRM.
An example of a premium plugin is Monarch, which costs $89 annually. Monarch boosts social sharing by adding social media buttons to your site. You can choose from over 20 social media networks and customize the button appearance.
Security is a top priority for anyone using WordPress, and luckily, it isn’t too difficult to ensure your site is protected. We’ve even created a guide of 20 steps you can take to secure your WordPress website.
One of those steps is to download a security plugin. While WordPress does have some built-in security features, a security plugin can provide website scanning, web application firewalls (WAFs), and other features to help defend your site against cyber attacks. A free security plugin will likely provide enough features for a small business or personal website, but a premium plugin will provide more functionality for larger sites with more clients and data to protect.
To decide between a free and premium security plugin, ask what you want your plugin to achieve. For instance, there are plugins for active security monitoring, malware scanning, firewalls, file scanning…the list goes on. If a free plugin has the functionality you need, great! If a premium plugin best meets your needs, then it’s worth the investment.
Pro tip: There are a few factors that will drive up WordPress developer fees. If a developer has a specialization, expect to pay more. Alternatively, some developers offer ongoing support, which also comes with a price tag. Project scope, experience, and developer location also impact the cost.
If you don’t consider yourself to be technically savvy or you want your site to be highly customized, you can work with a WordPress developer. These individuals are experts in the ecosystem and infrastructure of WordPress sites.
WordPress developers can typically assist with front and back-end development, but they may have a specialization, such as creating new products (think: themes or plugins) or improving the core software. Be sure to communicate your needs to developer candidates before you begin working with them so you can find the best skill fit.
As mentioned above, if your WordPress developer lives in a part of the world with a higher cost of living, they may charge you accordingly. For a freelance WordPress developer in the US, you can expect to spend somewhere between $70 - $90 per hour. Globally, however, freelancers typically charge $35 (or less) to $70 per hour.
Additionally, the scope of the project impacts the price tag. Do you want total customization or just a few personalized touches? Are you hiring a WordPress developer that can create a plugin specifically for your company? Specialization will cost you — but you’ll also likely find that it’s worth the money.
Lastly, consider how experienced the developer you’re hiring is. If they’ve been in the industry for a decade and have created hundreds of sites, you’ll pay more than if you opt for a novice who’s just starting their WordPress developer journey.
Does WordPress cost money?
The short answer: yes but the exact cost varies significantly. Certain features of WordPress are entirely free, while others could cost several hundred dollars. You can get the basics of your website, such as simple plugins and a theme, for free. However, some more complex aspects, such as a unique domain name or advanced security plugin, are only available for a premium price.
When drawing up a budget for your WordPress site, consider the cost of six basic features. These include a WordPress.com plan (if using the proprietary software), domain name, hosting (if using WordPress.org), theme, plugins, security, and developer fees. The cost of each ranges in price, and you can choose to distribute your spending based on the features you prioritize. For example, you might need to pay more for hosting if your website gets a lot of traffic, but you could pair that with one of WordPress' free themes to save on design costs. You won't necessarily need all the most expensive options when starting.
WordPress Cost Calculator
The above chart details the estimated average spend for a WordPress website based on business size. In general, if you run a
- Small/Medium Sized Business: You're likely to spend between $3 and $5 monthly.
- Ecommerce Business: You can expect to pay between $800 - $1500 per month.
- Enterprise Business: Your costs could be north of $3K per month.
Estimate Your WordPress Website Cost
Your journey to building an online presence on WordPress is exciting but can also feel slightly overwhelming. Hopefully, you now have a clearer picture of what you need to consider when creating a budget and, ultimately, the cost of maintaining your ideal WordPress site.
This post was originally published in August 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.