Gone are the days when a basic website would suffice the requirements of the visitors need. In this time and age, you do need bells and whistles to make your website visually appealing and highly functional.
Setting up a WordPress website poses a significant challenge to businesses simply because of the number of ingredients that go into the setup of a successful website. On top of this, there is the question of budgets and deadlines that further complicates the equation.
In this article, I present a realistic estimate of the cost required to launch and maintain a WordPress website. The following checklist would help you plan your own website launch and maintenance cycle.
- Domain name
- Premium Theme
- Plugins (essentials)
WordPress is free. All you have to do is download WordPress from wordpress.org and install it on your platform. This is why the self-hosted WordPress is very attractive to businesses and individuals.
Installing WordPress is a simple process that is usually over in minutes. However, since many first-timers are not technically proficient enough to handle the minor details of the process, here’s a great guide on how to install WordPress.
After you have installed WordPress, everything that follows has a cost. Let’s check out the building blocks for creating a WordPress website.
2. Domain Name
A domain name is an address that directs users to your website. The cost of a domain name varies because of factors including the TLS and the country you opt for. For example, a .com domain would cost much more than a .net domain. Similarly, if you want your brand name to be your domain name, it might cost a lot in instances where it is already taken.
A domain name usually costs $10 to $12 per year. You can find cheap domain names at Namecheap that usually cost you around $8.88 per year. This is a sensible decision if you are on a tight budget.
You can also get extensions for your domain at $0.48/year if you’re focusing on the first year. Namecheap will offer you extensions on .stream/.review/.bid at $0.48/year for the first year only. Of course, for the following years, you would have to pay the regular price.
You can also get domain names from GoDaddy and Hostgator. Though there is not much difference between the three domain providers, GoDaddy is somehow more popular in the WordPress industry.
WordPress users often want unique domain names. So instead of investing your precious time in coming up with a creative domain name, try using domain name generators that will help you discover unique domain names. I did s simple Google search and discovered the following domain name generators:
- Lean Domain Search
After you have bought your desired (or preferred) domain name, you would need a good hosting provider that will make your website accessible to the users. The choice of the hosting provider should be based on website uptime, speed, and speed of the platform.
The pricing of hosting solutions varies based on the type of hosting you select. Typically, two following two types are popularly used for WordPress websites:
- Shared hosting
- Cloud hosting
4. Shared Hosting
If you are a beginner and want to launch just a small website or a blog, shared hosting is the best option for your project. Shared hosting gives you a server where you share resources with other users. In many cases, this arrangement fits the needs of bloggers and startups as it is highly cost effective.
SiteGround is by far the most popular WordPress shared hosting provider around. It promises optimum performance at a reasonable price. The shared hosting plans start from $3.95/month which offers 10GB of space and could cater to up to 10,000 visitors monthly. So if you are expecting moderate traffic on your website, SiteGround is a too good deal to pass up.
5. Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting solutions host websites on a distributed network of servers that ensure that your website is highly accessible from anywhere and anytime. In contrast to shared hosting, cloud hosting is not the cheapest option available. Further, if you want to get the most out of cloud hosting, make sure that the hosting service you are opting for is fully managed so that you don’t have to deal with server related issues.
Cloudways is one of the best managed cloud hosting providers around. It provides fully managed hosting solution where you don’t need to worry about managing server-side issues. You can choose from a range of cloud infrastructure providers depending on your project’s requirements. Pricing plan starts from $10/month and includes 1GB RAM and 25GB storage with 1 Core Processor.
6. Premium Theme(s)
Your website’s success highly depends on its design and layout. There are thousands of free themes available for WordPress that will make your website look good. However, free themes come with issues of compatibility with WordPress core and plugins and generally don’t support responsive design elements.
If you really want to stand out from your competitors, you should opt for premium themes from a reputed developer or agency. A good theme usually costs around $15. The biggest marketplace for premium themes is Themeforest where you can find reasonably-priced themes for WordPress based websites.
7. Essential Plugins
Every WordPress website requires a set of essential plugins in order to remain competitive. While the list of these plugins varies, every list usually includes:
Yoast SEO takes care of the search engine optimization for your WordPress website. In effect, it takes the pain out of SEO technicalities including meta content and site-wide optimization.
The plugin has a free version that offers basic functionality. However, if you are serious about your WordPress website, you would want to purchase Yoast Premium that costs $89 and has the following additional features:
- Get more visitors from Google and Bing
- Attract more visitors from social media
- Increase your readers’ engagement
Akismet checks and prevents spam comments on your website. It also identifies spam submissions from the website’s contact form. The process of dealing spam is very simple and is managed through the plugin’s intuitive interface.
The pricing starts from $5 per month, well within the budget of professional sites and blogs. If you are planning to run a multisite network, you would need the “Enterprise” plan which costs $50 per month.
Contact Form 7
Getting in touch with the audience is always a good way to receiving feedback for website improvement. In this context, a contact form gives the visitors an easy-to-use way of contacting the website’s administration.
Contact Form 7 is one of the most popular plugins for adding contact forms to your WordPress website. The plugin is free to download from the WordPress repository.
A slow website is the last thing any site owner would need. One effective way of speeding up a WordPress website is a cache plugin that creates static versions of the website that are then served to the visitors. This greatly reduces the page load time of the website.
WP Rocket is a premium WordPress cache plugin starting from $39 and goes on to $199.
There is no doubt that WordPress is vulnerable to attacks. Security plugins provide an extra layer of security to your website. WordFence is among the most popular WordPress security plugins available in the market. Its Web Application Firewalls scans for malicious traffic on your website and block hackers before they can attack your website.
The pricing starts from $99 for 1 year. The price drops as you continue to use the plugin.
Once you have launched your WordPress website, you would realize there are a lot of things that need to be taken care of and you don’t have neither the expertise nor the time to solve those problems.
You might want to get a landing page designed or a bug might be slowing down your website. This is why you need a WordPress developer and a designer to tackle such issues. WordPress community has a huge number of developers and designers who are willing and able to tackle the challenges of WordPress website maintenance.
The cost of hiring WordPress developers and a designer varies based on their experience and skillset. You can decide whether to hire on a permanent basis or you can find freelancers who can work for you on per project basis.
The following are the popular websites where you could hire the right people for the job:
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