Figuring out how much should your WordPress website cost is not straightforward. Prices are relative and depend on many factors, starting from the expertise of the WordPress Agency you hire, the complexity of the solution you need, the design, the functionalities, the additional services, and so on.
In fact, how much a website costs and should we go for the affordable solution or pay a little extra for better quality has a lot in common with other purchasing decisions we encounter in our everyday life. Such as buying a car or an apartment, for instance. Ask yourself the following question:
How much does an apartment cost?
You will quickly find out that this depends on various factors such as location, size, layout, type of neighborhood, social-economical factors in the area, the type of the building, the level of security in the area, and much more. The same goes for a website.
You may go for a 1-page business card simplified website or a large news website such as TechCrunch – this makes a huge difference in terms of planning, pricing, server strategy, and more.
There are different criteria influencing the website cost that your WordPress agency would include in their proposal. The pricing model may vary as some development companies charge based on hourly rates while others send fixed estimates.
Regardless the algorithm of calculating, the cost of a new website will be the sum of fixed costs listed below, as well as factors related to the process of identifying the business needs, building a detailed specification, going through different use cases, and communicating with a client throughout the development process.
What is Included in The Cost of a Website
Unless you’re working with a web development provider offering ongoing development solutions, your website cost would be based on a fixed fee – as a total amount in your proposal or a number of hours estimated by your account manager.
A standard one-off web project usually follows the waterfall methodology first introduced back in 1976.
In order to calculate the estimated cost of the project, the web development agency has to identify:
- The time required for presales, negotiations, identifying the requirements, drafting a specification or a proposal and reaching an agreement on the scope and milestones.
- Preparing all design mockups, wireframes, sketches and any relevant assets required for the website, along with the technical architecture and infrastructure for the project in hand.
- Building all technical features and integrating other solutions within the new platform.
- Going through a lengthy and detailed phase of quality assurance, testing, fixing bugs and regressions and stabilizing the platform for the launch.
Some vendors include a maintenance period that is billed upfront (included in the cost of the project).
As a result, the development time of a website may not be the most time-consuming portion of your website cost. But in order to assign developers on your project, your technical partner has to spend a good chunk of their time on identifying your business needs and requirements, understanding your target market, learning more about your competitors and breaking down your business needs into separate requirements that could be worked upon by the technical staff.
Moreover, there are numerous variables within a project that could show up during the implementation or verification process.
Specific business needs that weren’t outlined during the discovery session would result in an unusable project with incomplete features or scope creep, and may introduce additional project changes that were not billed in the initial proposal.
Communication is also a key element of the equation – some projects require weekly meetings or sending reports over twice a week.
Iterative changes can also be a blocker. For example, providing design revisions may work out the very first time and fit the initial website budget. But a client may ask for multiple unique revisions until they’re fully satisfied with a design – which could add a significant additional cost for the provider.
At the end of the day, how much does a website cost depends on several different factors.
Domain and Hosting
The website domain is the name of your website (yourwebsite.com or anotherwebsite.net for example), and your hosting is its home.
The larger and more popular the website, the more hardware resources are needed. Also, there are low-cost hosting vendors providing cheap solutions without taking performance, security or uptime into account, and enterprise solutions that guarantee your availability and speed.
In general, a domain name costs about $20/year and hosting a standard website would be between $4/month and $30/month. Larger and popular websites would require a VPS or a dedicated server where prices start from $60/month up to $2500/month. Highly popular websites may require several servers in a network with other server factors, but those custom solutions need evaluating based on the specific use case.
Want to know everything about WordPress hosting and services? Here is a detailed, useful guide that covers everything on the topic.
Designing a website is the process of creating the visual look-and-feel of the new product. If you want a unique vision for your project, then this would require the skills of a designer. This usually involves a certain amount of communication, sample web projects, and several iterations until the final solution is accepted.
Designing a simple website costs between $500 and $10,000 for 3-5 unique templates, without taking the additional creation of logos, banners, or creative images into account. Fancier design or numerous revisions could add up to the price, and fashion or stylish website projects could easily go to the six figures for design work only.
A 3-5 unique page design could be converted to a template for $800 – $4000 depending on the complexity of the design and a number of expected features. Creative agencies could charge $10,000 – $40,000 for a 20-page design for a fashion brand or a more detail-oriented theme.
Some customers prefer to go with the premium template or starter themes, using a base for their work and saving their budget for the rest of the process. Keep in mind that reliable WordPress development companies should advise you of the quality of the templates, conduct code reviews, and ensure that the templates are up to the standards.
Also, using a skeleton or another theme would limit the number of customizations and would still require a certain amount of hours for manual work (occasionally, customizing a premium template is less cost-effective than creating a new design from scratch).
A template requires a dynamic functionality to be built in it in order to become an operational website. This means connecting the design to the dynamic data provided by you and maintained by your administrators and users later. Integrating the WordPress CMS to a standard template could be anywhere between $500 – $10,000.
However, adding numerous features to the web project could drastically change the price range and jump the total website cost. Adding more dynamic templates, user activities or profiles, forums or social media functionality, eCommerce add-ons, etc., could change the integration range to $15,000 – $100,000. Specific 3rd party system integrations (for features such as CRM, advertising engines or other APIs, or proprietary solutions) could be additional $20,000 – $100,000 – and that would go even higher for heavy websites.
Those are the main website costs related to new project creation, adhering to the best practices for code quality, user experience, search engine optimization, security, and availability. Media publishers and content providers often require SEO services or data entry for their content. Also, photographer services or stock photos could be provided additionally. There are stock photos for $5 – $20/each.
Furthermore, marketing and copywriting services can be added to the offer as well – well-crafted website content, for the purposes of email marketing and social media marketing. Those services should be provided monthly, and their cost depends on the type of service and the volume of work. A well-crafted article could be $50-$150 on average.
Additionally, social media strategy and advertising campaign management for promoting your content or products and services in Twitter and/or Facebook could cost anywhere from $25 to $100 per hour. After an initial strategy preparation, that could be between $2500 and $10,000, depending on the size of the project.
Sample WordPress Website Prices
Keep in mind that web development is strictly unique and you need to invest in a business solution rather than a technical one. The best bet is for you to invest in a project that incorporates a server architecture with a web development product, together with maintenance, SEO optimization, marketing consulting and additional optimizations for your project.
Our Work Process at DevriX provides solutions in the $10,000 – $50,000 range for regular WordPress website development and small eCommerce development projects, and $50,000 – $300,000 for Software as a Service work, CRMs, and more complicated online solutions including custom modules, high-level technical consultancy, server networking, and infrastructure management. Contact us for more details or read more about our WordPress retainers that 99% of our clients sign up for.
How much does a website cost depends on many factors and what solution you may choose depends on your budget and requirements.
However, as with any other purchasing and business decision we make in our everyday lives, quality should always be a top priority.