What are the Costs Involved in Having a WordPress Website?
What it costs for a multi-page WordPress website is a big question and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.
For a small business owner, there are two big options:
- Go with a good hosting company and a web developer, and together you piece together all the “parts” required for your small business WordPress website and marketing needs.
- Go with an all-in-one website provider where your web hosting is combined with your Content Management System (CMS). Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, Pixpa, Constant Contact Builder, Websitebuilder.com and others are an option if you want to go this route. Their costs are higher because they combine everything needed for a website. They have user interfaces (web pages) that allow non-technical people to build their websites. Be forewarned though, there are pitfalls with choosing this option. In the beginning it may be great to get a website up so quickly but once your website gets started and you want to customize or change things, you may not have much flexibility – or those features you want to add will cost you more. These websites may or may not be ad-free, you may not get phone support, there may be a limit on how many products you can sell plus some of these companies may not let you have a custom domain name. Some of ATC Web Solutions’ current clients signed up with these websites and now need our help to maintain them. Our clients found that either they didn’t have time to figure out how to use the site on top of running a business, it was beyond their technical expertise, and/or they got too frustrated to continue.
Planning a website ahead of time with a professional web developer can reduce website costs and avoid expensive, time-consuming mistakes that crop up down-the-line. It is important to keep in mind that there are both start-up and on-going costs associated with owning a website.
ATC Web Solutions is in the business of helping small and mid-sized business owners with Option #1. Continue reading the content below if you are interested in learning about website costs for a more customized website.
Domain names need to be paid for on a yearly basis.
A domain name is what you type into a browser to get to the website. To have a domain you have to pay to register it and you have to pay for it yearly. Usually, you pay for at least the first year up front and domain management companies may give you a discount if you commit to paying for multiple years.
Most domains cost $15.00/year and up.
Reputable web hosting companies offer different options and technologies for their services. Make sure that they offer the features your small business needs at the prices you can afford.
A Web Hosting company is like a house for your website. It’s where all of your content, photos and files (furniture and belongings) for your website will live. You need to have a good house for your website. To take it one step farther, you don’t want leaky windows or a cracked foundation and you certainly don’t want broken water pipes.
You need a website hosting company with the following:
- Knowledgeable support staff who can assist you in your preferred language, are technically adept and can answer the phone in a reasonable amount of time
- Provide a nice, big Internet connection pipeline (fast Internet speed)
- A good reputation of reliability
- Offer the features and support of those features that you want
For web hosting companies, we have had good experience with Bluehost, HostGator and others. We have worked with GoDaddy in the past but they have raised their prices so high nowadays that it’s difficult to recommend them any more.
View the links below for more details from two hosting companies to get an idea of their costs:
In summary, the estimated website cost for Web Hosting is from $35 – $200/year.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
SSL is important for that “trust” signal that Google highly ranks.
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) helps to protect your sensitive information as it travels across the network. Every website you go to where there is banking or credit card transactions, if you look, will have an https:// in their URL address. An SSL certificate makes the information unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to. This protects the information from identity thieves and hackers. An SSL is also a “trust” signal that Google ranks very high and if you want any chance for your website to be seen, you need to purchase an SSL certificate.
Costs of SSLs:
- GoDaddy has varied costs for their SSL Certificates. Be very careful when selecting them for their SSL. The price may be one thing for the first year but in subsequent years, when it comes up for renewal, they can be VERY expensive. I have a client who uses them for their hosting company and the set up was expensive but figured it would be better to have the experts set it up. Because of the type of SSL they selected, they now have to pay $200/year whereas it should really cost less for renewals. Unfortunately, once they have your website and everything has been set up, you are actually stuck unless you are willing to move websites to another hosting company.
- Bluehost varied costs for their SSL certificates although I believe their hosting costs include a free SSL.
In summary, the estimated cost for an SSL can range from $65 – $150+/year.
WordPress Web Template or Web Theme
Purchasing a template is usually the least expensive and the most efficient route to go for small business owners.
We don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel – especially for small business owners. There are so many well-designed and AMAZING WordPress website templates out there that will meet most needs for small business owners that it’s not worth the time and energy for us to create one from scratch. Pre-designed templates are a timesaver, they have cleaner code, they save you money, you can ask for and/or buy support, good developers of themes are usually improving their themes on a regular basis and upgrading to new versions is free plus templates don’t look like templates any more. There are free WordPress templates available but they are usually for older designs and/or they have problems with them and/or they aren’t supported any more so we stay away from them. The bottom line is that we usually recommend our small business owners purchase a pre-designed template.
There are many different pre-designed template providers and each of them vary in their features and how they are built on the backend. We can discuss your needs and help you select the right one when the time comes.
Most WordPress templates cost between $35 – $175.
Web Developers know the pitfalls that can happen while developing a website and hiring one will ultimately save you money, time and mistakes.
Hiring a web developer is honestly your best option when thinking about a new website or revamping a current website. Building a website takes time. It’s not an easy or simple process. Websites need to be planned if you want them to be organized, look nice and have SEO incorporated in them from the beginning. SEO is just better when it’s set up in the beginning of a website rather than after the website has been created. Also, if you want any special functionality, it’s better to plan it into the design rather than after it’s been launched. Web Developers know the latest technology and they can also help to make the website easier to manage down line too. Plus, when something goes wrong with your website, you have someone to call, email, blame, vent… whatever!
A professional web developer will know most of the pitfalls, mistakes and problems when it comes to building a website. We aren’t perfect, by any means, but most web developers can certainly help avoid most of the big pot holes on the road to launching your website.
Website developers can charge anywhere from $30 to $180/hour. As with anything, you get for what you pay for.
We charge $70/hour. If we do 15 minutes of work, we charge you for 15 minutes. We don’t do monthly billing – we just send you an invoice after we have been working together on projects or it’s the end of the year and we have to get our QuickBooks in order.
Web Content Writing
Having well-written content can help not only with your website getting found by the search engines, although there is SO much more to SEO, but it can also show off the core qualities of your company.
For most people the toughest part of a website is writing the content. Some people have all the information on flyers, documents or they have it all easily accessible and they can just hand it over and be done. We have had two clients like that and they were amazing. They had their websites all written and just handed over the documents. But those two women aren’t most people. Most small business owners have all their information in their heads because they’ve been working the business for years. And because they are still working the business they don’t have the time to write down that wonderful information. No worries! ATC Web Solutions can work with most types of business owners.
When writing website content there are many necessary factors but as we see it there are a few main ones:
- Understanding the business and being able to communicate that information
- Understand the clients and their needs
- Inserting the (SEO) keywords while writing the content
Personally, we love learning and researching how a business works to create their new website or revised their current website. There is a real art to writing website content. You need to know your audience, researching the keyword phrases (SEO), knowing the competition, having the content sound friendly, having the most important messages at the top of the page, having the sentences be short and simple, photos reflecting or coinciding with the content, and so on. Sometimes it’s easier to have someone else to do the writing, and that’s where we come in. I, for one, can attest to that! I’ve had to write this web business website and it’s not easy. It’s like when my kids were small… I found it so much easier packing my kids clothes when we were going to travel than it was to pack my own suitcase… but maybe that’s just me. But I digress…
The cost of writing content depends on how much you need written. Usually a short page will take an hour or two to write – knowing your audience (B-to-B, B-to-C), inserting keywords, finding the voice for the website and keeping the tone consistent within the website are all important when writing website content.
We charge $70/hour for content writing.
Logos and Images
Having a professional looking, well designed logo builds trust. In addition, websites would be boring without photos or images and are therefore necessary.
Every company needs a logo. Having a logo helps to tell people the name of your company and creates a visual symbol that represents your business. Logos are used for so much more than just for your website. You’ll want to use a logo for your business cards, on your invoices, on shirts and/or hats, etc. Creating a good logo takes thought and time. The colors in the logo are usually reflected on the company website so color choices for a logo are important. You can get a free logo or pay for one. This is the time the saying: “You get what you pay for” is very appropriate. It’s easy to find websites where you can create a logo yourself; just search for “create free logo online” on Google. With that said, we wouldn’t recommend it. You can end up spending a lot of time trying to find the right font to go with the stock icons that they offer plus they usually will supply you with only a .png file which is very limiting. Suffice it to say that it’s worth the money to pay to have your logo designed for you.
Another visual that is needed on a website are images. Websites would be very boring to look at if there weren’t photos, illustrations or other images. Finding the right photos can be time consuming but time well-spent. Having the right photo emphasizing your message on the page is like magic – it just makes everything work and brings cohesiveness to the web page and hopefully to the site. Your eyes “read” images faster than words. Grabbing someone’s attention and keeping them on your website for just a little longer helps your time-on-page statistics (SEO). Either supplying images or purchasing images needs to be accounted for in the cost of a website.
- Logo – $350 on up. As for logos, we have a logo designer (takes about 3 weeks) or an online logo designing company both of which we can recommend.
- Photos – Supplying your own photos is always the best if the quality is good. Many photos online can be downloaded for free such as on Unsplash. Be aware, though, that finding photos can take time. There are also websites that charge per image download – Shutterstock, Flickr, Adobe, Flickr and others.
We charge $70/hour for working with photos.
ATC Web Solutions Website Development Costs
Every Website deserves honest care and support
If only we could give everyone a ball-park summary for creating a website, but every website is different – amount of content, features wanted on the website, etc. The most important things to remember are that there are on-going costs and there are start-up costs. Let’s talk – we can give you a bid – every website and small business is different – there can be lots to talk about so call! And if you just need your website to be maintained, we LOVE doing maintenance.