The Real Costs with Running a WordPress Site
(if you are a business person running a small business, and you want to DIY)
So you’ve decided to cut some costs and set-up a WordPress site all by yourself for your business. You’ve heard that WordPress is a free content management system (CMS) and you’re pretty good on the computer anyway, so there’s no reason to pay anyone to set it up for you and manage it for you.
Just because WordPress is free doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost involved. There are many costs to consider. Costs such as domains and hosting is obvious and expected, what about the other costs?
What about the time it takes to learn WordPress? What is the total cost of ownership, the true cost of creating, operating, and maintaining your own WordPress website?
It comes down to 2 things: you do something yourself cheaply, but it can take a lot of time to deal with it. Or, you could just not spend much time at all and pay for services.
Okay, if you insist on “Do it Yourself” Here’s What You’re Looking At:
Domains yearly cost $10-$60
Domains can vary from 2 bucks to 20 bucks a year, or if you are trying to own a premium domain, one that will match your business name perfectly, but is owned by someone else, you may spend up to $1500 to acquire that perfect domain.
And don’t go cheap: a top shelf domain is going to be .com or .org. You can also think about buying the .info and .net for your domain name as well, in order to protect the integrity of your brand.
Hosting yearly cost $60 to $1800
Costs run between $5 per month or $24 per month for a business plan that may include a dedicated server, with some add-on services like back ups, from your hosting company. Of course, you’ll want to think about purchasing a full year up front to get some savings from the monthly billing.
Premium set-up for your site may include Managed Hosting, where your host company manages your WordPress for you, updates, etc. This can be around $50 per month. A virtual Private Server can give you more bandwidth in case you have heavy traffic, or an ecommerce site that is global. A dedicated server is one that is set aside for just your business. This can be around $150 a month, but is exclusive to one client’s site sitting on that server.
Premium WordPress themes $0 to $100
Themes that provide more functions & features can be purchased from the developers from around $50 to $100. This will include some tech support for maybe a year or so, but expect a yearly subscription to maintain support.
Maintenance yearly cost $0 to $1500
Backups, security, speed, and performance checks are done regularly for upgrades, updates, security tune-ups, checking for bad links, deleting spam, and more. You can do this yourself cheaply and use your own time, or you can subscribe to a service and save time. Site Maintenance can take up a lot of time.
Backups can be automated, and you can use sites such as DropBox or Amazon for off-site backups. This ranges from $0 – $20 per month.
Upgrades are done from time to time when the developers tweak for better functions, or improved features, but mostly its for deleting bugs and maintaining security against hackers.
Security and Spam Prevention services can range anywhere between $5 to $100 dollars a month, depending on the level of services you’ll require.
Marketing and SEO yearly cost from $0 to $5,000
The key to content marketing is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) You can use free plugins or pay for premium plugins, however they do require some time learning how to use them when you set up every post.
You’ll want your visitors to be able to contact you, or engage with you in some fashion with fillable forms. Sign up and surveys, or a newsletter, may be something you’ll what them to participate in.
You’re not a writer, you are a business person. You may be too busy to write an article everyday, so you hire an outside person to do some content for you and that can cost you $10 to $200 per submission. But what is content marketing without the content?
Depending on your Hosting service, you may or may not have a cost to maintaing a simple email account that goes along with your domain. However, if you want to set up an email marketing system where you are doing a newsletter, or ebook giveaway and you want to manage a campaign of dripped content or a monthly newsletter, some services may cost you anywhere from $20 to $100 per month.
Developer Fees $200 to $2000
A WordPress designer can implement your site for you. They can get everything in place for you from the hoisting account, to the theme, to all of the plugins and widgets, to your logo and everything in between. They will write code for you so that you can get everything you always wanted all in the right places.
They can get everything ready for you, and all you have to do is start publishing your content. This can take a lot of time and energy if you insist on learning code, and doing it yourself. It could cost you lots of wasted time trying to figure out how to do everything. Prices on paying someone to do this for you vary, but can run anywhere between $200 to $2000
Personal Time & Education can cost $thousands
Your time is valuable, but it is the first thing that you will do when deciding to set up and run a WordPress site: spend time. Everything from learning UX and UI to marketing, to integrating your social media, to writing content, security and maintenance, and everything in between.
How long it takes depends on what you want to do. It takes loner to learn how to build a fully customized site than it does to just start blogging. But ask yourself: is this what I went to school for, got certified and trained in? Is this my core business?
The first thing you will have to do is to learn how to use WordPress. You can buy books, take classes, or spend hours and hours trying to find a YouTube video that will answer your question. Courses are free for the very basic of information, but actual training classes both online and inperson may cost between $200-$2,000 or a monthly subscription from $10 – $50.
Either way, it can take many years and thousands of dollars to master WordPress.
WordPress is the most used Content Management System and publishing platform on the planet. Depending on the kind of site you want, your costs can add up quickly. Taking a look at the possible costs can help you when planning to start up a site. No matter what you decide, it’s helpful to understand the costs involved.
Just hire me already! ; )
Most people don’t have the time or resources to maintain a website and social media full time. That’s why I created Taxi Digital Marketing: a month to month service for WordPress, consulting, branding, social media, and advertising. If you want to be successful, you have to have the right digital footprint, project a positive brand image, and broadcast the right message: developing that relationship with your audience by providing value-based content.