You need a new website, and you’re considering the cost of a custom WordPress website. Let’s talk about that a bit more.
If you own a business, you know the drill: you look over your website and sweat because it is less than great. Not only that, but you can tell without a doubt that it is hard for customers to use—it’s even hard for you to use! What can you possibly do about it?
Hiring a web designer or web design agency is a significant step and typically one that makes you gulp at the expense of the investment. However, if your website is a significant factor in bringing in leads and sales, it is something you don’t want to mess up and should consider investing in.
Pricing your custom WordPress website shouldn’t be a mystery
Cost is the most significant fear factor for most of us in investing in a custom WordPress website. It can sometimes be unclear what factors play into the website cost and if it is worth the investment—or if you should do it yourself.
Two of the biggest mistakes people make when building a website are paying too much or not nearly enough—either overpaying or underpaying.
Over the years, we’ve seen many great companies get taken in by a less-than-professional agency that promises the world but doesn’t deliver. Or sometimes, a company doesn’t want to spend much money, so they hire a freelancer or obscure web developer who stops replying to emails halfway through the process. The company is out of the amount of its deposit, and the site never gets launched.
So, how do you avoid the two traps of either overpaying or underpaying? How much is the right amount? What’s the right price?
What factors affect the cost of a custom WordPress website?
Three main factors will affect the cost of your custom WordPress website.
1. What are your specific needs?
Every business and individual is different and will look for different things on their company’s website. Are you looking for an extensive website with pages of products and lots of team bios? That will factor into how much the final cost will be: more web pages means more design time, which means more cost.
2. What platform do you want to use?
Some platforms cost more than others, so consider the cost differences as you plan your website.
If you use a hosted solution like Shopify or Squarespace, you won’t pay an initial cost, but you will have monthly fees between $30 and $300/month. That fee includes upgrades and security updates, which you would need to pay someone else to do on a self-hosted solution.
WordPress is open-source, so it is free to download and install. However, it would be best if you hosted it, which costs between $5 and $500/month.
Magento has open-source and enterprise versions with a license fee of around $15k/year. You would need to host this platform, as well.
3. What expert help is available for you?
Make sure you research the best website designers in your field. There is a difference between a freelancer, an in-house web designer, and a web agency.
They will incur small to high costs, respectively. Be aware of what you are looking for and who will do the most professional job for your needs.
Additional factors that affect custom WordPress website cost
These questions are all things to remember as you plan a conversation with your designer and what questions they will ask. All of these factors will affect the final price of a custom WordPress website.
Is your website new or a redesign?
A website redesign is like a house remodel—you have an existing website that’s outdated or doesn’t function properly. A new website is like a new house build—you’ve identified some land and want to build a house.
When building a new house, you must establish the infrastructure (water, sewer, power, etc.) The same thing to a website; you need web hosting, a website domain, and possibly even a CDN. These are upfront costs that only need to be done once.
With a website redesign, you’ll use the existing infrastructure to remodel, revamp, or rebrand the templates. In this case, you’ll save on some infrastructure costs.
How many page templates do you need?
Templates are the building blocks of standard web pages; sometimes, the same template will be used as the basis for a few different web pages. For example, on an ecommerce website, a product display page (PDP) is a standard template to communicate everything about the product being sold. This template is one design but can be used for multiple products.
Other standard page templates are Home, About, Contact, and Blog. For an ecommerce website, you have additional page templates such as Cart, Checkout, and Order Confirmation. That’s one of the main reasons ecommerce websites are more expensive.
The number of page templates you will need will vary according to your website and could affect the cost if many templates are required.
How many pages does your website have?
The number of pages needed for your website will depend on what information needs to be available to your customers. Extensive information on your website may require additional pages and could increase the total cost.
Note that more pages don’t necessarily mean more page templates. However, since each page has unique content, you’ll need to consider the creation and population of that content on your website. Think copywriting, images, icons, illustrations, etc.
Does your website have a blog?
Blogs are beneficial for getting information to your potential clients or customers. Not to mention the foundation for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)! However, they will slightly increase the amount you should budget for the website project as you’ll need at least two templates for a standard blog: Category Archive and Post templates.
The Category Archive template is the main blog feed to filter and see the most recent posts. The Post template is the actual blog post itself. You see it when you click on a blog post in the main blog feed.
Advanced blogs or media sites will have additional page templates, such as Tag and Taxonomy templates. However, these aren’t common for most businesses.
Do you already have media content?
If you already have a supply of stock photos, sourcing or creating new images may not be something you need to factor into the cost. However, if you need your web designer to come up with illustrations, photographs, or video content, it will increase the overall price tag of your site.
Does your website need e-commerce and payment processing?
Additionally, as mentioned above in the templates selection, an ecommerce site has additional page templates that will increase the cost.
Will your website require any specialized features?
Including unique features such as a quoting system, maps, payment processing, user accounts, integration with a CRM, etc., will inevitably increase the budget you should set aside to ensure your entire site can do exactly what you want to do.
Ballpark custom WordPress website costs
Small business website
An informational or small business website with 8-16 pages will probably run between $10,000 and $15,000.
Medium-to-large business website
A large corporate website with 25-75 pages will be between $15,000 and $35,000.
An e-commerce website featuring 10 to 1000 products will cost $20,000 to $55,000.
Complex website or application
A database-driven website or application with 20-2000 pages will run between $25,000 and $75,000.
As you can see, the size and complexity of the site are the primary factors in the final cost.
Main costs of a custom WordPress website
So, what elements of the web design process are the main factors in the cost?
A website is not just composed of pretty pages. It takes intention to ensure that each piece of the website is crafted most effectively to get the business results you’re looking for. It’s an investment, and your custom WordPress website investment should have a direct return.
A website needs to be carefully thought through. You must plan and define the pages you need and map out how they will work together for a smooth transition into a sale—or at the very least, an excellent impression.
Your website logo, copywriting, images, video, illustrations, and more need to communicate to your potential customers how you will transform their lives.
Your website blueprint is one of the critical parts of the process. Each page’s layout must be carefully created and its usability detailed.
The bones of your website will need to be built so that your custom website will function and work in the way you and your customers or clients expect. This is called website development.
Additional custom WordPress website costs to consider
Web hosting is simply the service that allows you to post a unique website online. Server space for your custom WordPress website will be an additional cost. Expect $150–500 per year. And remember: you get what you pay for when it comes to hosting. We recommend WP Engine for all our client sites, which runs about $300/yr for fast, reliable hosting.
Search engine optimization is optimizing the content of your website, so it’s easy for search engines and customers to find. Doing okay takes research, planning, and implementation—and thus typically incurs extra fees.
Data or content migration
If you’re moving from one host to another (e.g., HostGator to WP Engine), or one platform to another (e.g., Squarespace to WordPress), part of the process will need to include moving data or content from your old site to your new website—and ensuring you don’t lose anything in the process. Depending on your website’s size and technical setup, this can be simple or complex.
Your new website will possibly also need to be connected with other data sources, such as your CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) like Salesforce or Hubspot, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planner), and ESP (Email Service Provider) like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign.
Internal costs of a custom WordPress website
Strategy and planning
Your web designer will need to have several conversations to capture your vision for the website design and run ideas or details past you.
There will most certainly be photo and video creation necessary in your website design and copywriting. Sometimes, companies have these assets ready to use or want their in-house team to capture them. Either way, your web designer will have to review the material and decide what and how to use it on your custom website.
Review and feedback
Your website designer wants you to be happy with the result! This will include video calls, screen sharing, phone calls, and emails back and forth. We believe that the best work comes out of the best relationships. Therefore, clear, thorough communication is essential to a successful project.
Opportunity costs of a custom WordPress website
How many leads or sales would you generate in a year if your website worked?
A website can create a significant increase in sales. You should be willing to spend a portion of that amount, as long as it is reasonable, to have a website that works and drives sales.
If your website is old, broken, or confusing, it costs you money every day that it stays up. But it doesn’t have to! Your website could be your company’s best sales tool. It could produce leads and increase income at all hours of the day and night. However, when your website is sloppy and hard to understand and navigate, potential customers will tune you out and take their money elsewhere.
Should you DIY or hire a freelancer or web design agency?
So, what is the best way to build a website? Should you try to tackle it yourself? Hire a freelancer who does independent work. Or should we go with a more professional design agency? Each of these is an option with differing advantages, disadvantages, and prices. In most cases, businesses will partner with either a freelance web designer or a web design agency to create a professional website.
DIY website cost
A DIY site is the cheapest option upfront—but in the long run, it might cost you more than even what you would pay to hire a freelancer ($500–$5000 for a custom site) or a web design agency ($3,000–$100,000 for a custom site.).
Freelancer website cost
A freelancer is generally an experienced web designer who is not entirely as low-cost upfront as a DIY site but is not wholly as professional as a web design agency. A freelancer is excellent if you want a more budget-friendly option but lack the experience to build it yourself. Freelancers operate independently of larger agencies and may have more flexibility than established web design agencies.
Web design agency custom WordPress website cost
A web design agency will also have the necessary experience to create a website with a third-party builder. An agency is different from a freelancer, however, in that agencies have an entire team working on your site’s various components.
The main reason to go with a freelancer or agency is the experience necessary when using a third-party website builder (such as Wix or Squarespace). Even though these website builders are made to be easy to learn and could help you create an attractive website, they don’t ensure that the result is user-friendly along with being good-looking. A user-friendly site is critical—if none of your site visitors understand where to learn more or purchase, they will close it as fast as they can, and you will lose the sale and the potential of a good impression.
How to pay for a custom WordPress website
The upfront cost of hiring an experienced designer to build a custom website can look daunting—and understandably so. You could take out a loan, of course, but that can be a lot of headaches and is not always necessary.
Arrangements can be made for you to make the payment process more feasible. Two or three payments are the most common method for a custom design. Some agencies are also open to dividing the cost of the website out over several months and having you pay a flat monthly fee.
A final option could be to pay the total amount upfront and ask for a discount. Many agencies are glad to knock a bit off the price if they know they can receive the entire payment simultaneously.
What does a custom WordPress website cost from Structure?
Here at Structure, we aren’t the do-it-cheap or the do-it-yourself option; we are the do-it-right-option. We work hard to ensure that your final design reflects your business’ style and values.
The standard fee per page template here at Structure is $1,500.
On top of the base fees, you can also expect the following:
- $750+ per page for Copywriting
- $1,500+ for Foundational SEO
- $250+ per integration with CRM, ERP, ESP
- $1,500+ for data migration or re-platforming
We offer two main options for ways you can pay. One option is at milestones—you pay part of the amount when the strategy is complete, another part when the first draft is done, and so forth.
You also could opt for the monthly flat fee option: we spread the work out over a certain amount of months, and you pay the same price every month until the website is complete.
It’s time for a custom WordPress website that works
Your website could be making money for your business. Watch our free website training 5 Reasons Your Website Doesn’t Create Sales, and you’ll know how to increase sales, create fans for your business, and stop losing to the competition.