WordPress is the world’s largest open-source CMS with over 455 million websites worldwide. While it’s free, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to build a WordPress site without any costs. You’ll at least need a domain name (~$12/year) and a web hosting plan (~$3 to $20/month), but you may also opt for a premium theme (~$30 to $80), as well as premium plugins. Overall, expect WordPress costs to range from $50 to $300+—that is, if you’re building it yourself.
If you are thinking of hiring a professional to build your WordPress website for you, expect costs to be much higher, but they can vary greatly depending largely on your unique website needs and how you go about hiring a designer. For example, the cost of a custom WordPress site from a web design agency could cost over $10,000 or as low as a few hundred with a freelancer from Fiverr or Upwork.
WordPress Costs at a Glance
Plugins and Add-ons
Varies: one-time, monthly, or annually
*Many web hosting plans come with a free domain name.
WordPress Website Costs
The cost of building a WordPress website is based on four necessary site elements: web hosting, themes, plugins, and design. The average cost of a do-it-yourself (DIY) WordPress site is between $50 and $300, whereas the average cost of outsourcing to a web developer can cost anywhere from a few hundred to more than a few thousand dollars.
- Cost to build a new WordPress website: $50 to $300
- Ongoing maintenance costs: approximately $3 to $20 per month
WordPress Domain Costs
All business websites use their own domain name (e.g., yourbusiness.com). So if you don’t already own one, you will need to purchase one from a domain name registrar, such as Namecheap or GoDaddy, for around $12 per year. You can also get a free domain name through a web hosting plan, such as with Bluehost or DreamHost.
Here are the top domain name registrars:
Need some extra help choosing which to use? Learn more about the best domain name registrars.
WordPress Hosting Costs
For a website to be accessible to the public, site builders must store their website files on a hosting server, accessible via a domain name such as www.yourbusiness.com. There are many providers that offer this service, costing $3 to $25 per month, depending on a number of included features.
Here are six main variables that affect the cost of web hosting packages:
- Type of web hosting (shared, dedicated, and so on)
- Contract length (month-to-month vs long-term contracts)
- Storage and bandwidth limits
- Number of hosted sites included
- Customer support
- Features and inclusions (free domain name, free SSL, business email, and so on)
Web hosting plans vary greatly in price, service, and quality. It’s worth taking the time to understand your hosting needs and to research the best providers. One of the leading choices for low-cost, feature-rich web hosting is Bluehost, which has plans that cost as low as $2.95 per month with a long-term plan.
WordPress Website Design Costs
Website design can be done yourself as the site creator and business owner or can be outsourced to a professional web designer. DIY site design is common—even for those with no technical knowledge—and is free. Hiring a professional designer, however, will ensure you have a professional, attractive site, but can cost you thousands of dollars.
DIY Web Design Costs
It’s possible to design your own website for free without web design experience or coding knowledge. Thanks to easy-to-customize themes and drag-and-drop website builders such as Elementor, you can build a WordPress website without outside help easily. Learn more about website builders and how they give those without web design or coding experience the ability to design a professional-looking website in our article on the best website builders.
Cheapest way to build a WordPress site
Requires your time
Gives you complete design control
Can be challenging if you’re new to web design
Enables you to easily manage your site in the future
Professional Web Design Costs
Professional web design services can cost anywhere from $300 to more than $10,000, depending on factors such as site functionality, schedule, and design needs. Those building complex websites who do not have web design or coding experience are advised to hire professionals to build their site to avoid poor design or site dysfunction. To find an affordable designer, consider searching for contract web designers on Fiverr.
Peace of mind that your site will be functional and attractive
Most expensive option
Doesn’t take up any of your time
May make it challenging to manage your own site in the future
The cost to build a website will vary greatly depending on whether you build it yourself or hire a web design professional. Get a detailed breakdown between the two in our article on website costs: DIY vs professional.
WordPress Website Theme Costs
WordPress themes are templates that are customized to fit the needs of your business. Free themes are available directly through WordPress, but there are also thousands of premium themes ($10 to $90) available from WordPress and third-party developers. While free themes are fully customizable, premium themes often feature more professional design and added functionality, requiring limited customization.
Free WordPress Themes
There are thousands of free WordPress themes available online. You can find these directly from WordPress by navigating to “Appearance” from the left-hand menu on the WordPress dashboard and selecting “Themes.” Use this screen to filter themes by feature or search by keyword. You can also find free themes from third-party sites, such as aThemes, or through a WordPress site builder plugin, such as Elementor.
Often requires more customizations (and therefore time)
A lot of free themes to choose from
Doesn’t come with support
Premium WordPress Themes
While there are thousands of free WordPress themes available directly from WordPress, there are also premium themes that can be purchased for $20 to $90. The reason many choose to purchase a premium theme instead of using a free theme is that premium themes come with more plugins and functionality, as well as a more professional design, helping to eliminate time spent on customization.
Requires far less customizations
Can be costly
Many include extras like demo content, widgets, and premium plugins
Not all themes are created equal, so you don’t always quite know what you’re getting until after purchasing
Most come with support
Need help finding a theme that suits your business? Check out our guide on the best WordPress themes.
WordPress Website Plugin Costs
WordPress plugins are code-based add-ons that give WordPress sites additional functionality and protection. While many plugins are free to use, premium plugins cost $5 to $100 or more. There are certain plugins that are recommended for all websites, however. These include Akismet to block spam, Jetpack for site performance and management, and Yoast SEO for search engine optimization (SEO).
Top WordPress Plugins at a Glance
What It’s For
Security, performance, and site management
Free; premium extensions cost $3.50 to $29/month
Free; premium for $5/month
Search engine optimization
Free; premium for a one-time fee of $89
Drag-and-drop page builder
Free; premium for $49/year
SSL certification installation
Free; premium plans start at $29/year
User insights and analytics
Free; premium plans starting at $199/year
Building contact forms
Free; premium plans starting at $79/year
If you want to give your site some added functionality but aren’t sure which plugins you need, you can learn more about these tools by visiting our article on the best WordPress plugins for small businesses.
Low-cost WordPress Alternatives
WordPress is the most popular website content management system (CMS) platform, but that doesn’t mean it’s the perfect solution for every business website. While it offers incredible customization options and a wealth of themes and plugins, it also requires users to be somewhat technically savvy. Those who don’t have any web design experience may find WordPress an unnecessary challenge—on top of being a more expensive CMS to build a site with.
WordPress Costs vs DIY Alternatives at a Glance
Not sure which platform is right for you? Get all the information you need in our article on how to build a small business website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between WordPress & Weebly?
While WordPress and Weebly are both platforms for building a website, they are very different platforms. WordPress is a CMS that requires a certain level of technical ability, whereas Weebly is an all-in-one host and site builder with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor that makes it very easy for those with no web design experience to build a professional website. Learn more about WordPress vs Weebly.
How much does WordPress cost per year?
WordPress is a free website CMS platform, so annual costs are primarily based on web hosting fees and subscription-based premium plugs. With these combined, a WordPress website will cost anywhere from around $36 to more than $100 per year.
Is WordPress free with Bluehost?
Bluehost is a web hosting provider that includes free one-click WordPress installations as part of every web hosting plan. WordPress is free to use for all users, but Bluehost hosting plans come with a number of added features, such as a free domain name (a $12 value) and a free SSL certificate (a $14 value). This makes Bluehost a great value for those building a new website on WordPress.
How do you build a WordPress website?
While building a website using WordPress is relatively easy, it does require several steps, including setting up a host, installing WordPress, picking a theme, and customizing site content and styling. For step-by-step guidance, read our article on how to make a WordPress website.