WordPress is the world’s largest free, open source content management system (CMS), but that doesn’t mean it’s free to build and maintain a WordPress website. In fact, there are many costs to consider—from a domain name (~$12 per year) and web hosting (~$3 to $20 per month) to premium themes (~$29 to $79) and plugins. Overall, expect WordPress to cost around $50 to $300+ to build yourself or $400 to $10,000+ for professional web design. And prepare to spend another $3 to $25 per month for hosting and maintenance.
WordPress Costs at a Glance
Free or $15
$3 to $25+
Free or $10,000+
Free or $89+
Plugins and Add-ons
Free or $249+
Varies: one-time, monthly, or annually
*Many web hosting plans come with a free domain name.
Cost to Build & Maintain a WordPress Website
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.
- Average total build cost: $50 to $300+ for DIY; $400 to $10,000+ for professional web design
- Average total monthly costs: Around $3 to $20+ per month
DIY vs Hiring Professional for Your WordPress Website Design
As the site creator and business owner, you can handle the website design yourself. Or you can also outsource it to a professional web designer. DIY site design is common thanks to the help of one of the best website builders—even for those with no technical knowledge—and is free. On the other hand, hiring a professional designer will ensure that you’ll have a professional and attractive site, but it can cost you thousands of dollars.
Let’s take a look at WordPress web design costs by build type:
- Do it yourself (DIY): Typically, zero cost, but there may be expenses involved with building your own site (e.g., if you choose to use a premium page builder plugin, such as Elementor for $49).
- Hire a professional: Ranges greatly from $400 to $10,000+, depending on a variety of factors from who you hire to build it to your site requirements.
On the fence between doing it yourself and hiring a web designer? Check out the detailed breakdown on DIY vs professional to help make you make the decision.
WordPress Website Theme Costs
WordPress websites are built on themes, which serve as templates. While you can choose from dozens of free themes, thousands of premium themes (ranging from $29 to $79+) are available from WordPress and third-party developers.
Businesses opt for premium themes because they often feature more professional design and added functionality, requiring fewer customizations and therefore less time to build.
- Free WordPress themes: $0
- Premium WordPress themes: Around $29 to $79+
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 Google Domains or Hover, for around $12 per year.
Alternatively, you can get a free domain name through a web hosting plan, such as with Bluehost, which you’ll need anyway for your WordPress site to be available online.
Here are the top three domain name registrars:
- Google Domains: Best overall domain name registrar with transparent and competitively priced domains for around $12 per year.
- Hover: Best for buying domains in bulk (e.g., buying domain variations or your domain with various domain extensions).
- Bluehost: Best way to get a free domain name for those who plan to use WordPress to build their site. WordPress requires web hosting, and its web hosting plans start at $2.95 per month inclusive of a free domain. Discover other ways to get a free domain name.
Need some extra help choosing which one 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. The cost can range from $3 to $25 per month, depending on a variety of factors and features—from storage and bandwidth limits to extras, such as a free domain name, business email, and an SSL certificate.
Here are the three best web hosting providers for small businesses:
- DreamHost: Best overall web hosting provider with affordable and commitment-free web hosting with plans as low as $2.59 per month.
- HostGator: Best for content-heavy sites given its inclusion of unlimited storage and bandwidth across all hosting plans. Pricing starts at $2.75 per month.
- Bluehost: Best for businesses and startups building a new website as its plans come with everything you need to build, launch, and maintain a business website. Bluehost’s services come at an affordable pricing for as low as $2.95 per month.
There’s a lot to web hosting, and plans vary greatly in price, service, and quality. Take the time to understand your hosting needs and find the right provider for you by learning more about the best web hosting companies.
WordPress Website Plugin Costs
WordPress sites depend on plugins for additional functionality—from search engine optimization (SEO) tools and site visitor analytics to payment processors and appointment booking systems. While most plugins are available for free, some also offer premium versions that come at an additional cost. They can range greatly from $5 to $100 per month or more. Also, not all premium plugins are on a monthly cost basis. Instead, some are paid annually or with a one-time fee.
Here’s how much some of the most popular WordPress plugins cost:
- Jetpack: Free; premium extensions cost $4 to $47.97 per month
- Akismet: Free; premium for $8.33 per month
- Yoast SEO: Free; premium for a one-time fee of $89
- Elementor: Free; premium for $49 per year
- MonsterInsights: Free; premium plans starting at $199 per year
The Cost of 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, nor is it the most beginner-friendly or affordable.
Those who don’t have any web design experience may find WordPress an unnecessary challenge—on top of becoming a more expensive CMS. For example, Squarespace sites cost nothing to build and $12 per month—everything included.
Here are the top three WordPress alternatives and how much they cost:
- Squarespace: Free to build a site using its straightforward editor and award-winning templates; one, all-inclusive monthly fee starting at $12.
- Bluehost: Free, easy-to-use site builder with its web hosting plans, which start at $2.95 per month with a 36-month commitment.
- Wix: Free to build a site using its beginner-friendly and highly customizable drag-and-drop site editor; one, all-inclusive monthly payment starting at $14 per month.
Not sure which platform is right for you? Get all the information you need on the best WordPress alternatives.
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. Weebly makes it very easy for those with no web design experience to build a professional website.
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.
It’s true. WordPress is a free, open source platform. However, it will cost you. And in some cases, WordPress can cost you hundreds—even thousands of dollars. So if you’re new to web design and looking for an affordable way to build a professional business website, consider making your life easier by choosing an all-in-one site builder, such as Squarespace. You can try it out for free, and once you’re ready to go live, it’s just one flat monthly fee of $12 for everything.