This is one of the questions I get asked the most often. With website builders, all your costs are rolled together and you pay one monthly fee- with a hosted WordPress site, it’s less straightforward. So let’s break down the costs:
– Your domain name. You may already have one, but if not, this is a requirement for your hosted WordPress site. You can shop around for the best price if you’d like, but some people choose to register where they plan to host so everything is in one spot. Expect to pay $10-20 a year for this. You can also choose add ons like domain privacy which will prevent your name and address from showing if someone looks up your registration.
– Hosting. This is where your website “lives”. It’s a server somewhere (multiple servers really) that has the space allocated for your website to be installed. There is a wide range of hosts available, but this is not a circumstance where I advocate looking for the best deal. You generally will get what you pay for in this area. It could be as little as $3/month or as much as $80+ for large sites, but a realistic cost for most of my clients is $10-15/month. After working with most of the big name hosts, I always recommend Siteground to my clients, and use them myself. Their costs are reasonable, and their customer service is excellent. If you’d like to sign up, here is my link to do so.
– Your theme. This is where the real variance comes in. This is a one time cost (other than potential optional paid upgrades in the future). There are free WordPress themes, though I don’t recommend them as they are often not secure or well supported. You can find standalone themes for as little as $40, or use a framework theme (Prophoto, Divi, Genesis) that costs $60-$100. If you use a framework theme you may also choose to buy a child theme/design that gives you a basic layout to start with, which can be another $50-300. Most of my clients either use the Genesis or Prophoto framework, and spend an average of $100-$300 on their theme. It is generally an expense I urge people to save up for if needed, because a little more out of pocket gives you a lot more flexibility and customization options.
– Theme setup. This is where I come in! How much clients spend with me on their setup often correlates to how much they spend on their theme. If you buy a theme that has many page layouts that you already love (which may cost more) you may not need as much customization work. If you buy a very bare bones theme, you may need a lot of work done to get your layouts made into pages. So this is something to keep in mind when you choose your theme, as well. If you want a custom site to fit your exact vision, you may not want to pay a lot for a child design with many layouts you won’t use, for example. Or if you want to keep your outsourcing costs low and predictable, you may prefer to spend more if you can find a child theme that has 95% of what you’re looking for in your site. Some clients choose to DIY as much as they can, and then have me finish what they need help with, while others don’t even want to think about their site and want to outsource everything. When we start your project we start with a Skype call to go over exactly where you fall on these issues, and get you an estimate!