Each web development project I undertake for clients is somewhat unique so it can be hard when it comes to WordPress development pricing. I find that no two websites are exactly the same, so before I know your exact needs, it is very tricky to work on an accurate description of what your site will contain (and thus how long it will take and what it will cost).
I will talk to prospective clients about what they are looking for with regards to the website requirements and then give an estimated cost to produce the website based on those needs.
The costs will vary depending on:
- Content – How much content exists or needs adding to the site
- Complexity – Does the site needs special or bespoke functionality?
- Design – Anything specific or creative that is non-standard in terms of layout/design?
- Back-end – Any specific back-end features need building in for site admins?
- Hosting – Do you have your own or need me to host it?
- Support – Whether any support or maintenance is required
Contact me today for a chat and I can create a personalised quote for you.
Fixed price projects
If you know exactly what you want, and the scope of your project is very strictly defined, I might be able to quote you a fixed price for the job.
If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur…
1. How Much Does A WordPress Website Cost?
In this article I’m going to use an object we all know and love (or hate, depending on your current situation) to illustrate the cost of the all-singing website. I apologise ahead of time as it’s a little long-winded, but we’ve got a lot of ground cover if you’re going to become an expert at answering the question “how much does a website cost?”.
In short, a website costs as much as a car…
The range of options and costs associated with buying a car are actually a really good comparison to the cost of a website. It’s possible to buy a used car for under £5,000 that should be perfectly adequate to get you where you need to go. Similarly, buying a new car can run from a bare bones Kia for under £10,000 to a high-end Porsche 911 GT3 for £100,000 plus.
Beyond the desired car’s look and style, there are many other considerations that will affect its cost like how many people fit in it, how fast it goes, what options are included, etc.
“How much is a typical website?” A quick answer to that question is “a website costs as much as a car” – The following items can all have influence on a project’s budget, just to name a few:
- Visual design (aesthetics, what are the look and feel requirements?)
- Site size (how many pages will the site contain?)
- Project scope (what type of information will the site pages contain?)
- Special functionality (are there any non-standard services that the site will provide?)
- Site traffic volume (how many visitors is the site expected to handle?)
- Custom business logic (will there be the need for programming?)
- Development timetable (what is the site’s expected launch date?)
- Project team (will the project require user experience, design, development or all?)
- Integration (will the site need to connect to any other 3rd party software?)
2. Website Budget Ranges
I have 3 pricing ranges that my projects fall within. I’m happy to quote these ranges to help potential clients determine the right budget ballpark for the work they are requesting. Additionally, I’m usually able to propose alternative solutions when a discrepancy between needs and budget create a budget gap. Less complex alternatives or phased projects can often bring needs and budgets together.
£2,000 – £3,500 | Pre Owned Cars
From time to time I will convert an existing site to the WordPress CMS (content management system) – enabling a client to get control of their site’s content without having to shell out for a newly designed site. This is akin to purchasing a late model pre-owned car that is still under warranty and has plenty of life left.
£4,000 – £6,000 | New Cars
My starting project range will get you into a brand new website where you can pick your design, options, and accessories – a respectable, dependable, clean, worry-free site that gets good future mileage.
£7,000 – £10,000 | Luxury Cars
Sometimes you want your site to do more than get you where you need to go. Sometimes you want style, added comfort, and awesome features. Perhaps performance is more important and it’s worth paying more for the turbocharged engine and sports suspension.
Translating the metaphor to the web, a site that needs brand new visual design, animated presentations, e-commerce, significant custom business logic, or deep API integration might fall into this range.
£10,000+ | Performance Cars
The sky’s the limit. There are plenty of options out there for you. Sometimes when style counts it’s worth paying for a BMW M5 or a Porsche. Perhaps style isn’t worth paying for, but customisation certainly is.
Some people want a tweaked out audio system, or maybe convert their engine to run on meth. Websites enter this range when they are either enormous in terms of the number of pages, extremely complex in terms of custom business logic, or when they require custom applications to be built within it.
In this range, sites may contain some customised business logic. And, the way I build sites, the complexity of a site’s pages has a greater impact on the budget than merely the overall page count.
Lastly, the copy can affect the budget (who’s writing it, is it optimised for search keywords, is it technical in nature, et, etc). Content is a huge deal and should never be assumed that your website designer will be able to provide you with high quality, sales focused content. If you need something very specific that reads like a professional copywriter authored it, you will need a copywriter.
2. Custom WordPress CMS Pricing
Before we begin, let me be 100% clear – open source is not free, it’s open. The idea is simple – the developers/creators of the software basically give away their framework for free. So, anyone can download, install and build sites using their application.
You still have to setup a hosting environment, plan for upgrades, install security, plan for backups, and if you customise the open source software in any way (like adding a theme or plugin) you’ll need to prepare to keep those running smoothly as well. In fact, the cost of running your own WordPress website can be up to 10x more expensive than using a pre-hosted solution such as Squarespace, Wix or any other turnkey website builders.
Website Budgeting Questionnaire
When pricing a project, the following questions can help to hone in on the scope of a project and its appropriate budget range.
- What are the visual design requirements for the project?
- Who will be providing the design?
- Are there existing corporate design standards and logo?
- Roughly how large is the site in terms of page count and how complex are the pages?
- Will the site use any the CMS applications?
- Does the site require complex component functionality, such as password protection (memberships and intranets etc) or e-commerce functionality?
- Does the site have any unusual needs that extend beyond the basic display of content and existing component functionality?
- Will the site be optimised for search engines? Is the keyword research and content plan going to provided before the build happens?
- Will the site need to integrate with any other existing systems?
4. Budgeting for Website Maintenance
Ongoing Website Maintenance Costs
Another pricing related concern for website clients is typically the long term cost of ownership of a website. Using a well organised CMS (content management system), most typical maintenance items can be addressed directly, by clients, without ongoing expenses. Changing text, uploading documents and images, creating new sub pages (such as product pages, press releases, etc.) can all be done through the CMS – it’s why you choose WordPress to begin with. As a result, any ongoing financial investment that a client makes in their website will result in tangible site improvements, making it a better and more effective business and communication tool.
How much is website maintenance?
For this example we’ll use WordPress:
Reputable Hosting – from £25 per month
Site Security – £20 per month
Regular Backups – £20 per month
Maintenance Work – £80 to £X per update / usually 4-7 times per year (new integrations, code changes etc)
The breakdown: Yearly cost for Open Source (ex. WordPress) is an unknown. Depending on the size of your company, this could be no big deal or it could kill you if your site were to go down. The average cost to recovering from a website hack is around £1,000 – a professional WordPress designer can help you make the best choice for your specific needs. I also offer WordPress Maintenance Plans that start from as little as £45/month and cover all the above, including superfast WP optimised hosting on the Google Cloud Platform.
5. Budgeting For Custom Builds & Development
What is custom business Logic?:
Not all web pages are created equal. Some pages simply display content like text, pictures, captions, and links. Other pages need to “make decisions” about what information to display and how to display it. For example, a product page might simply display the content associated to a particular product, this would not require any custom business logic. However, a similar page might need to “decide” what price to display based on the user, or provide links to PDF tech sheets only if there are any associated to that product. When pages need to “make decisions” I will need to program in custom business logic.
Depending on the particular needs of a website, custom business logic can add a tremendous amount of complexity and cost to a web project.
For instance, consider a typical website page that contains some text, an image, and a few documents. A standard page will display the same content to anyone that visits the page. Now contrast that to the typical membership site or intranet page where, depending on what user is accessing the page and their level of authorisation, the page will display completely different content. If a sales representative visits the page, they might see vastly different information than a CEO visiting the exact same page.
Custom business logic is required in these instances to enable a web page to “make decisions” about what information to display to a particular user. The needs and uses for custom business logic are limitless. When multiplied out over an entire site, custom business logic can easily turn a very small site into a very large project.
I have built some very large sites for relatively small budgets, because their pages were all relatively simple in their structure. By contrast, I have built some relatively small sites that have required large budgets to account for the complexity of all the relationships between content and users on the site.
In the end – the degree of custom business logic is always an individual line item that affects the final cost of any website design project, so it’s best to get a quote for an accurate timescale and cost.
6. Final Thoughts & More Information
If you’re a business owner, you need to understand what the difference in costs can be so you can better understand the variables within the different proposals you’re going to get from different agencies.
Business owners who do not understand the value of a professional site are better off going with a pre-made theme or a outsourced design firm abroad to get a basic starter website. That’s how plenty of agencies start, there’s nothing wrong with building quick, cheap websites.
But, that’s not what I am in business for. My personal ethos is to help my clients generate revenue – and bring them ROI. And to really make a website work, to really make a website stand above the rest – it’s going to take a WordPress specialist, such as myself.
Business owners need to understand what’s involved when looking to build a website that’s going to convert. It’s not enough to just build a website and hope it will work. In today’s web marketplace you have to cover all the bases to have a truly successful website.