Many aspects of WordPress are free. However, this article covers the various costs you will incur to have a live WordPress website. We encounter customers with budgets that range from small to large; however, they all spend something to get started. Knowledge is power and with a strong understanding of where the costs exists in WordPress, you can create a realistic budget for yourself to achieve your online goals.
Lets start talking about costs with the very real costs of servers. Its answers the burning question right away, if WordPress is free then where is the cost. In this case, you must host it somewhere. Maybe students and some lucky people have access to free servers. However, the the vast majority of websites online, they are paying for you to visit.
The game here is simple, the cheaper the server, the cheaper the server. Yeah, you read that right, expect to get low quality when you pay little. Don’t expect the servers are all the same but you are somehow getting a steal deal. Don’t let people, blogs, or your nephew jimmy fool you, there is always a catch to cheaper servers. Quality can be defined in different ways, easy of management, hardware capability, support, etc. You are buying a package when purchasing a hosting package aka renting someone else’s computer.
To put your WordPress website online, you purchased a domain name. These can range in cost depending on various factors including:
- Where you bought them
- The Top Level Domain TDL purchased
- Length of the domain
- Term of the purchase
There is no way to put a website online without a website name. You will need to start your journey here. Luckily there are many discount brokers online that will sell you a domain name fairly cheaply, usually as an initial promotional offer. If you aren’t successful and you give up during the promotional offer, then no losses. However, if you have to pay the real fee after the promotional offer, you should really consider what that is compared to other solutions. You can move your domain between hosts at any time but it takes time and isn’t fun. In fact, transfer out fees are a major industry problem which can often cost several times the original registration fee.
Don’t be fooled, the registrars have to pay a fee for the domain themselves. Some have negotiated better deals for themselves but you don’t really know how much it cost them. Its fair to assume that if you see a really good deal, you are either extremely lucky and should by a lotto ticket, or there is a catch. For example, ask yourself, is email included with the domain? What exactly is the price on the yearly renewal date? They are paying yearly to hold the domain for you, surely they are legit business, so when do you pay them exactly?
Themes & Plugins
You can download themes and plugins for free on wordpress.org. You will quickly notice that most of the popular solutions are handicapped in terms of features, requiring you to upgrade to a paid version to get the premium features. This is a popular monetization technique which we can see from Woocommerce, owned by the creators of WordPress. Even the creators of the free solution are getting in on the action and making money on their platform via countless addons. They loved the idea so much that they acquired the plugin after it established its profitability and popularity.
We are very vocal about the need for profitability to be built into every plugin you but. You see, there is no such thing as FREE. There is always a catch. In this case, no one is going to develop, maintain, and evolve a product forever for free. Everyone has rent, family, and a life. When shopping for plugins and themes, you should find the ones that have profitability built in. That way, there is a real incentive for this plugin to be around in the future to help your business grow.
As alluded to with the Themes & Plugins section, the base WordPress solutions typically don’t meet the need of the typical project. Chances are, you will be faced with the decision to have a custom element created for you to achieve your goals. If you are doing something new that your competitors are not, chances are that there is no plugin or theme available to do it.
Finding developers and managing them can be difficult or easy depending on you. Good developers are not cheap. Bad developers are good at confusing you and wasting your time. Here are BeProSoftware.com, we offer WordPress consultation services where we can discuss the entire project with you. We can provide a project manager, or develop the entire WordPress project for you. You need a team that will help you to realize the technical elements, keeping your customers, budget, and goals in mind. Thing is, do you really know what you need exactly? Chances are you have a vision and need help to make it a reality. The vast majority of freelancers you find online will need you to specify all aspects of your project in detail.
WordPress itself is 100% free. The themes and plugins on WordPress.org are also free. However, as you can see from the article, there are many costs in setting these up or actually making them work to your benefit. Nothing is free in life and here we have another example. However, this is a low cost option for millions of websites across the planet. We invite you to embrace the costs and manage them; rather than expecting to avoid them. Let profitability pay for enhancements and upgrades.