Everything you need to know about costs when creating a WordPress website

Everything you need to know about costs when creating a WordPress website

So how much is a WordPress site? Here’s a question we get asked time and time again. Like most questions about money, the correct answer is… it depends. Helpful, we know. But like when you buy a car, the amount you spend really does make a difference. You can buy a clunker for the cost of a good night out, but it may end up costing you more than you think…

Back when the web was a wild frontier and companies were just starting to realise that they needed an online presence, the ball was in the court of the developers who could pick figures out of the sky for building a website. However, the web is now an essential part of any company’s real world presence as the line between online and offline has blurred, meaning that prices have become commoditised and move ever further downwards – good news for SMEs who need to get themselves out on the web.

However, it’s still quite difficult for smaller businesses to know how much they should be paying for a site and which companies or freelancers they should be using.

This comprehensive guide will help you with all the questions that you may have about your WordPress site costs – making sure that you aren’t paying over the odds or a worryingly low amount which could leave you high and dry in the event of a problem.

Why You Need a Professional Developer

It’s relatively easy these days to build a basic yet functional WordPress site using WordPress’s own tools. But the question that you have to ask yourself is – do you have the time? Would it not be a more productive use of your time to work on the business itself and not the building, running and maintaining of your website? The answer is more than likely to be that it would be better to hire someone else to do this, unless of course your business is ticking over nicely with no input from you and you have more than enough time to kill.

WordPress is easy to understand but it’s a trickier beast to master. Hiring an expert ensures that work is done quickly and done right first time. One small error on your part can lead to days of work for you if you build the site yourself. An expert won’t make that error in the first place.

Being outside the project will also give you a clearer understanding of the whole scope of the website. If you both manage the website build and develop it, it can sometimes be hard to see when you may be heading down a meandering and unimportant path. Clear delineation of roles helps everyone involved to work better.

It can be tempting to hire a ‘friend’ who knows about websites, but it can just lead to an angry falling out, so make sure that you hire a real professional with a strong portfolio of work.

How to Find a Professional Developer

So once you’ve decided that you need a professional to build your website, where will you find them?

First thing’s first, you should examine the project that you have for a developer and lay out a defined plan of the work that you are after. You can’t just call someone and say, ‘how much is a website?’ as the answer will be different depending on what it is that you need. A brochure site is very different from an e-commerce site and the costs change accordingly. A good professional will be able to go through everything to work out the full scope of your requirements but it is good to have a clear starting point.

Create a summary of what it is that you are looking for, what existing content you have and what your budget and timeframes are. Make sure that you note any special requirements that your site will have from the outset.

Once you’ve got these committed to paper, you can begin your search. Here are three places that you can start:

Word of Mouth

Ask your business peers who they recommend. If you put the word out that you’re looking for a good WordPress site, people will often be quick to tell you who they’ve used if they’re good.

Similar Sites to Your Own

Have a look over competitor sites and see which ones stand out to you. This will also give you an idea of the standard that you need to ensure your site reaches to compete. Sites often have a small link to the developer or agency at the bottom if you see one that particularly catches your eye.

Online Job Portals

Site such as People per Hour and Upwork can help you find a freelancer who could build your site. People send you bids for your job and you can look through their work to see who is up to scratch.

A Specialist WordPress Agency

A WordPress agency will have a whole slew of experts to help you with all aspects of your site, from the initial design, through to SEO and ongoing content management if you need. Have a look through an agency’s portfolio and call them to have a chat about your requirements to see if you click.

The Components of Building a Website

A basic brochure site or e-commerce site is easy to build in 2015 and should be priced accordingly (we’re getting to that, honest!).

However, there is more to a website than just the pages you see on the internet. A good developer will factor in a number of elements to any estimate:

Initial planning

This will include initial communication, quotes, and mock-ups.

Site building and revisions

As the project is built, your developer should stay in communication with you to show you work as it progresses instead of just going for the big reveal. This ensures that the site is going in the direction that you want.


Hosting will be an additional cost for your site as it will need to live somewhere on a server. Small sites will have minimal costs; larger more complex sites will have larger associated hosting costs.


You might be quoted for ongoing maintenance costs as well which will cover updates and minor fixes. You should make sure that this is dealt with in initial conversations.

What Rates Should You Expect

You may be charged hourly for a project or you might be charged for the whole project. Remember that the price you see will factor in the entire scope of the project from beginning to end.

So what sort of prices can you expect?

Here in the UK, you can expect to pay anywhere from £20 for a freelancer to £600 per hour for a huge London-based agency. The range is huge, and there are many reasons why both end of the scale have pros and cons. You do get what you pay for, and you should take this into account when choosing from your range of quotes.

How Much for a Typical WordPress Site?

A brochure site built by a reputable agency should set you back on average about £5,000. This will increase with premium themes and plugins depending on what it is that you want from your site. If you just want minimal customisation and a pre-built theme, you can expect to pay £2,500+.

E-commerce is a trickier type of website build. You have to consider additional costs such as ensuring sites are secure for payments, many more pages, additional plugins, different themes and more. WordPress does have e-commerce solutions such as WooCommerce, which is fine for small product ranges, but it doesn’t have the same sort of functionality that an e-commerce centred platform can offer. That’s why here at Elementary Digital, we use the e-commerce platform Magento for medium to large e-commerce sites.

According to research from Forrester, the costs associated with an e-commerce site are usually in the region of 7% of online revenues, with the range going from 3% to 10%.

To get a small store up and running, you should be looking at spending at least £5,000.


We hope this has been helpful to you to give you some idea of what you can expect when looking for quotes for your WordPress website. Remember, the purpose of your website is to advertise your business to create a revenue stream. As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money.

What has your experience been when looking for quotes for a website? Share your opinion below!

Author Gyles Seward

More posts by Gyles Seward