Almost everything has a website. Businesses, newspapers, sports teams, and even graduating high school classes—They all have their own website. The very first website was put online in 1991. Since then, the number of websites on the internet has grown exponentially.
As of July 2020, there are over 1.78 billion websites on the internet. Needless to say, websites have become a necessity for any business, not to mention endless other types of organizations.
But creating a website is not always an easy task. Most organizations hire a web developer to create their website for them. This can be done from scratch with programming languages like HTML, CSS, and Java among others. However, most websites also use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress.
What is WordPress?
Think of WordPress as a factory for making websites. Released in 2003, the open-source software allows you to create and manage all kinds of websites: blogs, eCommerce sites, non-profit and advocacy websites, and more.
WordPress is the largest and most popular content management system. There are over 455 million websites that use WordPress, which makes up 35% of all websites on the internet.
WordPress offers a range of website templates called Themes and of website functions called Plugins. Anyone can easily implement these premade Themes and Plugins to create a website.
Though WordPress Themes and Plugins are designed for users with little to no knowledge of web programming languages, the more you want to customize your website, the more coding skills are required. This is why you may want to consider custom WordPress development.
What is Custom WordPress Development?
Custom WordPress development involves programming your own Themes and Plugins or customizing existing ones. This way, you are no longer limited to the design and structure of premade templates. Just describe what you want to your developer, and they will create it for you from scratch.
In addition, WordPress developers can create custom web apps for your website. These could be anything from email applications to online bank apps. Whatever type of website you need, a custom WordPress developer can make your vision a reality.
By not relying on premade Themes, custom WordPress developers can take your website to another level. Your custom website will have a completely unique design and unique functions.
Why Pay for Custom WordPress Development?
To be clear, you don’t need to hire a developer for every website. With a little effort, you can have a simple website up and running in no time. If all you want to do is create a blog, for example, try some of the available Themes and Plugins already discussed.
If, however, your website needs to be more tailored, requires more complex features, or you simply want to outsource the work, custom WordPress development may be the solution for you.
After all, hiring a developer is more efficient than trying to do your own custom WordPress development. By the time you have learned the necessary programming to customize your website, it will not have been worth your time. So leave it to a custom WordPress developer and you won’t regret it.
How much does a WordPress Website Cost?
Before getting into the cost of custom WordPress development, let’s consider the cost of creating a WordPress website in general. The cost can vary greatly, but here are some basic costs of a WordPress site:
- Hosting—Any website needs a host to make it accessible to the World Wide Web. Think of the host as what houses your website. Website hosting can be shared or dedicated. Shared hosting can cost as little as $3-15/month, while dedicated hosting can cost in the hundreds. Some popular website hosting services include Bluehost and HostGator, but there are many more. Do your research and find the best one for you.
- Domain name—A domain name is the URL address for your website. It looks something like this: dev.co. If the website host is the house, then the domain name is the house address. It allows people to find your website in their web browser. Domain names need to be purchased, and they usually cost $10-20/year. But domain name prices vary, and there are even entire marketplaces dedicated to buying and selling domain names.
- Theme—As discussed, WordPress offers a variety of Themes. In fact, there are over 30,000 themes on WordPress. Over 100 of these themes are free, but you can access many more with a Premium, Business, or eCommerce WordPress account. Or you can pay a developer to customize an existing Theme or create an entirely new one for you. Needless to say, there is an endless amount of Themes, which vary in price.
- Plugins—Plugins add functions to your website and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. There are over 54,000 free plugins for WordPress. Often plugins will offer free versions and paid versions for increased features. Some popular plugins include MailChimp, UpdraftPlus, and Yoast. WooCommerce is one of the most popular plugins for eCommerce sites. Plugins are essential to any website.
- Design and development—Developers can customize premade Themes and Plugins for you or create them from scratch. Though template customization won’t cost as much as custom Themes and Plugins, you can count on paying anywhere from $300 to $6,000 for WordPress design and development, the main cost of custom WordPress development.
- Training—If you hire a WordPress developer, chances are you will need them to train you on how to use your new website once it’s finished. Though this is typically included in the developer’s price, website training can cost you up to $500. Unless you leave it to someone else, you will want to know how to manage your website, so consider this a necessary cost.
- Management and Maintenance—Your website will require regular management and maintenance. This can be time-consuming and technical at times, so hiring it out is a cost worth considering. Website maintenance is ongoing, so it can cost $100-500/year.
- Extras—Some common additional costs of a WordPress website include content creation, an SSL certificate, and domain privacy protection. None of these are absolutely necessary, but they are all a good investment.
- Content creation—Unless you provide it yourself, the content on your website will cost money. Content for the main pages of your website can cost about $250-500. If you need regular content, this could be an ongoing cost. Make sure all of your content is optimized to appear in web searches via Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You might consider logo or branding design, too, which will add cost.
- Domain privacy—When you register your domain name, you list your personal contact information on a public database called WHOIS. Domain privacy protection is a feature that allows you to keep those contact details private. Domain privacy protection costs $10-40/year. Unless you want anyone on the internet to have access to your home address, you should invest in domain privacy.
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate—An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to it. The SSL certificate protects sensitive information that travels between the website and web browsers. Such information could be login credentials, credit card numbers, or social security numbers. SSL certificates start at $8/year. If you plan to accept any kind of sensitive information on your website, investing in an SSL certificate is essential.
How Much Does Custom WordPress Development Cost?
Now that you know how much a WordPress website costs, let’s dive into how much custom WordPress Development costs. Again, the cost will vary, but here are some important factors to consider:
Freelancer vs. Agency
First, you must consider whether to go with an agency or a freelancer. Freelancers have some benefits: They can usually focus on fewer projects at a time, and the same person usually handles your project from start to finish. Plus, the contractor-client relationship can be more informal. If your project is a simple, one-time job, a freelancer may be right for you.
That said, WordPress development agencies are typically more reliable. Established agencies won’t disappear on you like a freelancer might. Plus, they can have more developers with a wider skill set work on your project. If you need a variety of skills and want a long-term relationship, hire an agency.
Project vs. Hourly Billing
Your custom WordPress developer will bill you by the hour or by the project. In either case, you must determine how much you value their time and skill.
If you are billed by the hour, make sure to get an estimate on how much total time the project will take. Even at a good hourly rate, you don’t want to hire someone if it takes them too long or they cannot deliver within your timeline.
If you are billed by the project, decide how much you value the developer’s skill. If the developer is known for quality work, paying a little more can be worth it. A project price is nice because you know exactly how much your project will cost. The price is transparent upfront.
Either way, you want the price to match the quality.
Settling on a Price
Before settling on a price for your project, make sure to consider the following:
- Your budget—Always establish your budget first. Once you know how much you are willing to spend, you can narrow down your options considerably, saving you time in the long run.
- Type of website—The price will depend heavily on what kind of website you want. The website’s size, functions, speed, safety, and capacity for visitor traffic will all directly affect the cost. An eCommerce website, for example, will cost more than a simple lifestyle blog. So know the scope of your development project.
- Developer’s skills and experience—Take a look at the developer’s past work. Do you like it? This will be a good indicator of whether you will like the website they create for you. If they don’t have any sample work for you to evaluate, you may want to look for a more experienced developer. Otherwise, you risk your website not having the quality it deserves.
Custom WordPress Development Cost Ranges
As you can see, several variables influence the cost of custom WordPress development, but here are some broad cost ranges for you to get a basic idea:
- A custom WordPress theme will cost anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000.
- Having a developer customize a premade WordPress theme is less work, so it will cost anywhere from $300 to $1000.
- A complete custom WordPress website takes the most work and costs anywhere from $6,000 to $15,000.
That said, custom WordPress development projects can reach up to $100,000. It really just depends on the scope and size of the website.
WordPress Market Share
You might wonder if WordPress is the only option for making and managing a website. The answer is no, there are many alternatives you could try, including Squarespace, Wix, Joomla, and Drupal.
But despite the growth of alternative website builders over the last few years, WordPress remains the dominant and most popular option. And this seems unlikely to change any time soon.
The amount of websites that use WordPress in current year 2021 is 728 million sites whereas in 2020, it was 455 million sites.
Besides, because WordPress is the most popular option for building and managing websites, you will find more programming talent familiar with it than with any other CMS. So start your custom WordPress development project today.
Find a WordPress Developer
There are plenty of places to look for a WordPress developer. I already mentioned agencies and freelancers, but there are also marketplace websites that allow you to search among huge directories of skilled freelancers, not to mention generic job boards.
At dev.co, we provide custom WordPress development focused on turning your vision into reality while keeping you updated every step along the way. Have a custom WordPress development project in mind? Let us help you here at dev.co.
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