WordPress started life as a simple blogging platform and is now an extremely popular full-blown web design platform and Content management System (CMS). According to BuiltWith there are nearly 20 million websites built with WordPress. The founding company behind it, Automattic, chose to keep it open source so, technically speaking, it’s “free.” But nothing is truly free and if you want your website to be a fully-functioning online marketing machine there is a cost.
Domain Name Registration
This is an annual payment which holds a domain name for an individual or company. The cost varies depending on the suffix required (e.g. .com is more expensive than .co.nz or com.au) but is generally a small amount in total (around $40 per annum).
To enable you to display your web site on the Internet you require a server to host your files. There is an annual payment to a Web Hosting Provider for this service. Deciding which web host to invest in is one of the most important choices you’ll make when creating your WordPress site, and there are various providers, offering varying levels of service.
You need to choose a plan that you can afford, but you also need to choose a plan that will give your business the best chance of success. For many, that price point will fall somewhere in the middle. With website hosting, you get what you pay for. Generally, the cheaper the hosting you choose, the lower quality it will be.
Web Site Design, Content & Creation
This is a one-off payment to a professional Website Designer, which can run into the thousands of dollars. The cost will vary, depending on the quality and features required. A site can be anything from a single page ‘brochure-style’ design to a multi-page, fully functional, dynamic website. The designer can make most of the design decisions, but will need guidance as to the content, text, general overall style and layout.
On-Going Maintenance of the Site
Your website will need to be updated regularly. Changes will need to be made, new information added, and uploading to the server via FTP. The cost of this depends on the anticipated work load, and what level of maintenance you require.
In the end the price depends on what you want your website to do, how fast you want it to run, how safe you want it to be, and how much traffic you want it to handle. In other words, the amount of money you spend will directly reflect how capable your website is.