The Real Cost of Starting a Business Using WordPress

Starting any business from the ground up is challenging, especially when you have a plethora of responsibilities and tasks on your hands. Choosing to build your startup’s website with WordPress is appealing because it’s user-friendly and provides a wealth of options for non-coders. It’s the perfect option for those who seek control and are willing to get their hands a little dirty, but who don’t want to deal with any kind of programming language.

Whether you’re starting an interior design blog or dropshipping business, you’ll need a solution with a low barrier to entry. Though WordPress is the ideal choice for a wide spectrum of experienced and would-be business owners, there tends to be some discrepancies regarding WordPress setup costs.

To help you better understand the monthly costs of setting up a WordPress site, consider the following factors:


There are different types of hosting you can choose that alter your WordPress costs. The main WordPress hosting options include:

Managed WordPress Hosting: This is the free domain that WordPress offers its users. All domains in this category will appear as: www.domainname.wordpress.com.

Shared Hosting: Shared hosting is when you share a server with other site owners. This is a great starter option for businesses that don’t intend to take up too many resources and want to save money. Shared hosting usually costs anywhere from $10 to $20 per month.

Virtual Private Server: A virtual private server provides users with more stability and access, making it easy to scale hosting resources. This is a better option for those who expect a higher volume of traffic and want more freedom. A VPS costs anywhere from $7 to $25 per month.

If none of these meet your needs, there are several other web hosting options available, some of which provide premium hosting services. Try reaching out to different hosting companies to see what additional options are available to you.

Related: The Ultimate Checklist to Building an Optimized WordPress Website

Themes and design

First impressions are just as important online as they are in person. Studies have shown that it takes just about 50 milliseconds for site visitors to form a first impression of your website based solely on your design. Research published by Google found that in some cases, that number could be as low as 17 milliseconds.

Fortunately, there are thousands of WordPress themes on the market with a variety of price points. No matter what industry your business is in, there’s a theme for it. If you’ve opted for a free WordPress site, you can choose from a large selection of free themes. Despite limitations on free options, there’s still likely something that will suit your tastes.

If you’ve opted to pay for hosting, your choices are much more expansive. A Google search for “best WordPress themes for (insert business type here)” will yield thousands of relevant results. For example, there are lists for the best e-commerce themes, best interior design WordPress themes and even the best mommy blogger WordPress themes. Additionally, you can head over to ThemeForest and browse themes by category and prices. Feel free to reach out to different theme designers about how their themes can help support your business needs.

Alternatively, you could hire an independent web designer or agency to make a custom theme for something truly unique.


Other than the free domain that comes with the Managed WordPress option, you can easily get the next cheapest domain name for just $10. Price isn’t the only barricade when it comes to domains. Picking the right domain name can also be quite the challenge. Start by making a list (and make it lengthy) of potential ideas. Your domain name has to be brandable, short and preferably easy to say. And if you can get a .com domain name (unless you’re actually starting an organization), you should opt for it, as it’s most recognizable and memorable.

There are tools to help you in the process of choosing the right domain name. Sites like LeanDomainSearch and NameMesh allow users to type in words of inspiration or partial domain names, which yield dozens of related results. You may find some ideas you hadn’t thought of before while using these domain generators.

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Extended WordPress features (plugins)

Plugins are one of the many great perks of running a business through WordPress. Plugins are pieces of software that enhance the functionality of your website. WordPress currently supports over 50,000 plugins, each with a wide variety of functions. You can use plugins to create beautiful galleries, increase your on-page SEO, add social elements to your page, turn your site into a full-fledged e-commerce store and more.

Many plugins are free, some are paid, and others are a hybrid of the two. For example, let’s say you want to feature a “Coming Soon” page for viewers while you work on your theme in the interim. You can find dozens of “Coming Soon” plugins; usually, they offer basic layout themes and different structures for editing, however, you can pay an additional sum for its full suite of features and layouts.

Each of these factors play a role in determining your startup costs. Begin by setting a budget for yourself and going down the list of needs while ticking away at your budget. You may find that, even if you want a free domain name, you prefer a premium WordPress theme. Do what’s best for your startup in the long-run, and keep the long-term ROI in your mind as you budget through the first couple weeks.

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