How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a WordPress Website?
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) used to build modern websites. Its vast database of themes and plugins makes it very easy to set up a simple blog with some basic features or a complex corporate website with all the bells and whistles.
But what exactly does it cost to maintain a WordPress website? Is it expensive to keep the servers updated and secure? How about the domain registration? What about backups?
This guide will tell you exactly what you need to know about the costs involved in maintaining a WordPress website so you can budget effectively.
Why Should You Maintain A WordPress Website?
There are several good reasons why you may want to maintain a WordPress website. First off, the CMS offers an incredible amount of flexibility when it comes to building your website, which makes it a great choice for developers and businesses who are just getting started.
WordPress also powers some of the largest websites in the world, so you can be sure that any technical issues you might come across will be solved. Finally, WP has a huge community of users who are always willing to help out. If you’re stuck, they’re usually only a few clicks away.
Despite all these advantages, maintaining a WordPress website isn’t as easy as it seems. The platform can be complicated when it comes to setup, updates, and security. Even then, you’ll need to make sure you hire enough qualified staff to keep up with the demand.
What Are The Main Costs Involved In Maintaining A WordPress Website?
Let’s walk through the various costs involved in maintaining a WordPress website.
Domain Name Registration
Just like you’d expect, in order to run a website, you’ll need to register a domain name. However, the exact cost of this varies from person to person. Some great resources for finding the best possible deal when registering a new domain are hongkiat.com and namecheap.com. You’ll usually need to pay about $10 per month to registrar services to maintain your domain.
As your website grows in size and popularity, you’ll need to decide where you want to deploy your content. For the best price/performance ratio, you should consider using a web host that offers dynamic content, automated backups, and security certificates. Some of the most popular web hosts for WordPress are:
- Amazon AWS
- Level 3 hosting
Dedicated IP Address
If you decide that you want to host your website on a dedicated IP address, you’ll need to register for an IP address from one of the Big 4 companies (Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft). If you decide to go this route, you’ll need to consider the fact that most web hosts don’t offer this as part of their basic hosting plans. Instead, you’ll need to pay extra for this feature.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate
All the websites you visit online need protection from theft and hacking, which is why all modern websites use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. To protect your website from hackers and thieves, you’ll need to purchase an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate provider like LetsEncrypt. The price of this varies from $10 per year to $600 per year depending on the level of trust you need.
Every CMS update is different, but most websites need to update their content management system at least once per year. The cost of this varies from $500 to $1500 depending on the level of service you need. If you’re going to be updating your CMS regularly, you should look into choosing a managed WordPress hosting service that will take care of updating for you as part of their service.
If you’re not already doing so, you should consider purchasing a backup service that will store your site’s content on remote servers. The price of this varies from free to $500 per year, depending on the size of your website and how often you need the service.
In most cases, you don’t need to purchase this feature as part of your hosting package. Some great hosts like WP Engine and Flywheel provide this as part of their services. If you don’t want to go down this route, you can purchase online backups from companies like Cloudberry.
How Does All This Impact Your Bottom Line?
Once you have all the upfront costs out of the way, you’ll need to consider how much you’re spending on a monthly basis in order to maintain your website. In most cases, you can get the cheapest possible rate for hosting by bundling all your services together, but even then, you may end up paying around $50 per month. If you have a high traffic website, this cost may be more than you want to spend.
As your website grows in size and popularity, you’ll also need to decide how much you want to spend on domain name registration, web hosting, and backups. If you decide that you don’t need dedicated IP addresses or SSL certificates, you may be able to cut down your costs by a few hundred dollars per year. This is more than you need to spend if you’re maintaining a small blog or a personal website with only a few pages.
Is it worth it to maintain a WordPress website? That depends on your budget and what you want out of the platform. If security and flexibility are your top priorities, then the answer is mostly yes. Just keep in mind the costs involved before making a decision.