WordPress is free, why invest money?

by

In an ever-growing online world, your website is one of the biggest, cornerstone investments you can make for your business, and it is an ongoing one. We would like to discuss the overall maintenance cost of hosting, security and upgrades to your WordPress website.

Knowing what expenses are associated with creating and maintaining a WordPress website can help you effectively plan your website budget, with further understanding of these expenses which can help prevent unnecessary surprises down the line.

A few handy tips can help you save time and money with various costs associated with WordPress.

Yes, WordPress is free!

Finally, before we take the deep dive, we must ask ourselves one question.

WordPress is free, besides hosting and domain why invest more money?

A plethora of different content management systems including WordPress are now free, and all you need is a domain and hosting. Considering you are using an affordable hosting, these two expenses should amount well under a hundred dollars per year.

Why would you need to invest into a somewhat more expensive WordPress hosting? Fact is hosting service is just another product, packed with different features from one to another hosting company, and the cheapest option may not always be the most optimal choice.

For example, it just may be that you can get a WordPress hosting with free caching and content-delivery-network plugins that will improve the user browsing experience for your visitors, and it may only cost you a dollar per month more than your current hosting.

There may be other examples, but what it means is that you should choose the web hosting with a feature set that will complement your hosting needs.

Invest into better hosting

WordPress themes and plugins are largely available in a free version, why invest into premium ones? Premium plugins and themes come with advanced features that provide more flexibility and customization and consequently help you build a more functional and professional-looking site that serves your users’ needs in a better way.

Another aspect of a cheap hosting plan may be a compromised security or site performance. Higher-tier hosting solutions offer advantages such as higher bandwidth, faster response times, more storage and free security plugins. Lack of backups could result in data loss, while a lack of malware scan could enable hackers to infiltrate your site undetected.

Frankly, just because you can create a website for cheap doesn’t mean you should be cutting corners every way you can, because your website’s goal should be profit, so investing in higher quality, more secure experience for your users, will provide better results for you.

Five key expenses with a WordPress website

There are five key expenses with a WordPress website:

  1. Web hosting (paid per month or year)
  2. Domain registration renewal
  3. Security and backup plugins
  4. Premium themes and plugins
  5. Website maintenance

Web hosting expense is the one that may look daunting, but if choose right, you may be able to get some of the other ones included as free extras, which is the reason why we talk about it first.

The hosting plan choice will affect your website performance, ability to create and maintain the website. This is the one where you should be cutting the least so you can extrapolate the best value.

Specifically talking about WordPress website hosting you may be able to find affordable hosting that will include managed web hosting, taking the website maintenance off your shoulders, along with CDN, caching, malware scans, backup … etc.

In case you are planning to launch a complex website requiring a more powerful setup, I would recommend choosing an advanced, SSD-based hosting plan.

Domain registration renewal usually is a constant per-year expense, while you can get discount with longer registration period and save money. Acquiring the perfectly matching domain name may be somewhat costly with popular domain extensions such as .COM but once you own it the registration renewal price should be a very straightforward way of saving a bit of money is getting a domain registration as a free extra with web hosting.

The security and backup plugins may seem unnecessary but should not be underestimated. Retrieving stolen data may prove more than difficult and by using a proper security and protection plugin you will avoid spending much more for repair and recovery.

Again, a web hosting that includes malware scans and backup as free services will save you time and money.

Yes, there are many free WordPress themes and plugins, though the premium themes will provide sophisticated features and design options, which makes them worth to invest some money in these elements. The average price of a premium theme may be around $59.

However, the main advantage of a premium theme is guaranteed updates and support. WordPress as a CMS is constantly evolving with every new update, and a theme that does not get updated to the new standard will eventually lose some functionality or stop working altogether.

Premium themes are guaranteed at least 12 months of updates, with better ones having 3 or 5 years update plan.

Same can be said for premium plugins. Again, besides a higher level of functionality, you are also getting a guaranteed period of software updates and support, with the average price ranging from 10 to 60 dollars.

paid WordPress themes and plugins

Finally, as a busy business owner, you may lack the necessary time to maintain your website properly. Having an outdated or broken plugin or theme sitting with your website for a few days will cost you losses in profit and customers.

Having a WordPress plugin that helps speed things up with website maintenance will cost you between 20 and 40 dollars for the purchase and may incur additional cost later.

A managed web hosting service that provides WordPress website maintenance, updates, and backup seems like the best choice that will save you time and money, and again the price for this kind of service may be a dollar or two more per month than your cheapest hosting.

Conclusion

Using the free and cheapest WordPress hosting, themes and plugin options may limit your website potential and profit and consequently, it is worth investing a few dollars more every month to reap considerable gains.

Having your web hosting needs in mind, we can come to different monthly or yearly expense for running a WordPress website, but the true conclusion is that you can save a handsome amount of money if you pick the right hosting and avoid the later need for additional paid or premium plugins.