What does it cost to build a shop with WordPress? This is a common question for people looking to start an online store.
Not only it is user-friendly, but you can also get benefit from amazing features such as a mobile-friendly/responsive layout, easily customizable content and themes, and many more.
You may already have a physical product shop, or you are planning to dropship local products internationally. Another scenario is selling your downloadable digital products. In all these cases, you have various platforms to choose from.
If WordPress is your choice, you might want to know how much it can cost to set up the shop completely. In this article, I will break down the cost of building a shop with WordPress.
What You Need to Build a Shop Using WordPress
Although you will need a lot of stuff to make a fully functional shop on WordPress, I will put a simple summary of what you need to start a shop.
- Website Domain Name
- Website Hosting
- Preferred Platform Plugin
- SEO Plugins
- Maintenance Plugins
- Website Developer
No matter what kind of website you are making, the only common thing is domain registration. You have to buy a domain name for your shop from a domain register website. Usually, you can get a TLD (Top Level Domain) for $10 a year.
I highly recommend buying domain from NameCheap, but you can purchase from any provider that you like.
Top Domain Register Companies Are…
However, the domain name is a address of your shop. You can keep it anything. But good practice is to keep the domain name short. Do not go over 3 words unless your business name is already well established.
Now you can buy a custom domain like “yourbuisness.shop” from Namecheap or Name for $10 a year. But a “.com” domain is just fine. So if you find your desired domain name with “.com” TLD, it’s good to go.
Hosting is storage for your website. Once you register a domain, you need to install WordPress on your hosting and connect your registerd domain to make your site/shop live.
You can have various options when you are trying to choose to host. You can go for cheap hosting or premium private hosting according to your need and budget.
For a WordPress site, you can usually get 3 types of hosting.
Shared hosting means you will be sharing the package, and many domains will use the same server. You can think of it as a Cyber Cafe Computer where multiple users can use the same computer as much they pay.
Shared hosting is the best way to go if you are low on budget or just started and don’t have any good idea about handling hosting servers. Also, shared hosting can keep the cost down if you think your shop won’t be taking a lot of space.
Most recommend shared hosting:
Read Hostinger Vs Bluehost: Which Is Better?
WordPress hosting is more dedicated to WordPress. It is much faster than shared hosting and loads the website faster. WordPress hosting can be shared or dedicated according to price.
WordPress hosting comes with WordPress dedicated software in the hosting. It will be more costly than shared hosting and provide better support, performance, and optimization.
Most recommend WordPress managed hosting:
Read also Shared Hosting Vs Managed WordPress Hosting: The Core Diffrances
VPS means Virtual Private Server. You can easily understand from the name that you will get a virtual computer for your website. This is the fastest and best hosting for any website. Usually, it costs a lot more than traditional hosting, but it is also worth it.
You can read VPS Vs Shared Hosting: The Best Comparison
Now let’s talk about pricing. Usually, you have to pay $3 to $7 per month on average for shared hosting. That means $36 to 84$ a year for decent hosting.
However, if you want to start with VPS hosting, that might cost you on average $20 per month for basic plans.
Yet most hosting provider offers some discount on yearly payments. You can expect to get $10-$20/month for starter hosting for your WordPress shop.
Note- I will not recommend any cheap hosting because they will not guarantee anything. So you should go better with WordPress managed hosting. Also, it is more better if you use a WooCommerce based hosting for your online shop.
Installing Preferred Platform Plugin
I do not want to separate users here, but I still had to highlight this area. I will prioritize WooCommerce more, but Easy Digital Downloads is the best eCommerce plugin for digital products.
For a shop with physical products, WooCommerce is the best plugin. You will get all the requirements premade in table form. You can upload products with information like name, price, and the unit directly from the plugin’s option, or you can go with an excel sheet.
You can also add supporting plugins for invoices or pdf receipts of your product.
Easy Digital Downloads is similar to WooCommerce, but it works better for digital products. If you are selling your own software or as a retailer, you can make a shop using this plugin. You can also add a payment gateway and many more features just like you get in WooCommerce.
So the integration is totally free. However, you can get premium features from Easy Digital Downloads if you need them. Yet you can sell your digital products with WooCommerce as well.
WooCommerece Supported Themes
A theme is the face of your WordPress shop. You need to choose the best eCommerce theme that fits your business image. WordPress repo is full of both free and premium themes for eCommerce websites.
You can start with WooCommerce’s base theme, “Storefront.” It is an free awesome theme with a classy design and works perfectly with WooCommerce.
You can choose themes like Astra or Generatepress and use its eCommerce template to make a shop. You can try Shopkeeper, Flatsome, or any other popular eCommerce themes as well. If you are a DIVI fan, they offer a lot of pre-made templates as well.
When you are not getting your desired result from themes, you can try any drag and drop builder like Elementor to build a custom theme. WordPress supports custom-made themes as well. You can hire a theme developer to build your theme as you wish.
A WordPress theme can cost from $39 to $59 on average. However, you can start with $0 by getting any free theme. Then decide if you want to get a premium theme or not.
Effective & Must Have SEO Plugins
When you have a complete eCommerce site on WordPress, you must do SEO for indexing it on Google. If your website is not on Google, it is just as good as it doesn’t exist.
Overall SEO Plugins
To make your website Google-friendly, you must follow a strict SEO strategy. WordPress has a huge number of SEO plugins and some helping plugins as well. You can use any of the following one plugin as a WordPress SEO plugin.
All of these are one-click SEO solutions for your online shop. With these plugins, you can fix the URL structure, schema data, and much more.
You can work with the free version of these plugins, and for better features, you can get a premium subscription as well. You can get Yoast for $99 a year or Rank Math for $59. I prefer Rank Math or Yoast, but you can check both and decide which one you prefer.
301 Redirect Plugins
Adding a 301 redirection plugin is a must. You will modify or remove any product from your store for sure. But if you change the URL, both Google and users will not be able to find that product on your site.
To avoid this complication, you must have a 301 redirection plugin. Usually, you can get the most feature from free plugins, but if you get a premium subscription, that will do things automatically.
Link Building Plugins
This is not mandatory if you make your links manually on your site. But if you want better suggestions and flexibility, you can use an internal link-building plugin.
You can try Internal Link Juicer or Linkwhisper for this. Both of them are capable of making automated internal links to build more relevant internal links on your site.
Maintenance Plugins For Best Performance
You must have some maintenance plugins to keep your WordPress shop up and running for everyone. You must have some security plugins to avoid hacking issues, an optimization plugin for a faster website, analytics plugins for evaluating performance.
Security plugins can save your website from a hacker attack and spam. Also, you may want a two-factor authentication in case your password is breached. You can get both free and premium plugins for this option.
WordFence is a free plugin that can block bots and hacker attacks also prevent spamming. You can block the specific country from visiting your site if you feel any risk. It also sends an instant email if it detects any security leak.
You can also look at iThemes Security, Defender, VaultPress security plugins as well. All these plugins come in free and paid. If your shop has a lot of customers adding premium security is more effective than relying on free features.
Smush, ShortPixel Image Optimizer, EWWW Image Optimizer, etc., are some of the popular image optimization plugins. They offer free features with limited benefits.
You would want your product’s image in the best quality but with less size. This takes less space in your hosting and loads the image faster in a browser.
Usually, the free version of ShortPixel allow up to 100 to 500 image optimization for a website. For an eCommerce website, you want to present a product perfectly, you will need at least 5 or 6 images per product. This means your free optimization will be over in only 100 products.
You can get an image optimizer plugin for $5 to $15 starter packages for different spaces and numbers of images. For a serious eCommerce business, it is totally worth it.
Script Optimization Plugins
Any website is a production of different codes and scripts. WordPress is based on PHP, but the websites use a lot of CSS and JS to compile properly.
Each CSS and JS code generates an HTTP request to the server every time. So the more CSS and JS you have in your WordPress shop, the slower it will be.
You can easily understand that an eCommerce website will need different integration every day. You will add more products and pages every day, so the CSS and JS will increase every day as well. And the solution to all of these is an optimization plugin.
I will recommend using WP Rocket, which is the most voted among the WordPress community. Yet you can try JetPack, Autooptimize, Nitropack, or any other plugins. All the others offer a free version, but WP Rocket is a total premium plugin.
Note- Along with WP Rocket I highly recommend to use Perfmatters to boost your website 10x faster and solving any CLS issues.
You can get a premium optimization plugin for $15 to $100 a month, varying the plugin you choose. Also, according to price, they offer different features for 1 to multiple sites.
You might not need these extra expenses if you are a one-man company. However, running a small shop is not a one-man job.
Most of the features you need will get them from plugins, but still, you might need someone to do some customizations. You cannot become an expert at everything, so you will need someone else to fix the critical problems you will face.
Besides, plugins give you direction on how to use them, a WordPress developer will be able to use the feature better than someone who uses them once in a while.
An expert WordPress developer will be able to fix bugs with or without coding, which needs years of experience. You cannot rely only on plugins when you are running a hugely active online business.
Besides, themes will help you to get 90% of the designing jobs for you. Yet, when you need detailing, you need to be an expert. In that case, you have to hire a Website expert or designer for better results.
One more reason to hire a designer is that they know better what a website should look like. Among millions of websites, you have to stand out by looks. An amateur-looking website may lose the customers’ interest. Therefore making your website more elegant in terms of looks is a must.
Depending on the task and the freelancer’s experience, it might cost you $100 to $300 to make your WordPress shop.
Overall Estimated Cost
I have already shared how much you will need to make your functional shop on WordPress. Yet let’s make a summary list of all the premium features and without them.
- Domain $10 a year
- Hosting $84 a year
- SEO Plugin $59 a year
- Image Optimization $60 a year
- Speed Optimization $360 a year
- Freelancer Cost $300
So if you sum it up, you may need $800 to $900 a year with the least premium options.
- Domain $10 a year
- Hosting $84 a year
- Freelancer Cost $100
Even if you want to maintain the website all on your own for starting, you will need someone’s help. So $200-$300 should be good to start your shop.
If you plan to make a shop using WordPress, that is an awesome choice. It is free and gives you maximum control as a owner. You can decide the price and whatever features you need.
Also, there is no charge to keep the site alive, unlike many other platforms. WordPress is completely free; you get WooCommerce free as well. All you need is the domain and hosting cost and for other features, you can choose what you need and what you do not.
Again total cost depends on various factors discussed above, If you need more features and support, you have to spend more money other than free is good to start. I hope you can understand everything.