This post is about a private hosted WordPress.org sites. WordPress is very robust as far as customizing and cost effective. Certainly for a small business, even for a large business!
You own your content with WordPress too. I think this is pretty important for a business. Why chance losing years worth of content…? How many have lost it all and had to start over?
There are other platforms and ways to back up other sites too but, a hosted WordPress its a given.
Ok, now what will I need to start a WordPress? Let me break it down for you.
This post contains affiliate links and I make commission if you buy through my links. See how I roll.
Domain, Hosting, and Theme
You’ll need to start with a domain and WordPress hosting.
A domain is your web address. Its like your home address but on the internet. You have a namehere.com instead of a number and street name.
You can also buy a domain and point it to an online selling venue such as Etsy, a blog like Blogger, etc. You forward your new address where you want.
Hosting holds your website content. Its your home and yard with all your stuff. You live here, your web content lives at your host.
Hosting is really a personal preference and business needs thing. All have a fair share of positive and negatives as far as ‘reviews’ out there.
I persoannly use Interserver. My site is running fantastic. They are smaller but not so small you cant get what you need.
WordPress is packed with free themes but, I recommend a paid for theme. I bought many themes at Themeforest. Most themes are $39-$65. When buying a theme make sure it has support and its 4+ start rated.
They just don’t work for me personally. Many fellow photographers really like Pro Photo and rave about their support. Elegant Themes you pay the fee and can switch themes all the time.
Its a cool perk there. When I went looking through themes they just didn’t seem to offer what my one time buy theme offered though.
Code CSS Code CSS
Theme is a personal needs choice. Just buy one that has support and is responsive to mobile devices. Responsive to mobile devices has become pretty standard today when choosing a website platform or theme but, just make sure it is.
Google will drop your site ranks if you’re not mobile ready. Check out this article about Google rankings and mobile friendly sites at Search Engine Land.
Cost Break Down
Basic WordPress Site/Blog
This is for starting a WordPress, Costs grow as you grow but, still minimal in the big picture.
At Godaddy or Hostgator its less than $10 a month for some WordPress hosting plans. Domains are $15 or less. You can start with a smaller plan as you grow upgrade.
Good themes are about $39-$70 at Themeforest and other areas on the net. Free themes in the backend of WordPress too if you’re not ready to theme buy just yet.
I will Always advocate a pro theme though, you just don’t have customization options with freebies like changing colors.
Even as a hobby blog, hobbies cost money. Hobbies cost way more than WordPress! Ha ha.
And… you never know… you may grow into monetizing your blog. If you start right you’ll have smoother transition into the money making.
Pay for hosting a year upfront its less than $200 for domain, hosting, and awesome theme for the year! Thats it. Pretty cheap to get going eh? You can buy more years at once and save too.
Money Really tight but, want to get started? You can start a hosted WordPress Today using a free theme for less than $25. You’ll just need your domain and the first month of hosting paid. I know Godaddy does month to month, not sure of the others.
Or start with a pro theme and do month to month hosting if that fits the budget.
Using your free theme you can add Woo Commerce for free. Some freebies come Woo ready. Its a pretty advanced free cart system for WordPress. Some free themes have Woo.
Woo Commerce uses Paypal and has shipping for US & international. Also tax areas.
Downloads, bulk edit, attributes, multiple product photos, SKU#’s, inventory, related products, discounts, and more.
You can buy a nice eCommerce theme with Woo already included. Usually with eCommerce themes have extras for styling and set up over just adding the Woo plugin to your free theme.
The set up for products is smooth, with some free themes you need to make some adjustment with the Woo plugin. You need to tinker with code and if you’re a rookie you can break your theme.
I highly recommend just going for a commerce theme if you want to sell. It will save you a headache later, trust me! 🙂
S S L
If you want to run your own payment system you’ll need a SSL to make your site secure. Many payment services work with Woo. SSL’s are about $70-$150 per year.
They depend on your security needs. Im small I can use the $70 SSL for now. I recommend a SSL even if you just use Paypal. Search engines rank secure sites higher.
“SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It provides a secure connection between internet browsers and websites, allowing you to transmit private data online”.
Source: SSL Info
There are Woo extensions you can add on but most are not needed. So many free plugins offered through the WordPress community as open source and plugins for Woo at Themeforest.
I use a shipping extension plugin for a one time buy at $22.
So for less than $250 per year I have full control, unlimited content & products, own my content, domain, hosting, SSL, pro theme, and eCommerce with shipping extension.
If I didn’t have shopping I wouldn’t need the SSL or shipping extension so it would be less.
$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $
Now there are other adds like translation, even more shipping options, CDN Content Delivery Network, content storage, bandwidth, subscribing services and more.
Most of this is not needed till you have started to grow. Like recently I had to upgrade hosting, my traffic levels grew so it was time for hosting to grow.
The average small business wont need all this, most small businesses will fit in the $125 – $230 range. Certainly if your sites needs are not about Lots of traffic.
Your local landscaper providing info about the business and blogging updates to stay connected with their local community just wont need a CDN and massive content storage.
WordPress the Power House
WordPress is ‘cheap’ yet packs powerful and professional features for any business needs.
Its made optimized for search engines. WordPress is a search engine power house with just its core, you could say its an optimized platform originator. WordPress is a well oiled engine, has been for years.
Obviously you work with a designer the price is more. This works for some and others will do it on their own.
Are you using any paid for WordPress extras? How are they helping your business?