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The Cost of Running a WordPress Site

The joy of WordPress is that there are thousands of themes and plugins that are absolutely free, thanks to WordPress’ licensing model, which means all derivatives of WordPress code inherit the GPL license. However, when the time comes for you to design your company website it’s likely you’ll start to incur a variety of costs to keep your site afloat.
The costs involved in running a WordPress site can be split across a number of different areas, which we’ll examine in more detail below.

Setup Costs

These charges include design and build costs, which can vary significantly.

Design and Build

A theme is one of the first things you’ll decide on when you’re setting up your WordPress site; it shapes the whole face of your website so choose wisely. There are thousands and thousands of free themes out there but if you’re looking for something commercial rather than casual you’ll want to turn your attention to premium themes.

The price of WordPress themes does vary widely but a premium theme from the theme marketplace Themeforest for instance sells for between only $35 – $55. The alternative is to have an agency like AWESEM design and build you a theme from scratch. The advantage with this approach is firstly that whatever you end up with will be unique to you and be tailored to exactly fit your requirements. The downside is that it will be a lot more expensive and will take time to complete.  

One-Off Costs

These charges include plugins, stock images and fonts, though these may be included in your set up costs, depending on which package you go for.


To give your site a little something extra, you may want to choose a few fonts that go nicely with your web design. An eye-catching font can really help bring a web page together and, as with WordPress themes, there are a whole host of free fonts you can choose from.

However, if you’re after something unique and a bit different from what everybody is using you might want to have a browse over at or, where you can obtain beautiful fonts for a fee.

If you choose three fonts for your website you’ll be looking at roughly £50 – £100, though this can be higher, depending on what you’re looking for.

Stock Images

When you’re designing the look of your site images are key; they help improve the look of any web page, they can break up large blocks of text and an attention-grabbing image can help pull visitors to your site. Bearing that in mind, it makes sense to spend a bit of time picking out the perfect images to compliment the information on your website. Sure, there are a few free stock images out there but this is one area where the freebies really aren’t as strong as the paid options.

With a service like iStockPhoto you can purchase credits which start from £1.38 per credit. Shutterstock charges £29 for 12 downloads of small and medium sizes images on demand.

Monthly Running Costs

These charges include running costs for plugins, fonts and other subscription services, which are billed monthly or annually, depending on your service.

Premium plugins, such as Gravity Forms, may charge annually for support and software updates, and there are certain font packages that are paid for annually, such as Type Kit.


Domain Names and Hosting

Domain Names

To give your company’s website a professional feel you’ll be looking at purchasing a custom domain, which typically will incur an annual or two-yearly renewal fee. Domain pricing isn’t a huge cost but certain domain extensions can set you back a fair amount a year. You can purchase a top level domain through 123-Reg, 1&1 or GoDaddy, amongst others, and prices start at a very reasonable £3.49 for domains. Recently, a whole set of new file extensions have become available which are also worth looking into, e.g. .london or .agency.


WP Engine is a versatile hosting option for anybody who is looking for a specialist WordPress hosting company. Their packages include Professional, Business and Premium plans to cater for SMEs who are looking to grow over time.

As well as WP Engine there are many other hosting options out there, including 1&1 and Pipeten, who also offer affordable shared hosting.

With so many options out there it can be difficult to decide who to choose, so we’ve produced a separate post that outlines the features and benefits of UK-based and international hosting companies, so you can check out their stats before making a decision.


Maintenance Costs

Even after your site is up and running you will need to invest each year to keep your site running smoothly. These maintenance costs include WordPress updates, plugin updates and general updates and changes to your site.

At AWESEM we offer a support agreement where we can undertake all of your site maintenance, so you don’t have to. On average, customers purchase five hours of maintenance per year, which should cover everything we need to do to keep your site in tip top condition. However, if you want a little extra just purchase a few more hours and let us work our magic.


Additional Costs

Additional costs include things like automated backups, security and downtime monitoring. While they don’t sound like much, the prices can rack up if you purchase these separately. All of your backups and security are included with WP Engine but if you do decide to go it alone it’s worth checking out ManageWP, CloudFlare, Pingdom or BinaryCanary, who can cover these services for you.