Custom WordPress Web Development: Cost Breakdown in 2023
- 22 Nov 2023
- 11 min
Are you a startup founder, a business owner, or a chief marketing officer that wants to know the development cost of a custom WordPress site?
If yes, then keep reading to learn the following:
- What a custom WordPress site entails,
- How much does it cost to custom build a WordPress website,
- Examples of custom WordPress sites and their corresponding price tag,
- Cost-defining factors to consider when developing a custom WordPress site,
- How to choose a reliable WordPress development team,
- And more!
If you prefer a visual text experience, go straight to the bonus infographic “How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Custom WordPress Website in 2023?”
Let’s discuss the points made above.
What Does Custom WordPress Website Mean?
Custom WordPress web development involves the process of designing and building a site on the WordPress platform with a company’s needs in mind, using free or premium themes and templates.
This definition can be quite confusing for non-technical founders who are only familiar with WordPress template sites and can be written on open source core.
So let’s break down this definition in more detail:
|Template-based website||Custom WordPress website|
|WordPress is a website design platform that allows anyone to run a website using a ready-made template, and various WordPress plugins. |
However, functionality and customization will be limited to the design.
An example is the website of the UK government’s official archive – The National Archives.
|However, custom WordPress web development involves both custom design and custom functionality. |
In more technical terms, with customization, you can place a custom design on the frontend and use WordPress as the backend to implement complex and unique functionality.
Example is spdload.com
Take a look at some custom WordPress sites:
I hope we now have the same understanding of what a custom WP site is.
Let’s see how much it might cost to develop a custom WordPress site from scratch.
How Much Does It Cost to Custom Build a WordPress Website?
The price of custom WordPress web development ranges from $5000 to $30,000. The exact cost is dependent on varying factors, among which the most noteworthy are:
- The complexity of the website
- The type of team
- The location of the team
But note that different stages of custom website creation cost differently.
Let’s consider each factor separately.
Cost Defined By the Complexity of the Website
The complexity of a website is a set of user roles, entities, functions, and their relationships in the management system.
Simply put, the more use cases your platform covers, the more complex it is. It goes without saying that complex websites require more development resources.
For example, you need a clinic website to book patient appointments. In that case, you will need integrations with the calendar and EHR.
And if you have a website for selling auto parts, you’ll need integration with eCommerce plugins and CRM.
As an example, consider a website that takes 160 hours or 1 month to create.
Let’s take a look at the price of building a custom WordPress website with a few examples of complexity.
|Complexity Level||Cost, $|
We will discuss the details of each complexity level later. Now, let’s focus on further cost breakdown by the type of team.
Cost Defined by Type of Team
Let’s take a look at how much it costs to create a custom WP website with different teams using the same example as in the previous subheading.
|Type of Team||Cost, $|
|In-house, the US||18,000|
|The local development company, the US||25,000|
|Outsource in Ukraine||10,000|
The location of your preferred team also influences the cost of your design.
Cost Defined by Team Location
The location of your team is a huge determinant of your development cost. For example, custom WordPress web development in Eastern Europe is $5500, while the same platform in the USA costs $25,000.
Below is a more descriptive spreadsheet of costs defined by the team’s location.
Now that you’re aware of the WordPress custom website cost, let’s elucidate three WordPress cost examples.
Types and Examples of Custom WordPress Sites
To better understand what a WordPress website entails, we’ll consider three case studies of successful WP sites.
Corporate Website Cost using Spdload.com as Case Study
Spdload.com is a typical corporate website, which tells about the services of the company and serves as an entry point for inbound leads.
To create the site, we used a “blank” template in WordPress, in which we inserted a completely custom design. The sitemap consists of:
- Block of service pages
- Block of case studies
- Block with custom-coded calculators
- Contact us page
As data from the company’s profile on CrunchBase suggests, the website at the time of writing this article, spdload.com, enjoys 32,664 monthly visits. This is a notable number for a B2B software development company.
The average WordPress custom website cost like spdload.com is between $15,000 to $20,000. The exact price here will depend on the level of detail in your design.
Read our guide here for more information about corporate website costs and the factors affecting them.
Blog Website– Using 99.adobe.com as a Case Study
99U is Adobe’s blog or career resource site with articles that can help creatives bring their ideas to life and supercharge their work for more effectiveness.
The website hosts digital publications with stories about notable creatives. It also has guides, and tips for having a great work-life balance.
Beyond a platform for educational articles, it also sheds information about the annual Adobe 99U conference. Information provided on the platform’s Crunchbase profile shows that the company currently enjoys an average of 4,482 monthly visits.
The key features of a blog website like this include:
- A well-organized category bar
- Easy-to-navigate menu
- Commenting system
- Blog post archive
- Visible search box
The cost of developing this type of website ranges from $5000 to $10,000.
E-Commerce Website – Case Study of The Cool Club
The Cool Club is an eCommerce platform that sells aesthetically stunning wall arts and card games.
The platform aims to be a site for creative minds to earn money from their creations. On the other hand, interested visitors can enjoy unfiltered access to some of the most distinctive works of art ever launched.
Cool’s Club is channeled to enable the driven community of gifted creative people to do things differently and for the greater good.
The Cool Club’s website is intuitively designed to uplift the whole brand of the founders and complement their ultimate goals.
The Key Features of The Cool Club:
- Home page and product listing
- Registration and profile creation
- Product cart
- One-click purchase
- Category page
- Payment methods integration
The average cost of developing this eCommerce website ranges from $20,000 to $40,000.
Now it’s time to go into more detail about pricing.
Factors That Determine a Custom WordPress Website’s Cost
The cost of a custom WordPress website depends on many factors. These factors influence the price irrespective of location and team type. They are:
- The difficulty experienced in development
- The maintenance of the website
- The marketing of the site
We’ll discuss each of these factors to enable you to have a realistic cost idea of your prospective project:
Factor 1. The Level of Complexity of the Custom WP Site
The definition of complexity, pertaining to web development, can also mean the level of predictiveness in the workflow for creating a new website.
What do we mean by this?
Before developing a website, web developers need to understand the nitty-gritty of the website structure and required features before embarking on it. However, some unique websites are highly complex.
Thus, developers have to figure out many things in the course of the task. In some instances, developers have to acquire deeper knowledge of new tech stacks to guarantee the ideal deliverable.
Websites with basic functionalities cost far less than complex multi-integrational sites with multiple features.
Let’s discuss the types of website complexity that are available.
These are often websites built to pass information to viewers and sometimes get a little information from them.
Differentiating this website from others can be somewhat difficult for a non-technical person, as such, we’ll help clarify better using a non-blog site.
A notable example of a website that falls within this category is harbottle.com and the cost of building a similar one ranges from $15,000 to $25,000. Basic sites like this are often not more than 15 pages long, with primary features like:
- A homepage
- Service pages
- A blog
- Contact us
The time frame for developing this WP platform takes up to two months.
These are websites built to pass information to users and have several functionalities that can help them carry out some actions to attain desired goals. It costs $30,000 – $80,000 to develop a website of average complexity.
Building a website of this complexity requires a project manager, UI/UX designer, 2 QA testers, a WordPress developer, and a marketing team: link builders, copywriters, and SEO manager.
The completion time for a WordPress-based site of average complexity is about 3 months.
Custom WordPress sites on this complexity level require robust design, higher infrastructure, a deep knowledge of the web builder’s framework, and multiple functionalities.
The average cost of building this type of website ranges from $30,000 to $60,000.
Due to its complexity, it requires a large development team that entails a WordPress developer; a UI/UX designer; a project manager, a QA tester; and DevOps.
However, you’ll need team members to be in multiple for a custom WP site with high complexity. For example, 2 WP developers.
Since it’ll have more features than other complexity types, the cost and time needed to develop the product will be high. The estimated time needed here ranges from 6 to 12 months.
Factor 2. The Maintenance Requirement of a Custom WP Site
Maintenance costs for highly complex WP sites can be at par with the development cost. Some factors that determine maintenance costs are:
- Domain name
- SSL certificate
- Additional file storage
- The maintenance team
Let’s help you understand how each factor affects maintenance costs.
A hosting platform helps you store your online data, ensuring that your page visitors access the information on your website at all times.
Hosting your site online requires paying a hosting platform to have your solution on air. Some examples of common hosting platforms are WebHost, DreamHost, Bluehost, Siteground, etc.
The average cost of hosting a WP site ranges between $24 to $10,000 yearly. Your WordPress hosting price depends on your needs, which are influenced by website traffic, bandwidth requirements, and data size.
The domain here refers to your website’s address that prospective web visitors can type in the browser’s URL. A typical example here is spdload.com.
It’s worthy of note that the website’s address is a part of your branding. Also, the right domain name address can aid your SEO campaign, driving more traffic to your site. For example, loan.com helps to complement the SEO campaign of a loan issuing agency.
SSL certificate, an abbreviation for Secure Sockets Locker, is a security maker that validates the authenticity of a website and helps to keep sensitive information encrypted. This certificate aims at protecting your site’s data and those inputted by users from the prying eyes of hackers.
This feature is particularly important for websites where users are required to enter credit card information or other financial details. Thus, eCommerce WP-based sites in particular must have an SSL certificate.
The cost of purchasing an SSL certificate can be as little as $10 or as expensive as $15,000. The exact price for an SSL certificate depends on the reputation of the certificate authority and the validation process.
Additional File Storage
The size of your hosting platform depends on your online presence and the data on your website. As you keep uploading information to your website, you may need additional file storage from your web hosting platform.
The cost of getting top-of-the-line dedicated web storage ranges from $100-$300 monthly.
The Maintenance Team
The constituent of your maintenance team is largely dependent on your website’s traffic and the purpose it serves.
A typical team constituent of a robust WP-based maintenance team is:
- WP developer
- QA tester
- DevOps engineer
- Project manager
However, you may outsource to a dedicated development team rather than hire these professionals. Doing so gives you top-notch WP maintenance expertise at a fair price.
The last cost-defining factor to consider is the team’s marketing activities. Let’s consider this in detail:
Factor 3. Marketing of the Custom WP Website
It’s a common misconception for founders to underplay the importance of marketing.
Albeit, marketing is not a required activity to build a WP-based site. But if you want your site known to a target audience, then some form of web marketing is inevitable.
However, If you see marketing at the crux of attaining your goals, then you might want to consider majoring in SEO. This is because WP is extremely SEO-friendly and will get great returns on investment for your campaign.
Let’s discuss this a bit.
SEO for Custom WP site
SEO and web design costs are intrinsically connected.
Search engine optimization helps to improve the site’s infrastructure, to ensure top-notch SERPs and easy crawling.
Some technical SEO aspects to consider right in the website development process are:
- Page speed
- Data structuring
- Site navigation
- XML sitemaps
The data structure and sitemap are dependent on the website’s architectural structure. On the other hand, the site’s speed depends on the design, the number of animations, and the speed of the website.
Once this is properly ensured in the site’s development process, the SEO manager then performs continuum tasks to bring consistent inbound links.
The continuing actions here are:
- Content making
- Link building
Let’s dwell on this briefly as they’re quite important:
|Continuous SEO Activity||Description|
|Content Making||Content making, as it relates to SEO, is practically creating keyword-rich articles with alt-texts, captivating images, and on-page SEO. |
This strategy works because google crawlers target good, SEO-rich, and well-designed sites. Thus, they tend to rank them higher.
Although great content appeals to page viewers, you need great SEO to make users see your page.
|Link Building||Another effective strategy used in SEO is link building. This strategy entails linking articles and blogs to your site. |
Sites with multiple links leading to their pages regularly rank better than others.
Now that you understand the WordPress custom website cost, how do you choose a team that’ll execute your idea?
Let’s discuss that right now.
How to Choose a Reliable Development Team?
Finding an ideal development team for your custom WP website can be time-consuming. However, there’s a way to go about this.
- Know the team you need.
- Surf through the team’s portfolio and website.
- Read reviews from past clients.
- Go through the platforms and accounts they Own.
Feeling Informed enough about the cost of developing a custom WP site? Let’s help you get started.
Interested in Building a Custom WP Site? What’s Next?
If you’d like to create a custom WP site, then contact us for a precise guide to help you navigate the process.
Spdload has developed over 40 apps and web within its near-decade of existence. You can also surf through our portfolio to glance at the gamut of custom WordPress websites that we developed.
Here is a summary of our in-depth guide. Learn the highlights, that affect the cost of developing your own WordPress site.