There are two types of custom WordPress websites.
- WordPress with a Modified Theme
- WordPress with a Custom Theme
A custom WordPress website with a modified theme is cheaper than a custom theme because a lot of the technical development work has already been done.
With this option a web designer will help you choose an appropriate theme, install and configure the WordPress software, install the theme and configure the colours and content to match your brand and purpose.
Advantages of WordPress with a Modified Theme:
- Cheaper than a custom theme
- Typically responsive design (mobile compatible)
- Theme code is typically higher quality and more stable
Disadvantages of WordPress with a Modified Theme:
- Layout and design is limited by the theme
- Some themes can become incompatible as WordPress is upgraded
- Original theme developers won’t always provide good support
WordPress Theme Costs: $20 – $68
Web Designer’s Time: $800 – $1,500
WordPress with a Modified Theme Cost: $615 – $2,265
A custom WordPress website with a custom theme can get a little more expensive, but allows for complete control over the design and layout of content.
Instead of choosing an off-the-shelf theme and having a website that looks like other websites, lots of people choose to have a custom theme designed specifically for their brand.
A custom WordPress theme means you don’t have the follow trends, you can start your own. However, it also means you will need a WordPress developer involved, which will increase the costs of the project.
Custom WordPress themes also allow for better functionality. While WordPress can be extended with plugins to create forums, profiles, email notifications, etc., it’s better in the long run if these features are built into the theme instead of using a mixture of unstable plugins.
Advantages of WordPress with a Custom Theme:
- Complete control over design and layout
- Flexible functionality (think community features like voting, posting, profiles etc.)
- Better brand perception
Disadvantages of WordPress with a Custom Theme:
- Considerably more expensive
- Quality custom themes require experienced WordPress developers
- Support is unlikely to be free
Custom WordPress Theme Development Cost: $1,500 – $5,000
Web Designer’s Time: $400 – $1,200
WordPress with a Custom Theme Cost: $1,900 – $6,200
Other Costs to Consider
Website projects are more than just web development. They often require sales copy, custom photography, ecommerce and more and more often they need very specific functionality. All of these will add to the project’s costs.
Copywriting Costs – Copywriting is usually around $30 – $70 p/h.
Photography Costs – Photography is usually around $50 – $150 p/h depending on the type of photography.
eCommerce Development Costs – Adding ecommerce and shopping carts to a WordPress site will likely add an additional $1,000 – $2,000 to the project’s cost.
SSL Certificates – SSL certificates cost between $50 and $200 (per domain name) depending on the type of encryption.
Plugin Development Costs – You can expect to pay anywhere from $400 – $2000 for a custom plugin.
WordPress Hosting – For the most part, small business hosting for WordPress websites is going to be around $50 p/m.
If your website has lots of functionality, delivers system notifications and has a lot of rich media such as video, then you might need a dedicated server which costs around $150 p/m.
Analytics and Tracking – Google Analytics is free and it’s easy to install of WordPress since there are really good plugins for this. However, deeper integration with “Events” will require planning and custom development work. However, this cost will be pretty minimal.