When it comes to developing a WordPress website there are lots of things other than the price you pay that alter the true cost of a WordPress website build.
The price you pay is not a true reflection of the actual total cost of your project. There are a number of things that take time which most people take for granted but actually have a monetary value assigned to them, such as:
- Meetings to discuss the need for a website
- Meetings to discuss the scope of the project
- Time to develop a project scope
- Time to amend, share and discuss the project scope
- Time to research a web design agency
- Time to speak to the web agency and run through the brief
- Time travelling to a meeting with your agency
- Time running through your idea and liaising with your web agency
- Time to compare agencies and select one
- Time to get contracts and website materials in place
- Missed deadlines/project milestones
- Miscommunications with your agency
And any other of the 500 things that crop up on your desk each day distracting you from any of the tasks above meaning they take even longer to do!
How does WordPress affect price?
WordPress is an opensource platform that saves you time custom building a content management system. When building a custom content management system compared to WordPress, in our experience could be a time difference of anything up to and in excess of 6 weeks or more.
This in turn increases the cost as your web agency will likely give you a fixed cost based on their estimated internal hours. There are many ways to price a website project, you could even use a website cost calculator to give you a better idea.
But I’ve been given a fixed cost!
A fixed cost is one thing and it does help keep your costs under control a little bit no matter how long your project goes on for – But that’s the problem.
If your project should take 6 weeks for example and you are selling things online, but it ends up taking 12 weeks, then yes you may of still paid the same price, but you have lost 6 weeks of marketing and trading time which could be worth thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost revenue.
A fixed cost isn’t a limitation on your potential losses.
Technology delays may cause time delays and require you to spend more time with your agency to work on a work around – With WordPress there are tons of proven plugins available that reduce the risk of this happening, saving time and delays.
You may still be paying the same cost for different solutions, but these are still delays that cost sales and lose revenue and contribute to your sunk costs that most people just often write-off.
WordPress can help reduce these sunk costs as it’s as good as an all in 1 platform that does everything with very limited technical restrictions – Depending on your exact website requirements of course.
WordPress helps save time due to its incredible ability to bolt plugins and themes on at the click of a button.
How WordPress saves you time
WordPress allows you to bolt on themes with very little technical knowledge required. You can simply download a theme and upload the zip file through WordPress and WordPress will extract and deploy the theme as necessary.
Now this isn’t as simple as it sounds as there are some downsides to it, the main one being that customising some elements of a theme, especially advanced customisations can only be done with the aid of a web developer – But the fact you can download and extract a theme and have a bare bones homepage up and running in a very short period of time is a huge bonus.
With a pre-made theme, there are more benefits of a pre-made theme but the main benefit is very little to no coding.
A website out of the box!
On average coding a WordPress theme from scratch, depending on the size of the site – and not building upon an existing theme! – could take a week or more.
So that’s a huge saving!
Now this solution won’t be suitable for all as people would like extra functionality on their website.
You may want to add a member only area section to your website that requires your users to pay a fee via PayPal for example to access the private area.
To code from scratch this would require setting up databases, ensuring data is secure, integrating the PayPal API and more – But this could be very easily set up and installed in a very short period of time using a PayPal WordPress plugin and something like Ultimate Member plugin for WordPress which would do a great job.
To code something like that from scratch again could be the best part of a week or two and save you so much time just by using out of the box solutions.
Planning saves time
Planning your project properly will save you a lot of time.
By taking the time to plan you could save weeks and weeks of delays and lost sales during and after your website launches.
It’s best to list of the functionality you require form your website and then do some research of your own online to find suitable plugins.
Some plugins you may not know how or where to find the right plugins or there may just be too many to choose from – But there’s probably a greater than 95% chance that there are WordPress plugins available to suit your need and save you a ton of development time.
By planning out the plugins you require in advance you not only save time but also… MONEY!
It’s highly probable that there is a plugin available for what you require that will save you a ton of time – But that plugin may not necessarily be free and require you to pay a license fee.
So, there is a trade off with time and cost, by using plugins you will save time and possibly reduce the cost of your WordPress project, but on the flip side the plugins you require may be $49 or $129 which may then in turn increase the cost of your project.
By planning properly, you are saving time by laying all your requirements out and identifying the plugins you require but you are also planning cost and saving time sourcing the wrong plugins.
You could also even not look for costs of plugins and find them at the last minute, which holds up development whilst you have another meeting to discuss the cost of the plugins that you require.
Whilst there are many great free WordPress plugins some are premium and do require licenses but the cost for a license of some pre-made software which could take weeks and thousands of dollars to build versus a $129 license fee could be considered a very fair trade.
So, Does WordPress really save time and money?
In a simple word – and to not sit on the fence! – We would say yes it certainly helps to have pre-made software available that’s installed in as good as a click of a button but as with everything it does have its downside with premium license fees etc.
Some simple maths
To highlight the savings and true cost of a website to you or the company you work for, let’s look at some scenarios.
Let’s say you sell a widget for $10 and your website was delayed for 30 days. For the 30 days after your website launched you sell 100 widgets a day.
That 30-day delay would of cost $1000 a day for 30 days totalling $30,000 in potentially lost sales.
Include the fixed cost of your WordPress website build say $5,000, that $5,000 fixed cost has also potentially lost $30,000 in sales totalling $35,000 as the cost.
We can also do a comparison.
Let’s say it takes a web agency 6 weeks to design and develop a membership website from scratch. Using nothing pre-made, everything custom built and charge you a fixed cost of $10,000
The design may take 1 week of that 6 weeks.
Sourcing a suitable WordPress template may take you a good few hours, even the best part of your day and lets say it cost you $150, then a membership plugin and PayPal plugin maybe $300 that’s a $450 outlay and the bare bones to your website in a day.