The glib answer to the question of “how much does a WordPress website cost” is ‘as much as a car’.
WordPress websites can be as cheap as pressing install on your hosting or as much as you can afford. Or any point between those two extremes.
There are various things that affect the price of your website development:
Content – whether it’s in written form, images, videos, PDFs or anything else – costs time and money to create.
Most website developers leave you to your own devices with regard to content – they’ll expect you to know what you want on your pages – but if that’s not the case, they may or may not offer to help you.
At the very least, your chosen website developer should be able to offer advice on the content you provide and should be able to help you optimise it so that it looks good to both humans and search engines.
Website look and feel
WordPress has access to literally thousands of different options for look and feel.
These are called “themes” and you can choose from a basic free theme (this site uses a free theme, so don’t be put off by that idea) that can then be customised or you can purchase a theme to use from sites like Theme Forest.
Alternatively, you can specify your own look and feel and ask your website designer to replicate it – that’s usually the most expensive option but ensures that you get precisely the site you want.
Your website designer will be able to advise which of these options is best.
If you choose an off the shelf theme, don’t worry about how many other sites are using it. At the risk of upsetting graphic designers everywhere, even if there are thousands of other sites using the same theme as you choose, it’s highly unlikely that your website visitors will have come across them or even notice if they have.
Most themes are priced in dollars and non-exclusive use is typically around $40 to $60 per site (about £25 to £40). Customising it to your precise needs will add to that cost depending on the amount of time and customisation needed.
This is where the price of your WordPress website development can stretch.
WordPress has a lot of extensions (plugins) that help modify how each installation works.
Some of these are free, some are “lite” versions with restricted functionality and some are paid for options.
Because of the nature of WordPress, you shouldn’t automatically assume that paid options are better. Most of the plugins I install by default are free and are top quality.
But if you do need something extra or a slight change in how a plugin works, your website developer will be able to help you move forward with that.
With one exception (where I was getting ambitious and what I wanted to do wasn’t really possible in the first place) I’ve yet to encounter anything that couldn’t be done within WordPress.
The final price
As with any creative development, it’s worth getting more than one quote for your website.
Within reason, the more detailed you can make your website design specification, the more accurate the quote will be.
You’ll get a wide range of prices – everything from a “mate’s rate” through to a large company rate – and you need to take a view as to which route you want to go, keeping in mind that the cheapest quotes may well have some corners being cut that you don’t discover until after your website has been up and running for a while.