How much does a WordPress website cost in South Africa?

It can be tough to know how much your website will cost without first knowing exactly what kind of website you will need. There are many different types of website designs to choose from and yours must align with your business strategy. What does your business do and how does it do it? Do you want to automate that process on your website? Do you want to use your website to get new sales leads, or sell something specific? Alternatively, will it simply complement your offline business by showcasing the kind of work that you do?

Here’s a quick summary of website costs:

WordPress core software: Free
Professional WordPress theme: US$ 80 per year
WordPress plugins: Many are free, but you might need specialised functionality that you will need to pay an annual license fee for.
Basic 5 page website build: From R3000 once off
Weekly offsite backups: R1000 per year (8 backups stored)
Software maintenance, security, security monitoring and hack fixes: R450 per month

So, let’s break down how much a WordPress website could cost:

These website costs apply to WordPress websites (the types of websites that we build). If you’re looking for a different type of backend, please remember to ask your developer what your costs after the first year will be, so you don’t get any surprises.

The WordPress Core Software: Free

We love WordPress websites. A WordPress website is practical, versatile, and easy to use, so you’ll be able to update the site yourself if you prefer. Even better, WordPress is a FREE content management system (CMS), which means you get a lot of functionality at no cost at all.

However, WordPress websites require the WordPress core software, a theme, and plugins in order to function fully.

A WordPress Theme: Approximately US$80 per year

While the WordPress software itself is free, but you need a theme to control the look of the site. There are lots of free themes around, but we only work with the premium themes. The cost of a premium theme for your website is worth it because they are much more versatile and reliable. You can’t have a WordPress site without a theme. So, whether you choose free or premium, you’ll need to choose something. Paid themes are usually around US$ 80 per year, and you can find some great ones here.

WordPress Plugins: Free or paid

Plugins are the genius behind WordPress. A plugin is a piece of software that adds functionality to your site (i.e. you plug the piece of software into your site). Developers around the world build thousands of different plugins – some charge for them and others give them away free. Do you want a contact form so people can request that you get hold of them? You add a contact form plugin. Do you want to add a calendar to your site so you can show visitors when your next courses are being held? Yup, there are many plugins that can do that too.

Plugins are an easy way that you can add functionality without paying your own web developer to code a whole new section of your site. You plug it in and your site does something extra. Plugins can cost anything from a few dollars per year, to a few hundred dollars per year. The more functionality, the higher the price.

WordPress Design and Customisation: Variable cost, depending on your web developer

This is sort of like asking how long is a piece of string. A good web developer will ask a lot of questions before they can give you an accurate website quote. These questions are usually based on your business strategy. The answers you give will help your developer to determine how much your website will cost by knowing exactly what you need your website to do. We have compiled a detailed list of questions a good developer should ask you before deciding on the cost of your website. Websites start from roughly R5000 (ZAR) and can increase in price based on the design and functionality you need. You can have a look at some website design examples in our portfolio here.

What about the recurring WordPress website costs?

Any premium (i.e. paid) software on your site (themes or plugins) requires an annual license fee. A premium theme will only allow you to download the theme and theme updates if you have paid for a license. If you manage to get an unlicensed copy of the theme, you can install it on your site, but that’s it. You won’t be allowed to access some add-ons, or download any updates to the software, without a valid license. If you find a “free version” of a paid theme online somewhere, it might have malware in it, which is very dangerous to install on your website.

Premium plugins work in much the same way. Usually you won’t be able to download the premium plugin (with the advanced functionality) until you have purchased a license. If you manage to get an unlicensed copy and install it on your site, you won’t be able to update the plugin until you get a valid license.

Remember to include the cost to keep your website software updated!

You MUST keep your backend software updated if you want to keep hackers out of your site. This means updating the core (WordPress itself) the theme, and your plugins. If you don’t have valid licenses, you won’t know be allowed to update the software. If your software is outdated, it’s likely your website will eventually be hacked. You can do this yourself, but managing backups, updates and security can be a time-consuming job.

While many other website design companies don’t want to take over WordPress websites they haven’t built themselves, we specialise in doing just that. We offer WordPress website maintenance and security as a service, if you don’t want to do it yourself, and we charge R450 per month.

Still not sure why you need to do this? Read more about why you need to keep your WordPress website updated.

When you’re evaluating how much your website will cost, please check the renewal costs of the theme and plugins. Also check for any other recurring costs that you may incur. These could include website hosting, domain registration, and maintenance.

The website cost of WordPress website development and customisation is usually once off, but license fees are renewed annually.

Know what all of your annual costs are upfront. You don’t want to get a surprise next year when you have to pay all your annual license renewal fees.

Do you need some help with your WordPress website design? Please contact us and we can do it all for you!

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