This applies to WordPress websites. If you’re looking for a different type of backend, please remember to ask your developer what your costs for the first year will be, so you don’t get any surprises.
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. WordPress is a free content management system (CMS). WordPress websites require the WordPress software, a theme, and plugins.
The WordPress software itself is free, but you need a theme to control the look of the site. There are lost of free themes around, but we only work with the premium (paid) themes because we find them to be 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.
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.
Any premium software on your site (themes or plugins) requires an annual license fee. A premium theme will only allow you to download the theme 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 you won’t be allowed to access some add-ons, or download any updates to the software, without a valid license.
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.
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 and eventually your site will be hacked.
When you get a quote to build your website, please double check the cost of the theme and the plugins.
Occasionally the cost is once off, but most of the time the fees are renewed annually.
Know what these are upfront, so you don’t get a surprise in a year’s time when you are asked to pay for new licenses for all the software you use.