What is the real cost of building and running a website with WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix?

When considering building a new website for your business, it may be difficult to figure out the real cost of doing so on each one of the main available platforms such as self-hosted WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, or Etsy in the case of an online shop. In this post, you will find a quick comparison of the ongoing costs involved in opening and maintaining a website using each one of these services.

 

Some considerations:

 

·   Even though many of the associated costs may be paid yearly, I’m going to calculate the approximate monthly cost for easier comparison.

·   I’m also going to calculate it for two different cases for each platform, that of a simple informational website and that of a website including an online shop, as the subscription fees may change accordingly.

·   I’m not including any professional design or copywriting cost, paid plugins, additional functionalities, etc, just the domain name and the hosting or subscription needed for the website to run.

·   For those cases in which there are several plans available, I’m calculating the costs based on the cheapest plan that does the work.

·   The first cost associated with your website that you will need to pay for no matter what platform you choose is your domain name. This may vary depending on the registrar you buy it from and the type of domain you choose but they normally cost between $10 and $20 a year. For the purpose of this comparison, let’s say it costs $15 a year. That’s $1.25 a month.

·   Some hosting providers and online website builders include a free domain for 1 year when you hire one of their plans for a year or longer but I’m not including that discount on these examples.

 

Let’s do this!

 

WordPress

 

In order to make your WordPress website live, you will need to hire a hosting provider. There are a ton of different options out there, each one of them offering several plans including different characteristics and features. For the purpose of this comparison, I’m using Bluehost* as a reference because it is the hosting provider I use. Their Basic Plan for shared hosting is $2.95 a month for the first 36 months and $9.99 a month billed annually after that. For the purpose of this example, let’s use the $2.95 a month fee since it will be the case for the first 3 years of your website being live.

In the case of WordPress, having an informational website or an online shop doesn’t make a difference since there are very powerful free e-commerce plugins available such as WooCommerce.

Adding the domain name, that would leave us with an approximate cost of $4.20 a month.

 

Some additional reads you may find interesting:

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: what are the main differences?

 

Squarespace

 

If your are building a simple informational website, the Personal plan would normally be more than enough. It costs $12 a month billed annually. Adding the domain name cost, you would be paying $13.25 a month.

For a website including an online shop, you would need to get at least the Business plan but this one includes a 3% transaction fee. In order to avoid this fee, you would need to get the Commerce plan that costs $26 a month billed annually. Adding the domain name cost, you would be paying $27.25 a month.

 

Wix

 

If you are building a simple informational website, the Combo plan would normally be more than enough. It costs $13 a month billed annually. Adding the domain name cost, you would be paying $14.25 a month.

For a website including an online shop, you would need to get at least the Business Basic plan that costs $23 a month billed annually. Adding the domain name cost, you would be paying $24.25 a month.

 

Some additional reads you may find interesting:

Wix vs Squarespace: What are the main differences?

Wix vs WordPress – What does my business really need?

 

Etsy

 

In this case, we are not talking about building a standalone website but an online shop.

You can also combine this platform with any of the previous options if you want to build your website with them and then link to your Etsy shop externally.

If you want more info on the cost of opening and running an Etsy shop, check out this article, and if you don’t have an Etsy account yet, feel free to use this link to get your first 40 listings for free.

 

As you can see, self-hosted WordPress has the potential to be the cheapest option while also offering the most professional results. However, the learning curve is much steeper than with the other website builders and you would probably end up buying a premium template and/or hiring a professional designer. If you want to know more about how working with these different platforms is, check out the articles linked throughout the post.

I hope you found all this info useful! Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this or if you need help designing your website on any of these platforms. I will be happy to help :)

 

 

If you need a new logo and website design for your business, check out my Ultimate Branding Pack. You will get not only a professional custom logo design but also a WordPress website and 11 branded marketing elements that are crucial when presenting your business to the world.

 

* This is an affiliate link.

Cris Castro Moral

Hi! My name is Cristina and I am a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. I blog about small businesses, marketing, social media and design under all its forms.

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