The cost of running a WordPress website

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Written By Brian Krogsgard

24 thoughts on “The cost of running a WordPress website”

  1. What makes you unsure about Cloudflare? The free plan is more than sufficient and is the best DNS provider I’ve ever used. 300 second TTL, automatic page and resource caching and minification, and DDoS protection are pretty sweet for free. It is a bit of pain that DNS is hosted separate from my registrar and that sometimes I forget that Cloudflare is caching something and I can’t figure out why my CSS changes aren’t showing.

    You might also consider http://dploy.io/ instead of Beanstalk (same ownership) in case you want to host your repo on Github.

    • There’s nothing in particular I hate about Cloudflare, but there’s some caching stuff I’ve been working on with a friend, and Cloudflare does so much of that on its own, I sortof want to see what I can do on my own. Also, Cloudflare offers another point of failure, and I’ve seen the error pages from it a couple times — that hurts.

      Thanks for the note about dploy.io, I didn’t realize that was the same company as Beanstalk. That’s cool. Though I currently don’t host private repos on Github, I know tons of folks do.

    • Great resources!

      We recently setup Cloudflare when a client’s website (using an older, proprietary CMS) went viral and took down everything we could setup on AWS. Using Cloudflare’s “cache everything” and “keep online” settings for the key pages we massively reduced the downtime and server load/expense. Since then we have further tweaked lots of things in the code, hosting environment, and Cloudflare settings but the whole experience completely sold me on Cloudflare’s service. There is a lot of potential power and it is a wonderful safety net… even just at the Free or Pro levels.

      Just my two cents.

  2. Seriously!?
    $108 per month to run this shit!?
    You are a rich crazy man.
    Why you don’t use jekyll/octopress blog platform?
    Using jekyll/octopress you can use http://github.com to hosting your static speedly, cachely, antispam blog FOR FREE.
    Using github you have a FREE backup of your site (’cause even you can have your site everywhere in the little directory) and you can edit your post everywhere in the world using Markdown and you can point your domain in your account.
    For comments you MUST use disquss, please.
    It’s free and when you create an account you can comment EVERYWHERE there is disquss without spam.
    No ?
    C’mon, buy a VPS from cloudatcost: one time for life and fuck off money.

    • I do a lot more than I could with Octopress, and I like WordPress. Sorry, I can’t take your comment seriously, and it’s borderline offensive. Chill out, dude.

    • This guy! xD
      I love how people think their opinion is the only way.. Makes me laugh!

      Although Mr. Aladdin does touch on something interesting.. I know this probably close to your heart but at $108 per month, how does one evaluate the return on that?
      I think that’s the hardest part, of course leads are a quantifiable thing, but beyond that, what metrics for success do you employ?

      Thanks for the write up! =)

    • Then you also have to count in the many, many service outtakes GitHub.com has to manage all the time…

      And, like Brian already said, you have way more flexibility with WordPress. And eating your own dog food when writing about WordPress (mostly) makes perfect sense.

      And, stop trolling.

    • Your language is offensive. Very offensive & demeaning. You could have said the same thing and been polite about it. There are plenty of words in the English (or any other language) without using f- & s-

    • Your language is very offensive & quite demeaning. You could have said the same thing and been polite about it.

  3. Your price on renewing Gravity Forms is high.

    From their site:
    “How much does it cost to renew my license?
    You can quickly and easily renew your license at a discounted price within 60 days of your expiration date. The Developer License renewal is $99.50 USD, the Business License renewal is $49.50 USD and the Personal License renewal is $29.25 USD. After the 60 day window has expired, all renewals are at full price. Coupon codes or other promotional discounts do not apply to renewals.”

    I just saved you $100! (sort of). =D

  4. When you decide to start with the A/B testing on your site, take a look at Nelio A/B Testing (http://wp-abtesting.com). In some aspects it’s similar to Optimizely but it was created specifically for WordPress sites so it has quite a few advantatges over generic A/B testing solutions.

  5. Great post, thanks for sharing Brian. I love to see under the covers on some of the sites I often visit.
    I’m most interested in the analytics part. Does Chartbeat show you which posts your subscribers are reading? You could get a pretty good idea of who your most engaged readers are with tracking like that.

  6. Nice article – I don’t agree with all your monthly costs – but I do agree that sometimes people misunderstand the true cost of managing a website.

    If your hosting is at the point where you need a VPS, it is likely driving revenue and becomes a viable business expense. 99% of the mom & pop brochure style sites can get away with a $3.95 hosting plan.

    Moreover, expenses like Freshbooks has nothing to do with running a wordpress site. And cloudflare and custom analytics again is not related to a wordpress site.

    In sum, I think the title is perhaps a little misleading. The “cost of running a proper web business” would be more reflective…Wordpress or otherwise.

    Thanks for the write up!

    • Hey Chris, worthwhile criticism.

      I tried to clear up my intentions in the first sentence: “However, running a more serious site can get considerably more expensive.”

      I was trying to highlight what it costs to run a serious website, not the mom n pop shop brochure. I tried to qualify that early.

      I’d also disagree w/ the Freshbooks comment. There are things around the website that aren’t directly website related. I charge for partnership, and pay site contributors. Those are the tools I use for it. But I see what you mean.

  7. This writeup is really good for new comers like us who want to estimate the cost of running a wordpress hosted site. It gave us an idea on where we need to spend further in the coming months. As we are running the blog without any revenue stream would like to wait for some time before going for paid services mentioned here

    Thanks Brian for summing it up all here šŸ™‚

  8. @Chris I agree that a mom & pop shop could get away with a $3.95m hosting plan and many do but they defiantly shouldn’t. Things like site speed, security, reliability, backups become an issue and usually cost allot more than a managed WordPress hosting solution at about $30m. Remember a mom & pop shop doesn’t mean pantry shop all the time. Some mom & pop shops deal with leads that generate thousands of dollars like construction, lawyers etc. losing 1 lead due to site speed or downtime would be a loss of thousands of dollars. I currently host over 100 WordPress websites and only 6 of them are big companies with over 20-500 employees. All the rest are mom & pop shops that depend on us to upgrade, backup secure and maintain their site on an ongoing basis. Some of these mom and pop shops spend allot of money on seo & adwords and get over 10k visits daily (locally).

    Great post btw Brian. Chartbeat looks pretty cool.

  9. Re’ the “Advanced search” part, if you haven’t already, I would urge you to consider Relevanssi by Mikko Saari – a real of personal favorite of mine! šŸ™‚

  10. This is a good article for anyone who wants to know how much to budget for a serious WordPress-powered site. The list is detailed enough.

    It’s something I’d like to share with my potential clients.

  11. Dang that’s a lot of money for a single non-commercial site. I thought my setup was expensive.

    I’m burning around U$6/month on domains (some used, some redirected), hosting US$20/month, Amazon S3 US$5/month and Amazon Cloudfront US$6 per month. So ~US$37 in total.

    I’m planning to ditch Cloudfront and changed to using SPDY direct from my host soon, but that won’t save me much (any?) money as I’ll require a wildcard SSL cert which will cost me around the same amount as the CDN does now.

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