The True Cost of Websites: Why Self Hosted WordPress is the Way to Go

In this post, we’ll debunk misconceptions about website costs , the true cost of websites, and explore why self-hosted WordPress is the preferred option. Websites may seem intangible, but there are both obvious and hidden expenses involved. Let’s dive in!

The Limitations of Inexpensive Plans

Working with a budget-constrained client revealed the drawbacks of low-cost hosting plans. These plans severely limit design options, including font choices, background images, and layout customizations. Upgrading the plan becomes necessary to achieve desired features and design elements.

Wordress.com or WordPress.org?

WordPress is a highly versatile Content Management System (CMS) used by approximately 43% of websites (source: W3Techs). WordPress.com offers hosting services and pricing plans with increasing features and storage as the fee goes up. To obtain the true versatility of WordPress, you would have to get the Business plan on WordPress.com which is $25 per month. The domain registration is free for the first year and a .com domain increases to $19 per year at renewal. WordPress.org, also known as self-hosted WordPress, is free to use but requires you to bring your own hosting and domain. Check out my blog posts on hosting and domains for additional information on these topics.

Infographic that compares the differences between .org and .com WordPress and True Cost of Websites

The Benefits of Self-Hosted WordPress (WordPress.org)

The cost of Self-Hosted WordPress varies depending on the hosting provider that you choose. For example, the hosting provider that I recommend is SiteGround, they offer shared hosting plans starting at $11.99 per month with a 24-month commitment. Namecheap is the domain registrar that I recommend and offers .com domains starting at $5.98 for the first year with a renewal fee of $14.58. When you break down the monthly cost after the first year is:

Platform Hosting (monthly) Domain (monthly) Total (monthly)
WordPress.com $25.00 $1.58 $26.58
WordPress.org $11.99 (SiteGround) $1.21 (Namecheap) $13.20

Conclusion

Considering the limitations of inexpensive plans and the cost comparisons, it becomes clear that self-hosted WordPress offers great flexibility, control, and cost-effectiveness. By opting for self-hosted WordPress, you can avoid the restrictions of a low-price plan or paying much more for additional features of an advanced WordPress.com plan. Make an informed decision based on your business needs and long-term goals.