Last updated on June 8th, 2021. Posted in Web Design For Online Business.
As I'm sure you know already, WordPress is a free and open source platform that anyone -- from the smallest home-based business website to massive corporate and e-commerce websites -- anyone can use it at no cost, right?
Here are links and resources mentioned in today's video. Enjoy!
Well one downside to WordPress being free is it sorta sets people's expectations that anything related to WordPress, including themes that control the site's design, plugins to extend functionality, and even web hosting...should all be free.
And well...a lot of times this stuff isn't! Really, it's just the WordPress software itself that's free. To use WordPress to build your online business website, you'll have a few additional costs.
The good news is, in most cases, these costs are minimal. For example, here's a few things that you'll need to keep in mind when getting your online business off the ground and on the web:
First, whether you're using WordPress to build your business website or some other platform, you're going to need to register your domain name, set up web hosting, and set up your business email -- and each of these comes with a cost...but again, it's nominal.
To give you an idea, you can set all this up for as little as $4 per month. That said, there are some important things for you to know about your domain name, web hosting, and business email...like, which web hosting company is going to be secure and reliable for your business website?
It's all a bit too much to get into here, so I'll leave some links in the Show Notes below for you. Another expense you'll have is, you'll need to set up what's called a Payment Processor or a Payment Gateway.
This is simply the method you'll use to accept payments online -- you can use PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, or others. And of course, this is the crux of your entire online business, right? Like, if you can't accept payments on your website...then you don't have much of an online business, right?
Now this is the one area where costs can add up...and really, this is simply the cost of doing business. Typically, you can expect to pay a small setup fee, pay a tiny percentage of each sale, and possibly an ongoing monthly fee depending on how you've decided to set yourself up.
One other area where you may run into expenses is with your website's design and with plugins. Let's talk design first. In WordPress lingo, the design and formatting of your website is controlled by what's called a theme.
Most themes are free...but if your needs demand it, you may have to go with a premium, paid theme. Or, there may be specific customizations you'd like for your website's design, so you may have to temporarily hire a designer or developer to handle these things for you.
You may also have some expenses related to plugins -- plugins control the functionality and behaviour of your website...and if you have specific needs for your site...like maybe you want to add a membership component, a forum, take bookings online, or something else...
...then you may have to go with paid plugins to handle this stuff. Sometimes plugins have a one-time cost, while others have an ongoing monthly cost.