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How To Create a WordPress Website at Lowest Cost

Why Choose WordPress

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that is used across over 70% of all visible websites. Due to its SEO friendliness, WordPress is the website framework of choice for businesses all across the world. WordPress is the best CMS for it’s a worldwide and incredibly active community. From thousands of free WordPress themes to millions of free plugins, the WordPress community is full of information and community support.

The most recent WordPress framework is free to download from wordpress.org. To install WordPress you will need your own server. If you don’t have a server, wordpress.com provides a hosted WordPress site for a monthly cost. Buying your own server and installing open-source WordPress is the most cost effective way of starting any website. Here is a cost breakdown for a monthly website cost vs buying your own server:

Monthly Payment Website Platforms (Wix, Weebly, Square, Shopify)

  • $15 monthly avg x 12 months = $180 a year
  • Buying a server for a year
  • $75 yearly avg x 1 year = $75 a year

Over a couple of years, having your own server will pay for itself, whereas there are many website platforms that encourage you to pay monthly for a website you do not own. Once you stop paying these websites they will take your server away and the files with it, whereas you have total control of a WordPress site on your own server.

What about a low-cost E-Commerce website?

Having an open-source WordPress website is great, but what if it can’t do what you want? Websites that are e-commerce, booking websites, or even event websites can seem difficult to create in WordPress, but that is where plugins come in! Many small online stores use platforms like Shopify or Weebly to sell products online, and this can take a big bite out of their returns as time goes on. Setting up a WordPress based e-commerce store will save your online store a lot of money in the long term. 

 

How To Start WordPress Website

To start building your WordPress website you will need a couple things:

  • Your own WordPress-friendly server
    • SiteGround (all values are estimates)
      • $47.40 for first year
      • $158.15 for three years
    • FastComet (all values are estimates)
      • $59.40 for first year
      • $94.80 for two years
      • $106.20 for three years
    • GoDaddy (all values are estimates)
      • $119.88 for first year
      • $215.76 for two years
      • $287.64 for three years
  • Ideas for what content you will be adding
    • Home Page
    • About Page
    • Contact Page
    • Services Page (optional)
  • A theme or a theme builder
    • Theme distributors
      • WordPress
      • Envato
    • Page Builders
      • Elementor
      • WP Bakery (Visual Composer)
      • Divi
 
 

Buying a WordPress Friendly Server

The first step in building a WordPress site is choosing your server. This will be the only cost for your website, and optimizing this is an essential part of keeping a low cost to your website over the years.

Step 1
Find A Server

The Best Options for WordPress Hosting
(Based on Pricing)

All of the server providers listed here I have used for over 4 years EACH, so the following information is biased upon that. Along with these platforms, I have used several other server hosts such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, WPEngine, and GreenGeeks. The following server hosts I consider the most cost-effective and bang for your buck.

SiteGround

  • $47.40 for first year
  • $158.15 for three years

FastComet

  • $59.40 for first year
  • $94.80 for two years
  • $106.20 for three years

GoDaddy

  • $119.88 for first year
  • $215.76 for two years
  • $287.64 for three years

SiteGround Web Hosting Review

Siteground is a great web hosting platform and I have had great experiences with their server quality and customer service. They have a great first time price out of all the server hosts listed here, but the starting price will go away once you renew. If you think you may have it for less than a year, be sure to cancel your account before it renews, as it could be double the original cost. All values listed here are estimates based on Web Server pricing in 2019.

4.5/5

FastComet Web Hosting Review

I like FastComet for their long-term pricing and great server locations. I have several FastComet accounts, and I am always connecting new clients to this platform for their easy to use interface and no B.S. All values listed here are estimates based on Web Server pricing in 2019.

4.5/5

GoDaddy Web Hosting Review

GoDaddy is one of the most widely used server hosts on the internet. They have a strong customer service center with real people who can answer problems or even fix your site over chat. I consider GoDaddy a premium web provider as they tend to offer more end to end solutions that are easy for non-developers to manage and use. All values listed here are estimates based on Web Server pricing in 2019.

4/5

Create a Website Outline

The first step in building a WordPress site is choosing your server. This will be the only cost for your website, and optimizing this is an essential part of keeping a low cost to your website over the years.

Step 1
Outline Your Website

Standard Website Outline for WordPress

It’s important to figure out how you will be structuring your website before you begin choosing a theme and how it will look. 

Obviously this can be done by preference, but I have discovered that the earlier this step happens in the process, the more ideas and direction you will have when it comes to choosing a style for your website. 

 

If you don’t do this early in the process, I have seen many web builds fail because of it. 

Often times choosing your website style first will narrow your options for content you can add to the website, whether it just adds more work or you choose a theme that doesn’t have all the functionality you may need. 

Home Page

This is where your users will land. in 2019, most business websites feature a landing page slider with a header that visually expresses your brand.

Looking at the FastComet home page, you see they lead straight into pricing and explaining why they believe they are the best provider out there.

sERVICE pAGES

If you are in a service based industry, be sure to create service pages for each service you would like to organically rank for. This is an essential part to create a solid SEO-base as your website grows in the future. We have an article about how to create effective service pages on your business website. 

aBOUT pAGE

This is where your users will learn about you and your brand. Dig deep into the problems you solve and your involvement with the community.

cONTACT pAGE

This page will have a form where users can send mail directly to you or your office. This can also feature your phone number, desired email, address, as well as a map to get to you.

After Building an Outline &
Getting a Server

Now that you have your web host and your content outline for your website, you are ready to start building it! Whether you chose SiteGround, FastComet, or GoDaddy as a Web Server host, they will all provide you options for automatically installing WordPress on your server. Here are some instructions:

Step 1
Start Building

Building Your WordPress Installation

Here are some direct link to tutorials on how to build WordPress on all of the website I have mentioned.

After Installing WordPress

Once you install WordPress, you will have a stock install that will have the WordPress 2019 theme installed. This theme supports basic blog functionality, and you can preview it using that link. You will probably want to get a new theme pack or a page builder to customize your website. 

Step 1
Start Designing

Customize the Design of WordPress

Stock WordPress is great and very functional for both mobile and desktop experience, making it an ideal base for SEO. We will want to add to this functionality using a new theme and potentially plugins for added functionality. Here are some recommendations for themes or page builders to fully customize your WordPress experience from a front-end interface.  

Choose a WordPress Themes

WordPress themes are great for changing the look of your website from front to back. Resources like the WordPress Theme Library and Envato Elements (ThemeForest) are exactly where you should start looking at themes in the category for your business. They have ways to filter the themes per industry to see themes that are only styled for your type of business. Additionally, there are skeletal themes that strip down the WordPress styling and keep it in an HTML style, like Hello Theme by Elementor. Here are some options for free themes that are the most used. 

Customize WordPress with a Page Builder

Most of the time, this option will require you to spend money on a premium plugin, but some page builders, like Elementor have free options where you can customize the look of your website.