Even though WordPress and WooCommerce are both free, there is still a cost involved in running a WooCommerce store. The costs will vary based on your exact needs. In this article, we’ll take a look at how much it costs to set up and run a WooCommerce store.
One of the advantages of WordPress and WooCommerce is that you have control over the cost of your store. You can build it yourself or hire developers, include very few or many features, use practically any range of hosting, etc. You can start small and build up, or you can go straight to the top.
Before we look at the prices: this article will cover some ballpark prices, but it isn’t intended to be a pricing guide to use for pricing your work. It’s just to get an idea of what it could cost to set up and run your WooCommerce store. The idea is to remove the surprises and help you plan.
Since WooCommerce is a plugin, you’ll have to use WordPress.org and install WordPress on a hosting plan. The free WordPress hosting, WordPress.com, doesn’t allow for plugins unless you pay for an upgrade to the business plan.
This means that you’ll need your own domain name and a secure hosting plan. There are lots of hosting options. WooCommerce and WordPress both recommend SiteGround, BlueHost, and Pressable. Hosting typically includes free SSL, email, and backups.
They have plans specifically for WordPress and WooCommerce with prices ranging from around $10 to $50 per month, depending on the traffic and features you’re interested in. You can get hosting for as little as $3 per month, but this type of hosting isn’t really suited well for the type of traffic you want for your WooCommerce store. You can usually get discounts by purchasing by the year.
Average cost: $15 per month, $120 per year
The domain name is a yearly fee and you’ll probably want to add privacy. There are lots of options for extensions. Prices for all of the extensions range from $15 to $190 per year plus $15 per year for privacy. The prices are usually cheaper for the first year but will change to their normal pricing after that.
Average cost for most popular extensions: $15 per year, $30 per year with privacy
The logo should be professionally designed. Prices range widely. You can get them from $5 and up, but for an online store, it’s worth investing a little more and working with a graphic designer with a strong track record.
Average price for logo: $50
WooCommerce works with just about any WordPress theme, including free and premium themes. You don’t really have to purchase a premium theme, but they do look more professional and can give you a lot more features. Free themes are not as customizable, so your store will look the same as many websites on the net. Also, they don’t include support.
WooCommerce offers a theme called Storefront that’s made specifically for creating online stores with WooCommerce. It’s well designed and has premium child themes available for it.
Even though WooCommerce works with practically any theme and WooCommerce has an excellent theme to build your store with, we prefer to build WooCommerce stores with Divi. Divi is a powerful theme with tools to improve the presentation of your products and it has lots of child themes available that are designed with WooCommerce in mind, such as this one called Divi eCommerce.
Average price for Divi: $89 per year, $249 lifetime. Average child theme price: $60, $149 yearly membership includes access to everything
For a lot of websites, the free versions of Yoast or All In One SEO are enough to get good SEO, but for serious online shopping and growing your store you might consider the premium versions. They include extra tools and insights that will help you reach your audience better.
Average price for premium SEO: $50 per year
One of the most important aspects of your website is security. Your customers are counting on you to keep their information safe and they’re excepting a safe experience with your website.
There are lots of great choices for keeping your WooCommerce website secure. Some of the most popular include Sucuri, SiteLock, Jetpack, and Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan. Most have free options, which are great for getting started, but for an online store, you might consider one of the upgrades.
Average price for premium security: $100 per year
You will need to communicate with your customers. One of the best options is through newsletters. Email newsletter services, such as MailChimp, allow you to market to your audience. Send ads, sales notifications, new product info, promotions, coupons, and more. MailChimp integrates with WooCommerce and social media and includes analytics.
Average price for email: $120 per year
Enhancing Your Store
There are lots of ways to enhance your store with new features. I don’t recommend adding features that you don’t really need. Too many add-ons to WooCommerce can slow your store down and that performance will be reflected in sales.
I recommend plugins that you add features that you can use to grow your store, such as reporting, payment gateways, shipping options, sorting and filtering features, etc.
Here at Aspen Groves Studios, we have several lightweight plugins that add reporting features to WooCommerce. Plugins include:
- Product Sales Report Pro for WooCommerce
- Export Order Items Pro for WooCommerce
- Frontend Reports for WooCommerce
- Scheduled Email Reports for WooCommerce
- WooCommerce and Zoho CRM Connector Pro
- Potent Donations for WooCommerce
Average cost per WooCommerce plugin: $0-59 per single site, $149 for annual membership with all plugins
Once the store up running, it will need to be maintained. This includes making backups, performing updates, restoring when necessary, adding new products, performing a/b tests, analyzing traffic, publishing, etc.
You can do this yourself or you can purchase a maintenance plan. Prices range from $50 to $300 per month, depending on the level of features you want. You can see more about maintenance plans, see the article How To Set Up a Website Maintenance Plan for Your Web Development Business.
Average cost for WooCommerce maintenance plans: $120 per month, $1440 per year
Optional: Costs of Outsourcing Talent
Rather than doing all the work yourself you can outsource the design/development, copywriting, and photography talent. They are specialists in their fields and are a great choice if you want a higher level of quality. Their rates will be added above your cost estimate.
When you outsource the development work the cost will need to be added above your own quote. Here’s a Divi Chat episode on white-labeling that goes into detail of how to do this:
Another option for photography is stock photography. This can be either free or paid photos. If you’re sourcing the photos you’ll need to add a sourcing fee to the cost.
Average price for outsourced talent: Varies
Keep in mind that prices vary greatly. And again, this isn’t meant to be a concrete price-guide. With that in mind, here’s a look at the general costs.
The total yearly cost can run:
- Hosting = $120
- Domain = $30
- Logo = $50
- Theme = $89
- SEO = $50
- Newsletter = $120
- Security = $100
- Enhancements = $149
- Maintenance = $1440
Total yearly cost = $2098
This is an amazing price for owning an online store. It is possible to set up and run a store cheaper than this (you CAN get by with just the cost of hosting), but it’s also possible for the price to go much higher. It really depends on the features you want, and it depends on how much of the work you want to do yourself.
One of the best things about WooCommerce is that you can start small and expand as you go. You could add new payment gateways, shopping cart abandonment features, shipping features, and lots more. Your store is completely customizable. Consider carefully what you really need for your online store, your brand, and your customers.
Even though there are costs, running a WooCommerce store is still a great choice because those costs can easily be scaled to your needs. Careful planning will help you create and grow the best possible WooCommerce store.
Are there other costs you would add to set up a WooCommerce store? Let us know about it in the comments.