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How Much Money Should You Spend On WordPress Developers?

With tighter operating budgets and an uncertain economy, many businesses are considering the leap to WordPress. Here’s how to gauge just how much it’s going to cost your business.

As a web developer, it amazes me that it took rough economic seas for WordPress to appear to have come out on its own in the web development for business market.

As the world has seen many number of website management platforms fall by the wayside from Lyris’ Hot Banana, to countless other once high-performing CMS platforms, it appears that the open source platform that no one thought would ever be ready for business has been growing its business user-base dramatically in recent years.

In fact, it is now estimated that the original darling of the WordPress world, the online news website, has been usurped by business WordPress users.

And the benefits of that estimate are great news for business. The more businesses that use WordPress, the more functionality that will be built for the platform in the form of plugins. More freely-available plugins mean that more businesses can make the plunge easily into open source. 

But let’s talk costs. How much does a WordPress website cost?

Perhaps the most annoying expectation that many parties interested in adopting the world-class CMS for their business website is that the WordPress platform is free. And it is –sort of.

1. Labour Costs

In a world where all software is plagued with license agreements, WordPress is not. This means that where a business might pay as much as $10,000 just for the privilege of building a solution with a particular platform, WordPress users pay no such licensing fee

But heck, if I was offering you free cement, it doesn’t mean that it’s free to build a house with it.

As with any product or service, as soon as you put your hands into the mix, the meter turns on. Labour costs for WordPress is very much in line with those associated to Microsoft’s .NET platform, or Ruby on Rails.

2. Buy versus Build

This is where some cost-savings can be adopted however, not without proper research. This research is called “discovery and planning”, and it’s a step a lot of customers wish they could bypass before they make a decision about which website content management platform they select.

The reality is that proper planning will allow for a WordPress developer to discern where they can implement third-party, pre-existing technologies –and where they need to build them from scratch, ground-up.

This planning can create countless opportunities where costs can be shaved off the cost of a WordPress development project. 

3. Functions

To get a little deeper into the “buy vs. build” argument, a business needs to ask itself what it needs before it decides what platform it should work with. Instead of forcing your business and its unique logic, process, and values to conform to a website CMS platform, it is important to ask yourself what you need it to do in the first place

WordPress is ideal for most traditional marketing functions, however as you start customizing it, costs rise. And in some cases, it can cost more to work with WordPress than it would to work with a proprietary development platform.

So to put it simply, cost savings can come with WordPress if the platform is carefully measured for compatibility with not only your office systems, but your office processes and security measures.

WordPress really shines with marketing endeavours like brochure sites, online forums, e-commerce, or managing user roles; however once these needs get advanced, your cost of WordPress development could rise.

In Closing

It is always better to consult with web design and development companies before you choose a platform. It always costs more to redesign a building after a family has already moved into it.

Image from Flickr