For a new eCommerce store, it’s important to know how much it will cost to build. Especially if it’s a start-up and not a running business yet. In addition, not only the start-up costs matters but also maintaining costs too. With WooCommerce, you can get started cheap, so I think it’s the best choice to make an online store nowadays. I gathered up the amounts of money that you need for the start and for the maintenance.
It’s true that WordPress and WooCommerce are free, but you have to pay for a few tools. In addition, for an online store where you make money, it’s recommended to invest more money at the beginning too.
Choose good tools in terms of value for money. It’s worth to choose cheaper ones for a start-up or if you just learn and practice in the online business world. If you have more experience and you want to establish a great business it’s worth to invest more money.
We’ll see the fixed cost to start an online store and also the maintenance and extra costs too.
I’m trying to show you every little hidden cost so that you don’t get a surprise later. With this, you will certainly be able to plan correctly.
Cost of starting an eCommerce store
The first stage of building an online store is always a solid foundation. This is as necessary for an eCommerce store, as for a simple blog or business website.
There are various eCommerce platforms that are very good, such as Shopify.
They have their advantages and disadvantages, but I recommend WordPress because of its flexibility and cheapness.
Of course, I can seem biased because I teach WordPress, but I honestly believe in it.
Since the system is free, you don’t have to spend anything on it.
A feature of WordPress sites is that you have to self-host, manage and maintain your website.
Of course, there is a fee, because the servers have to run 24 hours a day so you have to pay for this.
There are many hosting providers to choose from and it is difficult to distinguish between them. The price is unfortunately not always directly proportional to quality so it’s a tough choice.
Not just the exact features matters but the reaction time, kindness and helpfulness of the customer service, which cannot be known in advance, but it’s a very important factor.
For a start-up eCommerce store with up to a few hundred page views a day, and with not many products (1-100), a simple, low-cost, shared hosting can be enough. These start from a few dollars a month.
Siteground offers very good value for money. This will be enough at the beginning and will cost $3.95 per month with our discount.
However, if you want super premium quality, I recommend WPEngine. There smallest package starts at $31.5 a month with our discount.
Learn more about choosing a web host in this article.
In my opinion, Siteground is enough for a small, start-up business, but if you are more experienced, the amount you’ll invest in WPEngine will come back to a money-generating website.
The domain name is the address of your website, such as https://wpviking.com.
You have to buy this separately, but fortunately, it’s very cheap.
If nobody has registered it before, then you can bey it for approximitely $15 a year.
If someone has bought it before, then the situation is more problematic. If your chosen domain name is very important to you, you can try to find the owner and start negotiating about buying it. The price is entirely domain-based and owner-dependent.
For example, wpviking.com was $700 for me.
If you are not lucky, the original owner don’t want to sell it to you. In this case, you have to look for other domains.
Also, it’s worth thinking about the future and buying more domain extensions if you can.
SSL Certificate – HTTPS
The SSL certificate is a security protocol that makes less likely to steal credit card and other sensitive data from the website.
This is a must and Siteground and WPEngine are giving it for free, automatically after purchase.
It was harder to connect in the old days, but fortunately, this will not be a problem today.
In an eCommerce store where serious money is at stake, you have to choose the best possible them you can.
There are countless themes designed to focus on WooCommerce and online sales.
The Themeforest the largest gathering place in such. They sell them for about 60 bucks, and it’s important to know that you can only use them for a single domain name.
There are many themes here that focus directly on the online shops, and they can be good, but I still don’t recommend choosing from here.
If you’ve read other articles from me, you know I’m obsessed with Divi.
- This is a multifunctional theme
- The team developing it in an incredible pace,
- if you buy it, you can install it to any number of domain names,
- communicates well with WooCommerce, and
- have a money-back guarantee.
I recommend that you start with 70 bucks for a year, and if you are confident with it you can upgrade to the lifetime licence for 160 bucks at any time. In this case, the total cost will be 6 dollars more, but you don’t have to invest a larger amount at the beginning when there is a lot of question in you.
Our basic system is WordPress, but we have to equip it with the functions needed to sell products.
We will use the free WooCommerce plugin for this. This is the most used online store system in the world, with over 20% of such websites.
Required – Summary
The essentials but, your online store can be professional only these.
- WordPress – Free
- Hosting – from $48 / year ($120 / year later)
- Domain – $15 / year
- SSL Certificate – Free
- Divi theme – $70 in the first year and $160 to upgrade to lifetime license
For less than $150 you can build an amazing eCommerce store. It’s incredible what we can do online nowadays with such a low amount of money.
But I don’t want to lie, the price can go up. Let’s look at the maintenance and extra costs.
Note: If you don’t succeed with your first project, you won’t lose that money. For another idea, you only need to buy a new domain for $15 and you can use the same web hosting and theme.
Costs of running an online store
You built the store and you might think you don’t have to pay for anything else. Unfortunately, that’s not true.
The start-up prices are also recurring, and there are extra costs.
But you going to make money so you can easily cover your expenses.
Online Payment Solutions
We need at least 1 system to handle online payments.
Usually, they get commissions per sales.
Depending on your country, there may be variations in what systems are available, but there are a few that are used in most places.
PayPal can be used everywhere and everyone knows the brand. Being huge players in the market, they ask for a higher price than the average. It can be integrated for free to WooComemrce with a plugin and they get 3.4% + $0.30 as a transaction fee. If you have a lot of revenue, then it will decrease. Unfortunately, this must be accepted, this is the price of their system.
The Stripe is the most well-known payment processing system today, by no accident. Integrates with everything, the user experience is fantastic and it costs 2.9% + $ 0.30.
I recommend using both Stripe and PayPal. Depending on your country, this may change.
Extra Costs Costs
Today, a functionally well-functioning online store can be built very cheaply.
Probably, there will be extra costs. There are things that need a higher percentage of people, but there are some that will only be needed in more specific cases. You have to figure out what your business needs.
I’ve tried to list the typical extra costs based on ‘frequency’.
Email marketing software
Building an email list and making your previous customers buy something again can be the key to your business’s success.
With WooCommerce, every known email system can be connected.
MailChimp is good for beginners because it can be used free of charge to 2,000 subscribers.
If you are more serious about email marketing (I think you should be in the case of eCommerce) ActiveCampaign what I recommend. Starting at $9 a month the software knows everything.
The prices are tied to the subscriber count. It can grow a serious amount, but with great marketing automation, this investment comes back multiply.
Your extra costs depends on these the most. The WooCommerce business model is that the basic system itself is free, while the team built many paid plugins for different user needs.
You don’t have to be afraid because you can make a great site without using them paid plugins too. However, it is likely that you will have to get a couple of them to cover your needs.
Fortunately, not only WooCommerce developers make plugins, but other teams too.
You can find a couple of gems for free, but the developers know very well that if someone is making money for they can pay for great benefits. So you can find a lot more premium plugins in proportion to the regular plugins.
If you are searching for new or upgraded features think about these:
- Changing the automatic WooCommerce emails design
- Improving product filtering
- Membership and subscriptions
- Bundled products
- Automatic CSV file creation
- Improved shipping options
- Sales triggers
- Check out page editor
- Affiliate system
- Dynamic pricing
- Logging in with social media profile
- Premium Security and Monitoring Service
Extensions prices range from a few dollars to $250 a year. If you have no experience with them, then I suggest you first look at what can be achieved without plugins. Then when you feel what other features you need, you can research the best plugins for your need.
Establishing a company, legal things, accountant
If you make money, you have to pay attention to the legal stuff.
What you may need from a legal point of view for the proper functioning:
- Start-up costs
- Accounting costs
- Terms and Conditions
- Legal Advice
Certain costs are only incurred at the beginning, but there are ongoing costs while running your business. I know this is not the sexiest part of building a business, but you have to think about it.
It may seem clear, but if you are not selling an online product, you have to get your products from somewhere.
If you provide a service or sell something online, you will still have the associated expenses, but it depends on the direction you go.
It’s worthwhile to calculate in advance what profit you can achieve, how much you have to sell in order to cover your expenses, what profit margin you can make, and so on.
For me, this is just like the legal stuff: needed, but I don’t want to deal with logistics.
Somehow you will have to deliver your products to your customers.
You figure out this whole procedure as cheaply and efficiently as possible.
It may also be a good idea to outsource logistics with a fulfilment service which varies from country to country.
The stylish design is now a must-have for any business. If you a sense of beauty, you can solve a lot of things alone, but for your logo and your branded products, it is worthwhile to trust the work to a professional designer.
I know that at the beginning, the budget is often minimal, but especially for businesses where visuality is vital, the success of the entire business may depend on this.
You can also ask for expert help in designing your website, but today, layouts and templates are provided by the creators of the themes to create great-looking pages on your own.
Whether you are doing your website alone or outsourcing the work, a competent developer will always be a good help.
If you learn the structure of your system and build the foundation, then if you need more specific things that require more profound knowledge that it is not worth learning, then outsource the task.
A programmer puts a lot of value into your business. Imagine if you can automate a workflow that saves you 1 hour of work a week. If you pay for 3 hours of work for a developer, he saves you 50 hours a year. That is why their hourly rate is so damn high.
In addition, you may not be able to complete the basic functionality of your online store for some reason. In this case, must get professional help.
It’s true that they are asking for a higher average hourly rate, but if you find a good one, they are well worth their price.
How much does it cost to outsource the building of your online store?
Since I wanted to write a very good article, I asked 28 different companies.
I didn’t ask for any complications, I wanted to build a store with WooCommerce to sell a new fitness product. I asked for completely basic pages, I wrote that I was giving the text and that I had many pictures.
I received 16 responses within 3 days. There was a few with no free capacity some wanted a call or a personal meeting. I didn’t want to take so much time from them so I just show you the prices what I got immediately.
Such amounts were included in the more specific offers (low to high):
The standard deviation is quite high. Of course, this also depends on who I personally searched for. The high-end deals really came from good companies that I would love to work with.
The average is about $3,000 which is not too bad. If you have an established business this investment will come back in a few months.
Now we know about the cost of outsourcing this task, so we’ve really been around the topic.
Conclusion – Cost to build an eCommerce store with WooCommerce?
If you did not just scroll straight to this section, you could see that there are costs that are must at start-up, those that need to be paid continuously, and there are many different costs that fall into the category of “depends on your business”.
That’s why it’s hard to tell you a specific price for how much an online store will cost.
The good news is that with a basic configuration you can put together an amazing online shop, so you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to succeed. In the beginning, you can concentrate on your strategy, products, sales, marketing.
You need to invest, not just time, but money. At this level, you have to do this already.
The cost of starting an eCommerce store is around $150, which is (mainly) paid annually. In addition, the online payment solution will be a cost to everyone. There will also be other costs, the price of which is so variable that unfortunately, you have to look at it one by one, what applies to you.
Be sure to write them down on a piece of paper or Excel because it’s important to plan ahead.
I hope I could help you a little bit, and now you can better organize your spending in advance. That way, you can be much more prepared for your journey. Do you have any questions or would you share your online store experience with me? Write a comment under the post!