This is one of the very first and common questions we receive as a web design agency in Bangkok. So how much does it cost? Our answer will always be the same, you guessed it, “It depends”. There is a whole load of factors that need to be considered and taken into account when it comes to developing a website, and because of these key factors, costs for website development can begin in the range of ‘thousands of baht’ all the up to ‘millions of baht’. Costs also vary from who you decide to get your website built with, whether it’s a freelance designer, developer, or a web design agency.
Another key element that will reflect the total cost of your website is what the website is being built with, will it be using fully managed site builders like Squarespace or WIX? Built from scratch using code? or through a content management system like WordPress?
At Digital Loop, we build WordPress powered websites.
Because WordPress is a free, open-source software, the price for the website isn’t based on the actual software and solely on your domain and hosting costs. What you are paying for is the know-how, creativity, skill-set, and expertise of the developers and professionals who are building your clean, responsive, functional, search engine optimized website.
So, how much will creating a WordPress website actually cost if you’re doing it yourself or you engage a professional company?
In this article we’ll cover the several aspects of website development and give you a range of prices you can expect when you seek a quotation. The following sections of this article is based on a standard website using the most common content management systems on the market. WordPress.
Hosting and domain. Let’s quickly wrap our heads around this.
Web hosting and domain registration are two critical elements of running a website. It’s really important to understand the difference and use cases.
Web hosting is an account in a computer (in this case known as a server) that can store and serve website files via the internet.
Domain registration is basically leasing a human-readable word (such as apple.com or amazon.com) that directs people to specific website files via a browser. As an analogy, a domain is an “address” on the internet. Hosting is the “land” or space where your website files live.
Purchasing a domain and hosting can be done at once, using the same provider. We highly recommend SiteGround for a number of purposes including great customer support, simple user interface, and awesome speed and optimization features. We will be referring to SiteGround quite a bit in this article.
Where will my website be hosted? Will it be fast enough? And how much does it cost?
Once you have your domain, you will need web hosting. Web hosting costs start at modest rates for shared hosting, where your website will be on a server with other websites. One of our favorite web-hosting solutions is SiteGround where on the StartUp plan, your annual fee will be roughly 2-3,000 Baht. Other plans will include additional services for backups, security, and speed enhancement. Most of our customers can start a WordPress website utilizing the StartUp plan and as your website needs grow, upgrading is very simple.
If you know your business will attract dramatically high volumes of traffic, you may need to look into dedicated servers and enterprise hosting options which come at a significantly higher cost, somewhere in the range of 8,000-20,000 Baht depending on your requirements. Nonetheless, SiteGround has you covered.
Now that we have hosting and domain covered, let’s talk about design fees.
Everyone wants a beautiful website and luckily WordPress has thousands of great-looking themes available at reasonable prices. As a start, you’ll probably want to select a pre-made WordPress theme for your site’s design. When choosing a theme, you need to think about how you want to represent yourself or your brand online.
If you browse the web, you’ll find both free and premium WordPress themes. A lot will depend on the type of look you want for your WordPress site. Good themes won’t include much, if any, functionality directly within the theme. A theme with a ton of features might sound like a great deal, but most of the time you’ll be better served by a simple theme that works well with popular plugins.
Note: Lots of cool features, functions, hover effects and styling may wow you, but it’s wise to select a simple site because page speed matters! Having a heavy website slows down your website which can hurt your search engine rankings.
Another option when it comes to developing a website is using a page builder. We highly recommend Elementor, a drag and drop page builder that allows you to build your website using awesome drag and drop widgets and essentially create your own custom theme to your liking. Elementor comes in both a free and pro option, with the pro option starting at roughly 1,600 Baht a year.
You can also choose to hire a WordPress developer to customize and build a WordPress theme for you. You can find freelance WordPress developers anywhere online whether it be through dedicated Facebook groups or freelance platforms like Upwork. Be aware, that after the developer has finished the job, there is the possibility he/she will not be available in the future to maintain and do further customizations for you.
When looking for a freelancer, find someone like Manit Sethi who will offer an inexpensive yet efficient maintenance package to ensure your website continues to function and run with no issues and downtime.
When deciding on a WordPress theme, or even when building one, be sure to have a responsive design. This ensures that everyone who visits your website whether it be a desktop, tablet, or mobile device will have a great user experience.
Now let’s compare the web design fees
Using a freelancer to customize your pre-made theme
Whatever theme you choose for your next website, you should probably expect to pay at least 1,800 to 3,000 Baht for a quality theme with ongoing support, this also applies to page builders just like Elementor. Hiring a freelancer to develop your brochure/informational website can range between 25,000 to 60,000 Baht and up to 80,000 Baht for more advanced features like e-commerce and hotel booking sites.
Hiring a professional web agency, like Digital Loop
If setting up and customizing a theme is a little beyond what you’re prepared to do, or you just want something a little more custom and in the long term, you can still get a reasonably priced design. If you hire a web agency, you can expect to pay anywhere from 50,000 to 300,000 Baht depending on the complexity of your theme changes and size of the website.
I want to customize my website with features!
Plugins help you enhance the functionality of your WordPress site. There are many free ones that will help you immensely, such as SEO by Yoast for search engine optimization, Jetpack for functionality similar enhanced page speed and security, SG optimizer which comes free when you host your site with SiteGround which enables you to make your site more lightweight through code minification, compressing images, to more technical improvements like having a Content Delivery Network with Cloudflare. In addition to the free ones, there are also paid ones that you might find useful now or down the road.
So will I use free or paid plugins?
Lots of sites can get by using only free plugins from the WordPress.org plugin repository. If you’d like to save some money on your site, this is probably the best area to do it. There are a plethora of great free plugins available for WordPress, so try searching for free options before looking for a premium solution. That said, there is a good chance you’ll have at least one or two needs that can’t be met by free plugins, or you just want some paid support, so you should expect to spend around 3,000 Baht per year on premium plugins. If your site needs to work in a very specific way to accomplish your goals, there’s a good chance you’ll need to pay for it.
Most niche-specific plugins are paid because they only apply to a unique set of circumstances. A good example of this would be eCommerce plugins.
The two best eCommerce plugins for WordPress are free; however, they have many extensions which are not. If you need a lot of special functionality on your site, you can expect to pay anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 Baht for the premium plugins you’re going to need.
My site is broken. What should I do? How can I fix it?
WordPress websites need regular maintenance in terms of updates to the core software, updates to themes, and updates to plugins. These updates help your website perform at its best and keep it secure from the latest WordPress threats. Plus, you need backups if you want to ensure that your content will be safe in the event of a hosting disaster. In terms of costs, it can vary depending on if you opt to do it by yourself, or you let a web agency deal with the hosting provider and maintain your site for you. Let’s see the differences in terms of costs.
Handling it on your own:
If you don’t mind keeping up with WordPress updates, plugin updates, theme updates, and small adjustments to your theme and plugins, you can save some money in this area.
One major downside to saving money on-site maintenance is that you may wind up in a situation where you’ve crashed your site and don’t know how to restore it. We see this sort of thing all the time, so definitely be careful if you decide to look after your site yourself. Remember to always make backups!
Let the “experts” fix it for me:
If you’d prefer to have someone else take care of your site for you, the cost is usually pretty minimal. For example, our least expensive maintenance plan costs 15,000 Baht per year and includes monitoring, backups, updates, interactive WordPress training, and our favorite benefit – peace of mind.
I’m still not getting the big picture, so how much will my site cost?
As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider when determining how much a website will cost. If you’re ready to start tinkering with a bit of code and figuring out how to get WordPress website up and running you can save yourself quite a lot of money.
When you choose the right services from the start, WordPress doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. With most things, like designs and plugins, you can start free and work your way up. If you invest in the right things like a great domain name, web hosting company, and maintenance plan, you’ll be on your way to creating a successful website without having to fuss with a lot of the technical jargon.
I feel I want to build the site myself or with a freelance developer helping me.
Getting started doesn’t have to cost a lot. If you keep the scope of your site small, select budget-conscious options, you can expect to be up and running with your own WordPress website for around 15,000 to 20,000 Baht per year. That’s not bad at all.
I want the professionals to help me out.
If you really want to go all out and make the next big thing, or just be sure that you get the outcome you are looking for, you can spend quite a bit more than 50,000 Baht getting your website off the ground. If you’re interested in things like membership sites, eCommerce, and complex functionality you’ll probably wind up spending anywhere between 80,000 to 150,000 Baht for the initial development costs and between 25,000 Baht to 50,000 Baht per year for maintenance and support.
Again, these are rough estimates based on potential costs and it could be much less or much more depending on your requirements and needs.
Our advice is to be careful about overspending on an idea before you’ve validated it. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you whip out your credit card and purchase themes and plugins. If you have an idea and you’re looking for someone to point you in the right direction, please feel free to reach out to us!