An e-commerce website is an ideal solution for selling products and services online. However, with many factors to consider, you might not know whether creating an online store is feasible. Fortunately, we can show you how much it will cost to get started.
In this post, we’ll explore five of the main costs associated with creating an e-commerce website. Let’s jump right in!
How Much Does It Cost to Create an E-Commerce Website? (5 Considerations)
There are plenty of platforms for creating an e-commerce website, such as Shopify and Wix. However, we’ll be discussing WooCommerce in this article since it’s free, WordPress-compatible, and easy to install. Let’s jump in to explore the costs!
1. Web Hosting
When creating any website, web hosting is a vital consideration. A host will provide resources and an online “space” for your website. Plus, some providers will take care of maintenance and security tasks.
You may also get access to other perks, like a free SSL certificate. Although SSL certificates are important for every website, they are essential for e-commerce sites because they secure and authorize online transactions.
When choosing a host for your e-commerce website, it’s also important to consider the type of hosting that best suits your business. For instance, shared hosting is typically the cheapest option, but you’ll share resources with other sites.
Another popular option is managed hosting, which is best for users who don’t want the responsibility of running their own sites. Instead, your web host will take care of many tasks, including backups, updates, and 24/7 security scans.
It can also be useful to consider a web host that can accommodate growth. Ideally, your host should be able to scale your resources as your store receives more visitors.
Consider opting for a high-quality managed web host like WP Engine. WP Engine is optimized for WooCommerce and offers fast loading times with its proprietary EverCache technology:
To give you an idea of the costs, WP Engine’s WooCommerce Startup Plan costs $24 per month for one website and supports 25,000 monthly visits. It comes with 10 GB of storage, 50 GB of bandwidth, and additional e-commerce features like instant store search.
2. Website Builders and Themes
You could choose one of the free e-commerce themes from the WordPress theme repository and customize it for your e-commerce store. However, this basic approach is unlikely to yield the best results.
Alternatively, you could invest in a premium e-commerce theme. For example, Flatsome is a popular WooCommerce theme that costs $59:
Additionally, creating your website with WordPress and WooCommerce means that you can install plugins to improve the design and functionality of your site. For example, page builders enable you to design professional-standard pages without expert design or coding knowledge.
Page builders are great because they provide full control over your web pages. You can change layouts, adjust stylistic elements, and add useful modules like videos and buttons. One of the most popular options is Elementor:
Furthermore, Elementor has a free plugin that you can install directly from your WordPress dashboard. Although, if you want to access additional templates and widgets, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan, starting at $59 per year.
3. Payment Processing
You’ll also need a way to accept payments in your e-commerce store. By default, WooCommerce supports PayPal and Stripe. However, you can also add other payment gateways with WooCommerce extensions.
The price for payment processing varies since each payment gateway has different processing fees. Plus, the final cost often depends on factors like your geographic location and currency.
To give you an idea, PayPal would charge an online store in the U.S. (that uses USD) 2.9% + $0.30 for transactions over $10. Authorize and Stripe have similar fees.
Meanwhile, Square is slightly lower at 2.6% + $0.10 for contactless payments:
One of the best things about WooCommerce is that it doesn’t cap your sales. Therefore, you won’t be overcharged for making too many sales each month.
However, before settling on a payment gateway, it can be helpful to consider how many sales you expect to make. Then, you can determine whether you can afford these fees.
4. Plugins and Extensions
As we mentioned before, you can install free or premium plugins in WordPress to expand your e-commerce website.
For instance, you might like to create signup forms, customer surveys, and payment forms for your e-commerce site. In this case, a form builder like WP Forms is a great choice. The premium plugin will cost you as little as $49.50 a year.
You may also want to create loyalty programs or offer online coupons to customers. Advanced Coupons and Loyalty Program can help you set up these features and cost $59.50 and $79.50 per year, respectively:
It’s also worth creating a mailing list to keep customers up-to-date with your business and send promotions to their inboxes. So, you’ll need an email marketing provider like Mailchimp or ConvertKit:
Both of these tools offer free plans for a limited number of subscribers. MailChimp also has an Essentials plan for $11 per month, accommodating 5,000 monthly emails. Meanwhile, ConvertKit’s cheapest plan will set you back $9 per month.
Lastly, you can bring more visibility to your website with a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin like Yoast SEO. Although there is a free and limited version of the plugin, the premium tool provides more optimization features for $99 per year.
5. Ongoing Costs
So far, we’ve discussed all the startup costs associated with creating an e-commerce website. However, there are also some ongoing costs that you’ll need to consider.
You’ll have to factor in payment processing fees, monthly or annual web hosting costs, and subscription billing for premium plugins. Furthermore, other maintenance considerations include shipping costs if you sell physical products, and inventory management.
What’s more, as your store grows, it can be useful to sync your website with a free analytics tool like Google Analytics:
With Google Analytics, you can easily track your most important metrics. For instance, you can view the number of new users and where they are coming from. Plus, you can track engagement levels, items purchased, and conversions.
On top of this, you might want to boost your marketing efforts to attract new users to your website. You can use free methods like social media and SEO. However, you might also prefer to invest in paid strategies like Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisements.
Finally, the best e-commerce websites offer multiple customer support channels to resolve customer queries. Setting up this system can involve software costs like chatbots or increased staffing if you opt for call centers.
Creating an e-commerce website is a great way to sell products online. However, you might be worried about mounting costs. Overall, you’ll need to consider web hosting, website builders, payment processing, and more when budgeting for your online business.
Do you have any questions about the cost of creating an e-commerce website? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pexels.
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