WooCommerce is a popular ecommerce platform that allows businesses to sell products and services online. One of the main reasons for its popularity is that it is relatively affordable to set up and use. It’s free to use both WordPress and the WooCommerce basic plugin. However, there are additional fees when running this type of setup, which could add up fast. The pricing can be very complex and overwhelming with all their different options and pricing structures.
This guide details everything you need to know about WooCommerce pricing to plan for all the associated costs. We are here to make sure any hidden costs do not blindside you!
WooCommerce Pricing: The Basics
The first cost will be your domain name. A domain is the URL address; every website requires this to be accessible online. A website without a human-readable address isn’t very useful and can be blocked by search engines like Google from displaying on their results pages.
Domain names are purchased from different providers, and the cost will vary depending on the chosen domain name. When setting up a WooCommerce store, businesses must purchase a domain name for their website. The cost of a domain name is typically around $15-25 per year, depending on the optional add-ons like domain privacy. Cloudflare has recently entered the domain registration business, and they have quite the value proposition as it’s truly “at cost” wholesale pricing (only $8.57 currently for .com domains).
In addition to the cost of the domain itself, businesses will also need to pay for hosting services. Hosting makes a website accessible online, and the cost of setting up and maintaining a WooCommerce store will start at around $130 per year. However, the fees vary depending on several factors listed below:
- Traffic levels will affect how much you pay in hosting fees. If your website is getting a lot of traffic, you must choose a plan that will accommodate extra server resources.
- The size of your website will also determine how much you pay. If you have a large website with many products, you will need a plan with a larger file size allowance. You’ll also need to pay attention to your inode limits.
- The hosting plan type can also impact the cost of hosting. For instance, if you need more features and resources, such as unlimited storage space or bandwidth, you may need a VPS or dedicated server, which can increase the monthly fee.
- If your bandwidth needs drastically change depending on sales/promotions/holidays, getting a VPS plan where you can scale up resources only when necessary might be your best value.
By taking all of these factors into account, you can be sure to choose the right hosting plan for your WooCommerce website.
There are dozens of quality hosting options to choose from for your WooCommerce site. SiteGround and WP Engine are two of the most popular choices, and each has advantages and disadvantages.
SiteGround is relatively affordable, ranging from $6.99 to $14.99 per month. SiteGround has one of the fastest networks of any hosting company, with an unrivaled 100% reliability rate, ensuring that your site stays up and running consistently. SiteGround also has excellent customer support who are experienced with WordPress.
WP Engine, on the other hand, is a bit more expensive, starting at $23 per month. But it provides users with access to a dedicated team of WordPress experts and enhanced security features and performance optimization. Ultimately, the best hosting option for your site will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Many hosting companies run specials where the first billing term is severely discounted, so make sure you pay attention to the fine details of the renewal billing terms. For example, right now, SiteGround has an 80% off sale going on for its WooCommerce Hosting Plan. This means it’s just $2.99 a month for the first year, but at the end of the first (annual) period, it’ll jump up to $14.99.
Another thing to consider is the cost of a WooCommerce-compatible-and-friendly theme. While some free WooCommerce themes are available such as Storefront, most premium themes will cost between $50 and $200.
Theme licenses can be costly depending on the payment schedules, so keep that in mind when looking at the prices of each option. You will also need to factor in how much it will cost if you want access to updates or support from their team, like new features and changes within your theme’s design. Some themes have a 1-time purchase price that gives you a lifetime license. Most developers are moving towards an annual license renewal system, so that you need to renew your license yearly in order to access software updates and tech support.
So before you select a theme for your store, be sure to check the full on going price tag. You can avoid any unexpected costs down the road by taking the time to do your research upfront.
One of WooCommerce’s best selling points is that its open source nature has encouraged the development of thousands of independent developers to create free and premium plug-ins to add functionality to the system, so you can tailor WooCommerce to have only the functionality you need based on your business, without any of the extra code bloat.
WordPress and WooCommerce-specific Plugins may also have additional costs associated with them. Some extra plugins may have free versions, but premium ones typically have annual costs. The cost for each of these can range from $10 (one time) to $200 (annually). This all depends on where you buy them from.
CodeCanyon is one of the more popular marketplaces for plugins. It has over 2500 WooCommerce plugins. Their pricing structure generally gives you software and lifetime updates for an upfront purchase cost, but tech support will only be available for the first six months unless you renew it.
WooCommerce.com is the official store for the platform and subsequently is a more curated experience. Plugin redundancy is reduced on this platform, as you will generally only find one plugin option to deliver a specific function. The costs are generally much higher than elsewhere, but the customer support is always top-notch and well worth the extra cost.
One of the risks when buying third-party plugins is that the plugin may sometimes become deprecated or abandoned by the developer/s. That’s why at Fountain City, we recommend going with software from established companies with long track records. Even though these plugins can be more expensive. Knowing that your store’s functionality will have continual support and compatibility in the future is definitely worth paying a small premium.
Create Your Own Plugin
In addition to pre-existing plugins, you can add features and functionality to your WooCommerce site by creating a plugin tailored specifically for your site.
Developing a plugin can also help you save money on monthly supported maintenance costs by allowing you to make changes and additions yourself. While creating a WooCommerce plugin takes time and effort, many organizations hire a developer to get the exact functionality they need without anything they don’t. The cost to do this can be around $1,000-$5,000.
One of the most under-appreciated and overlooked costs with businesses is the expenses involved with “switching” software. This could be because the hosting company you originally signed up for no longer meets your resources or customer services needs. Or a plugin you purchased got abandoned, and it’s no longer compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce.
Another reason is that your chosen theme was built with templatized formatting in mind, and your business needs greater design flexibility. Sometimes you can port data from one plugin to another, but frequently you can’t, and it’ll be costly to convert this data in time, developer costs, or both.
Before committing to your tech stack, work with your web developers to think about how your business will grow and what the future software landscape will look like to support this.
When building a website, you must consider how much money you will spend on the project. Employing a quality developer to build your website can be expensive; the average cost for a good design starts at around $10,000, but it’s worth the expense if you want a professional-looking website that functions properly.
If you don’t have time to learn to code yourself, hiring WooCommerce developers is a good option. Companies like Fountain City can build a custom website for you that meets your specific needs. When choosing a developer, be sure to read reviews and check portfolios to ensure you’re hiring someone who is qualified and has experience with the WooCommerce platform.
Security is a top priority for any website, but it’s especially important for ecommerce sites. WooCommerce is a popular ecommerce platform, but it’s essential to be aware of the security risks involved in using it. Hacking and security breaches can lead to stolen customer data, website degradation, and sales loss. Due to the requirements to notify customers of security breaches, you may lose customer trust if hacked. To prevent these threats, investing in security measures such as malware scanning services, security plugins, and firewall protection is crucial, as is making sure that all your site’s software is regularly tested and updated to include any security patches.
You’ll need an SSL certificate to encrypt sensitive information as it passes between your customer’s browsers and your server. There are now free SSL options available through many hosts. You may need to purchase a premium SSL certificate based on your specific needs.
In general, security costs are an investment that will help protect your WooCommerce website and ensure your customers feel safe shopping on your site.
Credit Card Processing
Your checkout process will typically include credit card processing. When processing credit card payments, dozens of payment processors are available for WooCommerce.
The preferred plugin to use at this point is WooCommerce Payments, which uses Stripe as the backbone. It supports most credit card brands. Stripe currently charges 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge.
Another processing platform is Square which also includes mobile payments. In-person fees are 2.6% plus 10¢ per transaction. Additionally, ecommerce fees are 2.9% plus 30¢.
If your business produces a significant amount of payments, i.e., $25,000+ per month, you may want to consider Helcium. The in-person credit card processing fee is only 1.92% plus 8¢ for in-person charges and 2.38 plus 25¢ for online.
Ultimately, deciding which option to choose depends on your specific needs based on the information provided by your customers utilizing these services.
Search Engine Optimization
As mentioned, starting a new site includes many setups, design, and functionality costs. However, applying Search Engine Optimization techniques is critical to ensure all your hard work doesn’t get lost in the fray. SEO is the key to success for your ecommerce website. You can do it yourself, but it takes a lot of time and resources, which often makes paying for these services a much better return on investment.
If you want to take this on yourself, a few SEO tools like those highlighted below can help increase your site visibility and organic traffic.
- Yoast SEO – Yoast handles a plethora of SEO tools you will need for your business and focuses on your site rank on search engines by helping you optimize your site’s content and keywords by utilizing meta descriptions, keywords, alt text, etc. They have a free version, and at only $99/year, you can get hands-on support and access to training videos to improve your SEO further.
- AIOSEO – This tool is excellent for managing broken links, redirects, 404 pages, and other page-related optimizations. AIOSEO’s Redirection Manager addon, which starts around $50/year, is an easy way to perform redirects and increase your site authority, bringing you higher on SERP, or search engine results pages.
- SEMrush – SEMrush is a powerful research tool that allows you to compare your website to your competition. With SEMrush, you can see which keywords your competitors are ranking for, what their traffic looks like, and how they’re doing on social media. This information is invaluable but pricey, starting at almost $120/month. However, you can ensure that your website is one step ahead by understanding what your competition is doing right.
Running ads within your digital marketing channels, such as social media and email campaigns, can benefit you and the company. A great way to generate new customers is by using targeted advertising on platforms like Facebook, where users are already online searching for your specific product.
The cost of an advertising or email marketing campaign depends on several factors, including your budget, the industry you’re in, and the types of marketing you’re aiming to tackle. If you’re working within a limited budget, like less than $300 per week, you will need to be strategic about your campaigns and where you allocate your resources. Generally, industries with higher prices for goods or services will have higher advertising costs as companies compete heavily for market share. For example, the average cost per click (CPC) for the legal industry is $6.75, with very specific targets getting extremely expensive. The CPC for Houston Maritime Attorney got as high as $1,090
Additionally, many companies pay marketing solely for brand awareness or lead generation campaigns. Display ads, pop-ups, or social media ads often aim to get a company logo and brief information in front of as many people as possible. The cost will vary depending on your channels and the level of customization or personalization you include. Considering all these factors, you can create an effective marketing campaign that fits your budget and meets your business goals.
WooCommerce Maintenance Costs
Your WooCommerce website will need regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Depending on the size and complexity of your site, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $500 per month on maintenance costs. Regular updates are highly recommended for keeping your site safe, secure, and operational 24/7.
Some common maintenance tasks include backing up your site, updating plugins and software, and troubleshooting error messages or broken links. You may also need to add new products or pages to your site regularly and hire someone to help with customer support if you start getting a lot of orders.
By ensuring your website is regularly updated and maintained, you can avoid the costly process of rebuilding it from scratch. Also, regular maintenance can help improve your website’s ranking in search engines, making it more likely that potential customers will find it. As a result, taking the time to invest in quality WooCommerce maintenance services is an investment that is likely to pay off in the long run. This article references a more granular list of WooCommererce maintenance costs you may not have considered.
WooCommerce offers its own set of analytical tools. However, these tools are not as comprehensive as other platforms. As a result, businesses using WooCommerce may need to invest in additional analytic integrations to get the data they need.
You can install basic Google Analytics via hard coding the tracking scripts or using the free WooCommerce Google Analytics plugin. There is also a pro version of this plugin for $79/year if you need additional features. There are also more comprehensive SASS tools such as Meteorik or Putler that offer additional features like pricing tiers, marketing performance reporting, abandoned cart reporting, revenue breakdowns, and conversion funnels, which can range from $20 dollars a month up to hundreds of dollars a month.
While this analytic data can add to the overall cost of running an ecommerce business, it is possible to find affordable options that still provide valuable insights. By carefully comparing the features and pricing of different analytic platforms, businesses can find the right solution for their needs.
Now that you understand the ins and outs of WooCommerce pricing, it’s time to put this information into action. Calculate your expected costs and then set your prices accordingly. Remember to consider all of the associated expenses, as well as your profit margin. With some planning, you can ensure that your WooCommerce store is profitable from day one.
Have you started setting up your WooCommerce store? Let us know if you have other questions about the pricing. At Fountain City, we are good at solving complex issues regarding your website or business as a whole.