There’s no doubt that WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there. It’s the number 1 choice among the top 1 million eCommerce websites in the world. What draws online store owners to WooCommerce is it’s fully customizable and it has free pricing.
And while the free WooCommerce cost gives you substantial savings at the beginning, building an online store needs more than just having an eCommerce website. For your online store to function and flourish successfully, necessary costs will have to be incurred.
So, if you want to start your own WooCommerce store and know all the potential costs involved in setting up one, then this article is made right for you.
We will provide you with a sample budget template that you can work on and customize to match your needs. This will give you the flexibility to plan your budget accordingly.
Breakdown of Potential Costs
How much does it cost to set up a WooCommerce store? WooCommerce runs in WordPress as an eCommerce plugin. Installing both is free and it’s already pretty functional.
However, the very future of your online store will depend on how you maximize certain eCommerce aspects and invest in functions that will optimize your shoppers’ overall customer experience.
To fully realize your WooCommerce store’s maximum potential, here are the possible costs that you will encounter:
- WordPress & WooCommerce – $0
- Hosting and Domain – around $20/month.
- SSL Certificate – around $69.99/year.
- Theme – Free or paid premium
- Plugins – Free and paid premium
The cost pricing for setting up a WooCommerce store will still rely on your needs and wants. You should be able to come up with a budget goal and from there, you can allocate your spending accordingly.
For the remainder of this article, we will discuss thoroughly each of the above potential costs and we’ll be tallying the average pricing costs involved so you’ll have an idea on how much you’ll possibly spend.
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Hosting and Domain
The two basic parts that make up any modern website today are hosting servers and domain names. Choosing your hosting and domain services will be your first step. Here’s how to budget them appropriately:
A web hosting service is much like a rented space in a physical store. It enables the use of a host server to store website contents such as media and files.
If you’re planning to expand and grow, your hosting service must be able to handle this. If not, a multiplying traffic base and thousands of product pages can slow down your website. This can potentially impact your conversions negatively.
Types of eCommerce Hosting
There are several types of hosting options for you. Your goal is to find the one that best fits your budget, size, goals, and objectives. Here are the most commonly used for eCommerce sites:
Recommended Hosting Service Providers
WordPress and WooCommerce officially recommend three hosting services: SiteGround, DreamHost, and BlueHost.
- SiteGround – high-performance WooCommerce hosting ideal for single sites. They offer shared hosting pricing plans starting at $3.95 monthly or $47.40/year.
- DreamHost – the highest rated web host by PCMag.com. Its shared hosting is priced at $24.95 per month or $299.40 per year.
- BlueHost – dubbed by WordPress as “the ultimate WordPress platform”. Its starter shared hosting plan is priced at $6.95 monthly or $83.4 annually.
- Cloudways – a managed WooCommerce cloud hosting platform that offers optimal performance, ironclad security, and 24/7 expert support. The starting price of Cloudways is $10/month.
The next WooCommerce cost on your list is registering a domain name. A domain name is your website name. It is the URL address that links visitors to your website. Without it, users won’t be able to find and identify you on the internet.
How to Register a Domain Name
Any domain name should be registered before anyone can use it. The process prescribes registering it to ICANN, a non-profit organization in charge of the namespaces on the internet.
Although, this will be managed by a domain name registrar, the company responsible for the reservation of internet domain names.
Recommended Domain Name Registrars
Similar to hosting service providers, domain name registrars mostly provides an affordable introductory price that increases over time. The most common domain extensions are ‘.com’ and ‘.net’ have introductory prices ranging from $5 to $18.50 per year.
You can register your WooCommerce store with any of the following domain name registrars:
- GoDaddy – $11.99/year for ‘.com’ and $12.99/year for ‘.net’
- Gandi – $15.50/year for ‘.com’ and $18.50/year for ‘.net’
- Doteasy – $5/year both for ‘.com’ and ‘.net’
- Domain – $9.99/year for ‘.com’ and $12.99/year for ‘.net’
In addition, when considering a hosting and domain, make sure to examine if security protocols, such as SSL certificate, are included. An eCommerce site will need an SSL certificate which costs around $8.95 to $59.99 per year from Comodo. SSL is required to securely transfer customer data such as credit card information, usernames, passwords, etc.
In this case, a hosting service free domain and SSL certificate is a steal such as BlueHost WooCommerce plan with free domain and SSL certificate, plus discount on hosting.
Estimated WooCommerce Cost for Hosting, Domain, and SSL Certificate
- Hosting Costs: $47.40 – $299.40 per year
- Domain Registration Costs: $5 to $18.50 per year
- SSL Certificate Costs: $8.95 to $59.99 per year
Starting now and the succeeding sections will be optional WooCommerce costs. The first optional cost that you’ll encounter is your WooCommerce theme. In WooCommerce, you have access to both free and premium themes. And so you might want to be economical at this point and choose free themes but should you pay for premium themes?
Why Invest on Premium Themes?
A website’s theme is responsible for establishing your WooCommerce store’s appearance and that appearance is what shoppers will normally see when they visit your store. Thereby, a website theme has the ability to attract, distract or repel any potential shopper.
As much as possible, it is recommended to stay away from free themes because although you’re saving money, standing out might be a problem. Free themes look the same and have limited functions which prevent you from branding your WooCommerce store.
List of Popular Themes
With WooCommerce you have the option to use Storefront, the official WooCommerce theme which is already highly intuitive and customizable. Here’s how Storefront looks like:
Here’s a selection of popular themes that you can use for your WooCommerce store:
- Storefront Child Themes – priced at $39 per theme
- Flatsome Theme – regular license at $59
- Divi Elegant Themes – regular license at $89 per theme
- Shookeeper Theme – regular license at $69
- The Retailer Theme – regular license at $59
List of Theme Sources
Here’s a list of sources where you can buy paid themes as well as free ones for your WooCommerce store:
Estimated WooCommerce Cost for Premium Themes
- Premium Theme Costs: $39 – $299. per year
Not every WooCommerce website will come in perfect. Every once in a while, there will be scenarios where you’ll need to adjust or re-adjust your current WooCommerce store. Ecommerce plugins or extensions can extend the functionality or add new features such as enhance your product page or accept a new payment method. Just like themes, plugins can be free, freemium or paid.
Important Plugins for WooCommerce Stores
There are plenty of WooCommerce and WordPress eCommerce plugins that you can access in the market today. But you won’t need all of them. Depending on the type of WooCommerce store you have, the following plugins are must-haves to run your store effectively and efficiently:
- Yoast SEO – This free plugin is way more than just meta tag additions. It has the content and SEO analysis tools which help you compose SEO-friendly texts. There’s also a snippet preview feature that displays how your post will look like in the search results page both for desktop and mobile.
- WooCommerce PayPal Checkout Payment Gateway – This free plugin facilitates a secure PayPal payment gateway. It uses a modal window, hosted on PayPal’s servers, that overlays the checkout form so that shoppers can enter their PayPal account information.
- WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips – This free plugin automatically adds a PDF invoice to the order confirmation being sent out to your shoppers. The template is customizable to match your branding and needs. You can even download or print invoices and packing slips would take off a lot of burden as a store owner.
- WordPress Visual Editor – This plugin helps you quickly and easily change your on-page design and copy. The plugin is also a powerful landing-page builder which integrate with your favorite marketing tools to help you generate more traffic, leads, and conversions.
This portion is the last WooCommerce cost that you’ll probably encounter. Although we’d like to reiterate that this is pretty much optional, extensions are essential ingredients to optimize your selling capabilities.
With that in mind, we encourage you to try the following extended plugins from reliable and well-known developers:
Marketing & Sales Plugins
With the intent to save time and money, there are already marketing automation solutions for WooCommerce merchants. One of the best marketing plugins in the marketplace is Beeketing for WooCommerce.
Beeketing plugin is well known for its modular marketing solution. There are 10+ powerful tools built in just 1 neat marketing package. So you just need to install 1 plugin and have all 10+ tools inside. Beeketing has a freemium pricing which means that the plugin is provided for free. Many powerful features are free as well, but premium features are charged between $19 to $30 per month.
Beeketing for WooCommerce fundamentally focuses on three aspects: increase conversions, gain more customers, and build long-term loyalty and success. Here are the plugin’s highlighting tools:
If you want to deep down into how Beeketing works for WooCommerce merchants, this article will help.
Optimize your overall customer experience by making it easier for shoppers to find the products that they are looking for.
The WooCommerce plugin called YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search is designed to improve your onsite search. It creates a simple search box where shoppers can enter their queries and instant search results will be displayed as they type. Its subscription license starts at $60.99 up to $139.99.
WooCommerce Extra Product Options, priced at $29, is an easy way to manage additional product options. It saves online store owners countless of hours doing tedious work on product management such as allotting pricing options to thousands of products automatically or assigning conditional logics. Alternatively, there’s Product Options for WooCommerce at $29 or WooCommerce Product Options at $40.
The Table Rate Shipping plugin module extends the default WooCommerce shipping options into more customized shipping selections. Using this plugin, you can already regulate and designate multiple multiple shipping rates based on various aspects such as location, price, weight, or item count. This WooCommerce plugin will cost you $99 – $299 subscription.
Running a WooCommerce store definitely needs to add on security to avoid any hacks or encounter any security issues on your website. Securing your site can be done by adding security plugins such as Jetpack priced at $39 annually or Wordfence at $99 per year.
Estimated WooCommerce Cost for Premium Extensions
- Premium Extension Costs: $19 – $299 per year
These extended plugins have free extensions that might be just enough for you now and you can choose to pay for the upgrade at a later time. With a modest number of extensions that will suit your need, you can rack up a bill of around $200 – $400 for 5 extensions.
Of course, there are other extensions that you can use. Here’s a detailed selection of extended plugins for WooCommerce to boost your conversions and sales.
Total Up-front WooCommerce Cost
Since we have gone through all the possible WooCommerce costs that online store owners might encounter in launching their very own online business, let’s take a quick recap of the real costs of setting up a WooCommerce store.
Take note that the table below includes the lowest possible spending and the highest pricing available together with the median cost.
Your WooCommerce cost could be as low as $400 or as high as a $1000. But, the real cost of running a WooCommerce store depends on you. Know what your online store actually needs, what you are willing to invest, and how much your budget allows you to spend.
- The best way to keep your costs down is to start small. Gradually add more plugins and services as your business grows.
- Take advantage of bundled pricing. For example, hosting providers usually bundle their hosting services with domains and SSL certificates. Or try an all-in-one solution such as Beeketing for WooCommerce for your marketing needs.
Spend within your means
The good thing about the free WooCommerce cost at the start is it has lowered the barrier entry to set up your own WooCommerce store. It allows WooCommerce store owners to be flexible about their budget depending on what they need.
To run a successful WooCommerce store, you should invest in marketing, security, and other technologies but remember to only spend within your means.