Anyone who is deciding to open an online store, the first question that arises is “What is the cost of an eCommerce site?”, “How much do I have to pay to open my online shop?”.
The answer to these questions depends on many factors, and the cost of creating a website of any type can vary depending on the tools used to create it, the services you rely on, and the features you want to include.
In this post, I will explain to you what the cost is for a good quality eCommerce site. In fact, you are about to set up a real business, and it is absolutely not recommended to use tools or services of dubious quality just because “this way you save”.
What may initially seem like big savings will later force you to spend a lot more money to compensate for anything the service doesn’t include.
For example, if you have thought of relying on free or very cheap web space, you will soon realize that many essential functions are not even provided, or you can add them only by paying good money.
So here are our tips for how to estimate the cost of an eCommerce site.
What to include in the cost of an eCommerce site
To estimate how much you will need to spend to create an eCommerce site, you will need to consider the following factors, from choosing a quality hosting service to choosing the CMS to the features to include.
Cost of eCommerce site: domain and hosting
The first expense you will have to face will be that for the domain, that is, the site address, and the hosting, that is, for space on a server where your online store will be hosted.
Domain and hosting are two things that you can buy at the same time and they usually expire annually, although you can buy them a few years in advance.
My suggestion is to rely on SiteGround, a high-performing hosting that provides a specific plan for those who want to create an eCommerce.
Their WooCommerce Hosting plan, in fact, is already preconfigured to start immediately with your online store, thanks to the installation of WordPress with WooCommerce. However, if you prefer to configure WooCommerce yourself, you can choose the classic WordPress plan; there is no difference in either cost or performance.
Therefore, the cost of all this is less than $8 per month.
The plan includes:
- WordPress already installed, possibly with WooCommerce ready to use;
- A free domain for one year;
- The SSL certificate (essential for protecting online transactions);
- Unlimited databases;
- Unlimited email accounts;
- 10GB of space.
The reason why I recommend SiteGround is not only for the features included in the plan but also because it is a truly excellent service from the point of view of performance and security, features that really weigh so much on the success of an eCommerce site.
The cost of your eCommerce site, therefore, starts with almost $ 87 + VAT.
We recommend reading: What is Ecommerce?
Cost of eCommerce site: a platform for creating the site
In the previous paragraph, I have already talked about the CMS that I suggest you use for your eCommerce: WordPress. It is the most widespread in the world (over 30% of the entire web is made with WordPress), and it is also the most complete, rich in features, adaptable to every need.
Furthermore, it is completely free, as is the WooCommerce plugin, which you will need precisely for the functionality of the online shop.
The ease of use of WordPress will allow you to use it even without having special technical knowledge and without knowing any web programming language.
So, including WordPress and basic tools to start using it, this item of your quote is equal to $ 0, and therefore we remain stationary at $ 87.
Cost of eCommerce site: the theme
Once you have installed WordPress, you need to decide what your online shop will look like, so you will need to choose a theme, i.e., a template on which to build your site.
The WordPress themes can be both free and premium, but the premium ones are much more rich and customizable. Their costs are not excessive, and you really have a huge choice.
But make sure you choose the right theme: it will have to be compatible with WooCommerce, responsive, and made with an SEO perspective in order to be sure that the main features are respected.
You will surely find the best themes on Themeforest, where you can filter the search results based on categories and features. Costs range from $ 13 to over $ 1000, but if your project is modest enough, you’ll find excellent themes around $ 50-60.
Trust user reviews and check the number of sales. They are quite reliable indicators of the quality of the topic.
Here then we have to add an item to our calculation: considering an expense of around $ 60 for a good theme, the cost of the eCommerce site has now reached around $ 147.
Cost of the eCommerce site: the contents
If you want to create your eCommerce on your own, you will also have to write product descriptions, add images, write the pages that will constitute the “static” part of your site (information about the company, the contact page, etc.).
You will be able to write the content yourself, and in this case, you will not have any additional cost. The photographs of the products, on the other hand, can be created yourself or obtained directly from suppliers. If you need more images, it’s very easy to find free website images online, whatever your topic is.
Cost of eCommerce site: privacy and cookies
A somewhat sore point for anyone who creates a website is the aspect linked to user privacy and the law on cookies. With the new General Data Protection Regulation GDPR, it has become even more important to protect visitors.
Therefore I advise you to rely on a very efficient online service that is always updated with any variation of the privacy laws. This is iubenda, which allows you to adapt your website to current regulations. It is sufficient that you set the functions of your site, and the banner for the management of cookies and privacy consent is automatically generated.
This service also allows you to generate a page dedicated to terms and conditions, essential to be in compliance with current regulations.
The cost of the service is $ 29 / year.
Adding them to our previous total, we came to an expense of $ 176.
So: what is the cost of an eCommerce site? Answer: less than $ 180!
With this amount, you will have the opportunity to create your eCommerce in total autonomy and ensuring a good quality result, and in full compliance with current regulations.