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What is the cost of owning & running a Magento site

What Is The Cost Of Owning & Running A Magento Site?

Magento is a popular ecommerce store building software preferred by many large ecommerce stores, including famous brands and chains. However, what is the actual cost of owning and running a Magento ecommerce store?

In this article, I will break down the costs of setting up and maintaining a Magento store. Prices can vary greatly depending on how large your store is and what your needs are, as well as which version of Magento you get (there are both free and paid versions).

Let us get into it.

The Cost Of The Actual Magento Software

The cost of the actual Magento software can be anywhere from $0 to $190,000. That sounds like a lot, but for most businesses, it will be free.

Magento is open source. The open source version is not only free to use, but the source code is public, which means you can edit and customize the source code to suit your needs.

The free version is very advanced and comprehensive, despite being free. As a result, most businesses will do just fine with the free version without ever needing the more expensive premium versions.

Magento Commerce starts at $22,000 and goes up depending on your revenue. Most businesses will not need it, but it does include premium features such as the drag and drop page builder, live search, content staging and preview, instant purchasing, and more.

Magento Commerce Cloud takes Magento Commerce to the cloud. It includes features such as cloud hosting, image optimization, fantastic uptime, and super-fast page loading speeds.

It starts at $40,000 and can go up to $190,000, depending on how much revenue your store earns.

So, how much does the actual Magento software cost?

For most businesses, the answer will be $0. However, a lot more goes into starting a Magento store, so additional costs will always apply, even if that is just for hosting.

Most businesses will also need to consider additional expenses such as design, website customization, Shopify to Magento migration, Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration, extension development, and so on. A Magento development agency can help with all that.

I will explore all those costs in this article, so read on.

To summarize: The cost of the actual software ranges from $0 to $190,000. For most businesses, it will be $0.

Hosting And Domain Name Registration

Even if you get the free, open source version of Magento, you will still need to pay for hosting and a domain name. The cost of a domain name varies, but it usually starts at around $10-20/year, though some types of domains are a lot cheaper for the first year.

If you are looking for a specific domain, primarily a domain that someone already owns, you may have to pay more money to buy that domain. It can be a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars, depending on how sought after the domain is.

Hosting is another essential expense. You have two options here.

One is to get shared hosting on a shared server. Shared hosting usually starts at just a few dollars a month for a single website with hosting companies such as Bluehost and SiteGround.

However, if you want to ensure faster loading speeds and more security, you can go for dedicated hosting. With a dedicated hosting plan, the server will host only your website.

Shared hosting plans run multiple websites on a single server. All of those websites use up resources, so one website that uses up a lot of resources can technically cause other websites to slow down.

Most professional hosting companies will ensure that shared hosting plans have enough resources for all the websites on the server.

Still, a dedicated hosting plan will always give you better uptime. It will also give you better security and better protection from attacks and hacks.

Dedicated cloud hosting usually starts at around $100/month, but it goes up a lot higher than that if you have a more extensive website that consumes more resources. For example, on SiteGround, it ranges from $100/month to $400/month.

To summarize: The cost of hosting + a domain name can range from $50/year to around $5,000/year. For most small businesses, it will be closer to $50-$100/year.

Themes And Design

You will also need a good theme for your store. There are three ways to go about this.

You can look for a free Magento theme, of which there are many online. That will cost you $0.

However, if you are serious about your ecommerce store, you will need a premium theme. Premium themes are not that expensive.

As you can see on ThemeForest, most Magento themes cost between $30-$100, though some are a bit cheaper and others are a bit more expensive.

However, that won’t be enough if you really want to customize your store. One of the benefits of using Magento is that, unlike Shopify, it allows for a high level of customization and flexibility.

To take full advantage of this, you will need to hire a Magento design expert to either customize a theme you purchased or create a fully customized theme for your website from scratch. Doing either of the two will provide benefits such as:

  • A unique look that doesn’t look like any other store
  • Increased conversions
  • Better meet your company’s goals and visions

The cost of custom website design and theme development can vary based on whether you want to make a few customizations to an existing theme or develop a custom theme from scratch.

For simpler stores, custom theme development can cost as little as $2,000. However, if you have a large ecommerce store, and you have a lot of specific requirements to meet and particular customizations you are interested in, it can very well cost as much as $20,000 or more.

To summarize: The cost of a theme and design can be as little as $0 with a free theme to as much as $20,000+.

If you are happy with a premade theme, it will be closer to $60, but if you want a bit more customization, be prepared to spend around $1,000-$2,000 for custom theme development, design, and UX optimization. On the other hand, if you only need to customize an existing theme, it can cost as little as $500.

Website Development

Customizing the design or theme of your store isn’t enough. You will need to add a homepage, product pages, an about page, a contact page, and a lot more.

A Magento development agency will often charge per hour for that, though you may also get a flat fee. The exact cost will depend on how large your store will be and how many pages you want to add.

To summarize: Expect to pay $1,000-$2,000, at the minimum, for a professional Magento developer to develop your store.

Extensions

Extensions allow you to customize your ecommerce store, add unique features, make it look sophisticated, provide a better user experience to your customers, and so on. Fortunately, there are a few Magento extensions that are free.

You can find them on the Magento Extension Marketplace or a third party marketplace like Mageplaza.

However, free extensions won’t always do the trick. Depending on your needs, you may have to purchase premium extensions, which can cost $50-100 or more per extension.

The more premium extensions you need, the more you will have to pay.

You should also consider the potential cost of custom Magento extension development. The problem with Magento extensions is that they won’t always fulfill your exact needs.

The beauty of Magento is that it allows for a lot of customization, which means you can develop your own custom extension to meet a specific need or function. However, that comes with an additional cost.

The cost of developing custom extensions can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. It really depends on how complex or straightforward those extensions are, the developer you are working with, how many hours it takes to customize the extension to work with your store, and how many extensions you need.

To summarize: For extensions, be prepared to spend at least a few hundred dollars for a few premium extensions. If you have more advanced needs, be ready to spend a few thousand dollars for custom extension development.

Migration

If you already have a Shopify store or an ecommerce store using another software other than Magento, and you want to migrate to Magento, you may have to pay Shopify to Magento migration experts to help you. Unfortunately, migrating to Magento can be complicated, so you don’t want to do it alone.

If your store is on Magento 1, you will need to hire a Magento migration expert to migrate your store to Magento 2.

The exact cost will depend on whom you hire and how long the migration takes. Of course, the bigger your store, the longer the migration will take.

Many developers will charge by the hour. Some may charge as little as $15 per hour, while others will charge $50+ per hour, depending on the complexity of the migration.

Other developers may charge a flat fee.

Regardless, be prepared to pay at least a few hundred dollars for data migration alone. If you have a somewhat larger store, it can cost a few thousand dollars.

For larger stores, migration can sometimes take a few months as opposed to just days or weeks.

Data migration services will usually include a new theme for your new Magento website, as well as theme customization. Those usually come at an additional cost.

Magento to Shopify migration experts can also help you with migration in the opposite direction (Magento to Shopify).

To summarize: The cost of data migration can be a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on how long it takes and the complexity of your data.

Audit

If you have an existing Magento store, you may want to consider getting a Magento audit. Alternatively, if your store is on Magento 1, Magento migration experts can help you migrate to Magento 2.

What does a Magento audit include?

It may include some of the following:

  • Auditing the core code to ensure there are no security breaches or security bugs
  • Detecting errors in the code
  • Auditing the theme for errors
  • Auditing extensions

For just one Magento website, an audit can cost between $150-$300. If you want to add additional websites, you can often get a cheaper price for each additional website.

If you run a Magento Commerce or Commerce Cloud store, the audit will probably cost more.

All that applies to a technical audit. You may also want to consider getting an SEO audit.

An SEO audit might look at coding problems that affect SEO, on page optimization, keyword usage, content rankings, off page optimization, overall content and SEO strategy, and a lot more.

To summarize: The cost of a technical audit by a professional Magento development agency is usually a few hundred dollars.

 

SEO And Content Marketing

Until now, we have talked about setting up the actual store. However, you will also need to hire a professional agency to do your SEO, so you can get traffic.

Magento SEO experts will usually charge at least $500-$1,500/month, depending on your content and SEO needs.

Average Magento Store Cost Summary

Service

Average Cost

Software

$0 (up to $190,000 for premium)

Hosting + Domain

$10-$100/month

Themes & Design

$60-$2000

Development

$1000-$2000

Extensions

$300-$3000

Migration

$300-$2000

Audit

$200-$500

SEO & Content Marketing (optional)

$500-$2000/month

Total Cost

Around $1,500-$250,000

 

Wrapping It Up: What Is The Real Cost Of Running and Owning a Magento Store?

The exact cost of running and owning a Magento store varies.

If you stick to the very basics, and you use free themes and extensions and don’t do any custom development or hire a Magento SEO agency, Magento can theoretically cost as little as $50/year.

However, that kind of defeats the purpose of using Magento in the first place, which is the customization and flexibility it allows for.

The best way to figure out how much running and owning a Magento store will cost is to contact a professional Magento website agency and ask for a quote.

Professional Magento experts will be able to assess your needs and give you a quote based on the services you require.

Priyanka heads the Client Servicing team at Ebizon. With over 10+ years of impressive experience in technology consulting and software project management, she has worked with clients from diverse industries including Ecommerce, Retail, Education, Healthcare and Publishing. With deep tech industry knowledge, Priyanka is known for bridging the gap between those who are highly technical and those who are business minded. She was also invited by Drupal4Design Camp held at MIT, Boston to present Case Study on "Scaling Drupal with Confidence ".