I know this isn't properly a technical question but I hope this is ok here.

The question is simple: how much should I charge a customer for a Wordpress installation & configuration? Configuration simply means I have to install him a theme (which is not provided by me), various plugins and maybe edit some lines of code here and there to make the whole thing work fine.


I don't do this for a living, I'm just doing this for this single customer. He told me he wants to customize some features of the blog which I think will require a bit of code editing, but these will be small modifications, because I already told him that more substantial modifications will be billed separately.

I don't know exactly how long will this take, but probably just 1 day for the setup and some more days to adapt the blog to the customer requests which will eventually come up later

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    I think this would depend on your market, your customer, your history, and speed. Do you do this for a living? Or is this a one-off for a friend's friend? – Ryan Hayes Jan 27 '11 at 14:36
  • Why would you need to edit any code? – Lèse majesté Jan 27 '11 at 14:41
  • I've edited my question to add more details. – The Coding Monk Jan 27 '11 at 15:04
  • Could anyone motivate the down vote? I don't get it when people vote a question down without specifying why. – The Coding Monk Jan 27 '11 at 15:29

The fairest thing to do would be to charge an hourly rate and bill him for however long it takes. It shouldn't take too long though. An average Wordpress install/setup only takes about an hour in my experience. So charging much more than $50 USD for setting it up and installing a premade theme would probably be unethical.

Also, it's generally a bad idea to modify the core libraries of software packages like Wordpress. Most of these popular apps are designed to be extensible via plugins, templates and such. Make the changes through the proper means, otherwise he'll have serious problems when he needs to upgrade or apply a security patch.

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    I completely agree with Lèse. It's a really simple thing, and from a comment you mentioned on MrG's response, you're already buying a premium theme for this so it really most likely won't be any code you're editing but just the settings within the admin panel. – XOPJ Jan 27 '11 at 15:33
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    First, thanks for the answer. Of course I'm not modifying any of the Wordpress core libraries: what I meant is that probably there will be some modifications to the theme/plugins that will require editing of their code, but not Wordpress internal code. I asked him more than 50$ but considering that I forgot to mention that I will probably need to translate the theme from English to Italian and transfer is old blog content to this new one, this could be OK. – The Coding Monk Jan 27 '11 at 15:34
  • @Jack: Yea, if you've got to do more than just install a premade theme, then of course you can charge more. If you bill hourly and set a reasonable hourly rate, then whatever figure you arrive at is fair. – Lèse majesté Jan 27 '11 at 15:50
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    Installing WordPress takes a few minutes. To create the database in cPanel or where ever. Then to upload and go through the setup takes minutes, basic default WordPress configuration settings is a few minutes. Theme upload configuration as well. I would be very clear with your client on what support they will receive with the template. Having to explain how to post a featured image/slider etc training them takes time. So be clear on what they'll get – Anagio Jun 13 '12 at 6:27

What I have done is set a base price for installation, theme and plugin uploads, and about a 30 minute walk through. that was roughly $80. I found that if a client "just wanted" a WP install, it was a dis-service to not give them some kind of instruction on how to use it.

Here's why: The back end of WP can be overwhelming to most clients. So a possible solution is to install one of several WP CMS plugins. It dumbs down the back end, and you can specify what they can see and edit in some of the plugins.

Conclusion: I usually did a wordpress setup with adding site content, plugins and theme tweaking for about $110 - $150.

Just be careful not to get in over your head without charging appropriately.


Depends on complexity of the theme, how much code editing is required (the words "maybe" and "some" tend to set alarm bells ringing for me.) and how much experience you have with word press.

Could range from a day (or less) to a week (or more).

  • I've edited the question to add some more details. Anyway I will not provide the theme. It will be a premium theme bought somewhere on the internet – The Coding Monk Jan 27 '11 at 15:04

Defining a new WordPress install also must take into account the endless details. During a recent install for one of my own installations, I made a list of no less than 45 major areas of concentration, which required a similar number of hours of work. (The anti-spam key, analytics key, social media key, meta tags. In WordPress there are Posts, Media, Pages, Quick Edits, Comments, Appearance, and Plug-ins. Each of these areas, and each of the dozen or more plug-ins, has a list of specific preferences. Not doing them in order now, will require re-doing them later, doubling the amount of time needed. There are also configurations for Users, Settings, Reading, Privacy, Permalinks, Mail From, and more.). All of this will still need to be done by someone even after you have "finished" the install. And, this didn't include a new theme. One has to ask the question, what is my time worth? What must I invest to not only spend this amount of time away from my earning activity, but how much extra time is required to learn how to perform the tasks relatively efficiently.

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