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Your Real Estate Website Setup Options & Costs

I know there are many real estate pros out there who know they should be on a platform, but haven’t made the switch yet. But what is making the switch going to cost you — both in dollars and in time spent?

Well, let’s dive in to that topic.

Here are your setup options for getting WordPress setup and customized to your liking and *rough* pricing for each option:

Do It Yourself: Free

The benefits to this approach are the price and the fact that you’ll be up and running with WordPress. There are numerous great resources out there that can walk you through the process, but there is a learning curve you’ll have to undertake; you’re going to be spending multiple hours learning the ins and outs of WordPress and, unless you are a graphic designer by trade, will get zero design customization aside from inputting your own header photo and logo into a free theme.

Free or Paid Theme with Help from Freelance Developer: $250-$1000

You’ll end up getting a bit more customization of plugins, home page modules, and some slight (and likely not extremely high quality) graphical design work in this price range. Again, the trade off is going to be your time. I’ve talked to a lot of agents, and have heard horror stories about the freelance developers/designers they’ve worked with. The fact of the matter is that finding reliable freelancers that know WordPress is extremely difficult. Anyone reliable that knows WordPress is likely making a lot more money doing something other than helping individuals do slight customizations of WordPress. They are out there, but not easy to find. You’re going to spend multiple hours going back and forth with a freelancer in order to get them to build exactly what you want.

Predesigned with Premium Theme & Help from Designer/Developer: $700-$2,500

This is probably the best route for the majority of you, unless you have the budget for a full custom (see below). You’ll get a professionally designed look and feel to your site with an integration of an IDX product, market statistics, and other functionality you desire.

Full Custom: $4,000 and above

If you have the budget for this, this is my recommended route. You get a completely custom design tailored to your brand with a near zero chance of another agent having a nearly identical site somewhere else in the country (or in your market). Plus you get all the bells and whistles that aren’t offered in a predesigned offering.

Loren and I are on the same page – real estate blogs are not ACTUALLY cheap to setup unless you have the time and know how to do it yourself.

What route are you going to take?

Disclosure: I worked for Virtual Results, a WordPress real estate website provider, from late 2010-2011 and have an affiliate relationship in place with them. Learn more about them here.

WordPress logo via onextrapixel

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Anonymous

    Great post. Making the decision to create a wordpress is a tough decision and finding the right package for the company. I recently got a wordpress: a great investment. Thanks for the post—Jason

  • Anonymous

    Great post. Making the decision to create a wordpress is a tough decision and finding the right package for the company. I recently got a wordpress: a great investment. Thanks for the post—Jason

  • The beauty of finding the right developer is that we can be flexible to your needs. If you’d like to do some of the work yourself and rely on us for the heavy graphic lifting, then it’s a win win for both. I try to show my clients all the money they will save on the maintenance of a WordPress site so they see the value of the investment up front.

    • True, there are some savings. But if you’re not paying for additional and improvements as you go, they are going to build up and you’re likely going to have to shell out a fair amount of money to someone to completely revamp your blog/website in a year or two as the technology landscape evolves.

      But there are certainly pros and cons to both routes.

  • Joe Salcedo

    Sweet post Drew. Too many agents think it’s cheap to go the wordpress route. It’s great but often you’ll have to shell out some money.

    • It’s cheap to go the wordpress route, but not cheap if you actually want a site that looks professional with a seamless integration of real estate features such as IDX and market stats.

  • Anonymous

    WP is the only way to go. Easy to use, lots of themes and plug-ins, etc. Custom is great but not necessary for most agents. It does take work though to get “found” online. Doesn’t matter how nice your site looks if no one will see it because you don’t produce new keyword rich content. . Great post! Check out

  • WordPress has to be the best platform out there for websites and blogging. It is unbelievably versatile and there is so much you can do with it once you get to know it:-)

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  • Mike

    WP is definitely the way to go. I’ve developed wordpress sites for some of my clients (who I had to switch off plain HTML sites. Try updating listings on those…). There are a few plugins I recommend writtn (from – I was a beta tester), SEO yoast for keyword targeting (, and if you’re a heavily trafficked site, you might consider installing a cache plugin (try superCache!).


  • I’m a little late to the game here but I have to say that WP is a really inexpensive and great way to go. In 2015, you can get a beautiful Real Estate specific theme for around $50 and get started customizing yourself.
    It takes a little bit of technical know-how, but most theme developers have great customer support and will help out with customizing your site.
    I’m new to WP and built my site recently on the platform. I have experience with HTML and CSS, but I have to say that WP is easier to customize and get done quickly and easily!

  • is free, and is very inexpensive. What is nice is that you can basically trade as much of your time for money as you want. If you have more time to invest in learning and implementing an effective WordPress site, these days you can develop one like a pro. If you have more money than time, it’s still relatively inexpensive to hire someone to develop a robust page for you compared to the “old HTML days.”

    ~ Tiffany
    [link removed]

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