Building a real estate website from scratch can be expensive. Real estate professionals including Realtors and investors usually have two options: They either have to hire professional designers/developers or pay a hefty monthly subscription fee. The cost may run into hundreds of dollars for a one-off real estate website design/development service. And, if you opt for a subscription-based service, most plans will cost you $100-$150 or more per month.
However, if you are on a budget, it’s possible to build a real estate website for free. Yes, there are a few costs associated with a free real estate website (I will discuss those here), but it’s still a lot cheaper compared to custom-designed and subscription-based websites.
In this guide, I am going to discuss how to build a real estate website on WordPress platform for free:
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Why build your free real estate website on WordPress platform
Well, self-hosted WordPress is the most popular platform for building a website, particularly if you don’t have technical expertise. Here are a few reasons why you should choose WordPress:
- Free, open-source platform: (WordPress.org, not WordPress.com) is open-source software. This means that it’s free. You can download WordPress with just a few clicks and start using it.
- Highly customizable: You can customize your WordPress website any way you want. WordPress real estate templates and themes are easily customizable.
- Plugins and themes: You can extend the functionality of your website simply by installing a plugin. There are thousands of real estate website themes and templates to choose from.
- Support: Since WordPress is a popular software for building websites, it’s easy to get support. You will find innumerable articles, videos, and guides to help you if you are stuck with a technical issue. Also, it’s easy to hire professional help.
- SEO: Implementing best SEO practices is extremely easy when it comes to WordPress. You can simply install a popular SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO and customize meta titles and meta descriptions within minutes. Also, WordPress is built with SEO-friendly programming codes and mark-ups. This increases your website’s chance to get higher in search engines.
- Easy to manage: The WordPress content management system (CMS) is very user-friendly. You can easily learn to upload real estate articles, create new pages, install plugins, make basic changes in the design, and change themes. This is a great advantage of using WordPress for Realtors and real estate investors who are not so tech-savvy.
- Security: WordPress that started as a blogging platform is now trusted by big corporations as it’s a very safe and secure platform. You can update a free SSL certificate with a few clicks.
Now that you know why WordPress is the best platform, let’s discuss what things you need to build a free real estate website on this platform:
What do you need to build a free website?
When you build a website on the WordPress platform, here is what you need to do:
- Purchase a website hosting plan (this is where your website is hosted on the internet)
- Install a real estate theme
- Do basic customization such as changing the logo
- Create organic content including blog posts and copy for different pages, and publish
Buying a hosting service is necessary because that will be the ‘home’ where your real estate website will live online. Even if you have a website custom-designed or subscribe to a monthly plan, you will need to pay the hosting charges. In most subscription-based services, the hosting cost is included in the monthly price, so don’t assume that you are getting free hosting.
Some website hosting services such as WPEngine (hosting plans start at $25/month) provide you with free real estate WordPress themes if you host their website on their platform.
In my opinion, WPEngine is one of the most trusted and secure WordPress hosting providers. My own websites including this one run on WPEngine.
The other hosting provider that I recommend is BlueHost (hosting plans start at just $2.75/month). In a recent guide, I explained why these two hosting providers are the best for the WordPress platform. Visit: Best hosting for real estate websites [2021 update]
How to build your free website
Website hosting providers such as WPEngine make it extremely easy to build a free real estate website.
They offer two WordPress real estate templates (themes) for Realtors:
AgentPress Pro and Winning Agent are StudioPress themes. StudioPress created Genesis Framework (I love Genesis for its SEO-friendliness and fast page loading speed. My website is also built on Genesis Framework). StudioPress was later acquired by WPEngine.
If you buy StudioPress separately, you will pay for Genesis Framework (about $100) and the theme.
If you are buying the Winning Agent Pro 2 theme, you will get Genesis Framework for free with WPEngine hosting plan, while paying about $30 for the theme.
Here are a few reasons I love Winning Agent Pro 2 and Agent Press Pro themes:
- Both Winning Agent Pro 2 and AgentPress Pro are very simple and user-friendly themes with no unnecessary and confusing features. It means that you don’t feel overwhelmed while customizing the two themes. You just need to change the logo, pick a theme color and upload images and videos to set up your website.
- The best feature is the Genesis Framework itself. Genesis is one of the most popular WordPress frameworks, built by StudioPress with SEO and website security in mind.
- StudioPress themes are very easy to customize.
Most cost-effective alternative to a free real estate website
If you are not willing to pay $25/month for hosting, you can build your WordPress website with BlueHost. You will only pay $2.75/month for hosting.
You will need to purchase Genesis Framework + Agent Press Pro theme ($99) or Genesis Framework + Winning Agent Pro 2 theme ($129).
Once you purchase the theme and framework bundle, you can set up the theme from the Bluehost dashboard in just a few minutes.
The other option is to buy a theme from a theme marketplace such as Envato. Most WordPress themes will cost you $49.
You can upload the theme from WordPress dashboard or your Bluehost account:
You must have a real estate website because it’s the best tool to generate leads online. Don’t let cost hold you back from having one for your business. You can easily set up a website on a budget using the themes I mentioned in this guide.
Need help setting up your website?
You are looking for professional help to set up any real estate WordPress theme of your choice, you can hire expert RealtyCrux professionals. Fill out this form to get a quote.