How Much Does it Cost to Develop a WordPress Plugin?

Man calculating how much does it cost to develop a WordPress plugin

There are tons of free and premium WordPress plugins on the market already, but if you need something unique, you may need to hire a WordPress developer. With so many websites using WordPress, there is an increasing demand for professionals to develop custom plugins.  So, how much does it cost to develop a WordPress plugin?

The short answer, the cost of developing a plugin really depends on the complexity of the project and the hourly rate of the developer. In general, you can expect to pay at least $1,000  to as much as $50,000 to develop a custom WordPress plugin.

There are a few key factors that affect the price of development: the scope of the project, the hourly rate of the developer, and whether you need ongoing maintenance after the initial build. For example, if you need a simple plugin that only requires a few hours of writing code, it may not cost that much to develop. However, if you need a complex plugin that requires several weeks’ worth of development, naturally it’s going to cost more.

screenshot of WordPress Plugin Manager

Do you need a custom WordPress plugin?

If you want to add unique functionally to your WordPress site, you will need to use plugins.  WordPress is a robust platform, but what you can do with WordPress is mostly dependent on your theme and the plugins you use. If you’ve done a preliminary search and can’t find a plugin to do what you need, there are a few steps you should take before hiring a plugin developer.

Write a detailed list of what you want your plugin to do.  

First, you must determine what features you need. Then, check the WordPress plugin directory to see if there are any plugins that provide the functionality you are looking for. You may not be able to find one plugin that does everything you want, but you may be able to use several plugins together to create the experience and functionality you need.

Search for a premium WordPress plugin

Once you do a search of the WordPress directory, search for a premium plugin. You can do a simple google search for the features you are looking for in a plugin or look for premium plugins at Premium-Plugins, Code Canyon, or Envato Elements.  Sometimes, the features you are looking for in a plugin already exist, you just have to look in the right place to find them. 

See if the developer will modify a plugin

Before you hire someone to develop a plugin completely from scratch, see if there is a plugin that closely matches what you are looking for. Sometimes a plugin just needs a few features added to do what you need. If you contact the developer, they may add your suggested new features to a future version – for free.   If not, they may be willing to take your ideas and customize the plugin for a fee. This can be much cheaper than developing a plugin from scratch.

Either way, before you hire a developer see what is already out there. There are already thousands of plugins for WordPress, so there is a good chance you will find something that meets your needs.

Factors that affect the cost to develop a WordPress Plugin

If you’re looking into developing a custom WordPress plugin,  there are some general guidelines to help you determine how much it will cost. First, you’ll need to figure out how difficult your plugin will be to develop. How many features do you need?  Will it require a lot of additional coding or just a few edits to a particular file? 

The complexity of the plugin

The biggest factor in development costs is determined by how complex the plugin is. You can get an idea of how much time it might take to build your plugin by searching for similar plugins.  Look at the price of the plugin, and then factor in how many installations the plugin has.

You’ll also want to look through your list of required features. The more features you need, and the more complex the features are, the more it will cost to develop.  This will give you a rough idea of how much the plugin might cost to develop.   However, how long it will actually take may vary.   

Once you have an idea of how complicated your project will be, you can start looking for a WordPress developer to create it for you.  

WordPress developer coding a custom WordPress plugin

The developer’s hourly rate

The cost of developing a plugin also depends on whether you work with a private developer or an agency. An experienced and branded agency will likely charge you more than private developers. 

There are many freelance developers who may be able to develop your plugin for a lower price than an agency. Freelance developers typically charge anywhere from $15 to $100 an hour.  An agency may charge as much as $200 to $300 an hour to develop a WordPress plugin. 

The amount of maintenance needed

Most of the time, the cost of maintenance and services is not included in the plugin. Many plugin developers charge an extra cost for yearly maintenance.  Maintenance costs can range from $50 to $200 per month. Before you develop your plugin, find out all the costs involved. 

You should contact a few developers to get an estimate of how long it would take to create and the costs.

business owners reviewing features for WordPress plugin development

How do you develop a custom WordPress plugin?

Custom plugins are generally more expensive than buying a premium plugin. Before you hire a programmer, make sure they have the skills and experience you need.  There are a number of places you can go to to find a WordPress plugin developer.  You should plan to contact a few developers to get an estimate on how long it will take to create your plugin and how much it will cost.  

Here are a few places to look for a WordPress plugin developer to create your plugin.


Upwork is one of the biggest freelancer websites. You can find a WordPress developer on Upwork to design your website, or to create custom themes or plugins. All you need to do is set up an account, and post your job. Be sure to be specific about the features you need and your budget. Freelancers will bid on the job, and then you can select the one that best fits your needs


Fiverr is the place for freelancers to sell their professional services for only $5. However, Fiverr has evolved into a marketplace for talented freelancers. It’s great because you can search for a freelancer that creates custom plugins or themes and pay them according to your budget. Prices range from $15 to several hundred dollars. Make sure you read the reviews of each freelancer before hiring them.


Codable is a freelancer platform specifically for WordPress developers. In order to become a developer on Codable, you must meet rigid standards. They only allow WordPress experts to work on their platform. They also eliminate the bidding process, which is why it attracts some of the most talented WordPress developers. If you want your plugin to be designed by a qualified, vetted, WordPress expert, Codable is a great option.

How to avoid extra costs when developing a plugin

There are many scenarios in which you might end up paying more than you need to for a custom plugin, Therefore, it is important that you do your research before you hire someone.  Make a detailed list of features you want in your plugin.  Make sure that the description of your project is clear. When you hire a freelancer, find out in advance what their revision policies are and their refund policies. 

If you work with a freelancer on a reputable platform like the ones mentioned above, your funds will be held in an escrow account until the project is completed satisfactorily.  Codable offers a money-back guarantee for either full or partial refunds, depending on the amount of work the freelancer has completed.

What is the average cost to develop a WordPress plugin?

How much does it cost to develop a WordPress plugin on average? Keep in mind these are not actual quotes. How much it might cost to develop a WordPress plugin may be much more or less than these figures.  These are just average general figures.  A simple plugin with basic features typically costs around $500-$1000. This is the lowest cost you will find for a customized plugin. For more features and medium-size businesses, a plugin will generally cost somewhere between $5000-$20,000. And a complex plugin designed for large-sized businesses or websites may cost as much as $20,000 to $50,000  Plugins like this typically require multiple developers to create.