Recently, there was a discussion on LowEndSpirit forums about “Lifetime deal” for Divi, a pagebuilder for WordPress. The issue of number of licenses applicable under the deal led to some discussion around costing. I put on my costing hat and came up with some calculations that may be of interest to you.
Pagebuilders and themes for WordPress
Last year I had written a series on pagebuilders for websites, including a section on pagebuilders for WordPress. Of that list, I have used Elementor and Brizy in the past, and we have licenses for Essential Addons for elementor as well as for Brizy. Of course we have also tried to use the stock Gutenburg widgets that come with WordPress installations. Divi’s Annual licensing fee is US $ 89, “Lifetime” fee is US $ 149. You can find their costing here. Elementor’s Agency plan (top tier) comes at US $ 1,000 for upto 1000 sites.
Coming to themes, this site earlier used the GeneratePress theme, for which I had the Pro license. In the following section I have done some costing calculations for using Elementor, assuming annual license. Generatepress Pro has 500 website limit, so the below numbers become approximately half. The annual fee for GeneratePress Pro is US Dollars 50.
Licensing and costs for Elementor
Elementor’s license allows the user to use the same code on nearly 1,000 websites. Earlier, it used to be “unlimited”. but when Elementor changed that to 999 sites there was a hue and cry in the developer/ marketer community. Much of it was silly and unjustified.
How the Costs Work Out
Let us consider that designing each of the 999 sites on elementor requires 2 Hours. Every month, these sites need atleast an additional two hours for content, updates, backups/maintenance, etc. Assume two years of ‘life’ for that website before a major refresh/update would be needed. Or, Elementor gets replaced by a new game in town.
In terms of time required to manage these 999 sites, we get
999 websites x [ (2 hrs/website design +(24 hours/year in content, updates) *2 years] = 999 * 50 hrs approx. say 50,000 hours 50,000 hours * 8 US Dollar/hour min wage = USD 400,000 .
I find it ridiculously funny that people complain over 999 site limit. However, they do not worry about earning 400,000 US Dollars to utilise that limit !
Another way to look at the situation is as follows:
Assuming someone is running a WP sweatshop that employs people at 12,000 US Dollars/year salary. Each person works 50 hours/week, for 50 weeks/year, i.e 2,500 hours a year. In a sweatshop, typically working hours are 60 hours/week, so say 3,000 hours/ year. The same 50,000 hours require 50,000/3,000 = 17 full time employees at minimum. Add one or two supervisors, account managers, etc. Say 20 Full Time Employees or FTEs. For the same two year period, the salary becomes 20 * 12,000 * 2 = US Dollars 480,000.
Add Payroll taxes, overheads, increments in salary, marketing expenses… etc. I see human resources cost as north of US Dollars 1 million over two years.
Wrapping it up
The bigger problem is how to earn those 400,000 or 1 million US dollars. Rather than complaining that a US $ 100 a year license only allows
2. Costs for bandwidth, hosting, storage for backup, licenses for plugins, themes, license for images/videos, etc. if any… are not included in the above figures.