How much does it cost to run a digital eCommerce store?

Easy Digital Downloads by itself is free, but it's also only a single part of running a complete eCommerce store. This document will look at some of the expenses you may expect to pay when setting up a store.

NOTE: these prices are very loose estimates, and should not be taken as a guarantee in any way.

Hosting

Easy Digital Downloads requires WordPress, which needs to be run on a server on the internet. Website hosting for WordPress can range in cost from as little as $5/mo US to hundreds of dollars per month US. You'll need to find the price and feature set balance that fits your store.

A very low budget host can be great for setting something up and seeing if it will be successful, but if you start getting regular significant traffic it will almost certainly be worth your while to pay more for hosting with faster servers, more bandwidth, and more features.

Here are some  hosting recommendations from WordPress.org.

Domain Name

Your website will need a domain name. These can be purchased at a wide variety of places and used at almost any host. Prices range from $5/yr to $50/yr for mainstream top level domains like .com,.org, et cetera. More boutique top level domains like .tv, .fm, et cetera can cost hundreds of dollars.

SSL/TLS Certificate

This is a digital certificate that encrypts the information transferred between your customers and your server.  It makes the little lock appear in the browser.

Prices for an SSL Certificate can range from free to several hundred dollars, based both on feature set and where you purchase. Often your web host will sell them, that's a great place to check. It might be worth paying slightly more to get it from your host for the convenience.

Here are several other documents we have about SSL:

Static IP Address

Often a static IP address is required to have an SSL certificate. This is a numerical address for your site, and usually looks something like this: 10.32.18.134

Prices for this can range from free to $50/mo, depending on the host you use.

Payment Gateway

In order to get paid you'll need to have a payment gateway. This allows money to move from the customer to your bank. 

Easy Digital Downloads includes  PayPal Standard and Amazon Payments for free, but also sells extensions for many others. The prices for these extensions range from approximately $50USD to more than a hundred dollars, based on feature set and number of sites on which it can be used.

Here's our  introduction to payment gateways.

Payment Gateway Fees

Many payment gateways charge both a percentage of the sale as well as a a small flat fee per transaction. This may be as little as 2.5% + 30 cents US per transaction, but can also be more. Paying more usually means you have more features, so don't simply assume cheapest is best.  Shop around and see what's available.

Here's our  introduction to payment gateways.