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Cost Calculator Review: A Super Useful WordPress Plugin for Freelancers

Are you a freelancer? If so, you may need Cost Calculator. It is a WordPress plugin that allows you create a cost calculator for your service and display it on your website. Your prospective clients can learn your service fee and make a booking if they are interested with your service.

Cost Calculator is a full-fledged calculator builder, though. Not only you can use it to create a cost calculator for your freelancing service, but you can also broaden its use. For instance, you can use it as a WooCommerce alternative to sell both physical and digital products.

In this review post, we will dig deeper into the Cost Calculator plugin and learn how it is beneficial for WordPress freelancers and creators.

What is Cost Calculator? A Brief Intro

Cost Calculator is one of the plugins from StylemixThemes. Apart from Cost Calculator, the company also owns MasterStudy, eRoom, BookIt, and uListing. These are great plugins on their respective segment. eRoom, for instance, is a great plugin to sell webinars via WordPress. MasterStudy, similarly, is a great plugin to create an e-learning system in WordPress.

Back to Cost Calculator.

The plugin allows you create a cost calculator for your service. To make it easy to understand, let’s take an example.

Say you are a freelancer that offer web development service with WordPress. You want to charge different fees for each client, depending on the service items they select. For instance, for an e-commerce website, you charge $1,500. While for a simple portfolio website, you charge $850. The fee can be higher if your clients select add-ons such as backup service, content creation, and so on. Take a look at the following GIF.

As you can see, the total price changes as you select a service item and add-ons. The submit order button allows your prospective client to order your service. You can then manage it (the order) from the backend area (WordPress dashboard). If you want it, you can replace the submit button with a pay button and process the order only when your client has completed the payment.

The above GIF is just an example. You can create other calculator types according to your needs. Cost Calculator has 18 field types that you can add to your calculator. In addition to dropdown and checkbox as you can see on the above GIF, you can also add other field types such as slider, radio, button, file upload, and so on.

Once done creating the calculator, you can add it to any page you want, regardless of the editor you use. Whether Gutenberg, Elementor, Divi Builder, to Breakdance.

Cost Calculator Features

— Visual Calculator Builder

Cost Calculator editor interface.

If you have ever created a form using a form builder plugin like Ninja Forms and Gravity Forms, then using the calculator builder of Cost Calculator is not a problem. The calculator builder also comes with a visual editor whereby you can drag a field from the elements panel on the left side and drop it to the canvas area on the right side. You can add as many fields as you want, according to your needs.

The settings window will appear right after you add a new field. From this window, you can set things like field name, field label, and field description. There are also options to enable additional settings to the field such as show/hide currency sign, make a field a required field, and so on.

Since the plugin is designed specifically to create a cost calculator, most fields require you to add a value. In this context, the field value equals to money value.

The values you add to the calculator fields will be used as the values on the calculation process on the calculator itself. The value of the calculation outcome can be displayed in a wide range of currency by simply setting the currency sign. You can go to the settings screen of Cost Calculator to set the currency sign.

As mentioned earlier, there are 18 field types you can add to your calculator as follows:

TextSwitch toggleMulti range
QuantityCheckboxFile upload
Dropdown listImage checkboxHTML element
Image dropdownDate pickerFormula
Radio selectTime pickerRepeater
Image radioBasic sliderDivider

The calculator builder of Cost Calculator has a dedicated Appearance menu which you can use to set the appearance of your calculator. From typography (font size, font style, etc.), calculator background, calculator layout (vertical, horizontal, two columns), and more.

Interestingly, there is also a responsive editing feature to allow you apply different settings to desktop and mobile. You can, for instance, use two different text sizes of the field labels on desktop and mobile. This feature is quite useful if you want to create a calculator that primarily target smartphone users.

Cost Calculator is a generic plugin. Meaning that it is not designed specifically for a certain editor. In other words, you can add the calculator you have built to Gutenberg, Elementor, Breakdance, Divi, Bricks, and other editors. Each calculator has a shortcode which you can use to integrate it the editor you use.

# Conditional Logic

For a certain reason, you may want to disable a field on your calculator when another field is populated with a certain value. Or you may want to hide it. The calculator builder of Cost Calculator comes with a conditional logic feature that you can use to set a certain action to a field when another condition is met.

For instance, as we stated above, you can disable a certain field when another field is populated with a value. Take a look at the following GIF to make it clearer (notice the Meals and drinks field).

As you can see, the Meals and drinks field disappears when the value of the Number of guests field is set to 6. The condition (greater than 6 in this case) is customizable according to user’s need. So is with the action (hide the field in this case). The conditional logic feature of Cost Calculator supports 4 conditions and 7 actions.

Conditions:

  • Equal to
  • Less than
  • Greater than
  • Not equal to

Actions:

  • Show
  • Hide
  • Hide (leave in Total)
  • Disable
  • Unset
  • Select option
  • Select option and disable

To be able to add a condition and an action, you need to connect at least two fields first. You are provided with a canvas area whereby you can add your existing fields and connect them. To set a condition, you can click the price tag icon which appears between two connected fields.

The conditional logic feature of Cost Calculator is accessible via the Conditions menu, which lies above the canvas area of the calculator builder. This feature is quite useful when you are building a complex calculator. You can provide a better user experience to your user with a more interactive calculator.

— Built-in Payment Gateway

With plenty of field types available, you can create a tailored calculator according to the service you offer. The best part is that you can directly accept the payment via the calculator and process the order only when the payment is complete. The option to enable payment lies under the Settings menu inside the calculator builder.

As you can see, there are three payment gateway services you can use: Woo Checkout (requires WooCommerce), Stripe, and PayPal. After enabling one of the payment gateways (you can add multiple payment gateways, by the way), you will see payment method options — complete with the purchase button — on your calculator.

While you can setup payment gateway on individual calculator, there is also an option to enable a payment gateway to all calculators via the global settings of Cost Calculator.

— Order Management

While payment gateway offers an automated payment solution, you may prefer to adopt manual payment instead. This option is suitable if you often split the payment into two parts for your service: down payment prior project creation and full payment once the project is done.

Instead of a purchase button, you can add an order button to your calculator.

Same as payment option, you can also set the order button via the Settings menu on the calculator builder.

To help you manage the orders, Cost Calculator offers an order manager you can make use of. You can access the feature by going to Cost Calculator -> Orders on WordPress dashboard or simply click the Orders icon on the menu bar inside the Cost Calculator screen. From the Orders screen, you can access the invoice of each order, set the order status, and delete it when an order is complete.

# Email Notification

The built-in ordering system of Cost Calculator comes with an email notification feature. Both you and your client will receive an email notification over a new order. To make it looks more professional, you can design the email via Email Template menu from the global settings screen. You can add your business logo to the email and set the color scheme according to your brand identity. More importantly, you can remove the plugin branding from your email.

Cost Calculator uses the default email delivery feature of WordPress to send the email so you don’t need to make extra setting. As long as your hosting provider doesn’t disable the PHP mail() function, there should no issue regarding email delivery.

— Third-Party Integrations Support via Webhook

While the Cost Calculator plugin is designed specifically to create a cost calculator, you can also use it for another purpose. For instance, you can use it as a tool to capture leads. For this purpose, it would be great to connect your calculator with a CRM tool such as Salesforce and the similar tools.

Or if you want to further process the data, you can connect your calculator with a tool like Google Sheets.

Cost Calculator allows you to integrate your calculator with an online service via webbooks. The tools it supports for this purpose are Zapier, Make, and IFTTT. You can set a webhook via the Settings menu on each calculator. You can send the data to a third-party service when a user clicks the button on your calculator. Be it to make an order or to make the payment.

— Prebuilt Calculator Templates

It always takes time to learn how to use a new tool. The good thing is, you don’t need to always create your calculator from scratch on Cost Calculator. Instead, you can use one of the available calculator templates that Cost Calculator offers.

There are tens of prebuilt calculator templates available on Cost Calculator. From discount calculator, web design calculator, graphic design, calculator, and more. To use a calculator template, you can simply click the Use Template button on the template you like and it will be imported to the calculator builder whereby you can edit it. Before importing a template, you can preview it first to figure out how it looks like on a live page.

Cost Calculator Free vs Pro

Cost Calculator is a freemium plugin with the free version is available on WordPress.org. This means, you can create a calculator without making a purchase upfront although the features you will get are limited. According to the stat on WordPress.org, the Cost Calculator plugin already has over 30,000 installations with the average user give a 4.3-star rating. Meaning that the plugin has a good enough reception by the WordPress community.

Although the free version is available, upgrading to the pro version is required to use the plugin to the fullest. That’s because the free version doesn’t allow you to accept order at all. Let alone accepting payment. Also, the number of fields you can add to your calculator are also limited. Fields like Image dropdown, Image radio, Image checkbox, and Date picker are only accessible with the pro version.

Here is the list of fields only available on the pro version of Cost Calculator:

  • Image dropdown
  • Image radio
  • Image checkbox
  • Date picker
  • Time picker
  • Multi range
  • File upload
  • Repeater

And here are the features comparison between the free version and the pro version:

FreePro
Number of fields1018
Order
Payment gateway
Conditional logic
Webhook
Edit email template
Remove plugin branding

Cost Calculator Pricing

Since StylemixThemes releases Cost Calculator as a freemium plugin, you can enjoy the experience of building a cost calculator using the plugin for free. Simply install the plugin from the plugin manager on your WordPress dashboard. If you think the plugin fits your needs, you can upgrade to the pro version to unlock more advanced features, including the ability to accept orders, which is the most crucial feature for business.

The good thing about Cost Calculator Pro is that you have two purchase options: one-time purchase and yearly subscription. This is great because for the sake of saving yearly expense, some freelancers prefer buying paid tools with a one-time purchase option although they need to spend extra money upfront.

After all, if you choose the one-time purchase, you will receive lifetime updates instead of yearly.

StylemixThemes offers three plans to get the pro version of Cost Calculator as follows:

IndividualsFreelancersAgencies
Price$39/year or $149 lifetime$99/year or $299 lifetime$299/year or $799 lifetime
No of installs15Unlimited
Updates and support period1 year or lifetime1 year or lifetime1 year or lifetime

The Verdict — Cost Calculator Review

Services like Fiverr and Upwork are great to market your freelancing service. However, if relying on this type of service is something you don’t like, creating your own website is a great idea. WordPress has always been the best tool to create website. And in the context of freelancing, Cost Calculator could be best companion. As we have elaborated above, it is a great plugin that allows you create cost calculator for your service.

Prospective clients can easily place an order if they interested with your service and you can manage it via your WordPress dashboard. The built-in payment gateway feature allows you accept the payment via PayPal or cards.

Not only Cost Calculator is great for freelancers. Its extensive field types make the implementation of the plugin broader. If you are a creator, for instance, you can use the plugin to create an ordering system for pre-order merchandise. If you are a publisher, you can create an ordering system for your ad service.

Being a generic plugin, Cost Calculator can be integrated with any editor. From Gutenberg, Elementor, to Divi.

Cost Calculator Pros:

  • Great visual calculator builder
  • Extensive field types
  • Flexible
  • Built-in ordering system and payment gateway

Cost Calculator Cons:

  • The free version is too basic
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Aliko Sunawang

Aliko Sunawang

Aliko is a WordPress expert and lead blogger at WPPagebuilders. He has been blogging with WordPress since 2012. He is responsible of all content published on this website.
Rating:
4.6/5
Our Verdict:
4.6/5

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