Planning to build your website? Don’t forget to consider website maintenance costs to avoid any unexpected expenses down the road. Let us give you a quick breakdown of what to expect.
About this guide
Just because your website is up and running doesn’t mean the work is done. Your website is like a car, it needs regular maintenance to run smoothly. But don’t worry—this guide has got you covered. You’ll learn about the crucial components of website upkeep and budget like a pro.
Now, the nature of your website plays an important role in determining its upkeep costs. Depending on the type of website you run, you could be spending anywhere from a few bucks to a few hundred dollars each and every month on maintenance.
For instance, online stores tend to have more complex requirements, which translates to higher upkeep costs compared to small company websites. So, if you’re planning to launch a website or already have one, you need to consider the monthly maintenance costs associated with it.
To help you make informed decisions about website maintenance, we’ll be exploring the pros and cons of maintaining your site yourself versus hiring a professional. Also, we’ll delve into the various costs associated with website maintenance and give you tips on how to keep them under control.
By the end of this guide, you’ll also know how frequently you should update your website to keep it relevant and engaging for your audience.
Website Maintenance Cost: Overview
To make sure your website is running smoothly, it’s essential to understand the various expenses that come with website maintenance. If you’re using a website builder, most of these costs will already be included in your monthly fee.
But, if you’re managing your website independently, you’ll need to factor in expenses like hosting fees, domain renewal fees, content updates, and SEO enhancements.
These expenses can vary widely depending on the complexity of your website and the frequency of updates, but it’s crucial to budget for them to avoid any unexpected surprises down the road.
However, the costs of building and maintaining a business website can vary depending on the type and features required. Here’s a breakdown of the average monthly prices for different website categories:
- Small blog: $5 – $25
- Portfolio website: $5 – $30
- Small business website (excluding content): $91
- Small business website (plus outsourced copywriting): $721
- Small eCommerce store (excluding content) plus SEO and backup: $749
- Large eCommerce store: $1,950+
Or, for a cheaper option
Website builders are a cost-effective and hassle-free solution for anyone who wants to create and manage their own website.
As mentioned earlier, these tools simplify the entire process of web development and maintenance, making it a breeze even for beginners.
When using a website builder platform such as Squarespace or Wix, you can quickly create a professional-looking website by selecting a design template that suits your needs, easily dragging and dropping your content, and voila! Your website is ready to go live in no time.
Website builders will also take care of ongoing maintenance as part of your monthly subscription, so you don’t have to worry about shelling out extra bucks for it. It’s just one less thing to stress about when building your online presence.
The Domain Name ($10- $20/year)
A domain name is like a virtual address for your website. It’s the first thing that people type in their browser to visit your website. Without it, your website is practically invisible to the online world.
However, owning a domain name is not a one-time investment. You need to renew it annually to keep it active, or else, you risk losing it to someone else who might snatch it up and compel your business to look for a new one.
Businesses often have to shell out anywhere from $1 to $2 per month (that’s up to $25 per year!) to keep their domain name renewed.
SSL Certificates ($0- $49.99/year)
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is a crucial aspect of website security that protects your business and website users from cyber threats. By implementing SSL, you can ensure that sensitive data submitted by your users or company is transmitted and stored securely—mitigating the risk of data breaches and cyber attacks.
Today, popular web browsers, such as Google Chrome, display a padlock icon next to your website’s URL when you have an active SSL certificate. Not only that, but your URL also changes from “http” to “https,” indicating a secure connection.
This feature is crucial for gaining the trust of your customers, as most of them look for the padlock before making any purchase. Also, having an SSL certificate is now a must-have for SEO, as search engines like Google prefer secure sites over unsecured ones.
Although SSL certificates are available for free, many businesses opt to purchase them for added benefits like top-notch encryption rates and dedicated customer support. Investing in a paid SSL certificate can be a worthwhile decision for enterprises of all sizes.
Website Hosting ($2 to $835 /mo)
Hosting your website is not just an option, it’s a necessity. Without a reliable hosting provider, your website won’t be accessible to your audience. Which means, you need to consider hosting expenses when planning your website maintenance budget.
For hosting your website, you’ll want to weigh your options carefully. Here are a few choices to consider:
- Shared host: Opting for a shared hosting plan won’t burn a hole in your pocket! With prices ranging from $24 to $120 annually, it’s a budget-friendly option for beginners. However, if your website attracts heavy traffic, it’s best to explore other hosting alternatives.
- Website builder: If you’re a small business or expert blogger, don’t let the high cost of website development hold you back. With hosting plans like Wix or WordPress.com, you can create a professional website for just $60 to $180 a year. It’s an excellent option that won’t break the bank.
- Virtual private server (VPS): Think of it like renting an apartment in a bustling city – you get your own space to customize and enjoy, but you also benefit from the shared resources and amenities of the building. With prices ranging from $240 to $600 per year, a VPS is a cost-effective way to have full access to a server’s resources, despite sharing it with others.
- Dedicated server: If you’re serious about your website and demand the best in terms of speed, security, and control, a dedicated server is the way to go. While it’s the priciest option, starting from $1200 per year, it’s worth the investment if your site receives more than 100,000 visitors per month. With a dedicated server, you have complete autonomy to configure your server to your exact specifications.
It’s critical for your website’s success to choose the right internet hosting plan, even if it means spending a little extra. Going with a cheaper option could result in sluggish performance, leading to missed opportunities and lost revenue.
Most users these days have zero patience when it comes to waiting for a website to load. They expect it to happen in two seconds or less. And if it doesn’t, they’re quick to bounce off to other options. Which is why it’s necessary for businesses to prioritize the speed of their website and pages. It can make or break the user experience, and ultimately, affect your sales and revenue
For website hosting, businesses might spend anywhere from $2 to $835 per month or $24 to $10,000 annually. We have some additional information about Calgary website hosting if you want to find out more.
Email Hosting ($1- $5/month)
Email hosting allows you to set up a personalized email server for your website, giving your @yourdomain.com email addresses greater authority. While some hosting companies offer free basic email hosting, opting for additional services and capabilities may require a premium fee. Think of it as an investment in your website’s professional image and security.
As an illustration, Bluehost’s email hosting costs $2.99/month for the first year (renewing at $4.99/month) and offers the following features:
- Emails and calendars
- Outlook web access
- 15 GB email storage
A business can opt for email hosting to enhance the credibility of their website and company. When your email addresses are linked to your domain, it gives a professional touch to your business.
If you have the budget and are managing a personal website, investing in email hosting can be a valuable addition. However, if you’re short on funds, don’t fret as it’s not a deal-breaker.
Search Engine Optimization ($0- $10000/month)
SEO is all about the nitty-gritty details that can help your website climb up the ranks in Google search results. And the best part? You don’t need to spend a dime to make a significant impact. Just focus on making it easier for search engine crawlers to access your site. Here are some basic steps you can take to give your SEO a boost:
- Write short/snappy page titles and descriptions: Nail your Google preview with concise and descriptive titles and descriptions. Don’t make your potential visitors hunt for what your page is about—make it crystal clear in just a few words.
- Use relevant keywords: When creating content for your website, it’s important to consider how potential customers might search for your products or services. By including relevant keywords in your page titles, headings, and body text, you can improve your search engine rankings and attract more traffic.
For instance, if you’re a wedding planner based in New York City, make sure to use keywords like “NYC wedding planner” or “wedding planning services in NYC.” By optimizing your content with the right keywords, you’ll increase your chances of getting noticed by the right audience.
- Tag images: Don’t underestimate the power of “alt text” for your website’s SEO. By including descriptive text for your images, you’re not only helping visually impaired users understand the content, but also giving search engine crawlers valuable clues about what’s on your page.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that every platform has its unique strengths and limitations when it comes to SEO. As you plan to handle your SEO strategy independently, make sure to leverage the platforms that provide the best capabilities for your specific needs.
Content Update Costs ($0- $3,000/month)
Even if your company has top-notch products or services, don’t let outdated content and shoddy writing hold you back. Keep potential customers engaged by outsourcing your content quality control to a skilled copywriting agency or freelancer.
The kind and extent of content play a crucial role in determining the costs involved. If you’re looking to get website copy written, budgeting around $210 for every 1,000 words is a good rule of thumb. On the other hand, if you need professional product photography, expect to pay around $100 per photo.
Tech Support ($0 – $2,000+/month)
Websites and hosting companies have got your back with internal support teams for technical issues. But if you’re after more specialized care, outsourcing to a website maintenance service is a great option. You can pick from tiered packages of maintenance services based on your site’s needs and budget.
For example, if you run a thriving online store, you might want to invest between $500 and $1,000 per month for development help. With this plan, you can expect to receive top-notch support for creating new layouts and features that will make your site stand out from the crowd. Besides that, you’ll have access to valuable insights on SEO optimization and regular upgrades that will keep your eCommerce business ahead of the curve.
We believe website maintenance services are essential for ensuring the smooth operation and security of your website. Don’t take any chances with your online presence—keep it up-to-date and protected.
Website Builders ($10- $30/month)
Since website builders take a unique approach to website maintenance, opting for one can provide you with an all-in-one solution that is both cost-effective and easy to budget for. With a website builder, you won’t have to worry about figuring out separate website upkeep fees. It’s a great way to simplify the process and focus on what matters most—growing your online presence.
So, what’s the catch? Well, while website builders are affordable and easily accessible, they do have their limitations when it comes to scalability and customization. If you’re running a high-traffic or large website, a DIY approach with separate hosting might be the way to go. But for small businesses looking for a quick and easy solution, website builders are definitely worth considering.
When you sign up for a website builder and pay a small monthly fee, you can rest easy knowing that many of the maintenance-related expenses are already taken care of. This usually includes hosting, a domain name, basic SSL protection, and tech support.
Website Maintenance Costs – Conclusion
By knowing the typical expenses involved in maintaining a website, you can plan your budget effectively. It’s essential to keep in mind that your costs may differ depending on the type of website you have.
For example, an online store that accepts payments on the site will likely require more investment than a simple blog. Moreover, if you choose to use a website builder, your subscription fee will include several essential charges. So, be prepared and budget accordingly.