Having a website is a never-ending job.
Updating your contact information or adding a blog post from time to time is the least you can do. There are also other tasks and hidden expenses no one ever tells you about.
For example, most of the website domains and hosting packages last for one year. Be careful about due date for renewal or you could lose all of your data and a complete website. Puff, gone.
And we’ve just scratched the surface.
In case you know nothing about website maintenance, read one of our previous posts: Maintaining a website - path to more customers.
Guess what, most of that thing costs extra money.
Let’s dig deep into how much does it cost to maintain a website.
Website maintenance cost - small blog websites
Every small business owner is concerned about the budget. It’s understandable.
Next few sentences will show you how to be most effective with your maintenance cost and put some money away for a rainy day.
A) The first thing that concerns both small and larger websites - a domain name.
It is your most prized possession you have to renew annually. You are basically paying for keeping the website/business name on the Internet that's only yours. It costs from $10 to $15.
B) The second thing is hosting.
Hosting price depends on how large your website is, how many data you have and how many people visit it. Since your website is small, personal or blog, it rarely has a lot of traffic and has very few needs.
It might interest you: Choosing the website hosting provider
Many people paid a slight amount of money for the first year of hosting and then got surprised how much the renewal costs.
For example, Bluehost is one of the world-famous hosting providers. For the first year of their basic hosting plan, you pay €4.45 per month but then twice as much for renewal.
(Read the small letters).
On the bright side, renewals for small websites don’t cost more than $10 per month.
But, there’s a catch. More money you save in your pocket means less free time. There are three reasons for that:
- Basic plans rarely come with the automatic backups - you have to save your data by yourself from time to time.
- You have to search for security and analytics somewhere else. They are both possible through free plugins most of the website operators have. It’s enough for a website of your size and if your goal is to save some money, learn how to install and check them.
- Writing content. Owning a personal blog means you’re probably writing your stuff without additional expenses. (Keep up with superb work!)
Let’s sum up the total expenses for a small blog or personal website.
TOTAL (annually): $130 - $135 + a lot of your time
Website maintenance cost - medium business websites
Owning a medium or large business website means your sale largely depends on it. Also, it means that hacker-friendly and insecure, slow or non-attractive website WILL lose your money.
And you don’t want that, right?
There are two smart choices you can make.
(Note: all said below refers to websites made through a website builder. All customized websites made by developers are more complicated and, therefore, cost more).
Find the hosting provider with additional features that completely take the load off your back.
We mostly recommend that for medium-sized websites (around 5000 visitors as monthly maximum).
It costs some extra money, tho.
The package we’re talking about costs $26 per month on Squarespace. They provide you with free domain, unlimited storage, SSL certificate, analytics and marketing tools. Plugins for backup and security, as well as the content, are still your responsibility.
GoDaddy hosting is similar to Squarespace, but they also offer automatic daily malware scan and removal and website backup protection. All that for less money - $8.70 per month (and double after the first year). Pretty awesome.
More or less, all other hosting providers fit somewhere in between.
Cheaper options are always tempting. We advise you to save your money in the long run. With medium prized packages like those two, you’ll have better support and be sure some cheap unknown hosting provider will not shut down their business.
In case you want to upgrade your package with some plugins or software, it’s always possible. Reassess your needs and preferences.
You may decide writing blog posts or maintaining a website isn’t for you.
Simply, pay someone to do that.
There are content writers and there are webmasters (people who maintain websites for money).
How much will it cost you?
Domain name renewal: $10 - $50 annually
Hosting provider: $10 - $30 monthly
Plugins (optional): $0 - $100 (mostly)
Content writer (optional): $30 - $500 per blog post (depending on the niche and country)
The webmaster (optional): from $300/mo (depends on where you live)
Website maintenance cost - large and eCommerce business websites (without the customization)
By now you probably realized - the bigger and more complicated website is (and more value it provides), the more it costs.
So, the greatest thing you can do as a large business or eCommerce website owner is to invest in a premium website hosting provider and web maintenance package to stay on top of your website needs.
The average hosting fee for the website this size goes from $90 to $150, depending on the provider.
Learn more: 10 best hosting providers there are
Strong security and/or webmaster are optional, but we recommend it.
Sucuri is our pick when we want complete security. They make your website safe from hackers and attacks. In addition, you get an excellent security monitoring tool. It costs $199.99 annually.
We forgot to mention - webmaster doesn’t have to be a person. There is also software intended for websites maintenance. ManageWP is one of them. It helps you to perform tasks like updates, analytics, and performance checks from a single dashboard.
We need to emphasize - ManageWP only helps you with these tasks. It doesn’t do everything for you. But it drastically reduces the time you’ll spend on maintaining a website.
You can buy individual features for your needs or a complete bundle for $150/mo.
Now, you may be the owner who wants no worries at all. If that’s the case, pay a webmaster. Also, a writer if your website needs some fresh content.
Work those people can do for your website and business is significant.
Search for professionals like these:
- they use the tools and software needed for this job so they can cut your expenses there
- they know how to maintain a website you’ll be proud of
- the most important thing - they take care your customers have good experience
Let’s sum up the costs for those options.
- Domain name renewal: $10 - $50 annually
- Hosting provider: $90 - $150 monthly
- Plugins (optional): $0 - $100 (mostly)
- Extra security (optional): Starting at $200 annually
- Managing software (optional): Starting at $150/mo
- Content writer (optional): $30 - $500 per blog post (depending on the niche and country)
- The webmaster (optional): from $300/mo (depends on where you live)
*Remember, we are still talking about the websites made without customization and developers.
Website is an online shop you have to take care of
We know some of this costs my sound terrifying.
But reviving your website after crashes, bad maintenance or attacks is a painful process and much more expensive than month-to-month care.
Imagine the website as your shop window. Or the entire shop.
You would never let it be dirty, messy and dangerous for your customers, right?
So don’t do that with your website either.
Higher maintenance costs are unavoidable for larger business websites because of that reason. For keeping the shop clean and safe.
Smaller blogs will be perfectly fine with free or built-in tools.
Put on the paper everything you think you may need and now scratch all things you know to do by yourself. That’s gonna be your fee for website maintenance.
You can always upgrade to more expensive tools and features if needed.