8 core website maintenance costs
When researching your website maintenance costs, you'll want to consider these eight factors (mentioned in the table above), which will influence how much website maintenance costs your business.
1. Domain name ($0.08 to $1 /mo)
A domain name is unique to your business, appearing in your website’s URL. Without a domain name, it’s impossible for users to visit your site, which is why you must pay to renew your domain name each year. If you don’t, someone else could purchase the name and force your company to find a new one.
On average, businesses pay $0.08 to $1 per month or $2 to $20 per year to renew their domain name.
2. SSL certificate ($0 to $125 /mo)
An SSL certificate, also known as a Secure Sockets Layer, protects your company and your site visitors. This certificate works by allowing your site to receive, transfer, and secure sensitive data provided by users or your business.
If you have an active SSL certificate, your website URL appears with a padlock next to it in Internet browsers like Google Chrome. Your URL also updates from “http” to “https” for users. In most cases, shoppers look for the padlock before making a purchase, which is why this site feature matters.
Companies can purchase an SSL certificate for free, but most invest in a paid license. A paid SSL certificate often includes additional features, like customer support and higher encryption rates, which are beneficial for businesses of any size.
Prices for paid SSL certificates range from $0.80 to $125 per month or $10 to $1500 per year.
3. Website hosting ($2 to $835 /mo)
Like your domain name, website hosting is essential. If you don’t have a hosting provider, it’s impossible for people to access your website. That’s why your business needs to include website hosting costs in your website maintenance budget.
Your business can choose from a few options for website hosting:
- Shared host: A shared host costs $24 to $120 per year. It’s the lowest cost option because it hosts your website on a server with several other sites. If you have minimal website traffic, a shared host service can work well.
- Website builder: A website builder hosting service, like from Wix or WordPress, costs $60 to $180 per year. This service option provides an excellent solution for small businesses and professional bloggers.
- Virtual private server (VPS): A VPS costs $240 to $600 per year. While you share your server, like with shared hosting, you have complete access to your server’s resources because the provider divides the server into multiple virtual servers. You can look at a VPS like an apartment building, with the server representing the building and the virtual servers the apartments.
- Dedicated server: A dedicated server costs $1200 to $24,000 per year. It’s the most expensive website hosting option, which is why most websites that use a dedicated server have more than 100,000 site visitors per month. With a dedicated server, you have complete access to your own server.
While your business may want to save money by choosing a less expensive website hosting option, it’s essential for your team to select the best one for your site. If you opt for a hosting option that doesn’t meet your current website traffic levels, this can result in a sluggish site and you may lose quality leads.
Today, most people expect a website to load in two seconds or less. If it doesn’t, they go somewhere else to research a product, find a service provider, or spend their money. That’s why your business needs to make the speed of your pages and site a priority.
Companies can spend $2 to $835 per month or $24 to $10,000 per year on website hosting.
4. General website updates ($15 to $105 /mo)
From a user perspective, general website updates keep your site looking fresh and modern, as well as secure. Even if your company, like a home improvement store, processes payments offline, it’s essential to have an online presence that conveys trust and quality.
If you don’t, you exclude yourself from a massive online audience. Like the homeowners, for example, researching local stores for their next home improvement project online. Or, the property managers that need a consistent and reliable supplier for their nearby apartment complex.
Provide your site with routine maintenance, and you can improve the chances of people not only finding your company but also investing in it, whether by visiting your store, calling your team, or purchasing your products or services.
In most instances, general website upkeep from a professional provider includes updates to your:
- Background images
When it comes to website upkeep, most companies spend $15 to $105 per month.
It’s worth mentioning that many companies misinterpret what website updates include, especially when a part of a website maintenance package. Upkeep to your website’s elements like content, navigation, and forms maintains the quality and functionality of your site.
For example, if you’re launching a seasonal sale and need to update your product or service pricing, most website maintenance plans would include that kind of update. If you’re looking for your provider to redesign your product and service pages, however, you can expect a separate fee.
Depending on the requested updates, your business may also need to supply materials like content or images. For instance, if you want to change the copy on a product or service page, you must send that revised copy to your service provider.
If you’re confused about what your website maintenance pricing plan includes, talk to your service provider. With our dedicated account managers (which means you always have one consistent point of contact), it’s stress-free to talk about your account and package.
5. CMS updates ($0 to $3500 /mo)
With content marketing capable of doubling website conversion rates, it’s not surprising that many businesses have a content marketing strategy. A core part of a content marketing strategy, however, is a content management system (CMS).
A CMS allows you to upload, publish, and manage your website’s content.
A few examples of some go-to CMS applications include:
In some cases, businesses will build a custom CMS.
Whether you choose a standard or custom CMS, it’s critical for your company to maintain it with security patches and routine updates. With consistent maintenance, your CMS remains secure and functional. Plus, your team can access new features and tools with most updates.
Depending on your CMS, your website maintenance costs may also include a subscription or service fee for using your CMS. WordPress, for example, features several paid service plans. You get billed yearly but pay monthly.
In addition to your service fee, your business also needs to consider the cost of the team updating and maintaining your CMS. If you don’t have the means to support your CMS in-house, you need to partner with an agency that can provide those services.
That’s why businesses can spend as little as $0 or as much as $3500 per month on their CMS.
6. Tech support ($1500 to $3000 /mo)
A website can experience a variety of issues, from broken contact forms to server errors. That’s why website maintenance pricing includes technical support from your provider. With this service, your team can forward site issues for your provider to fix.
In most cases, service agreements specify turnaround times for issues.
As an example, a basic website maintenance pricing package may include a turnaround time of five business days while a premium plan offers a turnaround time of two business days. Expect to pay more if you want a faster turnaround time.
Before your partner with a provider, review their turnaround times and make sure they meet your company’s needs. You may have to find another provider or opt for a higher-priced plan to match your standards if they don’t.
It’s essential to remember, as well as to explain to company decision makers, that tech support is critical. With professional assistance, you ensure the functionality of your website. Without tech support, it’s up to your in-house team to fix difficult situations, like broken shopping carts, quickly.
That’s why many businesses invest $1500 to $3000 per month on tech support.
7. Website analytics reports ($5 to $15 /mo)
While optional, many website maintenance providers include monthly analytics reports with their services. A monthly summary of your website’s analytics offers insight into the performance of your site, as well as your digital marketing strategies, like search engine optimization (SEO).
A few factors a website analytics report looks at include:
- Number of unique website visitors
- Average time on site
- Average bounce rate
Depending on your digital marketing strategy, you may already receive reports on your website’s performance. If you haven’t invested in digital marketing yet, an analytics report can serve as a unique selling point (USP) when researching service providers.
In most cases, a website analytics report adds $5 to $15 to your monthly website maintenance costs.
8. Ecommerce system support ($15 to $25 /mo)
If you’re an ecommerce business, then you understand the essential role of your payment system. Without your payment system, it becomes impossible to accept, process, and fulfill orders, which decreases your revenue severely.
That’s why ecommerce system support is essential for your company.
With ecommerce system support, your service provider keeps your system secure, up-to-date, and live. Like tech support, your team can also submit tickets when system errors appear. For example, maybe shoppers aren’t receiving an order confirmation email.
Depending on your provider, they may look at tech support and ecommerce system support separately. That means your business needs to pay for tech support, plus ecommerce system support to keep your website operational.
As with tech support, ecommerce system support will include an estimated turnaround time. Again, expect higher website maintenance costs if you want a faster turnaround time. For many ecommerce businesses, expedited turnaround time is worth the investment.
In most cases, ecommerce companies spend $15 to $25 a month for ecommerce system support.