When it comes to websites, prevention is always better than cure. A faulty website won’t only cost more money to repair but can also damage your business’s image and goodwill. This is why you need to invest in website maintenance.
You’ll need to know what kind of maintenance your website needs. Different websites require varying degrees and types of maintenance. But, how exactly do you figure this out?
Below you’ll find the different maintenance costs per website category, a breakdown and a rough estimate for each, as well as a sample breakdown for a small restaurant business.
So, let’s get started.
Costs by Website Category
Not all websites need the same type and degree of maintenance. Your small hobby website won’t need the same professional-level graphics and email marketing like a serious business website will. Here’s what each website category needs and their estimated monthly costs.
Hobby– Domain and hosting are the only costs you’ll need for a hobby website since you’ll mostly be doing everything yourself. These costs are estimated at $3 to $25 per month.
Personal– Similar to a hobby website, domain and hosting are the only costs you’ll need for these sites. These costs are estimated at $3 to $25 per month.
Business – Depending on the size of your business, you can expect to pay $225 (domain, hosting, graphics, email marketing) to $2750 (domain, hosting, graphics, email marketing, website updates, and maintenance) per month.
eCommerce – Depending on your online store’s size, you can expect to pay $450 (domain, hosting, general updates, graphics, email marketing) to $6000+ per month (domain, hosting, email server, graphics, email marketing, technical support, website updates and maintenance, security, tracking, and analytics).
Corporate – These websites tend to be the largest and widespread. They will require the most to maintain compared to the other website categories. You can expect to pay $5150 to $9740+ per month for a corporate website.
10 Common Websites Costs Breakdown
The above-mentioned maintenance costs are the bare minimum required for each website category. Here’s a breakdown of each cost to help you understand their purpose and why they may be required.
1. Domain Registration
$10 to $20 per year
Small to Medium blog – $2 to $20 per month
Medium to Large blog – $25 to $100 per month
Small to Medium eCommerce – $25 to $100 per month
Medium to Large eCommerce – $100 to $500 per month
- Good writers usually start at $.15 per word.
4. Email Server
$0 to $5 per user per month
5. General Updates
$0 to $190 per month
6. Design Updates
$0 to $1600 per month
7. Tech Support
$0 to $3000 per month or $60 per hour on a site like Codeable
$0 to $100 per month
9. Tracking and Analytics
$0 to $300 per month
$0 to $10000
Example Small Business Website Maintenance Cost:
You may be thinking “the above-stated information is well and good but how do I apply this to my website?”
No problem. Here’s an example I’ve put together for a small restaurant business ( I made sure to make it as cheap as possible). While other website types may need different maintenance costs, this example can at least help you estimate your maintenance costs.
A small business website can expect to pay up to $1.167 per month for its Domain. That’s $14 per year and includes Domain privacy. Paying for web hosting adds $2.75 per month to that cost. You’ll want to look for a web hosting service that offers a free email server.
Since your website won’t be too big, you should be able to handle the general updates yourself. However, you may need to pay up to $67 per month ($50 to $75 per hour for 4 hours every 3 months) if you want to update your website’s design and graphics.
Tech support won’t cost as much for a small website. Expect to pay $10 per month ($60 per hour every 6 months, since it’s a simple business/brochure website). You won’t need to pay for website updates and maintenance costs if you can do them yourself.
Website security won’t cost you a thing since you’ll only need to protect your site’s comments and contact forms from spam (included in most hosting plans). Likewise, you can stick with Google Analytics for free tracking and analytics. Lastly, since a small restaurant website rarely reaches 2000 contacts, you can get a free Email newsletter from MailChimp.
All in all, you’re looking at just $81 per month to maintain a small restaurant website. However, if you want to market your website through email, advertising, Facebook ads, and/or Google ads, you may need to add up to $1000 per month to the total cost.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Domain: $1.167 per month ($14 per year + Domain privacy)
- Hosting: $2.75 per month
- Email Server: FREE (from hosting)
- General Updates: FREE (do-it-yourself)
- Design Updates for new restaurant graphics: $67 per month ($50 to $75 per hour for 4 hours every 3 months)
- Tech Support: $10 per month ($60 per hour every 6 months, since it’s a simple business/brochure website)
- Website updates and maintenance: FREE (do-it-yourself)
- Security: FREE (spam protection only, since it only handles comments and contact forms)
- Tracking and Analytics: FREE (Google Analytics)
- Email Newsletter: FREE (Mailchimp, since a small restaurant website rarely reaches 2000 contacts. If it exceeds 2000 contacts, $10 per month for 50,000 contacts)
- Total (without marketing): $81 per month
What happens when you don’t maintain your website?
Some people make the mistake of ignoring website maintenance to cut costs.
While it may save you money at first, not maintaining your website can lead to several (costlier) problems down the line.
Outdated website design means weaker user experience. This ultimately leads to your website getting pushed back in search engine results. The same results happen when your website has outdated content.
The worst thing to happen will be finding the website, you’ve worked so hard on, broken because of some outdated code.