Since you are here, it must mean that you are thinking about keeping your website as up to date as possible. If you are a new WordPress user, Website Maintenance Cost might not sound so important, but believe us, it is.
Sustaining WordPress websites can’t be rather unpredictable. This is due to the fact that you can’t foresee when the unplanned will happen. (be it hacked website, or plugin malfunction) That is why you must perform regular website maintenance.
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
You must be also wondering, why pay extra for something that you believe you can do by yourself?
How Doable Is The “Do It Yourself” Approach?
To answer this question you must consider a couple of things:
- What percentage of time can you afford to lose monthly on this task?
- How big is your site?
- What are the steps to complete this task?
- Can you allow yourself any downtime?
- Are you sure you can do it properly?
Maintenance takes time, the time you could be spending creating new content or doing some other work. If 20% of your monthly work time goes to completing upkeep tasks, that is 1/5 of your potential earnings down the drain.
Be mindful of your time management, it is the only thing you can’t get back.
The amount of work you need to do is closely related to the size of your website. If you own a small blog or a personal site this task can be achievable. If it is a huge WooCommerce or a similar site, please, don’t gamble with your faith.
The Maintenance Checklist
Like any other procedure, maintaining your website requires completing a couple of steps. These are some of the bare minimum things you need to do:
Perform security checks
Security is one of the main things you need to worry about as a website owner. If you don’t want to pay for a good security plugin, you will have to take your chances with free ones. They can work in some instances, but lack a lot of features you most certainly need.
Do a site-wide cleanup
Consider this scenario, your site was hacked, or malware was uploaded to it. Now, you must deal with the aftermath. The data was leaked, and you must reset all of the passwords, clean spam, patch the code, etc. You also need to notify your users that the potential personal data was stolen. Are you still sure this is what you want to do on your own?
Monitor The Uptime
If your site’s traffic is valuable, each second it spends being down results in lost money. This is why you should always be very aware of the site’s uptime. Free monitoring tools require you to manually check everything. To get automatic notifications of your site’s status, expect to pay a few bucks a month.
Apart from being a great way to save some space, optimizing can also increase the speed of your site. This is something you really should do regularly. Free tools can help to some degree, but you need to pay for an automated service.
Update your software
For WordPress to function properly, its core, plugins, and themes all need to be compatible with each other. But here is the catch, this can sometimes lead to problems due to new code interfering with different plugin’s old one. This is why the next step is crucial.
Do The Backup
Whether you are testing, updating or doing anything alike, you need to back up first. This also applies when you have security issues you want to fix. Plugins like UpdraftPlus can help you with this problem, but like we already mentioned, premium versions are premium for a reason.
Average Website Maintenance Cost For Different Website Types
If this wasn’t already clear, website maintenance costs for different types of websites vary. The size of the site also plays a big role in choosing the right maintenance plan. You wouldn’t expect a small blog website to have the same maintenance cost as huge eCommerce websites.
The maintenance also includes things like domain registration, SSL certificates and hosting costs, so we need to consider them too. Furthermore, you must keep your viewers interested. This means you need to upload new content regularly. If you are not the content creator, this brings new expenses.
So, let’s see what kind of average maintenance cost can website owners expect according to their website type.
Personal Website ($5 to $25/month)
A small personal website should cost you about $5 to $25 per month. This price is mostly divided between domain and hosting services. If you don’t need stronger security there is no need for additional premium plugins. There is also a big chance you won’t need any website design help since there is a huge library of free themes available.
This being your personal website, in addition, gives you the freedom to upload anything you want. This makes the content cost close to zero.
Medium Blog Site ($20 to $60/month)
A medium blog has somewhere around one hundred to one thousand monthly visitors. A website of this size should start considering an anti-spam tool and some kind of security upgrade. There is no need for regular technical assistance, but occasional hiring of a freelancer can help if problems occur.
Just like with the personal website, the content here is most likely created by the owner, and marketing mostly comes from social media. So the price is again very close to nothing. When you add that to the recurring website expenses (domain and hosting) it all comes to $20 to $60 per month.
High Traffic Blog Site ($60 to $400/month)
With more than one thousand monthly visitors we are entering the big leagues. Taking into account the amount of content you need to make for a website of this size, one person can’t really keep up. You also need to consider the cost of marketing tools and advertising. This along with the plugin’s monthly fee introduces all-new kinds of expenses. So, the monthly costs are somewhere in the ballpark of $60 to $400.
Small WooCommerce Site ($35 to 50$/month)
For an online store, things are a little different. First of all, since there is money transfer involved the security must be a priority from the start. The plugins are usually pay-per-user oriented so you can certainly get away with a cheaper payment plan. The design choices are also up to you, and so is providing content. (product pictures and descriptions) All in all, this comes to around $35 to 50$ a month.
Medium WooCommerce Site ($85 to $160/month)
Your business is getting serious so you need to start thinking about a custom domain, maybe even some premium themes and plugins. You might also hire a professional photographer for your product images and content writer for the descriptions. In addition, the security plugins cost increases, and the total comes to $85–$160 per month.
Big WooCommerce Site ($2000 and more/month)
The costs for a business of this scale are much bigger, as you might expect. The minimum amount you should put aside for this is $500 a month. The maximum depends on a lot of different factors and can go as much as $2000 and more. Things like the number of people you hire, hosting plans and extra features and technical maintenance help all add a lot to that number.
Custom Business Websites ($2200+/month)
To give you an estimate is a little tricky since it highly depends on the service your site provides, but, let’s take a guess. Since your company website doesn’t fall into the previous categories, it must have a specific purpose. This also means that the site was built from the grounds up. The cost of such a site would come in thousands of dollars right from the start.
But what about upkeep?
Well, since your site doesn’t use a platform like WordPress, you don’t get to have all the perks it provides. That means you need the help of professionals. This alone can cost $500+ a month. Now let’s add the hosting, you would need a good and stable server to make sure your site won’t lose any traffic. Dedicated servers can cost more than $300 a month. Additional custom plugins fee can also go over $250 a month. Since this is a custom site, the content, marketing and design you should also leave for professionals. (more than $1000) With some other smaller expenses, this comes to roughly $2200+ per month.
What Does The Average Website Maintenance Cost Cover?
So you are maybe asking yourself why are the average website maintenance costs so high?
Or what is actually included in that cost?
To explain this we must do the monthly maintenance cost breakdown:
Domain costs vary based on what you want to have in your site’s name. For example, the simple “.com” is usually the cheapest (as low as $13.99 per year), if the domain name isn’t already owned by someone. The “.store” or “.global” can be a little pricier. (around $60 a year) If the domain name is already owned by someone, you will have to either buy it or make some kind of a deal with that person or a company. (e.g. if you wanted a domain name techblog.net, you would have to pay $3000 + $12/year to GoDaddy.com)
Depending on your site’s type the hosting you may require will be very different. For a small blog or personal site, you can get away with a really cheap host (as little as $3 or even free). This can, of course, come with a lot of problems, but you get what you pay for. For bigger sites, you should consider a dedicated server for a stable connection and good website speed. This can cost you a few hundred dollars a month or more.
Cost of SSL
Having an SSL license gives you the ability to better protect your data and affirm your site’s identity. It also increases your search engines ranking and improves your user’s trust. For a smaller site, you can get it for as low as $8 a year, for sites with the need for better security it can be much higher. (some go as high as $1000+ per year) There are a lot of sites that still don’t own it, but you should do everything to improve your user experience and confidence.
Technical website maintenance assistance
For those deciding on the “do it yourself” method, you may skip this part.
If you aren’t planning on doing everything yourself, a team of professionals can do it for you. All of the steps from the beginning of this article are now left to people who know how to do them properly. This also cuts a lot of other expenses since monthly website maintenance packages often offer hosting and similar services. It is definitely a better and safer choice to make.
For example, let’s look at FixRunner’s WordPress website maintenance prices.
- For a “Premium” package you get to pay only $59 a month. This gives you backups, optimization, software updates, uptime monitoring, and security scan.
- The “Rocket” payment plan costs $89 per month and gives you everything from a previous one, SEO optimization and support for online shops.
- Lastly for $149 a month you get the “Advance” pack. You get all the perks we mentioned, plus a dedicated account manager, phone support and optional WP hosting.
For yearly contracts these prices can go even lower, so have that in mind.
If by some chance you are reading this after the unplanned happened, FixRunner also offers a one-time website repair option. (One Time Fix)
Premium plugins and tools
A premium WordPress plugins subscription usually costs roughly $20 a month but can run as high as $100. If that is a price you pay for one plugin, you may want to multiply it by the number of plugins you need. This also goes for premium themes. Though, fear not, a regular website doesn’t usually require more than 2 or 3 premium tools.
Updating the website appearance
It is maybe not advisable for you to change your site’s look often, but, you need to keep your brand relevant. This doesn’t mean you need to change everything, but someone needs to keep the visual part of your site fresh. This is where it would be great for you to have a graphic designer on board or occasionally hire a freelancer. The rates for artists vary, but let’s say the standard hourly rate is around $50-100. If they are a part of your team the price can be lower.
It is obvious that the content is the most important part of any site. It can increase conversion rates, encourage eCommerce sales, bring a lot of traffic and make or break your site’s success. Depending on your business plan the content writer role can be yours, or you can hire professional writers to do it. Their rates range from $20 to a lot more if they have the portfolio to back that up.
How Can You Cut The Website Maintenance Cost
This part of the article mostly applies to websites of a smaller scale. As a large scale website, if you expect to make cutbacks, better think again.
So, if you are planning on revising your Website Maintenance cost, this is one way of doing so:
- First of all, you should list all of the expenses you are currently having. Putting them in different categories should also help.
- Now make a new column with the expanses necessity. It doesn’t have to be filled with percentages, you can just use yes or no values. (yes for if it is vital, and no if it’s not)
- For all of the nonvital items on the list, check the alternatives. Smaller sites can usually handle a lot of problems without using premium tools. Besides, there are a lot of great free plugins available for WordPress.
- You can also consider a different hosting provider for extra or cheaper features.
- There is a possibility you can find a way to make a specific step of your site’s upkeep process more efficient too. This will in result save you time, and so the money.
As a larger site, the biggest expense would come from your employees. This doesn’t mean you should start firing people left and right, but you should occasionally reanalyze your departments. With the improvements in AI, some jobs are becoming redundant. This automation can in some cases replace a lot of expenses in one swoop. Of course, make sure that what you are getting is actually doing a job as good as a human can.
You can also improve productivity by focusing on pages that bring a lot of traffic, and not waste your resources on ones that don’t. (basically conversion rate optimization)
So with all this information, you can now have an educated guess about the average Website Maintenance cost. We also gave you some tips on how to save money and what are the minimum steps of website upkeep.
Lastly, If you are interested in more WordPress tutorials and lists check the rest of our WordPress blog here. You can also comment below or share this post on social media.