For the short and unfortunately less than helpful version, I will snarkily tell you the truth. A website maintenance plan costs anywhere between $20 and $5,000 per month on average.
But surely, that’s not what you’re looking for, so here is a quick list of the approximate monthly cost for each type of site.
Approximate Monthly Maintenance Cost By Website Type
|Small Personal Site||$15-$25|
|Small Business Site||$45-$95|
|Mid-Sized Business Site||$100-$600|
|Custom Business Site||$400-$4,000|
|Custom Ecommerce Site||$2,000-$5,000|
The table above was produced using the latest sources as of the time of this writing which are cited at the bottom of this article.
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If the price points above seem like they vary quite a bit, you’re right. But as cliche as it sounds, each website’s needs are unique and your site’s needs determine what to look for in a website maintenance package and how much it costs.
Need More Specific Pricing? Read On For Itemized Cost Estimations
Most people want a clear cut price tag, but the truth is that it depends on a lot of factors, and that’s actually better for you as a customer.
It would be like asking how much an apartment costs.
If you want a realistic answer, you’ll have to ask yourself dozens of questions.
How many bedrooms will you need? Do you care about the quality of the schools nearby? How long of a lease will you sign? How important is the safety of the neighborhood? Do you have pets? The list goes on.
With website maintenance, the questions you need to ask yourself might not be so easy to identify, especially if you are not currently on a monthly website maintenance plan.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine what kind of website maintenance services you need and want.
- Do you know when your domain expires? What about your SSL certificate?
- Who hosts your site?
- How many visitors come to your site each month?
- Do you know where your site backups are stored?
- When’s the last time your plugins were updated? What about your CMS core?
- Do you have a system or person monitoring your website uptime?
- How are you testing your contact forms and how often?
- How are you monitoring your website analytics?
- How are you managing your site speed?
- Are you selling products or services on your site or otherwise taking payment information from people?
- Are all pages on your site mobile responsive? How do you know?
- How are your Google reviews? Are you doing anything to improve them?
- How often do you make or want to make changes to your website content or design?
- How are you monitoring any broken links on or leading out from your site?
- How is your website rank, organic keywords, backlinks, and general SEO doing compared to last month or last year?
- Are you in an industry that requires ADA compliance? If so, what steps are you taking to maintain compliance?
- Has your website ever been hacked or crashed without explanation?
- If your website went down tomorrow do you know who would you call?
- Do you have someone on your team that can take care of most of the items on this list?
- Do you have money set aside in case of a website emergency?
If you said, “I’ve got most of those covered”…
If you’ve already got your ducks in a row, you likely only need a basic website maintenance plan or you might be in a place where you just need a few specific items a-la-carte. Either way, you can probably avoid all-inclusive packages since you just don’t need the works. A second line of defense costs a lot less than the whole shebang.
Many people have a few items like their domain and SSL certificate under wraps, and figure they don’t really need the other stuff. That could be true for some items, but in most cases skipping out on this stuff means you’re either setting yourself up for a hack to crash down the road, or your website is just not going to be as effective in growing your business as it could be.
For any items you pass up, make sure you have a clear picture of what the potential consequences and loss in revenue could be.
If you said, “What are you talking about?”…
First off, you’re not alone. Business owners wear a lot of hats and learning all the finer details of a website’s inner workings, security, and marketing is rarely the priority unless you have a background in web development and online marketing.
If you’re in over your head or just dazed and confused, please don’t put this on the backburner (I know it’s tempting). You work hard for your business and deserve to have a protected and effective website.
The fastest and most effective way to figure out how all of this works, what you actually need, and how much it will cost is to schedule a call with a website maintenance expert to walk you through what pertains to your specific website. It’s free, takes less than an hour and you don’t have to scour the web for answers.
So what are the services you might need and how much will they cost?
There are dozens of website maintenance services you could need or want and plenty of companies offering various plan options. Here are some of the most common services with estimated monthly prices.
Operations and General Maintenance
|Website Load Speed Testing||$20-$25|
|On-Demand Technical Support||$200-$500|
|Mobile Responsiveness Check||$15-$25|
|CMS and Plugin Updates||$40-$90|
|Security and Malware Testing||$20-$30|
|SSL Certificate Management and Uptime Testing||$20-$30|
|Website Analytics Reporting||$15-$35|
|Broken Links Reporting||$10-$20|
|Keyword, SEO, and Backlink Analysis Reporting||$30-$60|
|Online Reputation and Review Management||$40-$100|
How can you make sure your site is covered and avoid wasting money?
A lot of people think the answer is to sign up for a cheap overseas service that claims to do it all. We’ve worked with a lot of teams and though this isn’t our top recommendation if you do decide to take this route, seek out an established company that gives you a real (English speaking) person to talk to when you need it and make sure you’re keeping tabs on the work being done so you can assess whether or not it’s up to par.
Okay, so if that’s not the best solution, what is?
1. The first step is to determine what you need.
The questions listed above can help you figure out what you might need, but then you’ll want to make a prioritized list so you can sort out “must-haves” from “want-to-haves.”
2. Next, you’ll need to assess your current resources.
What skills and availability does your current team have? If someone on your team has the expertise to fill in the gaps, or the time and ability to learn the needed skills, you’re in a great situation to get your site up to par on your own.
If you are able and willing to take care of your website needs internally, just make sure the person in charge has a backup. You never know when he or she will be out sick, on vacation, or leave the company, but you should plan for it happening at the exact time your website needs serious attention since that’s how the universe tends to time things.
3. Last, figure out how you’ll fill in the gaps.
Once you’ve determined what you need and what you can take care of internally, you’ll probably have some items that still need attention. There are a few options to consider.
In some cases, you can use software systems to cover some bases. For example, a salon might use a plugin like Yoast for help with SEO, or a dentist might use software like MedRev to boost online reviews.
Just make sure that whatever you use, it’s actually meeting your needs and that you have a realistic expectation about how much time you will need to devote to it.
If you have a few loose ends to tie up, you may consider hiring a freelancer or contract individual to help out. This can be really great or a big waste of money depending on who you hire and what your expectations of them are.
If you hire a freelancer, you should make sure you have explicitly clear step-by-step instructions for him or her to follow as well as someone on your team to check their work.
Website management companies
These can be all-in-one solutions or specialists in a single area. For most companies that have several items they are looking for, which they are not able or interested in taking care of in-house, this is the most economical solution because you have a set monthly bill and you don’t have to manage the tasks yourself.
What to look for when choosing a website maintenance company?
1. Make sure to look for an established company with a record of success.
There’s a lot of startups out there, and you don’t want to choose one that’s going to disappear next week. Find out how long the team has been website support and maintenance. Then request references and call them up to get an idea of what to expect working with the company.
2. It’s usually best for your sanity and pocketbook to choose a single company that can provide everything you need.
You could piecemeal services from several companies into one greater strategy for your site, but you’ll have a lot more to keep track of. On top of that, getting everything you need from a single company usually means you get a bundled deal so you’re paying less overall.
3. Any good website management company should provide monthly or weekly reports.
You shouldn’t have to reach out to your website management company to check in and see how things are going. They should send you various reports to show you what they are doing and the overall health of your website. Otherwise, how will you know if your money is going to good use if you can’t see your progress or proof that your security is working?
YOU Decide How Much Website Maintenance Will Cost For Your Website
With these foolproof tips, you are guaranteed to find a website maintenance solution that is going to keep your most valuable business asset in check without breaking the bank.
Need a little help figuring out what website maintenance services you need and how much it will cost?