Less than one year ago, this blog discussed the costs of setting up a website. The varying gap between DIY and custom-designed websites was addressed and we established several industry benchmark figures… which are, of course, guidance against which to rebound your budget. And so, we established that…
- Pre-packaged solutions start as low as $1000
- Upfront costs are in the vicinity of $250-400
- The average expenditure in website creation was set at $6760 in 2019
Although a professional designer or service may run and maintain your website for as little as $50, you’re likely going to be looking at $500 per month or $6,000 per year for starters if you mean to use your site as a commercial weapon (e-commerce or the like). Tech support, platform updates, new customer experience plugins, certificates, law compliance costs, and sundry unexpected (but suspected) fees need to be accounted for from the outset.
Here’s a list of the core maintenance actions and coupled fees you will be facing yearly, quarterly, or monthly.
1. Domain Name and Renewal: This should be no more than $1 a month, and maybe as much as $10-15 for renewal on a yearly basis.
2. Hosting Services: Options here make the price flail wildly. So, if you’re set up on a share host, think $30. A pre-designed package from a website builder, the likes of Wix or WordPress, may take in $80 – $100. A VPS is also a shared server, but with private access to resources, and this will have you dishing out, say $350 per year. Finally, a dedicated server (ideal for, let’s say 100k visitors a month) is the crown jewel, but it will demand an investment in the thousands of dollars. Let’s cap it on either side at $2000 – $10,000.
3. SSL Certificate. If you care about security at all, this is a must. This is when your website features a padlock and an https secure connection. That’s going to be about $90 per month.
5. Content Update (CMS): A Content Management System is the way most websites go, even though some have custom built content by an in-house It professional or team. Just imagine how far apart both these solutions are price-wise. But let’s cap it at $400 – $600 per month.
6. SEO: Keyword research, website analysis, site analytics, off-page link building, competitor analysis… In your radar? Then be ready to spend $400 at the very least. And more like $600. Per month, that is.
7. Tech Support: If you’re already operating in the digital milieu, your business will be doing most of this in-house. However, let’s assume you’re not. Price is set at $2000 per month and we’re being generous.
8. ADA Compliance: Maybe you weren’t even thinking about this. Oops! You better. Lawsuits are on the rise and the plaintiffs are not standing by idly for you to come up with excuses. If you’re not familiar with this law, check out our 3-part series: ADA Compliance Checklist, Improve Accessibility of the Disabled, and Does Every (My) Website Need to Be ADA Compliant?
You’re looking at thousands of dollars in resources and employee (or exployee) hours if your website did not bother to slowly adhere to the Americans With Disabilities Act mandates.
The host of unexpected, yet necessary, costs, fees, investment is incalculable.
Maybe a teaser to get you thinking.
- *Are you protecting your brand adequately?
- * Is your security, content, functionality, navigation, IX UX up to date?
- * Are you mobile-friendly or aim to be?
- * Is local search visibility an area where you could improve majorly?
- * Are you correcting 404s, 301s, broken links, and other redirects?
- * Photos and graphics loading to your desired speed? Think like a customer with very little time and patience online here…
- * Meta-descriptions and meta titles in lieu?
- * SEO and Business Reputation initiatives could help you get your desired client profile? Start today.
- *Backup health ever cross your mind?
- * Any advertising or marketing updates or urgent checks/changes?
- * Are your e-mailing accounts hitting the right button? Have you checked?
- * Is your website so under-budgeted or inexpensive that it is falling way short from your business advancement potential or growth patterns?
- * Is speed a concern?
Food for thought!