June 7, 2014

Determining Your Website Maintenance Cost

by Collin Slattery

All websites require maintenance. Your office needs maintenance; it needs the carpets cleaned, light bulbs replaced, tables need to be dusted, and bathrooms need to be cleaned, or everything starts getting run down, and the same is true for your website. If you don't maintain your website, it can be vulnerable to viruses, it can slow down, and it some cases it can stop working entirely. How much your website costs to maintain will depend on a number of different factors. With that said, 95% of our website maintenance clients pay between $100 and $200 per month.

Website Maintenance Cost Factors

Factors that you need to take into consideration when determining your website maintenance costs include:

  • Website architecture
  • Website complexity
  • Security requirements

Website Architecture: Your website architecture is the platform on which your website is built. Most modern websites are built on content management systems(CMS), which make it easier to make changes and keep the website up to date. If you don't know what your website runs on and you have access to the back end of your website, you can log into the admin area of your website and figure that out. You can also enter your domain here and it will be able to tell what you're running on if it is a popular CMS. If you're on a common CMS, it will be less expensive than if you are on an uncommon CMS or running a website that is not built on any CMS at all.

Website Complexity: The complexity of your website is another major factor. If you are running an e-commerce website, for example, your costs will be higher than if you have a basic information website because it is more complex. Generally, if you accept any sort of payment on your website or have other special features, it is going to cost you much more to maintain than if you don't.

Security Requirements: How secure you need your website to be will also contribute to site maintenance costs. If you store customer information or accept online payments, your security requirements are going to be higher. Greater security requires more regular maintenance which requires more time.

Paying Monthly or Hourly

There are two basic methods of payment for website maintenance: monthly or hourly. Monthly maintenance contracts, the kind we offer, are done on a proactive basis. We will go through your website regularly and ensure that everything is updated, secure, and operating normally. When determining the monthly cost, we look at the above factors and come up with an estimate of how much it will cost. Some benefits of a monthly contract maintenance include certainty in how much you will be paying and proactive maintenance so nothing ever gets out of control. 95% of our clients pay website maintenance fees of between $100 and $200 per month.

Hourly billing is the other method of payment. You will pay a company between $50 and $150 per hour of labor that they do on your website as you request it. Basically, you buy credits for hours of labor, and then request service and they use credits based on the hourly rate. The benefit to this form of payment is that it does not require a monthly commitment; however, you do not receive proactive maintenance. If a problem arises and it escapes your notice for a while, you can end up using dozens of hours to fix the problem after the fact.

Why We Offer Monthly Maintenance

We believe that monthly, proactive maintenance is better for all parties involved. It is good for our clients because they almost never have a problem that gets out of hand, and it requires less complex work on our part. We would rather prevent a problem than try to fix it after it happens. For example, we run regular malware scans on our clients' websites, so they don't get their websites infected. Fixing a website that is infected can take dozens of hours and manually going through the code on each and every file to find malware injection points.

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