The cost of owning a website comes out to more than just the cost of building it in the first place. A website has to be hosted, requires maintenance and updates, and should probably have consistent content through SEO blogging if you want it to perform well.
Let’s quickly go over the general cost breakdown of owning a website.
Domain names and web hosting
If you want people to have confidence in your brand or business, you’ve got to own your domain name. Call it what you want, but most people aren’t going to have faith in www.curtains4less.freewebsitebuilder.whatever. (Hint: Google won’t either). Domain names can cost anywhere from $2 to $20 per year, or more in some cases.
Once you own your domain name, you need web hosting if you want your website to be accessible. Web hosting is where your website lives. Web hosting tends to be a monthly cost of anywhere from $2 to $150 depending on the size of the server you need. Generally, your web agency will help you determine how large of a server you need; this is based on the size of the files you host, the average monthly traffic you anticipate, the amount of downtime you’re okay with having, and more.
Ongoing website costs
For a website to perform, it’s going to cost money to maintain. If you’re using a DIY option, you may still want to pay for some plugins for better functionality, which occasionally come with update costs (and security risks). Themes can also cost extra, and you may end up wanting to change them over time.
The highest ranking websites are continually updated with high quality SEO content. To compete, you’ll either need to take the time to do that yourself (if you’ve got a knack for the written word), or you’ll need to hire someone to do that for you.
And when you’re continually updating your website with new content, including photos and videos, you may run into some issues that will require fixing. This can incur additional costs to allow a developer to adequately address them and allow your website to grow with you (and prevent it from becoming so outdated it becomes unusable).
Down to the numbers
We can throw around a few very general, very rough numbers about the ongoing costs of website ownership. This includes all of the factors we’ve talked about: Domain name, hosting, maintenance, SSL certificate, plugin licenses, etc. The more robust your website features are, the more your ongoing costs will be.
If you’re choosing to have your website built by professionals, ongoing costs can generally factor up to about $55 to $200 per month. With an agency, this monthly charge can include having professionals update your content and website features.
If you’re building your own website on WordPress and are investing in it the way you need to for lead generation, ongoing costs could range from $4 to $150 monthly.
Finally, if you’re using a website builder like Weebly the total monthly cost could be anywhere from $10 to $100 or so.
These costs DO NOT include the time for maintenance on the website, because those costs are going to vary wildly based on your business situation. But, dedicating your own time or the time of an employee to perform the necessary maintenance on your website can add up fast. At some point you will need maintenance, so don’t expect to be able to overlook that cost.
For the sake of covering bases, we want to again express that these are SUPER ROUGH estimates. There is no cookie-cutter answer to any question related to the cost of a business website. Your website should be as unique and functional as your business, the cost of that is going to change from one situation to another. The only way we can help you figure out a more exact number for the monthly cost of your business website is by getting together and talking through your needs in a consultation.
To summarize, expect the following total monthly costs for owning a business website:
- A custom, professionally built website maintained by professionals will probably cost $55-$200/month based on your specifics
- A WordPress website being invested in for lead generation will likely cost $4-$150/month based on your specifics
- A website built on a provider like Weebly or Squarespace will likely end up costing $10-$100/month based on your specifics
Get started on a new website
If having a functional, customized website with great SEO is something that can help your business (hint: it almost definitely can), Lifted Logic can help. We’re a lean, mean, website-building machine doing the best custom web design and development in Kansas City.
We’ve worked with companies both great and small to develop unique, fully customized websites that tell a story. To get started, just reach out or use our free cost calculator tool today.