Website Maintenance Cost in 2023: A Full Pricing Breakdown
Understanding what goes into your website maintenance cost can help to come up with a proper budget. Unfortunately, some users forget to consider maintenance costs after making a website. This guide will explain nine essential elements contributing to your website maintenance.
How much you will spend on maintenance will depend on your website’s type. We will share the average monthly maintenance cost of different website types, from small business websites to online stores.
This article will also compare the prices of maintaining your own website and hiring a professional, helping you choose the most suitable option. Finally, we will explain how often you should do website maintenance.
By the end of this guide, you will be able to budget your website maintenance costs efficiently and skillfully.
How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost: A Quick Overview
The average website maintenance costs vary from around $5–$5,000/month or $60-$60,000/year. Maintaining exceptionally large and popular websites like Amazon or Netflix costs even more.
The website’s platform, features, and services are among the many factors that contribute to your overall maintenance cost. For example, a large eCommerce website has a higher maintenance cost than a small portfolio site.
Here is a breakdown of the different average monthly website maintenance costs:
|Website Type||Average Monthly Website Maintenance Cost|
Digital portfolios, personal blogs, and hobby websites
Blogs with medium to high traffic
|SME Business Website|
Restaurants, simple corporate landing pages, and small to medium educational institutions
|Large Company/Corporate Website|
Popular businesses and large educational institutions
|Multimedia Entertainment Website|
Popular digital magazines
9 Essential Website Maintenance Costs
The following website maintenance costs are grouped into three categories:
- Necessary – every website needs a domain name and a web hosting plan that you must renew regularly.
- Important – aspects like design and tech support improve a website’s functionality and drive more traffic.
- Optional – elements relevant for specific websites, such as eCommerce features and plugins.
1. Domain Name
- Average costs: around $0–$20/year for the registration and $10–$90/year for the renewals
- Level of necessity: necessary
Every website needs a domain name, and the average price of one’s renewal ranges between $10–$90/year. Some hosting providers offer free domain registration with their hosting plans, making it a more cost-effective option.
A domain consists of two elements – the website name and the extension. Take Hostinger.com as an example – Hostinger is our website name, whereas .com is the domain extension, also known as a top-level domain (TLD).
The cost of a domain name largely depends on its extension. The three most popular TLDs are:
- Generic top-level domain (gTLD) – any website can use a gTLD, and the cost varies depending on its popularity. Some of the most popular gTLDs are .com, .net, and .org, whereas the less common ones include .info, .news, and .biz.
- Country code top-level domain (ccTLD) – extensions for country-specific websites, such as .us for the United States or .jp for Japan.
- Sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) – extensions for websites with specific owners or purposes. Examples include .edu for educational institutions and .int for international organizations or treaties.
The following table shows the website maintenance costs for different TLDs:
Another factor affecting a domain name’s maintenance costs is the registrar. Choosing a reliable domain registrar is crucial to avoid potential scams and hidden fees. The best way to find a reliable registrar is to check ICANN’s accredited registrar list.
Once you decide on a TLD, use a domain checker to see if your desired domain name is available.
Domain Name Checker
Instantly check domain name availability.
Buying a domain name typically means registering it for a minimum period of one year. The website owner must renew before it expires to keep using the same domain name.
Important! Renewal prices are often more expensive than the initial cost of domain name registration. Sometimes, the registrar offers discounts if you commit to a longer renewal period.
Including additional domain privacy protection service as part of your site maintenance plan is also a great option. This feature helps protect a domain name owner’s personal information and contact details.
Although costs can vary, Hostinger offers domain privacy protection for free.
2. Web Hosting
- Average costs: around $2–$80/month, depending on the web hosting type and subscription length
- Level of necessity: necessary
Web hosting is a service that helps publish a website online. Web hosting providers rent out space on their physical servers for users to store their sites’ data. Read our beginner-friendly tutorial “What is web hosting” to learn more about the topic.
The web hosting provider and plan you choose will affect the cost. A hosting provider usually offers various hosting plans at different price points. Moreover, competing web hosting providers may charge different fees for a similar plan due to different features and overall infrastructure.
Your website’s platform also affects web hosting maintenance fees. For example, most website builders already include web hosting in their pricing plans. However, when using something like a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, you have the option to choose your own hosting provider.
Before choosing a web hosting plan, consider the long-term hosting costs. The total cost of web hosting maintenance largely depends on the chosen subscription period. Shorter subscription periods like monthly payments will have higher maintenance costs than annual ones.
For example, Hostinger’s Single Shared Hosting plan starts at $1.99/month. If you choose the 48-month plan, the monthly cost will stay the same for four years and change to $3.99/month when it’s time to renew.
Here are some of the most popular types of web hosting services:
Shared hosting is ideal for small to medium-sized websites, such as portfolios and blogs. This web hosting option keeps monthly costs to a minimum, as you share the server’s resources with other sites and users.
Hostinger’s shared hosting costs range from $1.99–$4.99/month. If you’re just starting with website creation maybe our cheap web hosting plan is the best option for you.
VPS hosting is an excellent option for medium-sized websites as it gives them dedicated resources within a shared server. It also offers website owners greater control over server settings, making it more suitable for technically experienced users.
Our VPS hosting plans cost between $2.45–$77.99/month, depending on the available RAM, disk space, and bandwidth.
Cloud hosting stores website data in a cluster of servers to ensure high website uptime. As such, cloud hosting is ideal for traffic-heavy websites with high growth potential. It’s also a user-friendly option because the web hosting provider is responsible for the technical maintenance.
The cost of Hostinger’s cloud hosting packages varies, ranging from $9.99–$29.99/month.
Dedicated Hosting is primarily suitable for established businesses that don’t mind spending on superior performance. This hosting type allocates a dedicated server for each website, giving users complete control over server files and settings.
Using a dedicated server can cost $80–$300/month, making it the most expensive hosting service available.
This type of hosting is optimized for WordPress websites, offering additional tools and maintenance features. This option is excellent for beginners since no advanced technical knowledge is necessary to manage it.
Prices for WordPress hosting with Hostinger range from $1.99–$11.59/month.
3. SSL Certificate
- Average costs: around $0–$1,000/year
- Level of necessity: necessary
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a data transfer protocol that enables encrypted communication between a server and a browser.
The benefits of having an SSL certificate on a website include higher security, stronger data privacy, and better performance on search engines. All websites that process sensitive user information such as passwords or credit card details should have an SSL certificate.
SSL certificates vary in cost depending on the number of domains or subdomains they cover. For a single-domain SSL, prices range between $7–$860/year. The average Wildcard SSL certificate for protecting multiple subdomains costs $50–$1,000/year.
To save costs, get a web hosting plan that comes with a free SSL certificate. For example, Hostinger offers a free lifetime SSL certificate with all our plans.
To check whether a site uses an SSL certificate, open it in a web browser. Look for a padlock icon in the address bar’s left corner or an HTTPS protocol written before the domain name. When you click on the padlock, it will show that the SSL Certificate is valid.
4. Email Services
- Average costs: $1–$18/user/month
- Level of necessity: important
A custom email helps businesses promote their brand, convey professionalism, and gain customer trust.
Google Workspace offers a popular premium email service for $6/month per mailbox.
Another option is to look for hosting providers that bundle free email services with their hosting plans. For example, some of Hostinger’s hosting plans offer up to 100 domain-based email addresses.
Hostinger also offers professional email service for business with automatic virus checkup and a built-in calendar. Users can choose the Business Email Plan, which costs $0.99/month per mailbox, or the Enterprise Email Plan, for $2.49/month per mailbox.
The chosen plan length affects the total cost. For example, buying for a 48-month period costs $0.99/month, while a one-month period costs $2.99/month.
Another element influencing the maintenance costs of email services is the number of mailboxes you need. Adding more mailboxes to your purchase will add to the total cost.
Some website builders also offer email services with their plans.
5. Tech Support
- Average costs: $2-$300/month
- Level of necessity: important
Access to a customer service team makes a big difference when encountering website problems. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, tech support helps fix site issues as soon as possible.
Tech support comes in different forms:
- Live chat – provides quick assistance via chat messages. It’s mainly beneficial when experiencing website crashes, broken contact forms, or security breaches.
- Email ticketing system – uses email and an online tracking system for technical assistance requests. Ideal for establishing a paper trail with the customer service provider.
- Phone service – provides immediate solutions, suitable for users who are more comfortable speaking directly to a customer service representative.
- Knowledge database – comes in the form of tutorials or guides for users who prefer to research and solve issues independently.
Most hosting providers offer free live chat and email support with each plan. These support channels should be sufficient if you run a personal or a small business website.
Dedicated support is ideal for bigger websites like eCommerce businesses. Having reliable tech support helps fix issues before it reduces traffic or harms your customers’ experience.
Some hosting providers offer optional paid support for instant and personalized services. For example, Hostinger’s priority support service costs $1.99–$11.99/month, depending on the subscription length.
All in all, including tech support as part of your maintenance costs will depend on your website’s needs.
6. Website Design
- Average costs: 0–$17/month if you’re self-designing, or an average of $6,000 and $500–$1,000/year for regular maintenance if you hire a professional
- Level of necessity: important
Website design is the digital visual representation of a brand. It is one of the first elements that site visitors see before deciding whether your content is worth browsing. Good web design positively impacts search engine optimization to drive higher traffic.
Web design costs vary depending on your chosen approach – self-designing or hiring a professional.
Self-designing is an excellent option for small to medium-sized websites, such as personal blogs. Designing a website from scratch can be done using free or premium tools. This option only adds a small monthly fee to your overall website maintenance costs, around $17/month.
If you are unfamiliar with coding, we recommend using a website builder like Squarespace or Weebly.
Beginners who want more freedom and flexibility can use a CMS like WordPress to build and design a site. With WordPress, you are responsible for selecting, installing, and updating your website theme.
The average cost of WordPress premium themes is around $5–$17/month. Make sure to check the available payment models before purchasing a premium theme. You can buy some themes with a one-time license fee, while others use a subscription-based system.
Hire a Professional
Professional web developers are well-versed in current design trends and can code a website according to your unique specifications.
However, hiring a professional designer can significantly increase your website maintenance costs.
Web designer fees vary depending on your website type. They average $6,000 for a basic project, with website maintenance costing between $500–$1,000/year. Due to its high cost, this option is more suitable for large websites with heavy traffic.
- Average costs: $0–$597/month
- Level of necessity: optional
- Contact form plugins – provide great features for streamlining messages from site visitors. The premium versions cost $40-$300/year.
- Page builders – add a drag-and-drop interface on your site editor. The average maintenance fee for premium page builders is $20-$350/year.
- Security plugins – help secure your website with a firewall, malware scanner, brute-force protection, and login protection. The premium versions of security plugins cost $50-$500/year.
To help with website upkeep and reduce site maintenance costs, consider installing a free caching plugin like W3 Total Cache.
Fully premium plugins like WP Rocket and OptinMonster are also available. Compared to freemium options, these plugins have richer features and are often more actively maintained by their developers. The WordPress maintenance costs of paid plugins vary between $4–$49/month.
8. eCommerce Features
- Average costs: $18-$1,000/month
- Level of necessity: optional
Unlike other websites, eCommerce sites entail additional maintenance costs due to features like payment gateways and inventory management. Optional eCommerce features like dedicated support and email marketing can lead to even higher maintenance costs.
The total cost of a custom eCommerce website depends on the specific features needed. For example, inventory management tools may not be necessary if you sell digital products like eBooks or online courses.
Here are some essential eCommerce features to consider:
- eCommerce platform – includes all the basic features to sell online. Many website builders offer eCommerce plans to create an online store quickly, their pricing ranging between $9.90–$14.90/month.
- Inventory management – offers features to manage your products and services. An inventory management plugin like WP Inventory Manager costs $0-$49.99/year. Alternatively, inventory management software like Zoho or Ordoro is available for various platforms for $0-$999/month.
- Payment gateways – build customer trust and encourage transactions. A secure payment gateway like PayPal costs $15-$25/month for an average-sized online store.
Note that the pricing may differ depending on the size and traffic of your eCommerce businesses.
For a regular website that’s only starting to sell products or services, the average cost for eCommerce features is around $15/month. This amount may increase as you sell more products or services.
9. Marketing and SEO
- Average costs: $0-$10,000/month
- Level of necessity: important
Publishing up-to-date and good-quality content like articles, videos, and photos is essential to attract your target audience. Quality content establishes credibility, increases your ranking on search engine results, and generates leads.
To promote your brand, think about your website’s niche and long-term goals. Then, consider the following digital marketing strategies when budgeting your website maintenance fees:
- Search engine optimization – improves your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERP). Examples of SEO tools include Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, and Moz. Free options are available, while paid subscriptions cost between $12–$150/month.
- Content marketing – creates relevant and trendy content to attract, engage, and retain audiences. You can create content in-house or outsource it to digital marketing agencies or freelancers. Rates depend on the type of content but expect to spend $1/word for an article or $50-$3,000/project.
- Email marketing – keeps audiences informed about your business activities. Popular email marketing tools include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or an email marketing plugin for WordPress for $0–$310/month.
- Social media marketing – targets a broader audience. An average company spends $6,000–$10,500/month for digital marketing tools, ads, and a social media manager.
You don’t have to implement all these marketing strategies at once. Smaller websites can start with simple SEO, email marketing, and content marketing strategies.
Should I Maintain the Website Myself or Hire a Developer
Whether you hire a professional or conduct website maintenance yourself, each approach has its pros and cons. The website maintenance pricing also differs between the two.
Hiring a Professional
- Average cost: $200-$4,500/month
Website owners can save a lot of time and effort by hiring a professional for maintenance tasks. The two popular options include hiring a website maintenance agency or a freelance expert.
Website maintenance services cost more because they allocate a team to help you. Meanwhile, hiring a freelance professional will require you to rely on one person.
Hiring website maintenance agencies can range from $200-$4,500/month. On the other hand, hiring a freelance expert may cost $18-$20/hour. The exact amount you pay per month will depend on the agreement.
Self-Maintaining a Website
- Average cost: under $100/month
A do-it-yourself approach means more affordable website maintenance service costs. It’s an excellent option for budget-conscious website owners or those who prefer to be hands-on with maintenance tasks.
Free resources about website maintenance are widely available, like articles that explain how to perform regular backups.
Maintaining your own website helps develop new skills and gives you complete control of your site configurations. However, it takes time to learn something new and implement it correctly. Handling your own website’s technical aspects can also be overwhelming.
In that case, a website builder may be a better option for a beginner since they often include dedicated team support to take care of the maintenance.
How Often Is Website Maintenance Required
There are no set rules on how frequently website maintenance procedures should occur. In addition, different maintenance procedures tend to follow a specific timeline.
For example, domain names and hosting require annual website maintenance. However, marketing and SEO often require quarterly website maintenance.
The best solution is to have a monthly website maintenance checklist to ensure everything is working smoothly and is up to date.
Routine maintenance helps avoid errors and identifies security weaknesses. For example, updating WordPress allows you to catch bugs or issues early on, preventing a negative impact on website performance.
If you have the budget, consider hiring professional website maintenance services. They will help with more technical aspects like backups, firewalls, core updates, and troubleshooting.
Website maintenance costs vary depending on the website’s size and type, but they are often around $5–$5,000/month or $60-$60,000/year. The exact number in your case will depend on your website type and needs.
This article has explored some essential aspects of website maintenance pricing, including domain registration, SSL certificates, and hosting. Other website maintenance elements, such as design and marketing strategies, can be more flexible.
Overall, the two main approaches to website maintenance are:
- Doing it yourself – suitable for a small business website or personal blog. Many website owners that choose this option don’t mind spending more time performing technical tasks as this option reduces maintenance costs.
- Hiring a professional – combines expertise and efficiency in exchange for higher website maintenance rates. This option allows site owners to focus on other aspects, like business marketing strategies.
Several site types, like eCommerce sites, may include additional maintenance costs. Payment systems, inventory management plugins, and other extra tools are necessary to run an online business.
Now that you’ve learned the main aspects of website maintenance pricing, it’s time to set a budget. Consider your long-term goals and create a website maintenance plan checklist. Good luck!
Learn More About Website Maintenance
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Hotlinking: What Is It and Why Is It Bad?
How to Clear Browser Cache and History
How to Inspect Element
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How to Check Your Website’s PHP Error Log
How to Fix “Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding Header” Warning