How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost in 2022?

Learn everything about website maintenance costs with our detailed guide…


Website maintenance packages usually cost between $400 and $3,000+ per month, depending on the services you need. There are also additional costs to consider, including your domain name ($15 to $80 per year), SSL certificate ($10 to $500 per year), and web hosting ($4 to $100+ per month).

With so many fees to juggle, it could be easy to overpay on your website maintenance costs. Worry not – this article will break down those price ranges and explain why they can differ, ensuring that you know exactly how much you should pay to maintain your website.

There’s an even easier solution. You can get an exact price quoted for your website maintenance services from trusted experts, simply by using our free comparison tool and telling us what you need. Our service is quick, easy, and totally free.


Website maintenance packages

While some enjoy the challenge of maintaining a website themselves, many business owners choose to outsource this task to a specialist company. It’s up to you to decide on which solution works best for your business and its website.

If you opt to enlist the help of a professional company, you should expect to be charged in monthly fees. How much these are will depend on the services you want to be included in your package, and the size and complexity of your website. In general, though, packages tend to start at $400 per month and can get as high as over $3,000 a month.

The key things that your package will need to provide – or, alternatively, that you’ll need to be able to do yourself or in-house – are:


Website framework updates

You know when your phone notifies you that a software update is available? You ignore it, naturally, but before long things start slowing down (or stop working altogether) and glitches abound. Even worse, none of the new emojis display properly! Finally, you install the upgrade and things suddenly look a whole lot better – the upgrade was essential, after all.

When it comes to the framework your website is built on – WordPress, for example – regular updates are just as important. It’s up to you to make sure you’re working with the most up-to-date version possible so that your website can perform at its best and defend itself against ever-evolving security threats, such as hacking.

How often will you need to update your website? Well, that depends on the framework you use. As an example, WordPress releases new versions as often as every couple of months.


Plugin and extension updates

Continuing the smartphone analogy, if your website’s framework is the phone itself, then your site’s plugins and extensions are like smartphone apps. And, just like apps, your website’s plugins and extensions also need to be updated when new versions come out.

Giving your site unique features and formats, plugins and extensions are truly the building blocks of your website. It pays to keep them at their best.


Backups

Backups are good. Back up everything. Then back up your backups! You get the picture.

Imagine how heartbreaking it would be if your website got a virus or was hacked, and you didn’t have a backup version to launch as a speedy replacement. Think of all the content that would need to be recreated. Save yourself the hassle by ensuring you create regular backups of your site.

The process of backing up is slightly different for each web framework. If you have a WordPress website, for example, plugins like UpdraftPlus make the process really simple.

Of course, some hosting platforms actually provide a backup system, so it’s worth investigating whether or not yours does first.


Content maintenance

As well as making sure you’re creating new content for your website regularly, you’ll need to update the old stuff, too. Any prices and stats your site mentions can quickly become outdated, and staff bios need to be added and removed as people come and go. It’s a pretty big task.

These days, most website frameworks (yes, including WordPress!) have a Content Management System (CMS) built in. This makes it easy for anyone in your business to make changes to your site’s content – whether editing old pages or publishing new ones – whether they’re tech savvy or not.

As your content evolves, you might also need to add extra features to your website to make for a richer user experience, and to make sure that the amount of content you’re producing can actually fit on your site.


SEO updates

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has come a long way in recent years. Historically, there was a big focus on keywords – namely, stuffing them into articles in order to be successful in Google searches. Nowadays, content that’s genuinely high-quality is rewarded far more in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Good SEO is always a feature of the best ecommerce platforms because it helps online shoppers easily find products relevant to their search phrases.

What Google wants to see in your content is always evolving, so it pays to keep up to date with SEO best practice if you want to climb the ranks. For example, the ideal number of characters in a meta tag (the description of your article that appears on a Google SERP) can change, at which point your site’s pages’ meta tags will need to be updated so they display properly.

Compare web design prices from leading agencies

Additional reoccurring costs: Hosting fees, domain name renewal and SSL certificate renewal

Keeping your website running in the first place calls for several recurring costs – including the annual renewal of your domain name and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, and the monthly fee you pay for your site to be hosted.

How much your domain name costs will depend on its desirability. Typically, a .com.au domain name can cost around $15 to $80 per year. You may also need to pay an activation fee (often less than $20) if you don’t renew your domain name until after it has expired.

Today, websites really shouldn’t be without an SSL certificate. As well as providing an added layer of security, this certificate means your site will be presented to users as a trustworthy source, with no warning messages popping up when they visit your page. It also puts the ‘s’ in the ‘https://’ at the start of your web address.

You can buy different SSL certificates – with DV, OV and EV SSL certificates affording increasingly higher levels of security and trust, respectively. DV SSL certificates tend to cost anywhere from $10 to $100 per year, while EV SSL certificates can cost up to $500 per year.

Hosting is generally charged on a monthly basis. Shared hosting, which is ideal for new businesses and means (you guessed it) that your site is hosted on a shared server, can cost as little as $4 per month.

However, hosting options that give you more control are more expensive. Virtual Private Servers (VPS) will cost at least $30 per month, while dedicated servers will cost over $100 each month.

You'll actually find all of the above costs (except a domain name) absorbed into monthly subscription fees if you choose a DIY builder plan such as Shopify‘s. Pricing starts from $7 per month.


How much does website maintenance cost?

The overall website maintenance costs in Australia are:

  1. Monthly maintenance packages: Start at $400 per year
  2. Your domain name: $15 to $80 per year
  3. SSL certificate: $10 to $500 per year
  4. Web hosting: $4 to over $100 per month

Looking for a simpler solution? Remember, with website builders, you can expect to pay significantly less. Your hosting is included, as are web framework updates. Websites created with website builders will also have more security measures automatically in place, and you’ll have a support team in case anything goes wrong. To give you an idea, this comparison article we've written puts a provider which includes hosting and one which doesn't, so you can gauge how much one costs against the other.


Next steps

The amount of maintenance that a website needs can sound overwhelming, but it’s easily managed by an external company (or you can definitely get into the swing of doing it yourself). Either way, don’t let it put you off taking the plunge and getting your website developed!

If you’d like to learn more about the web design options available to you, simply answer a few questions in our quick quote comparison tool, and you’ll receive bespoke information from the web design companies that can offer what you need. Good luck!

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.