Written by Dan Barraclough Reviewed by Robyn Summers-Emler Updated on 27 March 2023 On this page Overview: Website maintenance costs On-demand website maintenance costs Plugins and extensions Backups Content updates SEO Internet-related costs Next steps Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. You've got a few options when it comes to website maintenance: do it yourself, ask your developer or hire an agency. Quality website maintenance packages usually cost between $200 and $900 per month, depending on the services you need.If you're using one of the top website builders such as Wix or Squarespace, there are not too many technical updates you'll need to make on an ongoing basis. Costs in addition to your monthly subscription will come from plugins, content creation, and marketing.On the other hand, a website that's hand-built by a freelance developer will need manual upgrades. In that case, you're looking at an hourly, monthly or annual charge.Though it seems overwhelming, we're going to break down each and every web maintenance cost you can expect.You can get an exact price quickly by using our free price quote request tool and telling us what you need. Tap in a few basic details, and we'll arrange a callback with web maintenance experts. Request web maintenance pricing for your business Let's go Overview: Website maintenance costsThere are some essential features that you've got to pay for no matter what. Then there are some “nice-to-haves” whose costs will depend on your business goals.We've put together a summary of website maintenance costs, including whether or not you really need them:Product or featureWho needs it?Annual cost ($A)Domain nameAll websites$17-$70SSL certificateAll (credible) websites$11-$400HostingAll websites$108-$4,800+BackupsAll business websites$130-$1000+ (or included in your package)Plugin subscriptionsSome business and online shop websites$0-$6,000+ New blog articles/copywritingSome business and online shop websites$0-$40,000+ Stock images, video, musicMost websites (unless you create your own)Free-$5,200+SEOWebsites that rely on organic traffic$650-$12,000+Total:$867-$69,470+The above costs cover the function and features of your website, but don't include the cost of labour. If you have in-house staff or an ongoing agreement with a developer then you won't have to factor in additional costs for installing website updates.You'll have noticed the annual website maintenance cost range is extremely wide. That's purely because websites come in a range of shapes and sizes, so it's impossible to put a simple price tag on “website maintenance costs”. Truth be told, your costs will scale with your business. You'll need to invest into the tens of thousands if your website is critical to business functions.If you're using a website builder, then many of the above costs are absorbed into the monthly subscription price. Costs vary massively according to which program you use to create and manage your own website. To help you out we've compared two of the major online shop creation platforms: Woocommerce vs Shopify which includes a price comparison. On-demand website maintenanceYou can hire web experts to update, repair and refresh your website as a one-off or on-demand service. This is handy if you've neglected your website for a long time, and need to urgently make some changes. It's a relatively low-cost way to make small improvements if you haven't got the budget or time for a full redesign.Website maintenance cost per serviceWeb design agency Digitalon offers individual website services for $269 each (plus GST). Some examples of these are: offsite backup, WordPress theme updates, and firewall check.New South Wales agency Beautiful Websites offers standard one-off WordPress maintenance for $220 plus GST. This service covers website version updates, plugin updates, and security upgrades as needed.Website maintenance cost per hourDigitalon provides on-demand support (including technical fixes, content updates, and software updates) for $139 per hour (plus GST).Web maintenance firm webgrow bill an hourly rate of $154 for less than four hours' work. Their services include adding website features such as live chat, online bookings and payment gateways. They'll also make your website mobile-friendly. If you hire them for 4-7 hours works, the hourly rate decreases to $138.60. For eight or more hours of work it's $123.20 per hour.Web maintenance that costs less than $200 monthly is best avoided.Website maintenance costs per monthAgencies and other web maintenance providers frequently bill per month. How much these are will depend on the services you want to be included in your package, per the size and complexity of your website(s).You'll find a range of cheap monthly packages in the $30-$100 region. However, these are often just a way of selling you a hosting contract. We would recommend steering clear of web maintenance packages under $150 per month. You're unlikely to get much valuable work done for this price. Cheaper pricing is likely to be a signal of low expertise.In general, though, quality web maintenance packages tend to range between $200 and $900 per month. PluginsContinuing the smartphone analogy, if your website’s framework is the phone itself, then your site’s plugins and extensions are like smartphone apps. And, just like apps, you've got to pay the subscription price.If you're using a website builder, plugins have different names. With Squarespace, they're called “Extensions”, with Shopify or Wix they're “apps”. And GoDaddy calls them plain old “plugins”. But they all mean the same thing: third-party programmes that make your website perform special functions.Here are some examples of website plugins and their annual costs:PluginPurposeAnnual cost ($A)MailchimpEmail marketingFree-$6,310TidioLive chat and chatbotsFree-$4,950MultiordersOrder managementFree-$2,220Visitor AnalyticsCollect web traffic dataFree-$440POWR Map & Store LocatorInteractive map featureFree-$230Powerful Contact Form BuilderWebform creationFree-$150 BackupsThe process of backing up differs depending on the size, type and number of websites you have. If you're using a website builder like Shopify, you can simply export the website as a CSV (spreadsheet) file. Wix creates automatic site content backups once a week.But things get a little more complex if you're backing up a custom web creation.To download the files of your WordPress website, you can use a file transfer protocol (FTP) such as FileZilla. Its free version is popular and reliable, but you can get better bookmarking and management tools with FileZilla Pro (which costs $37).If you want to use a WordPress plugin, you can buy UpdraftPlus Business for around $140 a year. This conveniently backs up your WordPress site, updating with the latest version of WordPress.If want to back up your WordPress site without a plugin, you can use BlogVault. Basic pricing starts at around $133 per year, which backs up one website automatically every day. It's $222 a year if you want extra security, or our favourite add-on is the option to run hourly backups and security scans for $745 per website, per year.Of course, some hosting providers include backups as standard, so it’s worth checking if it's already in your subscription package. Content updatesUnless you've got creative talent in house, there's a price tag on quality blog posts, imagery, and other media for your site. And, no, you can't simply lift text and images from other websites because that's copyright theft. Not only will your site get blacklisted from Google search results, but you can face legal action. And that's not a cost you even want to think about, quite honestly.Copywriting costs range between $250-$3,000 per web page, as a general guide. What you'll pay depends on a range of factors, including:The skill level of the writerWhether you hire a freelancer or go through an agencyThe country your freelancer works inHow specialised the topic isWordcountStyle (for instance, informative or conversion-driven)Number of edits neededYou need to consider the audience of your website in order to best outline your cost expectations. If you need generic lifestyle blog posts that hardly need any research, that may not cost more than a few hundred dollars. But if your clients are expecting highly technical writing, you'll need a far more experienced writer. Pricing can easily stretch into the thousands for content such as whitepapers, research reports, and company brochures.Consider the type of person your web content will appeal to.Images are a possible cost for your website, too. You need to check the licensing requirements of every image, video or piece of music you upload to your website. The reason is your website counts as a publisher. It's possible to get free images with appropriate licensing. Then again, many business owners subscribe to premium media services for better-looking results.Here's a summary of stock imagery costs from some popular brands:SupplierAnnual cost ($A)PexelsFreePixabayFreeUnsplashFreeShutterstock$29-$669+iStock$348-$5,220Adobe Stock$480-$3,168 SEOSearch Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the set of tasks you carry out to improve the chances of web users clicking on your website from search engines. It's a critical marketing investment – and if you neglect it, your website may not come up when users are searching for services or products that you sell.For instance, SEO tips always come as standard in the best ecommerce platforms because it helps online shoppers track down what they want to buy.But tips can only get you so far. SEO experts carry out a range of tasks, including:Site auditKeyword researchKeyword rank trackingCompetitive analysisrobots.txt file configurationPenalty detection and correctionSitemap creationInternal linkingBacklinking strategyIf all of the above sounds like gibberish to you, don't sweat it. Just know these – and dozens more – SEO tasks are vital to the commercial success of your business website.SEO consultancy costs range between $650-$12,000+ per month. Compare web design prices from leading agencies Get Free Quotes Internet-related costs: Domain name, SSL certificate, and hostingWhen you first calculated how much a website costs, you (hopefully) included the cost of keeping that website online, too. Let's look now at the internet-related costs of your website.Domain costsYour website has a web address (ours is “ExpertMarket.com”) but did you know it's only rented, and not truly owned? That name is known as the “domain” and you've got to renew its license every year. How much your domain name costs will depend on its popularity and commercial value.Typically, a .com.au domain name costs around $15 to $70 per year. You may also need to pay an activation fee (often less than $20) if you drag your heels and forget to renew your domain name until after it has expired. Ideally, you'd buy an extremely long renewal period (say, 10 years), then set up automatic renewal. That way you can avoid unwanted re-activation charges.SSL certificatesToday, 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 which provide increasing levels of security and trust. Running a business website, you should aim for “Organisational validation” priced between $36-$275.However, if your website takes payments and stores sensitive customer data, you need “Extended validation” which costs between $90 and $400 per year. You definitely need this if you run an online shop.Hosting costsHosting 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 around $25-250 per month, while dedicated servers will cost $220-800+ each month.If you choose a DIY builder plan, you'll actually find all of the above costs (except a domain name) are absorbed into monthly subscription fees. For example Shopify's pricing starts from just $7 per month for the starter plan.Here are some sample hosting packages from OVHcloud.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. Depending on your subscription choice, you’ll also benefit from a support team in case anything goes wrong. Next stepsThe 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 appreciate the lower cost option which gives you the freedom of being able to create a site yourself, without any technical or coding expertise, then take a look at our top recommended website builders which allow you to start building for free in a matter of minutes.Or, 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! Written by: Dan Barraclough Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics. Reviewed by: Robyn Summers-Emler Digital Growth Editor Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy - Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.