Website Maintenance Costs in 2022

Website maintenance
Sabrina Dougall

How much does it cost to keep a website up and running? Around $91 per month for a small business website provided you create your own text and images. We explain what you'll need to pay for, how much it'll cost – and advise you on how to cut those fees.

A website is not like buying a painting. You can't choose a design, hang it on the wall and forget about it. Security certificates run out, domain names need renewing and content grows outdated.

Forget your updates and you're essentially setting fire to your reputation. Not only does a website convey the image and credentials of your company but it's often the direct point of sale for your products and services.

In this article we'll break down the costs of domain renewal, hosting, framework updates, content and SEO (search engine optimization). Read on to discover the cost of website maintenance for your particular business size.

Or you can let us know what kind of website project you're planning and we'll match you with trusted web agencies who will whisk those problems away.

Build your own website quickly and affordably with Wix, our recommended website builder

How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?

The cost of your website's maintenance depends on factors like hosting, domain renewal fees, content updates, and SEO checks – unless you're using a website builder, which includes most of those maintenance costs in the monthly fee.

However, below are the average monthly costs for different types of commercial websites:

  • Small blog: $5 – $25 
  • Portfolio website: $5 – $30 
  • Small business website (excluding content): $91 
  • Small business website (plus outsourced copywriting): $721
  • Small ecommerce store (excluding content) plus SEO and back-up: $749 
  • Large ecommerce store: $1,950+ 

Or, for a cheaper option…

As we mentioned briefly above, website builders are a cheaper, easier way to create and maintain your own website.

Requiring no coding or technical knowledge, when using a website building platform, you simply choose a professional-looking design template, drag-and-drop your content into place and voila – you have a website!

What's more, website builders won't charge big extra fees for ongoing maintenance – they'll be bundled into your monthly subscription fee.

Below, we've listed our favorite website builders, and included their price ranges. Be sure to check them out before hiring a (more expensive) web designer!

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Best all-round website builder

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Creative entrepreneurs

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Ecommerce businesses

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Big growth ambitions

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$6-$26 per month

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Free Plan/Trial
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Web Domain Renewal Fees

A website name is only borrowed, it's not really yours to keep. Unless, that is, you keep paying the fee each year.

We found domain renewal costs range from $9-$15 although you can find services that include a free domain name with a hosting package, for example. It's also possible to find cheaper prices but we've been careful to only recommend domain registrars with a good reputation.

Here are the cheapest prices from credible domain registrars for three top-level domains (TLDs):

RegistrarAnnual renewal cost
Amazon Route 53$12.00
Crazy Domains$14.40
RegistrarAnnual renewal cost
Amazon Route 53$11.00
Crazy Domains$14.00
RegistrarAnnual renewal cost
Amazon Route 53$12.00
Crazy Domains$13.99

Web Hosting Costs

Your hosting needs renewal from time to time and its expense is part of the overall costs of a website. Of course there are different types of hosting, depending on the amount of traffic to your website. If you had significantly more or fewer web visitors last year, it's worth thinking about choosing a more generous or more basic hosting package according to your needs.

Here’s what you can expect to pay web hosting providers for a small website:

Web hostAnnual renewal for basic shared hosting plan
1&1 IONOS$72.00

Website Framework Updates

All websites rely on a software framework. WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are the three most popular frameworks. Developers are constantly iterating upon these frameworks, adding new features and security fixes.

As a website owner, it’s in your interests to update your website with minimal impact to performance. That means scheduling downtime for updates, plus testing and debugging the source code.

Needless to say, it’s a process that requires considerable technical expertise. If you don’t have in-house IT personnel, it’s best to hire a freelance developer or web development agency.

website maintenance portfolio example

Here's a portfolio example from Devzone Tech, a web software development and maintenance company that charge up to $99 per hour for their services.

These days agency and freelancer prices are pretty similar. Either may offer a range of pay-as-you-go and fixed pricing plans:

  • Pay-as-you-go maintenance runs at around $125 per hour, and is best if you’re looking for short-term help rolling out critical software updates.
  • Fixed pricing plans provide ongoing monthly maintenance at a reduced hourly rate – anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour.
  • To really save money, you can hire a freelancer in India or another country where English is widely spoken. On websites like you can find highly rated professionals to fix two or three bugs on your website for as low as $10.

Content Update Costs

Even if your business has the best product or services on the market, outdated content and poorly-written pages will leave your customers cold. A copywriting agency or freelancer can handle content quality control for you.

Fees vary according to the type and length of content in question. We’ve covered average copywriting service fees in our other article on web design costs. But as a rough guide, you should expect to spend $210 per 1,000 words of text for your website. Product images taken by a professional photographer will cost around $100 per product photo.

Looking to sell your products over the web? Shopify can help you build an online store easily and cheaply

Search Engine Optimization Costs

Quite simply, SEO – or Search Engine Optimization – is what keeps your business in Google’s good books. SEO professionals make sure that each and every aspect of your website is fine-tuned to appear at the top of search engine results pages.

SEO agency packages run from $270 to $800 per project, and include services such as:

  • Keyword research and targeting
  • Website analysis and evaluation
  • Page coding and optimization
  • Descriptive HTML site mapping
  • Local business listings indexation
  • Site analytics reporting
  • Off-page link building (backlinks)
  • Competitive analysis

Other Costs

As well as the costs detailed above, there are a couple more expenses to keep in mind:

    • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate – A digital certificate that confirms the identity of your website to users. Essentially, it reassures people you’re the real deal and that you can be trusted with their data; SSL certificates are known to boost e-commerce sales and Google rankings. Installation prices start from around $50 (one-time fee) or $15 to $35 if outsourcing to Indian freelancers.
    • Website backups – Regularly backing up your website is a cheap insurance policy against getting hacked or infected with malware. From $35 to $500, there is a freelancer at a price point to satisfy your precise website backup needs.
    • Plugins and extensions – These are mini-applications that you install in your website to add features, like a video player or a Twitter feed. Plugins are free to download but require frequent updates to work properly. Website maintenance agencies can install updates for you – prices are available by quote.

If all the above costs seem like a lot to manage, just remember you're not alone. If you've ever wondered how many small businesses have a website the answer is simple: most of them. It's perfectly possible to work out an affordable budget for your website, as long as you're savvy about your long-term goals.

Next Steps

If your website suffers from 404 errors galore, you’ve got work to do. Now you know what areas of web maintenance you need to pay attention to, and how much they'll each cost.

If you’re planning to overhaul your website and need a precise idea of costs, your best bet is to request tailor-made quotes. Simply complete our short form and we’ll match you with our trusted website designers.

Or, to build your website yourself with minimum maintenance costs, check out our favorite website builders: Wix and, for ecommerce sites, Shopify.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina Dougall Web Marketing Expert

Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master’s in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.