Website Maintenance Cost in 2024 + Hiring a Professional vs Self-Maintenance
Website maintenance cost varies depending on the platform, features, and services. Understanding your needs will help you create a proper website maintenance budget plan.
After making a website, there are nine essential costs for your site maintenance. How much your website maintenance costs will depend on the website type.
This article will share the average monthly maintenance cost for various website types, from simple blogs to online stores.
There are two ways to maintain your website: hiring a professional or doing it yourself. We will compare each method’s prices, benefits, and downsides to help you choose the most suitable option.
How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost – A Quick Overview
Website maintenance costs $5-5,000/month. Maintaining exceptionally large and popular websites like Amazon or Netflix may cost even more.
Here is an overview of the average website maintenance costs:
|Monthly Website Maintenance Cost
|Small to Medium Business Websites
|Multimedia Entertainment Websites
The exact cost of website maintenance varies depending on your site’s size and functionality. For example, a personal website will require fewer features and storage than an eCommerce site.
9 Essential Website Maintenance Costs
Various factors influence the cost of website maintenance. Here are the nine essential ones to consider:
1. Domain Name
- Average costs: around $1–100/year for the registration and $10–129/year for the renewals
- Level of necessity: necessary
Every website needs a domain, and the renewal price ranges between $10–129/year.
Some hosting providers offer free domain registration with their hosting plans, helping you save money. For example, most of Hostinger’s hosting plans come with a free domain.
- Generic top-level domain (gTLD) – any website can use a gTLD, such as .com, .net, and .org. The cost varies depending on its popularity.
- 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, like .edu for educational institutions.
The following table shows the website maintenance costs for different TLDs:
The registrar is another factor affecting a domain name’s maintenance costs. Choosing a reliable domain registrar is crucial to avoid scams and hidden fees. The best way to find a reliable registrar is to check ICANN’s accredited registrar list.
Domain Name Checker
Instantly check domain name availability.
Usually, buying a domain name means registering it for at least one year. The website owner must renew the domain name before it expires to keep using it.
Important! Renewal prices are often higher than domain name registration. Some registrars offer discounts if you commit to a longer renewal period.
Include domain privacy protection service in your site maintenance plan for additional security. This feature helps protect a domain name owner’s personal information and contact details in the WHOIS database.
Other registrars sell domain privacy protection for $2-20/year, but Hostinger offers it for free.
2. Web Hosting
- Average costs: around $2–80/month, depending on the web hosting provider, type, and subscription length
- Level of necessity: necessary
Web hosting is a service that helps publish a website online. The cost of hosting a website varies depending on your provider and plan.
Choosing the right hosting provider is essential to the cost of maintaining a website. Competing web hosting providers often charge different fees for similar plans.
Before choosing a web hosting plan, consider the long-term hosting costs. The total cost of web hosting maintenance largely depends on the selected subscription period. Shorter subscription periods, like monthly payments, usually amount to higher total costs.
For example, Hostinger’s 48-month Premium Web Hosting plan costs RM9.99/month. The monthly cost will stay the same for four years until it’s time to renew the plan.
Here are some of the most popular types of web hosting services:
Managed shared hosting is ideal for small- to medium-sized websites like simple 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 RM9.99–RM16.99/month. If you’re just starting with website creation, our affordable web hosting plan is the best option.
VPS hosting is an excellent option for medium-sized websites, giving users dedicated resources within a shared server. It also offers greater control over server settings, making it more suitable for technically experienced users.
Our VPS hosting plans cost between RM27.99–RM94.99, depending on the available RAM, disk space, and bandwidth.
It’s also a user-friendly option because the web hosting provider is responsible for the technical maintenance.
The cost of Hostinger cloud hosting varies, ranging from RM49.00–RM139.90/month.
Dedicated hosting is suitable for established businesses that don’t mind spending more for superior performance. This hosting type allocates one server for each website, giving users complete control over server files and settings.
A dedicated server may cost $80–$300/month, making it the most expensive hosting service.
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 RM9.99–RM49.00/month.
3. SSL Certificate
- Average costs: $0-60/year
- Level of necessity: necessary
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a data transfer protocol that enables encrypted communication between a server and a browser.
The benefits of having an SSL certificate 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 SSL certificates.
SSL certificate costs may vary depending on the number of domains or subdomains they cover. For a single-domain SSL, prices range between $7–860/year. Meanwhile, a wildcard SSL certificate for protecting multiple subdomains costs $50–1,000/year.
To save money, get a web hosting plan with a free SSL certificate. Hostinger offers a free lifetime SSL certificate with all our plans.
To check whether SSL encryption is active, open your browser and look for a padlock icon on the left side of the address bar. When you click on the padlock, it will show whether the SSL Certificate is valid.
4. Email Services
- Average costs: $1–6/user/month
- Level of necessity: important
Professional email hosting lets website owners create custom email addresses with their domain names, such as email@example.com. In addition, 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/mailbox.
Another option is to look for a hosting provider that bundles 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 dedicated business email plans with automatic virus checkups and a built-in calendar. Users can choose between Business Email, which costs $0.99/month/mailbox, and Enterprise Email, for $2.99/month/mailbox.
The chosen plan’s subscription length affects the total cost. For example, buying the Business Email plan 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. Adding more mailboxes to your purchase will add to the total cost.
5. Tech Support
- Average costs: $2-300/month
- Level of necessity: important
Access to a customer service team makes a big difference when encountering problems like website crashes, broken contact forms, or security breaches.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, reliable tech support helps fix issues before they impact traffic and customer experience.
Tech support comes in different forms:
- Live chat – provides quick assistance via chat messages.
- 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 solutions for users who prefer speaking directly to a customer service representative.
- Knowledge database – comes in the form of tutorials or guides for users who prefer to solve issues independently.
Many hosting providers offer live chat and email support with each plan. These support channels should be sufficient when running a personal or a small business website.
Meanwhile, dedicated premium support is ideal for bigger websites like eCommerce businesses. They usually offer immediate, personalized support.
Hostinger includes 24/7 live chat support for all plans and offers optional paid priority support.
All in all, including tech support as part of your website maintenance cost will depend on your needs.
6. Website Design
- Average costs: $0–17/month if you’re self-designing, or $500–1,000/year for a regular maintenance package with a web design 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 (SEO) to drive higher traffic.
Web design costs vary depending on your chosen approach – self-designing or hiring a professional.
Designing the Website Yourself
Self-designing is an excellent option for small to medium-sized websites like personal blogs. You can design a website from scratch using free or premium tools. This option only adds a small monthly fee to your website maintenance costs, around $17/month.
Beginners who want more freedom and flexibility can use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress to build and design a site. You will need to select and install the WordPress website theme yourself.
With a WordPress site, you can choose from over 10,000 free themes in the official gallery.
However, paid WordPress themes usually offer more features and better support. Before purchasing one, check the available payment models first. You can buy some themes with a one-time license fee, while others use a subscription-based system. Expect to spend an average of $5–17/month for a premium WordPress theme.
If you would rather not learn WordPress or coding, we recommend using a website builder.
Website builders often include a selection of professionally designed templates. Most website builders also have drag-and-drop features for easy and intuitive customization.
Hiring a Professional Web Designer
Professional web developers are well-versed in current design trends. They can code a website according to your unique specifications.
However, hiring a professional designer can significantly increase your website maintenance costs. In addition, you will need to consider a yearly maintenance contract.
Web designer fees vary depending on your website type, averaging around $6,000 for a basic project. The website maintenance cost can be $500–1,000/year. Due to its high cost, this option is more suitable for large websites with heavy traffic.
7. Plugins and Extensions
- Average costs: $4–49/month
- Level of necessity: optional
Plugins expand the functionality of a website. Currently, over 59,000 WordPress plugins are available in the official library. Although there are many free plugins, the premium options can significantly add to your web maintenance costs.
We recommend using free WordPress plugins first. Once your website has grown, start investing in premium plugins. The WordPress maintenance costs of paid plugins vary between $4–49/month.
Install the following plugins to help optimize your website:
- Contact form plugins – provide great features for streamlining messages from WordPress website visitors. The premium versions cost $24-300/year.
- Page builders – add a drag-and-drop interface to 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 $50-600/year.
Therefore, the specific plugins you choose will influence the exact cost of your WordPress website maintenance.
Other platforms, including website builders, also have their own versions of add-ons or plugins. Most of them will also have free and premium options to consider.
8. eCommerce Features
- Average costs: $15/month for regular-sized online stores
- Level of necessity: optional
eCommerce sites have 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 required features. For example, an inventory management tool 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 quickly start an online store. Hostinger’s website builder with online store features costs $2.99/month.
- Inventory management – offers features to manage in-stock products. Some freemium inventory management plugins are WP Inventory Manager ($0-149/license), Zoho ($0-329/month), and Ordoro ($0-149/month).
- Payment gateways – build customer trust and encourage transactions. PayPal’s popular and secure payment gateway Payflow Pro costs $25/month.
Note that the pricing of eCommerce features varies depending on your online store’s size and traffic.
For a regular website that’s only starting to sell products or services, the cost of eCommerce features is around $15/month. The more products and services you sell, the higher they cost.
9. Marketing and SEO
- Average costs: $0-500/month
- Level of necessity: important
Budgeting for marketing and SEO strategies is necessary to drive traffic to a website. This includes publishing up-to-date quality content like articles, videos, and photos to attract your target audience.
To promote your brand, consider the following digital marketing strategies when budgeting your website maintenance fees:
- Website optimization – improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERP). Examples of premium SEO tools include Ahrefs ($99-999/month), Ubersuggest ($29-99/month), and Moz ($99-599/month).
- Content marketing – create relevant and trendy content to attract, engage, and retain audiences. Produce content in-house or outsource it to digital marketing agencies or freelancers. Rates will depend on the content type but expect to spend $1/word for an article or $50-3,000/project.
- Email marketing – keep audiences informed about your business activities. Mailchimp ($0-1,510/month) and Constant Contact ($9.99-300/month) are two of the most popular email marketing tools. There are also free email newsletter plugins for WordPress.
- Social media marketing – target 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, and content marketing strategies. Check out our small business website cost guide for a detailed price breakdown.
Should I Maintain the Website Myself or Hire a Developer
Hiring a professional and conducting website maintenance yourself has their own pros and cons. The website maintenance pricing also differs between the two.
Hiring a Professional
- Average cost: $200-4,500/month
Hiring a website maintenance service provider who sells maintenance services to website owners can save a lot of time and effort. Two popular options are hiring a website maintenance company or a freelance expert.
Web maintenance service agencies can help handle the site’s more complex and technical aspects. They also conduct regular software updates, perform security audits, and optimize performance. They often have a fixed website maintenance package.
Website maintenance services cost more because they allocate a team to help you. Meanwhile, hiring a freelance professional means relying on one person to do all the tasks.
Hiring website maintenance agencies can range from $200-4,500/month. On the other hand, a freelance expert may cost $18-20/hour. The exact amount you pay per month will depend on the initial 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.
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, handling your own website’s technical aspects can be overwhelming. It takes time to learn something new and implement it correctly.
In that case, a website builder may be a better option for a beginner. Website builder providers take care of all the back-end maintenance.
The total cost of self-maintaining a website also depends on the number of features you use and how complex they are.
How Often Is Website Maintenance Required
There are no set rules on how frequently website maintenance procedures should occur. Additionally, each maintenance procedure may follow a different timeline.
For example, domain names and hosting require annual website maintenance. However, marketing and SEO usually 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 prevents errors and security breaches. For example, regularly updating WordPress lets you fix bugs early on, preventing a negative impact on website performance.
If you have the budget, consider hiring professional website maintenance services. They will help with technical aspects like backups, firewalls, core updates, and troubleshooting.
So, how much does it cost to maintain a website? It is usually around $5–5,000/month or $60-60,000/year. The exact number of maintenance costs varies depending on your website type and needs.
This article has explored some essential aspects of website maintenance pricing, including domain registration, web hosting providers, and SSL certificates. Other website maintenance elements, such as design and marketing strategies, are more flexible in pricing.
Overall, the two main approaches to website maintenance are:
- Doing it yourself – suitable for a small business website or personal blog. Website owners that choose this option independently perform technical tasks to reduce maintenance costs.
- Hiring a professional – gives you expertise and efficiency in exchange for higher website maintenance rates. This option lets site owners focus on tasks not related to website maintenance.
Some site types, like eCommerce sites, may need additional website maintenance costs. This is because payment systems, inventory management plugins, and other extra website management tools are necessary to run an online business.
Now that you have 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. Also, keep in mind the initial website creation process, including how long it takes to create a website.
Website Maintenance Cost FAQ
Now that you know the different factors influencing website maintenance costs, here are some frequently asked questions about the topic.
How Much Do Clients Charge for Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance costs vary depending on the complexity of the website and the type of services required. Clients can charge $5-5,000/month or $60-60,000/year.
What Is Included in Website Maintenance?
Website maintenance typically includes updating software, security scans, content updates, fixing broken links, and monitoring website performance. The exact tasks vary for each site depending on its maintenance plan.
Why Are Websites So Costly to Maintain?
Websites require ongoing maintenance to remain secure, functional, and up-to-date. These maintenance tasks require significant time and resources, contributing to higher costs.