As every webmaster will learn throughout their management tenure, while there seems to be a chorus of people shouting that having a website can be free, in most cases, website maintenance costs and startup expenses can be quite steep.
Not sure what sorts of maintenance costs you should be budgeting for? Here are 7 common expenses that may apply to you.
1. Domain Registration
Your website’s domain or the web address is rarely free. Sure, there are web hosts that tout free domain registration.
Typically, this is just a fleeting promotional offer that hosts will turn a profit on the following year, however, when they overcharge you for renewal.
Domain registration/renewal is usually anywhere from $8.00 – $17.00 or more per year.
Your website’s files have to live somewhere, right? Unless you plan to self-host your site (which we wouldn’t recommend unless you have critical infrastructure), you’re going to have to pair off with a web host.
Web hosts charge monthly/annual fees to house your site. These fees range from as low as $2.00 per month to $20.00 or more.
Also worth noting is how much web hosts tend to increase their pricing when renewal comes around. It is a good idea to be aware of this before you invest.
3. Custom Email
The good news is that most web hosts offer free email servers with their subscription. The bad news is that some don’t and for those that don’t, you’re looking at about $5.00 per month and perhaps even a per-email fee.
For those of you that are using content management systems, you’ll likely need to buy a few premium application integrations to add custom functions to your site.
Prices for these applications can vary, but in almost all cases, they carry a monthly fee as opposed to being a one-time purchase.
5. Technical Assistance
If your website gets hacked or crashes, do you have the technical expertise to troubleshoot the problem? If not, you’ll probably have to pay an expert once or twice in your site’s lifetime to help you out of a tough spot.
Technical assistance is usually billed hourly and can cost $60.00 or more.
What good is a website if nobody visits?
To gain traction online, you’ll have to make investments in paid ads, SEO services, and more. These investments vary widely in cost.
7. Content Production
This isn’t a website maintenance cost line-item that everyone needs to worry about, as some webmasters manage their own content production.
If you don’t, you’ll likely need to engage a handful of contractors overtime to help keep your site relevant.
Prepare For Website Maintenance Costs
We’ve seen many webmasters forgo prepping for website maintenance costs only to find that they can’t afford all the expenses involved with managing a successful site.
Hopefully, our insight enables you to better prepare so you’re not faced with surprises or the need to shut down.
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