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What is the annual cost of maintaining a website?

Take away development and design costs, once your website is up and running, how much money does it cost to maintain the website? Right now I am looking into Amazon Web Services. Also, what costs make up the annual charge?

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Fran: The answer depends on what the website does or is being used for. A basic WordPress site can be run on a managed hosting platform like GoDaddy for <$180 per year which includes everything necessary for the website to operate. You can use free or low cost themes ($0 - $99 one-time cost) and free or low-cost plug-ins to add functionality. Even storing content on AWS such as video is pennies. The annual cost today for a WordPress site is so small for most businesses it's not material in their budget. Where costs can run up is for marketing automation solutions, advertising, and the like.

Anonymous User

Hi Fran

As Scott has mentioned it depends on what type of website you have.

If you use any CMS like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, you need to consider they need upgrading just like your Windows or Apple operating system. You have security updates, enhancement, etc, on all your elements including the core (WP, Joomla, Drupal) as well as your Theme, Plugins, etc. See my write up on WordPress under Tools on mosaichub website.

Of course you can do this yourself but it does mean you have to go through a learning process, back up, restore, etc. So if you have the time to learn and execute these yourself then there is no cost other than hosting. For example we offer our clients self-managed WordPress or Joomla hosting from €60 per year or Fully Managed Hosting which includes CMS updates, Theme Updates, Plugin Updates, Content Update, etc from €240 per year. You can shop around to see what else is available but you need to be able to compare like for like.

If you are using Static HTML website then there is really no ongoing cost although the cost of creating a bespoke HTML design or site is much higher than CMS based website to start with (usually at least double the price). In HTML type website you just need to consider hosting.

If you have a bespoke PHP or bespoke WordPress or Joomla sites with e-commerce, etc. then you need to also maintain your software up to date. We typically charge 20%-25% of the original development cost for annual software maintenance.

Other things you need to consider are:

1. Domain renewal costs

2. SSL certificate (that of course is not necessary for website that do not need financial transaction)

3. Content Update – Websites are not a static entity. Any website with old content will fall off the radar on Search Engines so you need to have a plan for Content Refresh in place. This is why CMS based websites are so popular as you can add, change, edit content yourself. With static HTML or bespoke PHP site this not as possible unless you have PHP and HTML knowledge. You need to set aside money for this.

I hope this helps.


I am going to start by exactly answering your question then will add a bit. If I had a website up and running I would expect to spend about $ 15.00 a year to keep the domain name registered and I would expect to spend about $ 10.00 a month for hosting. Hosting can be under $ 5.00 or quite a bit higher if your site is attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a day which most sites don't.

That pricing is assuming you can manage and update your site yourself which even with WordPress is easy and quick.


Domain is about $12-25/yr usually. Hosting varies depending on the type of set-up you need. If you want a dedicated server, which is important for sites with large amounts of traffic or large media files. Shared hosting, where you're sharing a server with other sites, is often more affordable but carries certain risks with it and isn't a great fit if you need lightning fast load time and expect thousands or millions of visitors each month.

Other costs to factor:
- cost of updates to your theme if you can't make these yourself. Sometimes if you buy a theme off of a website like thememonster, the new release of the theme may break your current setup and then you'll have to pay a developer to fix it. This isn't as much of an issue with a custom theme.
- cost of backup plugin ($5-10/mo for a good one, there are free ones available as well)
- cost of additional widgets/features such as wistia (which is a video embedding player) or sumo me (which features many options to build your email list, track traffic sources, heat maps, etc), as well as integrations such as salesforce, mailchimp, etc.

If you host your website through a builder such as weebly or squarespace, or shopify for ecommerce, you only pay the monthly hosting fee, and then any additional plugins you want to use.

I always encourage clients to look at their site like a car - you need oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups, and you should budget accordingly. Hope this helps! Happy to answer other questions if needed!


Hello Fran,

If you are looking for website maintenance services then you may check these various website maintenance services offered by FATbit Technologies. It includes
Updating the text, photos
Creating small icons/graphics for better text presentation
Improving existing pages presentation style
Creating flash icons/banners
Creating additional pages for existing website
Changing existing web page layout
Changing/updating background image
Layout changes using tables

and much more. Find more details here: http://www.fatbit.com/website-design-company/affordable-website-maintenance-plans.html
Moreover, if you are planning to build an eCommerce venture online then I would recommend you check Yo!Kart that is a multi vendor eCommerce solution for small scale startups in eCommerce industry. It offers a small package of $250 that includes following features:

An intuitive interface
A highly secure system
Multi vendor capabilities
Multiple stores for those vendors
Real time shipping cost calculator
All orders are split and consolidated for shopping carts with products from multiple vendors
Most SEO is completely automated
Divide customer into groups based on buying behavior
an Android app

Find more details here: http://www.yo-kart.com/

Hope this helps :)


Most small websites should not be paying more than around $10/year for a domain and $50/year in hosting. Unfortunately, this is a field where simple costs are dramatically marked up by local consultants and service providers. In my opinion, there is no reason to pay a middleman for either of these two services, unless you're really uncomfortable with managing the WYSIWIG/backend of a web hosting account. They are incredibly straightforward, though.

If your site revolves around bandwidth-heavy objects like videos (and you anticipate your site having a lot of constant activity on a daily basis), Amazon S3 is a great but more complicated option - otherwise, there's no reason not to use a low-cost web host.


Hello Fran - based on my experience dealing with 100+ web firms across Canada you are safe to say that it will cost 10% of the website build cost and that it`s an annual expense to keep the site up to date - especially plug ins! You will get some web firms to offer a bank of hours like prepaid phones i.e. if you need their help they charge by the hour and if you don`t the unused hours dry up. Some allow you to carry them over. Hope this helps.


Outside the labour and expertise costs, the hosting site is negligible. It is only if your site is high traffic site with rich content do you need to invest more into the server side accordingly.


The one thing I would suggest is integrating a mobile friendly website into your mobile strategy. Linking with an interactive app and FB page with interesting engaging informative fresh content that can be dripfed daily that keeps not only your existing customers but potential customers keep returning time after time. I can achieve this for you with no lockin contract so no risk to you. For $14.95 There is away that you can have one of the best communication marketing app that delivers your messages to the right people in real time with ability to respond within the app. This is a 6page mobile friendly website that loads fast and easy to read. This is amazing product with unlimited global push notifications free and an even more amazing opportunity I will include the link for that reason alone


This is a great opportunity to own an interactive marketing
communication app for only $14.95 hope this idea helps to give you a starting point


Hello, Fran! To build my website, I used the MotoCMS 3.0 web builder. The whole process was as easy as ABC. I paid once and no more any payments forever. To get to know more, visit, please http://www.templatemonster.com/moto-cms-3-templates.php . Good luck in your business!

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