The costs associated with running a website can vary depending on a number of factors, such as website size, number of pages, type of web hosting used, content volume, whether it is an ecommerce site, whether a professional web design and development agency is hired to create the website, etc. Generally, basic websites can cost anywhere from $10 to $150 per month, while more complex websites can range from $100 to $2500+ per month. Here are the 14 categories to consider when determining the monthly cost of running a website.
The cost of building a website can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the website and the technology and framework used to build it. Building a website from scratch using a cutting-edge tech stack or framework can cost around $30000+ for a large website. But if you decide to use a page-builder or a content management system like WordPress, then the cost can be much lower ranging from $0 to $1000 per month.
Page-builders are a budget-friendly way to quickly get a website up and running with minimal effort. Most page-builders have a drag-and-drop user interface, so you don't need to have any coding experience to use it. Furthermore, they often come with many ready-made templates that you can use. This means that you don't need to hire a web designer to design the website (we'll talk about this later), so your monthly cost will be 0.
Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress are also another more affordable way to get a website up and running. WordPress is a free and open-source software that is used to create websites. It is the most popular CMS in the world and powers over 34% of all websites on the internet. It's a good solution for a small or large website. Generally, it'a more expensive option than page-builders since you'll probably have to hire someone to build the website for you.
A domain name is the address of your website and it is paid per year. The cost of registering a domain name depends on the type of domain extension you get (.com, .org, .io, etc) and the domain registrar you purchase it from. Normally one costs around $5 to $25 per year. One popular domain registrar is NameCheap.
Web hosting is the service that stores your website’s files and makes them available to users on the internet. The cost of web hosting depends on the type of hosting service you choose, the speed of the servers, and the micro-services included in the monthly package.
Shared hosting is the most affordable type of web hosting and usually costs around $3 to $40 per month. Dedicated hosting is faster and more reliable than shared and therefore is more expensive - it usually costs around $50 to $500+ per month. VPS and cloud hosting are another alternative and usually cost around $200 to $650+ per month.
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a type of digital certificate that encrypts the data passing between a user's browser and your website. It is important for all websites to have an SSL certificate to ensure customers’ data is safe and secure. The cost of an SSL certificate depends on where you purchase it from. It usually costs around $0 to $200 per year.
Some web hosting providers include an SSL certificate in their monthly packages.
The cost of designing a website depends on if you use a ready template or hire a professional web designer.
Ready templates are available for purchase for around $40 to $60 and can be used to quickly launch a website. Hiring a professional web designer is more expensive and usually costs around $70 to $5000+ depending on the complexity of the website.
The cost of adding additional functionality to your website depends on the type of functionality you need. Examples of such extra features include booking system, scheduling system, built-in chat functionality, dedicated mobile app, ordering system, CRM integration and others. The cost of each additional functionality ranges from $0 to $700 depending on the complexity of the functionality and the plugins or extensions used.
Things happen, so having a reliable backup system in place is essential for any website owner. It is important to have a system that is automated and does backups periodically (ideally daly or weekly). Depending on the size of the website and the backup solution used, the cost of website backups can range from $0 to $15 per month.
Free solutions such as UpdraftPlus can be used to make backups and restores, but they are limited in features and may not be suitable for larger websites. For more comprehensive backup solutions, a dedicated service is recommended. These solutions cost between $5 to $15 per month, depending on the features required.
Some web hosting providers include automated database backups in their monthly website packages.
It's not a secret that email is the main form of communication for a lot of business organizations, so it's essential for any website owner to have a secure business email. This helps to create a professional appearance for the brand and also helps to protect the website from spam and hackers.
Depending on which email hosting provider you choose, the cost of professional business email can range anywhere between $0 and $7 per month per one email account. Some email providers offer free plans and although they are quite limited in their features, they can be a good starting point.
For more advanced solutions, a business email service such as Google Business Email, Microsoft Outlook or Zoho is what most site owners go for. These options cost between $1 to $7 per month.
For websites that need to sell products or services, having e-commerce functionality is essential. This includes features such as shopping carts, payment gateways, product catalogs, order management systems and shipping calculations.
Depending on the features required, the cost of ecommerce functionality can range from $20 to $1000+ per month. Some of the biggest names in the game are WooCommerce and Shopify.
It's important to keep the content (text, images, running promotions, product descriptions and others) on your website fresh and up to date. Depending on the volume of content that lives on the website, the cost of content update services can range from $0 to $200 per month.
If the updates are done by the website owner, of course the cost is $0. If the updates are done by a professional copywriter or an agency, the cost is between $20 to $200 per month, depending on the volume of content updates required.
SEO and marketing: SEO and marketing are essential for any website, as it helps to drive more targeted traffic and increase visibility on search engines. Depending on the size of the website and the desired outcome, the cost of SEO and marketing can range from $0 to $2000 per month.
For basic SEO, free tools such as Google Search Console can be used. But if you want better ranking, then hiring a SEO marketing agency is the way to go. SEO services cost between $50 to $2000 per month, depending on how extensive the SEO campaign is. This normally includes optimizing your website for SEO (called on-page SEO), and writing blog articles on a given topic related to your business and link building.
Copywriting is essential for any website, as it helps to create engaging content that appeals to the target audience. Depending on the volume of content required and its complexity the cost of copywriting can range from $50 to $600+ per page. The more technical the content is, the higher the cost is.
Social media management helps to create a presence on social networks and engage with the target audience. It's especially important for big brands.
Depending on the marketing agency used, the cost of social media management can range from $200 to $2400 per month. This normally includes creating a content strategy, creating text and designing images, scheduling your posts, managing comments and responding to messages.
Websites, like any other piece of technology, require maintenance to keep them functioning properly. Website maintenance is the process of ensuring that a website is up-to-date, secure, and running smoothly. Maintenance costs vary depending on the size and complexity of the website, the framework that it's built on as well as the tasks that need to be performed.
For small websites, such as personal blogs or small business websites, the maintenance costs are usually minimal - between $10 and $60 per month. This can include anything from updating the website’s plugins and codebase and doing security patches, to performing security checks, such as scanning for malware or preventing cross-site scripting attacks.
For bigger websites, such as those used by corporations or large ecommerce stores, the maintenance costs can go exponentially higher. These websites normally require more frequent and extensive maintenance, including regular database backups, software updates and patches, monitoring of server performance, and other security measures. Additionally, the costs may include the cost of hiring an IT specialist or a dedicated team to manage the website.
For example: for giant ecommerce websites like Amazon, the maintenance costs are likely to be in the thousands of dollars each month. This is due to the sheer size and complexity of the website, as well as the amount of maintenance required to ensure the website remains secure and functioning properly.
Read more about our 5 Tips for Effective Small Business Website Management & Maintenance.
In conclusion, the monthly cost of running a website depends on many things so it's hard to give a straight answer. For basic websites, the cost can range from $10 to $150 per month. For more complex websites, the cost can range from $100 to $2500+ per month.
If you need a one-stop solution for your website, explore our range of affordable monthly website packages and find the perfect fit for your budget and project scope.
To learn more about the advantages of using a monthly website package, read our recent article on: Top 4 Benefits of Purchasing Monthly Website Packages.