Websites are often the first point of contact that your customers have with your business. A lot can be said about the benefits of social media marketing, but people who are searching for a solution with a specific intent are most likely to be found on search engines like Google.
That is why it’s so important for a business to have a functioning website. Merely having a website is not enough, though. In order for your business to present a professional face to clients, it’s vital that the information on the website is kept up to date. There’s also a need for ensuring that the design, look and feel of the website is in keeping with the times.
It’s not uncommon to stumble across websites that appear to have been made a decade ago even in this day and age. Government websites are often some of the worst offenders here. Therefore, a solid web presence strategy necessitates not just the initial development of a website but continuous maintenance of it as well.
How much does it cost to maintain a website?
The costs to maintain a website can vary significantly. It largely depends on what kind of website you’re running and what sort of functionality it offers to users. If you just need a website to show customers your contact information, it can be nothing more than just a landing page. It won’t require much ongoing maintenance either.
What if you’re running a restaurant, though? You’d want there to be an online ordering system, an image-rich menu, possibly even an AI-powered chatbot that can help customers with frequently asked questions. Developing a website like that would require considerable investment and would also need to be updated time and again.
You don’t necessarily need to be a highly skilled developer to set up a website these days. There are many content management platforms that allow you to set up a website fairly quickly. Granted, the functionality provided would be severely limited in comparison to what a skilled developer can do for you.
WordPress is one of the most widely used content management platforms. It’s highly versatile too. It can be used for landing websites, single-page websites or even a full-fledged news site, blog or magazine.
It's a highly versatile platform with support for many types of web content like media galleries, membership sites, learning management systems, online stores, and more. Over 60 million websites are based on WordPress, that includes over 33.6 percent of the top 10 million websites in the world.
WordPress itself is free since it’s open source, but you need a way to power the software. At a bare minimum, you would require shared hosting which can cost around $10-15 per month and a domain name that can cost $10 per year.
The costs will definitely go up if you have to use certain plugins to enhance the functionality of your website. Shared hosting won’t be enough if your website gets a lot of traffic so you’d be looking at additional hosting expenses.
Squarespace provides software as a service for website building and hosting. It offers a one-stop solution and touts the ease of use for customers who are not used to building websites. Users can build their own websites by customizing pre-built templates and use the drag and drop editor to make modifications.
The cheapest Squarespace plan costs $16 per month and it includes templates, customer support, basic website metrics but limits the maximum numbers of contributors to your website to just two.
Wix offers a service that's similar to Squarespace. Customers can utilize its software to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through easy to understand drag and drop tools. It lets users enhance the capabilities of their websites with social plug-ins, e-commerce and online marketing tools, community forums, and more.
Wix operates on a freemium model, in that it makes money when customers upgrade to premium services. You'd obviously want your own domain name if you need a website for your business. In that case, you'd have to pay for a premium plan which starts at $13 per month.
There are many other alternatives that essentially offer similar website builder functionality as Squarespace and Wix, allowing customers to create their own websites using drag and drop tools. They include Constant Contact, Gator by HostGator, BigCommerce for e-commerce solutions, Shopify, Weebly, and more.
The hidden costs you don’t think about
Most people tend to start out with the most affordable plans for their websites. However, when the website begins to grow, it presents a unique set of challenges around scalability. More bandwidth is required, load times need to be improved and storage capacity requirements increase. All of these costs can quickly ramp up.
- Dedicated Hosting
If you don’t want shared hosting for your website, just because you prefer the performance benefits that dedicated hosting provides, bear in mind that it’s going to be significantly more expensive than the shared option.
- Annual renewals
There are a lot of annual renewals to think about as well. The domain name is the biggest and certainly one that needs to be prioritized. There may be plug-ins, themes, and other tools that you also need to pay a yearly license fee for.
Depending on the kind of business you’re running, you may also need to spend a decent chunk of money on marketing, particularly search engine ads. It’s a great way to bring in customers, but it can be a money pit if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Developers and designers
Want to overhaul your website? There may come a point when a pre-built theme just isn’t working for you. In that case, you’ll need to hire professional developers and designers for the job, and depending on the nature of the work, that can also cost a pretty penny.
What you get when you outsource your website maintenance
Peace of mind is what you get when you outsource your website maintenance. There’s no risk of things going under your radar as well. Just imagine the panic you’d find yourself in if you wake up in the morning to find out that your domain expired overnight and something has already squatted on it.
You might then need to pay someone thousands of dollars just to get your domain back, particularly if it’s crucial to the online presence of your business. The same goes for plug-ins and other tools that are of vital importance to your web presence.
Outsourcing the job also saves you from bill shocks. You’re quoted a price upfront that covers everything that’s required to operate your website. That way, you can form an understanding of what fits in your budget and just how much online exposure you can gain from making that investment.
Can you save money by hiring an outside website maintenance firm?
There’s a much higher chance of saving money by hiring an outside website maintenance firm than just trying to do it all by yourself. You’re probably not going to have developers and designers on your payroll if you run a small boutique, and your small business probably can’t afford to hire one on a full-time basis.
But you also want quality work and don’t want to go through the hassle of finding freelancers and then keeping your fingers crossed that they deliver the work that was promised and don’t run circles around you when you reach out weeks later to ask why there has been no progress on the job.
Hiring a professional website maintenance firm can take the pain out of this entire process and leave you to focus on running your business. You’ll also have the peace of mind that your online presence is being catered to by professionals who know what they’re doing, so you’re getting the best possible return on your investment.
Zibtek can help
At Zibtek, we know a thing or two about making websites. We’re a fast-growing software development company with offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. We also have a highly skilled global talent pool of developers, designers, database engineers, and all of them are managed from our offices in the United States.
Zibtek has worked with a wide range of clients, from Fortune 500 conglomerates to startup companies looking to take their first steps in the online world. Our skilled experts are extremely knowledgeable about web technologies, user experience and user interface design, SEO best practices, and more.
Working with us will alleviate the need for you to stress about maintaining your online presence, leaving you to focus more on running and growing your business. We’ll work with you closely to ensure that the work done is exactly what you had in mind and that you’re kept updated every step of the way.
If you’re interested in outsourcing the maintenance of your website, as simple or as complicated an online presence as you may have, just reach out to the team at Zibtek and we’ll be happy to help you out.