Depending on your site’s requirements, we can host it for you for $20-$50/month. You must also register your domain name, which costs from $10-$35/year depending on where you register it. Outside of hosting and registration, your monthly costs are determined by how much of the maintenance you are willing to do yourself. Most of the features of our newer websites can be maintained fairly easily by our clients, but some features can not– it depends on how involved your site is. We typically spend approximately 20 hours/month maintaining Bandito Books, for example, but that site is very complex and large in scale, and the site owner chooses not to manage some of the features alone. Many other sites require no maintenance at all from us.
As a website owner, you have a responsibility to your users and to the internet as a whole to keep your site up-to-date when it comes to security. If you run any software on your site– a Content Management System, a contact form, a web store, etc — then you must plan for occasional security updates. Usually, we have to apply these updates for you, on the clock. We monitor the news feeds of all the software developers whose product we use, and will alert you when the developer releases a security update. Most times, updates are quick– 1 hour or so of our time every few months. But sometimes, especially with heavily modified Drupal, Magento or osCommerce sites, security updates can take much longer– up to a full 8 hour day.
If you’re serious about your business, then it makes sense to budget ahead so you have a team of web professionals available to help you grow and evolve the web portion of that business. Do not think you can simply build a site and then have your administrative assistant take an HTML class and subsequently perform every website maintenance upgrade you encounter along the way. Our onsite staff has a combined 40 years experience with this stuff– this is not something you learn in a simple extension class.
Over the years we have had clients whose eCommerce websites pulled in over $500,000/year, yet the client felt he/she couldn’t afford to pay us for 8 hours of improvements/security/updates every 6 months or so. As a result, the sites fell apart over time, sales languished and what was once a successful eCommerce site turned into an out-dated, ineffective mess. This is not a realistic plan for your business, and is not a relationship we will ever again choose to enter. So be realistic, plan for success, and budget for professional assistance in achieving that plan.