When it comes to websites, prevention is always better than cure. A faulty website won’t only cost more money to repair but can also damage your business’s image and goodwill. This is why you need to invest in website maintenance.
Many users often ask “how much does it cost to maintain a website” or “how much does website maintenance cost”. The answers to these questions are various depending on the size, complexity, and functionality of your website.
What do we mean by “website maintenance”?
When it comes to website maintenance, most people will immediately think about security. But in reality, besides security, site maintenance includes much more such as performance, content, SEO, etc.
What happens when you don’t maintain your website?
Is it important to maintain and update a website? Some people want to ignore website maintenance to cut down the costs. It’s such a bad idea!
It can only help you save a little money at first, whereas not maintaining your website can result in several problems even much costlier.
Outdated website design or outdated content can bring in weaker user experience, which ultimately pushed your site back in search results. So it’s necessary to keep your website maintenance.
Factors affecting website maintenance costs
You handle the work yourself or hire developers to do it?
If you have experience in programming, have time, and can “do it yourself”, it will save you a lot of money.
If not, you can choose to get a website maintenance service like WebFx, WPBuffs, etc. to handle for you. With such website maintenance services, you don’t have to worry about how to maintain your site and can focus more on selling.
However, it’s advised that you should do some basics at first to get a better understanding about your eCommerce site.
When your business grows, your site gets bigger, then you may need out-sourced support like a website maintenance service or a skilled developer.
How much traffic your site get?
As for the traffic aspect, large sites will always need a larger server, more resources, and time than the smaller ones. Hence, the higher traffics your site has, the higher your website maintenance fees will be.
What type of your website is?
There are many kinds of website such as hobby, personal, business, eCommerce, and corporate, and more. Not all websites need the same type and degree of maintenance. For example, a small hobby website won’t need the same professional-level maintenance and email marketing as a more serious website like business or eCommerce one.
This article will focus on presenting the costs of maintaining an eCommerce website built with WooCommerce, which includes factors like hosting, domain name, SSL certificate, content updates, and SEO checks, tech support, website analytics reports, eCommerce system maintenance, Woocommerce updates.
List of eCommerce website maintenance costs
Below are the average costs of a WooCommerce online store:
|Store management cost
|WooCommerce running costs
|WordPress WooCommerce theme
|Technical website support
1. Domain: $10-$15/year
A domain name is unique to your business. Without a domain name, it’s impossible for users to visit your site, so you must renew your domain name each year. If you don’t, someone else could purchase the name and force your company to find a new one.
Domain costs vary based on what you want to have in your website’s URL. For example, the simple “.com” is usually the cheapest (as low as $13.99 per year), if the domain name isn’t already owned by someone. The “.store” or “.global” can be a little pricier.
You can take a look at this tutorial to purchase your domain name with the lowest cost.
2. Hosting: $40-$200/year
Like domain name, website hosting is a must-have factor if you want to create an online business. Your business can choose from a few options for website hosting:
2.1. Shared WordPress host
A shared host costs $24 to $120 per year. It’s the lowest cost option because it hosts your website on a server with several other sites. If you have low website traffic, a shared host service may be the best choice.
2.2. Managed WordPress hosting service
A managed WorPress hosting like Cloudways costs $60 to $180 per year. This service option works well if you have high traffic.
2.3. Virtual private server (VPS)
A VPS costs $240 to $600 per year. VPS upgraded from the shared host allows you to have complete access to your server’s resources because the provider divides the server into multiple virtual servers. If you have a high level of traffic, this hosting service may suit your demand.
2.4. Dedicated WordPress server
This type of hosting is best for high-traffic sites in need of great performance and complete access to your own server with a big budget. A dedicated server costs $1200 to $24,000 per year.
2.5. Cloud Hosting
This hosting service suits all sizes of business. One of the big benefits is scalability. You can quickly add or remove resources. For example, if your site receives a sudden traffic spike, you could quickly scale its resources during that spike and then go back to normal after the traffic spike finished.
Depending on your site’s type the hosting you may require will be very different.
For a small online shop, you can get away with a really cheap host (as little as $3 or even free). This can, of course, come with a lot of problems, but you get what you pay for.
For bigger sites, you should consider a dedicated server for a stable connection and good website speed. This can cost you a few hundred dollars a month or more.
Generally, we suggest you use cloud hosting because of its scalability and the ability to meet your demand for the store’s development.
For more details about getting hosting to your site, you can look through this guideline.
3. SSL Certificate: $70-$300/year
Securing your website or application with SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is the first step to improve your user experience and confidence. Having an SSL license gives you the ability to better protect your data and affirm your site’s identity. It also increases your search engine ranking and improves your user’s trust.
For a smaller site, you can get it for as low as $8 a year, for sites with the need for better security it can be much higher. (some go as high as $1000+ per year)
4. Content Update: $0-$20/month
It is obvious that content is one of the key parts of any eCommerce site.
Even if you provide the best product or services on the market, outdated content and broken hyperlinks will make customers unsatisfied and harm your website. Quality content can enhance conversion rates, boost sales, bring a lot of traffics. If it’s possible, you can build content by yourself.
However, you can get a professional writer or agency to handle it for you. The monthly costs range from $20 to a lot more if they have the portfolio to back that up.
5. Store management costs: $0-$120/year
To run an online shop successfully, store owners need some essential functions that come with managing an online store, like shipping and payment gateways.
In terms of shipping, WooCommerce provides options for flat rate shipping, free shipping, or local pickup. For many small businesses, these are the only choices needed.
WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping by JEM is a free option that allows you to set up WooCommerce shipping options based on different conditions or pricing models. To access advanced features, users can start at $49.
Payment gateways allow you to safely and securely accept payments online. Each one varies in cost and structure and WooCommerce integrates with all the major options.
Here are some of the best suggestions for your store: UPS Shipping Method, USPS Shipping Method, Table Rate Shipping, FedEx Shipping Method, WooCommerce FedEx Shipping plugin, etc. Many of them are offered for free with basic functions. If you need the upgraded features, you can start with $79
6. WooCommerce running costs: $0- $9.99/month
WooCommerce itself offers a lot of free tools — many borrowed from WordPress and adapted for WooCommerce. Extensions act like plugins for WooCommerce, allowing you to add functionality to your checkout, payment gateways, shipping, and more. For SEO purposes, you can go for some free plugins listed in this collection. Or you can check this list to find other free extensions for your store.
Regarding customer communication purposes, WooCommerce integrates with a variety of email marketing tools. One of the best options is MailChimp, which offers both free and paid plans (starting at $9.99 a month). With seamless WooCommerce integration, you can sync customers and products, encourage upsells, and track everything from email opens to conversions.
7. WordPress WooComerce theme: $0-$249/year
When it comes to the website maintenance cost, the theme is always a part of it.
Themes show your WordPress sites’ look to the users. For a WooCommerce online store, they also control how your products are displayed.
There are a large amount of free and paid theme options. So you can easily choose the theme suitable for your niche.
Woostify theme is one of the ideal choices which are designed for the best performance, fast speed, and higher conversion rate.
Woostify comes with nearly 20 starter sites in various topics like fashion, food, shoes, glasses, perfume, etc.
You can go to Woostify to get more details and download it free or purchase the theme pro (start at $39/year). Furthermore, Woostify Pro offers an all-time-discount 10% off on total purchases. To get this discount, just use the coupon code “10WOOSTIFY” at checkout.
8. Technical website support: $0-$100/hour
Good support is important when your website experiences issues like a broken contact form, shopping cart, server errors, managing backups, etc. For those who can do it for your site may ignore this part. But not, you can hire developers at an hourly rate to assist with elements of your site. Developers’ fees will range dramatically from $10 to $100+ per hour.
WooCommerce provides a list of hand-selected, high-quality experts. They know both WordPress and WooCommerce extremely well and can get you up and running efficiently.
Conclusion & Tips to reduce your WooCommerce website maintenance cost?
This part of the article mostly applies to websites of a smaller scale. As a large scale website, if you expect to make cutbacks, better think again.
So, if you are planning on revising your Website Maintenance cost, this is one way of doing so. However, these are mostly applied to websites of a smaller scale.
- First of all, you should list all of the expenses you are currently having. Putting them in different categories should also help.
- Now make a new column with the expanses necessity. It doesn’t have to be filled with percentages, you can just use yes or no values. (yes for if it is vital, and no if it’s not)
- For all of the nonvital items on the list, check the alternatives. Smaller sites can usually handle a lot of problems without using premium tools. Besides, there are a lot of great free plugins available for WordPress.
- You can also consider a different hosting provider for extra or cheaper features.
- There is a possibility you can find a way to make a specific step of your site’s upkeep process more efficient too. This will in result save you time, and so the money.
To sum up, the cost of building a WooCommerce site varies and depends on your needs and your business size. To minimize the cost, you need to define which your business size is, what you focus on, how much your budget is, and whether you can handle any part by yourself.