When you think of website maintenance cost, does your mind drift off to tonight’s dinner?
Most business owners underestimate the impact of an underperforming website on their profits and the real worth of having ongoing maintenance to their site.
Every business incurs regular operational expenses. That’s the cost of doing business and getting customers in the door.
But what about your website? Your website is a valuable asset that drives online traffic to your company.
Did you know that the conversion rate of a webpage drops by 4-5% per additional second of loading time? I know – a slowdown of 5 seconds seems trivial. But what does that actually mean?
A slow loading (or underperforming) website will mean that most people will give up and move on, and for those loyal visitors who ride it out, they are 25% less likely to convert to paying customers. In other words – it’s impacting your bottom line.
With that in mind – it’s so important to keep your business website functioning at its best while staying safe and secure.
So, what does website maintenance cost anyway?
Does a Website Need Regular Maintenance?
Granted – WordPress is easier to use than traditional HTML. Its design prioritises simplicity above all else, making it popular for many businesses and corporations.
But times change; themes, plugins and styles are constantly updated, not to mention important Google algorithms.
And so, your WordPress website – like any other aspect of your business – needs care and regular attention to keep it in shape.
When selecting a website maintenance package for your business, quite a few elements are included to keep your website updated and functioning as it should.
Here’s just a couple of core elements that are included in website maintenance cost:
1. Security Updates
Backups, plugin updates, and security updates are commonplace for ALL websites, not just WordPress.
Data breaches and data loss are costly for businesses. It can cause a breach of privacy and a reputational impact on your customers.
The cybersecurity sector and a maelstrom of hackers across the globe are constantly trying to outsmart each other. In 2021 alone, data breaches cost companies more than $4 million on average, according to a study by IBM.
Detecting a data breach isn’t easy, either. Often, detection doesn’t happen until long after the breach has occurred. This can drive up business expenses immensely.
But maintenance isn’t only about security. Much of it is about avoiding unnecessary costs and keeping everything running smoothly.
2. Functional Updates
Poor website planning can lead to downtime, buggy interfaces, and bad optimisation. A website that loads slowly is likely to turn potential conversions into absentees.
It’s an unfortunate truth that we’re all impatient in today’s digital age. Many people would rather look for a product elsewhere if it saves them only a second or two.
WordPress updates need to be implemented regularly to keep your website functional. Failing to do so causes compatibility issues and problems with your plugins and user experience (UX).
Remember – your online website is your brand. And unnecessary downtime can hurt your reputation.
When it comes to website maintenance, prevention is much better than the cure. The cost of repairing a website when things go wrong is unpredictable and, quite often – expensive.
What to Consider for WordPress Website Maintenance Cost
Let’s address the elephant in the room: WordPress website maintenance cost varies highly. It depends on a host of factors, and every business case is unique.
But overall, it’s worth it for the integrity of your business and the protection of your precious website asset.
The Deciding Factors for Website Maintenance Cost
What metrics do professional website maintenance companies use to determine WordPress maintenance costs?
- Website scope and number of pages
- Complexity of maintenance, plugins, and security
- Purpose of the website
- Intended audience
- Specific business needs of the client
A humble personal blog isn’t in the same ballpark as a website owned by a multi-million dollar company. And the cost of maintenance is going to reflect that.
A company needs appropriate content for its audience and localisation for international communities. It requires a host of customised plugins – and security is a core issue.
Also, different niches and industries require different approaches. For example, WordPress maintenance for a multi-location franchise requires a much different approach to a small local service supplier.
Is Website Maintenance Really That Difficult?
While the WordPress platform is much easier for users to grasp the basics of, there are elements that are complex and need to be managed correctly. Handling maintenance in-house can be tricky, particularly for smaller business owners.
Professional web development staff are expensive to hire and keep on the payroll – and the needs of a WordPress website cover a lot of ground.
Besides security issues, outdated plugins and themes can throw a lot of errors, including WordPress’s infamous White Screen of Death.
Common mistakes that our team often sees from in-house business staff trying to manage their own website maintenance includes:
- Breaking existing custom code
- Mis-managing plugin and theme updates (and compatibility)
- Unintentionally blocking search engines
- Losing data backups (or not backing up the right files)
- Poor management of hosting and website optimisation
Remember, making mistakes in one place can harm the overall user experience. And UX is important to search engines and is a factor in your overall search engine rankings.
Estimating Website Maintenance Cost
The team at Elevate Websites understands the need for businesses and corporations to forecast ongoing expenses. With this in mind, we take the time to understand your website and your ongoing business setup and online needs.
We use this assessment to provide you with a website maintenance package specifically tailored for your company.
The best part for you is that this projection allows you to budget your expenses and ensures your business is not dealt with nasty surprise costs.
Because our packages are decided on a case-by-case basis, it’s best to contact our friendly team for an obligation-free chat and go from there.
To help us get a better picture of your requirements, it’s best to have a think about what’s important for your business:
- Are you looking for extra protection against data loss?
- Do you need general maintenance?
- Are you worried about security vulnerabilities?
- Does your business need ongoing statistics and analysis?
- Do your requirements go beyond maintenance (e.g. SEO, marketing, web development)?
Outsourcing Your Website Maintenance: A Cost-Benefit Analysis
Your WordPress website is the face of your business. For many customers and clients, it’s the first port of call when doing business with you.
Many people searching out a service or product will form a lasting impression based on the critical first seconds of a webpage visit.
And with the digital world at our fingertips, first impressions matter more than ever. Your online presence makes ripples that affect every element of your business.
Remember – the potential cost of not attending to the needs of your website can be higher than the expense of having it done. Put simply, the benefits of outsourcing outweigh the additional WordPress cost:
- You minimise downtime
- Your data are secure
- Your pages are optimised
- You need fewer expensive IT staff
- A polished user experience means a higher place in the SERPs
- You don’t need to worry about repairing a broken website
- You have more time to focus on what’s important to your business
- Updates and altered features don’t impact your business
WordPress Website Maintenance Made Easy
For more than a decade, Elevate Websites has specialised in online services for businesses in Melbourne. Our customer-focused approach provides a holistic service for every aspect of online business, from conceptualisation to ongoing maintenance.
So if you’ve been thinking about much does WordPress website maintenance cost, then have a chat with our friendly team today. We’d love to hear from you and see how we can make managing your business website easier.
Calem Koek is a web designer and owner of leading Melbourne-based digital marketing agency Elevate Websites. He has been helping businesses in Melbourne and across Australia scale their business online through quality website design and world class SEO services.