Paying out for monthly website maintenance costs in the UK can seem a daunting prospect, but by understanding the different types of website maintenance and what they entail, business owners can budget more effectively for website upkeep. This article will provide an overview of the most common website maintenance services and their corresponding costs.
Further down you’ll see a detailed explanation and breakdown of these costs but to start, here’s a basic guide showing what you can expect to pay for website maintenance services.
Average Website Maintenance costs
Basic Website Maintenance Service
A basic website maintenance service includes all general required maintenance with different tasks ranging from daily to weekly. Below is a late 2022 to early 2023 summary of maintenance costs for a small business to keep its WordPress website cared for in the UK.
Domain, Hosting, Maintenance SERVICE, Software, security, backups, and legal policies:
£1040 – £3250 per Year
£86 – 270 per month
Extended Website Maintenance Services
Extended services can vary wildly and include a wide array of needs. Below you’ll see the average costs for good quality services for typical small businesses in the UK.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
£6000 – £36000 per year
£500 – £3000 Per month
The price will depend on the work required to meet your goals.
£250 – £6500 per month
£5500 – £35000 per year
Pricing varies considerably depending on the quantity you require and the quality of the writer(s).
Now let’s look at these costs in more detail so you can gauge your expected costs more accurately.
Domain Registration and Renewal Costs
Domain registration is the process of reserving a name for a website. Once a domain is registered, no one else can use that same domain name.
Domain names are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, which means that anyone can register a domain as long as it has not already been taken. The cost of domain registration varies depending on the extension you choose.
For example, a .co.uk domain typically costs around £10 per year, while a .com domain can cost up to £30 per year. The cost of domain registration also depends on the length of time you wish to register the domain for.
Generally speaking, the longer you register a domain for, the cheaper it will be. You can usually register a domain for 1-5 years in advance.
Some web hosting providers include free domain registration with their hosting packages but (for reasons that are a little complicated for this article) we advise that you ALWAYS use a different company for your domain name and website hosting.
Domain renewal is the process of renewing your claim to your domain name for an additional period of time. Your domain can be renewed each year, or, in the UK, domain names can often be renewed for up to 10 years at a time. The costs for renewal are usually the same as the initial cost of domain registration.
What about Premium Domains?
A premium domain is a Domain Name that has a higher value than other Domain Names because of its desirability or marketplace demand. Premium domains are typically more short, memorable, easy to spell, and more popular than other domain Names.
Many businesses are willing to pay a high price for a premium domain because it can help them get more visitors to their website and increase their brand awareness. For example, a business that sells insurance might want to buy the domain “insurance.com” so that people who search for “insurance” will be more likely to find their website.
The cost of a premium domain can vary widely, depending on factors such as the length of the domain, the popularity of the keywords, and the overall market demand.
Premium domains can cost anywhere from £100 upwards with almost no limit. For example, the domain sex.com was sold for $13 million in 2010. Generally speaking, the longer a domain has been registered, the more valuable it is. This is due to the fact that it takes time to build up a reputation and establish a strong web presence.
For this reason, it is often best to purchase premium domains that have been registered for several years.
Website Hosting Costs
What is website hosting and how does it work?
Before a website can go live on the internet, it needs to be stored on a server. This is where a website hosting provider comes in. Website hosting providers offer space on their servers for customers to store their websites. The domain name is linked to those files.
When someone types in a web address (the domain name), they are directed to the server that contains the website files. Website hosting is a critical service for anyone who wants to have a presence on the internet. Without it, websites would not be able to function.
What type of hosting do I need?
With prices ranging from £5 – £200+ per month, you might be wondering what the difference is and what type of hosting you need.
When it comes to hosting, there are three main types: shared, dedicated, and VPS (virtual private server). Shared hosting is the most affordable option, but it also comes with some drawbacks. Because your site will be sharing the server’s resources with other sites on the same server, it can be slow and unreliable.
Dedicated hosting is more expensive, but it gives you your own server and resources, so your site will be faster and more reliable.
VPS hosting is somewhere in between, offering more resources than shared hosting but not as many as dedicated hosting.
So what type of hosting do you need? It depends on your budget and your website’s requirements. In many cases, assuming your website isn’t huge and you don’t have a high volume of traffic (less than 25k visitors per month) then shared hosting is likely to be sufficient BUT ONLY if you select a good one.
Many providers offer web hosting for £5 – £10 per month or even less but you have to ask yourself how they make any money on this! We would never advise using a very cheap web host as you will (at some point) regret that decision.
Generally, it’s wise to avoid any web hosts that are part of the EIG group (a large corporate entity that buys up smaller hosting companies, cuts costs and strips them back until they all offer the same poor service, just under different names).
Here is a list of EIG-owned web hosts.
- Arvixe LLC
- A Small Orange
- Constant Contact
- Escalate Internet
- Garin IT Solutions Co.
- Garin Technologies
- HostV VPS
- Intuit Websites
- IX Web Hosting
- Networks Web Hosting
- SEO Gears
- SEO Hosting
- SEO Web Hosting
- Southeast Web
- SuperGreen Hosting
- Unified Layer
- Webzai Ltd.
- Webstrike Solutions
Good shared hosting can be found for £35 – £50 per month or £400 – £600 per year. If your website is built on WordPress (WordPress powers around 40% of all websites on the internet and we use it to build all of our client’s websites) then we highly recommend using “Managed WordPress hosting”. Here are 3 good web hosts that offer shared hosting for WordPress:
If you have a very large website or high volume of traffic OR you are likely to see significant traffic spikes (for example during an advertising campaign or seasonal sale) then you may require VPS or dedicated hosting. If this is the case, it’s best to talk to your web developer to see what they recommend for your specific needs.
What is managed WordPress hosting?
WordPress is an extremely popular site-building and content-management system. In fact, it is by far the most popular in the world. It powers over 40% of the internet!
Although it is possible to host a WordPress site on a shared hosting plan, many users opt for managed WordPress hosting. With this type of hosting, your WordPress site is hosted on a server that is specifically configured for WordPress.
This can provide a number of benefits, including improved performance, security, and support. In addition, many managed WordPress hosts offer additional features, such as WordPress-specific caching. As a result, managed WordPress hosting can be a great option for those who want to get the most out of their WordPress site.
How much does website hosting cost in the UK?
Shared Managed Website Hosting
For a good-quality managed WordPress hosting service you should expect to pay around £35 – £50 per month.
VPS Website Hosting
In the UK, VPS website hosting typically costs between £20 and £60 per month. However, the exact price will depend on the features and resources you need, as well as the number of users you have. VPS hosting can offer better hardware at a lower cost. The downside is often that you have to manage and configure this manually. Unlike Managed WordPress hosting, this isn’t always done for you.
Dedicated Website Hosting
Dedicated website hosting in the UK can cost anywhere from £50 to £200+ per month, depending on the features and level of support you need. If you have a high-traffic website or one with complex security requirements, you’ll need to invest in a more expensive managed hosting solution. Dedicated server hosting is the most expensive option, but it offers the best performance and security.
If you’re not sure which type of hosting is right for you, talk to a web development professional who can assess your needs and recommend a suitable solution.
Basic Website Maintenance Costs
What does basic website maintenance cost?
Basic website maintenance usually refers to the regular tasks needed to keep a website up and running. This can include everything from ensuring that all the links are working to keeping the software and plugins up to date.
For most small businesses, it’s advisable to outsource website maintenance to a professional who can take care of all the technical details. By doing this you’ll know it’s in good hands but also, you’ll usually benefit from having support on hand when you need it.
If you don’t keep up with basic website maintenance you run the risk of numerous problems including anything from a slow site to visual issues, and even being hacked. By taking care of your website, you can ensure that it will continue to run smoothly and serve your customers for years to come.
How often do websites need maintenance?
WordPress websites need regular maintenance to stay secure and function properly. Depending on the size and complexity of your site, you may need to perform maintenance tasks as often as daily or as seldom as monthly. However, most WordPress sites can get by with weekly maintenance. As a rule of thumb we suggest the following maintenance schedule:
DAILY – Website Backups
This is perhaps the most important maintenance task, as it ensures that you can restore your site if something goes wrong.
WEEKLY – Update WordPress and plugins
Keeping WordPress and your plugins up to date is crucial for security and stability. Each new version of WordPress includes security enhancements and bug fixes that can keep your site safe from attack and prevent problems from cropping up.
Monthly – Speed Optimisation
Website speed is important for a number of reasons. It affects how long it takes for your pages to load, which can impact user experience, conversion rates, and even search engine ranking. As a result, it’s important to regularly check your website speed and look for ways to improve it. In general, you should aim to check your website speed at least once a month, and more frequently if you’re making changes to your site that could impact its performance.
MONTHLY – Onsite SEO Optimisation
Any good SEO campaign should start with a solid foundation of on-page optimisation. This means ensuring that each page on your website is properly configured to be as search engine friendly as possible. While there is no magic number for how often you should check your on-page optimization, a good rule of thumb is to perform a check at least once per month.
This will help you to catch any potential issues early and ensure that your site remains in good standing with the search engines. In addition, it’s a good idea to run a check anytime you make changes to your website, such as adding new content or altering your site’s design.
By keeping an eye on your on-page optimization, you can help to ensure that your website continues to perform well in the search engines.
What should be included in a website maintenance package?
There are a few key things that should always be included in a WordPress package. First and foremost, your WordPress site should be backed up on a regular basis. This way, if anything goes wrong, you can always restore your site to a previous version.
Additionally, your WordPress site should be kept up to date with the latest version of the software. New versions of WordPress and plugins are released regularly and often include security updates and new features. By keeping your site up to date, you can help to protect it from hackers and ensure that it is always running smoothly.
The above is the bare minimum that any WordPress maintenance package should contain. But that’s not necessarily what you should settle for. For example, our minimum website care plan includes all the following…
- Website Security
- All Software Updates
- Daily Offsite Backups
- On-going Software Costs*
- Legal Policies (Iubenda)
- Simple SSL Certificate
- Monthly Performance Report
- Priority Support
- Speed Optimisation
- On-Page SEO Optimisation
- Discounted Hourly Rate
- Website Recovery Service
*pre-agreed software only.
How much does WordPress Website Maintenance cost in the UK?
WordPress website maintenance cost in the UK varies depending on the size and complexity of your website, as well as the level of support you need. But, for a small website with standard requirements, you can find some good website maintenance packages from around £50 per month. For a larger website with more complex features or to have marketing assistance bundled in, you can expect to pay between £200 and £1000 per month.
Software Licensing (WordPress plugins and extensions) Costs
What are plugins and extensions?
WordPress plugins and extensions are tools that help you extend the functionality of your WordPress site. There are plugins for everything from social media integration to security to e-commerce. Extensions, on the other hand, are add-ons that improve the usability of WordPress. They can do things like add new features to the editor or help you manage your website more effectively.
While some plugins and extensions are available for free, others must be purchased and have the license renewed on an annual basis. This may sound like a bad thing but it’s often preferred as a profitable plugin is far more likely to be well-maintained and error-free.
What paid plugins does my website need?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to deciding which plugins you require for your website as it will depend on the purpose and functionality you require. However, there are a number of plugins that we recommend and include use with most of the websites that we build.
Elementor Pro: Cost = £45 – £180 per year
A WordPress site-building tool. If building a new website, this is usually the preferred option unless that client has very specific needs.
SEOPress Pro: Cost = £45 per year
SEOPress is a powerful WordPress plugin that helps to optimise a site for search engine visibility. It includes built-in support for Google Analytics, so you can track your SEO progress over time. It also offers a wide range of customisation options, so the plugin can be tailored to suit your unique needs.
Perfmatters: £20 per year
The Perfmatters plugin is a WordPress performance plugin that helps you speed up your website. It was created by web performance experts to make your site faster and more responsive. The Perfmatters plugin has a number of features that help improve website speed, including asset management, caching, and minification.
It also allows granular control of which page each script should run on. In short, it works alongside caching software to speed up your website and provide a better experience for visitors and search engines. These benefits can lead to improved rankings and therefore more traffic.
Cost For Legal Policies
What legal policies does my website need?
Can I use free legal policy templates?
Many people are unsure whether they should use free legal policy templates or hire a lawyer to draft their documents. There are pros and cons to both approaches. One advantage of using a template is that it can save you time and money.
However, it is important to make sure that the template you choose is from a reputable source and that it is appropriate for your needs. Otherwise, you could end up with a document that does not protect your interests or that contains errors. Another consideration is that you will need to invest time in learning how to use the template and customizing it for your specific situation. If you decide to hire a lawyer, you can be confident that your documents will be well-crafted and tailored to your needs. But, this option can be more expensive.
Here at WDM we favour a solution that falls somewhere between the 2 above options.
All of our website care plans include legal policies from Iubenda. The reason for this is that it can help save time and money by automating the process of creating and maintaining your policies. They are not hand-crafted by a lawyer but are far more specific than a free template and provide some guarantees should your policies actually come into play. Iubenda can help you protect your brand by ensuring that your policies are always up-to-date and compliant with the latest laws and regulations.
How much do website policies cost?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Costs
The cost of SEO can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size and scope of your project, the competition for keywords, and the audience location(s) of the audience you’re targeting. SEO encompasses many (often hundreds of) tasks. You’ll need a service that covers both on-site and off-site improvements unless you plan on buying them separately.
Onsite SEO refers to content, internal linking, and technical improvements. Offsite SEO is all about getting high-quality backlinks from relevant sources and high-authority, trustworthy websites.
For a good quality SEO package, you should expect to pay between £500 and £2000 per month. You should also be aware that it’s a long-term play and whilst it can be extremely rewarding, it’s likely to take 3-6 months before you begin to see results.
Content and Copywriting Costs
Good copywriting and regular content on your website is essential. If you want your website to rank well on search engines, make sure your content is high quality and provides value to the reader. When selecting a writer, you’ll of course want one that can craft copy in a way that fits in with your brand, but you’ll also need a content creator who has added SEO to their skill set.
If you’re wondering if it’s worth spending the time and effort on adding regular content to your site (i.e.. blogging) then you may be interested in knowing that companies that blog get 97% more links to their websites. Those additional links provide the trust and authority that Google and other search engines love. This in turn provides you with extra traffic and therefore more leads and/or sales.
How much does a copywriter cost per month?
As with many of the services we’ve discussed in this article, writing is no exception in that prices will vary considerably. Factors include the experience and reputation of the writer, the length of the content you require, how much research is required to write your content, and how regularly you require it.
But let’s try to quantify with a couple of examples. Ideally, we recommend adding at least 1 piece of content to your website per week (at least your website reaches a level you’re happy with). That’s 4-5 articles per month (4.3 to be precise). This may be a little too much for a small business with a tight budget, so let’s go to the bare minimum. In our opinion, that’s 1 article of around 1500 words (and optimised for your target keywords) every 2 weeks. By using a professional but not-too-expensive writer, you will expect to pay around £125 per article. So that’s £250 per month.
At the other end of the scale, if your business has the budget to really get your site moving and is aiming for fast, solid growth then you may require at least 5 well-written articles per week. This will cost upwards of £5500 per month depending on the factors already mentioned above.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. It’s about what makes sense for your business. In general, if asked, we tend to advise that you start with a £500 per month budget for regular content. This allows for roughly 1 article per week and is enough to gradually show search engines that you always have valuable content and there’s always a new reason to visit.
NOTE: It really is important to note that whilst content should be written first and foremost for the website visitor, it should also be written as part of an overall SEO strategy. This is why content creation and SEO really go hand-in-hand when investing in your website.
Now you’ve seen what goes into website maintenance from a technical and a promotional perspective (excluding social media and Paid advertising but that’s a topic for another day). If you want to beat the competition and ensure your website provides a return on investment then it needs to be carefully and continually crafted and cultivated.
So, after all that, how much do you think those monthly costs add up to? Well, taking an average sweep across the board here’s the average website maintenance cost including SEO and regular content for a website owned by a small business.
Low-end cost = £840 per month
High-end cost = £9770 per month
That’s obviously quite a big difference and that’s because a small business can mean anything from 1-person startups making a few hundred pounds per month to multiple employees and a multi-million-pound turnover.
If you’re still none-the-wiser about how much you should be investing to secure the future success of your website then perhaps this will help. Most of our clients are businesses with less than £1 million pound turnover but more than £50k (or at least plan to be if starting up).
If you fall in this bracket and are ready to invest in your website then we’d suggest starting with a budget of around £1500 per month. This will ensure that your website is well-maintained with regular content and a steady supply of good-quality backlinks.