Website Maintenance Pricing: Determining Cost of Maintaining Your Website
So, you’re looking for a website maintenance company to take over the day-to-day updates and tasks? Or maybe just the bigger updates?
Either way, it’s import to find a web design company experienced in not only building websites but one that is organizationally set up to manage maintenance plans, contracts and retainers. Let’s dive in.
Do all web design companies offer website maintenance plans?
Some website design agencies offer maintenance and some don’t. The simple reason why? It can be a pain to manage. The agency must be set up to handle small tasks that require developers that are ready at all times along with account managers, office administrators to handle billing and everything that comes with running this type of service. It’s very different from a typical project. A good website maintenance services company will help you plan updates but will also be available when you need them to get the work done in a timely manner.
How does website maintenance pricing work?
Pricing can work different ways and some companies only offer one option or the other, but for the most part there are really only two main ways a contract can be handled and billed:
- Billed Hourly: When you call needing work the maintenance company will get you in the schedule and bill you for the work. Typically they will give you a ballpark estimate of how long the work will take and how much it will cost.
- Retainer: You buy a block of hours on a contract and pay $X per month for that agreement. The agency will then bill against your retainer.
Pros and cons of the different maintenance pricing models
As stated above, there are two main ways to price maintenance agreements and there are pros and cons to both of these. Let’s review these below so you can make a decision as to what’s best for your situation:
- Billed Hourly: The advantage of being billed hourly is that you don’t pay unless you need work performed. This can be a great benefit if you don’t have many updates on a regular basis. The major con to this model is that the company often isn’t sitting there waiting for your work to come and they don’t have staff on standby ready to get it done. If they are a successful company, they’ll be busy. And let’s face it, when having your website updated you want to be working with a successful company. So, with that being said, getting into the schedule can take some time. It may be a few weeks or even a month until your update can get done.
- Retainer: The benefit of a website maintenance retainer is that your hours are blocked out and set aside for the month. The staff is ready for your work and has it planned. You can then choose what you want to do with this time, whether that be small updates or a bigger one. It’s your choice and often that changes month to month depending on your businesses needs. The downside is if you don’t use the hours for some reason, usually they will disappear. Again, the website maintenance service provider had staff waiting and will need to bill for that time regardless if you use it or not. Some companies allow rollover for 30-90 days, so this is a option that you may be able to work out.
Website marketing maintenance costs
You may also want to consider a retainer for handling the marketing of your website. Often SEO services and PPC management is much more important to the success of your website than basic maintenance. While not all website design companies offer marketing services, the bigger agencies typically will. You can also check out our complied lists of the best SEO companies and the best PPC agencies to select a vendor. Remember, the overall success of your brand comes down to marketing so choose an agency that is a great fit and has a track record of delivering results.