The Recurring Costs to Keep In Mind When Running Business Website
Setting up a website can seem cheap to start with, with many companies offering all-in bundles covering domain, hosting, backups, and privacy protection. Still, those recurring business costs can surprise you after the initial year.
So if you’re thinking of starting a business website or are already running one, then keep in mind what it takes to do that successfully and within budget.
We start at the basics and work our way up to the more advanced features of running your site to give you an overview of what’s in store.
- Website Domain
- Privacy Protection
- SSL Certificates
- Web Hosting
- Online Backup Services
- Content Delivery Network
- SEO Software & Tools
- Email Marketing Software
- Content Writers
- Marketing & Advertising
- Web Designer / Agency
We start at the beginning, where all websites start, with the domain name. The easy-to-remember name used to promote your online store, blog, web app, or a business directory on or offline.
The first time you register a domain name, you’ll often get a cheaper rate than you do when it comes to the annual renewal, which can often double or triple in price. This price increase is why it’s best to shop around for good deals and look at the annual renewal costs when you first purchase your domain.
Many domain registrars provide deals for renewing for multiple years. Sometimes, it can be beneficial to use the domain transfer services to move your domain to a new registrar to keep your future renewals lower.
- Free Privacy Protection
- Domain Marketplace for Premium Domains
- Cheap domain prices
- Free domain transfers
Some ICANN accredited companies come with built-in privacy protection for free when you register a domain and when renewing, like what you get with Namecheap domain hosting.
However, if you’ve chosen a registrar where you have to pay for protection or have increased the type of protection they offer, you will have to add this to your list of costs.
Unlike domain names, the privacy protection fee will be close to what you paid in the first place.
To run a secure website via the https:// protocol rather than http://, you will have to buy an SSL certificate.
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, which essentially encrypts the data flowing from your website to the person’s computer accessing it, helping protect it from common malicious attacks.
SSL is a service that is often built-in in into hosting packages. You’ll be able to renew your domain, or if you’re more tech-savvy, upload the files to your server and set up your domain redirects as necessary.
Like domains, you can often buy multiple years at a discounted price. Buying for more than one year reduces your business costs in the long run. Expect to pay between £$7 and £$20 per year, depending on the type of SSL Certificate you choose.
To complete the basics of website setups, you’ll need to continue to pay for somewhere to host your website or websites.
We’re not going to get into the different types of web hosting cause there are many, all with advantages and disadvantages, some for personal, small, medium, and enterprise hosting packages.
What you will need to decide is whether to stick with a cheap web hosting package or upgrade to a better package that can cope with more traffic.
Website hosting is an important decision to make and can be one of the more expensive costs of running a website online, so be sure to choose wisely.
- Plans from £2.99*
- Enjoy Unmetered Traffic
- Free CDN, Free SSL, + Daily Backups
- Choose from Shared, Wordpress, WooCommerce & Cloud Hosting
We can’t promote using a backup service enough. There’s nothing worse than getting your website fine-tuned only for the server to crash and you lose everything.
Whether it’s small or large, a business should ensure that they have backups enabled. Backups help to mitigate downtime and potentially business-ending disasters.
Backups are usually tied into your hosting plan, which for an additional price, can be set up for frequent backups, whether that’s hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly depending on how frequently you update your site.
Once set up, they’ll run automatically in the background, ready to be used if anything fails.
If set up via your hosting, the cost of backups is usually added to your monthly hosting fees.
CDN – Content Delivery Networks
The speed of your website is more important than ever when it comes to increasing your SEO rankings and improving your user experience. To do that, it helps to have a fast hosting provider and use a Content Delivery Network.
One of the most popular CDNs Cloudflare not only offer a free version, but also paid packages which not only distribute your site across their network of powerful servers across the globe but also have built-in protection against DDoS attacks.
CDNs help to get your content to your customers quicker. You’ll often get the ability to pick and pay for areas of the world that your customers are coming from to improve your site where you need it. Using good content delivery network companies is a must-have if you’re looking to get the most out of your website.
- Free package available
- Easy to use user interface
- Affordable price plans
- Unlimited bandwidth
SEO Software / Services
Investing in SEO services or tools can help boost your rankings in SERPs and get more eyes on your website.
Some markets are more competitive than others and are harder to rank for no matter how much effort you’ve put in. Search engines are notoriously frustrating, updating their algorithms on a whim, promoting or tanking your content from one day to the next.
Finding the right SEO agency can help with that offering to help write SEO-rich content for your site and look to see that your site is technically efficient. Be careful, though. Some SEO agencies promise the world but under-deliver, taking your hard-earned cash. Yes, I’ve been burned in the past.
If you’re more of a do it yourself kind of person, then some of the best SEO tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Moz Pro all give you access to the tools to perform backlink, competitor and website analyses but at a costly price often over $190 per month for the cheapest packages.
- Keyword domain & backlinks analytics
- Create reports
- Track mobile rankings
- Keyword tracking & more
Email Marketing Software / Services
Keeping your clients and email subscribers up to date with the latest offers, promotions, and products you offer is key to brand loyalty and an increase in sales.
Even though you can get free email clients, it often pays to upgrade to a paid account to access the more advanced features helping take your email marketing to the next level. Many paid email platforms like Aweber include auto-responders for new subscribers as well as higher send limits, sending automation for higher open rates, and custom branding.
Depending on the level of service you need, the price can vary, but prepare to pay a monthly fee of between £$10 and £$200+ for small to medium packages.
Check out a few of our top email marketing tips to help get more success out of your email campaigns.
- Drag and drop to create visually great emails
- Automate your emails to save time
- Segment & tag your audience
- More than just email marketing available
You might start getting to know your business better by writing all the content yourself. However, this can often soak up time that can be used more effectively elsewhere, like marketing, to grow your business.
Finding and hiring a good Content Writer to help you write the content for your website and promotional material can dramatically reduce your load, especially if you’re a content-driven website.
Of course, finding a content writer who writes well, has SEO experience, keeps to time scales, and your briefs is easier said than done but expect to pay anywhere from £$40 – £$100 per piece, depending on size. An added cost that can ramp up your website running costs greatly but could bring you more money in sales.
Online Marketing and Advertising
There’s no point running a website if no one is going to be able to find it.
Using SEO software to boost your on-site SEO is all well and good. It helps you try and climb the search engine rankings, but you’ll need to do this alongside a good marketing and advertising campaign to maximize your business or website’s exposure.
Depending on your market, paying for Adverts on popular search engines, social media platforms, or elsewhere can be cost-effective to get more eyes on your site.
You will have to test out different online marketing platforms to see which gets a better response and will soak up cash each month, as it can take a while to see the results.
A cost that you can expect to pay hundreds or even thousands for a successful marketing campaign.
Web Designer / Agency
How hands-on you are with keeping your website updated will determine how much it costs to date.
Many common website platforms let you quickly update to the latest version from a click of a button, but you might need a webs designer or developer’s intervention on custom areas and projects.
Keeping your website up to date with the latest software versions, plugins, products, images, and content are all things to keep in mind when running your site.
Developers and agencies don’t come cheap, so be sure to leave room in your budget for any changes you might need to make.
Running a website might start cheap but as you grow and expand, outsourcing key areas is when the costs quickly ramp up.
Hopefully, as they do, you are earning more than the costs, which become a background necessity in helping you reach your goals and earning potential.
Be sure to pick the essential business tools you need to get started, use free trials to test them out, and look at the finer details on renewal costs as not to get stung with big bills in the future.