What are your ongoing website costs

What are your ongoing website costs

So your website is now live – what are your ongoing website costs?  What should I be looking out for?

From a technical perspective, you’ve got domain name, hosting and maintenance costs to consider and you might also be paying for an external email service.  Then you potentially have third party and infrastructure costs such as plugins, SEO, content creation, copywriting, image licensing etc.

Hosting for some people can be a bit of a dilemma but it’s true that you do get what you pay for.  Servers that are managed in data centres are likely to be quicker, with newer equipment and are managed by actual humans.  They will also have backup and redundancy servers in the event that anything happens which ensure continuity of service.

You might not need top of the range hosting, but consider how business critical your website is when choosing your hosting provider.

In terms of domain names, these will need renewing, usually annually, so make sure to note when the renewal is due as retrieving an expired domain name can be a bit of a pain.  Similarly, be sure to store your domain name provider and login details in a safe place – so that when your renewal is due, the details are easy to find.  

The same goes for your email service – make sure you store the details centrally and not with a particular person (as if they leave your business, you, and your emails – are stuck!).  You may also need to consider how and where you are going to store them and for how long eg. if there is a legal requirement.  Consider this when choosing your email provider, as cloud storage is often limited and usually not free.  For many businesses however, one of the webmail or workspace packages are generally enough and allow you to link email addresses to your domain name.

Many companies are happy maintaining and backing-up their website themselves. Some content management systems are easier to update than others, such as market leader WordPress,  But for more complex or e-commerce sites, where there is the possibility for more to go wrong, monthly website maintenance is often the best (and most face safe option).  

In the previous episode of our podcast, we focused on SEO and what you can do for yourself versus what you might wish to consider employing a digital marketing specialist to do for you.  Here’s our 30 second read on that topic.

Next is content – content is king.  It can be free and it can be very expensive, depending upon whether you source free images or choose to buy or shoot your own.  Make sure – if you are using free images, that it is free of copyright and/or license.  Copyright infringement is now much more traceable online.  The same can be said for written content – you can pay a copywriter or content manager or you can write it yourself.  We normally recommend to clients to use a balance – a professional could actually save you time and money as well as uncovering awesome content in nuggets that you might not have considered.

If you’re writing your own content, get into a routine and stick to it.  Set aside and diarise time – and use a content calendar to plan your topics in advance.  We’ll be sharing more tips on content management in future episodes of our podcast, so stay tuned in.  Check back on our website for more of our 30 Second Reads – we aim to cover the topics of our podcast in a quick, easy to read reference guide with all of our top tips (which you can also find on our YouTube channel).