calculating website monthly fees

Quick – what are you paying every year for your website? If you had to multiply by twelve to calculate the annual cost of a monthly website fee, you may be getting ripped off. The only legitimate ongoing fees you should be paying for your website are for your domain name (about $10/year) and hosting (about $100/year). When you were evaluating website costs, it may have sounded like a fantastic deal to sign up for a mere $100 per month, but what does that cost equate to over the life of the website? Often it is as much as $3000-4000 in a few short years (most firms will hang onto a new website for at least 2 years).

Monthly website fees might seem attractive by their low number, but they are often the undercoating of websites – the useless fee a salesperson convinces you is necessary. Many companies take advantage of the lack of knowledge of these fees and what appears to be a low rate. By the time many firms realize they are overpaying they are often locked into a lengthy contract.

There are a lot of reasons you might have been told you need to pay monthly fees for you’re here’s what you should and should not pay for.

  • Hosting: $100/year Your hosting fees should be annual, not monthly, and should not be more than about $100/year. There is almost never any reason to pay more.
  • Domain Name: $10/year Same as your hosting fee, this should be an annual cost. While you are double checking, make sure you are the legal owner of your domain name.
  • Search Engine Submission: $0 You can do this yourself, and once your site has been submitted you do not need to keep resubmitting. Search engines don’t forget about your site each month.
  • Maintenance: This depends on your level of technical expertise. Some people don’t need any help and can do everything they need on their own. Most firms need a little assistance either to consistently add content, check for updates, or offer technical support.
  • Content Development: You should be doing this yourself, as well. However not everyone has the time. If you decide to use a content developer to help write articles or content for your website be sure to define the amount and quality of the content. Many copy writing firms outsource their work and the quality is horrible and clearly sounds like English is not their first language. Maybe you should not have a blog, but just a news section instead.
  • Social Media: You should also be doing this yourself – if you hire someone to post on Facebook and Twitter for you, it will not sound authentic.

Before you get tied up into ridiculous monthly fees, review the list above and read your contract closely. Too many companies rely on recurring fees because they know you will be too busy to cancel.

(photo: Flickr 401(K) 2013)