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Budgeting for Website Updates and Upgrades

Website Budgeting

When you have a website for your company, it's important to set a budget for it so that you know how much it will cost you every year. Besides budgeting for website hosting, you should also set a budget for updates to the website as well as upgrades to the software that your website runs on - be it WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Dot Net Nuke or other software.

How Much Should I Budget for Website Upgrades?

Website upgrades, like we just mentioned, are upgrades to the software running on your website. Most websites today run on content management systems, shopping carts or other kinds of software. It runs on scripts that "execute" (or "run") which means something happens - it accesses a database or does some calculations or something like that - versus just serve up a page of content from a static page. Just like upgrading software on your computer, your website software needs patches and upgrades applied as well. If you don't do this, you website could get compromised since patches and upgrades very often plug holes that are found.

No software is secure, so if you want your customers to view your website correctly, these upgrades must be done.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to budgeting is to set somewhere between 10-15% of the cost of your website aside for upgrades.

For example, if you have a website that originally was $20,000 to develop, then you're looking at $2000 to $3000 per year for updates and patches. Or if your website was $5000, then $500 to $750 might cover it. A safe minimum would be $1000 per year.

How Much Should I Budget for Website Updates?

Updating your website (or what we refer to as website maintenance) is another story. The cost to make changes to your website will depend on a few variables:

  • How often do you need updates done?
  • How much content are you changing or adding each time?
  • Do you have someone at your office that can do these updates?

Our best rate for website maintenance is around $43 per half hour (per Maintenance Block). We see some clients spend 6 hours (12 blocks) and others spend a few hundred blocks on maintenance.

One update per week: It's good to update your website at least once a week. If you used 1 block per week, then you'd spend 52 blocks a year on your website, which would be a 48-pack and a 6-pack:

  • 48-pack of website Maintenance Blocks (24 hours): $1794.00
  • 6-pack of website Maintenance Blocks (3 hours): $293.25

The total, then, would be $2087.25 for the year. That's a good number to budget if you do want to update your website once a week.

Twice a month updates: If you want to update your website twice a month, then you're looking at 48 blocks (24 hours) of Maintenance Blocks:

  • 48-pack of website Maintenance Blocks (24 hours): $1794.00

Once a month updates: If you want to update your website once a month, then you would need 24 blocks (12 hours):

  • 24-pack of website Maintenance Blocks (12 hours): $966.00

Note: These are just examples of what some website update work might cost. Again, the final costs will depend on what you're updating and how much time each update will take.

Conclusion

Your website is a vital tool for your business. It's the first impression people get of your business because the Internet and World Wide Web is so accessible today. People have Internet access at work, at home and on their phones and mobile devices. You can get access in your car and now even on airplanes. Making sure your website is available and updated is crucial. You need to budget and plan for your website to be maintained throughout the year if you want it to be a success.

If you have any questions about this topic, please contact Webstix today.

-Tony

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