How much does it cost to have a website per month?
Having a website is the first step to creating your online presence and reaching customers. However, if you are on a budget, having a website might not be affordable at the moment.
Having an active website costs money and it can become quite expensive if you plan to keep it updated and add new features every now and then. That said, there are simply no free websites out there that don’t require you to spend any money after the initial set up cost. You will have to pay upfront or go with a monthly subscription model, but how much does it cost?
There are different types of websites (e.g., blog vs e-commerce), different hosting options (e.g., managed vs un-managed VPS), different CMS solutions (e.g., WordPress vs Squarespace), etc. Hence, it’s hard to answer this question broadly without knowing more details about your business needs and budget constraints.
Monthly Costs of a Website
Firstly, know that the type of website you choose will determine the necessary monthly expenses. The more custom features you want on your website, the more it will cost you to build and maintain it.
For example, a basic WordPress blog website will cost you less than a custom-built Shopify e-commerce website. However, most of the monthly expenses you will incur when running a website are not directly tied to the choice of CMS or type of website you choose.
There are two core monthly expenses that almost all businesses will have to incur when running an online presence: a) hosting and b) website maintenance (e.g., content creation, marketing).
The hosting price is one of the main expenses you’ll have to take into account when calculating the cost of having a website. Hosting is the service that allows your website to be live on the Internet. It also stores your website’s content and makes it accessible to visitors through their internet browser.
There are two hosting options to choose between: a managed VPS hosting and a self-managed VPS hosting. VPS hosting is recommended if you plan to have a large website with high traffic. It is more scalable, has better performance, and comes with better support.
A basic VPS hosting starts at around $50–$100 per month. If you want to go with a managed VPS hosting, expect to spend around $100–$250 per month.
Managed WordPress Hosting
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. It is used to build millions of websites, including many large blogs and eCommerce websites. Managed WordPress hosting is remotely hosted WordPress hosting. It’s like renting server infrastructure from a hosting provider, but the provider takes care of the server management and maintenance.
With managed WordPress hosting, you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of running a website anymore. You can simply focus on creating and marketing your content. However, don’t expect WordPress hosting to be cheap. You can find many providers that offer a managed WordPress hosting starting at $50 per month. But, that’s pretty basic, so don’t expect great performance and scalability.
Freemium WordPress Hosting
Freemium hosts are often confused with managed WordPress hosting providers. You can find many “managed” WordPress hosts that actually offer a free plan. A free plan basically means you can use their service for free for a certain amount of time. When the free plan is over, you have to start paying for their service.
Freemium WordPress hosting is a self-managed hosting, which means that you will have to do the server management and maintenance on your own. You will get access to a dashboard where you can install your WordPress website. But, unlike managed WordPress hosting, you will have to configure the server and other settings manually.
E-Commerce Web Development
Having an eCommerce website (e.g., Shopify or WooCommerce) can become an expensive and time-consuming project. However, if your business doesn’t sell physical goods, an eCommerce website might not be necessary.
Keep in mind that eCommerce websites aren’t just regular websites. They require different functionalities and design elements. ECommerce websites are generally backed by a database and are more scalable than static websites.
Having an eCommerce website can cost you roughly between $2000–$5000. However, it might cost you even more, depending on the features you require, such as custom design and development, payment integrations, etc.
Having a website is perhaps the most important factor in building an online presence. However, having a website does not come cheap. Depending on the needs, the type of website, the hosting option, the CMS, the eCommerce solution, and the level of customization, a website can cost you anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month.
If you are on an extremely tight budget, you will have to go with a basic blog website or a free WordPress hosting. Alternatively, you can look for freelancers who might be able to build a simple website for a lower price.
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