What are Website Running Costs?

Website Running Costs refer to the sum of money that you must pay in order to keep your website online. The running costs of your website depend on a number of factors. I set all of my clients up to pay running costs directly to the website hosting company. This gives you an advantage in having direct ownership, control and transparency over your ongoing costs. Unlike other web designers, I do not believe you should pay me as a middle-man to do this for you.


Why do I need to pay for this?

Your website is stored on a server. This is a computer that stores the files and content (text, images) that your website visitors see. This essential service must be reliable and meet to numerous security standards. This is provided at a cost to you. You will need to pay for hosting, your domain name and possibly other service costs to keep your website online.


What determines the running costs?

This depends on the specifics and features of your website. The website I build for you will cost for the following elements: hosting, domain and optional features. It is impossible to give even a rough estimate here without knowing a bit about your needs. Various factors can affect the annual fees required. Furthermore, the costs can increase and decrease based on other factors.

The traffic and amount of content on your website determines which level of hosting you need to pay for. This is important to avoid a website that is slow and unreliable and risks delivering a poor experience to your visitors.

Your domain name – that’s your websites address – also varies in how much it will cost to own each year. Popular and more sought after names, phrases or acronyms will cost more than more obscure alternatives. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand influencing how much the value of your domain is worth. It depends how much you’re willing to pay to have the most convenient domain available. 

Other contributing factors to your website running costs may be due to features built into your website. Plugins running features such as a booking system in some cases may require an annual subscription. This will be a reasonable and competitive figure, but will contribute to your overall annual fees.


What can I expect to pay if I opt for a website?

We will discuss the specific features and needs of your website, which will enable me to estimate your running costs. You will know exactly how much you can expect to pay annually from this point. Rest assured knowing that I will aim to deliver your website with the lowest cost and relevant features only. Remember, unlike other developers I leave the paying of these fees entirely to you. This direct approach means you don’t pay me a fee each year. It also gives you full transparency over the cost to your business each year.

Following our Initial Consultation, I will be able to take note of your specific needs and calculate your running costs. You’ll know this before committing or paying the first deposit payment for your website. You will know all the important figures before making any commitment to a website project. 


When do my running costs start? 

Your first requirement to pay your websites annual running cost will come approximately one year from the start of work. You don’t pay any running cost fees for the first year (they are included within my Fixed Pricing). Typically, you can expect to pay every 12 months directly to the hosting company for your website.


How do I pay for my websites running costs?

Upon the Handover phase of our project, when I receive final payment for your website and the details move from me to you, a key stage will be ensuring that your payment details such as a credit or debit card, or company card are on file with the hosting company and everything is in your (or your businesses) name. This ensures you have full control and legal ownership and responsibility for your website going forward. The hosting company will automatically charge every 12 months for your website to stay online. That is unless you decide to cancel or stop your payment. 


What happens if I don’t pay?

If you forget to pay, or if your payment details become invalid (due to having a new card issued, for example) or if you decide to remove your payment details from your account with the website hosting company then you will pass a deadline and your websites hosting will cease to operate. The web hosting company will email you to inform you of this date approaching, but once passed your website will go offline meaning that visitors cannot access it. You will need to pay the hosting fees to have it reinstated, which should be an instantaneous process. Most hosting companies will offer time before removing your data from their servers and totally terminating your services, though it is best to avoid this by preparing for renewal fees and noting it in your cash flow. 

If you encounter a situation like this and would like me to help you get it sorted, please get in touch


Who is the hosting company?

As of 2021 and the beginning of my freelance operations, I am using SiteGround.com to host all of my client websites including my own. This is because it offers competitive packages and low running costs for my clients and has a great reputation for customer satisfaction, reliability and security. You can check out this link to explore SiteGround.com’s policies, frequently asked questions and to get in touch with its people to get answers to any question you have.