The Cost of Maintaining Your Website

Your website is your digital storefront, and it plays a crucial role in attracting, engaging, and retaining visitors.

Similar to the regular maintenance needed for your car, your website also demands attention and investment to ensure it operates at its best.

The Breakdown of Costs

Let’s break down the various costs associated with maintaining a website–from domain names, hosting, and SSL certificates to regular updates and more.

Your Domain Name

This is your online identity. A domain name serves as your unique online address, making it easy for people to find and remember your website. It’s like the digital equivalent of a physical address.

The cost of a domain name can vary widely based on several factors, including the domain extension (TLD – Top-Level Domain), the registrar you choose, the popularity of the domain name, and any additional services you may want to bundle with the domain, such as privacy protection or website hosting. Here’s a general overview:

Standard TLDs: Common domain extensions like .com, .net, and .org typically cost anywhere from $10 to $50 per year, depending on the registrar and any ongoing promotions they may have.

Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs): These are specific to individual countries, such as .uk (United Kingdom), .ca (Canada), or .de (Germany). The cost can vary, but it’s usually in a similar price range as standard TLDs.

Premium Domains: Some domain names are considered premium because they are short, memorable, or consist of common keywords. Premium domains can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, or sometimes even more, depending on their perceived value.

New TLDs: With the introduction of new domain extensions like .app, .blog, .guru, and many more, the pricing can vary. Some of these new TLDs may have higher initial registration fees.

Renewal Fees: Keep in mind that domain registration is usually an annual cost. You’ll need to renew your domain each year to keep it active, and the renewal cost is often similar to the initial registration cost.

There are several reputable domain registrars where you can search for and register a domain name, even if you don’t have a website yet. Here are some popular options:

• GoDaddy: One of the largest and most well-known domain registrars. They offer a wide range of domain extensions and often have promotional deals for the first year of registration.

• Namecheap: Known for its competitive pricing, Namecheap provides straightforward domain registration services along with optional add-ons like privacy protection.

• Google Domains: Google’s domain registration service is user-friendly and offers transparent pricing. It also includes features like free privacy protection.

• Bluehost: While primarily known for hosting, Bluehost also offers domain registration services. This can be convenient if you plan to use Bluehost as your hosting provider in the future.

Website Hosting

Website hosting refers to the service of storing and making web content accessible on the internet. When you create a website, the files that make up your site (such as HTML, forms, images, videos, etc.) need to be stored on a server connected to the internet. This server is maintained by a web hosting provider, and it’s where your website’s data is stored, making it accessible to users who visit your site.

Web hosting is often likened to renting space in a digital “mall” or “storage unit.”

Here’s an example:

Web hosting is like renting a storefront in a bustling shopping mall. Your website is the store, and the hosting provider is the mall management. They provide the physical space (server) where you display your products (website content) for customers (website visitors) to browse and interact with. Just as you pay rent to the mall management for your store, you pay a hosting fee to the hosting provider for the space and resources your website occupies on their server.

Types of Hosting

There are different types of hosting, including shared hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting, dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting. Each type has its own level of resources, control, and scalability.

Website hosting is crucial because it ensures that your website is accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Choosing the right hosting provider and plan is important based on your website’s needs, such as traffic volume, the complexity of the site, security requirements, and budget.

There are several popular and reputable website hosting companies that offer a range of hosting services to cater to different needs. Here are some widely recognized options: 

• WP Engine: Specializes in managed WordPress hosting, providing high-speed and secure hosting for WordPress sites. This is the hosting provider we use for all of our clients that runs from $35 – $99 per month.

• Bluehost: Known for its reliability and WordPress integration, Bluehost is a popular choice for beginners and small to medium-sized websites.

• GoDaddy: A well-known brand with a wide range of hosting services, including shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting.

SSL Certificates

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that establishes a secure encrypted connection between a web server and a user’s web browser. This encryption ensures that data transmitted between the server and the browser remains confidential and secure, making it an essential component for websites, particularly those that handle sensitive information like login credentials, payment details, and personal data.

The primary purpose of an SSL certificate is to ensure data encryption, authentication, and trust.

Many website hosting companies also offer a free SSL certificate, but they can run about $100 annually if not.

Regular Updates and Maintenance

For basic website updates and maintenance, some platforms and content management systems (CMS) offer built-in tools that allow you to manage updates yourself without additional costs. 

However, if you prefer professional assistance or have a more complex website and monthly needs like adding a blog or podcast to your site, then budgeting around $250 to $660 per month is a reasonable estimate.

Regular updates and maintenance are not optional but rather a critical aspect of running a successful website. Here’s why:

Security 

Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and websites are a prime target for hackers. Regular updates ensure that your website’s software, plugins, and security measures are up-to-date, minimizing vulnerabilities and reducing the risk of data breaches.

Performance

A slow-loading website can drive visitors away and negatively impact your search engine rankings. Regular maintenance helps optimize your website’s performance, ensuring it loads quickly and provides a seamless user experience.

User Experience

Visitors expect a smooth and user-friendly experience. Regular updates allow you to fix broken links, improve navigation, and enhance overall usability, keeping your audience engaged and satisfied.

SEO

Search engines favor websites with fresh and relevant content. Regularly updating your website with new articles, blog posts, or product updates can improve your search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic to your site.

Compatibility

As technologies advance, older website elements may become incompatible with new browsers and devices. Regular maintenance ensures your website remains compatible across various platforms, ensuring broader reach and accessibility.

Data Backup

Accidents happen, and data loss can be devastating. Regularly backing up your website provides that confidence that you can quickly recover your data in case of any unforeseen issues or disasters.

Content Creation

Yes, content creation should be considered a cost within the scope of website maintenance, especially if you’re regularly updating or adding new content to your website. Content creation involves various activities such as:

• Writing: Creating new blog posts, articles, product descriptions, or other textual content for your website.

• Graphic Design: Developing images, infographics, banners, and other visual assets for your site.

• Video Production: If you’re adding videos to your website, producing and editing video content incurs costs.

• SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Optimizing existing content or creating new content with SEO in mind.

• Regular Updates: Keeping existing content fresh and relevant by updating it regularly.

• Social Media: Creating content for social media platforms that link back to your website.

These activities require time, effort, and often specialized skills. If you’re handling content creation in-house, you’ll need to account for the cost of employee time, tools, and any necessary training. If you’re outsourcing content creation to freelancers or agencies, you’ll need to budget for their fees. Our website maintenance costs include many of these aspects rolled into the monthly maintenance fee.

The frequency and complexity of content creation will vary depending on your website’s goals, industry, and audience. It’s essential to consider these factors when estimating the overall cost of website maintenance and content creation.

Don’t Let These Numbers Stress You Out!

Setting up and maintaining a website can be a stressful process – especially with all these price tags and costs to consider. However, with careful planning, smart budgeting, and the right strategies, you can navigate the financial aspects of website management more effectively. 

If you find yourself overwhelmed or unsure about handling all these aspects on your own, we are here to help. Our team of experts specializes in website design, content creation, digital marketing, and website maintenance. 

Most businesses are frustrated spending too much while getting too little from their marketing. We build their websites & run their campaigns.

So they’ll:

1) Know what they’ll get.

2) Earn more than they spend.

3) While winning leads & growing sales.

Want that for your business?

Reasons Why People Are Leaving Your Website

Are you losing website visitors?

Whether you’re selling tangible products online or services such as mentoring sessions and consultations, one of the most frustrating experiences is having visitors leave your website without hitting that check out or subscribe button. 

It’s not just about attracting traffic–it’s about retaining and engaging those visitors to achieve your goals. And understanding why people leave your website in the first place is crucial for pinpointing and addressing potential issues that may be driving them away.

Explore the common pitfalls that drive people away and learn effective strategies to retain your online audience.

Let’s get right into it!

#1 It Doesn’t Pass the ‘Vibe Check’

First impressions do matter. In fact, it only takes 0.05 seconds for visitors to form an opinion about your website. If your website doesn’t pass the “vibe check,” meaning it doesn’t align with the expectations or preferences of your target audience, they are likely to leave without further exploration. This usually happens when your website’s look and feel do not really resonate with the market you’re targeting. Whether it’s in the color scheme, typography, or overall design, it’s important to make sure that your website creates a positive and engaging first impression.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

To address this issue, start by understanding your target audience and their preferences. Conduct market research or surveys to gather insights into their tastes, interests, and design expectations. This will help you align your website’s aesthetics with their preferences. Before officially launching your website, try conducting an A/B test and try out different design combinations to make sure you’re using the perfect one.

One other key element is to make sure that your website says exactly what you do! It’s surprising how many websites miss this key element. 

#2 Your Pages Are Cluttered With Product Promos

Imagine entering a store and the vendors just start bombarding you with aggressive sales pitches, pushing their products in your face without giving you a chance to breathe. It would likely make you feel overwhelmed and eager to escape from the chaos. 

Similarly, whether they’re pop-up ads from third-party advertisers or excessive product promotions within your own website, having cluttered pages can be a major turn-off for visitors. It can distract them from the main purpose of their visit and make it difficult for them to find the information they’re seeking.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

Focus on providing valuable and relevant content that aligns with your visitors’ needs and interests. Make sure that your website’s main pages contain clear and concise information about your products or services without overwhelming visitors with excessive promotional materials.

If you display ads from third-party advertisers, be mindful of their placement and frequency. Too many ads can make your website appear spammy and detract from the overall user experience. Strike a balance between generating revenue through ads and maintaining a clean and user-friendly website.

#3 Your Images Are So-So

It’s easy for your visitors to equate the quality of your products and your overall brand with the quality of your website’s images. After all, it’s their immediate virtual access to whatever you’re offering. When your images are lackluster or unprofessional, it can create a negative perception of your brand and give the impression that your products or services may also be subpar. Visitors may question your credibility and choose to leave your website in search of a more visually appealing and trustworthy option.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

Aside from investing in professional cameras or smartphones that can take high resolution images, maintain consistency in your image style and branding throughout your website. Use a consistent color palette, image filters, and visual elements that align with your brand identity. 

Also, consider using alternative image formats, such as infographics or illustrations, to convey complex information or concepts. These formats can add visual interest and make your content more engaging and shareable.

#4 The Visuals Are Overwhelming 

No, this isn’t just about the images. It’s about how all the different elements on your website come together to create a visually overwhelming experience for your visitors. When there are too many competing visual elements, such as excessive animations, bright colors, or busy backgrounds, it can distract and confuse your visitors, leading them to feel overwhelmed and ultimately hit that x button.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

Simplify your design. Adopt a minimalist approach to your website design by removing any unnecessary visual elements. Focus on the key elements that are essential for conveying your message and guiding visitors towards your CTAs. Embrace whitespace and give your content room to breathe. A clean and uncluttered design will create a sense of ease and clarity.

#5 Your Website Takes Forever to Load

A laggy website can be such a bummer. In today’s fast-paced digital world, where users expect instant access to information, a slow-loading website can quickly frustrate visitors and drive them away. People simply don’t have the time or patience to wait for a website to load.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

Images are often the main culprits behind slow-loading websites. Compress and optimize your images without sacrificing quality to reduce their file sizes. Use image compression tools or plugins that can automatically optimize images for web use. This will significantly improve loading times without compromising visual appeal.

While you’re at it, add in image alt tags, to give your Search engine optimization a quick boost too. 

#6 The Navigation is Confusing

An intuitive design can make all the difference. If your navigation is confusing or difficult to explore, it can frustrate visitors and lead them to abandon your website in search of a more user-friendly alternative.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Step back and think about how your website appears from the perspective of a first-time visitor. Once you have organized all the functionalities, labels, and menu structure of your website, test the navigation with real users to identify any areas of confusion or roadblocks. Conduct usability testing sessions to gain valuable insights into how visitors interact with your website. Based on the feedback, make necessary adjustments and improvements to enhance navigation.

#7 The Content is Irrelevant or Outdated

Ever found a food blog on a website that sells electronics? Or stumbled upon outdated information that no longer holds relevance? When visitors encounter irrelevant or outdated content on your website, it can lead to confusion, frustration, and a loss of trust in your brand. Keeping your content fresh, relevant, and up to date is essential for providing value to your visitors and keeping them engaged.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

Establish a content maintenance plan to ensure that your website’s content remains fresh and relevant over time. Assign responsibilities to team members or create a schedule for content review, updates, and additions. Regularly review and refresh your content to keep it aligned with your business goals and your visitors’ needs.

#8 The Text is Difficult to Read

This one may seem like a no-brainer yet some website creators still fail to prioritize readability over aesthetic. When the text on your website is difficult to read, whether due to small font sizes, poor font choices, or insufficient contrast with the background, it can create a frustrating experience for your visitors, leaving them unsure of what to do with the content you’re presenting.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

To improve the readability of your website’s text, choose clear and legible fonts with appropriate sizes and spacing, ensuring sufficient contrast with the background. Break up the text into shorter paragraphs, utilize subheadings, and incorporate visual elements for better scannability.

#9 Your Website is Not Mobile-Friendly

It’s always safe to assume that a portion of your target audience will be accessing your website on their mobile devices. In fact, stats reveal that 72% of online users prefer sites that are mobile-friendly. And if yours looks like a weirdly cropped image on a mobile screen, visitors will quickly abandon it.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

To prevent visitors from leaving due to a poor mobile experience, ensure your website is mobile-friendly by adopting responsive design principles. Optimize your content and design to adapt seamlessly to various screen sizes, optimize page loading speed, and provide intuitive mobile navigation.

#10 The Website Doesn’t Feel Trustworthy

The most important factor in establishing trust with your website visitors is creating a sense of credibility and reliability. If your website doesn’t feel trustworthy, visitors are likely to leave without engaging further. Apart from the quality of your images and overall feel of your website, the content also plays a great role here.

💡 Here’s What You Can Do: 

Incorporate trust indicators such as customer testimonials, security seals, and privacy policies. Ensure that your website has a professional design, is free of spelling or grammatical errors, and provides accurate and up-to-date information. Most importantly, never publish your website with traces of lorem ipsum (thank us later!).

Let Your Website Do the Talking

Your business is your digital storefront. This is why it’s crucial to make a lasting impression and keep visitors engaged. By addressing these issues, you can optimize your website’s design, content, functionality, and user experience. Remember, your website is an opportunity to showcase your brand, connect with your audience, and drive conversions. With the right strategies and support from a team that gets you, like Voila Media, you can create a captivating website that not only attracts visitors but also keeps them coming back for more!

Freebies!!

Fix Your Website PDF Guide 
VIP Tools & Tips Guide

Thinking Of Selling Digital Products?

Have a digital product you are looking to sell?

Well, here’s an amazingly easy solution you shouldn’t miss out on–Stan Creator Store, aka Stan Store.

With a flat rate of $29 per month, Stan Store can make online selling a breeze for digital content creators like yourself. 
Check out Voila! Media Group’s Stan Store for reference on all that you can do with it!

Is it really worth your hard-earned cash? 

Read on, and we’ll give our verdict on this platform and help you figure out if it’s right for you.

What’s a Stan Store, Exactly?

If you’re a content creator or someone who’s looking to monetize your expertise, Stan Creator Store is the ultimate online marketplace explicitly tailored to your needs. It provides a seamless platform where you can sell a wide range of digital products and services directly to your audience. 

It does so by allowing your followers to click on your social media posts or product recommendations and purchase directly without having to go to a different website. 

Pretty amazing, right? Now, let’s discuss more about why and how you can best maximize it for your business.

Here are six reasons you need a Stan Store:

1. It Fuses Your Social Media Marketing Strategy and Your Online Store

“All Your Products, One Place”

As mentioned, the main purpose of Stan Store is to help content creators leverage their social media presence and seamlessly integrate their marketing strategy with their online store. With Stan Creator Store, you can consolidate all your products and offerings into one centralized hub.

Gone are the days of directing your followers to external websites or third-party platforms to make a purchase. Stan Store enables you to showcase and sell your products directly through your social media posts and recommendations. That’s right. You won’t have to struggle to insert your links to your captions just so you can actually convert sales.

2. It Makes the Purchase Process Smooth for Your Shoppers

It’s a seamless purchasing experience. Instead of redirecting them to external websites or relying on cumbersome payment methods, your followers can make their purchases directly through your social media posts or recommendations.

Stan Store streamlines the purchase process and reduces friction for your shoppers by eliminating the need for additional clicks or navigating to other platforms. 

This frictionless experience enhances customer satisfaction and increases the likelihood of completing the transaction. With just a few simple taps or clicks, your audience can support you and access your valuable digital products or services.

3. It’s Not As Pricey as Other E-Commerce Platforms

As mentioned earlier as well, Stan Store has a flat rate of $29 and also offers a 14-day free trial for interested users. Unlike other e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, every penny you get from the sales through Stan Store goes directly into your pocket. There are no additional Stan Store fees or commissions deducted from your earnings.

This competitive pricing structure sets Stan Store apart from many other e-commerce platforms in the market, such as Shopify, which has paid plans ranging from $19 to $299 and charges at least  2.9% + $0.30 worth of transaction fee for every sale. Another is Etsy which charges a listing fee of $0.20 and a transaction fee of 6.5% from the purchases made on your store. Traditional platforms often require fees and commission percentages on each sale, significantly reducing profit margins. In contrast, Stan Creator Store provides a straightforward pricing model, allowing you to retain more of your hard-earned income.

4. It Lets You Generate Leads and Build Your Mailing List

Yep; it also collects emails for you. Apart from providing a seamless selling experience, Stan Creator Store offers an additional benefit that can be invaluable for content creators: lead generation and building your mailing list.

Let’s say you’ve got a free crash course video or an ebook that you want to offer as a lead magnet to attract potential customers. With Stan Creator Store, you can easily set up a lead capture system where users can opt-in to receive your free content by providing their email addresses. This not only allows you to provide value upfront but also enables you to establish a direct line of communication with potential customers who are genuinely interested in your niche.

5. It Helps You Foster Customer Loyalty

Stan Store lets you generate affiliate links for your loyal shoppers and create an online course where they can subscribe to your exclusive content.

One of the keys to long-term success as a content creator is building a loyal community of supporters. Stan Creator Store understands this and offers features that help you foster customer loyalty. Stan Creator Store enables you to turn your customers into brand ambassadors by incentivizing your loyal shoppers with affiliate links. Plus, the eCourse feature allows you to provide a deeper level of engagement and value to your audience.

6. It Lets You Organize Your Bookings With Ease

A separate subscription for an online calendar booking platform can be pricey. But with Stan Creator Store, you can efficiently manage your bookings without the need for an additional subscription. You can automate the whole process and integrate your calendar for a hassle-free experience!

It’s the Next ‘Must-Have’ for Every Digital Content Creator

With all the said features, Stan Store really is every digital content creator’s bestie. Tailored specifically to meet the needs of content creators, Stan Creator Store offers a comprehensive and user-friendly platform that combines seamless selling, lead generation, customer loyalty, content planning, and booking management.

As the digital content creation landscape continues to evolve, having a platform like Stan Store becomes essential for the success of today’s content creators from different niches and walks of life. 

That sounds too good to be true! 

Some Cons of Using Stan Store

But of course, we won’t be capping our discussion without mentioning a few potential drawbacks of using Stan Store. While it offers numerous benefits, it’s important to consider these potential limitations:

It’s Made for Digital Products Only

One limitation of Stan Store is its focus on digital products. While this makes it an excellent platform for creators who primarily sell digital content such as e-books, courses, or digital art, it may not be suitable for those who also offer physical products or services. Hopefully, the platform creators will add a feature for these soon.

It Can Still Improve its Integrations

While Stan Store offers various features to support content creators, its integrations with other tools and platforms may still be limited. Depending on your existing workflows and preferred software, you may find that Stan Store lacks seamless integrations with certain applications or services you rely on. It’s important to assess whether the available integrations meet your specific needs and consider any potential workflow adjustments required to incorporate Stan Store into your existing processes.

Our Verdict

Despite the limitations, we’re still convinced that having a Stan Store is worth every penny, especially for content creators who prioritize digital products and services. 

While it may not yet offer extensive customization or integrations with all tools, the platform’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive set of functionalities provide a valuable solution for monetizing and growing your content creation business. 

By leveraging Stan Store’s resources, content creators can streamline their operations, engage their audience, and maximize their earning potential. 

In our verdict, Stan Creator Store is a must-consider platform for content creators looking to level up their game and monetize their passion.
Check out our other blogs for more digital marketing discussions, tips, and tricks!