Julian Canlas
Julian Canlas

Founder of the SEO content marketing agency, Embarque.
julian@embarque.io @jic94

Website Maintenance Plans & Examples for Big and Small Businesses

We all drag our feet when it’s time for a routine check-up at the doctor or dentist. But when it comes to website maintenance, postponing regular updates and monitoring can impact your website’s health for the worse.

According to experts, web/software maintenance is a key investment that can cost up to 9 times more than the initial build price. As you look for website maintenance plans, get a sense of what your business needs through our guide below. We’ll go through the key features of site maintenance, so you can find the right plans and tools to take your website maintenance to the next level.

At Instatus, we make website maintenance seamless with beautiful status pages that give customers instant insight into your site’s performance.

The Importance of Website Maintenance for Small Businesses

Website maintenance isn’t a nice-to-have anymore. Your business’ online presence is key to winning over customers and maximizing business growth.

In fact, it’s vital that you have website maintenance done on a weekly or monthly basis, so that your business doesn’t suffer security breaches, lagging site speed or more. After all, a bad first impression means you may struggle to get sales and retain customers.

In addition, website maintenance for small businesses has a direct impact on:

  • Brand image
  • User experience
  • Security
  • Sales strategy
  • SEO strategy

Without site maintenance, you risk not just the security of your site, but also turning off potential customers with slow, outdated or unappealing webpages. You can mitigate these risks by including maintenance and updates into your monthly budget.

What Is a Web Maintenance Plan?

A web maintenance plan involves all areas of your site that require ongoing support and updates. This comprehensive plan is used to ensure top performance of your website, including security, speed and up-to-date content. Often a web maintenance plan will also define the tools and technologies required to achieve top performance – from monitoring dashboards like Google Analytics to status pages such as Instatus.

What Does Web Maintenance Include?

The best web maintenance plans will cover all aspects of your website, so that nothing falls through the cracks. This includes website maintenance and updates such as:

  • Security updates and fixes
  • Web performance monitoring and optimization (especially speed issues)
  • Updates to web content (including SEO, CTAs and broken links)
  • Server maintenance
  • User experience optimization (on-page UX, accessibility, etc.)
  • eCommerce optimization (especially the checkout process)
  • Regular backup
  • Browser and device testing
  • Active and passive monitoring
  • Emergencies (such as unplanned outages or hacking)
  • Analytics (including optimization suggestions and A/B testing)
  • Annual certificates (such as domain name registry, hosting, SSL certificates, plugins/tools, etc.)

What Is the Payment Structure for Website Maintenance Plans?

Typically, this service is offered as pay-as-you-go, retainer hours, or a monthly website maintenance plan or package. Before you craft a website maintenance agreement with your developer partner, be sure to understand your payment structure options.

  • Pay-as-you-go site maintenance is when you pay for the updates and monitoring that you want, as you use it. Though this may be right for very small websites, it isn’t usually the best option because it’s hard to budget for your needs. It also means you have to be proactive about requesting the website maintenance and updates that you want.
  • Retainer hours means that you pay for a certain number of developer hours per month and can use them freely as you wish. For example, if you pay for 10 retainer hours per month, you can make use of this time to ask for user experience optimization, or request certain SEO updates. Once you’re out of hours, you’ll have to pay additional fees for more work.
  • Monthly website maintenance plans or packages involve a defined set of tasks that should be performed every month. Often these plans offer the most holistic approach to your maintenance needs, as developers will complete a checklist of tasks without your prompting. Monthly website maintenance packages may even have different tiers available, so you can choose the level of site maintenance that your business needs.

Website Maintenance Plan Examples

As you dig into potential monthly website maintenance plans or packages, keep in mind that every provider has their own definition of what website maintenance includes. Be sure to read your website maintenance agreement thoroughly, so that you don’t get any surprises down the road.

To give you a sense of what to expect, here are some website maintenance plan examples. As you’ll see, each tier includes a different set of services and developer hours.

Monthly Website Maintenance Plan Examples

Tier 1: $100-249/month for Essential site maintenance

  • Security monitoring
  • Performance scans
  • Weekly backups
  • Updates to software, certificates, tools, plugins, etc.
  • Basic monthly analytic report
  • 1-3 hours of support time

Tier 2: $250-749/month for Professional site maintenance

  • Security monitoring
  • Performance scans and optimization suggestions
  • User experience testing and optimization suggestions
  • eCommerce testing and optimization suggestions
  • Server maintenance
  • Weekly backups
  • Updates to software, certificates, tools, plugins, etc.
  • Monthly analytic report with optimization suggestions
  • 3-5 hours of support time

Tier 3: $750-2,000/month for Industry-leading site maintenance

  • Security monitoring and fixes
  • Performance scans and optimization fixes
  • User experience testing and optimization fixes
  • eCommerce testing and optimization fixes
  • Server maintenance
  • Weekly backups
  • Updates to web content as needed
  • Updates to software, certificates, tools, plugins, etc.
  • Browser and device testing
  • Robust analytic report with optimization and A/B testing
  • Handling of annual certificates
  • Up to 10 hours of support time
  • 1-2 hours of emergency or unplanned maintenance support

In addition to these website maintenance plan template above, you can usually add-on services such as:

  • Digital marketing
  • Web design
  • SEO consulting

Remember that the pricing for these types of monthly website maintenance plans can vary widely depending on the provider and the specifics of each area of service, as defined in your web maintenance agreement.

What Should You Look for in a Web Maintenance Partner?

As you research website maintenance for small businesses, be sure to choose the right partner. Having the right talent working on your site maintenance can make or break your website success. Look for top maintenance partners with:

  • Trusted reviews and reputation: Check testimonials, social proof and reviews about this partner, so you have a good idea of their reputation.
  • Transparent package offerings: Web maintenance offerings should be comprehensive and easy-to-understand.
  • Best-in-class technologies: Top professionals are using tools that enhance their work and make monitoring more efficient. For example, you could ask what type of status dashboards or pages they use. Instatus is known as an eye-catching status monitoring tool that can do wonders for staying on top of your real-time site performance.
  • Proactive problem solving: Ideally, your partner will perform tasks and offer suggestions to help you maintain the best possible website.
  • Regular review of your web maintenance needs: Your web maintenance needs may fluctuate from month to month. The right partner will check in about your needs and revise them as needed.

Take Advantage of Instatus for Web Maintenance

Choosing the right website maintenance plan for your business is an essential step to achieve a top performing website. While a variety of monthly website maintenance packages are available, it’s vital that you find the right partner who aligns with your website needs and budget.

Boost your developer team or partner’s maintenance abilities by looking into efficient tools like Instatus. With Instatus, you can get beautiful and uber-fast status pages to proactively resolve issues before customers notice them. Take a peek at our customers’ gorgeous status pages here.

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