The real investment for a website

By Tim Priebe on August 16, 2016

By Tim Priebe on August 16, 2016

There are two main investments for a website: an upfront investment and an ongoing investment. It’s a little like buying a car—sure, there’s the price of the car, but there’s also an investment for gas, insurance, and repairs down the road.

I recently spoke with someone who wanted to purchase a website. She was comparing her options, and it turned out I was the provider she trusted the most out of the people she talked to.

We compared what another company was offering her to what we offered. As often happens, the other company was way less upfront.

However, the lifespan of a website is typically 3-5 years. When we looked at the ongoing investments for both companies, we ended up being the more affordable option by a long shot.

When you’re comparing investments for a website, it’s important to consider both upfront and ongoing. And keep in mind, your investment is both time AND money.

The five-year plan

Here’s how that comparison could look. (Scroll down for a table if numbers are your thing.)

Let’s say you’re looking at two websites.

The website from Stealthy Sites will cost you $5,000 upfront and will only cost you $5/month for hosting. They don’t offer website management, though, so that means you’ll have to have someone on your staff manage the website.

Cyberspace Support Team offers you a website of $2,000 upfront with managed hosting for $50/month after that. The hosting costs more than Stealthy Sites does, but you don’t have to worry about managing the website (or paying a staff member to do it).

Breaking that down long-term, the website from Stealthy Sites will have an ongoing investment of $5/month. For 5 years, that’s only $300. But you have to pay someone to manage it—if you have an employee making $10/hr that spends an hour per month on the website for five years, that’s another $600.

That investment ends up being $5,900 over the life of the website.

The website from Cyberspace Support Team will cost you $50/month, which works out to be $3,000 over five years.

So that total investment will be $5,000, and you don’t have to worry about the management of your website for those five years.

Stealthy SitesCyberspace Support Team
Initial investment$5,000$2,000
Monthly investment over 5 years$300$3,000
Additional investment$900

For some organizations, it might make sense to have a larger initial investment and a smaller ongoing one. For others, its the opposite. Either way, be on the lookout for hidden costs that may or may not have a financial effect on your business.

Of course, this is just a general example. If you’re comparing real companies, you’ll also need to think about their skill level, how comfortable you are with them, and if they’re a good fit to work with your organization long-term.


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