As a website management company, we are often asked – what is the difference between a website management/maintenance hour bank and a monthly retainer for website management? Many people are trying to understand what is best for them and their business, purchasing an hour bank or rather getting a retainer? In this article, we will try to make some sense of it, and help you make a decision.

What is a monthly retainer for website management?

When talking about a website management retainer, it usually means ongoing operational services such as storage/maintenance/management for the website by website development and management companies. A significant number of websites use different providers within the framework of retainer agreements, or in the more professional name – “service level agreement” – SLA.

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    Which is better: a monthly retainer or a bank of hours for the website?

    Many ask themselves this question. To make a decision about the best service route for your website, you need to ask a few fairly simple questions:

    1. How many billable hours do you think you need every month?
    2. What is the degree of complexity of the services you require?
    3. How important is the availability of the service provider, when you need them?

    If you need a few hours every month to perform fairly simple actions that are not urgent or particularly important for the website, you will probably want to settle for purchasing a bank of hours for managing the website. On the other hand, if you require a large number of hours every month or if you want a professional response and high availability when needed, a continuous and mandatory service is necessary from the service provider and this can only be achieved as part of a fixed monthly retainer for the website.

    How much does a monthly retainer for website management and maintenance cost?

    As with any professional service, there are price ranges for website management and maintenance services as well. There are freelancers hungry for work who will provide services at low prices and at the same time there are companies that will provide these services for higher costs. It is very important to find a company that provides management services at average prices, but with a large number of recommending clients!

    And the main bit – the numbers

    There are 2 types of calculation for monthly website retainer service costs:

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      1. Hourly calculation according to a cost range of $150-300 per hour on average.
      2. Global calculation according to a cost range of $1,500-$3,000 per month on average.

      The hourly calculation is mainly suitable for websites where there are regular operations every month, such as uploading products or publishing regular content. On the other hand, if you want a comprehensive service without counting every billable hour, a global service is preferable, which gives you a peace of mind and better results over time.

      In conclusion,

      If you find yourself requiring professional help time and time again and each time purchasing more and more hours as part of an hour bank or one-time services, you should consider requesting website management and maintenance services as part of a monthly retainer that will guarantee you the desired service on time and without any practical limit. Moreover, marketing managers who are required to approve budgets in front of senior officials will prefer a permanent retainer that can be approved once and enjoyed throughout the year without the need for additional approvals.