The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Your Web Hosting and Management Fees for Agency Owners
Published July 25, 2023 •
Increasing your web hosting and management fees can be a daunting task. However, with the right mindset, understanding of costs, and a focus on providing increased value to your customers, you can successfully navigate this transition. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through this process.
Mindset & Approach
Waitttt, don’t go! If you’re like the old me, you’re probably thinking, what’s with this mindset talk? I’m here to make some more monies! Hear me out, this is the most important part, everything else is super easy. You don’t know what you don’t know, and going into this with the mindset of just making more money is going to be a big mistake. I do not want you to do a yoyo diet or get pumped from a conference, then come back and take no action.
It’s essential to view this process as a sustainability effort. You’re not just increasing prices; you’re ensuring your business’s longevity and ability to continue providing high-quality services. If you’re not charging enough and something happens, things can start going south really fast without the proper funds to support your organization.
Investment in Your Future Self and Business
Consider this step as an investment in your future. By charging what you’re worth, you’re setting up your business for long-term success. Build your business to sell. Think about the future when you’re looking to exit. What would that investor look at? Would they be ok with your low unsustainable fees? Most likely not.
Willingness to Let Go
This is one of the most difficult things. Be prepared to lose some clients. Not everyone will be willing or able to pay the increased fees. It’s essential to accept this and focus on clients who see the value in your services.
Be open and honest with your clients about why you’re increasing your fees. Transparency helps maintain trust and understanding. No person wants you to starve unless you’re working with evil masterminds. So, be transparent and communicate why you’re increasing your prices and how it can help them and you!
Commitment to Quality
Ensure your clients that the quality of service will not only continue but improve with the increased fees. It is your responsibility to provide quality, and in order to do that, you need the funds to buy tools and hire top talent.
Cost & Margins
Understand Your Cost
It’s crucial to understand your costs, including software and labor costs. For instance, if you’re using premium tools like Clickup, Zoom, GoHighlevel, MainWp, Cloudways, Mailgun, and various premium WordPress plugins, these should factor into your pricing. We’re going to assume a team of 5 for the web maintenance and hosting team.
|Tool||Cost||Why We Use It|
|ClickUp||$60 / month||Issue tracking|
|Zoom||$16 / month||Conference calls to help resolve issues|
|GoHighLevel||$400/month||CRM and Marketing to keep our clients informed|
|MainWP||$500 One Time||Manage multiple WordPress sites in one location|
|Cloudways||$100/month per 20 sites||Website Hosting. We keep it around 20 sites.|
|Mailgun||$35/month||Mail Service Provider to ensure high deliverability|
|WordPress Plug-ins||$745/year||Themes, Builders, Security, and SEO|
Don’t forget to factor in the cost of your time and your team’s time. If you’re providing a service, your expertise and time have value and should be considered in your pricing. Most people think about the cost of wages, but don’t think about costs associated with hiring, training, and turnover. I would say, whatever the wages are, increase it by 20% to cover for that. This is assuming finding the talent.
Support Team Lead/Manager (you): This role oversees the support team, coordinates activities, and ensures efficient workflows. They may also handle escalated customer issues and provide guidance to other team members. The average annual salary for a Support Team Lead can range from $60,000 to $90,000, depending on experience and location.
WordPress Developer: This position requires expertise in WordPress development to assist clients with technical issues, customization, theme development, plugin troubleshooting, and more. The average annual salary for a WordPress Developer can range from $50,000 to $80,000, depending on experience and location.
Customer Support Representatives (x3): These team members handle customer inquiries, troubleshoot issues, provide general WordPress guidance, and ensure customer satisfaction. They may communicate via email, chat, or phone. The average annual salary for a Customer Support Representative can range from $35,000 to $55,000, depending on experience and location.
Don’t forget all the miscellaneous
|Expense||Cost||Why We Have It|
|Business and Cybersecurity Insurance||$150/month – $300/month||Protecting our clients and our team. Even the best security systems can be hacked with enough time.|
|Hardware – Laptops||$7500/year||Fast-working systems are important to us. Imagine a lumberjack using a dull axe.|
|Office Space||$300 – $1500/month|
|Marketing||$1000 – $3000/month||Have to promote your services or else no one knows.|
|Miscellaneous Expenses – Team building, Professional memberships, training||$10000/year||We make huge investments in our own team. I believe in happy employees = happy clients.|
Increased Value for the Customer
Include and highlight additional offerings to your customers to let them know we’re not just increasing your pricing we are adding a lot more to our service.
With the increased fees, you can invest in better hosting solutions, resulting in faster website load times for your clients. Do not get cheap hosting (ex. GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc). We personally like Cloudways (affiliate link) connected with a fast server.
Improved & Experienced Team
Your clients benefit from an experienced team dedicated to their success. This is a significant selling point when discussing increased fees. This can be quite difficult to just hire. It took us a few months just to hire a qualified candidate. I would suggest finding a partner (like us!) to partner with that already has all the systems in place and has the experience to deliver.
Consider creating video explainers to help your clients understand complex topics. This adds value to your service and can justify the increased fees. Whenever clients have questions or issues, do a quick video to explain or provide a tutorial.
With more resources, you can provide round-the-clock monitoring services, ensuring your clients’ websites are always up and running.
Regular reports keep your clients in the loop about their website performance and any issues or updates.
Here’s an example report we send to our clients.
We call our packages a “Web Care Plan”. It lets our clients know that it’s more than just hosting a site. We’re here to take care of their site.
Packages & Alternative Options
Website Care Plan
A Website Care Plan can provide comprehensive maintenance and hosting services based on the number of pages on a client’s website.
Offering different packages allows clients to choose the level of service that fits their needs and budget. We like to keep it simple and base it on the number of pages. This would cover most projects and it is easy for people to understand. There are unique circumstances and in those cases, we provide a custom quote. We always have maintenance as the requirement for our packages and never just hosting. This is important because if a client wants just hosting and something goes wrong with their site… you have to fix it anyways. Worse yet, that site could take down your server along with other sites. It’s a disaster waiting to happen! So NEVER just charge hosting alone.
Also, in our packages, there is a small upsell of 30 updates per month which helps the client with website improvements without the need to pay hourly.
Here are the packages we offer:
Offer alternatives such as a one-time migration fee (recommend $350) for clients who wish to move to another hosting provider. Not everyone is going to want the new pricing plan and that’s ok!
For clients who prefer to handle their website independently, offer a service to transfer their website files to them. Be appreciative of the business they have given you up to this point and provide all the files they need to get started.
Here are the steps I would recommend if they decide to go this route.
- Ask them to do an introductory email with their new service provider
- Backup all the files, database, and documentation you have in Google Drive and share it with them
- Thank them for their business and let them know your service with you officially ended.
Email Template: Request for Introduction to Your New Service Provider
Subject: [URL] Sad to See You Go - Request for Introduction to Your New Service Provider Body: Dear [Recipient's Name], I trust this email finds you well. Firstly, I would like to express our sentiment at the news of your company transitioning to a new service provider. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your trusted provider, and we are genuinely saddened to see you go. Nevertheless, we completely understand and respect your decision and want to ensure that this transition is as seamless and efficient as possible. In order to facilitate this, it is crucial that we establish communication with your new service provider to ensure a smooth and unbroken transition of services. The nature of our work and the services we have been providing necessitate a thorough understanding of the systems and processes involved. We believe that direct engagement with your new provider will allow us to share all relevant files, documents, and context in a comprehensive and efficient manner, minimizing any potential disruptions to your operations. Our team stands ready to assist with any necessary briefings or training, providing technical details, operational logs, system specifications, and other necessary documents as needed. Could you kindly provide us with the contact details of the appropriate person or team within your new service provider's organization at your earliest convenience? We are eager to initiate the handover process and ensure a smooth transition. We would also like to know if there are any specific procedures or requirements we should adhere to during this process. Our aim is to ensure that this changeover is as comfortable for your team as possible, reflecting the high level of service we have endeavored to maintain throughout our relationship. Once again, we are sorry to see you go but remain committed to providing any necessary support during this period. Thank you for your attention and cooperation in this matter. We look forward to assisting in this transition.
Email Template: Files and Information for New Service Provider
Communication (Next 30 Days)
Day 1: Announce the changes and ask clients to choose their preferred option.
SUBJECT: Big News: [YourAgencyCo] + Design Source Media = More Value for You BODY: Dear [CustomerName], We are thrilled to share some fantastic news with you! [YourAgencyCo] has formed a new partnership with Design Source Media, bringing you even more value and exceptional services. Our collaboration with Design Source Media allows us to dedicate more resources to marketing initiatives while ensuring that you continue to receive the top-notch services you have come to expect from us. Design Source Media is a renowned full-service website development and design firm. They specialize in creating customized websites that perfectly align with your unique needs and goals. With their team of experienced web professionals, you can rest assured that your online presence will authentically represent your brand and identity. We firmly believe that this partnership will greatly benefit our customers, providing you with the best service possible while allowing us to focus on enhancing our marketing strategies. The exciting partnership will officially commence on [Month Day, Year]. To make this transition even more seamless, we have negotiated a special deal with Design Source Media on their web maintenance and hosting services, exclusively for you. Please take a moment to review the following options and let us know your preference: Option 1 - Website Care Plan: For just $[WebCarePlan Pricing] per month, you can enjoy comprehensive website maintenance services. Additionally, you can opt for 30 updates per month for an additional $139, ensuring your website remains up-to-date and optimized. Option 2 - Migrate to a hosting provider of your choice, and no need for maintenance: For a one-time fee of $350, we will assist you in seamlessly transferring your website to your preferred hosting provider, eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance. Option 3 - Zip up your files: If you prefer to handle your website independently, we can provide you with a zipped file of your website at no cost. Please note that if no options are selected, then Option 1 will be automatically selected to avoid interruption of service. We are here to address any questions or concerns you may have. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to serving you with enhanced services through our partnership with Design Source Media.
Day 14: Send a reminder to non-responders.
SUBJECT: Reminder: YourAgencyCo + Design Source Media - Response Needed! BODY: Dear CustomerName, We recently shared some exciting news about the new partnership between [YourAgencyCo] and Design Source Media, designed to bring even more value and exceptional services to your business. As we prepare for the official commencement of this partnership, we are reaching out to remind you to let us know your preference for the transition. We understand that you might be busy, but your prompt response will enable us to provide you with the best service possible. Here are the options available to you: Option 1 - Website Care Plan: For just $[WebCarePlan Pricing] per month, you can enjoy comprehensive website maintenance services. Plus, you can opt for 30 updates per month for an additional $139, ensuring your website remains up-to-date and optimized. Option 2 - Migrate to a hosting provider of your choice, and no need for maintenance: For a one-time fee of $350, we will assist you in seamlessly transferring your website to your preferred hosting provider, eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance. Option 3 - Zip up your files: If you prefer to handle your website independently, we can provide you with a zipped file of your website at no cost. Your feedback is crucial in ensuring a smooth transition. If you have any questions or concerns about these options or the new partnership, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Thank you for your attention to this matter. We value your continued support and look forward to serving you even better through our partnership with Design Source Media.
Day 25: Remind all clients that their plans will change in 5 days. Non-responders will automatically be switched to the Website Care Plan.
SUBJECT: Important Reminder: 5 Days to Select Your Service Option or Default to Website Care Plan BODY: Dear CustomerName, We hope this email finds you well. As previously mentioned, our exciting partnership with Design Source Media is quickly approaching, and we are making arrangements to ensure a seamless transition for all our valued clients. We have noticed that we have yet to receive your selected preference for the upcoming changes. We understand that you may be busy, so we want to ensure you are informed of the next steps if we don't hear from you. In 5 days, on [DATE], we will automatically transition all unconfirmed accounts to Option 1 - the Website Care Plan. This plan, costing $[WebCarePlan Pricing] per month, offers comprehensive website maintenance services. You can also opt for 30 updates per month for an additional $139. Our goal is to ensure there is no interruption to your service. Remember, there are two other options available: Option 2 - Migrate to a hosting provider of your choice, with no need for maintenance: For a one-time fee of $350, we will assist you in seamlessly transferring your website to your preferred hosting provider, thereby eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance. Option 3 - Zip up your files: If you prefer to handle your website independently, we can provide you with a zipped file of your website at no cost. Please respond with your preferred option at your earliest convenience to avoid automatic enrollment in the Website Care Plan. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to get in touch. We're here to help! We appreciate your continued support and look forward to this new chapter of providing you with enhanced services through our partnership with Design Source Media.
Day 29: Send a final reminder that the switch will happen the next day.
SUBJECT: Final Reminder: Switchover to Design Source Media Happens Tomorrow! BODY: Dear CustomerName, We hope this message finds you well. As part of our commitment to bringing you the best possible service, we're writing to remind you that the switchover to our partnership with Design Source Media is set to occur tomorrow. This exciting change marks a new chapter in our journey together, and we are thrilled to be able to bring you even more value through this partnership. If we have not received a response from you regarding the transition options, please note that to ensure uninterrupted service, we will automatically enroll you in Option 1 - the Website Care Plan: Option 1 - Website Care Plan: For just $WCP per month, you can enjoy comprehensive website maintenance services. If you wish, you can opt for 30 updates per month for an additional $139, ensuring your website remains up-to-date and optimized. Remember, you still have the ability to choose one of the other options if you prefer: Option 2 - Migrate to a hosting provider of your choice, and no need for maintenance: For a one-time fee of $350, we will assist you in seamlessly transferring your website to your preferred hosting provider, eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance. Option 3 - Zip up your files: If you prefer to handle your website independently, we can provide you with a zipped file of your website at no cost. We are here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you. If you have any questions or require assistance in making a last-minute decision, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to the next phase of our journey together and the enhanced services we can offer through our partnership with Design Source Media.
Day 30: Implement the changes.
Customers that decided to stay
SUBJECT: Thank You for Your Continued Support - Exciting Updates Coming Soon! BODY: Dear CustomerName, We want to extend our sincere thanks for your continued support as we transitioned to our new partnership with Design Source Media. We are grateful for your trust in our services and commitment to this journey with us. Over the coming weeks, we'll be implementing several updates designed to enhance your experience and bring even more value to your business. We are excited to see the positive impact these updates will have on your online presence. We understand that change can raise questions. Rest assured, our dedicated service team is ready and eager to assist you throughout this process. Should you have any questions, need clarification on any point, or simply wish to discuss the updates, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once again, thank you for your loyalty and patience during this transition. We are eager to continue serving you with even greater dedication and improved services through our partnership with Design Source Media.
Customers that decided to leave
SUBJECT: Thank You for Your Business - Service End Date Today BODY: Dear CustomerName, We wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude for your business and support. Today marks the official end of our service with you, and we wanted to let you know that we appreciate the opportunity to have served you. Thank you for trusting us with your business and giving us the chance to assist you. We are sorry to see you go, but we respect your decision. If there is anything specific that led to your decision, we would appreciate your feedback. Your insights can help us improve our services for future customers. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Thank you once again for your business.
Summary and Results
Expect to lose some clients. However, the increase in price should offset the loss of clients, resulting in little to no drop in income. Your team will be happier and less stressed because they’re finally getting paid what they’re worth for sustainable work. Remember, the goal is to build a sustainable, profitable business that values its services and provides exceptional value to its clients.
Do you need a web company to help you with the items above and maintain web services moving forward to provide next level service for your clients, then we’re here to help! To get started, book a call here.