Subscription-Based Website Development: How it's Done [2024]

Subscription-Based Website Development: How it's Done [2024]

Having a website that adapts and grows with your business is a must these days. However, traditional website development can be expensive and time-consuming. 

That’s why subscription-based models are gaining traction. This approach offers ongoing maintenance, security updates, and design tweaks – all for a predictable monthly fee, making it a flexible and cost-effective solution. 

The only thing left is choosing the right subscription for you. This article dives deep into how subscription-based website development works, and what you should consider when opting for this model. 

What You Need to Know About Website Development Before You Choose a Subscription-Based Model

Screenshots of 2 UX hiring websites next to each other.

Before diving into a subscription-based website development model, here are some key things to understand about website development in general:

Project Scope and Complexity

Complexity: Subscription models often work well for websites with ongoing needs like content updates, security maintenance, and minor design tweaks. Highly complex websites with custom features might be better suited for a traditional one-time project fee.

Features and Functionality: Consider the features you need for your website. Do you require e-commerce functionality, user accounts, or custom integrations? Subscription plans might have limitations on these features, so make sure they align with your needs. If you opt for Growmodo, you’ll have all your e-commerce, integrations, and automations taken care of. 

Content Management System (CMS): Subscription models will often work with different CMS platforms like Webflow, PageFly, Avada, Shopify, WordPress, Wix, or Drupal. Each platform has its own level of flexibility. Familiarizing yourself with these systems will help you choose the right fit for you. 

Content Management: Who will be responsible for adding and updating website content? Will your subscription include content creation or just focus on the technical aspects? At Growmodo, we take charge of your content updates, and we take care of bug fixes, plugin updates, and compatibility. 

Scalability: Consider your website's future growth. Can the subscription plan you choose adapt to increasing traffic or additional features? With Gowmodo, your systems grow with your business. 

Cost and Value

Traditional vs. Subscription Costs: Compare the subscription model to traditional one-time development fees. Web development outsourcing companies will usually charge by the hour, or per project. Consider the long-term value proposition for your business.

Pricing Structure: Subscription plans can vary greatly in price and features. Compare different providers and understand what's included in each tier before committing. Transparent pricing is one of the features every subscription-based model should offer. With Growmodo, you always know what you’re paying for. 

Exit Strategy: Understand the process for canceling your subscription and migrating your website if needed. Some providers might charge migration fees.

Additional Considerations

Customer Support: Ensure the subscription service offers responsive and helpful customer support in case you encounter any issues.

Client Reviews: Read reviews and testimonials from other clients who have used the subscription service.

The Biggest Problems with Creating Subscription-Based Websites

Screenshot of Systeme

Subscription-based website development offers flexibility and ongoing support, but there are also some drawbacks you should consider:

1. Scope Creep and Feature Limitations

  • Fixed Costs vs. Growing Needs: Subscription plans typically have set pricing tiers with defined features. You might find yourself locked into a plan that doesn't accommodate your evolving needs. That’s why Growmodo offers flexible subscription plans; you can always upscale or downscale to suit your project needs. 
  • Limited Customization: Subscription models often rely on pre-built templates or limited customization options. If you’re seeking a highly unique or complex website design, you might be restricted by the model's framework.

2. Long-Term Value and Vendor Lock-In

  • Unpredictable Costs: Subscription fees are ongoing, and the total cost over time can be significant compared to a one-time development project. You need to weigh the long-term affordability against the benefits. A subscription-based model like Growmodo is an excellent solution for ongoing website development and design needs. But if you need a one-time fix, opting for traditional agencies might be a better fit. 
  • Vendor Lock-In and Switching Costs: Switching to a different developer after using a subscription service can be challenging. Migrating website data and functionalities to a new platform might incur additional costs. That’s why Growmodo has no contracts, and you can opt out anytime. 

Why Opt for a Subscription-Based Website Development Model

If you’re still on the fence about subscription-based website development, here are some of the benefits you should consider:

Cost-Effectiveness and Predictable Budgeting

  • Spread the Cost: Subscription fees break down website development costs into smaller, predictable monthly payments. This can be easier on your budget compared to a large upfront investment for a traditional development project.
  • Long-Term Value: Subscription plans often include ongoing maintenance, security updates, and bug fixes. This eliminates the need for separate maintenance contracts, potentially saving you money in the long run.

Flexibility and Scalability

  • Adjust as You Grow: Many subscription models offer tiered plans with varying levels of features and functionalities. As your business grows and your website needs to evolve, you can easily upgrade your plan to accommodate those changes.
  • Focus on Your Business: Subscription-based development frees you from the burden of managing website maintenance and updates. You can focus on running your business while your website stays secure and functional.

Continuous Improvement and Security

  • Always Up-to-Date: Subscription plans typically include regular website updates, ensuring your site stays compatible with the latest technologies and security standards. This protects your website from vulnerabilities and malware threats.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your website is being proactively monitored and maintained by professionals provides peace of mind and allows you to focus on other aspects of your business.

Expertise and Ongoing Support

  • Access to Professionals: Subscription models like Growmodo provide access to a team of top-tier developers with ongoing technical support. This gives you access to expertise and assistance whenever you need it.
  • Improved User Experience: Subscription providers have a vested interest in keeping your website running smoothly and efficiently. This leads to a more positive user experience for your website visitors.

Convenience and Streamlined Workflow

  • Automated Updates: Subscription plans often automate website updates, eliminating the need for you to manually schedule or manage them. This saves you time and ensures your website remains secure and up-to-date.
  • All-Inclusive Service: Subscription models can bundle website development, maintenance, and sometimes even content creation into a single service. This simplifies your workflow and eliminates the need to manage multiple vendors.

Access to Innovation and New Features

  • Stay Ahead of the Curve: Some subscription plans provide access to new features and functionalities as they become available. This allows you to keep your website modern and competitive without the need for costly website redesigns.
  • Experimentation Opportunities: Tiered plans might offer access to advanced features in higher tiers. This allows you to experiment with new website functionalities without a large upfront investment.

Improved Communication and Collaboration

  • Dedicated Point of Contact: Subscription models like Growmodo provide you with a dedicated project manager, developer, and support team to manage your website. This fosters better communication and collaboration throughout the development process.
  • Transparency and Progress Tracking: Some subscription services offer client portals or dashboards where you can track website updates and progress on tasks and communicate directly with the development team.

If you’re in the middle of a website redesign project, check out our article and grab a free plan. 

How to do Subscription-Based Website Development

  • Define your needs and budget
  • Research and compare subscription providers
  • Choose the right platform and plan
  • Start onboarding and Initial setup
  • Go into development, testing, and launch
  • Discuss ongoing management and content creation
Screenshots of 2 websites next to each other.

Here's a breakdown of actionable steps to get you started with a subscription-based website development:

1. Define Your Needs and Budget

Content and Functionality: Clearly outline the content you want on your website and the functionalities it needs to offer (e.g., contact forms, e-commerce).

Target Audience and User Experience: Identify your ideal website visitor and define the user experience you want to create (e.g., informative, engaging, easy to navigate).

Content Management: Assess your comfort level with managing website content. Will you need help with content creation, or will you focus on populating the site yourself?

Budgeting: Determine your monthly budget for website development and ongoing maintenance. This will help you choose a subscription plan that aligns with your financial resources.

2. Research and Compare Subscription Providers

Market Research: Explore different website development companies offering subscription models. Look for providers with experience in your industry or niche.

Compare Features and Costs: Carefully compare the features and functionalities included in different subscription plans. Consider factors like storage space, bandwidth, security measures, and included support options.

Read Reviews and Ask Questions: Read client reviews and testimonials to gauge the provider's reputation and customer satisfaction. Don't hesitate to contact potential providers with specific questions about their services and plans.

3. Choose the Right Platform and Plan

Content Management System (CMS): Many subscription models utilize popular CMS platforms like WordPress. If you're comfortable with a specific CMS, prioritize providers that leverage that platform.

Tiered Plans: Subscription providers often offer tiered plans with varying feature sets. Choose a plan that offers the functionalities you need without unnecessary extras that inflate the cost.

Scalability: Consider your website's potential for growth. Choose a plan that allows for easy upgrades if your website traffic or functionality needs to increase in the future.

4. Start Onboarding and Initial Setup

Clear Communication: Communicate your website vision and goals to the development team. Provide any existing branding guidelines, content, or reference websites to ensure a smooth design process.

Project Management: Discuss project timelines, communication channels, and approval processes upfront. Subscription providers often have established onboarding procedures to streamline the initial setup phase.

Security and Backups: Ensure the provider has a robust security protocol and regular backup procedures in place to protect your website data.

5. Go Into Development, Testing, and Launch

Agile Development: Subscription models often utilize agile development methodologies. This allows for iterative development with ongoing feedback and adjustments to ensure the website meets your expectations.

Testing and Quality Assurance: Thoroughly test the website's functionality and user experience before launch. Ensure it functions flawlessly across different devices and browsers.

6. Discuss Ongoing Management and Content Creation

Content Responsibility: Clarify who is responsible for creating and updating website content within the subscription plan. Some plans might offer content creation services for an additional fee.

Regular Updates and Communication: Maintain open communication with the development team. Discuss any website changes or updates you require, and stay informed about scheduled maintenance or security patches.

Performance Monitoring: Track your website's performance metrics like traffic, user engagement, and conversion rates. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and communicate potential website tweaks to the development team.

Read more about outsourcing front-end web development here.

What to Consider in a Website Development Provider

Screenshots of various websites.

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a website development provider, whether you're looking for a subscription-based model or a traditional project-based approach:

Expertise and Capabilities

  • Project Scope Alignment: Does the provider have experience with websites similar to yours in terms of size, complexity, and industry?
  • Technology Stack: Do their skills align with the technologies you need for your website (e.g., e-commerce platform, specific programming languages)?
  • Content Management System Expertise: Are they proficient in the CMS platform you prefer (e.g., WordPress, Drupal)?

Communication and Client Management

  • Clear Communication Style: Do they communicate clearly and promptly? Is their approach professional and easy to understand? 
  • Project Management Methodology: What project management methodologies do they use? Do they align with your preferred workflow?
  • Client Responsiveness: How quickly do they respond to your questions and concerns?

Cost and Value Proposition

  • Budget Alignment: Agency costs for website development start from $15,000, potentially reaching $150,000 or more, while subscription-based models offer affordable pricing that can range from $500 to $2,000 a month, depending on your project scope and the number of dedicated developers. 
  • Pricing Transparency: Do they offer transparent pricing structures that fit your budget? Are there any hidden fees or additional costs to consider?
  • Value for Investment: Does the cost of their services align with the value they deliver? Are they offering features and expertise that justify the price point?
  • Long-Term Cost Considerations: Consider not just the initial development cost but also potential ongoing maintenance fees or subscription costs (if applicable).

Additional Considerations

  • Portfolio and Client Testimonials: Review their portfolio to see examples of their work and read testimonials from past clients.
  • Scalability and Growth: Can their services accommodate your website's potential growth in traffic and functionality over time?
  • Contractual Terms and Warranties: Carefully review the contract terms, including warranties, intellectual property ownership, and termination clauses.

If you’re looking to outsource WordPress development, you might be tempted to opt for offshore WordPress development companies. Be sure to check out this article before you decide. 

How Growmodo Makes Your Web Development a Breeze

Growmodo homepage

Growmodo is a subscription-based platform, specializing in website development and website management. We offer a range of services with unlimited project requests. We can connect you to top-notch developers through our dedicated project managers, who make sure all your projects run smoothly. 

Growmodo is ideal for businesses with frequent development and design needs who seek a seamless and cost-effective solution.

Growmodo Features

  • Unlimited development requests
  • A dedicated project manager
  • Daily progress reports
  • Transparent pricing
  • Access to a curated team of developers
  • Fast onboarding (24 to 47hours)
  • Quick turnaround times

Growmodo Services

Growmodo services

Here are the most popular services we offer.

Website & Landing Page Development: Our team of experts specializes in building and customizing high-performing websites using WordPress, Shopify, and Webflow. We can also set up a smooth e-commerce experience for your online store. 

Website Maintenance: Let us handle your website management. Our team ensures 24/7 smooth and secure operations with updates for security, performance optimization, and content management.

Automation & Efficiency: Streamline your workflow with Zapier and Parabola integration. Automate repetitive tasks and connect your favorite tools for increased efficiency.

Email Marketing Setup: Trust Growmodo to manage your campaigns on platforms like ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, MailChimp, or Klaviyo. We maximize your reach and engagement for effective email marketing.

Custom Chatbot Development: Enhance customer interactions with personalized chatbots. These chatbots capture leads, provide instant support, and boost your overall efficiency.

SEO: Optimize your website's visibility with title tag & meta description updates. We'll add or modify these elements to improve how your site appears in search results. Boost search engine rankings by updating image alt tags and enhancing the overall SEO strategy.

Resolve technical SEO issues to improve website performance, search visibility, and user accessibility. Our team addresses these concerns to ensure a better online experience for your users.

Growmodo Pricing

Growmodo pricing

Growmodo's transparent pricing starts at $1,795/month. This gives you unlimited development and design requests, revisions, a dedicated project manager, and daily progress reports: no hidden costs, no surprises, just predictable value. You can always scale the number of designers working on your project request if you need more hands on deck. 

Outsource Your Subscription-Based Website Development with Growmodo

Screenshot of Growmodo's website

Why should you choose Growmodo to handle all your development projects?

  • Unlimited Creative Freedom: No project restrictions, just endless possibilities.
  • Clear Communication: Stay informed every step of the way with detailed daily reports from your dedicated project manager.
  • Scalable Support: Grow your team as your needs grow, ensuring you always have the right level of support.
  • Transparent Pricing: Predictable costs with no hidden fees. Starting at $1,795/month, you get unlimited requests, revisions, a dedicated project manager, and daily reports.

Leave the technical heavy lifting to Growmodo and dedicate your energy to what you do best—growing your business. Book a call with Growmodo today to see how we can help you achieve your online goals.