One-time Fee vs Monthly Subscription: A Super Simple Comparison Guide

One-Time Fee vs Monthly Subscription Fee

One-time Fee Vs Monthly Subscription: A Super Simple Comparison Guide

Having a website in 2019 is a smart move. In fact, your website is the best marketing tool for you AND your business. The bottom line: a website gives you a competitive edge in an extremely competitive market!

While embarking on your website journey, you will need to make a lot of decisions. With the most pressing one being the cost of the website. Therefore, you have two choices to make when it comes to cost: a one-time fee vs monthly subscription.

Now, you’re most likely wondering, which one is the better choice? 

We’ll break it down for you so you can have a better understanding of both. Hopefully with enough information, you can confidently go forth in choosing the best option to suit your personal and business needs.

 One-time Fee – Software As A Product (SaaP):

  • Web development and web design companies that charge a one-time fee, use the SaaP (software as a PRODUCT) model/concept.
  • With SaaP, you’re purchasing the website (software) one time, and you own it for life. You don’t have to pay additional money to use it, and you will most likely have to provide your own hosting.
  • Depending on the price/cost, the company can charge you anywhere from $1000-$20,000+. You must pay for the website at time of purchase (before the completion and launching of the site). This is a lot of money up front, which can be problematic for new business owners with little/no capital, or for those on a tight budget.
  • While most web development and design companies do offer tech support, providing access to updates/upgrades, security fixes, ect. However, this often comes with a hefty price. Once you buy a SaaP website, the upkeep is all yours, UNLESS you pay extra.

Monthly Subscription – Software As A Service (SaaS):

  • Web development and design companies that charge a monthly subscription fee (like Kings of the Web) use the SaaS (software as a SERVICE) model/concept.
  • With SaaS or a Monthly Subscription, you pay a recurring monthly cost/fee, which is fixed. This does not include the initial one-time set-up/starter fee.
  • In most cases, the cost/fee will include your usage of the website and all of its’ maintenance. This includes hosting.
  • With SaaS, you pay a subscription that allows you to use the software (website). You are paying for the functionality of the website, rather than the website itself. If you stop paying the subscription fee, you lose access to the functionality of the website.
  • With SaaS, you have unlimited access to tech support if something goes wrong. In addition, the web development company will maintain everything on the site, including updates and security measures. This means your site is less susceptible to malware and hacking.
  • With SaaS, you may even have options to customize the website to your needs, only paying for the services you want.
  • A one-time payment might be “cheaper”, but the initial fee might prove to be an obstacle for many. A monthly subscriptions allows you to have the convenience of a website, paying low monthly installments.
  • SaaS is more flexible and future-oriented. Because the price of SaaS is often based on a fixed monthly fee, you pay as long as you need the website. This can be either a short-term or long-term commitment. So let’s say after a few months you decide to opt out (for whatever reason) – no problem. There are no contracts and no commitments. This flexibility allows for less risk + more control = peace of mind.


What is the difference between a One-Time Fee vs Monthly Subscription ?

  • Software as a Service (monthly subscription) means a software will be sold as a service that only is maintained if the customer is paying recurring payments. If they pause the recurring payments, the service will be paused too.
  • Software as a Product (one-time fee) means a software will be sold as a product. The customer owns as their own property after delivery, and no further payments is needed.

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