Updating doesn't always mean simply adding content to your site or updating the information contained therein. Whether your site runs on a CMS (Content Management System) like Wordpress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, etc.. or it was programmed from the ground up it will need updates from time to time.
Just as you (or you should be) update your antivirus so you don't get infected so too does your site need to be updated with the latest and most stable and secure versions of the software and scripts that may run your site.
Most web design companies charge a substantial monthly fee for maintenance which only includes making sure your site remains up to date in respect to the sites security, software, etc... Clients often frown at this not understanding what the fees are for so often clients choose not to pay maintenance fees or look for a company who doesn't charge a maintenance fee.
You have been warned.
Most small businesses do not have a full time web manager to monitor activity, visitor interaction, updates, etc... They simply cannot afford to. So, you can choose to do a maintenance plan with your web design company or do maintenance on demand as I offer it from my business services. I also offer several monthly maintenance plans.
Why can maintenance be so costly?
Updates to CMS's and hand programming doesn't all happen with a click of a button. Often it takes multiple hours of updating and testing to make sure everything is ok and functioning as best as it can be at the time. Imagine working for 4 hours per month for just one of your customers. What would you charge? Multiply that by how many customers you service in one month and it can add up to a full time job for multiple people right?
Web designers / programmers like myself often spend 10 + hours per day just doing updates, maintenance, tweaks, improvements, etc.. Imagine if you worked every day like that and didn't make any money for doing it.
There are several reasons why you should update your web site content as well as your CMS or site software so if you are not a programmer you should consider purchasing a maintenance plan from a web designer so you can concentrate on your business and let us concentrate on ours.
Question: "I pay for hosting. Doesn't that cover maintenance too?"
Answer: No, when you pay for hosting it is like paying for a storage unit to store your stuff. Your web site is stored on a server which is connected to the WWW. That's it. Your web design company probably maintains and pays for the server... checks in on security... updates server software, etc.. Server side stuff should also be included with your hosting fees.
Web site maintenance: To maintain a web site and make sure its programming and content are as up to date as possible takes hours to do and requires more time than most hosting fees cover. When you pay your property taxes you don't expect the mayor to come and mow your lawn do you? Same with maintenance.