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Web Hosting for Non-Profit Websites
Updated: 2022-02-17 / Article by: Jerry Low
Building a website is something that all non-profits should do. It’s a good way of exponentially increasing reach at very little expense. Thanks to improved technologies, the process has become much more accessible, even if you can’t code.
Running a non-profit often means tight control over operational budgets. Some may interpret websites for non-profits as “expensive” or “unnecessary.” Yet, given how digitalized the world has become, not having a website is losing a potentially potent funding source.
How a Website Can Benefit Non-profit Organization
For those who aren’t sure if building a website is the right step for a non-profit, here are some of the benefits having one can bring:
Increased reach – There’s only so much you can do out of a physical location. Restricting yourself to that means limiting outreach potential. A website can break through distance barriers, allowing you to reach out to people across the globe.
Digital donations – By implementing a few simple features, you can automate donation acceptance easily. Since making payments or fund transfers online is now easy, your website can become a new channel for accepting donations for a good cause.
Expand your database – Given the higher volume of visitors websites can get, you can imagine the amount of data you can collect. That means more potential volunteers, more straightforward marketing campaigns, or simply building a more robust network.
Better engagement – With a website, you make things easier for your audience to visit. That can translate into better engagement as you post updates, news, notices, or other information on your web pages.
The web hosting provider you choose is one of the most critical elements of your website. It affects everything from price to how quickly your website performs. Some of this will affect your budget; others will impact user experience.
There are hundreds of web hosting providers in the market with a large discrepancy in performance and features included. We keep a close eye on most of the top web hosting providers and find that these are the best web hosting for non-profit websites.
What Makes Hostinger Suitable for Non-profit Websites?
WordPress hosting plans here start as low as $1.99/mo but keep in mind that doesn’t include a domain name. Go for the $2.99/mo plan that comes with a free domain name for a better all-in solution. That way, you won’t have to worry about having your domain name and hosting from different hosting providers.
It also includes email hosting so you can create email accounts for your custom domain name. That’ll reflect more professionally on your organization instead of using a public email provider like Google.
Hosting is a perfect essential web hosting provider that will meet most new website needs. It may not be the fastest provider around, but it ticks all the right boxes if you plan to establish your digital presence newly.
Although their cheapest WordPress plans start at $2.99/mo, they offer discounts for non-profit organizations. To qualify for the discount, you have to get in touch with their customer support team. They’ll also need you to furnish them with some documentation. At the moment, only US-based organizations qualify, though.
A2 Shared Hosting Plans & Pricing
Features / Plans
The plans at A2 Hosting are highly inclusive, so you get everything needed to build a robust and effective website. Their customer support team is also speedy and works to resolve any concerns quickly and politely.
The one thing to be aware of at A2 Hosting is that renewal prices for their hosting plans can be a little high. Still, if you qualify for their non-profit discount, that shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
If you have slightly more leeway in terms of budget, then consider Bluehost as your hosting partner. Their plans are relatively pricier for the group in this list, starting from $3.95/mo. There are many good reasons for that, though.
Is Bluehost the Right Choice for Non-profit Websites?
Bluehost is one of only three web hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress. Even if you don’t want to use WordPress, they have a viable alternative. Bluehost also offers plans centered around a website builder, so you can still build a website quickly.
The quality they offer is top-notch and easily one of the best in the world. This quality shows clearly in many areas, from performance to customer support and more. Bluehost servers are all US-based and should be perfect for those needing good speeds in the region.
How to Choose the Best Hosting for a Non-Profit Website
While it may seem that the core concern for a non-profit website is price, that isn’t entirely correct. Other factors strongly influence the effectiveness of your website, meaning that saving money on your hosting plan shouldn’t be your only objective.
Here’s a list of the areas you need to consider.
Naturally, you need to consider cost since it affects your operational budget. Remember that most web hosts want you to sign up for extended terms to qualify for their highest discount rates. So your budget needs to factor in bi or tri-annual hosting costs.
Not all web hosts are equal, and some may offer dirt cheap plans. Not all of these are practical, though, so make sure you sign up with a reputable hosting provider. We’ve given you three good ones to get started with here.
For a cheap and fast website building experience, it’s better to use a web application like WordPress. If this isn’t what interests you, look for a hosting provider that offers a website builder so that you won’t have to learn to code.
Other value-added features will be good to have—for example, an automated backup system, free domain name, and easily deployable free SSL. A host with a sound security system in place is also something o be prized.
4. Customer Support
This is what makes or breaks a web hosting service provider for many people. Even if you get the best hosting in the world, it’ll break down occasionally. During those times, how the host reacts can make a big difference in your experience.
Cost of Building a Non-profit Website
The best part about building a website today is the vast amount of flexibility in the field. Prices can vary greatly, and the right choices in web hosting can make a big difference. If you use a web application like WordPress, you can even build it on your own.
Let’s break things down to the bare necessities to give you an idea of how much a non-profit starter website would cost. You’ll need;
Domain name – Between $8 to $13 per year
Web hosting – Between $1 to $5 per month
Web application – Use WordPress; it’s free!
While there are things that may incur an additional cost, these are the basics. If you want to build and run a website at these prices, it is entirely feasible.
Short answer – No. You will likely find a few web hosting providers with a free web hosting plan if you do some research. One good example of this is 000webhost, which Hostinger owns. While this is a legitimate case of free hosting, be wary of most providers that offer this service.
Providing web hosting costs a lot of money since it involves expensive equipment, software, and technical expertise. If the company doesn’t earn money directly from you, you may find it ends up profiting in other less savory ways.
At the very least, though, the chances are that it will be a sub-par experience designed to drive you towards their more expensive, paid hosting plans. If you have time and want to experiment, then at least choose a partner like 000webhost.
However, if your main interest is establishing an effective non-profit website, then go for a paid plan with an excellent hosting company from the start. It’ll save you lots of grief and possibly expense when you discover the free hosting plan can’t meet your needs.
Migrating a website from one hosting provider to another takes time and some skill. If you’re lucky, your new host will do it for free. If not, you may end up paying anything from $20 to over $100 to move a website.
Frequently Asked Questions on Non-profit
Can a website be a non-profit?
Yes, many non-profit organizations create websites. They use the websites for various reasons, including spreading awareness, interaction with potential donors, donation collection activities, and much more.
How much does a non-profit website cost?
The average cost for successful websites ranges anywhere between $200 to over $10,000 for initial setup. Non-profit websites generally need to face the same expenses as most others. These expenses include web hosting, domain name, and cost of development.
How can I create an NGO website?
You can use any web host as the foundation for your NGO website. The building process is similar to most other websites. Once you have the web hosting, simply transfer your website files and link a domain to have it up and running.
Is WordPress free for non-profits?
The WordPress web application is free to use for any website, including non-profits. However, you will need to pay for web hosting that’s able to run the WordPress application. Other costs involve a domain name and possibly development fees if you engage a third-party developer.
Although you may be on a budget for your non-profit website, keep in mind that the final result will have a substantial impact on your public image. Your website will be part of your ‘brand’ even if you’re a non-profit organization.
If potential volunteers or donors come to your website and have a poor experience, you may lose out on funding or human resources that are sorely needed.
Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.