Nonprofits need safe, reliable website hosting to fuel operations. And due to limited budgets, it helps to find free web hosting for nonprofits.
Start with our list of the best web hosting platforms to find an affordable service for your nonprofit today.
What To Look For In A Web Hosting For Nonprofits?
A web host is a company that houses your website’s data on its servers. Having a secure and reliable website host will protect your visitors’ information while also ensuring your website is accessible when stakeholders need it.
Purchasing web hosting is just the first step in the process of getting your website up and running. You’ll need to purchase a domain and choose a CMS or hire a website developer to create your website.
Consider additional services that might be helpful in your website journey, such as FTP services, customer support and SSL to protect your visitor information and security.
Nonprofits often have small teams and limited resources. To help you get the most bang for your buck, we’ve outlined the 6 most important aspects to help evaluate your nonprofit website hosting.
Affordability: Many web hosting services can now offer both quality and affordability. An expensive hosting plan isn’t necessarily a quality hosting plan. You need to evaluate your storage needs, feature requirements and customer location to choose the best servers. Don’t compromise quality, but don’t overpay just because you aren’t sure what makes a good hosting plan.
Discounts: Some hosting plans are specifically designed for nonprofits. Hosting companies looking to give back can offer discounted or even free hosting plans for nonprofits. Look into plans with discounts that make the hosting even more affordable.
Security: When evaluating web hosting, security is the most important consideration. One data breach could compromise your mission entirely. Consider avoiding shared hosting plans where many websites are hosted on the same server. Their vulnerabilities could make you more vulnerable. And large changes in their traffic could also slow down your website. Make sure you know security details before signing up with a website host.
Usability: Some web hosting platforms are more difficult to navigate than others. Additionally, you might not have full access to your configuration with some hosting plans. Evaluate your needs and technical abilities before selecting your web host.
Uptime: Downtime could mean that you can’t provide services to your customers or that you can’t accept online donations. Ensure your website is available 24/7 with a host that has nearly perfect uptime guarantees.
Customer support: Because many nonprofits have limited IT support resources, it’s important to look at a hosting plan’s support options. Some plans have no support, others limit it to email tickets while others enable online chat and phone support 24/7. When something goes wrong with your website, you need immediate solutions. Take that into account when evaluating plans.
The Best Web Hosting Services For Nonprofits in 2021
To make it easier to find the best nonprofit web hosting services, we’ve created a short list to guide you in finding the best plan to meet your needs. Here are the best web hosting services for nonprofits in 2021.
Best for: Free web hosting for nonprofits
Dreamhost provides a completely free shared hosting plan for registered nonprofit and charitable organizations. The plan includes email hosting.
You’ll need to prove your nonprofit status before receiving the free plan. It does not cover dedicated or VPS hosting plans.
Pricing: Shared hosting is free for nonprofits. Other pricing plans start at $2.59 per month based on your hosting needs.
Bundles: You’ll still need a domain even with your free hosting plan. You can purchase that through DreamHost to simplify your subscriptions and keep them all in 1 place.
Best for: Nonprofits of all sizes looking for good all-around hosting plans
InMotion provides outstanding service and affordability. You can get unlimited email accounts as part of your plan, free backups and a discount for nonprofit organizations. Be aware of the visitor caps on the cheaper shared hosting plans before deciding on your plan options.
Pricing: Prices start at $7.49 per month with SSL security. You can upgrade to VPS hosting for an even better experience for $17.99 per month.
Bundles: Bundle your web hosting along with your email hosting for an even better price. InMotion provides many services to choose from to make your technology simple.
Best for: Quality hosting with 24/7 support
A2 provides discounts for nonprofits while providing outstanding hosting services.
A2 also offers 24/7 customer support. If you’re unhappy with the services, there’s a money-back guarantee. The service comes with a free shopping cart installation to allow you to accept online donations securely.
Pricing: Shared hosting starts at $7.99 per month before the nonprofit discount. You’ll have to pay more for regular backups, but the affordability of the regular services makes it a top pick for nonprofits.
Bundles: Add WordPress hosting or the simple A2 SiteBuilder to make website management easy and simple. A2 also offers several other services for nonprofits.
Best for: Affordable web hosting plans
iPage offers an impressive introductory offer of $1.99 per month for shared hosting. The plan comes with a free domain, shopping cart installation to take online donations and an SSL certificate.
For larger nonprofits, this plan might be too limiting as it doesn’t leave room for scaling. Plus you’ll need to plan to pay for backups.
Pricing: Shared hosting plans start at $1.99 per month. You can secure that rate for as much as 3 years, but after that your plan’s pricing will increase. You’ll also need to be ready to pay for site migration if you have an existing host you’re moving from and backups also cost extra.
Bundles: The service doesn’t necessarily offer special rates when you purchase additional products and services, but the company does offer a variety of services you can take advantage of to have your services all in one convenient place.
Best for: Nonprofits planning to scale operations
HostGator provides many tiers and options for hosting plans to allow nonprofits to scale and grow operations. Start at a lower plan while you work on growing your nonprofit. You’ll also love the 99.99% uptime guarantee and free site transfer.
Pricing: Shared hosting plans start at $2.75 per month but will renew at $6.95 a month. Increase your plan or switch to dedicated hosting for $199 a month. Dedicated hosting will support your operations if you have heavy traffic. Know that the starter shared hosting plan does not come with shopping cart installation or automatic backups. Those services cost extra.
Bundles: HostGator provides many services, including domains, a website builder, WordPress hosting and the option for dedicated or VPS hosting. Consider what features will help your operations and add them to your hosting plan.
Best for: Nonprofits with limited IT resources that need help and support
With affordable prices and excellent support, Bluehost is a great option for nonprofits. The hosting platform is best known for WordPress hosting, which can add to the ease and convenience of managing your website.
Plans come with a free domain and backups. You’ll also get an SSL certificate and round-the-clock support.
Pricing: Get an introductory offer starting at $2.95 per month. At renewal, your plan will likely increase to $8.99 per month, but that should still be ample for meeting your needs.
Bundles: Managed WordPress hosting is a preferred service for many nonprofits. It helps ensure that your WordPress stays up-to-date to avoid security issues. Bluehost offers shared, VPS or dedicated hosting to give you room to grow and adjust your services as needed.
Which Web Hosting Service Should You Avoid?
One of the biggest reasons to avoid a web hosting service is due to poor uptime or security issues. Some of the hosting services with the worst uptime include the following.
- MDD Hosting
Secure Your Online Presence
Choosing your nonprofit website hosting service is only the 1st step in the process, but it’s certainly an important aspect of your website or online app. Consider your options carefully to build a secure foundation for your online presence.
Don’t just choose the cheapest option on the market. Review the discounts and free hosting options for nonprofits to take advantage of great services at an affordable rate.