A nonprofit’s website is the most effective platform for them to communicate and fundraise. In this digital age, nonprofits can rely on their online presence to spread awareness, manage newsletters, and receive donations.
As beneficial as websites are, they still come with a cost. Nonprofits still have to pay for a hosting plan in order to get their site seen by the world wide web, and unlike with standard businesses, nonprofits rarely have a large budget to fall back on. Despite this, you shouldn’t have to compromise on quality when it comes to choosing a web host for your nonprofit site. To keep your website secure and functional, you need a reliable web host that doesn’t cut corners and provides you with all the necessary features needed for success. Of course, your chosen web host can provide all of this without breaking the bank.
Understandably, finding an affordable yet fully-featured web host with all the bells and whistles may seem near impossible, but luckily you’ve come to the right place. To start with, we’ve laid out the various web hosting features needed for nonprofit websites, including security tools, around-the-clock customer support, and site-building software. We have then narrowed down from the thousands of providers to just three to the best web hosts for nonprofit websites in 2022 to make your decision even easier. So, let’s dive in!
What to look for in a web host for your nonprofit website
Here are a few key factors to consider before choosing a web host for your nonprofit website –
When it comes to nonprofit sites, the price of web hosts is one of the most important factors. Luckily, standard providers are becoming increasingly more affordable and many are constantly offering special deals for their plans. It’s also good to keep in mind that hosting plans often become cheaper if you commit to a longer subscription. So, if you purchase a plan that runs across three years rather than just one, then you’ll likely see a significant price drop.
You’re probably already aware that there are also free hosting plans available which may seem like the obvious best choice for any nonprofit site. However, we strongly advise against these as they are generally less reliable and come with various drawbacks. As with everything else, when it comes to web hosts, you get what you pay for. And if you pay nothing, then in return you’re going to get strict resource limits, subpar security measures, and an overall lack of features.
When it comes to choosing your hosting plan, you need to have a good idea of how many resources your website will use. When we say ‘resources’, we’re mainly referring to bandwidth and storage space. Bandwidth indicates the amount of data that is transferred to and from your server whilst storage space refers to how much space your website is allocated on a server.
Small-to-medium-sized websites usually don’t require much of either. If you have an idea of how many daily visitors, average page visits, and average page sizes of your site, then you can easily calculate how much bandwidth is required. But, if you’re just getting started with your nonprofit site, then you’ll just have to take an educated guess. We would say that you won’t need more than 10 GB of bandwidth for a smaller-sized website.
Storage space, on the other hand, heavily depends on the actual content of your site. If your website mainly consists of text with just a few images and videos, then you’ll probably only need around 3 GB of storage space. However, if your site is loaded with loads of high-quality images and videos, then you’ll need up to 10 or even 20 GB of storage space.
Many web hosts do tend to offer ‘unlimited’ bandwidth and/or storage that can save a lot of headaches. It’s also good to check how easy it is to upgrade your plan if necessary before committing to the purchase. Some web hosts will charge extra for upgrades whilst others don’t so make sure you consider this before making your choice.
Choosing a web host with adequate security protocols is vital, especially when it comes to both eCommerce and nonprofit websites. If you want visitors to make donations on your site then you need to ensure that their sensitive information is protected and out of reach from hackers. First and foremost, you need an SSL certificate, which currently 84% of nonprofit websites have.
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a security technology that authenticates a website’s identity and encrypts data to allow for secure connections between a server and a web browser. Whenever a visitor makes a donation on your site, the SSL certificate encrypts their identity, address, and financial details so that it cannot be intercepted and stolen by cybercriminals. With an SSL certificate, you can build trust with visitors, increase your donation rates, and even improve your SEO rankings.
Rather than having to set aside even more money to outsource the design of your site, you can do it yourself with a website builder. Website builders are easy-to-use tools that help even complete beginners build an entire website from scratch. You can start by selecting a template that suits your site the best before making changes to the text, fonts, colours, images, and virtually any other element. With a website builder, you don’t need any prior web design or coding experience, which makes this tool a fantastic addition for any nonprofit that wants to cut expenditure.
Website builders are usually tools that can be purchased alongside hosting plans, however, some web hosts have a custom site builder that’s included in their plans at no extra cost. We highly recommend opting for a web host with a built-in website builder as it’s the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to design and create your nonprofit site.
No matter what the purpose of your website is, or what web hosting plan you have, at some point you’re going to run into issues. If you’re unlucky enough to run into a huge issue that impacts your entire site then it’s crucial to get this issue resolved as fast as possible.
For this to happen you need a web host that provides 24/7 customer support through either live chat or phone. As well as being fast-responding, the support team also needs to be knowledgeable and experienced. It’s best to check out the reviews for any web host before purchasing one of their plans as you’ll likely gain a good understanding of how fast and useful their support team is. Many reputable web hosts also have a knowledge base that can be found on their website. This is perfect for resolving smaller issues yourself without needing to write out a support ticket.
Our top recommended best web hosts for nonprofit websites
All web hosts have their own set of strengths and weaknesses, and some are better suited to nonprofit websites than others. We’ve looked into the top web hosts of 2021 and narrowed the huge list down to just three. These web hosts all provide plenty of features and resources needed for your nonprofit site to flourish, as well as offering affordable hosting plans. So, here are our top recommended web hosts for nonprofit websites.
Bluehost is a well-established provider that is one of our go-to recommendations for budget-friendly and full-featured web hosting. This web host offers flexible hosting plans that are outstanding value for money. The available shared, dedicated, and VPS plans are packed with features that will elevate your nonprofit website and make it easy to manage. Both beginners and experts alike will appreciate all the bonus additions included in Bluehost’s hosting plans.
With Bluehost’s basic shared hosting plan, you can power a single website with 50 GB SSD storage and unmetered bandwidth. This basic plan and all other shared plans also come with one-year free domain name registration, CDN, and an SSL certificate. What’s more, if you decide to splash out a little bit for Bluehost’s pro shared plan then you’ll receive even more bonus additions such as free domain privacy, 30 days of Office 365 Mailbox, dedicated IP, automated backups, positive SSL, and $200 of Google Ads credit.
To top it all off, Bluehost has a custom website builder that’s also included for free in all available plans. With this tool, users with varying technical knowledge can build a unique and fully-functioning website in record time. The built-in smart AI will begin by selecting an appropriate template for you, or you can choose from the hundreds of available options. You can then edit every element of your chosen template using the user-friendly drag and drop interface. With this website builder, you don’t need any prior coding experience to design a beautiful website in just a few minutes.
Some of Bluehost’s website-building features include custom CSS, web page carousels, blog post templates, custom fonts, live mobile editing, animated headlines, and over 300 quick-start page design templates. Your nonprofit website can also benefit from various marketing features such as social media sharing buttons, contact forms, form fill templates, call-to-action buttons, and email marketing tools.
Bluehost has an expert support team available 24/7. This team will promptly reply through live chat, email, or phone calls and will clearly answer any questions or help you fix any problems with your website. Bluehost also has a comprehensive knowledge base that’s bursting with informative how-tos, articles, and guides, covering just about any web hosting query you can think of.
A2 Hosting is another low-cost web host that provides eco-friendly hosting plans for websites of all sizes. This web host has plenty to offer both beginners and pros alike, with its ultra-fast servers, generous resource allocation, and robust security measures. Even better, A2 Hosting even offers discounts on all of its hosting packages to all nonprofit organizations. Just open a ticket with their support team to find out more information and obtain a discount for your nonprofit website.
With A2’s cheapest shared plan, startup, you are permitted a single website with 100 GB SSD storage space, unlimited bandwidth, 700 MB physical memory, and free site migration. If you want the pleasure of using A2’s super-fast turbo servers, then you can upgrade to the turbo boost plan. With this plan, you can host an unlimited number of websites in addition to unlimited NVMe storage, automatic backups, 1 GB physical memory, unlimited email accounts, and traffic surge protection.
Also included in each of A2’s shared hosting plans is their professional website builder. The 1-page version of this tool is suitable for one page and provides 10 templates and 100 MB storage. Alternatively, you can choose the business package for 10 pages with 40 templates, 5 GB storage, and a blog plugin. This versatile tool allows you to choose a theme and select a template before editing each individual element to create a one-of-a-kind website. You can use the test editor, image gallery, and contact form buttons to create an amazing user experience for your nonprofit website.
A2 Hosting exceeds expectations when it comes to security by providing a terrific range of protective tools including a dual firewall, a virus scanner, reinforced DDoS protection, 2FA, brute force defence, and SSL, all of which are included in every hosting plan. This web host also has a live chat and phone support team who are keen to quickly help you out. You can also check out A2’s blog for the latest news and articles, or the knowledge base for in-depth guides and tutorials.
Siteground is a leading web host that offers dynamic hosting plans for anything from personal blogs, to large eCommerce stores, and, of course, nonprofit websites. This web host is slightly more costly than the other options of this list, making it more suitable for established nonprofits that expect high amounts of traffic. With Siteground, you have the choice between shared, cloud, and dedicated hosting plans. We’ll be focusing on their shared plans today as these are the most cost-effective solutions that are ideal for nonprofit websites.
Siteground’s cheapest shared hosting plan, StartUp, is suitable for up to 10,000 monthly visits and provides you with one website, 10 GB SSD storage space, and unmetered bandwidth. This should be more than enough for small to medium nonprofits, but if you think you’ll have more than 10,000 monthly visits then you can opt for the more expensive GrowBig plan. This plan is suitable for up to 100,000 monthly visitors and gives you unlimited websites, 20 GB SSD storage space, and again, unmetered bandwidth.
All shared hosting plans come equipped with other useful features such as unlimited email accounts, access to Weebly Sitebuilder, site management tools, and automatic WordPress installation. These additions are fantastic in helping you set up and manage your nonprofit without hassle, even as a complete beginner.
With each of Siteground’s hosting plans, you get a free SSL certificate along with various other security features including anti-hack systems, CloudFlare CDN (Content Delivery Network), email spam protection, automatic daily backups, and 24/7 server monitoring. This web host also has a friendly and knowledgeable support team that is available 24/7 to resolve any issues you might encounter. Alternatively, you can explore Siteground’s blog for web hosting tips and tricks, or their knowledge base for hundreds of tutorials, FAQS, and even podcasts.
A final note
If you’re unsure about some aspects regarding web hosting, then feel free to check out our guide of common web hosting questions and answers!