Sticker Shock: The Dangers of Free Website Building & Hosting for Non-Profits

You might be surprised at how they build up over time.

You can still host WordPress on it, but it’s not created for WordPress like their actual WordPress hosting. However, it doesn’t just stop there as specific plans and packages have been created in order to help non-profit organisations so it’s no surprise that registered charities can benefit from free web hosting. While I have recommended these hosts in the past, I’ve had increasing performance issues with most of them in the past few years. Other things we like about Dreamhost: It’s our favorite pick for small businesses because you’ll be able to get all the help you need. The customer service is incredibly responsive, 24/7 access, very pleasant and timely. Does your website get a lot of visitors? Fortunately, Beanstalk Web Solutions offers a complete range of hosting option including shared, VPS, and dedicated.

  • If you are interested in reading about SSL (Secure Socket Layer), which is used to secure web pages, take a look at the OpenSSL Project web pages.
  • And its teams will do it for free, making it even more appealing to non profits with slow websites.
  • But it doesn’t have to be.
  • If you’re looking for a separate email hosting company for nonprofit organizations, we recommend Amazon WorkMail.
  • You will have to weigh whether your time is better-spent on local publicity, driving funding, etc.
  • You already know if you own a business, that business needs a website.
  • That said, the free trial period is the longest in the business — 97 days.

If you already have a website hosted somewhere else, it’s important to take a look at how many visitors you get per day, per week, and per month. I’ve done the research for you and put together a list of my favorites – read on to find out which one best suits your needs. For instance, maybe you don't consider the data on your site as all that important, but what happens if someone takes over your site and uses it to launch attacks against another group? They offer a full 90-day guarantee (except for domain names you buy) and a pro-rated refund for the rest of your time. More pages = more opportunities for ranking and authority.

  • When the results are in, we’ll circle back to this article and make an update to this section.
  • However, hosting services can get expensive over the long term.

Best 3 Hosting for Nonprofits, Charities and 501(c)(3) Orgs

Depending upon the web services company, you may be required to provide proof of your Non-Profit status. Cloud hosting starting at $80/mo. The editor is not “WYSIWYG,” in that you cannot see what your website will actually look like as you are building it.

A2hosting is the best Non Profit Web Hosting provider, if you compare with any other hosting provider. We may also be able to accept requests from charities outside of Canada , providing that we can verify that your charity is officially registered in your country, and that this database exists online. At less than two bucks a month for the 36-month plan, you can buy three full years of hosting for under $75, a jaw-dropping deal no matter how you look at it. This means you may pay a few dollars to have your own domain name, or to place your site on a UNIX-based system rather than Windows, or for some commercial software, but in the end this investment could save you days, maybe weeks, of frustration and lost resources in the future. Customizable fundraising pages. Return to NSRC Help Desk home. Can I Host My Non profits Website For Free? Do you use FTP or Telnet?

The possibility that your message and cause is heard far and wide. If you use this method, you must purchase your domain name upfront. Vidahost are a mainstream and well-established company offering 24/7 support as standard and a free-forever option for charities. And, some organizations using this software including Physicians for Global Survival (multilingual):

  • Squarespace also has essential marketing functions to help you grow your nonprofit.
  • Since services can vary so significantly, you’ll need to contact Constructive for an individualized quote.
  • How do you connect to your site to upload/download files, or make changes?
  • But there are no restrictions on domain extension use, so you can just use.
  • Technically, if you’re extremely tech savvy and you only have a simple page you can host a single static page in an Amazon cloud bucket for.
  • SimpleSite makes building a website fun, with a user-friendly interface that takes the stress out of designing your nonprofit’s online presence.
  • In addition to these, Weebly does allow you to add an “embed code” element to your website that you can use to add your own custom code, allowing for added flexibility when it comes to apps.

Paid Versus Free Web Hosting for Nonprofits — What’s the Difference?

When initially setting up your hosting you’ll be prompted to select a website platform. Enough for hundreds of thousands of site vistors per month. Everyone knows that a good domain name tells the world what your organization does and gets donors knocking on your door. The exemption must be under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the U. Make sure your site is optimized for search engines or they and their searchers will never know your website exists. For all other sites, get a web host that’s fast, has great uptime, and amazing support. There are also subdomains, which are a subdivision of a domain.

Top Nonprofit Websites

These ideas just scratch the surface. Free basic option, paid plans start at $7. And this should be particularly terrifying for those NPOs that accept online donations, as supporter’s financial information could be at grave risk along with an organization’s reputation. Visitors can easily share your campaigns to help you raise awareness, and testimonials will boost your nonprofit’s credibility. In most cases, you can choose one of the vendor’s pre-designed templates, or you can send them a design template (usually a CSS style sheet and some graphics) that you’ve created using Dreamweaver or another web authoring tool. There are two main editors, the home page Beta editor and the “Page Master”, but they don’t seem to work together (the changes made on one were not visible on the other). These features will help you grow and expand your non profit website. WP Engine is the most affordable managed WordPress host in our opinion and they’re usually our first choice when looking for premium WordPress hosting.

But, if you can get the hosting company to point the domain name for free, then it's probably about $20/year, or less. To determine which option is best for you, compare each level to having an apartment, condo, or a house: Plus, their cheapest shared plan supports unlimited websites – a distinct advantage over the alternatives. These are an affordable option that still have plenty of power to handle most sites. In addition to shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting, DreamHost offers upgrades to VPS and cloud hosting, as well as dedicated servers should you ever need them.

However, it’s still possible to build a nonprofit website with a professional feel. Louis area as well as across the country. Perhaps the biggest issue comes down to finances, as non-profits organisations only use surplus revenue to extend its reach to a final goal, they often don’t have the spare cash flow to pay for hosting, management and development. The company offers a solid 30-day money back guarantee it calls an "Anytime" money back guarantee. Next, ask if your data is backed up, and if you can get it restored if there are problems? The company doesn't list a virtual private server offering, but it bills its Elastic Sites service as a VPS alternative, offering the ease of use of a simple shared hosting plan and the performance and scalability of a VPS. A non-profit website hosting plan, or; A very cheap (but reliable) hosting provider – even if they don’t offer special deals to charities and nonprofits. User-triggered backups, and automated site restores are built right in and super easy to use.

Fat Beehive

When you move up the price tiers, which is only a difference of a few dollars, sites and storage become unlimited, as do domains and email accounts. This is what dictates how quickly charity websites will respond when lots of people are attempting to access them. With a 99% uptime commitment and a money-back guarantee, there’s not much to lose by signing up. Each of the website builders we’ve looked at have particular strengths in terms of features, depending on what you need. Below, you’ll find our top choice to help get your mission-critical domain out to the masses. Try to find a host that has 99. First you need hosting and a domain name. Have features (either free or as add-ons) that will enable you to reach your target audience and receive donations easily.

In addition to different kinds of hosting, it offers the following: Therefore, your non-profit’s site is at serious risk for hackers and malware attacks. The company uses super-fast SSDs for all its storage, has a free SSL certificate (for more secured web browsing) and provides SSH access for those plans that are intended for more technical users.


For non profit websites to work optimally, it needs to be always up and ready for visitors. These key points include, knowing what your ISP uses to server web pages, backing up your web site, picking good passwords, making sure that your username and password are always encrypted when transmitted across the network, changing your password from time to time, and knowing who has access to your site and how. Kualo launched over a decade ago, and the company has been on a mission to build a better hosting experience ever since. Some of the apps in the Wix app market, like the Facebook Share app and the Infuse Testimonials app, are excellent for nonprofits. I'm not sold on Google Apps - Google seems to do most things well, but occasionally you'll find some service that doesn't work as you expect, and Google can be a bit like a deaf giant at times. It doesn’t use the standard cPanel that most hosts use. Our superior regional and national web hosting supports businesses that need reliable website hosting.

  • This is the best option for any site that does 50,000 visitors per month or less.
  • If you’re running a nonprofit, you know better than anyone that time and money are hot commodities—and you don’t have a lot of either.
  • Nor do you have to own your own server hardware; with a site builder, you access your account and all of the administrative functions through your web browser.

5GB Monthly Traffic

Are you running a Non Profit organization and planning to start website in the name of your Non Profit organisation? 30 days Live chat: The good news, too, is that the web is a fairly pliable medium; with a solid web presence in place, your nonprofit will be in a strong position to adapt, innovate, and learn as your organization — and your web needs — change and grow. You can also choose more advanced plans. Start by creating a Facebook page. Store owners rent a physical space from someone else. If other people know administrative passwords, then the chance that it will be transmitted in the clear increases greatly.

Instead of Telnet use SSH. For all but the largest nonprofits, a Bluehost plan should be good enough. Cheaper alternatives, ” The company’s confidence in its services is admirable and definitely well placed judging by the overwhelmingly positive user reviews found on Trustpilot and elsewhere. If your nonprofit has multiple causes, you could highlight each one with its own website. Changing colors and backgrounds in SimpleSite can be done within the page editor, and you can customize elements of your webpages as you go.

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Which one did you pick? So, if you start out with a small business and do GrowBig (as its mid-tier plan is named), you'll be able to stay with the company no matter how big you get. Kitchen & dining, | If you are related to the spread of COVID-19, please know all employees have access to confidential professional assistance through our employee assistance program. Beyond website consultation and design, they also offer out-of-the-box solutions, like custom WordPress plugins, website migration, and more.

Plugins are part of what makes WordPress so flexible. Mid-level option: This can be crucial if you experience a late night outage, issue with a plugin, etc. Website strategy and creation.

Because of this, many organizations opt for one of their subscription plans. Should you make the switch to vps?, then, saving some money and buying a managed plan would be a better solution. What do you need a website for? In addition, we'd love any shout outs on social media or on your blog if you have one.

G Suite for Nonprofits (Google Apps)

To help your nonprofit flourish online, the best website builders give you tools such as donation interfaces, mailing list options, and the ability to connect your website with your social media accounts. This doesn’t affect our recommendations in any way at all—in fact, if we don’t like a hosting company, we’ll tell you regardless of any type of incentive (you can read more about that here). What’s written in the “About” section will help search engines find the charity’s Facebook page. But you may have the time to create a simple one yourself, using a free theme and hosting from Wix or Weebly. Instead of a bunch of different sites using the same server, your site will get spread across multiple servers. No matter how attractive your site looks, it needs reliable web hosting and management. Our free hosting package includes the following : In order to help your site get seen by potential supporters, Weebly allows you to do all your SEO optimization directly within the page editors as you’re building your website.

What you receive in return, however, is a blazing fast website that is built to scale as your nonprofit grows. WP Engine = Best enterprise-level managed hosting platform. Because resources are shared between sites, it dramatically lowers the price. For a site that gets 300 visitors every month, pretty much any standard hosting package will be good enough. How big is your site?, they didn’t have an easy fix the last time I checked. Their developers can work with your organization to create interactive elements on your website that will keep your donors engaged for longer.

Their security, support, and backups are second to none because they only host WordPress sites. You’ll get faster speeds, stronger security, and extra managed services that are built-in to save you time. The costs would stack up to a staggering amount overtime and you were lucky as a non-profit organisation if you could get a web presence, you would have had to know someone in the industry who could do you a favour. Bluehost is a great choice if you want solid performance and security from your hosting provider, but it's a bit more expensive. And this loss of control may not stop at only ads—there are instances where, through crafty wording in the fine print, a free website builder can actually take ownership of your domain address. We've proven we can, and we encourage you to trust your website to one of Canada's premiere web hosting providers. The best nonprofit website is the one that generates funds to further the cause and communicates your message to the masses.


Small sites should be on shared hosting. More importantly, some plugins may conflict with one another, resulting in errors with your site. Short on Time? Remove any unnecessary code or plugins.

The free trial customer support test. Squarespace also provides a helpful sitemap on the left-hand side. More details on the web site: If you want to make advanced customizations to a WordPress or Blogger design template, however (beyond just tweaking a header image or changing some colors), you will need to know some CSS and HTML, or you have to know how to borrow and tweak the code written by other template developers. I also appreciate that the support is available at your level — whether you’re just starting and need someone to walk you through the ultimate basics with a friendly and supportive demeanor, or you want someone who can talk specs and technical nuances like a pro, the InMotion support has you covered. Just about any organization can afford the affordable SiteGround hosting recommended above. After pinpointing the necessary elements you’d like on your site and choosing a domain name, it’s time to find a website builder that offers free nonprofit website templates that match your needs.

Every extra dollar in an expense means one less dollar in their pocket. Not everything may migrate, and you may find the organization of the newly migrated site makes for harder maintenance in the long run. I go this route even if I don’t have the traffic volume yet. This is great news for nonprofits. We are a real, local St. We also offer discounted rates to non-profit’s, so ask us about our pricing. As a nonprofit organization, your website is crucial to your fundraising efforts.

There are really two factors:

Pick a Web-Development Tool

What happens if your site goes down? VPS starting at $7. Use upper and lowercase letters, and mix in some random characters as well. Siteground, cloud hosting is another option somewhere in between dedicated and shared hosting. Even if you don’t currently plan to keep a blog, for example, if you think you’ll want to incorporate one a year or two from now, you may want to account for this in your current plans.

But that's why the fact that DreamHost's ongoing offer to provide a free shared website to 501(c)(3) nonprofits is so notable. For example, it enables you to optimize your website’s SEO and add contact forms so you can expand your email list. This may sound great at first, but that still leaves 1%, or 3.

Are There Any Additional Requirements For Receiving Non-profit Hosting?

It was one of the first web hosting companies to introduce a custom Let’s Encrypt SSL integration, and it uses proprietary AI software that helps it prevent 5 million brute-force attacks every single day. In less than 48 hours, we were full transferred over and the site was no longer broken! Modern nonprofits have to maintain a far-reaching and mobile-friendly web presence. They are our absolute favorite “middle ground” provider. The hosting provider offers a managed hosting service called HostGuard. Once you’ve settled on a good fit, register with the website builder and get ready to roll. It has provided a guide to help you divide account priveledges between your chairperson and admin staff. As mentioned above, you often get when you pay for when it comes to web hosting and a lot of time can be spent looking for free hosting when it would just be easier to sign up for an affordable plan and move other more important business.

A word of warning about plugins: With more advanced hosting plans like Swift for $4. Our customers love us! One great resource for those doing some basic experimentation, or site development, is that it has a free, three-month trial for one of its lightly equipped Atom servers. Whether you’re looking to raise awareness, recruit volunteers, or fundraise for your nonprofit, website builders make creating your online presence enjoyable and easy. Also, make sure it’s easy to donate, both on desktop and mobile. We start our discussion by reiterating the following question: But as industry insiders will tell you, there is little actual foundation behind such promises.