Which web hosts will help you get the most out of your nonprofit site?
Factors like your budget, required features, and the level of support needed all play a big role when choosing a hosting provider. That’s why we’ve carried out in-depth research into the best web hosts specifically in relation to nonprofit websites, paying particular attention to any nonprofit discounts offered.
Web Hosting for Nonprofits: 8 Best Providers
- InMotion – Best overall nonprofit hosting provider.
- A2 Hosting – Best value for money.
- DreamHost – Best free hosting provider
- iPage – Best for being cheap and simple.
- HostGator – Best for those looking to scale.
- SiteGround – Best for receiving donations seamlessly.
- Bluehost – Best for help and support.
- HostPapa – Best for green hosting.
Each provider has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it really does come down to what you’re looking for. Read on as we review each provider in detail, show how they compare side-by-side, and give you a personalized recommendation.
Although each nonprofit will have its own personal needs, there are some common denominators.
Given nonprofits don’t generate profit (obviously), cheap hosting deals are always popular. Security is another factor that most consider, especially when asking for donations, as they need a safe way to process customers’ sensitive information.
Reliable uptimes and comprehensive help and support can also play vital roles in the search for a good host for nonprofits.
To save you countless hours trying to source all that info, we’ve put together a table that compares all that vital information, and more – all in one place!
Best Web Hosting Providers for Nonprofits: Head-to-Head Comparison
|Hosting Provider||Starting Price (monthly)||Money Back Guarantee||SSL Security||Uptime||24/7 Help and Support||Free Backups|
* A2 Hosting offers further discounts for US-based nonprofits, although you will need to speak with them directly.
Of course, there are plenty more features to consider, but these all vary depending on what type of hosting you’re after. If you need shared hosting, there are different resource limits to those that come with VPS hosting, and so on.
Confused? Have a quick read of our shared hosting versus VPS hosting guide, to learn what the difference is and which type you should be using.
Let’s dive in and look at our six top providers in more detail.
Best Overall Nonprofit Hosting Provider
InMotion is one of our top hosting providers, and the added bonus of a discount for nonprofits makes it a worthy winner of the title ‘best overall nonprofit hosting provider’. Just take a look at how well it performed in our research:
InMotion Pros and Cons
InMotion Pricing for Nonprofits
With InMotion, you can pick up a shared hosting plan for as little as $3.99/month as part of a two-year deal. The regular monthly price of InMotion’s shared hosting service is $7.49 – $22.99, but if you plan on processing a lot of donation payments, we’d recommend upgrading to VPS hosting.
If you plan on processing a lot of donation payments, we’d recommend upgrading to VPS hosting. InMotion offers the best VPS hosting of any provider, and comes with bulked up security to keep both your and your pledges’ information secure. Plans for VPS hosting range from $34.99/month to $159.99/month.
InMotion’s prices are already competitive, but there’s an extra bonus on offer – nonprofits are able to request a discount by getting in touch with InMotion directly.
Since InMotion is well-known for its shared and VPS hosting, it only seems right that we discuss what comes with both services.
InMotion’s shared hosting works off a cPanel – an industry standard, easy-to-use dashboard – with unmetered transfer and unlimited email accounts. All plans have an SSL certificate, a free domain, free backups, and 24/7 support.
The monthly visitor cap is 360,000, which shouldn’t be an issue unless you’re a global charity, or experience a sudden extreme spike in traffic. In short, InMotion’s shared hosting is great – but as with all shared servers, there is a slight security risk.
For greater protection, VPS hosting is the smart choice. InMotion gives you root access, which means you can install your own security software on top of what’s already provided. You also get up to 8GB of RAM, 6TB of bandwidth, 260GB of storage, and unlimited central processing unit (CPU) cores.
Best Value for Money
A2 has great features at low prices, with an extra discount on offer for nonprofits. Here’s how it performed in our nonprofit-focused research:
A2 Hosting Pros and Cons
A2 Pricing for Nonprofits
A2 has discounted rates for accredited, US-based nonprofits. To qualify, you’ll need to prove your nonprofit status by providing A2 with all the relevant documentation.
Because its discounts work on a case by case basis, it’s impossible to provide you with an exact amount. However, A2’s shared hosting plans range from $7.99/month to $18.99/month, so you can expect to shave at least a couple of bucks a month off that.
From our research, A2’s biggest strength is its managed WordPress hosting service. Plans start at $24.46/month – definitely worth considering if you own a custom-built WordPress website.
We’re sure you’ve got the gist by now – A2’s shared and managed WordPress hosting services are its cheapest (and its best!), so we’ll be focusing on those features specifically.
But before all that, we want to give a shout out to A2’s support staff. After undergoing thorough training, they’re more knowledgeable and better equipped to help you than any other provider. Ideal if you’re a bit of a tech novice, and need all the help you can get!
Back to A2’s features – shared hosting plans come with unmetered transfer, and an SSL certificate. It’s more limited than InMotion in that there’s no free domain, and backups only come with its top-tiered plan.
Managed WordPress hosting is where A2 comes into its own. Having mightily impressed in our testing, A2 proved to be the second best provider for WordPress websites (more on our number one in the next section).
Best for Free Shared Hosting
DreamHost is the only top-rated provider to offer free shared web hosting to nonprofits. See how it performed in our testing below:
DreamHost Pros and Cons
DreamHost Pricing for Nonprofits
The dream for most nonprofits is to get web hosting completely free of charge… and those sleepy wishes have been answered, befittingly by DreamHost.
Any US-based nonprofit organization can pick up a single shared hosting plan (including email hosting) at no cost whatsoever. You don’t even have to provide credit card details!
Discounts on managed WordPress hosting are also available, with DreamHost offering nonprofits 35% off its standard plans. These range from $16.95/month to $71.95/month, meaning that with a discount, you could host your WordPress site for as little as $11/month.
Let’s breakdown what kind of features you can expect from DreamHost:
For shared hosting, you’ll get unmetered transfer, a free domain, free backups, an SSL certificate (crucial for keeping your site secure), and an unlimited monthly visitor limit. There’s no 24/7 support, though, so help is only available via DreamHost’s online help center or its ticketing system.
For managed WordPress hosting, one-click installs, automated software updates, a free domain, free backups, and an SSL certificate are all included. You’ll also receive unmetered bandwidth and between 30 – 120GB of storage, depending on what plan you go for.
There’s free shopping cart installation across all plans too, so you can start taking donations with ease.
Cheap and Simple Web Hosting
iPage doesn’t offer any nonprofit discount, but with promotional prices starting at just $1.99/month, you’re unlikely to miss it. iPage’s features are generally strong, too:
iPage Pros and Cons
iPage Pricing for Nonprofits
iPage’s ‘core offer’ is a shared hosting plan, which you can get for just $1.99/month – but only if you sign up to a three year plan straight off the bat. After the promotional period is over, this’ll bump up to $7.99 (a similar price to competitors).
There’s no extra discount for nonprofits, which feels kind of fair enough when the prices are this low already.
It would be easy to write off iPage as a ‘cheap and cheerful’ provider, but it actually has some pretty great features. Most providers offer around three different ‘tiers’ of shared hosting, with the features on offer bumping up with each tier.
iPage’s one plan happily competes with these ‘top tier’ plans, with unlimited disk space and unmetered bandwidth. There’s also 24/7 support via phone and live chat, so you’ll be well looked after. iPage offers a free SSL certificate and free domain, although you’ll have to pay a little extra for backups – $1.14/month, to be precise.
iPage falls down on its uptime guarantee, which is comparatively low at 99.94%. While this is only a guaranteed minimum, it does mean your site will theoretically be ‘down’ for more time than if you were with another provider. And if you’re switching to iPage, it’s a one-off $150 payment to have the iPage staff do this for you (although you can do it yourself for free).
Best for Scalability
Where iPage falls down for scalability, offering only one plan, HostGator excels; if you’re planning for large-scale campaigns and rapid growth, HostGator makes for an excellent choice. Here’s how it performed in our research:
HostGator Pros and Cons
HostGator Pricing for Nonprofits
Like all hosting providers, HostGator offers promotional prices for its first term. This means you can start out on the HostGator shared Starter plan for just $2.75/month, which then renews at $6.95/month – actually one of the cheaper renewal prices around.
If you need to move on from shared hosting, HostGator has the full spectrum of plans on offer – right up to the highest dedicated server plan with a renewal price of $199.01/month. This is ideal for seriously high-traffic sites.
HostGator scores pretty well across the board for features. It has the best uptime guarantee of any provider, with an unbeatable promise of 99.9%.
There are lots of ‘unlimiteds’ on the shared plans, too – disk space, subdomains, and email accounts to be exact. You’ll get a free domain and SSL certificate, and unmetered bandwidth as well.
But there are a couple of places where HostGator falls down compared to other providers. First up, HostGator recommends you purchase an extra service called CodeGuard to get automatic daily backups, instead of providing them itself. This starts at $2/month for 1GB of storage. Free shopping cart installation is also only available across the more expensive plans.
VPS plans are a great option for nonprofits planning to run large campaigns and drive a lot of traffic to the site. They mimic a dedicated server at a fraction of the price, meaning you won’t be competing for bandwidth with other sites, or risk people being unable to access your site in peak times. HostGator’s VPS plans start out at just $29.95 for the first term, renewing at $49.95.
There is no nonprofit discount currently available.
Best for Receiving Donations Seamlessly
SiteGround is a stand-up platform that you can trust. As you can see, uptime and help and support are its two main strengths:
SiteGround Pros and Cons
SiteGround Pricing for Nonprofits
Although SiteGround has a dedicated page for nonprofit hosting, don’t be fooled – these are exactly the same prices it charges any other website for hosting. Look past this sleight of hand, though and you’ll find a solid hosting provider with lots to offer.
SiteGround’s shared hosting is its strongest product – there are other providers out there with better services for alternative types of hosting. Its shared hosting costs between $14.99/month and $39.99/month, excluding long-term discounts. With a discount, prices range from $6.99 to $14.99/month.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it – SiteGround does have some obvious flaws. Its storage space is limited to between 10GB and 40GB, so if you need a lot of media on your website – as most non-profits do – you may have to invest in an upper-tiered plan. Let’s not be too harsh, though – after all, SiteGround is known as Mr. Reliable for a reason.
For starters, its fantastic uptime means you’re seldom likely to encounter downtime. And on top of that, you’re equipped with a free CDN (Content Delivery Network), which helps load your web pages faster for visitors.
To top it all off, SiteGround has brilliant help and support, so you won’t be caught cold should you get stuck with anything technical. The platform is a little pricier than the others on the list, but you can count on SiteGround for a service that’s as smooth as it comes.
Best for Help and Support
Despite no longer handing out free web hosting to nonprofits, Bluehost still has plenty to offer. Take a look at how it stacks up in the key areas:
Bluehost Pros and Cons
Bluehost Pricing for Nonprofits
If you’d asked us a few months back, Bluehost would have been first or second on this list of recommendations. Unfortunately, it’s since discontinued free hosting for nonprofits. Don’t let that put you off, though.
Bluehost still offers more than enough to be classed as a great option for nonprofits. And with a starting price of $7.99/month (which drops to $2.95/month if you sign up three years), it should be well within most budgets.
WordPress hosting is where Bluehost has made its name, and it’s what we’d recommend for any nonprofit site that uses the platform. Its managed WordPress hosting prices range from $29.99/month to $59.95/month, and really sets high standards for its competitors to follow.
We appreciate that cash is rarely free flowing within nonprofit organizations, so let’s start with what features Bluehost has on its shared hosting plans.
A free domain and free backups are included, as is an SSL certificate and 24/7 support. The big selling point with Bluehost shared hosting is that if a particular website is using a lot of your server’s resource, it will look to temporarily relocate them so your website isn’t affected.
Alongside the fantastic uptime, this makes Bluehost a solid option if you don’t want to break the bank, but still need a reliable service.
When it comes to managed WordPress hosting, you get one-click installs and automated software updates. You can also host as many websites as you please – perfect for charities with multiple sites. Unmetered bandwidth and unlimited storage help top off what is a very comprehensive service.
Best for Green Hosting
Despite being in eighth place, HostPapa could be the perfect choice for eco-conscious nonprofits, offsetting its carbon emissions by 100%.
HostPapa Pros and Cons
HostPapa Pricing for Nonprofits
HostPapa doesn’t offer any kind of bonus for nonprofits, but its regular shared prices are in line with other providers on this list, kicking off at $7.99/month. That said, the promotional ‘first term’ offers aren’t quite so generous – you’ll start off on $3.95, pushing this more than $1/month over most providers.
Web hosting is one of the worst industries when it comes to carbon emissions, and is actually on par with the air travel industry. All those data centers need to keep cool, after all, and the aircon required burns through a truly surprising amount of energy.
That’s why it’s great to see some providers, like HostPapa, taking the right steps to reduce their impact on the planet. HostPapa offsets all its carbon emissions by 100%, which means it invests in enough renewable energy to effectively counteract the emissions it is producing. Nice work, HostPapa!
If you know this is something that’ll align well with your nonprofit’s values, as well as the values of your supporters, it could be a great partnership – not to mention something you can shout about on your website.
However, there are some key drawbacks to HostPapa – it’s down here in 8th place for a reason, after all.
First, there’s no 24/7 help and support, either via phone or live chat. It would be nice if technical problems could conveniently slot into office hours, but in our experience, this isn’t often the case. This could leave you with a nervous wait until the phone lines open!
You also won’t get free backups with most plans, although you can purchase this as an extra.
You may have thought searching for web hosting that’s specific to nonprofits would be too niche – we certainly did at first – but, as you now know, that’s simply not the case.
There are dozens of hosting providers out there who offer various discounts or features tailored to nonprofits. What we’ve done is present you with the picks of the bunch. So, let’s take one last look at who those providers are.
8 Best Providers for Nonprofit Website Hosting
- InMotion – InMotion’s features are impressive for any type of website, but its nonprofit-specific discounts set it apart from the rest.
- A2 Hosting – Features and affordability go hand in hand for this provider.
- DreamHost – DreamHost’s free shared hosting for nonprofits is a great opportunity to get your name out there.
- iPage – If you just need a simple and straightforward hosting experience, then iPage is an affordable option.
- HostGator – If you have big goals and want to grow, then your site deserves no less than HostGator.
- SiteGround – A reliable option, with good uptime and support.
- Bluehost – A standout for its features, uptime, and customer service.
- HostPapa – The most environmentally friendly hosting provider on this list.
InMotion is the best overall hosting provider, and is a fantastic option from a security standpoint. This is especially important if you take lots of online donations.
A2 Hosting offers a ton of great features at a really low price, plus an extra nonprofit discount. We totally get the appeal of a free DreamHost option, but with only a couple of bucks at stake, we’d recommend most nonprofits try to spend this if they can.
DreamHost is the only top-rated provider that offers web hosting entirely free of charge to nonprofits. For that reason alone, we’d imagine it’s the provider most of you are drawn to. However, it is at least worth considering investing a couple of bucks a month to upgrade plans.
Charity is what brings humanity together. Make sure you’re not let down by your hosting, so you can help as many people as possible. Your mission matters – make it count!
Is DreamHost safe to use?
DreamHost is a perfectly safe host to use. As with any provider, though, if you opt for a shared hosting plan, there are risks involved. For example, if one of the other sites on your server has a security breach, your website could be at risk.
Are there any other hosting options out there?
Plenty. This article just covers the best hosting services for nonprofit websites, but if you want to take a broader look at the web hosting space, check our overall best web hosts here. Alternatively, head over to our comparison chart for a side-by-side look.
What is the best hosting service?
From our thorough research and testing, Bluehost came out on top as the best overall hosting provider. Which provider you should use depends more on the type of hosting you need, though. InMotion, for instance, topped the charts for both shared and VPS hosting.
Does a website have to be self-hosted?
Only if you use a self-hosted platform. If your site has been built on a content management system, like WordPress or Drupal, then you will have to source your own hosting. However, you can use a website builder and get your hosting sorted for you.
What are the most important hosting features for nonprofit websites?
Each organization will have different needs, but there are some commonly sought after features. SSL security is a big one because it protects your site, as is having ample storage space and great uptime. If possible, these features should be a higher priority than cheap monthly pricing.