Non-Profit Businesses face a lot of challenges ranging from dealing with funding, getting the word out, to managing finances. There are an awful lot of moving parts. One of these is your website, an integral component. While many businesses have a dedicated IT Dept to handle these things, Non-Profits many times don’t have the budget for a full-blown IT Dept or Web Hosting Dept.
As a Non-Profit, you need a service provider that can run with your requirements so you can focus on what you do best.
In this article, we will discuss the challenges, pitfalls, and unique requirements Non-Profits have for web hosting and we will talk about where to get the best web hosting for Non-Profit Organizations that will complement your business.
Our focus going forward is on those organizations that do not have an IT or web hosting department. So, what challenges do these Non-Profits face when comes to setting up and maintaining online real estate, or websites?
Where or “Who” To Go To For Web Hosting Services?
First, let’s realize that there are literally hundreds of different hosting companies and most of these are focused on one thing, volume. What do I mean by that? Simply put, they need a lot of clients or hosting accounts. So, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.
You see, with high volume you simply cannot provide the level of personal service a Non-Profit usually requires. So choosing the right hosting company becomes paramount in order to deliver the quality of services you’ll need as a Non-Profit. And at this point, we’ll simply refer to them as your solution provider.
For example, we worked with a Non-Profit in 2021 that had contracted with one of the largest hosting companies on the internet (I won’t mention names) to provide their domain, website, design, and even email services. They were going to 3 to 4 different companies for various other services also and was a very cumbersome process. In the end, we were able to combine all of their required services into one package to streamline processes and reduce their costs by half!
This underscores the importance of bringing everything possible under one roof that can provide the level of personal service you require to be successful. This leads us to our next topic which is requirements.
What Are Your Requirements?
This should really be first on our list, but for good reason, we made it second. Why, because your solution provider needs to understand and help you understand what your requirements are. This is absolutely paramount that ALL your requirements be identified and an appropriate solution matched to them.
It’s not a pretty sight (pun intended) when you get your entire website finished and you realize that you have forgotten about a critical component. This increases cost and overhead and may jeopardize critical milestones. It’s like building a car without a requirement for wheels.
Versatility and Flexibility
Your solution provider must also be flexible and versatile to meet your ongoing needs, enhancements, and future requirements. When considering the best web hosting for Non-Profits you must also ensure that your hosting platform, as well as the solution provider, is flexible and versatile. By hosting platform I mean the combination of Windows vs Linux and an easy-to-use, dynamic platform, like WordPress vs plain, static, HTML.
Inevitably, there will be things that crop up or new requirements that need to be addressed. Being flexible and versatile is critical for your solution provider and hosting platform. When your business expands and you gain more visitors to your website, you’ll want to be able to add more processing power, maybe a VPS (Virtual Private Server), and more memory to support your increased workload on the webserver.
As a heads up, Linux and WordPress are used for more than 30% of all websites online today. Both are open-source, highly extensible, and widely supported. Windows on the other hand can be much more expensive since it requires licensing as well as other licenses and fees for things like SQL Server, etc.
The Best Web Hosting For Non-Profit Organizations
When choosing the best web hosting for Non-Profit Organizations you should consider the following.
- Willingness to work with you to define your requirements and how they can address them?
- Provide personal service, an account manager, and a project manager where needed?
- What type of hosting is supported? Windows vs Linux and Shared Hosting vs VPS.
- Ease of expanding server power behind your website.
- Upfront costs, first-time expenses, and service renewal costs.
- The range of services provided which matches your requirements. Hosting, Autoresponders, eCommerce, Custom work.
- Your overall comfort level with the solution provider.
- Payment terms. I.E. 50 percent upfront / 50 percent on completion.
- Treat your business as a project with deliverables.
- Lastly, ask for references or testimonials.
While this is not a complete list, it will give you a good starting point. Although some things might seem to increase costs, a good company will supply them as part of your solution.
While it might be tempting to just go with the big guys in the hosting industry, very seldom is it the right solution unless you’re going to do everything yourself, and even then, you still may not be making the right choice.
When it comes to finding the best web hosting for Non-Profit organizations it’s important to do your homework and consider all aspects of your needs. This may also include things like Office 365 Business, Autoresponders (for newsletters, etc.), SEO, and more.
Thank you for reading our article and we hope this gives you better insight into your endeavors. We are here to help.
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