WordPress Hosting Plans, Discounts and Advice for Non-Profits

When looking for WordPress Hosting for non-profits, there’s more to consider than just the price. Sure, discounted hosting is great, and plenty of hosting providers offer special pricing for 501(c)(3) organizations. But, the price doesn’t matter if the service doesn’t meet your needs.

Hosting Criteria for Non-Profit WordPress Websites

We host a lot of websites, and for every type of business there’s different criteria that’s important. When it comes to non-profits, it varies, too. Here’s the most important things that should be considered when a non-profit organization is selecting a WordPress host.

Before continuing with the list, there are some noticeably absent items from our ‘what to look for’ list below. That’s because if you are going with any quality WordPress host, the following are a given: WordPress site migration and/or installation, up-to-date and secure PHP, a database and security.

Non-profit WordPress Hosting at DreamHost

DreamHost makes it easy for non-profits to get discounted WordPress hosting. The hosting plan to sign up for is the DreamPress WordPress hosting package which offers up to 35% off! Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Sign up for DreamPress WordPress hosting.
  2. Add your domain to DreamPress.
  3. Send proof of your organization’s 501(c)(3) status.
  4. Save!

That’s it! DreamHost will review your status and your WordPress hosting discount will automatically be applied to your bill!

Web Hosting Customer Support

It’s surprising that this is so low, or not included at all, when considering a hosting. Being able to get someone to help you when your website is down or broken is critical. Yet, most people have all but given up on customer support as there’s plenty of platitudes but the actual experience is usually far from the marketing claims.

Website Hosting Customer Support
When you go to your website and see a message like this, customer services gets real important real quick!

Related: Looking for blazing fast WordPress site hosting, read our Rocket.net Review!

In our book, the customer service department for a web host needs to have the following characteristics:

  • Timely – It doesn’t matter if customer support gets back to you once you’ve fixed the problem. And, you shouldn’t have to spend time rifling through documentation on your own – or worse, paying a marketing company or developer – when there’s an issue with your site.
  • Knowledgable – There is nothing worse than hearing a web hosting company say something along the lines of “Wow, I’ve never seen that before.” Or, “I didn’t even know WordPress could do that.” For customer support to be helpful, the people providing it need to be up-to-date on all aspects of the hosting environment.
  • Helpful and Accurate – This is where so many hosting providers fall apart. As WordPress developers, we can tell you what you’ve been wondering: Yes, they are just going through a manual with canned responses to what they believe your problem might be. Being able to diagnose and quickly fix web hosting issues is a rarity nowadays, especially with so many customer service desks being outsourced. There are very few hosting providers that provide the right advice and do so the first time.
  • Pleasant – When you’re paying for a service, you should be treated with respect. You’re contributing to paying the salary of the person helping you, and they should act accordingly!

From our experience, the website hosting with the best customer service is Kinsta. Hands down. In fact, it’s not even close. It is actually surprising how great their customer service is. All of the things we’ve mentioned that make for great customers service are things Kinsta has mastered. And, it makes a huge difference.

Kinsta VPS Hosting Reviews

We’re happy to pay $30 a month for hosting as good as Kinsta provides.

Visit Kinsta

On our WordPress sites hosted at Kinsta, we actually feel like we have a support team in our corner. If something goes wrong, or if we just need to do something we haven’t done before, Kinsta delivers.

Hosting Server Performance/Speed

Non-profits are often competing for both the mindshare and wallet-share of those they can get to their website. For that reason alone speed is incredibly important for website hosting.

Hosting companies achieve fast load times by using high performance networks, CDNs and caching to deliver. To be honest, what is important is that the speed is there, not what your developer will need to enable or disable to optimize your site’s performance.

Page Speed Load time and SEO
We score a clean 100 on Google’s Page Speed Insights on Desktop, 95 on Mobile.

The end user expects a fast loading and responsive website. Studies have indicated that even a marginal delay in a web page rendering and visitors often simply click the back button or search for an alternative.

Fast, Managed WordPress Hosting: For the fastest customer experience, we’ve moved our site to Managed WordPress Hosting by Rocket.net. Read our Rocket.net review.

Speaking of searching, if you have any aspirations of your website driving free traffic to your non-profit for free, you also want to pay close attention to website hosting performance. In late 2020 Google announced that user experience, a metric which largely relies on the speed that a website responds and webpages render, will be search engine ranking factor that gets more important as time goes on.

We’re hosting this website on Rocket.net and are using the GeneratePress Premium theme. With our optimizations have a Google Page Insights score of 95 for mobile and 100 for desktop respectively.

Ease of Use

We’re not sure about you, but while we know our way around cPanel and other hosting dashboards, we’ve never found any of them to be user friendly. If you’re not a web developer who has experiences with most dashboards you’ll likely find the experience cumbersome at best.

Most of the actions you take on your web hosting panel will be during the setup of your WordPress site. But, the other time you’ll find yourself there is generally when something has gone wrong. Maybe you need to restore your WordPress site from a backup, or add a redirect rule. Whatever the reason, having a clear and easy to use website hosting dashboard matters – a lot.

SSL Certificates

Whether you’ll be taking online payments or not, nowadays having an SSL certificate is a must. Many providers now offer SSL certificates free. And, there is no reason why you should pay for one unless you’re running a large organization that needs a specialized SSL certificate.

And, we’re not just grumpily saying that you shouldn’t pay for it. Most web hosting companies are issuing their SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt, a free SSL certificate provider.

Price

Yes, of course price is important! But, do understand that price is often a product of level and quality of service. After our HostGator coupon had been used, we moved on to pay $20 a month for our hosting of this website. And, we pay $25 for hosting at Kinsta for many sites we manage (we pay annually to get the 2 months free).

Web hosting discounts for non-profits

First, to be clear, we’re only recommending web hosting providers that we have used and know their value. What we did do was inquire to find out what each of them does, if anything, for non-profits.

Below are recommended web hosting discounts that you can get only if you are a non-profit that can verify your 501(c)(3) status. While there are other discounts out there, they often start at one price then go up after a period of time. The non-profit

RankWeb HostNon-Profit Discount or Promotion
#1Kinsta15% off (plus 2 months free for annual plans)
#2HostGatorVarious (click link to see)
#3DreamHost35% off (DreamPress hosting)

Final thoughts

Hosting your non-profit’s site involves more than just price. Be sure to consider what matters for a high performance website that will meet your organizations need as well as eliminate as many headaches as possible.

If you have any questions about hosting and what might work well for your situation contact us. We’re happy to give you our perspective!

David Green

My name is David and I am the founder and author of Zuziko. I love WordPress and have built sites, themes and plugins. I am passionate about web development and have created Zuziko as a way to share my knowledge and experience with the world. My WordPress user profile.

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