When it comes to managing a nonprofit, cost always comes to mind. This is especially true for how much you spend on marketing and communications. These days, however, phone calls, events, and even email campaigns aren’t enough. Having a strong website is an asset to any nonprofit organization. But just how much does it cost to host a website? Can a nonprofit get it for free?
The short answer is that free hosting for nonprofits is less common than before. But that shouldn’t deter you. Many web hosting providers offer a standard range of discounts, which should appeal to most people and organizations. Here, we take a look at one of the leading web-hosting providers, Bluehost, and see how you — as a nonprofit — can make the most out of their plans.
Bluehost Hosting Plans Comparison Chart
Can You Get Free Web Hosting?
Free hosting plans are few and far in between as paid options become cheaper over time
This is the question on everyone’s mind. Is it still possible to get hosting for free? The good news is yes, you can still get free hosting for your website. However, it’s no longer the norm even for someone running a nonprofit. Over the years, hosting has become cheap that providers rarely give the service for free anymore. When they do, there’s usually a catch.
DreamHost is one of the few providers left that offers legitimate free hosting. It’s essentially a free account for their single, shared hosting plan. But the program is only available for nonprofit, charitable organizations registered in the United States. Some of the features you get include free email, a domain, and unmetered bandwidth. However, you will miss out on 24/7 support.
If this still interests you, you can check out our review of DreamHost’s nonprofit pricing and discounts.
Bluehost for Nonprofits
Nonprofits can benefit from Bluehost’s discounted rates
Like we said, hosting has become commoditized that even most paid plans offer significantly affordable entry-level options. Bluehost is one of these providers. The company has a long experience in web hosting but also provides domain registration, online store building, and professional services. Bluehost used to offer free hosting for nonprofits but discontinued it a few years back.
Don’t let this turn you off, though. While Bluehost plans aren’t for free, there are plenty of discounts available. For nonprofits, you can get shared hosting for as low as $2.95 per month. This price is for registration and is only applicable if you opt for the 36-month plan. However, you do get save up to 60% for the first three years before renewal.
A Basic shared hosting plan from Bluehost also comes with several features. Google My Business, for instance, is included. You also get access to 5 email accounts, email storage for 500 MB, and more importantly, 24/7 customer support. If you need unlimited storage and email accounts, then consider the other shared hosting plans like Choice Plus and Pro.
Now here’s a quick look at how Bluehost’s Basic shared hosting plan compares to DreamHost’s free plan for nonprofits.
|Name||Bluehost Basic Shared Hosting||DreamHost Free Shared Web Hosting|
|Price||$106.20 for 36-month term equivalent to $2.95/mo|
$7.99/mo. upon renewal
|Site Storage||50 GB||50 GB|
|Email Hosting||Free, 5 accounts||Free|
|24/7 Support||Yes||No, ticketing support only|
Other Bluehost Discounts
Larger nonprofits should look into VPS or dedicated hosting
If your nonprofit website, however, handles a lot of traffic, a VPS or dedicated hosting plan might be a better choice. These options are considerably more expensive than shared hosting but put a premium on performance. Just like the shared hosting plans, Bluehost offers discounts for both VPS and dedicated hosting.
For example, the recommended Enhanced VPS plan costs $59.99 per month upon renewal. But if you opt to sign up for a 36-month payment term, you’ll end up paying only $29.99 a month. In total, that’s $1,079.64 for three years instead of the usual $2,159.64, a 50% saving that your nonprofit can allocate somewhere else.
Meanwhile, the Enhanced dedicated hosting plan has a renewal rate of $199.99 per month. With this fee, you’ll end up spending $7,199.64 for three years. If you decide to pay 36-months upfront, however, the monthly fee is slashed to just $99.99. This amounts to $3,599.64 for your first three years. For nonprofits, all these savings are critical.
Again, these discounted rates are primarily introductory offers. Investing in a 36-month may or may not be the best course of action for your nonprofit. Shared hosting plans are still recommended if you’re starting. But if you want to establish your organization’s online presence to get more support and resources, then a VPS or dedicated hosting plan might be more suitable.
There’s a web hosting provider out there for every kind of nonprofit
If your nonprofit’s website is on WordPress, it would better if you opt for a hosting plan made for the CMS platform. Bluehost currently offers two: shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting. The former offers the same discounts as your regular shared hosting plan but doesn’t come with a Pro option. Managed WordPress hosting plans, on the other hand, are mostly within the same range as Bluehost’s VPS services. Both also have introductory promos.
DreamHost similarly offers managed WordPress hosting solutions. Nonprofits can even avail of a 35% discount across all the available plans. Meanwhile, SiteGround is another alternative if you’re only looking to get a shared hosting plan. The company offers web and WordPress hosting at really affordable rates.
Although Bluehost discontinued its nonprofit pricing, organizations can still get substantial discounts on hosting through introductory offers.
Best for nonprofits that are just starting
Best for growing organizations
While Bluehost no longer offers special pricing for nonprofits, their shared hosting plans are quite affordable. Organizations can also avail of introductory promos that substantially lessen the cost of hosting during the first few years. Plus, a paid plan gives you those extra features that free hosting doesn’t, including 24/7 customer support. If you’re running a simple page or static website, you’ll be fine with shared hosting.
For larger organizations with more traction, however, you’ll want a plan that can handle higher traffic. Bluehost currently has VPS and dedicated hosting solutions. If you’re growing, nonprofits can opt for a VPS in the meantime. It’s got almost the same features as a dedicated hosting plan but without the sky-high fees.
Bluehost used to have discounts for nonprofits but discontinued it. The company still offers introductory promos, with considerable savings if you go with a 36-month payment term.
Bluehost recommends Choice Plus among its shared hosting plans. Not only does it support multiple websites, it also comes with added security and privacy, which should be important to nonprofits.
Yes, Bluehost uses the industry-leading cPanel.
No, Bluehost offers discounts and lower registration rates for 12, 24, and 36-month payment terms. However, the three-year plan will give you the highest savings.