As more and more churches move their services and activities online, having a reliable website is essential for engaging with the congregation and reaching out to new members.
However, creating and maintaining a website can be a daunting task, especially for those who aren’t familiar with web hosting and related services. Choosing the right web hosting company is a critical step in the process, since it impacts the website’s speed, security, and overall performance.
In this article, we will provide suggestions for churches to consider when selecting a web hosting company.
Recommended Web Hosting Companies for Churches
As a web development company with years of experience, we’ve worked with numerous web hosting companies and have found several that consistently deliver high-quality services at affordable prices.
Here are some of our top recommended web hosting companies that we believe can meet the needs of most churches.
This is a shameless plug for our own web hosting services. After all, as a full-service digital marketing company we understand the importance of quality web hosting services.
For qualifying non-profit organizations, we offer a free 10GB web hosting account. The requirements include a backlink pointing to our website and proof that you are a 501(c)(3) organization.
The only downside to our web hosting services is that we don’t offer customer support at night or on weekends. If there is a server-related issue, we’ll be notified immediately and work to resolve it at any time of the day or night. However, most customer support requests aren’t related to server issues and instead related to forgotten passwords, email account questions, WordPress glitches, etc.
Related: Best Website Hosting For WordPress.
We’ve used WPEngine multiple times over the years. We’ve always been happy with the quality of their web hosting services.
One feature that stands out is their customer service. Not only do they respond to questions in a timely manner, but they often have someone technically-inclined providing the feedback. I don’t believe we’ve ever been disappointed in the quality of their feedback.
Another nice benefit of WPEngine is their backup process. If you ever need to roll back your website, they’ve got a very simple interface in their control panel for doing so. The same applies for setting up a dev or staging website.
The only downsides we’ve noticed is their pricing can be a little high as you scale to larger packages, and they limit PHP max_execution_time on the entry level plans.
SiteGround is another company we’ve used many times over the years. We’ve always been happy with their web hosting services as well.
They have a nice control panel, with a very user-friendly backup and restore feature. The performance of their shared web hosting services is also great. Lastly, we’ve always liked their collaborator functionality, which is far better than what GoDaddy has setup that only allows the account holder’s first name to be shown.
Here are some frequently asked questions about web hosting services for non-profit organizations.
A website is essential for churches to communicate with their congregation and provide information about their services, events, and activities. It also enables churches to reach out to potential new members and offer resources for those seeking guidance and support. Web hosting is necessary to ensure the website is accessible to visitors and runs smoothly, providing a reliable and secure online presence for the church. Your church won’t need web hosting if its website is built through an online web builder, like Wix, Squarespace, or GoDaddy since those services include the hosting.
Your church can benefit from having email hosting services. With email hosting, your church can create customized email addresses that include your domain name (e.g., [email protected]) and manage multiple email accounts for staff members or volunteers. Email hosting services can also offer additional features such as spam filtering, virus protection, and backup and recovery. Overall, email hosting services can be a valuable addition to your church’s online presence, providing a professional and efficient means of communication in comparison to using @gmail, @hotmail, or @yahoo email accounts.
Yes, your church can use its own domain name for its website. In fact, using a custom domain name can be a great way to establish a unique and recognizable online presence for your church. A domain name is the address people use to reach a website (www.yourchurchwebsite.com), and it can be purchased from WebCitz, or a domain registrar like GoDaddy.com, Tucows.com, or NameCheap.com.
Yes, a church website should have an SSL certificate. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a security feature that encrypts data transmitted between a website and its visitors. This is important for any website, but especially for a church website that may collect sensitive information such as personal details or financial transactions.
Final Thoughts on Finding a Web Hosting Provider for a Church
There are many website hosting companies that provide great services, but the ones mentioned above really stand out for churches and religious organizations.
We suggest you decide based on the following factors.
- An accessible control panel for managing email accounts, parked domains, databases, and files.
- A history of exceptional network and server uptime.
- A strong indication of high server performance and caching capabilities.
You’ll notice money isn’t one of our deciding factors. That is because we like to emphasize the importance of making decisions based on the quality of a product or service, instead of how cheap it can be delivered. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustrations if you don’t always go with the cheapest web hosting provider.