If you are the one responsible for maintaining a nonprofit’s website, you probably also have the “pleasure” every year of renewing your hosting plan.
After emptying your pockets and looking under every last couch cushion, you keep coming up a few dollars short. Five or six dollars a month didn’t sound too bad initially, especially if you got a discount on your first year when you signed up. But now, you can’t help but look ten years down the road, and when you do the math, you realize pretty soon how much money you are sacrificing just for your website. Inevitably, you’ll be asking yourself, “Is this really worth it?”.
Since you’re not selling your products or services for profit, and you might not be pulling in as many donations as you thought you would, you’re probably also having a hard time justifying another monthly expense.
But before you log in and sacrifice another chunk of your shrinking budget, see how much you can save by switching to another company (and keep your money for what’s really important).
Check out these tips:
Get A Technology Grant
For a quality, shared hosting service, try Hostgator Website Hosting For Nonprofits. You have to apply for their technology grant by providing proof of your non-profit status.
Per their website, “Companies looking to qualify for the HostGator Technology Grant must clearly serve the greater good”. Does that sound like you?
If so, you will receive one year of HostGator’s Business Hosting Plan, which includes unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and the ability to host unlimited domains!
Become A Reseller Or Affiliate
Many hosting companies offer plans for you to resell the server space you purchase. A more recognizable name like GoDaddy will allow you to register your domain names with them and get signed up for a reseller account.
Their basic reseller plan is $99 per year, and while that sounds like a lot, think about how much you’re paying now. If it’s around $50 per year, that would mean you would only need to have two clients in order to pay for the service completely, and you would be getting your hosting for free. Even though making money as a reseller is not the easiest thing in the world, it is well worth the initial investment if you can find the right clients.
However, if that sounds a bit too complicated (or if it’s just too much work), Bluehost offers an affiliate program that pays you $65 every time someone signs up for one of their plans, when they click on a link on your website.
According to their site, they paid out $5 million in commissions just last year! If you are a technology company, this method may benefit you the most. Including a referral link somewhere on your site to recommend your hosting plan is perfectly acceptable, as long as you are honest that you are providing an affiliate link.
In this way, you could actually pay for your own hosting every year with just a few sign-ups.
Find A Free Plan
One reliable company that offers a basic, free web hosting package is 000webhost.com.
This service can especially be great if you are creating a brand new website and think you might not get a ton of traffic right away. This way, your only initial cost is registering your domain.
So, instead of paying up front for disk space and bandwidth you don’t need yet, start small and when you are ready, you can switch to their very affordable plan for less than $5 a month!
Making The Switch
I’m sure this sounds great (and to some, possibly even too good to be true), but now you have to figure out how you’re going to make the switch. After breaking the news to your old hosting company, it’s now up to you to migrate your entire website to its new, more affordable home.
If you are using a CMS like WordPress, this can be as easy as taking your most recent backup (or creating one if you don’t have one yet) and importing it into a fresh install of WordPress on your new servers.
If you just have files and folders that you manually edit, simply download them all to your computer, then upload them via FTP onto your new host. Once the files are on the server, all that’s left is to point the DNS servers to your new host from your domain.
If you’re not sure how to do this, ask the company that provides your domain, and they can guide you through it.
If all this sounds too complicated, maybe you can find a friend who has some experience in this area and can help you find the best solution.
Even though it will include some time and energy to figure out how to improve your website and lower your costs, you will be glad you did every year when you get that email asking you to renew your plan. But more importantly, it will free up some of your budget to spend on helping your business grow!