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Best Church Website Hosting on a Budget

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Last month, I wrote an article outlining 4 common mistakes that churches make with their websites. I could have included a fifth mistake that churches make all the time: choosing “cheap” hosting for their website.

In case you’re not familiar with what a host is, it is hardware and software that is used to store your website files and code. A host is basically a computer that is always connected to the Internet so that everyone can access your website.

There are many different factors to consider when choosing a host. You may be tempted to find the cheapest option you can, but that could hurt you in the long run.

Here are some things to look out for:

  • Do they have good support?
  • Do they scale well? (if you post a sermon that goes viral, will that crash the server)
  • Do they provide good security? (so that you will be less likely to have your site hacked)
  • Do they allow you enough space for your files?

There are several great hosting providers that are excellent across the board while still providing great value. Below I have listed some of my favorite hosts.

Before we get there, though, let’s take a quick look at some hosts you should avoid. These hosts offer super cheap plans, but tend to have poor support, slow infrastructure, and more security vulnerabilities.

Do your best to stay away from:

  • GoDaddy
  • BlueHost
  • HostGator
  • MediaTemple

Free

Who doesn’t like free?!? Keep in mind that you still get what you pay for (or in this case, what you don’t pay for). I’ve heard good things about both of these hosts, but if you are looking to do big things with your church site you should move on to the paid options.

Dreamhost

Dreamhost provides free hosting for non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations. While I have not personally had experience with Dreamhost, I’ve heard great things about their support. Be ready to prove your non-profit status. [Editor’s note: ChurchTechToday is hosted with Dreamhost and has had excellent solutions and service with this provider. They do offer premium services, not just free.]

FlockHosting

FlockHosting is another company that I’ve heard of but don’t have personal experience with. They seem to have a heart for helping churches and should be at the top of your list if you have little or nothing to spend on hosting.

Premium

Churches who are serious about their web presence need to ensure that their web sites are running quickly and securely. If you are looking for a hosting partner who will help you scale and give you great support, I highly recommend the following hosts.

SiteGround

SiteGround is my “go-to” host for small and medium sites. Their price point is very competitive and their premium features are top notch and include a free SSL certificate, daily backups, and caching. Be aware that the first year is discounted by 60% and will increase to the regular price after the first year.

WP Church Host

WP Church Host is a new player in the church hosting space and is specifically built for WordPress. This is the same team that created ChurchThemes and they do solid work. If you are looking for a managed host that is super secure and super fast, look no further.

WP Engine

My day job is building scalable, enterprise level applications on WordPress and there is no host that I trust more than WP Engine. They’ve created a hosting platform that is fast and secure and is built to handle traffic spikes. Their support is also very responsive and will go the extra mile to help you resolve issues and keep things running smoothly. If you host multiple sites for your church, deal with high traffic, or want enterprise level tools and support then check out WP Engine.

For further reading on this subject, be sure to check out this survey conducted by the team over at ChurchThemes. They cover these hosts and others in depth and have some great statistics that will further help inform you when deciding on a host.

 

If you have experience with these or another host (good or bad), we’d love to hear it. Please share below.

Tanner Moushey
Tanner Mousheyhttps://missionlab.dev
Specializing in custom solutions, Tanner's work has pushed WordPress to its limits. He's even helped pioneer its future as a core contributor to WordPress’ source code and popular tools like Restrict Content Pro and BuddyPress. Tanner is the CEO at Mission Lab where he leads a team building church products like Study Church and serving mission driven organizations.

6 COMMENTS

  1. We have been using Speak! Creative for several years. I recommend them, and know of other churches who use them. They work with churches and non-profits, and their designers have always been great (and patient, which is important!). Their web-based app, Sitewrench, is easy to use. They set up styles so that, even if ministry people are updating their own pages, the look stays consistent.

    I think the pricing is very reasonable. Support is good, which is very important.

  2. Tanner, excellent points that need to be considered when looking for a church web host. Pricing is not everything. I am part of OurChurch.Com. We are a website services company that has been serving Christian churches & ministries for over 20 years. We offer hosting for those who want to install their own platform but also provide a web builder (called WP-EZ) that uses WordPress for those who don’t want to do the install themselves. WP-EZ installs WordPress as well as the plugins for our clients. We also perform updates to the WordPress core and all the plugins that we install, which increases the security of the website.

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