Church website hosting: what to look for when choosing a provider?
In this article, you will find an informative description of the 5 best church website hosting providers, as well as a guide on what to look at when choosing one for yourself.
In this modern age, everyone and their grandma needs a good-looking, well-performing website. Artists, freelancers, athletes, churches. Yes, even the home of God himself needs a website and a good hosting provider along with it.
After a short research, it was clear that hosting solutions for churches is a question that pops up very often. Moreover, the answer to this question is not easy to find because churches are not huge tech companies with endless resources. Therefore, the hosting has to check all the boxes, like:
- Reasonable and affordable prices,
- Inclusive plans with a free domain, SSL, and enough storage for your content,
- Easy to use dashboard for a smooth website management process,
- Fast and reliable performance.
In this post, you’ll find an impartial, honest review of the providers that I feel offer the best web hosting for churches, along with their pros and cons. All you’ll have left to do is to choose one that suits your needs best.
Best church website hosting providers: ranked
- Hostinger - best church hosting overall
- Bluehost - easy to use WordPress hosting option for church websites
- SiteGround - security and performance-focused WordPress hosting for churches
- DreamHost - very reliable and fast host for church websites
- InterServer - month-to-month church web hosting
If you wish to know how to pick the right host for your church website hosting, I have prepared a list of factors to consider at the end of this article.
|Features||Free SSL and CDN|
|Best for||For small-to-medium-sized church websites looking good performance|
Whenever I think of cheap yet performance-oriented hosting providers, Hostinger is the first one to pop into my mind. For a very low price, it offers very good performance and ease of use, which are always highly appreciated.
But why should you consider it for your church website hosting?
- First things first, it is the cheapest shared hosting provider in the market. For as low as $1.39/month, you can get great performance.
- The user panel is made with ease-of-use at the top of mind. Hostinger has a native management panel called hPanel, and it’s very intuitive and well structured.
- Great performance is Hostinger’s main selling point. It has many integrated tools like LiteSpeed web servers, pre-configured caching, and a free Cloudflare integrated for fast website performance.
With Hostinger’s main focus being on small and medium-sized websites, it is one of the best all-around options for a church website. It is cheap, fast, and easy to use. There’s not much more you can ask out of a hosting provider.
Talking about plans, Hostinger has 3 shared hosting options with prices between $1.39/month and $3.99/month.
Regardless of the plan you choose, you will get free SSL, weekly or daily backups, and at least one email account.
While the entry plan offers more than enough storage for one simple but classy church website, it has no domain included. That will be the only extra with this plan, and even then, it’s only $8 - $10 per annum.
At the same time, Premium and Business offer larger storages, but the plans are simply too pricey to consider.
To get the cheapest prices you should opt for the Single plan. With a 48 month subscription, it will be only $66.72 in total.
Considering the cost of Hostinger’s plans, its 100% uptime is nothing short of fantastic. In two months of examination, the host had 0 outages. Simply impressive. Especially when it gives you a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
While the average response time of 511ms is nothing to go crazy over, it’s also very reasonable. Still lower than the market’s average of 600ms.
If we look at a fully built website now, it is clear that Hostinger is very fast. The whole website loaded in less than a second. And that’s fast. Really fast. A website that loads in less than 3 seconds is considered to fit within the best-performing sites. Visitors are promised to have only the best experience.
As a whole, Hostinger’s performance is hard to match. The host is very reliable with a 100% guarantee. And while the average response time could be better, the site’s loading speed was the fastest among all the other listed providers.
All in all, if you are on a tight budget for your church website, Hostinger is definitely one of the top options to look into. It gives you sufficient resources and great performance at an extremely low cost.
- Amazing loading speed
- Very affordable pricing
- All plans incude a free SSL
- Pretty average response time
- Cheapest plan doesn’t include a free domain
|Features||Free SSL, CDN, domain, and website builder|
|Best for||Beginner-oriented host for smaller sites|
Bluehost is one of the biggest names in the world of hosting, known for its reasonable pricing and options for WordPress sites. With an easy-to-use panel and many functionalities, it is a great candidate for church website hosting.
If this is your first time dealing with web hosting, Bluehost makes sure everything goes smoothly. The provider pays extra attention to simplicity:
- The native hosting/website management dashboard is very clean and well organized. It even includes a checklist of things to do when building a website (WordPress specifically.) Managing a website with Bluehost is easy enough so that you can do it yourself.
- The first time you log in, WordPress will be installed automatically.
- All plans include free domain and SSL certificates. Even better, both are set up automatically.
Additionally, if you’re looking to build a website quickly, but an unimaginable amount of WordPress templates overwhelm you, Bluehost has a native website builder. All you’ll have to do is answer a few questions and give a few preferences. Once done, it’ll create a unique design and layout. You’ll be able to customize it a little and add your content too.
Bluehost offers 3 shared hosting plans priced from $2.95/month up to $13.95/month.
All plans include such things as an SSL certificate, free domain, and unmetered bandwidth.
Even though the Basic plan offers no extra features, $2.95/month, it provides enough resources for a big church website. Especially considering that 50GB of storage should be more than enough even if you have a lot of photos to display.
However, if you think you might need more than one website in the future, or 50BG SSD seems too small, you might consider the Plus plan. Any other plan is just too pricey for what it offers.
The best deal for a single church website with Bluehost is with the Basic plan. The cheapest Bluehost’s plan includes all the necessities like a free domain and SSL, so you won’t have any extra costs. By choosing a 36-month billing period the total will be only $106.20.
When it comes to performance, Bluehost is pretty good. In two months, it had only 6 outages and maintained an uptime of 99.99%. This makes the host very reliable. However, just know that Bluehost has no uptime guarantee as most providers do. Interesting, but as you can tell, nothing to be concerned about.
At the same time, the average response time of 361ms is very pleasing. Especially when it’s just around a half of the market's average (600ms.)
Now looking at a fully built website’s loading speed, the results are pretty good too. The website fully loaded in 1.8 seconds. While this time is not the fastest on this list (I’m looking at you Hostinger and SiteGround,) it is still very good. Make sure this time is no longer than 3 seconds, and your visitors won't have anything to fuss over.
In short, Bluehost is very reliable and pretty fast. While it has no uptime guarantee, the provider gives you no indication to doubt its reliability with a 99.99% uptime. The response time was very speedy, and the site loaded quickly enough to fit within the recommended norm.
In general, Bluehost is an affordable website hosting option that provides sufficient resources and performance for most church websites. At the same time, it has quite a lot to offer, which makes it an appealing choice.
- All plans include a free domain and SSL
- Automatic WordPress installation
- No uptime guarantee
- Slightly higher prices
|Features||Free SSL, CDN, daily backups, managed WordPress|
|Best for||For larger church websites looking to receive donations online|
SiteGround is a WordPress-oriented provider known for its great performance. It’s a more premium option on this list, but all its extras like additional security measures and ease-of-use make this host worth a look. Especially if you’re thinking of accepting donations online.
SiteGround focuses on providing the highest quality performance and security at the front of it all:
- By using the most up-to-date hardware and software, SiteGround is able to deliver great performance.
- The host has WordPress optimizations. By offering automated updates, customizable caching options, and a staging environment host makes it easy to run a high-quality church website.
- SiteGround has many security tools. Daily backups, web and server firewalls, bot protection, and a 24/7 monitoring system provide security against the most frequently recurring threats. This makes it ideal for church websites to accept donations online.
- Lastly, the user interface is very easy to manage and can be slightly customized to fit your needs.
In fact, considering what you get for what you pay, I like to think that SiteGround offers great value for money. So if your church plans to accept donations online, SiteGround is an option that you might want to consider.
SiteGround offers 3 shared hosting plans with prices ranging from $3.99/month to $10.69/month. But don’t forget to check if a seasonal discount is available.
What you get for the money is very nice. Daily backups with all plans, as well as free email and CDN, a free SSL certificate, unlimited databases, and unmetered traffic.
As per usual, the cheapest StartUp plan offers the least storage and only 1 website. Knowing that you most likely will be needing only one website, this plan seems to be the best fit for a church website. While the storage is not as generous as with some other providers, it is more than enough for one high-quality site.
Alternatively, if you think you might need more than one website or staging seems like something that might benefit you, GrowBig might interest you. At the same time, GoGeek is simply too pricey, and the additional features like adding collaborations or the highest tier of resources don’t seem to be very vital for a church website.
To run a single church website you might be interested in the cheapest StartUp plan. With a 12-month billing period, the plan will cost $47.88 in total.
When it comes to performance, I found SiteGround to be very impressive. In almost two months of examination, it had just 3 outages or 7 minutes of downtime. That rounded up to a great 99.99% uptime.
Keeping up the good work, SiteGround showed an impressive 217ms average response time. Barely a third of the market’s average, which sits at 600ms.
Now talking about a fully built website, it was just as impressive. The fully loaded time of 1.1 seconds is great too. This means that the page easily fits within the recommended 3 seconds. Your visitors won’t even notice it loading.
In sum, SiteGround’s performance is very impressive. The servers are very powerful, meaning the site will stay live and fast all the time.
All in all, even though SiteGround is a premium hosting provider, the added security features, great performance, and ease management panel make it an ideal candidate for church website hosting. Especially the ones looking to accept donations online.
- Impressive performance
- Easy to use
- Extensive security measures
- Premium pricing
- Free domain is not included
|Features||Free SSL, domain, website builder, domain privacy, and daily backups|
|Best for||Medium-sized church websites looking for a powerful and trustworthy hosting|
As far as church website hosting is concerned, DreamHost lives up to its name. The provider is very easy to use and offers quite generous shared hosting plans for very reasonable prices. More so, it pays special attention to WordPress hosting.
So why might DreamHost be the one to host a church website?
- All plans include a free domain.
- DreamHost offers pre-installed WordPress. As they say - “we install it, so you don’t have to.” I’d say that’s pretty neat.
- The host has a native management panel, that’s well structured and makes the website management process very simple.
- If you’re planning on using WordPress and are looking for a quick website building option, DreamHost offers a WordPress-focused website builder.
- It is the only provider on this list to offer a 100% uptime guarantee.
- It is quite secure. Regardless of which plan you choose, you will get a free SSL, daily backups, web firewall, and domain privacy. These tools help you to make sure that your website is secure against the most common threats.
In short, DreamHost is reliable, safe, and simple to manage. There’s only one catch – the live chat support is not 24/7. However, if you’re looking for a straightforward host with quite inclusive plans for a very reasonable price, DreamHost might just be it.
Talking about plans, DreamHost offers only two shared hosting options for you to choose from, priced at $2.59/month and $3.95/month.
Both plans offer SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, a free domain, unlimited traffic, and pre-installed WordPress.
- Other than the things mentioned above, the Starter plan also offers 50GB of storage and allows hosting only one website. Although email costs extra.
- At the same time, the Unlimited plan offers unlimited storage, unlimited websites, as well as free unlimited email.
To be honest, the Starter plan is more than sufficient for a beautiful small-to-medium church website. However, if you think you might need free emails or more than one website, Unlimited seems to be the one.
The best value for money lies with the Starter plan. By opting for a 36-month billing period the total will be only $93.24.
Additionally, to very affordable prices, DreamHost is the first provider on this list that offers free website hosting for nonprofits. The discount only applies to US-based 501(c)(3) organizations. A single organization may only get free hosting on a single DreamHost account, and they are offered the Starter plan + an email account.
Looking at DreamHost’s performance, the host does not disappoint. In two months, it had only 1 minute of downtime. This 1 minute is what separates us from that perfect 100% uptime. Because of that, DreamHost demonstrated a near-perfect>99.99% uptime.
Looking at the speedy average response time of 231ms, it’s obvious that DreamHost is aiming for the highest quality performance.
That’s also clear by looking at the fully built website’s result. The site was quick to load. 1.6 seconds quick. This leaves quite a large wiggle room to reach the undesired 3 seconds. If the loading time is any longer than that, the visitors are more likely to leave the site. But that is not an issue for DreamHost to worry about, it seems.
Overall, DreamHost’s performance falls under an extremely reliable and quite speedy. While not a perfect 100%, the provider delivered a >99.99% uptime and a great response time of 231ms. The fully built website was also very speedy.
All things considered, DreamHost might just be the best church website hosting option out there. As long as your church is based in the US and is a 501(c)(3) organization, you can get very high-quality services completely free of charge. All while maintaining good value for money on the paid options as well.
- Free hosting for nonprofits
- Very good performance
- 100% uptime guarantee
- Only 2 shared hosting plans
- The live chat support is not 24/7
|Features||Free SSL, CDN, and automatic backups|
|Best for||Churches looking for short-time hosting|
InterServer has a good reputation in the world of hosting for its affordable pricing that usually gets you enough resources to get the job done. It’s a no-nonsense, straightforward provider that also offers free hosting for non-profit organizations, which is great news for anyone looking for church website hosting.
But what really makes InterServer a good candidate?
- InterServer is a very much no-nonsense provider. There are no flashy additional tools with each plan, just more “server space” with each plan.
- For website management, InterServer uses a well-known and widely used cPanel. It is considered to be the most beginner-friendly website management dashboard. So no matter your level of experience, you will be able to set up and operate your site smoothly.
- InterServer is one of very few providers to offer reasonable month-to-month billing prices. So if you’d like to check the provider without a long-term commitment, a monthly billing option won’t break your bank.
What you get from InterServer has 3 shared hosting packages with prices starting as low as $2.50/month (with a discount) up to $19.95/month.
Each plan gives you more and more “server room,” but the Standard one should fit small-to-medium sites. Also, it’s free if your church meets the non-profit requirements.
Regardless of which plan you choose you will get a pretty lengthy list of tools included:
- An unlimited number of websites, storage, bandwidth, and emails,
- A free SSL certificate and CDN,
- Weekly automatic backups,
- InterShield security package,
- Inter-Insurance – a service that restores your website in case of an attack.
The best value for a church website hosting lies with the Standard plan. By choosing an annual billing option, the first year will be only $30. More so, you can choose to pay $2.50/mo for the first month and get a renewal for as low as $7/mo.
Just like DreamHost, InterServer also has a free option for nonprofits. You are eligible for the deal if you are a US-based 501(c)(3) organization. If you fit the requirements, InterServer will set up a website for you on its Standard plan for free.
InterServer proved to be very reliable yet just a bit on the slower side. In 3 months, the provider had 10 outages or 13 minutes of downtime. Overall, that resulted in the highly trustworthy 99.99% uptime.
However, its average response time of 662ms surely leaves space for improvement. While it’s far from bad, it does surpass the market’s average of 600ms.
A quite similar situation goes for the fully built website’s loading speed. The fully loaded time stands at 2.3 seconds, and it could be better. While it still fits within the recommended 3 seconds, it is visibly a tight squeeze.
All in all, InterServer’s performance is reasonably good for smaller websites. While the host is very reliable, it lacks just a little power to support anything bigger than a medium site.
As far as church website hosting is concerned, InterServer should also be at the top of your shortlist, as it provides free hosting for nonprofits. Not only that, but the overall package is actually very decent, with otherwise affordable pricing and loads of extra features. It offers more than enough to successfully run a church website.
- Free hosting for nonprofits
- Great resources within the plans
- Great pricing for shorter hosting periods
- Performance could be better
- An outdated account interface
Church website hosting: final recommendations
By now, you should have an idea of which provider might be the one to solve your church website hosting headache. One thing is for sure, there are plenty of viable providers to choose from, and there is not a single clear pick. It all comes down to your personal preference.
Before making the final decision, let's recap each provider's key features for church hosting:
|Hostinger||The cheapest provider with a free SSL, automated backups, CDN, and an easy-to-use hPanel.||Get Hostinger|
|Bluehost||A beginner-friendly host with a free domain, SSL, a website builder, CDN, and a simplistic cPanel.||Get Bluehost|
|SiteGround||Premium managed WordPress host with a free SSL, daily backups, CDN, and a custom panel.||Get SiteGround|
|DreamHost||Affordable provider with a free domain, SSL, website builder, domain privacy, and daily backups.||Get DreamHost|
|InterServer||An unlimited hosting provider with a free SSL, automated backups, CDN, and cPanel.||Get InterServer|
Truth be told, you wouldn’t be in the wrong by going for either one of these providers. It all comes down to what your preferences are, so make sure to weigh your options carefully.
How to choose the best church website hosting?
When it comes to choosing your church website hosting provider, there are several things you should pay extra attention to. Pricing, performance, and security are definitely the holy trinity here. However, don’t forget such things as ease of use, website building options, and other features.
Of course, without knowing what to look for, all of the statistics would just look like empty numbers. Don’t worry though, that’s why I’m here - to bring some clarity into this complicated world of website hosting.
When it comes to pricing, there is no golden standard in hosting. Shared hosting is usually the best option for churches. It works by sharing the resources of one server with multiple other websites, and this allows to keep the pricing as low as possible. You’ll find providers costing as low as $1.39 per month.
Other hosting types like VPS, cloud, or dedicated servers are more expensive (can cost from $10/mo to thousands of dollars) and usually too powerful for a simple website. However, if you’re planning live broadcasts for big communities - VPS could be an option.
At the same time, some hosting providers offer nonprofit organizations free hosting plans. If your church has the required documentation, look at DreamHost or InterServer.
All in all, if you are on a tight budget and you’re planning to build a simple informational church website, cheap shared hosting is the best. Even the entry plans are enough. However, bigger websites might require more advanced options that will be more expensive.
Things are much more straightforward when it comes to performance. There are numbers such as uptime, response time, and fully loaded time for you to look at. They should help you determine whether or not the performance numbers are up to par with what you need from a hosting provider.
- As far as uptime is concerned - the higher the percentage, the better. Usually, you’ll find that hosting providers have an uptime, from 99.99% to 99.95%, and anything in that range is fine. Anything below 99.9% is definitely an issue. Also, look for providers that offer an uptime guarantee for some extra safety.
- If the average response time is within 600ms, it is great. However, if the average response time is over 1 second, it might as well be considered to be a sin. If you see a provider with an average response time like that, feel free to offer its representatives a spot at the confessional booth at your church.
- The fully loaded time indicates how long it takes for the website to load fully. As long as this doesn’t overpass 3 seconds, the site is considered to be very speedy.
To sum the performance part up - ideally, look for a provider with uptime as close to 100% as you can find. Also, keep an eye out for an average response time that is up to 600ms. Lastly, make sure that the site loads fast enough.
Security tools are quite essential for keeping the website running smoothly. Just like you wouldn’t leave your valuables out in the open, the website has to have a layer of security to it too.
The most basic yet essential tool to have is an SSL certificate. To put it simply, any website without an SSL certificate is not safe when it comes to your personal data. If you want your website to be trustworthy, you must have this. So make sure it is included in your hosting plan. More often than not, it will be.
However, if you’re looking to accept donations through your site, you should look into extra tools like server and web firewalls, DDoS protection, and malware protection. The more secure the site is, the more secure are transactions on the site too.
In short, see how secure you need your site to be. If it’s just a small informative church site, SSL might be all that you really need. However, if you're accepting donations online, additional security tools might benefit you greatly.
While the pricing, performance, and security are important, there are other things you should look at when choosing a hosting provider as well. Look for one with good customer support, reasonable storage, and website building options if you need them.
- Customer support - no matter if you are a beginner or an experienced professional, you’re going to need customer support. That’s why lousy or simply unknowledgeable customer support is a big no-no for me. I like my questions answered and as quickly as possible. That’s why I never underestimate the importance of customer support when choosing a hosting provider. Neither should you.
- Storage - when it comes to storage, don’t get bought by promises of “unlimited” storage. In fact, you don’t need hundreds of GB of storage for a small church website. 1GB is enough for a very small and simple WordPress website, while anything over 10GB will give you almost complete freedom. At least as far as the things that a church website needs are concerned.
- Website builders - as for website building options, you have to weigh your preferences here. If you need a hosting provider for a site that you’re going to build on WordPress or any other CMS, then it’s not very important. If you want to build a website then and there, look for a provider with good website building options.
All in all, you should look for an affordable hosting option with decent performance when choosing the best web hosting services for churches. However, don’t forget to pay attention to other things, such as customer support, storage, and web building options. These are crucial for a good hosting experience.
Church website hosting FAQ
Can I host my church website for free?
There are several free hosting options for non-profits, including churches. DreamHost offers free shared hosting for 501(c)(3) organizations within the US. InterServer also offers free shared hosting for non-profits, as long as you can provide the required paperwork.
Can I receive donations on my website?
Yes, you can receive donations on your site no matter which provider you choose. Just make sure that the provider has quite a few security measures in place, not just SSL, for a safe transaction.
How much does it cost to host a church website?
The cost of hosting a church website really depends on the provider that you end up going with, and what features you think you might need. Usually, entry shared hosting plans costing up to $5/mo are enough.