If you manage a non-profit organization, budgets are tight. Your grant funding might only allow a certain, small amount for website maintenance and design—and oftentimes, web hosting falls into that category. However, like the Shakespearean quote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!” You make a huge impact on your community, and there might be hundreds or even thousands of people visiting your website every day. It needs to be fast, secure, and attractive or you’ll lose valuable members who may benefit from your efforts.
Fortunately, virtual private server/VPS hosting and basic shared plans are now along the same price point. Years ago, VPS was just more expensive than basic, which is why most people had (and still have!) basic plans. These plans are good enough for something like a personal blog, but not for a thriving website. If your non-profit organization has a blossoming online identity, it’s time to upgrade.
Non-Profit? Not a Problem
In many cases, you’ll be able to transition seamlessly from your current plan and/or web host to VPS hosting. There will be a slight overlap in which you will have two packages, just to ensure that your website stays up and running. This will be less than one day. If you need to switch web hosts, a quality web host will take care of the transition for you. Since few web hosts offer VPS packages, many non-profits are jumping ship and finding a new host who has what they want.
VPS can offer you more security for your site, which is paramount if you collect personal data from visitors. It can also give you faster speeds, which serves your community better. Studies have shown that people, ever since they started using mobile devices more often than desktops, won’t wait for a slow site. If you have competition, it means you might be losing valuable potential visitors. If you don’t, it means your target audience might not be benefiting from your organization because they get frustrated by the slow speeds.
Pitching to the Board
Sometimes, you might need to pitch VPS hosting to a Board of Directors (especially if you’ll need to switch hosts). This is the easiest pitch you can be tasked with. The costs of basic vs. VPS are the same, and you’re basically getting the perks of a dedicated host without the hassle and high fees. Plus, if your new host is worth their salt, they’ll take care of the heavy lifting for you.
Start running analytics now (there are many free programs available) to discover what landing pages are popular, bounce back rates, and other key information. You’ll want to compare these numbers to your post-VPS situation. This can help strengthen your role as a tech savvy member of your organization, and can also ease concerns if there are any bumps in the road after the transition.
If you’re in the non-profit sector, make sure you’re truly serving your community in all regards. Great hosting can make a world of difference.