In the past few weeks, I’ve been appalled with the price that some churches and ministry organizations are paying for their web hosting. It’s not the church’s fault; many of them signed up with web hosting companies years ago, and are still paying the rates from years ago. Here are two examples of groups who I would say are simply being taken advantage of:
- One church was paying $26.95/month for 100mb of storage space, 1 MySQL database and a limited number of email addresses and very poor customer service. In order to use another MySQL database, they would have to upgrade their account.
- Another church group was paying $45/month for a “Premier” hosting package that included 100mb of storage space, 24-hr FTP access (I find that funny), up to 20 email accounts(!!!) and “no hidden charges or fees.” Absolutely ridiculous. The same web host charges the following for their “web design:” $425 for the Home page, and $225 for each additional page. Are you kidding me?
I feel like I should start a business that simply contacts every church that has a website and helps them to switch their sites to a new web host. I’d guess that over 90% of churches and small non-profits that have websites are paying 2, 3, 4-times more than they need to for their website/email packages. And it’s not their fault – years ago they just got into a web hosting contract with a company, and they’re not aware of the significant decrease in costs for these types of services now. And that’s how some churches are still paying someone $45/month for 100mb of space, 20 email accounts and 24-hr FTP access.
The other problem is that sometimes these web hosts are church members! It’s an issue of stewardship – and if someone in the church is making the church pay outrageous prices for something that can be as cheap as $5/month, that is just unacceptable. Granted, there may be some reasons why some churches stay with certain providers, but if you are on staff at a church that has a website, I’d encourage you to take a look and see what you’re paying for your web hosting and email services. My guess is that it is probably too much – and while it may take some phone calls and time figuring out how to switch to another host, it will save your church money in the long run.