Your website should be as unique as your parish! We can add articles from your bulletins and newsletters to constantly keep your site current with revelant information for your community.
We recommend hosting with the nonprofit Microsoft Azure Donation. Microsoft Graciously offers $3,500 per year in credits for hosting. This is generally enough for a super fast dedicated virtual server.
We will help you with the process of getting signed up and approved. The main requirement besides being a nonprofit of course is that your Church is verified as a nonprofit with the IRS. For most Churches this part is very simple however for the Greek Orthodox Church’s it is not so simple. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is not recognized a s a “Group” by the IRS, they are a “Public Charity”. Please see this link which shows their exemption status: IRS Site
The Orthodox Church of America and all others that we have looked at on the other hand are recognized by the IRS as a “Group” which makes things a lot easier.
You can run a search here on the IRS website to verify that your individual Church is a Public Charity. IRS SEARCH
If you are able to find your Church that is good news and you will probably qualify for the Gracious offer from Microsoft.
If you do not qualify for the Microsoft Azure offer we recommend hosting with SiteGround.
SiteGround has shared servers that are very affordable (at the time of this article) about $75 annually. Included with that is the ability to use a Free SSL certificate through Let’s Encrypt. Many other hosts block this ability and do not allow this type of SSL forcing you to purchase one from them. SSL allows a site to load securely on HTTP/2, a secure site on its own is not faster than a non-secure site however HTTP/2 is faster.
Additionally SiteGround has additional caching options and seamlessly works with the CloudFlare CDN.
A fast site is becoming more and more important each day. As more internet browsing is done via mobile phones and tablets visitors demand faster sites. As a whole we are no longer willing to wait for a site or page to load, we will simply browse elsewhere.
Microsoft also provides Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials. This is a great solution for email and includes many additional features such as online editing of Microsoft documents such as Word and Excel. Also included is OneDrive with 1TB of storage (That’s a lot of Storage) and great Spam and Phishing filters. Email can be installed on your smartphone too. With a maximum number of 300 emails we are sure this solution from Microsoft will more than fit your needs.