This article was originally published in September 2012. It has been updated with new information.
In September 2012, domain registrar and webhost GoDaddy.com suffered a major outage which rendered millions of sites inaccessible, including many nonprofit websites. I think many nonprofits simply don't realize that there are better vendors available and that moving your business elsewhere is a viable option.
Why Your Nonprofit Shouldn't Use GoDaddy
GoDaddy's value's stand in stark opposition to many of the values for which nonprofits advocate.
- In 2011, GoDaddy supported controversial legislation that would have infringed on online privacy.
- In 2011, GoDaddy's CEO proudly showed off an elephant he had killed.
- GoDaddy has a long history of creating advertising that is sexist and demeaning to women.
GoDaddy provides poor overall service by:
- Turning simple administrative tasks into a user's headache (such as accessing the authorization code for your domain),
- Relying on a client's lack of information to add unnecessary services and fees and
- Behaving unethically by taking domains for which users search and then selling them at an additional premium.
What to Do If You Want to Switch
The good news is that your nonprofit isn't stuck with a poor vendor. In fact, you can move your URL or web hosting or email hosting to almost any vendor. Your organization can even use different vendors for different services (URL, web host, email host) because although the services are related, they are technically separate.
Just like your phone number, your URL moves with you to the vendor of your choice. Register your URL with a different vendor than hosts your website. This will give your organization some redundancy in case of outage or other possible interruptions of service. Consider registering your URL with NameCheap*.
Your nonprofit organization's website is the front door for thousands of people who want to learn more about your mission, so invest a little more into hosting.
- Starting at $20 a month you can move your site to a more reliable host such as NameCheap*.
- There are also webhosts that specialize even further into certain platforms such as WordPress (WP Engine)*.
- If you're running a more robust Drupal-type database, check out BigScoots* (which hosts the site you are reading!)
As a nonprofit, you may be eligible to access Google Apps, including its email service, for no charge. Consider hosting your email with Google for even more redundancy.
Need a hand?
If your nonprofit needs help moving a URL or choosing a new webhost, SmartCause Digital is happy to help. You can also find advice and counsel using the #nptech hashtag on Twitter or posting to the NTEN Discuss forum.
* indicates links which are affiliate links for SmartCause. I consistently recommend each of these services to my (satisfied) clients and/or am a current (satisfied) client myself.