To get hosting for your non-profit website, you are going to have to create an account with a hosting company, and they are going to charge you a massive amount for each gigabyte of data a site uses. That part is true. But you’re going to get a nice package at no charge from the provider, because they know the value of using their server at no cost for a small set of websites. They see an opportunity to bring people into their company who are helping charities in other ways. And because of that, you’re going to pay next to nothing for hosting. If you are running a large-scale non-profit like a nationwide PTA, supporting a nonprofit is a much larger enterprise than a mom-and-pop website. The costs of running that website can be much, much greater than a support team who will look after you during site-building.
Why would a hosting company want to spend so much money? One reason is that hosting nonprofit sites that require power and other things might require a lot of CPU cycles, which is why it’s not cheap to run. But another reason is that hosting a website is a major headache, and a lot of hosting providers don’t want to charge for that headache, or want to charge for something that would be much more valuable to the company itself. Many site owners know this first-hand, from running massive Facebook pages for a big influencers. Enormous media management and data center construction teams use a lot of resources and bandwidth, so when Facebook charges you money for Facebook hosting, you want to use a free provider.
Unfortunately, the industry is such that providers can charge whatever they want to, so providers that charge for regular hosting usually charge far less than providers that charge for business hosting. They look at your site and see a great little asset that gets in the way of their other work. Instead of charging you money for hosting, they offer you much less server space at a good price, and if you use a service that provides extra money for extra duties, they charge you extra for the extra tasks. Of course, they would probably be furious if you used a service that allows you to charge others extra money to do things that were simpler or more effective for them. There’s another benefit to using a free website hosting provider in this situation, but it’s not the case that there is a marked price differential between free and paid providers. A lot of providers don’t really provide free hosting, they just offer huge amounts of storage or bandwidth and account features that a free provider can’t offer, like social media features. The only reason to use free hosting is if you really, really don’t like paying for hosting. If you can cut down on website maintenance costs, switch to free hosting and just leave your site up for a few years, that’s generally a bad idea. You’ll save money, but if you’re using a gigantic amount of storage space and bandwidth or they have a service that doesn’t offer some important features you really need, that’s not a good idea.