The web host you choose can make or break your online affiliate business. It's no surprise really when you consider that hosting companies play a big role in controlling the speed, security, and availability of your site.
That's why you need a host that's reliable, stays up to date on the latest technology and can help your website grow. We've done the hard work for you and identified three companies with the best web hosting for affiliate marketing. Ready to dive in?
WHAT IS WEB HOSTING?
In simple terms, web hosting is what allows a website to exist and be seen on the internet. A web hosting company takes all the files that comprise the website (e.g., graphics, text, pictures, videos, navigation buttons, and other elements, etc.) and places them on a server so that they can be accessed by anyone.
A web host also provides much of the security and behind the scenes maintenance of your website, leaving you free to spend time on improving your site and building a traffic base.
Now, a domain name is separate from a hosting service and is simply the address of your website. Essentially, it identifies your website on the internet so that it can be easily found. Some hosting companies also sell domain names, but that's a different and separate service from hosting.
To be successful at affiliate marketing, you'll need both a domain name and web hosting. Having both these components gives you credibility and complete control over your business. This way, you won't have to rely on another company or be subject to their whims, rules or changes.
Moreover, many affiliate programs also require you to have a standalone website to gain approval into their program.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A WEB HOSTING COMPANY AS AN AFFILIATE MARKETER
Visitors to your website won't wait around if your pages take too long to load. In fact, research shows that most people will leave a page if the loading time takes longer than three seconds. [source]
Google has also revealed that loading speed is a determining factor in page ranking. Many low-cost web hosts crowd too many sites on a single server and as a result, cause all the sites hosted on that server to load slowly.
Thus, you want to look for hosts that limit the number of sites on shared servers and guarantee fast page speeds. A page that loads in two seconds or less is ideal.
Obviously, you can't make money when your site is down. Some hosting providers run into problems when they overload servers or have no protocols in place for when things go haywire, leading to lengthy down-times for their clients.
Visitors to your site really don't care why your site is down or whose fault it is, they'll simply click elsewhere. Thus, it's best to look for a host that guarantees high uptimes. Potential hosts should offer at least 99.5 percent uptime, with the very best guaranteeing an uptime of 99.9 percent.
A shared server is usually fine when starting out. But eventually, you may need more space and functionality.
Now, there's also such a thing as a virtual private server which is technically the same thing as a shared server, except that it offers you control over some of the operating systems on your virtual server. In contrast, a physical private server is an entire server solely dedicated to you and your website.
While a physical private server is much more expensive than a shared server, it's necessary if you reach a high level of traffic on your site or want complete control of the server's resources.
Every part of your website will need storage space. Some hosting plans may look attractive until you realize that the storage space offered is quite limited. Moreover, some companies also tack on hefty charges for extra storage space.
To host pictures, videos, graphics and all the features that keep your website attractive, make sure the hosting company offers plenty of storage space for your site.
While storage space is what allows you to place all the pictures, videos and other assets on your website, bandwidth is what allows visitors to view or download these components.
Without enough bandwidth, visitors won't be able to fully experience your site and you'll lose vital income-generating clicks. The more graphics, pictures, and videos on your site, the more bandwidth you'll need.
Anything less than top-notch security from a web host is unacceptable. Your host should be able to ensure the security of both your data and the data from your visitors.
Besides preventing the release of data, a good web host should also have measures in place to prevent viruses and malware from spreading maliciously throughout your site.
While defensive security systems are important, a high-quality host will also have proactive measures such as continuous monitoring for suspicious activity across all servers to prevent fraud or attacks from occurring in the first place.
Stuff happens, especially where technology is involved. You don't want to lose your entire website when something goes wrong, whether the problem is on your end or the host's. So, while it's a good idea to perform your own backups, nothing beats having a regularly scheduled backup of your entire site that isn't subject to human error or forgetfulness.
A great hosting company won't just create regular backups of your site, they'll do so on a frequent basis, at least once every 24 hours. This way, changes and new information aren't lost and you can carry on with business as usual even when the worst happens.
Ease of Use
If you're new to affiliate marketing, there's already enough to learn without having to dive into all the technical details of setting up a website. Some web hosts are far better than others at making their system easy to use.
Clear directions, a simple interface, and intuitive tools can mean the difference between easily uploading and updating your site and spending hour after frustrated hour trying to make simple things happen.
To this end, you want to look for positive user reviews, good documentation, and a simple layout when choosing a web host. Even if you've never had your own website before, the host should make it easy to tackle basic tasks yourself.
A web hosting service should provide everything you need to take your site live and keep it running smoothly.
While 24/7 assistance may or may not be a deal breaker, a good host won't limit the help desk to banker's hours and can be reached in whatever way is most convenient for you, whether by phone, email, chat, or a phone app.
Try finding and calling a customer service number before purchasing your hosting package to get a feel for how a company will handle your questions.
So, with that said, let's see how these three recommended web hosting platforms for affiliate marketers stack up!...
3 BEST WEB HOSTING COMPANIES FOR AFFILIATE MARKETING
Bluehost has been around since 2003 and hosts more than two million websites. As its name suggests, Bluehost focuses primarily on hosting and offers only a few other services directly related to hosting and site-building.
The company is known for its no-nonsense approach to site hosting and operates as simply as possible. Bluehost receives consistently high marks from its customers, especially for ease of use and customer service.
Shared server plans include a promise that the company prevents other sites on the same server from using an unfair amount of resources. This keeps page loading speeds for your site fast. If your site has a traffic spike, it won't be shut down but instead moved to a different server that can handle the level of traffic. That's a big plus!
Sites hosted with Bluehost can also easily be scaled up as they grow. It's not a problem to switch from shared hosting to a dedicated server if the need arises, and even shared plans can be upgraded as you grow to include more storage and customization.
Bluehost also takes a proactive approach to security and provides continuous security updates and monitoring. Free SSL certificates are also available with all available hosting plans.
Customer service is available 24/7, so you don't have to wait if you run into an issue with your site, no matter what time of day. They also perform complete backups of your site every day so no information ever gets lost.
Bluehost also offers a cloud hosting package where your site is mirrored in three different places so there's never any downtime. Moreover, it comes with cPanel access, giving you almost complete control over your site.
For an extra fee, Bluehost will provide website building and marketing services. But note that none of these services are included in the hosting package and must be purchased separately at a substantial price.
Shared server packages start at $7.99 per month for the basic package and go up to $23.99 per month for the PRO package. (Update: Bluehost's starter shared server package is now priced even lower at $2.95 per month).
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting ranges from $29.99 to $119.99 per month, while dedicated server hosting starts at $119.99 and goes up to $209.99 per month.
SiteGround has been around since 2004 and hosts approximately 1.7 million websites. Typically, hosting plans contain many features often sold for a premium such as website builders and unlimited emails, but SiteGround's basic plan already includes them.
To provide superior page speeds, SiteGround uses a combination of Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network) and dynamic caching. The company also uses SSD servers and other cutting-edge technology to ensure all their hosted sites load quickly.
The company offers 24/7 customer support through your choice of phone, chat, or help ticket. Indeed, customer reviews for SiteGround consistently cite excellent customer service as a main reason for their satisfaction.
Besides fast speeds and excellent customer service, SiteGround checks the other boxes of a good hosting provider by offering complete security, regular backups, 99.9 percent uptime, and a user-friendly interface.
Some plans also allow you to back up your site to their system whenever you want — a handy assurance that new changes to your site won't be lost.
SiteGround also offers a unique service that allows you to completely customize a hosting plan specific to your needs. Since an affiliate marketing site has different requirements than an online merchant, this could be a useful option once your site grows large enough or has high-volume traffic.
The staff at SiteGround will talk with you to determine your specific current needs as well as your future ones and then create a hosting plan to match those demands. SiteGround also offers a 30-day money back guarantee if you aren't happy with their hosting services.
Shared server packages range from $11.95 to $34.95 per month, depending on the amount of storage you require and your anticipated number of site visitors. But they're now offering a special discount price of $3.95 to $11.95 per month for the same package deals.
Dedicated server plans start at $269 per month and go up to $729 per month. Customized plans are also available at a wide variety of price ranges.
Wealthy Affiliate hosting is the only service on our list dedicated primarily to hosting affiliate sites. Founded in 2005, Wealthy Affiliate has gone on to serve more than 1.5 million entrepreneurs over the years through its web hosting, education services, and other tools and resources.
Wealthy Affiliate specifically hosts sites built on WordPress, which makes the transition easy if you already use the platform. But if you don't, it opens the door to the thousands of free plugins and themes available to help design, grow and manage your website.
A major perk Wealthy Affiliate offers is specialized security for WordPress sites. Since WordPress is open source, it's both a treasure trove of resources for website owners and a prime target for hackers. Wealthy Affiliate is able to use a substantial amount of its resources for WordPress security since it doesn't focus on other types of site platforms.
Wealthy Affiliate also receives high marks for page speed, backups, and uptime. The company uses double hosting to guarantee uptime so that even if one copy of your site goes down, the other is instantly brought up so you never experience downtime.
Now, besides hosting services, Wealthy Affiliate offers a complete education package and an online learning community for affiliate business owners. A pared-down version of the training is also available for free, enabling you to start with no obligation or investment.
Wealthy Affiliate has just two price points, free and $49 per month (or $359 per year, bringing the monthly cost down to $29 per month — a total yearly savings of $229).
The free starter pack allows you to build two websites, participate in the first phase of training and start earning money from your site before making a bigger commitment. The Premium package is $49 per month and includes up to 50 websites and all seven phases of training.
Sure, at first glance, $49 per month is a lot more than what both Bluehost and SiteGround charge for starter plans. But remember, first-rate web hosting is only one of many great tools and resources Wealthy Affiliate offers. As a new or experienced affiliate marketer, I can think of no better deal.
I've personally been a member of Wealthy Affiliate for many years now and have hosted several websites with them and always been pleased with their services. And I'm far from the only one...
That's just one of many happy campers. And here's a glimpse of what you'll find when you decide to host your sites with Wealthy Affiliate...
CLICK TO SEE SCREEN CAPTURES OF THE WEALTHY AFFILIATE HOSTING INTERFACE
WHY WEALTHY AFFILIATE HOSTING IS OUR TOP CHOICE
While Wealthy Affiliate doesn't offer cPanel access or unlimited storage and bandwidth, it makes up for it with training and support designed specifically for affiliate websites. The complete integration and specialized support of WordPress and all its powerful resources also make it a top choice.
Bluehost and SiteGround cater to all types of sites and entrepreneurs but have a major focus on online retailers. Many of the features you pay for are intended for selling products rather than promoting products as affiliates.
Why pay for a shopping cart, extra storage space for product pictures and videos, or large amounts of bandwidth you'll most likely never use?
Besides step-by-step interactive affiliate training, Wealthy Affiliate offers a one-on-one mentorship program, a powerful keyword research tool, 24/7 community access, and many other benefits.
These additional tools and resources are all designed to maximize your success, which is why our top choice for web hosting and related services goes to Wealthy Affiliate.
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN!
What are your thoughts about our choices for the best web hosting for affiliate marketing? Make sure to leave your questions and comments below!