The task of building an affiliate marketing website is not complete without web hosts.

Web hosting provides the backbone to the site.

Solid web hosting improves the user experience by delivering content speedily. Better user experience equates to higher conversions. You see where this is going. Plus, there’s the benefit of having higher ranking signals with Google (they love fast sites).

Plus, there’s the benefit of having higher ranking signals with Google (they love fast sites).

Paired with a domain name is the hosting.

Hosting is nothing more than a server to deliver files requested by users. In case of a website, it’s delivering HTML (and other Web techs) that’s interpreted by the browser.

Viola! You have a site.


Best Web Hosts — a TL;DR

  • Look for ones that provide stellar support, fair pricing, reliable uptime, and backend flexibility.
  • We side with hosts like Bluehost, 1and1, and HostGator because of their reliability.
  • You’ll likely choose shared hosting because it’s the middle-ground with pricing and features.
  • Do yourself a favor and avoid “free hosting” like the plague.

Type in “web hosts” and you’re inundated with choice.

You’d be quick to jump at whatever one shows on the top of search results. After all, you’re hyped up and ready to get building. But… pump those brakes. There’s a lot you’ll want to look out for when choosing a web host.

So… which is best?

 

What We look for with Web Hosts

looking forward

Our bias in selecting web hosting leans toward one major feature: uptime.

What good is a service if your site is consistently down?

Every minute offline you potentially lose a:

  • Sale
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Contact

Right there with it is the customer service.

Great customer service saves the day when things go awry (like downtime).

Being able to contact the provider at any given moment (with fast response time) can be the difference between an incredible launch window or a complete dud.

Other factors playing in the rankings include:

  • Pricing
  • Ease-of-use
  • Scalability

You’ll typically stick with a web hosting company throughout your time doing affiliate marketing. It’s easier to scale the hosting package than to completely migrate the site(s).

It’s easier to scale the hosting package than to completely migrate the site(s).

You’ll also find web hosting companies offering domain services though we recommend you keep them separate for the ease of transferring if/when that happens.

Basically, what you’re looking for is: A service with great uptime and a proven track record.

If the service:

  1. Rarely goes down
  2. Doesn’t break the budget
  3. Has quick customer service

Then everything else should be good since most web hosting service has similar features and options.

You’ll only know the up-time once you use a service for a while.

Unexpected outages do occur but hopefully, they’re few and far between but keep a log of downtimes to determine whether it’s worth making a switch.

Let’s go ahead and look at those options with hosting companies worth considering…

 

The Best Web Hosting Companies

creating something

Unlike with domains, it’s wise to choose a hosting package that’s labeled something like “WordPress hosting” or “small business hosting” because these are configured to optimize platforms, plugins, and other backend features.

If you’re starting a blog then you’ll likely side with one of the “WordPress” options; if it’s a small site (i.e. online shop) then you’ll likely to go with a “small business” package.

Here are the options we feel you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

 

HostGator

Hostgator Web Hosting

Our experience with HostGator has been pleasant.

The inexpensive hosting packages fall in line with the type of budget a new affiliate marketer would want/need.

Their servers can handle heavy traffic loads.

Plus, it has a great back-end (CPanel) with one-click installs which will let you set up fast.

The site and backend aren’t as sleek as other competitors but once you get a hang of it, you shouldn’t have any trouble launching multiple sites.

  • Cost (recommended plan): $7.95/mo
  • # of installs: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unmetered
  • Storage: Unmetered
  • Support: 24/7/365
  • Sever types: Cloud, WordPress, VPS, Dedicated, and others (you won’t need)
  • Extras: PPC credits, email hosting, e-commerce features

Overall, the cost & service is an all-around winner that gets the job done.

There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about HostGator but that’s okay!

For what it offers, it’s a great start, but make sure you choose the baby cloud to get those unlimited domains.

 

Bluehost

Bluehost Web Host

Ah, Bluehost, spend any time reading affiliate marketing blogs and you’re bound to run across this company.

Their popularity is for a good reason: they’re reliable and fair with pricing. They’re recommended #1 by WordPress.org which says a lot.

Their base plans will provide everything you need and then some; while their cloud hosting, a relatively new offering, delivers extra in up-time and flexibility.

  • Cost (recommended plan): $5.95/mo
  • # of installs: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unmetered
  • Storage: Unmetered
  • Support: 24/7/365
  • Sever types: Shared, VPS, Dedicated, WordPress, WooCommerce
  • Extras: Free domain, site builder, email, privacy, backup, spam protection, $200 ad credit

Overall, Bluehost is the top dog.

A customizable backend, tons of bonuses, unmetered accounts, and legacy in the web hosting business makes them a clear choice for those serious about sticking with affiliate marketing (and beyond).

 

1and1

1and1 Website Hosting

1and1 is often comparable to Bluehost – they’re often recommended side-by-side (and would you look at that… we’re doing it too!).

Their services have been going strong since 1998 and through their legacy, they’ve been able to partner with many companies to offer tons of freebies you’ll find interesting.

Their checkout process is a little clunky compared to others.

Yet, you can’t go wrong with knowing too much about what you’re getting, right?

  • Cost (recommended plan): $4.99/mo (for the first year)
  • # of installs: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Storage: Unlimited
  • Support: 24/7
  • Sever types: Cloud, Dedicated, VPS
  • Extras: $0.99 domains, CDN, Sitelock, DDOS protection, App center, Smart SSD

Overall, 1and1 offers a good price and one highest performance.

Tons of great features like cheap domains, website builders, email, and online marketing are available. 1and1 is a company that could be your all-in-one solution for the affiliate marketing project.

 

iPage

iPage Hosting

iPage is yet another legacy competitor in the hosting space; their special intro offer is unbeatable offering website hosting as low as $1.99/mo.

The kicker?

You’ll also get a free domain name if you sign up for their service. Plus, website builder tools makes the service an all-in-one option!

The service has all the bells and whistles you’d come to expect from a long-time leader in the market.

  • Cost (recommended plan): $1.99
  • # of installs: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Storage: Unlimited
  • Support: 24/7
  • Sever types: Web, VPS, Dedicated, WordPress
  • Extras: $100 Google/Bing ads, SiteLock, WP building tools, YP.com listing

Overall, iPage makes it dead-simple.

They don’t overload you with tons of options.

The added extras with ad credits is a nice way to get your affiliate marketing off the ground. If you decide to keep the domain and hosting together then certainly consider this service.

 

SiteGround

SiteGround Web Hosting Services

SiteGround is cutting edge with their service; you’ll find each server equipped with SSD drives, automatic updates, firewall securities, and the latest speed tech.

The automated, daily backup is a very nice touch for an added layer of security.

The pricing is amazing, too!

  • Cost (recommended plan):
  • # of installs: Multiple
  • Bandwidth: ~25k visitors/mo
  • Storage: 20GB
  • Support: 24/7
  • Sever types: Shared, Cloud, Dedicated, Reseller, Enterprise
  • Extras:

Overall, SiteGround has an amazing set of backend features to keep your site speedy and secure.

Unfortunately, the recommended plan doesn’t scale as well as other services. But, it’s not too costly to upgrade to bigger options.

If you ever need to get in touch with customer service then you’ll be pleasantly surprised at their speed and commitment.

 

Amazon AWS

Amazon Web Services Hosting

The might of Amazon wrapped in an elegant website hosting solution.

With Amazon’s AWS, you’re given privy to the massive servers and data centers of Amazon.

Despite calling it “simple hosting” it’s quite complex with their dynamic resourcing (for those big traffic spikes).

The intuitive UX should make setup a breeze and it’s easy to integrate with other Amazon services.

  • Cost (recommended plan): $5/mo
  • # of installs: Varies (based on AWS sub)
  • Bandwidth: 1TB*
  • Storage: 20GB
  • Support: YMMV
  • Sever types: Simple (with Lightsail), Static (with S3), Enterprise (with EC2)
  • Extras: AWS services, SSH/DNS management, monitoring

Overall, choosing Amazon for hosting is essentially a guaranteed up-time.

The drawback is that Amazon doesn’t exactly have a reputation for customer service.

Yet, having a pay-as-you-go pricing model (based on your usage) is a real thriller for those seeking to scale their efforts.

 

WPEngine

WP Engine WordPress Hosting

WPEngine is a popular choice for bloggers due to their dedication to servicing WordPress installations.

The data centers, located throughout the world, deliver faster results via closer proximity to visitors.

The tech behind the hosting gives it rock-solid reliability. Optional ‘performance intelligence’ solutions give you diagnostics to improve every aspect of the site.

  • Cost (recommended plan): $29/mo
  • # of installs: 1
  • Bandwidth: Up to 25k visitors/mo
  • Storage: 10GB
  • Support: 24/7/365
  • Sever types: Personal, Professional, Business, Premium, Enterprise
  • Extras: Free SSL certs

Overall, WPEngine comes at a higher cost but it’s the ideal solution for those expecting to base their online projects around WordPress.

The blazing-fast speeds and high-security are two all-important features you’ll want when using the open-source platform.

 

Shared, Dedicated, and Cloud Hosting

computer network

This is where things can get a little confusing so let’s keep this simple:

  • Shared – You share server space with others
  • Dedicated – You have a server to your own
  • Cloud – It’s like shared but through virtual servers

We recommend shared hosting all-the-way because it’s a middle-ground in pricing, features, and flexibility. You’re able to keep costs low when starting out while keeping the option open to scale.

The “base plan” we mention in pricing alludes to these shared hosting options.

That is, unless, you’re going big time like with an affiliate e-commerce store in which you may want to consider dedicated hosting – but that can come later once you’re seeing an ROI.

There’s also managed WordPress hosting.

Managed WP hosting is just the shared option but the provider will make sure your installation stays up-to-date which is a good option for those non-technical + to avoid hacking attempts.

You’ll also find a reseller and VPS solutions but honestly, you don’t need to worry about these since the main three will handle 99% of what you’re likely to do on the Web.

 

A Quick Note about “Free Hosting”

free hosting is a no go

You’re bound to find offers for “free web hosting”.

You’d think “that sounds like a good deal” but oh, no, don’t go down that route.

Free web hosting is a disaster waiting to happen.

In exchange for hosting your site, you get the privilege of sharing it with tons of others. Meaning the server is taxed and will take longer to load. Right out of the gate you’re creating a bad user experience.

Not only that but free hosting often comes with a clause where your site will run ads for the provider.

You don’t know if these ads point people to malicious sites – a double whammy because Google will penalize your site and you’re pissing off visitors.

Simply put: avoid free hosting like the plague.

 

Website Builders

building

Most web hosting services include a free website builder on the backend.

This feature saves money during development.

Serious affiliate marketers will skip this offer in place of a full-design, template, theme, or popular visual page builder. Reasons being greater flexibility and support.

Yet, it’s an option worth considering if you’re fresh to site dev and wants to keep the budget tight. Personally, it’s better to use a site builder and get launched than to spend months being held up in the design process. By the time you do hit the market — you could have lost your edge — that’s where site builders come into play.

 

Web Hosting for Affiliate Marketing

traffic jam

Affiliate marketers have different needs than your typical site owner.

Big launches in the affiliate space will flood a site with traffic.

Generally, because of a joint venture that pools tons of affiliates promoting a single product during a launch window.

These spikes can cause a “hug of death” resulting in lost opportunity.

Ask the hosting provider how they’re able to handle traffic spikes if you’re unsure. Many include caching services that will reduce the server load.

Combine this with a CDN and third-party caching and you should be all set (once you get there in your affiliate marketing adventure).

 

Web Hosts: Summing It Up

summing it up

By this point, you have a firm understanding of your options.

Let’s reiterate:

  1. The most important feature (in our minds) is uptime
  2. Test their customer service to see how well they respond
  3. Use coupons to get better rates when signing up
  4. Spend some time with their tutorials learning the backend
  5. Stick to shared hosting for most of your projects
  6. Factor scalability since your efforts may grow rapidly

Web hosting companies are quite flexible; they’ll guide you throw the process if you’re caught up else reference a website setup guide if you want it play-by-play.

Once hosting and the domain is configured, you’re on your way to set up the site – how exciting!

To think… for a small investment in hosting you have a platform that can turn into anything.