Five essential features of affiliate web hosting – affiliateprograms.comWeb hosting is an important, but often-overlooked component of affiliate marketing websites.

When you’re running an affiliate marketing business, you often have too many details to pay attention to. You need to design an attractive site, create great content for it on a daily basis, and make sure you’re getting traffic to the site with terrific search engine optimization. In addition, you’ll also need to pay close attention to the web hosting of your site.

Web hosting can be the difference between a robust, professional site and a site that brings in a few pennies a day. While web hosting isn’t the most exciting part of your affiliate business, it’s certainly one of the most important. That’s because it’s the backbone of your site.

Your site’s speed and uptime are impacted by the quality of your host. So if you have a low-quality web host, your site will suffer from slower page loading time and be more prone to downtime. And that can directly impact your commissions.

For today’s post, I’ve pulled together a few recommendations on the kind of features you’ll want from a new web host. If you’re just getting started, these should give you a good background on how to research a potential host. If you’re fed up with your current host and looking to change, these tips will make your research easier.

Feature #1: Multiple domains

If you’re starting off, you should be focused on just one website. But when you’re ready to build multiple sites, you want a hosting plan that can grow with you. Look for hosting plans that allow unlimited domains. If you can’t find the right plan with unlimited domains, look for one that offers at least 15 to 20 domains on one account.

Feature #2: Multiple databases

If your host is trying to push you toward using the same database for multiple domains, think again. Each unique domain should have its own database. If you’re running multiple sites through the same database, your site performance will suffer. Fortunately, most of the hosts that offer unlimited domains also offer unlimited databases.

Feature #3: Good reputation

Web hosts should be able to provide you with basic reliability statistics, such as uptime and speed. If your site is often down or slow, that’s going to cut into your traffic and commissions.

Feature #4: Room to grow

If you’re building a site with the goal of getting lots of traffic, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a web host that offers more disk space (how much content you’ll store on your site) and bandwidth (how much data gets transferred to your visitors) than you think you’ll need. You should plan on needing about 200 MB of disk space and as much bandwidth as you can afford.

Feature #5: Great service

I’ve saved the most important for last. Regardless of how knowledgeable, careful or prepared you can be when you’re working on your site, mistakes will happen. And that’s when you want a host with great customer service people who can help you out in a pinch. I’ve heard horror stories about affiliates who suffered downtime and couldn’t get the customer service at their host to help. In fact, I recently helped a client move 15 sites from one (name withheld) host to another, simply because of poor customer service.

Make the right choice

Now that you know what to look for, you’re going to be flooded by all of the different choices and opportunities. There are established, well-known hosts such as Hostgator and Bluehost that many affiliates recommend. And then there are less well-known, smaller companies that often serve a niche in the hosting community.

As you can see from this thread on the Warrior Forum, many affiliate marketers strongly recommend Hostgator, and a few recommend Dreamhost.

Who do you use to host your affiliate sites? What do you think about the service you receive?