While the web is overflowing with companies that provide a variety of free services for hosting blogs, photos, email and files, paying for a professional web hosting service will help your affiliate marketing business in the short and long run.
In the short run, it will make the process of setting up your site, managing your files, and launching your business much easier. When you choose the right host, you’ll have a variety of tools and services integrated into the same account, and that will save you time and effort.
In the long run, having a professional web hosting account will help you scale your business much more easily. You’ll be able to add new domains and new sites and domains to your portfolio very easily. And you’ll be able to manage it all from the interface of your web hosting provider.
Professional web hosting will also provide you with more stability. Having errors such as downtime or broken images can have a negative impact on your business. When you choose the right web hosting for affiliate marketing, you’ll encounter fewer errors and problems.
With all of that said, you’re probably wondering how to go about choosing a web hosting for affiliate marketing. I’m going to provide you with five tips that will help you make a great choice, and then I’m going to recommend two services that provide great web hosting for affiliate marketers.
The term bandwidth refers to network bandwidth, and in plain English it means how much data you’re transferring from your website. When you select a web host, make sure you’re choosing one that provides unlimited bandwidth. If you don’t, and you see a spike in your site’s traffic, it could mean that your site will be down at a time when you could be up. That means you’ll miss collecting affiliate commissions on all the great products you’re recommending.
Domain names and add-on domains
You already know that a domain name is the name of a website, such as “affiliateprograms.com”. When you’re choosing a web host, you’ll often find that hosts will give you a free domain name registration when you’re signing up for a new account. Usually, a web host will include one or two free domains with a typical shared hosting account.
“Add-on domains” refers to the number of different websites you could actually run through your hosting account. If your web host sells you a package that includes “unlimited” add-on domains, that means you can add as many sites to your account as you wish. So when you want to grow your business by building a new website, you’ll be able to do so without any additional cost.
Most web hosting companies also include email accounts as part of a basic hosting package. While choosing POP or IMAP email is a choice you’ll have to make on your own, you definitely want to be able to set up your email quickly and easily. It’s much more professional to have email coming to and from your email@example.com account than a typical Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo account.
The number of emails you’ll need depends on your personal taste. For some people, having one account with multiple aliases will suffice. Others may want a separate account for every site.
Dedicated or shared server
Most affiliate marketers use a “shared” hosting package when starting off. This means that your site is located on a server with several other sites. So when those other sites are getting lots of traffic, your site is going to see a performance slowdown. But it’s also a very cost effective way to host your site.
On the other hand, using a dedicated server can mean significantly faster page loading. However, the amount of traffic you’ll be getting as you’re starting off may not take full advantage of the resources of a dedicated service.
While the difference in page load time between a dedicated and shared server can be significant, so can the cost. My recommendation is to start off with your web hosting provider’s shared server plan and consider upgrading to a dedicated server when your business matures.
Storage refers to the amount of file space you’ll need to host your site. If your site is using a content management system such as WordPress and you’re properly optimizing images before you post them to your site, storage capacity shouldn’t be a problem for you. Regardless, look for web hosting services that provide more than 1000 MB of storage at a bare minimum.
There are a several common choices of the operating systems you can select for a host: Windows, Linux and Unix. If you’re going to be running an open source content management system such as WordPress, you’ll want to choose a host that offers Linux.
Web hosting is a service with significant price competition. In fact, you might wonder how some web hosts manage to stay in business with the extremely low prices they offer. Like other things in life, you get what you pay for. Don’t make your decision on web hosting exclusively on price. In fact, when you consider how much service your web hosting provider will give you for less than $10 per month, it’s a good idea to consider paying a little more.
For shared hosting plans, you can expect to pay between $8-10 per month. For a dedicated server, you’ll usually pay more than $100 per month.
Web Hosting Talk – This forum is a great resource to ask questions about choosing a web hosting provider. It’s also a great place to go to ask others when you have questions about configuring your web host.
Now that you know how to make a great choice, here are two companies to consider when choosing web hosting.
Bluehost offers unlimited disk storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited hosted and parked domains, and a free drag-and-drop web-based site editor. They allow up to 100 MySQL databases, 2,500 email accounts, and 1,000 FTP accounts. You can also use their tool for one-click installation of content management tools.
HostGator has feature-rich shared hosting plans at different levels. The starter “hatchling” plan includes unlimited bandwidth and disk space, unlimited email accounts, and the ability to install a CMS with one-click. When you upgrade from the basic plan, you’ll get additional features such as unlimited domains, domain parking and SSL.
What are your thoughts on selecting a web host? Please leave your feedback in the comments!