When choosing a hosting platform for your affiliate marketing business, there are a lot of considerations. Since you likely won’t earn any income for several months, you want a platform that is inexpensive to keep your overhead low.
Pretty crazy, right?
The good news is you have a ton of options to choose from. The bad news, of course, is that you have a TON of options to choose from!
In this guide, I’m going to help you make the right choice.
Table of Contents
- Finding A Good Web Host Is The Most Difficult For Beginners
- What New Affiliate Marketers & Small Business Owners Should Look For In A Web Host
Most Important Features Of A High-Quality Web Hosting Service
- Sign Up For A WordPress Specific Hosting Site
- Do Not Underestimate The Importance Of Good Customer Service!
- Ability To Scale Your Business
- Proudly Advertised 99% Uptime
- Easy User Interface
My Top 5 Recommended Web Hosting Sites For Affiliate Marketers
TUTORIAL: How To Sign Up With Bluehost And Install WordPress
- Step 1: Sign Up For Bluehost
- Step 2: Choose A Plan
- Step 3: Pick Your Domain Name (Or Wait Until Later)
- Step 4: Account Billing Info
- Step 5: Create Your Password
- Step 6: Get Signed In
- Step 6: Install WordPress With One Click
- Step 7: Choose What Your Site Will Be Used For
- Step 8: Familiarize Yourself With The WordPress Dashboard
- Step 9: Start Publishing Content!
- TUTORIAL: How To Sign Up With Bluehost And Install WordPress
- #2: HostGator
- #3: DreamHost
- #4: SiteGround
- #5: WP Engine
- #6 (Bonus!): Wealthy Affiliate
- #1: Bluehost
- Final Thoughts On Finding The Best Best Hosting For Affiliate Marketers
Finding A Good Web Host Is The Most Difficult For Beginners
If you’re like most new affiliate marketers and don’t know computer code (heck I still barely know any computer code), you also need a service with an easy user interface that anyone can figure out.
Finally, you want something that offers the tools and plugins you need so that you can optimize your site for SEO and track your site’s progress.
With so many hosting companies to choose from, it’s especially difficult for the newbie to even know where to start.
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What New Affiliate Marketers & Small Business Owners Should Look For In A Web Host
While it’s possible to have a successful affiliate marketing business without a website, this is not a path I ever recommend. Having a website is by far the most profitable marketing avenue for my own affiliate marketing business, so that’s what I teach others to do as well.
But, maybe you don’t know anything about how to build, manage, or host a website?
That’s why finding a good web host is so important for you. The last thing you need is to get overwhelmed right at the beginning before you can even get a website up and running.
If you sign up for the right web host at the start of your affiliate business, you will discover that getting a great-looking WordPress website up on the web is actually pretty easy.
In some cases, you simply sign up, hit a button that says “Install WordPress”, choose your site layout from dozens of pre-made templates, and you’re good to go.
Before I get into my specific recommendations, I want you to be able to find a good web host on your own without relying on any person or website to make that decision for you.
I’m happy to help you make the right choice since I have specific knowledge gained over more than 10 years, but I also want you to know what to look for on your own.
Most Important Features Of A High-Quality Web Hosting Service
Being new to all of this, you may not even know what you should be looking for, so while this is not an all-inclusive list, here are some important things you should look for when shopping around for the best hosting sites.
Sign Up For A WordPress Specific Hosting Site
The main thing to look for is that you’re signing up for a WordPress-specific hosting plan.
Most web hosts will have very specific plans just for hosting WordPress websites. Those plans are normally very obvious and are called simply “WordPress hosting” or “Managed WordPress Hosting” or something similar.
When you’re new, these plans usually aren’t more than a few bucks per month and will be perfectly fine for your needs.
Some of you may be planning on using something other than WordPress, which gives you even more options. I do highly recommend WordPress for almost all new marketers, but there are some cases when another platform may be better for a specific reason.
Do Not Underestimate The Importance Of Good Customer Service!
You’ll also want to go with a web host that has good customer service. As a newcomer to web hosting, there’s a decent chance you’ll get stuck on something, break something, or take your website offline by accident for a huge list of reasons.
Over the 12 years that I’ve owned my affiliate marketing business, I have used many different web hosts.
Part of the reason I’ve used so many hosts is that as my business has grown, scaled, and attracted more website traffic, my requirements in web hosting have changed.
For example, these days I pay a pretty penny for dedicated servers at WPengine (review below). As a beginner, you won’t need that right now and your web hosting will actually be very cheap!
My Personal Experience With Poor Customer Service On Web Hosting Sites
Unfortunately, there’s another reason I’ve had to use so many web hosts – REALLY bad customer service. How bad? What if your site was down so you called the 2/4/365 support line, only to be on hold for an hour, and then get disconnected? During that entire time, you were also waiting for chat support, which disconnected after 4 hours.
That’s not a made up situation, it happened to me.
In fact, I sent them an email and waited 24 hours for a response, all while my site was totally offline. I ended up switching web hosts that day, and my support ticket was never answered.
This is not all that uncommon.
So, having decent support is very important. Do NOT underestimate this.
Customer Support Should Be Available 24/7/365
Many of us, including myself, start affiliate marketing part-time while we have other jobs. That means, you’ll likely be working on your site(s) outside of normal business hours.
Even if you don’t think you’ll work odd days or times on your websites, trust me, you will. It just tends to happen.
That’s why 24/7/365 customer support is so important. If you’re in the middle of something and it’s not working right or your website goes down, you need support right now. Not in 24 to 48 hours.
You should be able to reach someone every single day at any time, including holidays.
You Should Be Able To Reach Support In Multiple Ways
There should be at least 3 ways to reach support.
- Live Chat
This is at a minimum. It’s also good if they are responsive on social media accounts. If they have lots of activity on their Twitter or Facebook pages, for example, you know you can reach them that way if all else fails.
Video or live conferencing is also becoming more popular. If you’re able to screen share, it can make diagnosing an issue way easier. This isn’t a common form of customer service yet and I would not consider it a necessity.
My favorite method of support is live chat. I like being able to send them a quick message saying “hey, my site is down. Help!!!”
With good customer service, I’ve had these issues fixed usually in minutes by using online chat.
Phone support should be available though. Sometimes a situation is complicated and trying to explain things over chat just isn’t feasible.
Everyone has email support. If they don’t offer this or a way to get responses by email through opening a support ticket on their website, I would stay away from them.
Ability To Scale Your Business
The great thing about web hosting is that you can truly scale your business. When you first start off, you won’t be getting much traffic on your site. So, you can just go with a “shared hosting plan” which means you share a single web server with many other site owners that also have small sites.
When doing this, you can essentially split the cost of a web server with hundreds of other people. That’s why most web hosting is so cheap for starter plans at just a few bucks per month.
However, since you are sharing that server with other people, you will be limited on how much bandwidth you’re allowed to use. As your site ranks in Google and attracts more site visitors, you’ll need to upgrade to a server that is shared by fewer and fewer people, until you finally just end up paying for your own dedicated server (like I’m doing now).
So the goal here is to find a company you can easily scale with. Instead of hopping from web host to web host as you grow, it’s good to know you can just hit an upgrade button when you’re ready. They will take care of everything while you focus on continuing to grow your site.
Proudly Advertised 99% Uptime
Your website will go down sometimes. It just happens. Unforeseeable situations happen, web servers go down, security threats arise, and a huge number of things can happen to force a web host to shut down their server or your website.
However, while things happen, they should have a good track record for site uptime. Most good web hosting sites will proudly advertise 99% uptime for websites hosted on their platform. If a company seems to be hiding or neglecting to mention how great their uptime is, be weary.
Easy User Interface
With most web hosts, the vast majority of the complicated stuff is done for you. However, you’ll still need to do some things in order to get your website live.
For example, you’ll need to connect a domain name to your site and install WordPress.
Most web hosts make this easy, such as being able to install WordPress with one click. Many will allow you to do the same with your domain name.
If you sign up for a service and can’t figure out how to install WordPress or connect a domain name with minimal effort, that’s a good indication to find someone else.
My Top 5 Recommended Web Hosting Sites For Affiliate Marketers
Listed below are my top 5 recommended web hosting sites for affiliate marketers, especially if you’re new to building websites.
These services are user-friendly and any of them will work, but Bluehost is my favorite, so we’ll start with them.
This list of hosting services is also a great option for small to medium-sized business owners and blogging hobbyists who are looking for a cheap and easy solution to host their new website.
Any of these sites are a great choice so you can spend less time getting bogged down with technical difficulties and more time doing what you do best!
AFFILIATE TRANSPARENCY: I want to be totally transparent here – be aware that I am an affiliate marketer for Bluehost. If you click on any of my Bluehost links, then make a purchase, I will earn a commission. I am not affiliated with any other web hosting service on this list. It’s only fair that you know this before deciding on which web host is best for your needs.
With the above affiliate statement said, I really do think Bluehost is an option you should consider.
Am I a bit biased by listing them #1 since I get a commission? Yeah, probably. However, this is one of the most popular web hosting companies in the world. You can’t get to that level by being a bad hosting company.
Bluehost is a very common web host and it’s likely you’ve heard of them before. They are a hosting company designed specifically for small to medium-sized businesses and offer a great range of tools to help you build and scale your business.
What’s really great about Bluehost is most of their customers are NOT website experts.
Since their target market consists of new and inexperienced users, they made the platform extremely simple to use, including getting a beautiful website up and running in literally minutes with a one-click WordPress install and many different free WordPress theme options.
Bluehost starts at just a few bucks per month. As in literally less than $3 per month (this price has remained unchanged for years). And if you use my affiliate link you’ll save even more.
Included with your web hosting account, you also get free domain name registration included, meaning you won’t even have to figure out how to link your domain name to your web host. It’s all in one place. Of course, if you already have a domain name, that’s ok too.
They also have an easy-to-use website builder and/or one-touch WordPress installation.
As I mentioned above, finding a web host with good customer service is a must. Fortunately, they offer 24/7 support including phone, chat, and email support.
Bluehost offers unmetered storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and multiple email accounts. They are incredibly reliable and have a ton of educational resources to help you get started.
By far, the biggest selling point of Bluehost is the reliability and ease-of-use for new website owners. This is a perfect service for brand new affiliate marketers and what I recommend most.
Get Discounted Pricing On BlueHost Here
TUTORIAL: How To Sign Up With Bluehost And Install WordPress
Since Bluehost is my top recommended hosting site for affiliate marketers, I thought I’d also create a detailed overview on how to get signed up and use the service. Below this written tutorial is a video that will also walk you through it.
Step 1: Sign Up For Bluehost
To sign up for Bluehost you can click here for a discounted price. Every account features 1-click WordPress installation. Whether you are an experienced or a new affiliate marketer, Bluehost will accommodate!
Once you arrive on the Bluehost website, just click on “get started now”.
Simply click here then follow the remaining steps.
Step 2: Choose A Plan
Since you are just starting out, go ahead and simply sign up for the Basic Plan.
As your business grows, you will be able to upgrade to a higher plan later on. For right now, the basic plan gives you everything you’ll need.
Step 3: Pick Your Domain Name (Or Wait Until Later)
Your hosting plan with Bluehost includes a domain name. If you already have a domain name, simply enter the domain name you want to use. If you don’t have a domain name yet, you can choose that option and pick a new domain name. Don’t stress out too much about this step as you can change the domain name later.
For your convenience, I’ve also included this domain name tool below. You can use this tool to search for available domain names you’re interested in. Not sure how to pick a good domain name? Check out my article on how to choose a great domain name for your website or blog.
Step 4: Account Billing Info
As is pretty standard with most services, you’ll need to enter your account information.
At this point, your hosting account has been created! Be sure to check your email inbox for additional steps and tips to get started.
Step 5: Create Your Password
Create your password. As always, it is recommended that you use a strong and unique password that is only used for your hosting account.
Step 6: Get Signed In
Once your password has been created, you can sign in right away to get your website set up.
Step 6: Install WordPress With One Click
This is where the magic happens. Bluehost couldn’t have made WordPress installation more simple. All you have to do is browse the available pre-made themes, choose whichever one you like (you can change it later).
Once you have found the WordPress theme you like best, click “start building”!
Step 7: Choose What Your Site Will Be Used For
This isn’t a hugely important step, and again you can change it later, but you should decide whether this will be a business or personal site.
Step 8: Familiarize Yourself With The WordPress Dashboard
Bluehost has some tools to make navigating WordPress even easier than using WordPress by itself. Try to get familiar with how the dashboard is set up.
This is where you can also give your website an official title and description. This is the information that will show up in search results, so give it some thought!
Here’s what the current Bluehost control panel looks like:
Step 9: Start Publishing Content!
Now that you have a nice-looking WordPress website up and running on Bluehost, it’s time to start publishing your content! For more information on how to create amazing content for your website or blog, click here.
Below is a video also showing how to get started with installing a WordPress site that I found pretty helpful.
HostGator is another incredibly popular site for affiliate marketers. HostGator currently hosts over eight million domains and is often ranked as the best affordable hosting platform on the internet.
Starting at a very low price, HostGator offers free domain name and transfers, unlimited disk space, unmetered bandwidth, and a free website builder with over 4,000 free templates to choose from. They also have a 99.99% uptime guarantee and a full 45-day money-back refund if you are unsatisfied with their service.
Though not rated as the most user-friendly cPanel, if you are an experienced user, you will find the backend offers more tools and flexibility than comparable sites.
They offer tons of the most popular marketing tools that can be installed easily with the Quick App Installer function. Also, when you sign up for HostGator you will receive a free $100 Google Adwords credit and $100 Yahoo credit.
Like BlueHost, they also offer an affiliate referral program that starts at $50 per referral and grows exponentially by how many users you refer, so there’s an added financial incentive in choosing HostGator for your online marketing company.
Check out the video below for a tutorial on how to set up WordPress on HostGator…
DreamHost is a hosting platform designed specifically for entrepreneurs. Though a little pricier than other hosting platforms, they offer more free features.
When you sign up for DreamHost you get a free domain name, free site builder, and free privacy protection including SSL/TLS certification. They also offer unlimited storage and bandwidth, a 100% guaranteed uptime, and free credits for any period of downtime.
If these offers aren’t enough they also offer a 97-day full money-back guarantee if you are not happy with their service. So the extra couple of dollars are worth it.
Unlike other sites, they do not use the one-size-fits-all industry-standard cPanel for their backend. Instead, they have their own control panel that was designed specifically with entrepreneurs in mind.
They offer easy one-click installation of any marketing tools and plugins, plus they have an impressive range of analytics tools to help optimize your site. When you sign up you also receive $100 in Google Adwords credit to get you started marketing.
Last but certainly not least is SiteGround. SiteGround is perfect for WordPress enthusiasts because it offers some really amazing WordPress-specific features and 1-click free domain transfer. So they are ideal for anyone looking to change hosting platforms for an established site.
They have a very low price point with plans starting at $3.45 that includes a free domain, free website builder, free SSL, 10GB of storage space, and free email accounts. They offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee and are highly rated as one of the most reliable and fastest hosts on the internet.
SiteGround has a very user-friendly cPanel with free installation of apps. Their backend is drag and drop so you can quickly get your site up and running.
They do not have any special marketing credits but they offer tons of customer support and guidance to help you craft the perfect marketing plan. Plus, they have plenty of free SEO and analytics tools built into their backend to make sure your site is fully optimized and you reach your ideal customers.
#5: WP Engine
WP Engine is actually my favorite web hosting service on this entire list. In fact, I like them so much that I put my money where my mouth (keyboard fingers?) is.
This is the service I personally use, and I absolutely love them. Best hosting service I’ve ever used and I have zero plans on leaving anytime in the near future.
I first started using WP Engine back around 2016. My business was really taking off, which was obviously great, except other web hosts just couldn’t keep up and my sites were constantly going down.
Then, I’d call their customer service, and inevitably waste hours or even days trying to work things out with them.
So, why would I list them as #5? Because they ain’t cheap!
The vast majority of affiliate marketers will do just fine going with one of the cheap hosting services that only cost a few dollars per month. By comparison, the starting price at WP Engine is $25!
But do you get what you pay for? Absolutely.
So, if you’re looking for the absolute best web hosting service and don’t really care what that costs, WP Engine is it.
I won’t even get into all the details about them, because the list is too long. If you’re building a WordPress website, WP Engine does absolutely everything better than everyone else, period. There is no competition. That’s why I use them.
This service is reserved for when price is no consideration, and you just want the absolute best web hosting service money can buy.
At this time, I am NOT an affiliate for these guys. This is the God’s honest truth. I really do believe this is the best web host out there for WordPress.
NOTE: The above video is not mine. If you like the above video and would like to support him, you may use his affiliate link here.
#6 (Bonus!): Wealthy Affiliate
AFFILIATE TRANSPARENCY: This is another service that I promote as an affiliate marketer. If you click any of my links to Wealthy Affiliate, I earn a commission. So just be aware I might be a bit biased here!
The reason Wealthy Affiliate is just a “bonus” is that it isn’t a web hosting service in the classical sense. Sure, they provide excellent web hosting, but that’s not what makes them a top consideration.
Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one affiliate marketing business building service. They provide step-by-step training on not only setting up your first affiliate marketing website, but also how to find a niche, products and services to promote, create content that sells, social media marketing, paid advertising, live ongoing training sessions, a VERY active and private social network for affiliate marketers, ways to promote your website, private networks to get comments on your website, and a TON of other stuff.
If you’re serious about truly growing a successful affiliate marketing business and you want all the tools and training you’ll ever need in one place for one price, Wealthy Affiliate is seriously a service you should consider using.
You can actually sign up for free without any payment information so you can see what they’re all about first. Heck, use a fake email if you want, and if you decide to become a paid member, you can always user your real email address then. It truly is a no risk to sign up for free and check them out.
If you want to learn more about Wealthy Affiliate, be sure to check out my more detailed review of Wealthy Affiliate here.
Final Thoughts On Finding The Best Best Hosting For Affiliate Marketers
Picking a hosting platform for your online marketing company can be a bit of a daunting affair.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great options to get you started. BlueHost, HostGator, DreamHost, SiteGround, WP Engine, and Wealthy Affiliate are all made for entrepreneurs just like you and have all the tools and features you need to get started as an affiliate marketer.
With their low pricing, money-back guarantees, and ease of use, there’s nothing stopping you from getting started today.
So if you are interested in launching an affiliate marketing site, check out these hosting platforms. Any of them will work just fine, so check each of them out, and go with whoever you feel most comfortable with.