When it comes to selling online, entrepreneurs face two paths. The one most commonly traveled involves years of perfecting an idea, attracting customers, gathering feedback, streamlining the manufacturing process, networking with potential investors, and so on. Building a business can be an exhausting, labor-intensive process with no guarantee of success.
The less-heralded path, however, involves skipping several early phases of the journey. Instead of crafting your own product, you can share others’ successes — and grab some of the profit. Affiliate marketing entails recommending services and earning a commission each time your reader converts to a sale.
To maximize revenue, affiliate marketers need an online presence that is fast, affordable, always available, and designed to convert. We’ve put together a list of what we think are the best hosting plans for affiliates, along with key features to look for, ideas to help you start, and alternative ways to make money. Read on to find out which route you should take.
Best “Web Hosting for Affiliate Marketing” Overall
To borrow from The Office, affiliate marketing is a “win-win-win” situation: Large companies appreciate affiliate marketers who help them reach new customers, and customers welcome discovering helpful new products (and often receiving a discount). And, of course, you’ll enjoy making money.
A stable web hosting relationship bodes well for long-term affiliate success. The more time marketers can spend perfecting their content and affiliate relationships, the more potential customers they can attract and subsequently refer to partners. Our favorite host, listed below, ensures you’ll spend the bare minimum amount of time setting up and troubleshooting your hosting environment.
Reliable availability, responsive support, and an abundance of computing resources are critically important to all hosting customers, and this company specifically appeals to affiliate marketers by including a free website builder, unlimited bandwidth, and tons of online marketing credits:
- FREE SSD drives included with all hosting plans
- Zero-downtime website transfers and migrations
- FREE data backups, SSL certificate, and DDoS protection
- Choice of East Coast or West Coast datacenter
- Multi-language support, including PHP, Ruby, and Perl
- Get started on InMotion now.
InMotion Hosting, in particular, represents an excellent option for getting your new business off the ground. We frequently recommend the company’s various services to everyone from new business owners and first-time site owners to experienced developers and enterprise organizations. The company’s popularity across the board is particularly valuable to new customers when they can cash in on discounted rates. We’ve gone out and found the best deal currently available:
Top 3 Shared Hosting Companies for Affiliate Marketers
Because only 9% of affiliate marketers generated more than $50,000 in revenue in 2016, minimizing your technology spend can be a good way to boost profits. As with many novice website and small business owners, affiliate marketers must balance the need for powerful, useful services with the requirement to shrink expenses.
Instead of simply looking for the cheapest available option, startups and small businesses should opt for a reputable shared hosting provider. The most affordable and beginner-friendly server configuration, shared hosting entails splitting computing resources with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of other customers.
The best shared hosting companies, which we’ve reviewed and listed below, excel at providing business-friendly tools to help affiliate marketers grow their online presence. Look for a plan that promises around-the-clock support, marketing tools, one-click installations of popular publishing platforms, and performance upgrades such as a content delivery network or solid-state drives. Read the reviews of the companies who have earned our highest recommendations:
- Known for high-performance, low-cost shared hosting
- FREE website builder with 1,000s of templates
- Endorsed by the WordPress.org team as a top WP host
- FREE CDN accelerates your site’s page loads
- Usually $7.99/month, but our visitors pay $2.95/month
- Get started on Bluehost now.
- An industry-leading shared host with competitive pricing
- Attract visitors with a complimentary marketing suite
- $500 in extras like Google AdWords and SiteLock security
- Start selling online in minutes
- Get more than 75% off today! (usually $8.99/month)
- Get started on iPage now.
- A favorite for shared hosting (and dedicated or cloud)
- FREE SSD storage packs 20x the performance
- FREE SSL certificate and 24/7 support
- 1-click installs for WordPress and popular CMSes
- Get started with FREE website transfer service
- Get started on InMotion Hosting now.
Even though shared hosting is the most affordable service, who doesn’t love a good bargain? We regularly tell our friends, families, and readers that springing for a slightly more expensive hosting plan typically pays dividends — but many of those premium shared hosting providers offer their packages at discounted rates, if you know where to find them. Luckily for you, we do! Here are some of the best deals we’ve found on shared hosting:
Top 3 WordPress Hosting Companies for Affiliate Marketers
Once aspiring affiliates secure some server space, the next challenge is how to get your content and referrals online. Site owners with the least web experience might want to stick with a drag-and-drop site builder, but marketers with a modicum of technical aptitude and patience should explore WordPress.
Most hosting providers make the world’s most popular content management system available through a one-click installation, and users will have access to a rich open-source community full of themes and plugins to help build and oversee an affiliate marketing program.
Seemingly every host offers support for WordPress-powered websites, but the best of the best tailor their infrastructure and support to maximize the platform’s performance. WordPress often comes pre-installed with these plans, including those from the hosts we’re highlighting below. These three hosts, in particular, offer site owners and affiliate marketers ample opportunities for WordPress success.
When examining the reviews below, take note of which hosts offer speedy page loads with ultra-fast solid-state drives and extra security with SSL certificates. Our favorite WordPress hosting plans also often come with automatic backups, a free domain name registration, and unlimited storage space:
- WordPress pre-installed with NGINX and PHP 7
- FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
- Optional automatic plugin, theme, and core updates
- Features a FREE drag-and-drop WP page editor
- Premium themes and plugin subscriptions
- Get started on InMotion now.
- Recommended by WordPress Core since 2005
- FREE SSD storage and SSL certificate
- FREE domain registration and email
- Automatic installation and updates
- 63% discount exclusively for HostingAdvice shoppers
- Get started on Bluehost now.
- FREE Cloudflare CDN and 1-click installs for WordPress
- Turbo Server, SSD speed boost, and A2-optimized caching
- A2-optimized WP plugins for performance and security
- SSL certificates, PayPal integration, and 24/7 support
- FREE HackScan and KernelCare
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
As an open-source content management system, WordPress is free to download, install, use, and modify. The need for a reliable, performant, and secure hosting environment, however, can run up your website costs. We’ve scoured the internet for some of the best WordPress hosting coupons and promo codes, however, and are happy to share them with you:
Top 3 Reseller Programs (Affiliate Marketing Alternatives)
Did you know there are other ways to make money online? If you’d like to take more ownership of the services you recommend to your readers and site visitors, many companies will allow you to re-label their web hosting services and sell them as your own. Instead of promoting the successes of other businesses, hosting resellers can build their own brand and deliver the specific products, upgrades, and support they view as the most important.
Resellers sign up for what usually amounts to a virtual private server — a large, virtualized partition of a server that is shared by only a few customers. From there, you can divvy up your hosting resources into even smaller portions you can sell to customers of your own. Although affiliate marketing is commonly described as a method to generate passive income, resellers do not have that luxury — they are responsible for maintaining and marketing sound hosting environments, billing clients, and providing customer support.
All that said, reselling web hosting accounts is a rewarding way for tech enthusiasts to make money by doing something they are passionate about. The most promising reseller programs, including the three hosts reviewed below, start with high-powered infrastructure and go on to offer resellers all the business tools needed to oversee unlimited domain name registrations, cPanel accounts, and customer management. Peruse the three tables to see which reseller program might offer you and your audience the best fit:
- SSD reseller hosting with FREE cPanel/WHM access
- Keep your reseller web hosting biz organized with WHMCS
- FREE dedicated IP and site backups
- Tons of email features with IMAP and POP3 support
- Manage your reseller domains with FREE eNom license
- Get started on InMotion Hosting now.
- Unlimited reseller hosting plans for Linux or Windows
- FREE eNom account to manage unlimited websites
- Server rewind backups and up to 2,000GB of data transfer
- FREE SSDs, a CDN, and choice of datacenter location
- 99.9% uptime commitment and 24/7 network monitoring
- Get started on A2 Hosting now.
- Start your own company with cPanel reseller hosting
- Unlimited domains, emails, and MySQL databases
- 99.9% uptime guarantee and 400+ tutorials for your clients
- All web hosting reseller plans include WHMCS
- $200 in Yahoo!, Bing, and Google Adwords credits
- Get started on HostGator now.
4 Things Affiliate Marketers Should Look for When Choosing a Host
Whether you take the reseller or affiliate marketer route to building an online business, the components of a successful web hosting relationship are largely the same. Examine your needs as far as storage, support, domain names, scalability, and other factors for choosing a web host. There are plenty of metrics to research and compare when shopping for a hosting provider, but here are the four attributes that will likely have the most impact on affiliate marketing and reselling organizations.
1. Uptime Guarantees
The average small business loses more than $55,000 in revenue each year because of IT failures. For fledgling affiliate marketers, that loss can sink a brand’s reputation among impatient readers who are counting on the website to provide helpful recommendations and discounts. If your audience can’t see your site, they can’t click on affiliate links and sign up for the products you have partnered with.
|Availability||Downtime per week||Downtime per month||Downtime per year|
|95%||8.4 hours||36 hours||18.25 days|
|99%||1.68 hours||7.2 hours||3.65 days|
|99.9%||10.1 minutes||43.2 minutes||8.76 hours|
|99.99%||1.01 minutes||4.32 minutes||52.6 minutes|
Even though 99% uptime sounds stellar, that rate means a website will be unavailable for more than seven hours each week. Aim higher and find a host that touts at least the industry average uptime guarantee of 99.9% — “three nines” availability reduces your site’s downtime to less than 45 minutes per week.
When it comes to page load times, speed sells and milliseconds matter. Readers and online shoppers increasingly expect a website to load in the blink of an eye — or even faster. Even though a quarter of a second, or 250 milliseconds, seems imperceptible, researchers identified that as “the magic number” for getting a competitive advantage online. Potential customers assume websites will appear in two seconds or less; if the page takes longer than three seconds, many will abandon the website altogether.
Making performance even more important is the criterion’s influence over your site’s positioning in search engine results. Identifying a hosting plan that puts the pedal to the metal isn’t as complicated as you might think — look for hosting plans that use solid-state drives for storage, along with hosts that integrate with a content delivery network or offer tailor-made caching tools.
3. SEO Help and Marketing Credits
Think of your own online shopping habits — if you’re looking for a new kitchen appliance, car, web hosting service, or mattress, chances are you’re going to be looking for reviews, comparisons, and discounts online. Google users make more than 62,000 searches per second, amounting to roughly 2 trillion searches per year.
Where your website appears on the search engine results page can drastically affect how many people click to visit your site. The top Google result, for example, attracts nearly a third of all click-throughs; that rate drops to less than 18% for the second position and continues falling drastically — the link in the tenth spot will attract only 2% of the traffic.
The best web hosting providers will give your website an SEO boost with strong uptime rates, page load speeds, security measures, server locations, and SSL certificates, but the cream of the crop also give affiliate marketers a few hundred dollars of search engine marketing credits, along with SEO guides and analytics platforms. By advertising your website as a relevant resource for various keyword searches, you’ll be sure to gain traction and stand out among competitors.
4. Site-Building Tools for Conversion-Based Design
Mobile-friendliness is an increasingly important factor in SEO, as well. In addition to the technical know-how that goes into crafting a strong presence for smartphones and tablets, affiliate marketing websites need to clearly and quickly funnel potential customers to affiliate partners — if visitors don’t know where to click, you won’t earn any commissions.
Many shared hosting providers include a free drag-and-drop website builder with pre-crafted themes built around industries, such as photography, restaurants, or fashion, but affiliate marketing can be tough to categorize. Nothing beats what-you-see-is-what-you-get usability, but be sure to check out WordPress themes for affiliate marketers, as well.
What is Affiliate Marketing? How to Start and Make Money
With the affiliate marketing industry expected to grow to more than $6.8 billion by 2020, there is plenty of profit to go around. Get started by finding a topic or range of products about which you’re passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced. Beyond the emotional attachment and expertise, also dig around the industry to make sure there are opportunities to make money and the potential for ample partnerships and rich content — can you envision writing 100 blog posts about the industry?
Learn which programs and products you can promote by exploring various top affiliate networks; pay attention to how much commission you stand to earn, which companies participate, and the level of customer support. After building your website, the emphasis shifts to writing top-notch content and building an audience.
Even though jumping into the affiliate marketing world might seem daunting and a bit overwhelming, imagine how much more time, money, and sanity would be invested in creating an entirely new product or service. Count your blessings — and revenue — by taking the affiliate marketing route.