So you’ve picked out a niche for your new affiliate marketing website and maybe even registered your domain name! Now it’s time to get your website up and running. But wait! Did you know you had to put some serious thought into picking the right web host for your site?
That’s right. Unless you like slow sites and lots of downtime, you should do your research before picking a web host.
The problem is that there are so many options to choose from and all their sales pitches are pretty convincing. Here’s our quick guide to help you make the right choice.
What Is a Web Host?
First things first—what is a web host and why do you need one for your website?
Let’s say you wanted to build a house. To build the house, you would first need to buy and own a piece of land. Your website is your house and the host is the land on which your website lives. You need to buy this hosting space from a company that owns servers so you can give your website a solid foundation. Without this strong foundation, your website is like a house of cards and can come down any time.
Types of Web Hosts
There are a few different hosting options available:
This is the most common option for newbie site owners. As the name implies, this is a shared hosting space between a number of users. It is cost-effective, and usually provides enough memory space for individual sites just starting out in the world.
Virtual Private Servers
This is the next step up if you outgrow your shared hosting. While still essentially “shared” in nature, you have your own private virtual server, which you can control. This means your website won’t be affected by a server mate’s excessive use of server resources.
Once your site grows to mammoth proportions and you’re driving traffic like it’s rush hour on Monday morning, you might need to consider dedicated servers. Complete control and no sharing here. It’s expensive but worth it when you have a big site.
How Do You Choose the Right Web Host?
Now you know what a host is and the type of hosting you’re likely to need for your site. The question is: How do you sort through the options? Here are some key features to consider:
Let’s be honest here—“how much does it cost?” is probably one of the first questions you’re going to ask. This isn’t the sole deciding factor, but it is a factor you need to consider in your decision-making process.
Obviously, don’t jump on the cheapest offer available without doing further research. However, if you come across two hosting solutions that offer similar services and one is easier on the pocket, that’s obviously going to be a major plus.
Bandwidth and Disk Space
Read the terms and conditions about bandwidth and disk space. Disk space is the data that you can store on your website. Bandwidth is the data that transfers to and from your host.
It’s not uncommon these days for web hosts to have “Unlimited” offers. If your host isn’t offering this, check what your limits are. If you think your website could go viral overnight, you'll want to make sure your host won’t charge you a fee for going over the data transfer limit!
Speaking of going viral, it’s important to keep your website’s growth in mind. You obviously have a plan for your website and want it to grow. Make sure your web host allows you this room to grow. If there is no way to accommodate continued growth, it might be a good idea to consider a different option.
Ease of Use
Web hosting sometimes starts to sound way too technical for a newbie, but really, it’s not. A good web host should offer you “one-click installs” or something similar. This means that once you’ve purchased your hosting, you should be able to install WordPress and similar scripts easily.
Many hosting companies offer user interfaces such as cPanel or Plesk. Interfaces like these are easy to use and allow for easy installations, quick email setups, easy linking of your domain with your hosting, etc. If your host is using an interface that’s difficult to navigate, it’s going to be a frustrating experience.
Did you know? With Affilorama Premium, we provide cPanel hosting for up to 15 domains. All you need is your membership. The cPanel hosting is included as part of your subscription. Be sure to check it out.
If something does go wrong with your site, you want real help, real quick. You want to be able to speak to someone ASAP and get help with finding out what went wrong and how to fix it. A number of people will tell you this is a very important factor when choosing the right hosting provider.
Does your hosting solution provide tech support? Email / phone / live chat? Are they available 24/7? Important questions to ask when trying to make your decision.
You are not the first person who's tried to pick a web host. Why not see what others have to say about the providers you’re considering? Just a simple Google search for “web host name sucks” or “web host name reviews” should bring up the results you need. Pay attention to what they say. Take it with a grain of salt, but if there are negative remarks, see what it is people are complaining about. If there are several complaints about the same issue, maybe it’s time to cross this particular web host off the list.
Web hosts know it’s a competitive market, so to win you over, they often offer extra features and add-ons. Maybe your host provides regular data backups. Maybe they have free domain privacy as part of the package. Factors like these are sometimes worth considering too.
All factors considered, the single most important thing to remember is that your web host should be reliable. A website that’s down will make you no money.
Pick a web host recently? What helped you make the final decision? We'd love to know how you chose “the right one.”
Don't forget, if you sign up for Affilorama Premium, you will receive free web hosting for up to 15 domains.