When you decide to build a site, there are three essential things you need for it to work: a domain, a website hosting service provider, and the website itself.
Building a site has become a simple matter, especially with all the content management software (CMS) options out there, such as WordPress, Ghost, SquareSpace, and so on.
This means people are remarkably aware of how important their domain name is, and getting it is a straightforward thing – you just use one of many domain registrars and purchase your domain, or domains.
As a final piece of the puzzle, web hosting services are often the biggest stumbling block for the burgeoning affiliate marketer, whether because we simply forget about it, or it seems so complicated to set up.
Let’s crack this puzzle and, at the same time, look at some of the best hosting services for affiliate marketers.
After checking this web hosting comparison, you’ll be ready to dive into it real quick, and get to know how to choose the best web hosting service!
What is Web Hosting, and Why Do You Need a Good Web Hosting Service?
Web Hosting is a kind of internet service which lets users make their site accessible using the World Wide Web.
Simply put, a domain allows your site to exist while hosting allows it to communicate with the rest of the internet.
A domain name is the IP address of your site, similar to a physical address of your house.
It points servers to where your site can be found on the internet.
Hosting is a service, where a computer server stores all the info from your site and makes it available to others.
It makes sense, when you think about it.
The Internet isn’t this magical place where info exists in thin air – it has to be stored somewhere.
Even cloud services store their info on servers, but in a slightly different way, with different protocols.
Servers make up the internet infrastructure.
They store all the data and communicate with each other.
When users visit your website, they actually make a query to a server that points to your domain, the server responds and sends appropriate data to their browser.
The server as a machine is usually a very powerful computer running some version of Linux or Windows server edition.
In theory, you could convert any PC to be a server, but data centers use purpose-built machines with dedicated hardware that increases their efficiency.
It should be noted that you generally don’t have to buy your domain in order to host your website, but it is HIGHLY advisable.
First of all, for security and ownership reasons.
Second, it’s also important for visibility, SEO, and your marketing efforts, which make up for a large portion of the affiliate game.
What to Look for When Choosing a Hosting Service
As you can see, website hosting is actually a pretty simple concept, but the technology behind it is super complicated.
Luckily, you don’t need to bother with that for the most part, as most of the technical stuff is done on the server side.
There are several basic factors you should take into consideration when selecting your hosting service provider, though.
Check them out now!
Bandwidth and Storage
Bandwidth is one of the two most important aspects that hosting services use to create their pricing models.
It’s simply the number of bytes the servers are willing to send out to your visitors.
When deciding on hosting, the first step is to try and honestly estimate the amount of traffic your site would get and base your bandwidth needs on that and on how data-intensive your website is.
If you have a ton of video content that’s stored on your site, or other multimedia, you’ll need more bandwidth per visit.
For example, if you’re making an online store or a catalog, you’ll probably have a lot of images, making your site much more demanding than a simple review blog, which consists of some text and maybe one image per article.
As a savvy person might have noticed, an issue arises when you misjudge your traffic needs, or experience a sudden and unexpected growth (if you’re lucky enough.)
For that reason, it’s important to know how easily you can switch from one plan to the other.
An interesting option in this case are cloud hosting services that allow you to scale seamlessly, with no downtime for your site while it’s moved to another machine.
Type of hosting
If we exclude cloud services, hosting generally comes in three flavors: Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS) and Physical Private Server.
Let’s dive into each one of these main web concepts now!
1. Shared hosting
The cheapest type – your data is stored along with data from hundreds of other sites on one computer.
You get limited features, such as the way you upload the files, what programs you can run on a server, and so on.
It’s a good starting point if you’re new to the game, and don’t have any particular needs for your website.
2. Virtual private server (VPS)
VPS hosting is a very attractive middle-ground option, as it gives you a decent degree of functionality at a good price range.
It’s a virtual machine, or a simulated instance of the operating system.
Think of it as a picture in a picture – one server can have a number of independent virtual machines running, like mini-computers inside a more powerful one.
Even though the hardware resources are shared among these virtual machines, the performance is better than with shared hosting, and you get more hosting features available.
3. Physical private server
In this case, you get your own, physical machine.
In essence, it would be the same as setting up one at your home, but you don’t have to buy the computer, and it’s located in a data center.
Obviously, you’ll need good system management skills to set it up and maintain it, but it gives you unlimited flexibility and you can tailor it to your particular needs.
If you see a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Some services offer seemingly unlimited storage or bandwidth at dirt-cheap prices , but what you get with it is questionable, to say the least.
Servers might go down, along with your site, which would mean you lose valuable traffic at best, and all of your data at worst.
There might also be some small print in their end user agreement (which, let’s face it, no one reads.)
This almost invisible group of strategically placed sentences may give these sketchy services certain permissions or even ownership of your content.
What to do, then?
You should be particularly wary when checking less well-known options!
Even though most of the work is done by hosting companies, there are still some things that you might need to do in order to set up your site, or add an additional functionality to it.
Some companies have better documentation and a kick-ass technical support team, so be sure to take that into account when choosing your provider.
The 5 Best Web Hosting Services
Now that you are well-versed in what hosting is, let’s take a look at some of the best and most popular services out there, along with their peculiarities.
Even though it’s virtually impossible to know what is the best web hosting service, I’ll provide an awesome list that’s gonna help you make an informed decision!
This web hosting comparison is gonna take 5 paid web hosting services into account, so as to make sure you get to select from the top of the crust!
Wondering what is the best web hosting service?
Time to check out our list!
Bluehost is one of the most popular providers out there.
It’s the number one service when it comes to WordPress sites.
Moreover, it’s the cheapest web hosting solution you’ll find on this list, if you decide to look only at the basic plans of each one.
It even includes one-click WordPress installation with everything set-up, which minimizes your hassle.
Wanna know about prices?
As for the rest of you folks, you can get shared hosting plans start as low as $3.95 per month ($7.99 at a non-promotional price) up to $5.95 per month ($14.99, non-promotional.)
For that, you get unlimited bandwidth, unlimited websites and storage (except for the cheapest tier, where you can host only one website and have a 50GB storage limit.)
The mid-tier package that’s priced at $5.45 is probably the best bang for your buck, as you get almost all of the functionalities you could ever need.
The VPS options are significantly costlier, starting at $29.99 ($19.99 on sale) per month, scaling up to $119.99 ($59.99 on sale) per month.
No matter the package, you get a free domain with it and Bluehost specifically states that you own it, even if you decide to change your hosting service.
It’s also got special offers for WooCommerce hosting, meaning that setting up an online shop is a breeze with Bluehost.
Last but not least, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 24/7 support.
This is surely one of the best web hosting companies available!
Wanna check the hot deal we’ve got for you?
See also: Bluehost Review
One of the top web hosting companies, HostGator is an extremely popular choice.
It’s got a 99.9% uptime guarantee, along with a 45-day money back guarantee.
Mobidea has an amazing discount that’s gonna allow you to use HostGator like a pro!
We’re giving up to 60% off!
We have different discounts for different products and term lengths, which means you can get a special price that’s as low as $2.78 per month!
If you wanna purchase a year of basic shared hosting in advance, you’ll be paying $64.44 upfront, which is the equivalent of $5.37 per month.
Wanna purchase 3 years upfront?
Then you’ll only pay $100.08, which means you’d be paying $2.78 per month.
Awesome discounts, right?
Prices for first-time buyers are very appealing, indeed!
They’ve also got a business plan.
It includes free private SSL (a security protocol that makes sure that the communication between the server and users is safe) and a dedicated IP, which is necessary for online stores.
HostGator’s cloud hosting services are only marginally more expensive, so it’s worth checking it out.
In addition, HostGator has got special WordPress hosting packages at an almost identical price-point.
You can scale cloud services up to 4 times with no necessary downtime or data migration, giving you a much-needed flexibility if you’re not sure how your site is going to perform.
Regarding domains, bandwidth, and storage, the pricing models are similar to those of Bluehost, with only the lowest having limitations in that regard.
Ready for a hot deal?
While not as big as Bluehost or HostGator, SiteGround is a terrifically popular choice among marketers.
The prices are a bit higher, starting at $3.95, and going up to $11.95 per month (before taxes.)
Nonetheless, this is the first-time customer price – the standard price is actually twice as high.
Another major downside is that all of its plans are limited in both storage and bandwidth.
Storage is limited to a measly 10GB in the lowest package, with bandwidth good for around 25,000 visitors per month, and 30GB of space and 100,000 visitors at the high end.
The biggest selling point is the service quality and customer support.
One of the main reasons for such limits is that all of its servers use only solid-state drives (SSDs) making data retrieval much faster.
It’s also got great WordPress optimized packages.
In a nutshell, while it’s a bit pricier, it offers better speed and a better overall performance which is fundamental today, when people have no patience for slow-loading websites.
Don’t let its name fool you: there’s nothing small about this orange.
ASmallOrange is both a straightforward and transparent hosting company – what you see is what you get.
Similar to SiteGround, it offers a better performance at a cost of limited storage and bandwidth.
Its lowest tier shared hosting package comes with 5GB of storage and 50GB of bandwidth (which is a much less vague measure than SiteGround’s estimated visitors.)
There’s an even smaller plan, but the price difference is negligible (it’s $5.92 instead of $8) while the storage and bandwidth capacity is literally 10 times smaller.
On the other hand, the top-tier plan offers 30GB of storage, and 500GB of bandwidth at $25 per month.
Similar to all the other services mentioned, it offers one-click WordPress installation, and optimized packages for it.
In addition, it offers 99.9% uptime time guarantee, as well as a free .com domain and unlimited websites with all their packages.
It’s strict when it comes to going over the bandwidth limit and it’s been known to take sites down for that reason, so it’s worth checking out its cloud services which start at $22 per month.
Yup: there’s no free cloud storage available, unless you want your adventure to end in brutal failure!
While there have been some complaints regarding its customer support, mostly due to the bandwidth issue, it’s one of the very few web hosting solutions that offer 90-day money-back guarantee.
A company with a fairly peculiar approach, GreenGeeks is definitely one of the top 10 hosting services, no doubt about it!
It’s based in California and uses wind energy to power its servers, putting the excess energy produced from its wind farm into the local grid.
It’s got only one hosting plan with unlimited storage, websites, and data transfer.
While this plan is priced at $3.95, the small print says that this price is only valid if you pay 3 years in advance – otherwise, it’s $9.95 per month.
One important downside is that its performance is slightly lower than average, meaning that your sites might experience a bit longer loading times.
In addition, the customer support doesn’t seem to be stellar.
It offers a free domain and a 30-day money back guarantee, but there seems to be some small print in play here that makes these statements suspicious.
All in all, it offers a nice package for the money, and you don’t have to hassle with all the different pricing options.
Plus, it’s good for the environment!
One last tip for you guys: if you’re Googling for web hosts, be sure to click on the first ranked result that’s not an ad.
Sometimes, people hijack these and redirect you to some other sites that could potentially scam you, or at least waste your time.
Hosting is important.
So important that, as you may have noticed, the best web hosting services are all paid.
Indeed, it’s almost impossible to find high-quality free services of this kind.
Fortunately, in the same way website building has become a breeze with WordPress, hosting solutions try their hardest to make your life easier.
Most of them offer one-click solutions or require minimal know-how to get your site up and running.
With all three technical aspects of your potential online business becoming so easy to set up, the only real stumbling block in your success can be you.
In other words, the wait is over, it’s time to get crackin’ and bet on a long term service that gives you what you need!
Moral Support Hero
Xavier comes from a background of Finance and Management which means he loves numbers, sheets, data and lives for analysis. This is the reason why he likes to say he was born to be dedicated to Media Buying. This business is all about analyzing, testing and experimenting with different banners; it’s about seeing what others don’t after spending hours surrounded by numbers. It’s a thrill and a hunt and he happens to think it’s the best job he could possibly have. When he isn't worried about helping Mobidea become better than it's even possible, Xavier enjoys playing softball with his childhood friends!
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