Do I Need Web Hosting?

Do I need web hosting

Any affiliate marketer just starting out is going to need a web hosting account. Sure, it is possible to follow the Article Marketing approach and not have your own website, but it’s nowhere near as effective in the long run.

Having your own websites puts you in charge of your own destiny, rather than leaving you at the mercy of the company hosting your content for free, like HubPages or Squidoo. Too many people have had their content wiped off of these places to suit me.

Do I need web hosting,” you ask? Yes. Absolutely.

 

What is Web Hosting?

SimHostGator web hostingply put, web hosting is the service provided by the company that owns the computers where your website resides on the Internet. They keep the computers running 7-24 and make sure that when someone types your website address into their browser, your site is ready and able to serve them.

More importantly, once you get good at this Internet marketing thing, they make sure than when dozens or hundreds of people want to access your site at the same time, that it all happens smoothly and no customers are lost. (note to self… this is why I don’t want to try to host my website on that spare PC I have back in the spare bedroom to save money)

There are two primary types of web hosting available:

  • Shared hosting-this is the most economical way to go, and also the most common for affiliate marketers just starting out
  • Dedicated servers-the web hosting company buys and runs a computer (or server) just for you and your website

How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?

The good news is that reliable web hosting doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. You should expect to pay less than $10 a month for top quality shared web hosting. If you agree to pay for 2 or more years of service in advance, you’ll be able to lock in some sizable discounts.

It’s nice to note that today, many companies offer “green” web hosting, which usually means that they have found a way to power their servers with wind energy or another “green” alternative. Many offer nicely designed badges you can place on your websites certifying this fact so you can let all your customers know you’re doing your part to save the environment.

Most web hosting accounts will allow you to host multiple websites within the same account for no extra charge. The exception to this rule are some of the lowest-price plans with some of the companies where only one domain is allowed. But don’t worry, even if you start with the lowest cost option, they always offer a way to upgrade if you decide you’d like to add more domains to your account.

Which Web Hosting Company Should I Choose?

ipage web hosting

I spent a long time asking myself this question. There are many good companies, and there are many fly-by-night kinda sketchy operators too.

You might find the absolute best deal with a company nobody’s ever heard of before. The question is, though, after you put all the time and effort it will take into developing and perfecting your website(s), do you really want to trust them to a company that hasn’t proven their reliability over time?

More’s to the point – are you really willing to risk that your website is going to be offline half the time because you chose to save an extra $2 a month?

Taking everything into consideration, here are three companies that I feel comfortable recommending.

iPage Web Hosting

ipage web hosting
I chose to use iPage to host some of my websites. iPage offers green energy, great customer service via 24-7 online chat and a U.S. based 800 number during business hours. Their servers are located in the U.S. so if you’re hoping to do business with a lot of U.S. based customers, they’re a great choice.

And here’s the best news – iPage is only $4.50 per month for unlimited web hosting. They haven’t been around as long as some of the other more well known companies. Some folks out there will tell you they’ve been in business since 1998, but in truth, the company was sold and restructured some years after that. Nevertheless, they’ve been around long enough to establish a decent track record, and I think you’ll be happy if you decide to give them a try.

My own personal experience with them has been very good. Whenever I’ve had an issue, and there have only been a couple minor things I needed help with, their online chat support service was excellent. They are a Massachusetts based company with 6 worldwide locations. Their control panel is easy to use, relatively intuitive to navigate, and loaded with great features.

1&1 Web Hosting

1and1 web hosting

1&1 has been around for a long time. They are a big, well established company based in Germany. Since their servers are in Germany, they’re a great choice for websites targeting Europe and Asia in particular. They also now have a massive new data center in Kansas, so they can serve U.S. based customers as quickly as Europeans.

I have personally used 1&1 web hosting in the past and had no major issues. The online help was pretty weak and the control panel they offered at the time was pretty archaic, but things have recently improved greatly.

Prices for 1&1 are very good. Basic hosting plans for 1 year are $4.99 a month, but drop to $2.99 a month if you sign up for 3 years. 1&1 is an excellent place to buy domains, too, even if you buy your hosting somewhere else. Domain prices tend to be lower than elsewhere, and include private registration (to keep your identity from being published on the web) at no extra charge. Most others charge a fair bit extra.

HostGator Web Hosting

hostgator web hosting

The next time I buy a web hosting account, I’m going to give HostGator a try. Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not going to give up my iPage account, and I’m going to continue to buy my domains at 1&1. the thing is, I just don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.

I’ve heard a lot of people say good things about HostGator. The company’s definitely been around a long time and knows how to keep their customers happy.

They’re a little bit more expensive, with one year plans for multiple domains going for $7.96 per month, but you can reduce that to $6.36 per month for three years. Single domain plans are as low as $3.96 per month.

HostGator is based in Houston, Texas.

So I hope this post has answered the “do I need web hosting” question for you. If you’re going to give affiliate marketing a try, you definitely do. Web hosting is an essential part of the foundation of any Internet business.