If you are only planning to build one website, then hosting is not really an issue. If that is the case, I would advise you to pick a domain registrar, personally I use GoDaddy, and then host the site with them to keep everything simple.

If, however, you are like most affiliate marketers, you do not plan to stop at one website (I currently own nearly 100 and growing!), then you are going to want to host your website with a company that is strictly focused on delivering the tools and functionality marketers need.

For this and many other reasons, I chose Bluehost for my hosting company. There are many good hosting companies out there, but in my opinion, for internet or affiliate marketing Bluehost is the best. Before Bluehost, I had hosted my sites with two other hosting companies. If you’ve read any of my background, then you know that this all started for me in 2010 when I built my first e-commerce site. You also know that I had no money and no idea what I was doing.

Now I’ve told you that my preferred domain registrar is GoDaddy. When I got started, there were two main players in that market, Godaddy and NameCheap. There were others, but these two were the most aggressive in marketing their services. Please keep in mind that this was a long time ago, but as I recall NameCheap was a little cheaper but GoDaddy seemed to offer more services and flexibility. Even though I was building my first site, I knew that it would not be my last so I chose GoDaddy and have been with them ever since. Again, it was a long time ago, but if memory serves GoDaddy did not offer hosting at that time, if they did, it was not something I could afford at the time so I did a Google search for “free website hosting” to find something that would fit in my budget.

I found a great hosting company that offered a free period before a $5.95 monthly charge and signed up with them. I hosted many sites with them for several years until I found my second hosting company. This next hosting company, HostGator, offered many more services and offered a one-click WordPress installation. Every site I had built after the first one was built on the WordPress platform, so that was very attractive. In addition the site was easy to navigate and offered extra features such as security and domain based email addresses that were attractive to me.

Fast forward a few years and internet security and user privacy became primary concerns not only for website visitors, but I also found that Google was giving more consideration to sites that were secure. Even though my sites were affiliate sites and visitors were not actually entering their credit card information on my site, when they first landed on the site they would not know that, but they would know that it was a site selling products. Secure sites have what is called an SSL (secure socket layer) certificate. You can recognize them by the little padlock to the left of the domain name in the address bar above as well as a domain that begins “https:” instead of “http:” before the domain name. Even more obvious is a site that is not secure, as it clearly says “not secure” to the left of the address bar.

I felt that in order for my business to grow I would need to buy SSL certificates for all of my websites, at the time I had about 60 active sites. When I went shopping for SSL certificates, I found the cost to be between $35 and $60 for a single site, or a few thousand dollars to secure all of my sites. There was at least one company that I found that offered to connect a free SSL certificate to your site and used it a couple of times, but the signup and approval process was a real pain. I went looking for a better way.

That’s how I found Bluehost. They offer free SSL certificates with each site you host with them, and as an added bonus, the certificate is automatically added to your site when you add it to your hosting account.

Advantages of BlueHost hosting are as follows:

  • free, automatic SSL certificates
  • one-click WordPress installation
  • easy file management
  • excellent support
  • the ability to host unlimited sites on all but the basic account
  • easy site navigation
  • basic accounts from $3.00/mo, unlimited site accounts from $4.95/mo

Even though Bluehost and HostGator were owned by the same company, HostGator, where my sites were currently hosted, did not offer the automatic SSL certificate. I signed up with BlueHost, moved all of my sites over from HostGator, and have been with them ever since, about two years now.

I must admit, the main selling point was the automatic SSL certificate, but I have also found them to be very reliable and easy to work with, especially if you currently or plan to maintain multiple sites.

There is no way I would shop on a site that was not secure, and therefore I wouldn’t expect my website visitors to either. In addition, as important as ranking results are to the success of an e-commerce or affiliate marketing site, not having an SSL certificate renders all of your SEO efforts useless.

If you have or are planning to build an affiliate marketing or e-commerce website, I strongly urge you to securely encrypt this site with an SSL certificate. In order to take the expense and headache out of securing your site, do yourself a favor and check out BlueHost hosting before you make a final decision on a hosting company.