Jan 30

Hosting Your Affiliate Website

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Congratulations! You joined an affiliate program, wrote your sales copy, bought a domain name, and created your website. Now it’s time to host your website, but you’re not sure what to get or how much to spend.

Web hosting comes in many sizes and flavors. You can get a ton of storage space and all the bells and whistles, but it will cost you. The more stuff you get the more you’re going to pay.

So what exactly do you need for web hosting? In my personal experience I found that I could usually spend around $20.00 US dollars a year and that would get me everything I needed. Plenty of space, bandwidth, a control panel, and a few extras. Please keep in mind that this is for a simple website that may promote or sell a digital product such as an ebook or articles sprinkled with adsense ads. I’m not talking a large ecommerce site with shopping cart and all that.

First let’s talk about space. Web hosting space comes in all sizes from a couple hundred mega bytes (MB) to several giga bytes (GB). If you’re not sure how much a mega byte of storage is an example would be to think of a normal 3.5 inch floppy disk. A typical 3.5 inch floppy disk is about 1.44 mega bytes (MB). So 200 MB of hosting storage would be the equivalency of about 138 floppy disks give or take a little. Most ebooks would usually fit on one disk maybe two if it’s a large ebook. So you have to have an idea of how much data you’re actually going to store to determine how much hosting space to purchase.

If you have a sales page or two chances are you won’t need much at all. If you have a bunch of digital products such as ebooks you may need quite a bit more. A good way to determine the amount you need is to look at the size of the folder(s) on your computer where you have created all your content. Add that amount to the size of your digital products and that should give you a good ballpark figure to work with. You should always go for more space than what you need to allow for future expansion. Just don’t go too overboard.

Next thing you want to know is what kind of bandwidth you’re going to need. What is bandwidth? Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over the network in a fixed amount of time. One popular analogy is to think of bandwidth and data as a pipe with water flowing through it. In other words, as the bandwidth increases, so does the amount of data that can flow through in a given amount of time, just like as the size of the pipe increases, so does the amount of water that can flow through during a period of time.

If you’re going to be sending a lot of data across the internet such as videos or MP3 audio then you’ll probably need a lot of bandwidth. If you’re planning on selling or promoting an ebook, unless you sell a lot, chances are you won’t need as much bandwidth.

Most hosting offers some sort of control panel that you log into. The control panel will let you create email accounts, check web status, upload files, and more. If you search the internet you can find a control panel demo to get a feel for what it actually looks like and how it works.

Many hosting companies offer Fantastico. Fantastico gives you the ability to automatically install popular Open Source Applications. Applications such as online retail sales, online auctions, wikis, discussion boards, Weblogs, and many other functions. Keep in mind though with the less expensive (cheap) monthly hosting you may be limited to setting up only one application.

Fantastico is very good for automatically setting up these applications, but because they are basically free and Open Source there usually isn’t any support from the hosting company incase you need technical help. You’ll need to go to the source of the application perhaps a forum to seek help if you have any problems.

Again, there are plenty of hosting companies with all sorts of options to choose from. Put some real thought into the structure of your affiliate site and what it will take to host it. Take it one step at a time and do your research. You’ll save yourself time, money and headaches in the long run!

One of my favorite sites to look for hosting is FindMyHosting.com. You input the options you want such as monthly price, bandwidth and so forth and you will be given a variety hosts and hosting packages to choose from. From there you can study what each company has to offer.

Deron Dohanich, EzineArticles.com Basic Author

Hosting Your Affiliate Web Site
by Deron Dohanich

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