So, last week, in my post, "Step One: You need a domain, right?", I talked about how to minimize your spending when getting your hands on some choice domains. That's all well and good, but now that you've got these domains, you need somewhere to host these sites, right?
My background is 15+ years in Cisco and Linux consulting so I already had quite a few servers on hand that I could have used to host my new affiliate marketing sites. However, I chose not to host it on my existing servers. Why? Good question!
My existing servers are dedicated physical boxes on which I have root access. They are very locked down and secure and I audit any and all code that I run on these servers. I use them for hosting client's websites and typically these are websites that my company (through my brilliant development guy) has created for them. I wouldn't say that I make any money on the actual hosting, but I definitely break even. But, it's more important to me that I control the development environment and that I provide them reliable hosting of their site. Let's say that we developed a site for them and they chose to host that with Joe Schmo's hosting. Well, if they have a negative hosting experience, they are likely to attribute that (unfairly, maybe) to my company. I don't want that to happen.
So, since these servers are so locked down and reliable, I want to be really careful about what software I run on them. And, let's face it, if you are turning up a handful of affiliate sites a month, you aren't as focused on security as you are on QUICK. You need to turn up sites now. Now, while there are lots of great content management systems for this (Drupal, WordPress, etc). I wouldn't exactly give them an A+ when it comes to security.
What would happen if your Vintage Doorknob niche store (running on an outdated WordPress, because you are too dang busy) get's hacked and now your paying web clients are also compromised. You can't have this happening. You don't want to risk this steady hosting income because you got sloppy.
But, you NEED WordPress, Joomla or Drupal! Heh. That's where Host Gator comes in! For a meager $7.95/month (on their "Baby plan") you can have:
- Unlimited Disk Space
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Domains
I challenge you to find more affordable hosting. It doesn't exist. (but, if you find, it lemme know). What I love about Host Gator is how quickly I can setup new WordPress sites using Fantastico De Luxe. It's pretty much the software equivalent of those tiny elves that fix shoes. Only, they are making WordPress sites for you... not shoes. C'mon. Keep up here.
Once you sign up with Host Gator it wouldn't be a bad idea to create some sort of backup/restore plan. Just because of the cost of the service, I wouldn't be surprised if some of their other clients are less than reputable. So, you have to be prepared if someone from the Russian Business Network seizes the entire shared server or something else terrible happens.
I use Automysqlbackup to backup all my MySQL databases onto an off-site server and I use BackupPC to backup all of my public_html directory from Host Gator. This way, if the unforeseen happens, I can quickly get my sites up and running again on another server.
Now, I don't want to scare you. I just want you to be prepared. You need to minimize your overhead and $7.95/month hosting for ALL of your affiliate sites is a no-brainer! Hosting them anywhere else just doesn't make sense. Order your Host Gator hosting today!