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Friday, June 20, 2008

The Master of your Domain...

If your goal is to really make a living as an affiliate, as opposed to making some extra spending cash, then you will have to move beyond the free sites like blogger and run some full featured domains. For example to use the PHP redirect technique we described a few posts ago you pretty much have to be running that php file on a hosted account. It just won't work on blogger, etc.

Once you've decided to host your domains you then have to decide whether you want to have them hosted individually or to get a dedicated server for hosting. We use Liquid Web Dedicated Hosting for our Low Limit sites. This isn't the first place we went but they provide excellent support and very reasonably priced Windows Server 2003 hosting. Which brings us to...

Windows Hosting or Linux Hosting

We used Linux hosting for the first six years we were up. To its credit the hosting is usually cheaper because the operating system is free and most internet applications run on a Linux server without problem. In fact many need one. On the down side there are a lot of hackers out there, especially in countries like China who are able to find holes in your version of Linux and mess with your pages in a myriad of ways. In our case we had a bit of JavaScript inserted one time which tried to force people to go to a web site in China which auto-downloaded malware. Not good. After spending FAR too much time with our ISP trying to fix this problem we eventually decided to try Windows Server hosting with the idea that, at a minimum, the operating system is less accessible to financially challenged hackers with lower end computers. For the last two years we haven't had one successful external hack so it seems to be working.

Dedicated Hosting or Shared Hosting

Usually you'll start off with a shared hosting option. This means that your website is running on someone else's server and that server is also running other shared websites for other people/companies. The single advantage to shared hosting is price. The place we used to host from has an excellent basic hosting deal - LunarPages Basic Hosting which right now is about $5/month and is almost impossible to beat. If you want to take full control of your sites and if you will be hosting 20+ domains then you will want to have get dedicated hosting. For this we can definitely vouch for our current hosting company Liquid Web Dedicated Hosting where you can get a server to host all your domains for about $150/month. That may sound like a lot but consider you can host hundreds of domains on this server, which means you can really grow your online presence and business almost without bounds.