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Best Web Hosting Affiliate Programs: $150+ Commissions Per Sale

The web hosting industry has some of the most lucrative affiliate programs online, but not all are created equally. As a long time hosting affiliate, I’ve worked with quite a few of them in my time. These are some of the best hosting affiliate programs I have worked with and trust the most – and it just so happens that a lot of them lead the industry in payouts.

Google North Carolina Datacenter

A row of server racks in Google’s N. Carolina datacenter

 

Having dealt with a lot of hosts, I know the difference between good and bad companies. Wonky payout schedules, crazy amounts of shaved leads and horrible customer support/end-user experience.. been there, done that. I recommend that if you’re going to promote a company you get a real feel for how they work. Go through the sign-up process, bug their support department with silly questions to see how quickly/accurately they respond – you want to get a feel for the true end user experience so you can represent them well.

So lets cut to the chase, here are my top 3 web hosting affiliate program recommendations. I go into details with each host further down, but I know you’re busy.

  1. Arvixe Hosting ($70-$135 per sale)
  2. InMotion Hosting ($75-$125 per sale)
  3. WPEngine ($150+ per sale)

 

Personal/Blog Hosting Affiliate Programs

These are the companies I typically promote with offers related to blogging or setting up a simple site. They usually have a lower barrier to entry (price) and are focused more towards individuals and hobbyists.

Arvixe Affiliate Program

Arvixe Affiliate Program

Payout $70-$135 per sale. Hosting starts at $4/mo.

Arvixe is one of my favourites in the personal/blog hosting sphere. They’re not new to the industry, but pretty new among many affiliates. This can help or hurt you depending on who you’re promoting to because they don’t have a ton of brand recognition. Being different than the usual folks can help, after getting the big names jammed down someones throat all day, because they’re someone new to check out and they’ll likely consider them more.

Arvixe includes a free domain name for life with every hosting account and gives affiliates coupon codes. ie. Use the coupon ‘sparkprofits‘ and get 20% off your first invoice.

Update (January 24, 2014): In the past few months I’ve been testing the offers over a variety of platforms and actually found Arvixe to be the clear winner in conversions. Converting at nearly 10%! (2 sales in 20 clicks)

Hostgator Affiliate Program

Hostgator Affiliate Program

Payout $50-125 per sale. Hosting starts at $4/mo.

If you’ve been looking at hosting affiliate programs, you’ve probably come across Hostgator. They have one of the most well known affiliate programs and offer some really good payouts if you can drive volume. Tons of brand recognition which can make sales easier in certain markets. Hostgator offers their in-house program which pays on a sliding scale, depending on the number of sales referred per month, or through Commission Junction. I recommend you start out with CJ.com as it pays $100 per sale, no matter the volume, and if you start pushing volume you can transition over to the in-house affiliate program with better payouts.

Bonuses: Allow you to create custom affiliate coupon codes (using their in-house program), lots of sales and promotions to help drum up sales (most effective if you have an email list).

Bluehost Affiliate Program

Bluehost Affiliate Program

Payout $65-$90+ per sale. Hosting starts at $4/mo.

Bluehost is another popular option for hosting. Like Hostgator they have good brand recognition, but offer some extras such as a free domain registration for new sign-ups. Like Hostgator, Bluehost has both an internal program and one on CJ.com. Internal program starts at $65/sale whereas the CJ program is a flat $90/sale. Again, I recommend going through CJ first.

 

Business Web Hosting Affiliate Programs

These hosts and plans are more focused towards the small/mid-size business market. Great to promote if you’re dealing with local business owners or people looking for somewhere to host their online business.

 

InMotion Hosting Affiliate Program

InMotion Hosting Affiliate Program

Payouts $75-$125 per sale. Hosting starts at $6/mo.

InMotion has a really interesting program and I think I will be promoting them a lot more going forward. They offer fairly typical payouts but have a few weird bonuses you can accrue over time if you take some extra steps, such as an extra $5 per sale if you follow/like their social accounts online and $10 if you put their link/banner above the fold on your website. These extras are per-sale.

The reason I put InMotion in the business hosting category is because that’s how they market their product. They focus more on a business audience and their site looks much more professional than many others out there. I’ll likely review them in the future and compare to some other hosts I promote more, but I think I’ll see a conversion bump in some markets by pointing them to InMotion.

Hostgator & Arvixe Business Plans

Payout $50-$125 per sale. Hosting starts at $10/mo.

Most hosts offer a couple tiers of hosting plans, both Hostgator and Arvixe have business class plans. If you’re targeting small business owners then you want to steer them towards the business-tier plans. Most folks are willing to pay more if something is labeled ‘business class’ and expect to pay more to actually get some value (“you get what you pay for” mentality). Business plans usually offer a few extras like increased uptime guarantees and a dedicated IP address.

 

High Performance Hosting Affiliate Programs

These hosts and plans are focused towards people who have existing high traffic sites or have a serious need for speed. They’re expecting big bursts of traffic, or heavy amounts of steady traffic, and want to make sure their sites are fast and stay online.

 

WPEngine Affiliate Program

WPEngine Affiliate Program

Payout: $150+ per sale. Hosting starts at $29/mo.

I’m new to being a WPEngine affiliate but the reason I’m listing them here is that I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. From people I know who use them as their host, as well as people I know who promote them. They only focus on WordPress hosting but considering 19% of the web runs on WordPress, you’re probably going to be referring someone who wants to setup or run a WordPress site. WPEngine offers 100% commission on the first month of each sign up, with a minimum of $150 per sale. So if you refer someone in a higher tier ($200+/mo) you’ll get that, but at the minimum they’ll pay you $150.

Their hosting is targeted at folks who run big sites or have a need for speed. Their system is optimized inside and out to run WordPress as fast as it possibly can, with tons of caching and other tech mixed in to ensure your site stays up if you get huge amounts of traffic.

Other VPS/Dedicated Hosting Plans

Payout $50-$135 per sale. Hosting starts at $30/mo.

InMotion, Arvixe and Hostgator all offer VPS and Dedicated servers, so if you’re looking at pointing people towards high performance hosting you’ll probably want to refer them to at least a VPS with one of those providers. Compare their pricing, resources and extras for each plan, what add-ons/upgrades most of your referrals will need (cPanel, 1-click installers), etc.

 

Whoever you choose to promote, and I can’t stress this enough, make sure you stand behind them 100%. Don’t make your pick on who to promote based solely on the affiliate commission, you want to refer people to someone that you already host with (and trust) or a host that is trusted by your friends & family.

The programs listed above are some of the bigger offers per sale, but there are many others out there. If your host already has an affiliate program you may want to consider using them first, even if it means less commission.

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46 comments… add one

  1. It’s good to see, hosting affiliates pay this much

    Reply
  2. Very Nice List, I may continue promoting Blue host and will try out Arvixe. Do you know of any web hosting provider that pays recurring income?

    Regards,
    RJ.

    Reply
    1. Hey RJ,

      I don’t know of any decent providers that pay recurring commissions. The problem is anyone who does recurring commission usually makes it a very small amount (10-20%) and when you’re talking about $4-10/mo hosting plans, it can take a long time and a lot of people to build up any decent revenue stream.

      I personally prefer the larger lump-sum payment up front. Much nicer to see $70 for a sale rather than $0.70/month (in my opinion).

      Reply
  3. And how is the payout from arvixe, are they trust worthy? Will they pay us in time no matter how big the commission is ? I’m working with hostgator affiliate eagerly wanting to try arivex.. Are you getting payments in time ?

    Reply
    1. I’ve been happy with Arvixe. Payments are coming in on time, haven’t seen any shaved commissions and everyone that has come through so far has been approved. It’s also converting way better than Hostgator. Test some traffic on it and see how you do. I think the free domain offer + $4/mo price point is helping a lot with conversion.

      Reply
      1. Thank you for Your suggestion, Shall surely give arvixe a try.

        Reply
      2. Michael,

        Not asking how much commissions you make from Arvixe, but is it uncommon for affiliates to make 10-20k/month from hosting companies like Arvixe or others? Do you find that if an affiliate starts making that much money in commissions, that Arvixe or other companies would cut them off or start shaving their commissions?

        Just something I always wondered…

        Thanks!
        Adam

        Reply
        1. Hey Adam,

          I’m not quite at that level, though I have a few friends who push that or more each month through similar programs. You won’t have problems unless you’re doing something shady to get those signups.

          When you start pushing that volume with an affiliate program, you have a good relationship with your affiliate manager. Their job is to keep you happy and continue bringing sales in. At that point, they rarely shave leads (the good programs anyway). If a program is unsustainable they may run into problems and need to cut you off, but typically the opposite happens. They start upping your rates per sale/lead because of the volume you’re pushing.

          -Mike

          Reply
  4. Very informative and to the subject post, Thanks keep it going :)

    Reply
  5. I’m running hostgator with CJ and it takes over 30 days depending on the billing cycle to get paid — Which hosting company pays weekly or bi-weekly if any?

    Tks — Good post btw

    Reply
    1. Hey Michael,

      I don’t know any that pay that frequently. Hostgator directly takes 60-90 days, and most hosting companies do the same to reduce fraud. Unfortunately don’t know any that are willing to pay out quick, too many scammers out there.

      Reply
    2. Michael:

      While they still take 30 days from the date of the sale to pay a commission, Site Ground pays commissions on a weekly basis.

      Reply
      1. Hey Will,

        Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely be checking out Siteground’s program. How have you found them as a host? I’ll probably have to pickup an account to test them out.

        Reply
        1. I have not actually used them yet, I was searching around for a better host with a better affiliate program and this is something that a competitor of mine advertises on their site. Reading reviews from around the web, they have a good score. I am moving away from HostGator myself due to some failures recently and bad sentiment from colleagues who had similar problems.

          Reply
          1. Yeah. I’m actually going to update this post and remove Hostgator. EIG (who owns HG & others) has had major problems with their new datacenter in Provo, UT. Check out this list and make sure to avoid anyone on there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endurance_International_Group

            Also note the “incidents” section.

  6. Hey there,

    Great resources. Does the WPEngine Affiliate Program require a fee to sign up?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Nope, totally free to signup. All of the listed programs are free. Having the most success with Arvixe though.

      Reply
  7. Hello,
    Thanks for taking the time to write this detailed list. I need to try a few of these web hosting affiliate programs see which one converts the best for me.

    Reply
  8. Thanks for recommending the best paying ones. However, one thing which I didn’t get is how are companies able to pay more commission than what they earn. Say Arvixe earns 48 bucks ($4×12) if a client pays for 1 year hosting but they will pay 70 bucks in commission. Just didn’t get it.

    Reply
    1. Hey Rajan,

      Basically these companies know what their customers are worth, and also know how to upsell them. So it might only be $48 for the first year, but the customer might stick around for 4 years on average, so they’d make $48 the first year, and then probably full price for the next 3.

      They also sell other stuff and know how often people buy them (new domains, SSL certs, etc), and promote things like WP themes and other services. Hosting is really competitive so they need to fork over more cash to lure affiliates.

      Cheers,
      Michael

      Reply
  9. Two other hosting affiliate programs that are worth looking at are LiquidWeb and 1&1. They both pay very well, up to £600 ($1,000+) per sale in some cases :)

    Reply
  10. Great article. Please are there any ways to promote these programs if you are really on a tight budget, and also with no website?

    Reply
    1. Hey Dayo,

      Sorry for the late response. This comment got caught in the spam filter.

      Absolutely there are ways to promote these programs on a budget. Many social networks, forums, etc allow you to modify your profile, signature, or sometimes even post affiliate links.

      Don’t spam these networks, but if you can provide a helpful reply (ie. someone looking for a place to host their blog), then you can promote that way. Make sure you read each host’s affiliate terms and make sure the promotion you’re doing is allowed.

      Reply
  11. Great list and I love the Google datacenter pic… would love to have that setup at home :)

    All of these hosting affiliate programs are great. For personal hosting, I tend to lean towards HostGator and Bluehost.

    Reply
  12. Thanks for bringing us such nice and great information,
    I want to know how to submit tax form to arvixe. I’m living outside USA so I think tax are not applied on me. What do you say? I need your help.

    Reply
    1. Hey Kashif,

      You can contact your affiliate manager at Arvixe and they should help you out. Typically you fill out a W8BEN which is for foreigners who earn money from US companies. It’s really easy to fill out, if you submit a ticket they’ll help you. All it does is tell them to not hold any of your money for taxes, since you’ll pay taxes in your own country.

      I didn’t fill & submit mine until after I had enough to cash out the first time. Then I had to email it in to them and payment was released right away.

      Reply
  13. Well, thanks for help. Gonna earn some commissions from them and will send email.
    I also want to know, I want to advertise its affiliate links on Facebook page so for that I need to boost posts. Can you help me in this regard, like to how target audiences and which countries should I need to choose and age matter also. Please reply.

    Reply
    1. I can’t help you too much with Facebook ads, but I would say to stick with english speaking countries – probably just the United States. There are lots of different niches you can target, try to target the offer more to what they want/need. So if you’re targeting bloggers then go after the “1 click wordpress install” angle, use the wordpress landing page that arvixe has, etc. Go through all the marketing materials they have and their landing pages and pick the best one for your audience.

      Reply
  14. Then where else can I promote my links to get better results?
    I can even spend money for promoting my links, so I need your suggestion.
    You are earning good. I want to earn at least $1000+ a month, so can I?

    Reply
    1. I target more small business owners and bloggers. You can do a lot of paid placements with Google display network and target specific sites. Focus on matching up unique offers with a group, setup your own landing page for them to hit and then push them through to Arvixe.

      See if you can create an offer that’s appealing and if you can offer them a bonus of sorts for going through you. So maybe you’ll give them a guide on how to setup their site, or how to do SEO, etc.

      Reply
  15. It means I can use google adwords service to expand my business?
    Adwords is a good choice or not?

    Reply
    1. Adwords works great. Just don’t start bidding on terms like ‘hosting’. Go display network, use some serious audience/placement targeting and/or retargeting ads.

      Reply
  16. I don’t understand quite payments and w8ben. They send payouts through paypal right? When do you pay taxes then? After you receiver money in bank from paypal? And how do you pay them, since its internet money, I don’t think it can be calculated as regular earnings?

    Reply
    1. Hey Chris,

      It really depends on the country you live in. Payments come via Paypal. In most cases, it’s up to you to declare the money as income when you do your taxes. Just because it’s ‘internet money’ doesn’t mean it’s not income. I’d recommend you speak with an accountant/tax professional in your country.

      For me, the money gets paid to my business and is declared as revenue. I set aside some of that income (the required tax amount for me) and pay that back to the government.

      Reply
  17. Thank you for this post. I’m glad for having other choices besides the “big players” in the hosting department.

    One thing I agree with is setting up a squeeze page before sending them over. Making it personalized with a bonus of some sort will certainly help solidify the offer.

    -Roger

    Reply
  18. Great blogpost.
    Just a follow-up to the question about taxation above, I have seen many of such affiliate sites require us to fill up tax forms and they mention $600/year as the threshold. So my question is what happens when we exceed the $600/year mark because quite honestly many people will exceed that amount. How much is the tax rate in the US? And how do we pay it considering not all of us have SSN or Tax IDs? Does it automatically get slashed from our earnings?

    Reply
    1. Hey Parker,

      Sorry for the delay here. The $600/yr must be a country-specific thing. I just know that if you don’t submit the required tax forms, most affiliate programs won’t even accept you. I think they’re required to withhold something like 30% of earnings if you don’t have tax info – they just assume you’re someone in the country trying to avoid paying income taxes.

      If you’re actually within the US, then I’m not sure on the process (I don’t live in the US). I’m guessing they withhold something like the 30% mentioned and then if you overpaid you get it back when you file your taxes. I can’t help you with this, you’d need to speak to the specific companies and someone who’s more familiar with tax stuff in your country/state/etc.

      Reply
  19. Thank you admin sharing this for this list of Affiliate Program.

    Reply
  20. i want to make a website using wordpress as cms. which hosting site should i choose hostgator or arvixe? does arvixe has a monthly paying plan as i dont want to pay for years at once?

    Reply
    1. I would use Arvixe, they’re both owned by the same parent company now but my experience with Arvixe has been so much better than my crappy experiences with HostGator.

      They do have monthly options, when you check you can pick monthly/semi-annual/annual/etc – the pricing is just cheaper when you prepay for like a year or more. So maybe do monthly and then if you decide to stay for longer you can buy a year at a time to save some money.

      Reply
  21. That is a good list you have compiled. I follow a different strategy instead of run behind the highest paying affiliate, I try to choose a program which provide excellent service to their customers and also records each and every sale. I have tried hostgator affiliate program but they decline most of the referrals. The reason may be that hostgator is cheating or they are simply not able to retain their customer. After so many years of testing hosting affiliate programs, I settled for A small orange. I am using their hosting service as well. I have written a review about their affiliate program, guidelines and payout methods. I hope you do mind me sharing my review http://www.bleepingtech.com/small-orange-best-hosting-affiliate-program-period/

    Do try them you, They are fantastic. Here is my earnings screenshot and the approval rate is too good. http://i.imgur.com/SdqZKn2.png

    Reply
    1. Hey Anish,

      If you read my post you’ll see that I basically recommend the same thing. I don’t go after highest payouts. Some of my referrals are friends/family/clients who I know in-person. I go for the highest quality and try to find the highest payout within that group. One of the reasons I’m not promoting Hostgator/Bluehost anymore. I’ve got an update I’ve written for this post and need to ditch a few and showcase a few others I’ve been testing out.

      I have an account with every host I promote so I know what the quality of service is like, how good support is, etc. I recommend others do the same.

      Let me know how things are going with ASO – I’m looking at testing them out as I’ve always heard good things and have had a couple VPS’s & small hosting packages with them in the last couple years. I gotta test them out soon though before I promote since they were acquired by EIG and I want to make sure the quality hasn’t dropped.

      Reply
  22. I used both affiliate programs from bluehost and hostgator, and even if hostgator pays slightly larger amounts per sale, I saw that bluehost is more often selected.
    Why is that? we know that hostgator is a huge company, well known everywhere, much better than bluehost, so why some users choose bluehost instead of hostgator?

    Reply
    1. Hey Helen,

      Hostgator is more well known, but I believe they’re mostly well known for the wrong reasons. People have had A LOT of problems with them since they were acquired by EIG. Bluehost may appeal more or when people search they see more good things about them. Arvixe has been my most successful so far, much much better than Hostgator & Bluehost.

      You always need to test offers and see what attracts the clicks and what the conversion rate is like across the offers you’re posting. I’m always testing, I’m currently working with 2-3 other hosts not mentioned here (will be doing an update in the next couple weeks). Nothing works well forever, where I had a lot of success with Hostgator in the past – I just don’t have it anymore. Plus their service really went downhill in recent years, so I don’t like promoting them. Probably going to keep them on my list, but with a big warning.

      Reply
  23. Hey Michael…

    I’ve been testing out a lot of different hosts recently. I have most of my clients on hostgator and bluehost with dedicated servers but I’m starting to do more than just client work and everybody that follows me pretty much already uses hostgator or bluehost.

    I signed up for arvixe through your link for one of my affiliate niche projects. Hopefully I can start recommending it to my readers!

    Reply
    1. Right on, appreciate it. I’ve been really happy with Arvixe so far, conversions are great and people stick around. Don’t think I’ve lost more than a couple commissions due to fraudulent signups in the past ~18 months

      Reply

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