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75% Off 3 Months of Managed Hosting: Position Yourself for Your Best Year Yet with Our Best Deal Ever

In 2020, a year that has been so hard on so many businesses, we are grateful for the resilience and determination of the agencies, sites, and stores that rely on Hostdedi. 

Thank you for being our customers.

2020 Was a Game-Changing Year In Ecommerce

Let’s face it – 2020 was BANANAS. In this year alone, small businesses took massive hits in revenue, and nearly 100,000 closed their doors for good. Others have thrived.

Adaptability and resilience has been the name of the game for 2020. As brick and mortar businesses closed their doors due to COVID, ecommerce sales surged. Total online spending by May had skyrocketed by $52 billion, a 77% year-over-year increase.

This year was also an unexpected boon for ecommerce developers. In an industry already rife with demand, ecommerce development agencies saw an increase in demand for new websites. The total number of ecommerce sites, as of this year, now stands at over 24 million.

Where Ecommerce Companies Are Still Losing Revenue

The caveats to success in ecommerce are still there, however. Pages that load in more than three seconds deter 40% of traffic, and an estimated $18 billion in revenue per year is still lost due to cart abandonment.

Ecommerce is thriving, and the opportunity is growing rapidly. By 2040, it’s estimated that 95% of all purchases will be made online. That is astounding!

The problems with ecommerce still exist though, and now more than ever, it’s time to ensure your digital commerce site is speed optimized for conversions.

Positioning Yourself for Your Best Year Yet

No matter how wild it gets out there, Hostdedi is going to keep on giving you hosting you can count on. That’s been our focus throughout this crazy year – continue innovating, keep your sites online and safe, maintain fair prices, and keep providing the tools you need to stand up a new ecommerce shop, or maintain an old one. 

This Black Friday, we’re gonna keep on keeping on by offering our customers our BEST SALE EVER. This is truly one for the record books, folks. Hostdedi has never offered a discount this deep. 

We’re offering an unprecedented 75% Off 3 months of our most popular plans with code JOYFOR2021.

No matter what happens in 2021, you can count on Hostdedi to keep making it easy and affordable to start your own online business or migrate to a hosting provider who is a true partner in business.

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The Best Black Friday Deals for Digital Commerce

When it comes to physical gifts, I’m a minimalist. I try not to own more than fits in my apartment. But when it comes to my business – especially an ecommerce store – I want to make sure I have every piece of software that can help me make more money.

Now of course that starts with hosting – which we do here at Hostdedi. We’re giving you an unprecedented 75% off 3 months of our most popular Managed WordPress, Managed WooCommerce, or Managed Magento plans.

Once you get hosting, there’s a lot of plugins, themes, modules, and web apps to enhance your digital experience. I’ve scoured the internet, and found some of my favorite Black Friday deals that’ll help you do more with your store.

Look & Feel

No matter what you’re selling, you want a fast & beautiful theme. 

For those of you already hosting on Hostdedi, we include Astra with Managed WordPress & Managed WooCommerce. For everyone else, there is a 30% off coupon. We love Astra because it’s incredibly fast & minimalistic. It’s a great starting point for any site.

Now that you’ve got a lean & mean theme, it’s nice to customize it and make it your own. You can take 25% off all Beaver Builder and even 30% off the Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder (which is a 3rd party). Beaver Builder is a page builder that lets you customize the most important pages on your site (like your home page).

Regardless of what software you use to make your website, you’re going to want some high quality images & graphics to go on it. One of my favorite pieces of graphic design software is Affinity Designer and you can get 30% off right now.

Ecommerce Functionality

We support & love digital commerce, and right now, there’s a ton of deals for people selling things online.

First you can enjoy 30% off IconicWP WooCommerce plugins and bundles. 

Again, we already include this in our Managed WooCommerce product. But if you’re on a different host, it’s a great piece of software that we include because it’s so powerful.

If you’re looking for a one-page checkout solution for WooCommerce, you can get 50% off Quick Checkout for WooCommerce.

And if you’re looking to customize the checkout fields for WooCommerce, you can get 50% off Conditional Checkout Fields for WooCommerce.


Selling things online is great – but first you have to get people to your website! You can’t forget the marketing part of your online store or you’ll fail.

If you’re looking to expand into affiliates, one of the premier affiliate plugins in the WordPress space is AffiliateWP and it’s on sale now for 20% off.

One of my favorite ways to get traffic is by search engine optimization, also known as SEO. And the best tools in the WordPress space is Yoast. Take 30% off everything on their site through (date here?)


Even if you sell things online, you’re going to want your website to do other things. Such as having a simple contact form, or developing a more extensive lead generation form. All of this can be done easily with 50% off Gravity Forms.

And if you love Gravity Forms you’ll love Gravity View, which lets you display the results of form submissions on the front end. They’re 30% off right now.


We hope you have a great Thanksgiving & Black Friday. Spend time with friends & family (socially distanced, of course) and maybe also buy some software to improve your online store.

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This Is What Happens When Your Magento 1 Site Gets Hacked

In June of 2020, Magento 1 reached end-of-life. This put the platform’s 200,000 sites at risk for malware attacks, and opened them up for the potential to incur heavy fines. 

We’ve been urging our Magento 1 customers to either replatform or to install Hostdedi Safe Harbor as a stop gap for PCI compliance. In the meantime, stores on Magento 1 remain vulnerable to attack, and their customers’ data is still at risk.

What Does It Mean When a Platform Reaches End of Life?

Magento 1 has been around a LONG time in software history. For the past 13 years, this platform has been home to hundreds of thousands of online businesses, from growing small businesses, to enterprise level operations.

But after over 10 years of service, Magento 1 has become obsolete, and Magento has shelved the platform for updates. That means their teams will no longer be developing security patches and updates for Magento 1 – the platform will remain stagnant.

Stagnant platforms that aren’t proactively monitored and updated for security do not meet the standards set by the PCI Security Standards Council, and may fall out of compliance as threats to the platform emerge.

Why End of Life Presents a Problem for Compliance

PCI compliance standards were originally set forth by a coalition of banks to ensure that online businesses were proactive about protecting their customers’ data. Using a set of standards, the PCI Security Standards Council keeps online businesses from taking a laissez-faire approach to how they handle online transactions.

The standards for compliance are as follows:

  • Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
  • Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
  • Protect stored cardholder data
  • Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks 
  • Use and regularly update anti-virus software or programs
  • Develop and maintain secure systems and applications
  • Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know
  • Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
  • Restrict physical access to cardholder data
  • Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
  • Regularly test security systems and processes
  • Maintain a policy that addresses information security for all personnel

As you can see, all of the above distilled into one lesson comes down to this: if your business is not proactive about security, you will not be PCI compliant. If you’re not PCI compliant, you’re subject to hefty fines and penalties.

What Happens If Your Online Store Isn’t PCI Compliant?

The results of noncompliance are scary. 

It’s not just the right thing to do for your business, it’s the right thing to do for your customers. Running a store on an end-of-life platform can put thousands of people’s data at risk, opening you up to such a high-level of liability that your business might not even survive it.

Fines for noncompliance are typically passed along to the merchant, and can range from anywhere between $5,000 and $100,000 per month until compliance is achieved.

Banks may also choose to terminate their relationship with a noncompliant business, leaving you scrambling to replace your financial institution and payment processor.

Perhaps the most unsettling consequence of all of it is this: the loss of your customers’s trust. Picture them scrambling to protect their own financial information from your site’s security failure. Picture the headlines when the media picks up the story.

It’s not pretty, and it’s completely preventable.

What to Do When You Can’t Afford to Re-Platform

Look, we’re not being heavy handed about this to be jerks about it. This is serious stuff, but we’re also sensitive to the fact that at this point, a migration or replatform isn’t financially realistic for some businesses.

Businesses have struggled during the pandemic. Estimates are that small businesses have seen revenues plummet by a whopping 52% in 2020.

If your business doesn’t currently have the funds for a migration or replatform, you have another option.

Use Safe Harbor for Magento 1 PCI Compliance

A migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000. For only slightly  more than you’re paying for your current Magento 1 hosting plan, Hostdedi Safe Harbor will keep your store secure until you’re ready to re-platform. Safe Harbor is a simple security add-on that uses sophisticated custom security patches from our Magento team to keep stores compliant post end-of-life. 

Current estimates are that Safe Harbor will be able to keep Magento 1 stores secure and compliant well into 2022, giving your company plenty of time to transition to a new platform, or to migrate to Magento 2.

In the wake of Magecart attacks and other security threats that have surfaced since Magento 1 reached end of life back in June, Safe Harbor has continued to protect those stores’ and proactively monitor emerging threats.

Learn More About Safe Harbor

Keep Your Magento 1 Store Security with Magento Experts

Magento’s first beta version was born here on Hostdedi servers. Since 2007, our company has been intimately aware and involved with this platform, and has cultivated technology alongside it that enables developers and businesses to build online businesses to scale.

With a full-time Magento Master on staff, world class 24-hour support, and a dedicated team of sysops engineers and security pros, Hostdedi has your back through your platform’s end-of-life.

Learn More

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Hostdedi and Recapture Partner for Car Abandonment

Hostdedi, the truly managed commerce and content platform, today announced the addition of Recapture, an abandoned cart and email marketing application, to the Value Added Bundles available with their Managed WooCommerce solution. 

Recapture is a five-star rated app that helps online businesses recover lost revenue through technology and tools that assist with abandoned cart recovery, including targeted and segmented email campaigns and exit pop-ups. Ecommerce stores using Recapture on the Hostdedi platform can now automatically and quickly respond to every single customer who abandons their cart in an exceptionally personalized way, resulting in high cart capture rates. 

“At Hostdedi, our focus is SMB stores and the freelancers and agencies that serve them. That focus means we’re always innovating ways to make digital commerce better for our customers, including driving conversion for their ecommerce investments. As one of the best shopping cart abandonment and email marketing solutions on the market, Recapture is an easy and cost-effective solution that offers proven results and will be a tremendous asset in boosting customer lifetime value for the sites we manage,” said Chris Lema, VP, Product at Hostdedi. 

Under the partnership, the Recapture application will be integrated into the Hostdedi hosting platform, so that any customer running WooCommerce can benefit from Recapture’s cart abandonment features right away. Hostdedi customers can begin using Recapture for free, with reasonable fees that scale as their store’s profits grow. 

“We’re proud to partner with Hostdedi to bring our feature-rich solution to their trusted managed commerce platform. Merchants implementing Recapture will see an average of 10%+ boost to gross monthly revenue via abandoned cart recovery,” said Dave Rodenbaugh, Co-founder of Recapture.

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What’s the Difference Between WordPress Hosting & Web Hosting?

When searching for a web hosting provider, you’ll find a lot of different options and deciding which to choose can be overwhelming. WordPress is usually a safe bet when starting out with a website – it offers a simple but powerful set of tools to get you started in no time, and because of its flexibility and ease of use, it already powers 35% of the Internet (source)

But where exactly should you run WordPress? Let’s take a look at the two most popular options for making a website available: shared hosting and Managed WordPress hosting, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

What is Managed WordPress Hosting?

Managed WordPress Hosting is a specific type of shared hosting, which has been tweaked and modified to improve the hosting experience specifically when using WordPress websites. The “Managed” part is important too, because it means that there’s staff on board taking care that everything runs smoothly.

Specifically, Managed hosting adds support for the operating system and application infrastructure. In other words, your host will make sure that WordPress is up-to-date and running correctly, so you can focus on creating the content of your site.

The exact scope of managed support varies between hosts, especially when it comes to heavily-customized sites with a large number of plugins. In general, a best-effort policy applies – even if you’re having trouble with a very complex setup, the experts managing your site will attempt to help with it, and point you in the right direction if needed. 

What are the Advantages of Managed WordPress Hosting?

Faster WordPress Performance: As the name implies, Managed WordPress hosting is specially built to handle WordPress-based websites, both in their PHP settings and on their database setup. This translates to a much better performance than with generic settings. This is all out-of-the-box, so you can get to creating your site immediately without spending much time dealing with configuration. 

Better Security: Security is also a great positive of Managed WordPress hosting, since services that aren’t necessary for WordPress are disabled, and common attack points (such as xmlrpc.php) are taken into consideration.

Better Resource Scaling: Managed WordPress hosts can also scale up and down on-demand to accommodate a sudden spike in traffic, since the site doesn’t have to live in a single server. That way, one of your posts suddenly getting a lot of attention will not punish you by bringing your entire website down. 

Better Support: In addition, the staff on hand has much more experience dealing with WordPress, so they’ll be empowered to help with any issues you may face.

In short, Managed WordPress hosting is a higher-quality option when it comes to hosting WordPress sites.

What are the Disadvantages of WordPress Hosting?

Higher Cost: Because of its quality and additional features, Managed WordPress hosting is a premium option, which is reflected in the price tag. For multiple small project websites where you don’t expect much traffic, this can be overkill, much in the same way that you wouldn’t rent a spot in a shopping mall for a lemonade stand. On the other hand, if you’re looking to launch your business or move an existing WordPress site to a more reliable host, the benefits more than outweigh the costs.

What is Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is the most basic option for getting a website online. In short, it is when you rent some space on someone else’s server to host your website’s files, and then point your domain name to that server. There are many types of shared hosting options available, but in the most common form it is a spot to place your website’s files so they’re served when someone visits. 

Something to keep in mind is that shared website hosts handle many different kinds of websites with varying resource needs, which all share a portion of the same resources, so performance settings are usually generic options that fit most websites reasonably well. 

What are the Advantages of Shared Hosting?

Affordability: The main advantage of shared hosting is how affordable it is compared to other hosting options. Since your website is hosted on a shared server, it doesn’t cost the hosting provider much to add one, or a dozen more websites, especially if these are small sites that don’t receive a lot of traffic. That makes shared hosting ideal for small projects that aren’t expected to get a lot of attention, and for quickly trying out new ideas you get. 

What are the Disadvantages of Shared Hosting?

Here are the three most common disadvantages of shared hosting across most shared hosting providers:

Compatibility Issues: You need to make sure your content management system, or CMS, works well within the shared hosting environment. This includes making sure the PHP and MySQL versions are compatible. Your host’s support can often provide some help with that, but only up to a point – considering the many different types of websites they will be hosting, in-depth knowledge about every single one of them is a difficult proposition, so you might end up needing to get a developer on board for very difficult problems.

Software Updates: Software updates are another common pain point in shared hosts, which can break your site if its code relies on features from older software versions. Some hosts have features to alleviate this, such as letting you choose the PHP version you want to run your site with, but running older software is not recommended for security reasons. After all, software versions that are out of support no longer receive security updates, rendering them potentially exposed to newly-discovered vulnerabilities.

Shared Resources: Since one server is shared across all the websites hosted in it, the performance of your site can take a hit during peak times, even if your own site is not getting a ton of traffic. This is compounded by the fact that shared hosting is usually configured with generic performance settings, not optimized for any particular kind of website. 

Choosing Between WordPress Hosting vs Shared Hosting

It is important to use the right tool for the job, and if loading speed, ease-of-use, and availability are critical for you, then Managed WordPress hosting is a useful tool to consider. Our plans have a lot of additional features not offered in most Managed WordPress hosts, such as full server access, automated staging sites for testing plugin updates, and 24/7/365 support by phone, email and chat. 

If you’re a more advanced user who’s comfortable with server management, and you’re looking for more freedom to go along with that responsibility, a VPS package might be good for you, which you can compare to our Managed WordPress options. 

Finally, if you’re still on the fence about what would work best for you, you can always chat with one of our experts for help picking the right plan.

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Doing Product Pages Right – Hostdedi Blog

How much effort have you put into your product page? Yes, I know you found information and images from the manufacturer and added them. Sure, you named the product and maybe if you were really working on good product pages, you took an extra picture of the product in use to highlight what it really looks like to your customers.

But I know most ecommerce sites don’t even go that far.

About 10 years ago I worked in retail and one of my jobs was to add products to our site, but only after everything else was done and if the boss couldn’t find anything extra for me to do. This was shortsighted and meant that they didn’t see much business from their online store. But if you don’t put any effort into your product pages, the natural outcome is little traction with your site.

It’s important to remember that your online users can’t touch your product. They can’t ask a salesperson a question or get specific feedback on how the product worked for someone they can talk to. Customers are reliant on the information you provide them to help them make a purchase.

Today we’re going to talk about how to design a great product page. Remember, from the product name to the reviews, your product page is a landing page. Its job is to sell your products to your customers.

Product Name

If your product page is a landing and sales page, then the first thing you need to look at is the name of your product. This is the title of your page and you should spend just as much time thinking about this as you would for any blog post you want to rank well in search engines. The more descriptive your product name is, the better it is, at least up to a point.

We’ve all seen ridiculously keyword-stuffed Amazon product titles. We want to use a descriptive product name, but not crossover into the realm of these overloaded titles.

Take a look at these Mpow headphones on Amazon.

If you’re looking for waterproof Bluetooth sports headphones with controls on the headphones, the title is a great match. I think it’s getting close to being a bit long, but just by reading the product name, you get a summary of all the features that the headphones provide.

When you’re looking at your product names use the Google Keyword Planner to investigate what terms are ranking well for your product. Use these terms to help you craft a well-optimized title that will bring customers to your landing page.


When it comes to your product description, the first thing to ask yourself is “what questions will myom customers have”. A description that answers your customer’s questions poorly will mean they make a purchase they’re not happy with. Then they’ll want to return it, and you may get a poor review on the product.

According to Nielsen Group, 20% of missed purchases were because a product didn’t have the information a customer was looking for in the description. If users don’t see the information they’re looking for in your product description, they’re going to turn to Google. That means you risk having them find the product at a better price elsewhere. Making your customers search to get more information is just like losing the purchase and all future purchases from your customer.

As you write your product description ask yourself what questions the customer will have about your product? Your goal is to answer the questions and deflate the objections that customers will have so that they feel confident in their purchase.

Good product descriptions are jargon-free. They’re not heavy on marketing text, but are to the point and clear. If you’re talking about 5 different feature highlights, use bullet points so that readers can scan to get the information they need quickly.

If you’ve got many of the same types of products, say dishwashers, then take the time to standardize the language across suppliers. Don’t list measurements in inches for one product and then centimetres for other products. Standardize on one method, or if you deal with international clients let them choose what measurement they want to see. You can see a great example of this with Apidura Cycling bags. They let users change between inches and centimetres for their bag measurements. This puts their users in control.

Product Images

After your product name and description, it’s important to focus on the images you provide to your customer. Remember, they can’t touch the product. They can’t tell how big it is, or exactly what shade of blue it is. They are relying entirely on you to provide this information with your images.

There are two ways to go with product images. You can choose to use a backdrop with other stuff that matches the product, or you can go with a flat white version. Keep the style consistent including the dimensions used with the final images. I think the best option is to have a combination of both of these options.

Bellroy is a great example of both methods combined. They show you several images of their products on a flat white background. They also add it with known items, like physical bills and blank cards that are the same size as credit cards. You get to see high-quality uncluttered photos to judge colour and texture, then clean photos that help you get an idea of the size of items you’re looking at.

Bellroy also provides high-quality images for each color option for a product. You don’t have to guess based on a color swatch, you can see exactly what you’re choosing as you make changes.

While this may look like a lot of work, it’s just a bit of work and a small investment. You don’t need a fancy camera. Any smartphone in the last few years will do. If you don’t have natural light, then you will need to purchase a consistent light source. You can usually find the Godox SL60W for under $200. If you’re dealing with small products and want to have an extra clean background, then look at a softbox. You can find these on Amazon for as little as $30.

With a light source and a softbox, all it takes is a bit of practice. Take a bunch of test images from different angles. If you spend a weekend playing around you’ll improve greatly so that you can get good images for Monday.

If you’re looking for a great walkthrough on product photography, check out the video below by Peter McKinnon.

Once you’ve got the images, take a few minutes to edit them for color and contrast. Most people use a sized template so that every image on the site is the same size. 

If you’re not sure what this means, it’s like having a company letterhead you always use. In this case, it’s a Photoshop file that’s 2000X2000 and every image you take goes on the same template so that your site images look uniform. 

Then once you have your images on the template looking how you want them, save them out in a web format. Look to keep them under 700kb if possible. To help with this at the final stage you can use tools like Kraken to optimize the images as you upload them.

Putting some effort into your product images will help your store stand above the competition.

Adding To Cart

Next, your add to cart button. There are a few mistakes that many sites make with this crucial interaction. First, make sure that users can see the button without scrolling across all devices. It should be obvious and a contrasting color from the rest of your site so that it stands out. You can see a good example of this on MEC below.

Note that they have a nice product image, and the purchase button is in a vibrant green and stays with the customer as they scroll on a mobile device.

You also need to make sure that it’s clear to the user something happened when they add something to the cart. Luckily WooCommerce has this as a default with a banner being displayed to a user after a product has been successfully added to the cart.

The second most important interaction after your main purchase button may be the option to add a product to a wishlist. A good spot for this is just below the main purchase CTA. I have many wish lists on Amazon for when I’m ready to revamp parts of my office. I already have my desk video setup all picked out in a wishlist. When it’s time to purchase I just need to add all those products to my cart, and then checkout.

Showing your product in use can show how easy it is to use to customers that are concerned about that. Yes, it might mean some duplicate information, but highlight the benefits and deflate the objections with your videos, just like you do with your marketing copy. Some studies suggest that a good product video increases conversion to sale by 84%. Videos are also known to have higher click through rates in search.

You can see this if we head back to Bellroy. The first thing that comes up with their products is a video of their product in use. 

Just like good product photos don’t have to be a huge investment, decent video doesn’t have to be a huge investment. The light I recommended above is a great video light. Your recent smartphone is a decent video camera. Add a lavalier microphone to this setup for $50 and you’ve got a good video setup.


When it comes to pricing, it’s pretty straight forward. Make sure you don’t hide any price increases from your users. If the blue version is more expensive, change the price when the user selects the blue version (don’t worry both WooCommerce & Magento do this out of the box). Just under the price is also a good place to add product availability information. Don’t let your customers try to add something to the cart only to find that the product isn’t available in their chosen combination of size and color.

Social Proof: Reviews

Did you know that user reviews are 12 times more powerful at convincing people to purchase than your marketing copy is? That means you need to employ ratings on your site. Display the overall rating, usually stars, at the top near your product title and description. Then after all the product information your customers want, display the reviews you’ve gathered from users.

It’s important to make your reviews filterable, and don’t censor bad reviews. I’ve often read the bad reviews for a product to find the pain points and then purchased because I don’t care about any of the major issues with it.

One great plugin to help enhance the reviews on your site is WooCommerce Product Reviews Pro. This plugin will let you add product photos and user videos to your reviews to supercharge your social proof.

Remember, your product page is a landing page and should be optimized for search engines and to convert visitors to customers. As I said when I talked specifically about mCommerce, make sure that you A/B Test the changes you’re making to your product pages to help ensure that they’re having the effect you expect. If you can put a bit of effort into your product pages, you’ll see big rewards in your sales.

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How to Build an Affiliate Marketing Website

One thing 2020 has taught us is the importance of an online presence. And many people have taken the extra time at home to start side hustles. The Internet is the way to do it.

So much of the buying process has moved online which means there is a larger pool of searches and potential customers. Affiliate marketing is positioned just right to capitalize on this increased web activity.

Building a website and designing a website are different things. The process below will help you build without needing to write any code. The good news is there are many tools available to everyday people, and we will point out which ones are worth choosing to save you time and money.

As an entrepreneur, your time is most valuable, so let’s get started.

7 Steps to Build an Affiliate Marketing Website

1. Choose your Niche

One of the first rules veteran affiliate marketers point out is finding your niche. Narrow down your focus to a single industry with only two or three affiliate products you promote.

“Choose a niche and work with companies within it. You can be an affiliate for just about anything, but readers won’t trust your opinions or click your links if you’re not an authority. Similarly, a reader might even write off your entire site as spam if it’s stuffed with irrelevant links. Do your best to select affiliate programs that fit naturally with our content.”

Kyla, WP Explorer

Your objective will be to create as much content as you can about the topics within your niche. So be sure to pick something you enjoy and have knowledge about – otherwise it will become a chore to you and eventually you will stop.

Some examples of niches:

  • Travel
  • Finance
  • Web Hosting
  • Fashion & beauty
  • Video games
  • Outdoors
  • Fitness & nutrition
  • 3D printing
  • Science experiments
  • DIY crafts

Some niches are more profitable and competitive than others, so be sure to do some research before committing to a niche. You should look at what other content creators have published to get an idea of what you could create. Perhaps there is a topic that is not covered, or topics you know much more about.

If you can create content that is updated with new information, or in a format that is more engaging, then it is an opportunity to explore.

The list goes on and almost every category has a way to implement affiliate marketing. Often the key to winning is finding ways to be creative in how you deliver your content.

2. Pick a Domain Name

First, you need to name your website by picking a domain name. For example,

This can be changed later so don’t feel stuck if you can’t decide just yet. Most hosting companies will let you use a temporary domain as a placeholder.

It’s common practice to find a domain name that is the same name as your business name or your personal name. You can also select from different TLDs (top level domains) like .com and .net.. For about $15, you can register a new domain for a year.

Try to avoid using hyphens and keep the length as short as possible. This helps visitors more easily type and find your website. Make it memorable and easy to say.

Also, take the time to check social media platforms to see if the matching username is available.

3. Choose WordPress

WordPress has now become the leading CMS (Content Management System) for building websites of all types.

It doesn’t matter if your site is a blog, store, membership site, or forum. WordPress is very versatile because it is free and open source. 

With WordPress, you are the owner of your website content, which means you can use affiliate links to monetize. This makes WordPress unlike other platforms that restrict what you can have on your site and even delete your work if they choose.

Many independent developers have already created themes and plugins you can add to your site to make it look unique and function exactly how you want. That sounds technical, but it’s actually very easy to install and remove plugins with only a few clicks. The good news is that most plugins are free to install.

WordPress sites need to be hosted in order to be accessible on the Internet. Hostdedi has built specific hosting plans optimized for WordPress sites to be fast and secure. With Hostdedi, it is very quick and easy to set up your hosting, so you can focus on building up your site.

We host your websites on our servers where our experts manage the routine tasks of security and performance. This is called “managed hosting” because unlike shared hosting, you would normally be responsible for the maintenance of your sites.

Daily backups, automatic updates, and uptime monitoring is taken care of when you host your site with Hostdedi. But if you do need help, we are always available 24/7 by phone, chat, and email.

We also offer hosting plans optimized for WooCommerce stores, which is a specific type of WordPress site that utilizes the WooCommerce plugin to turn your site into a streamlined online store.

4. Get Hosting for Your Site

Next, it’s time to set up your hosting account. Hostdedi offers various plans for the needs of all types of websites. And if you already have a website, our team can migrate if for free to Hostdedi.

For this guide, we will use the Spark plan. It is a great option for new websites and beginners, while still getting amazing performance. There is even a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) if you want to test it first.

There is the option to save by prepaying annually for your hosting, or to pay on a monthly basis. There are no contracts, and you can always upgrade once your website has started growing.

Once you have selected your plan, you will create your Hostdedi account. Just enter your name, email, and create a password.

Select which of our data centers should host your website. We have locations all over the world:

  1. Southfield, Michigan
  2. London, UK
  3. Sydney, Australia
  4. San Jose, California
  5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Then create a nickname for your hosting plan. For example, “My Travel Blog”.

Enter your personal information.

Enter your payment details. If you have a coupon code, you can apply it here and see your discount. Click purchase.

Next, you will receive a welcome email with your receipt and a link to login to your account. It will also provide contact information for our support team if you ever need some help.

From your Hostdedi dashboard, you will have access to your domain names and website settings.

To login to your WordPress dashboard for your site, click on Environment. Your login credentials are found there. Next, click App Admin. Alternatively, you can type your domain’s login URL in the browser. For example,

Both of these methods will take you to the login page for your WordPress site.

5. Install a Theme and Add Plugins

Enter your credentials to login to your WordPress dashboard. Here is where you will be able to design your site, create blog posts, add plugins, and much more.

It may look a bit intimidating, but as you explore, you will find it is very easy to navigate. A great thing about WordPress is the community and the large amount of helpful resources to help with just about any question. It’s only a Google search away.

Next, you need to install a theme. These are pre-built layouts that change the design of your website. Go to Appearance, Themes, and Add New. You can always come back and change it later. There are even premium themes you can buy such as the Astra theme.

Click the Install button – it’s that easy. Then go to Appearance, and Customize to see what your theme can do and make it look how you want. Once you have configured the theme to your liking, click Activate to update your live website.

Plugins are extensions that add a function to your website. Let’s say you want your visitors to be able to contact you directly from your site – there are several plugins that will do this. Go to Plugins, and Add New. Just like themes, you can search for plugins that fit your needs.

Pay attention to the reviews and what people are saying about the plugin. Also, take into consideration which plugins have active support, since you don’t want to build functionality on your site around a plugin that may not have support down the road, leading to vulnerability issues.

6. Publish Your Affiliate Content

This is the meat of your affiliate marketing strategy, and the reason people will come to your site. A good practice is to publish often and publish valuable content. 

Another reason WordPress is so popular is because creating posts is not difficult at all. This helps content creators be able to publish new content more quickly.

To reiterate – it helps immensely to focus on topics you are passionate about. Boredom will hinder you from working on new content and ultimately earning any affiliate income.

“If you are looking to build an affiliate marketing website the key to your success is keeping it as niched as possible. Affiliate marketing and SEO go hand in hand. So do your keyword research and keep things as niched as possible. Publish as much quality content as you can for the first 6-9 months. Stay the course and you will start to see significant traffic and conversions after those first 9 months of hustle.”

Kelan & Brittany Kline, The Savvy Couple

Over time, if you have created quality content, then it will begin to rank on search results and be shared. This is the true test to know if you are adding value to your audience. The result of that will be them beginning to use your affiliate links.

While creating your content, you should be aware of, and seek out, affiliate opportunities within your niche that fits well with your target audience.

Determine which products your audience will benefit from the most and which offers affiliate commissions. Most companies will have an affiliate page that lists these details.

Promoting too many affiliate products can have a negative effect on your image. The foundation of being an affiliate marketer is earning a level of trust with your audience. These days, the Internet collectively has become more aware of how to spot websites with the sole intent to sell.

Once you have been approved into an affiliate program, you can begin using your affiliate links. Each company provides you an affiliate account that you can log into to see your performance and earnings. Here, you can copy your affiliate links.

Then you can insert your affiliate links into your articles. YouTube allows affiliate links to be placed in the video descriptions. And Linktree is a tool for adding affiliate links to your Instagram bio.

To add affiliate links in WordPress, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Posts, then Edit under your selected post. Affiliate links can be embedded into text, buttons, or images. Select or highlight where you want to add the link and click the hyperlink icon. Paste your affiliate link into the field and press Enter

Finally, click Publish in the top right corner of the page to update the change on your live website. Shortly, any new visitors to your site will be able to use your affiliate link. 

Serious affiliate marketers monitor their traffic and conversions. Installing Google Analytics will show you the activity on your website. Some WordPress plugins like Google Site Kit let you see your traffic data from your WordPress dashboard.

Simply pasting affiliate links is not enough. To be successful, you will need to find what strategies work for you to promote your affiliate content. Connecting with other like minded authorities in your niche is a great place to start.

Sign Up to Become a Hostdedi Affiliate Today

Now that you have built your website, you may be a good fit for our Hostdedi affiliate program. If you believe your audience would be interested in our hosting services, sign up to become an affiliate. We hold regular affiliate contests for opportunities to win extra cash and other bonuses.

Subscribe to our affiliate newsletter to learn more.

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Hostdedi and Oliver POS connect Ecommerce ans Brick & Mortar

As global ecommerce sales continue experiencing exponential growth, Hostdedi, a leader in digital commerce, is partnering with leading-edge software company Oliver POS, to roll-out revolutionary technology for WooCommerce merchants. This latest ecommerce application brings essential data directly into the point-of-sale system from the online store, connecting both channels for seamless inventory management and increased sales opportunities. 

Oliver POS’ cloud-based technology provides real-time insights into inventory, products, sales, orders, customers, and more. This data is directly accessible from both the POS system and the online store. There is no need to configure or populate more than a single product catalog, and any changes made either in the store or POS system will automatically sync to the other platform. Providing real-time visibility into stock levels and a buyer’s history gives users across the business an easy way to complete a sale and provide a personalized experience to every customer. This data can drive upsell recommendations, discounts and offers, and special perks like free shipping at checkout. 

“Typically, in-store and online sales run entirely separate from one another, leading to mismatched inventories, scattered data, and a lot of wasted time” says Jan Stilling, CRO of Oliver. “With Oliver POS technology, your WooCommerce store stays completely synced with your physical store at all times.” 

Hostdedi is at the forefront of continuous innovation for WooCommerce and the store owners and agencies who use the platform. Through the partnership, Hostdedi will be the first solution provider to include this technology as a core feature of their Managed WooCommerce offering, giving SMBs and enterprises a much-needed tool to bridge the data gap between retail storefronts, online stores, pop-up shops and other outlets. 

Even greater opportunities lie in the Oliver POS app store where Hostdedi will be actively leading new app development. The tool is designed to be customized, welcoming new apps that simplify POS interactions including marketing, accounting, scheduling tools and more – everything to make sales conversions easier. 

“New application opportunities that elevate the customer experience and drive revenue at point of sale are limitless,” says Chris Lema, VP of Product at Hostdedi. “As ecommerce channels expand, the need for tech and data synchronization becomes even more important. We’re excited to be leading the way through open source innovation that provides tremendous value to the industry’.

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Hostdedi Enhances Auto Scaling for Traffic Spikes

Hostdedi, the market leader in Open Source Digital Commerce, has launched a new feature designed to keep heavy-trafficked websites stable under strain. Hostdedi Advanced Auto Scaling is ideal for agencies & enterprises looking to plan ahead and optimize ecommerce performance during the extreme traffic spikes expected for this year’s holiday season. 

Hostdedi Auto Scaling

For online stores, having a multitude of website visitors is similar to managing long lines in a brick and mortar store. When many people line up to check out at the same time, new registers will open to ease the flow and keep consumers engaged instead of enraged. Hostdedi launched Advanced Auto Scaling as a feature that continuously monitors websites for traffic and dynamically adds resources to accommodate bursts in user concurrency. When a scaling event is triggered and Hostdedi Auto Scaling is enabled, product pages and checkouts remain fast and crash-proof,  helping reduce cart abandonment while providing a consistent customer experience.

‘While significant traffic is a good problem to have, if you’re not prepared to handle it, you may lose a customer for life’ says Chris Lema, VP of Product at Hostdedi. ‘If you’re with a host that doesn’t offer auto scaling – or they can scale but it’s not automated – once your site gets overloaded, you’re likely to see delays and even crash. When Hostdedi Advanced Auto Scaling is enabled, it is “simply set it and forget it”. The magic lies in automation”, said Lema.  

Pricing & Availability

Advanced Auto Scaling is available for every Hostdedi customer on any of our Managed Magento, Managed WooCommerce and Managed WordPress plans for $99/month. Providing even greater flexibility, if more resources are ever needed, additional containers with 10 PHP workers a piece can be added for $50/day.

At Hostdedi, we’re focused on delivering a (truly) managed content and commerce platform for SMBs and the Web Professionals who create for them.  Advanced Auto-Scaling comes to the rescue when traffic surges, maintaining speed, security and a great customer experience.   Hostdedi customers can promote flash sales, see activity from a post that goes viral, or prepare for seasonal spikes like holiday shopping with no worries that their site can handle success when it comes their way.  

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How to Take Your WooCommerce Site Mobile

While I’d like to assume that all ecommerce sites are thinking about their mobile shopping experience, my shopping proves otherwise. As a consumer, I’m regularly greeted with poor mobile purchasing experiences that leave me frustrated. From sites that take forever to load, to sites where it feels like I can’t find the products I’m looking for. Mobile ecommerce (also called mCommerce or M-Commerce) ranges from excellent to so frustrating throwing your device seems like the best option to end your shopping experience.

Today we’re going to look at why you need to take your eCommerce mobile process seriously. Then we’ll take a look at best practices for building a good mobile experience.

Why Does Mobile Ecommerce Matter?

It wasn’t that long ago that mobile sites were nice to have, but not required part of a web presence. Today, mobile use eclipses desktop usage of the web.


Add to that the huge rise in mCommerce by users. In 2018 around 40% of shopping was done via mobile devices[^1]. Cyber Monday saw that number rise to 54% of traffic. Despite this rise, conversions for mobile devices often lag behind desktop purchasing conversions by a significant amount. This is often because site owners don’t take the needs of mobile users into account.

When it comes to browsing your site, a mobile user may spend 4 minutes browsing, while a desktop user is willing to put 5 minutes into the effort[^2]. 40% of mobile users say they’ll leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly[^3] and this trumps loyalty to your store. 14% of shoppers say they don’t care if they favor your brand, a bad mobile experience will have them looking at your competitors[^4].

It continues to baffle me why store owners put so little effort into providing a good shopping experience for 40% of their users. They would never dream of making 40% of the people that walk into their store wear some blindfold that made everything harder to find, yet it’s too much expense for them to spend money on optimizing for their mobile shoppers.

When you’re not willing to spend time optimizing your mobile shopping experience, you’re telling 40% of your online customers that they’re not worth your effort. In return, they’re going to shop with your competitors.

mCommerce Best Practices

Now that we should all agree that serving mobile customers is a key to having a great eCommerce experience, let’s look at some of the best practices you need to look at when you’re building that ideal experience.

If you have an existing site, one of the best ways to find low hanging fruit is to use online testing tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly test suite. Run those tests on your site and then use the results to identify the biggest issues. Budget regularly to fix these issues so that you can provide a better experience to your users.

Mobile First Design

One of the biggest trends to emerge over the last number of years in web development is mobile-first design. This is where you start with the stripped-down mobile version of your site and then add on tablet and desktop versions. While you’re doing this it’s worth questioning if your mobile site didn’t need a big popup for your email list, why does your desktop site. We know from Google’s documentation that they feel adding a popup covering mobile content is a sign they should not rank your site as high. By not including it on your mobile site you said that it wasn’t as important as other actions users could take. Why did it gain importance for desktop or tablet users? It’s likely that this content is just as in the way on desktop and should stay cut from those experiences as well.

You can see a well-executed example of an email list request below at the Twin Six site. Note the small green bar at the bottom, which doesn’t get in your way as you shop but is obviously pushing their email list.

Another key to mCommerce design is to make your pathways to purchase clear. That means aiming to get a user to the product they’re looking for in 3 actions. Then from finding their product, make it a clear pathway to purchase a product without needing to navigate upsell items or other things that put barriers in the way of purchasing.

For each call to action on your site, you need to take into account your market and which devices they use and where they can reach on your site. If you know that the mobile devices are big on your site and that you sell primarily to women, who often have smaller hands, then making sure that any buttons are in their range is crucial to making your site easy to use.

Which way is easiest for users to swipe to interact with your product images? How much content shows on the screen of your top few mobile devices? All of these things should be taken into account when you build out your mCommerce site.

Product Pages

When it comes to product pages, you need to think about what type of information users will be looking for. One-third of purchasing decisions include information from many sites that has already been gathered via a mobile device[^5]. Does your product page highlight the same information that users have gathered?

With a small screen, it can be hard for a user to see exactly what they’re looking at. High-quality images from all angles can help users look at each aspect of the product they’re interested in. High-quality images are easy to get today. With a bit of thought about lighting the phone, you have in your pocket easily produces excellent images. If that’s out of reach, hire a local photographer or work out a trade with them. My friend takes the menu pictures for a few local restaurants and gets free food for her and her party when she’s there. I’ve enjoyed a few wonderful meals due to her photography trade.

While some sites may produce decent images of their products, they then fall down on the mobile navigation of those images. Make sure that users can pinch or double-tap to zoom images. Make sure that swipe gestures work as expected. Frustrated users will head off to your competitor. 

It’s also worth looking at video demonstrations of the product. Can a user see the size of the product in the hands of someone? Can they see how many ports are on that computer they want to purchase, or how much room is inside the case? You can use this type of content to make your site more attractive to users, and it can even be placed on YouTube to bring in more sales.

Finally, when it comes to the purchase button, make it obvious. It should be easy to find and have a color that makes it stand out from the rest of your site design. It should be within the reach of your users on their devices without needing to adjust the grip they have on their mobile phones.


Once you have a user with products in your cart, you’re closer to purchase but that doesn’t mean a sale is guaranteed. One thing that many sites do poorly is to make their cart hard to edit. Many users will add a bunch of products to their cart and then decide which ones they’re going to purchase at checkout. It should be easy for users to remove items from their cart, and you’re going to get bonus points for making it easy to add products to a wishlist for a user.

When I visit Cotton Bureau I look through and add all the shirts that interest me to my cart. Then I look at the hundreds of dollars the purchase will cost and cut down what I’m purchasing to meet the budget I have. The only place I fault Cotton Bureau is that they don’t let me pass the shirts I decided not to purchase to a wishlist so I can see them and purchase them later.

One thing to avoid, according to the Nielson Group, is the dreaded “Update” button. Don’t make your users update their cart to have changes reflected in the totals. Unfortunately, the default WooCommerce cart does include this update button, but you can use Auto Update Cart for WooCommerce to remove it and improve the experience of your users.

You should also take advantage of device-specific features like Hand off which lets iOS, iPadOS, and macOS users pick up where they left off in their browser sessions. If coded properly, you can take advantage of this and send the products in a user’s cart to their other devices.


When it comes to checkout, one of the first things to do is make sure that a user is not required to create an account at checkout. Even if you have a membership site that requires an account, work to secure the purchase first. Once a user has purchased you can provide instructions on setting up their account. With WooCommerce, as long as they use the same email all purchases a user has made will show up in their account once they create one.

There is always a lot of information to fill in at checkout, so make it as easy as possible. That means you need to label your checkout fields properly so that the proper keyboard is provided to users. If you’re asking for a phone number, they should see the numeric keyboard on their devices.

It’s also worth taking advantage of any facility you can to help users by filling in information. Don’t ask for the country they’re in, you can detect that with your site and fill it in for them. If you ask for the Zip Code or Postal Code before City and State information you can fill in City and State without having your user spend time on them.

If you can’t autofill their state information, make sure you don’t present it in a dropdown without any search. Huge dropdowns are terrible to scroll through on mobile devices. At the very least let a user search for their State/Province/Country inside your dropdown to save them time and frustration.

Most mobile devices have some facility to autofill form fields, make sure that your checkout process works with these systems. You should also take the time to make sure that any password or username fields on your site will work with the password management systems built into devices. 

When it comes to the order summaries on your checkout page, make sure that you present all the charges to your users. If you’ve grabbed the Zip Code, use that to estimate shipping and taxes instead of surprising users with it in a later step. If at all possible, show users their order total, and the CTA that completes a purchase on a single screen of their device.

For payment options, make sure you’re aware of what regions you’re selling into and what the preferred payment methods are. While you should offer the payment options your users want, don’t overwhelm them with every payment option you could add to your site. Look at adding Apple Pay, Google Pay, and then maybe your credit card processing. Feel free to test whether adding PayPal One-Touch or other payment gateways increase or decrease your sales, but don’t offer them a multitude of options.

If you’re offering your processing then make sure that your site works with built-in card filling systems. On iOS devices, you can open your camera and show it your Credit Card to have payment fields filled in. This can go a long way to making sure that a user isn’t frustrated at filling in a bunch of extra information. 

Now that we’ve looked at the whole purchase process, let’s take a look at a few other areas you need to optimize for an ideal mCommerce experience.

Build for Speed

Many countries don’t have fast mobile bandwidth so you need to make sure that you keep the bandwidth-limited and only display the content you MUST display to get a sale. Waiting trumps site loyalty with 14% of shoppers saying they’ll go to a different site if they have to wait too long. That means you need to run speed tests on your site and cut out any interactions or code that stands in the way of a user making a purchase.

Optimize Images

While I said above that you should have high-quality images, there is a point where your images are far too big for the web. A good rule of thumb is that images should be under 1MB, well under. This can be done by optimizing images and reducing their overall dimensions. 

Tools like Kraken have plugins for WordPress that can take care of this for you on image upload. For big sites that have a legacy of poorly optimized images, you can use command line tools like jpegoptim or pngcrush to optimize folders of images recursively. In early 2020 I used jpegoptim and pngcrush to deal with my clients 50K+ images build up over 10+ years. We saved 20GB of disk space and huge amounts of bandwidth monthly.

Minify CSS, JS, HTML, and Cache

In addition to compressing your images, you should be looking at minifying your CSS JavaScript and HTML. One of my favorite tools to do this is WP Rocket. I’ve found this to consistently provide huge speed improvements on client sites without huge amounts of time spent configuring the plugin. 

If you want to use WP Rocket with our Hostdedi CDN, we have instructions in our documentation.

Cut Tracking and Sharing

Another spot to easily optimize your site is with the tracking and sharing scripts you use. Yes, you need some analytics to see what your users are doing and to prioritize which devices need optimization, but you don’t need 5 tracking scripts and 3 social sharing scripts loaded on each page.

For most sites, social sharing buttons are a vast wasteland showing that no one is sharing your content. Worse yet, for mobile users, they often cover up portions of the content making the mobile experience terrible. I’ve left many sites because their social buttons make the content I was coming to consume unreadable.

Cut down everything you don’t need to keep the site functioning and provide a better experience to your users.

Keep Refining

Even if you go through all the suggestions above and improve your site, you’ll need to keep improving your mCommerce experience. In October 2020 Apple released iPadOS 14 which added Scribble support for the Apple Pencil. Yes, most sites should work with this without any changes, but did you test it to make sure?

Making sure that your site is optimized for mobile users is an ongoing task, just like optimizing your site for desktop users is. For each change, you make, try to do A/B testing so that you are making choices that improve user experience and site conversions. At the same time, make sure that you don’t optimize only for mobile and thus make users with other devices have a worse experience.

At the end of the day, mobile usage is not a fad. It’s here to stay and something you will need to make sure you account for if you want to keep making sales to your customers.

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