When you sign up for a Wealthy Affiliate Premium membership, you get the ability to build and host unlimited WordPress websites. The hosting is advertised as being fast, reliable and optimized for WordPress.
In addition to the website hosting, you can also set up email accounts there for any of the domains that are hosted. The email is web-based and can be easily accessed through the WA dashboard. If you don’t want an email account and would prefer to use a forwarder instead, that is no problem. Either way, setting up email for the hosted domains at Wealthy Affiliate is a snap.
That said, unlimited hosting was something that helped sway my decision to go Premium. I host a lot of websites and use a variety of web hosts, so having another unlimited hosting option at my disposal was an attractive offer – especially one that’s tuned for WordPress.
Alright, so how is Wealthy Affiliate’s hosting?
First of all, it’s not a regular hosting account where you have a full-featured control panel. WA hosting is a limited site-builder platform and the only semi-advanced feature you get is FTP access.
Those things considered, it’s not a bad solution for what it aims to be…which is a beginner-friendly, turn-key solution for building and managing WordPress websites. For the most part, their hosting will satisfy the majority of those new to WordPress website management.
Performance so far has proven to be decent. Running the Genesis framework, along with about 10 plugins (including W3TC), Pingdom usually scores me in the low 80s.
I’ve actually scored as high as 85, which is quite good.
Their support is responsive so far.
One big plus in regards to their hosting is the support. Any time I have had a ticket submitted it has been replied to very promptly, and so far all of the responses have been quite satisfactory. Having used a lot of different companies over the years, I would rate the support they give WA members to be very good, as far as shared hosts go. The service is quite basic so there’s no need for any sort of advanced support, but still… the prompt and courteous manner in which support requests are handled is impressive.
Who is Wealthy Affiliate hosting good for?
As I’d mentioned, it’s good for just about anyone that doesn’t have needs that run beyond managing a basic WordPress site. If you’re new to site-building and web hosting then chances are it will be an OK solution. There may come a time when you’ll outgrow the WA hosting platform, but since the hosting is included with the premium membership, it provides a low-cost, easy way to get up and running.
What is the downside of using Wealthy Affiliate’s hosting services?
As I’d mentioned, the hosting service is more or less a site-builder platform which also offers basic email. It’s super bare-bones and very easy to use, but with that ease of use comes lack of control; however, I do understand why the platform is offered as such. In order to provide a very easy solution for ‘the majority’ of users, the system has to be fairly locked-down.
For example, one limitation I ran into right away was WA prevents outgoing connections from their WP installs. This means that you can’t use any plugins which require connection to a 3rd party API. This is a bit of a bummer, but… support will work with you if you’re trying to configure what they determine is a trusted plugin.
I had an issue trying to validate license keys for some of the premium plugins I utilize, but WA was very accommodating in opening the connections on a case-by-case basis so that I could get them activated properly. One drawback is that this will likely interfere with update notifications and one-button upgrades.
Another problem I foresee is the inability to configure multiple databases for a single domain. For example, I sometimes will clone a site in order to have a staging copy where I can make changes, but without the ability to set up a separate WP installation in a subfolder of the domain, this is not easily accomplished with Wealthy Affiliate.
Also…since there is no way to log in and work on the database itself, this can cause problems when trying to troubleshoot an issue. Perhaps the WA support technicians will assist users with issues related to the database, but personally, I’d like to have the ability to handle it myself.
I think the hosting that Wealthy Affiliate offers with their premium membership is a satisfactory option for some users. If anything, I would recommend starting out on their platform to validate whether or not affiliate marketing is something you’re committed to pursuing. If after a few weeks or months you can see yourself diving into this headfirst, then you should likely begin looking at a more professional and scalable system.
Personally, I intend to go as far as I can with it despite its limitations. So far, what it’s lacked in features and control, it’s compensated for in support, stability and performance.
Update: I encountered WA’s hosting limitations shortly after writing this post. It’s fine for getting the hang of WordPress and determining whether or not IM is for you, but don’t consider it as a long term solution.
Well, that’s it for now. I’ll be sure to post a more thorough review of Wealthy Affiliate’s hosting services once I’ve spent a few more months here, but I wanted to offer a quick rundown of the service based on my experience over the past few weeks.
I hope that info was helpful, and if you have any questions related to their hosting, please let me know in the comments below!