You can spend a career honing and perfecting your website with an html editor such as Microsoft’s Expression Web or Dreamweaver. However, because time is money, the affiliate marketer needs to spend time promoting, not developing. The solution to this may be a good content management system. Three very good and free products to consider are Worpress, Joomla, and Drupal.
WordPress – For Blogs or Content
WordPress is used primarily for blog-type websites although with the many plug-ins and add-on modules available it can easily be adapted for affiliate marketing and even an e-commerce site. Blogger (google’s blog service) is generally considered easier to set up and use for new bloggers, however for serious affiliate marketers, WordPress is the preferred choice. WordPress is frequently upgraded and because of its popularity, support is readily available. If you don’t need have a web host, you may consider getting a free blog on WordPress.com but most affiliates will want to host your blog on their own domain and will then have access a significant range of plug-ins and tools that are not available on their free service or at Blogger.
Joomla Has it All
Joomla offers more than the affiliate marketer is likely to need in a content management system. This is like having a safety net so you don’t need to worry about have to upgrade to or learn another system. There is a learning curve so don’t expect Joomla to be a plug-and-play system However, support is readily available, and you can have a site operational in short order and then add the finishing touches as you promote your affiliate products. Two versions of Joomla are available and either will work for the affiliate marketer.
You can customize the look of your site with the many free templates available for Joomla. However, you probably will need to modify any template for you own use–logos and slogans for example. So, you will need to understand at least some html and css in order to use it. You could design your own template with the available tutorial, but that would probably take a lot of time away from promotion which is key to an affiliate marketer’s success. So unless you plan on developing templates to sell, which many do, you are probably well advised to find a ready made one that you can modify to your personal taste.
Drupal seems to be used primarily for community websites designed so that the members can add their own content and perspectives. Drupal is, in my opinion easier to learn than Joomla, but not as easy as WordPress. Drupal can easily be adapted to a blog or content site and also has many add-on modules available to expand its basic capabilities. Drupal comes with a selection of themes or you easily create your own. Most themes have a central content column and left and/or right sidebar columns. Drupal will remain free but you can expect to see more non-free additions in the future.
Choosing a Web Host
Since these content systems use MySQL and PHP you need to find a host that has those capabilities. Many are available, so just make sure the one you select does. Another thing to consider is if you web host has cpanel with fantastico. Installation of all three of these content management systems is a breeze with fantastico. Insist on it! Also, with some hosting companies your can have as many websites as you want with no additional hosting fees. All successful affiliate marketers have numerous sites to product their affiliate products. Free content management and the right hosting company can mean the difference between an your success or failure as an affiliate!
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