Mia, where do you keep your landings? What web-hosting is better? What variant is more profitable?
Actually, this is probably one of the most popular questions ever asked to me. There is no definite answer. You can host landings on AWS or place them on a separate server. Both variants are quite reasonable, and the final choice is up to you. I’ll just add that for hosting landings I prefer using a Droplet located directly in the geo or closer to the geo where I’m running a campaign at the moment just because my tests have shown that this variant is more practical and profitable. Here I don’t want to prove anything and criticize other viewpoints because you should choose and test it yourselves. However, there are many people who share my opinion, and so novices often try to do the same, but they usually don’t know how. There are several ways of doing that:
- Buy a powerful dedicated server somewhere in Germany ($100-150 depending on your needs) and a) set it yourself, b) hire a good server admin to have your server set according to your needs.
- Buy a few Droplets for different geos, as I do, and again: a) set them yourself, b) hire an administrator to have your servers set according to your needs.
Here one may encounter a problem: when novices don’t have profit yet, they don’t want to spend money on buying and setting an expensive server, and it takes long time to learn how to set servers. Moreover, you might waste time, unless you’re going to become a server admin, as such information isn’t vital for those who work in affiliate marketing.
Finally, I approached the main point of this article: how to buy a server and put your landings there without ruining your budget. Here I want to help mostly novices because pro affiliates can afford hiring an admin and renting powerful servers, so I think they don’t need this info.
So, let’s start.
First, you need a good and reasonably priced hoster. I prefer DigitalOcean.
This is quite a well-known cloud hoster with nice prices and good VPS specifications. By the way, their referral system isn’t greedy at all, so by registering using my ref you’ll get $10 on your account. That will be enough for a couple of months to try the service and then you can decide whether to continue using it or not.
Main advantages of this hosting are, as I mentioned above, low prices (from $5 for a cloud VPS on SSD), really nice and quick support and good resources: SSD-disks, great speed, powerful processors, highly productive RAM. I think there’s no better variant, taking into account that when registering with the ref link, you’ll get good hardware for two months for free. By the way, you can change your tariff at any moment, upgrade servers, and there is a backup feature – in short, the service has everything done right.
Of course, there are some drawbacks, the most important one being the following: you won’t get a familiar system such as ISP manager or VESTA where you can easily set everything, but there is a way to fix this disadvantage – that’s the reason I’m writing this guide.
So, you examined pros and cons, and now let’s start setting the system. Firstly, registration. It’s simple – you need to enter your email and password. If you want to pay for your servers with PayPal in future, I recommend using your PayPal email during registration, otherwise there can be questions when you add funds to your account.
The registration is finally complete. You don’t need to fund your account right after the registration as you already have the $10 got for using the ref link, and you can start creating your first VPS (it’s called a droplet there) straightaway. For a novice, the cheapest tariff of $5 will be enough. Moreover, if you understand that you need more, you can easily upgrade your account and get more powerful hardware. For now, just take the one for $5.
Create a droplet.
Choose the operating system. As in future I’m going to show you how to use ServerPilot for setting, you should choose a version of Ubuntu indicated there. At the moment of writing this post it’s 64-bit Ubuntu 14.04, so choose it.
Scroll down and you’ll see the following:
If you’re a novice, pick the $5 tariff, if you’re an advanced manager, choose a tariff suitable for your needs.
Then you’ll advance to server location page. That’s pretty simple, focus on offers you’re going to run. If you work with Asian countries, choose a server in Singapore, if LatAm or the USA are your target, choose New York and so on.
Move to the next step.
Don’t hit any boxes there, just make up any name for your droplet and press ‘Create’.
It’ll take less than a minute to create it, and you’ll see something like that:
For this guide I’ve created a new droplet to show everything in detail. When the creation is complete, check an email from DigitalOcean with information about access to the server. It looks like that:
Save the necessary data and start further setting.
Now you need a domain. If you still don’t have one, it’s high time to register it somewhere. I prefer the most popular and reliable registrar namecheap. They often have specials and discounts, currently they offer domains in .bid .xyz .trade .webcam .pw .website .top .tech .space .site .press .online zones for only $0.88. I’ll use it and register mobilander.xyz domain for landings. Registration in namecheap is also simple, and if you’ve ever bought a domain at least once, you’ll understand it quickly, if no, you can google a detailed explanation. So, I’ve chosen my domain.
I paid for it, and the domain appeared in the dashboard. The next thing to do is to add it to the previously created droplet on DigitalOcean. To do that, one needs to update the domain’s DNS first.
In namecheap it’s done the following way:
- In the Domain List find your domain for landings and press ‘manage’
- In the ‘nameservers’ section choose the ‘custom’ parameter
- Input the new DNS from digitalocean into these fields.
Here I’ll divagate a little bit to mention that I’ve never used DNS from digitalocean, that’s why I can neither say for sure that they work perfectly, nor assume that they’ll influence your work in a negative way. For beginners it’s the simplest and fastest way. I recommend using DNS from the CDN service CloudFlare. A detailed guide on how to move your domain to their DNS can be found in my article here. Using that guide, you can quickly move and start further adjustment.
I hope it’s clear with DNS, and I can go back to the digitalocean dashboard. Open the Networking section, choose our droplet and write the full domain’s name.
Don’t forget that updating DN requires time, no more than 48 hours if you did everything correctly, but usually it happens much faster. If the DN haven’t updated after all the adjustments, it’s not a problem. Most likely you can continue working with the domain next day. Anyway, you can return to working with your server as the domain itself will be needed only in the end of the guide.
At this stage you don’t need the DigitalOcean console any more. Now it’s time to set ServerPilot. The referral system of this server works the same way as described above. Register using the ref link and get $10, that is a very generous ref system.
Firstly, I’ll explain shortly what it’s all about. For launching any script on a server, one needs a set of server software called LAMP: the web server Apache, PHP5 and MYSQL, but you and I are not server admins and we can neither install it nor set ourselves. Therefore, help of ServerPilot will be more than useful. It’s a special service for cloud servers that do not provide any control consoles. SilverPilot can create its own LAMP set on a server in just 5 minutes, and you don’t need any knowledge or experience to do that. Fascinating, isn’t it? The most surprising thing is that it’s free, at least you don’t need its paid functions for hosting landings or if you decide to add any self host trackers on the server. By the way, even WordPress can be easily installed there. Also, it’s worth mentioning that everything can be done in 5 minutes without any difficulties. That’s exactly what’s needed.
Register and move to the next step:
Check the fields, this is where you need to enter the data received in the DigitalOcean’s email. You also need to make up and enter your password for SFTP.
Then press Connect to ServerPilot and watch the magic:
That means that your LAMP server is ready! Now you only need to create an App by pressing ‘Create App’ and start using the server.
Creating an App
It’s clear from the settings. Enter the name of your app, a full domain name, choose the server that is already connected and serverpilot. Again press Create App. That’s all, the server is ready.
Now you can upload your landings to the server. For this you need any sFTP client, for PC I usually use WinSCP, but to make the explanation more detailed, I’ll use the most popular FTP client Filezilla now (for Mac you can use any FTP client you like, by the way, I use Cyberduck or Coda for this). Download it on the developer’s site and install. Press «new site».
Again, input your server’s data and pay attention to the protocol, you need to use sFTP, not a default protocol. Save these settings in order not to enter them each time you use the program and press ‘connect’. You’ve accessed the server. You will see a lot of folders, you need the one with your domain name. This is where you load our landings. The ServerPilot has created the following path to the required folder:
/srv/users/serverpilot/apps/your app's name/public
Open it, you can delete the index.php file straightaway as you won’t need it. That file only contains additional information on using ServerPilot that one can find on the official website. That’s all. Now you simply need to create folders for landings and upload them there. If the domain’s NS don’t work properly yet, wait for up to 48 hours.
Good luck in using your servers!