What is an Affiliate Marketing Network: Benefits and Best Practices

What is an Affiliate Network? Definition and Comprehensive Guide

Answer: An affiliate network is a platform that connects companies or merchants with individuals or website owners (affiliates) who promote their products or services. The network facilitates the tracking of affiliate activities, manages payments, and provides resources to support successful affiliate marketing campaigns.

Are you an affiliate marketer looking to partner with the best affiliate network? Choosing the right affiliate marketing network can be challenging because of the multiple options available.

However, understanding how affiliate marketing networks work and what to look out for can help you make the best decision.

Key Highlights

  • Affiliate networks are intermediaries between merchants and affiliates.
  • Affiliate networks aim to simplify connections between affiliates and merchants, track transactions and activities, and support affiliates with tools and resources.
  • Web hosting is vital to building effective affiliate networks. It simplifies user experiences and facilitates sales.
  • Pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-click are some of the ways affiliate marketing works.
  • Web hosting for affiliate networks enables ease of use, increases reach and exposure, and allows users access to support efficiently.

What Is an Affiliate Marketing Network?

An affiliate marketing network is an online platform that connects advertisers to affiliates. It serves as the link that allows businesses to meet affiliates and vice-versa. Besides, an affiliate network monitors transactions to guarantee affiliates’ commissions and supplies tools for real-time monitoring. This allows users to track transactions and other activities on the platform for prompt improvements.

How Do Affiliate Networks Work?

Final: What is an Affiliate Network? Benefits and Best Practices

Affiliate networks monitor and record transactions to manage affiliates’ commissions. For example, suppose an affiliate posts a unique link on their website or social media promoting a product or service. In that case, the customer clicks the link and is directed to the merchant’s store through the tracking link. After the customer buys the product, the affiliate network records the purchase and details of the transaction. Next, the customer is sent to the store through the tracking link, and the transaction gets credited. Finally, the affiliate marketer receives their commission.

The best affiliate networks perform various functions. First, they link merchants with affiliates. Second, they connect affiliates with merchants, allowing them to choose the businesses they work with and the products to promote. Third, they track and monitor transactions. Finally, they provide analytics and reporting tools to improve affiliate marketing efforts.

  • Affiliate Program Management

Affiliate program management occurs when a merchant (blogger, brand, influencer, etc.) joins the affiliate network. Merchants create a profile and list their products and services. Then, highlight the terms of their affiliate program, including the commission rates for affiliates after a customer buys products.

  • Tracking  And Reporting of Sales and Commissions

Merchants, affiliates, and affiliate networks monitor the affiliate programs’ performance to improve where necessary. In addition, regular monitoring provides real-time updates that help them identify issues and fix them promptly.

  • Payment Processing

Affiliate networks process payments to affiliates. The payment schedule can be monthly or after a specified amount of sales. The payment processing system ensures affiliate marketers are paid promptly for generating sales.

Types of Affiliate Networks

Final: What is an Affiliate Network? Benefits and Best Practices

Various types of affiliate networks exist with unique features and business models. Pay-Per-Sale (PPS), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and Pay-Per-Lead (PPL) are the most prominent affiliate network types. Let’s discuss them below:

  • Pay-Per-Sale (PPS)

Pay-Per-Sale (PPS) is also known as cost-per-sale. It is a commission-based affiliate marketing strategy where the affiliate marketer receives a percentage of the amount generated from a customer’s purchase through their unique affiliate link. The percentage varies based on the products and services the affiliate promotes. For example, some merchants offer a 10% commission rate, while others offer up to 50%. Merchants who use the Pay-Per-Sale (PPS) method often sell digital and physical products.

  • Pay- Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is an affiliate marketing model in which affiliates earn a commission when customers click their special affiliate link. This affiliate marketing program type doesn’t require customers to buy the promoted product when they click the link.

Affiliates receive their commission whether a sale is generated or not. Merchants selling advertising space or services often use the pay-per-click affiliate program. Additionally, marketers utilizing this program consistently receive their commission provided the target audience notices the product.

  • Pay-Per-Lead (PPL)

Pay-Per-Lead (PPL) advertising program pays the affiliate marketers when a lead is generated through their affiliate link. With pay-per-lead advertising, affiliates earn their commission when a user performs a desired action. This could be signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, or filling out a form. Brands offering services or leads often use this affiliate program to direct more traffic to their business.

Pay-per-impression and hybrid programs are other affiliate program types that exist. In per-per-impression advertising, affiliate marketers get paid based on the number of times their affiliate links are seen. Lastly, a hybrid program combines the features of different affiliate programs.

Purpose of Web Hosting for Affiliate Programs

Final: What is an Affiliate Network? Benefits and Best Practices

Affiliate networks primarily facilitate merchants’ and affiliates’ experiences through accessibility. For example, with affiliate networks, merchants can easily connect with affiliate marketers, and affiliate marketers can easily access the products and services they want to promote. However, this can’t be possible without a functional website, which is where professional web hosting providers like Cloudways WordPress hosting come in.

According to Worldwide Cyber Cash, 74% of internet consumers in the United States visit multiple affiliate websites before making a purchase.

Read here about how to build an affiliate marketing website.

Web Hosting Options

  • Shared Hosting

A shared hosting website shares a physical server with one or more websites. It is also the cheapest web hosting option available, as many users share the overall cost of maintenance. It is also used by small websites with low traffic.

  • VPS Hosting

VPS hosting works for websites that have outgrown shared web hosting. Although it’s an expensive option, unlike shared hosting, VPS hosting limits those who can share the available segments of hard drive space, memory or processor power, offering users improved resources and control.

  • Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting uses a network of servers in the cloud to host affiliate networks. It harnesses a complete cloud-based architecture for all websites, applications, and requirements. It is also more scalable and cost-efficient than traditional web hosting.

  • WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting offers optimized servers and resources for WordPress websites. This type of hosting is customized to facilitate WordPress’ performance, security and speed. In addition, WordPress hosting providers make it easy for affiliate marketing networks to create and manage their websites by enabling an easy installation and management process.

Benefits of Using Hosting for an Affiliate Network

“ Our website is the center of your digital eco-system, like a brick and mortar location; the experience matters once a customer enters, just as much as the perception they have of you before they walk through the door.”

― Leland Dieno

Web hosting for affiliate networks plays a significant role in helping merchants and affiliates achieve their goals. Let’s look at the most prominent reasons below:

  • Ease of Use

Web hosting makes creating and managing websites easy for affiliate networks. Networks can organize and structure their website’s content and database to facilitate users’ experiences on their websites with excellent web hosting. As a result, merchants can find affiliates easily, and affiliates can join desired affiliate programs and choose merchants of their choice without complications.

  • Increased Reach and Exposure

Affiliate networks help merchants reach more people by connecting them with affiliates who can attract the right market to their products. With responsive web hosting, merchants connect with affiliates faster. Affiliates also harness the platform to reach a wider audience and sell products better. Primarily, excellent web hosting helps merchants increase brand awareness and sales.

  • Ability to Promote Multiple Products and Programs

Affiliate networks link affiliates to merchants who need their services. Since there are many merchants available, affiliates have multiple options to choose from. Effective web hosting helps affiliates easily browse the various products and programs to choose what to work with. In addition, rather than manage multiple affiliate programs on different platforms, affiliate marketers operate from one single network without hassle with professional web hosting.

  • Resources and Support

Affiliate networks offer analytical tools and resources for merchants and affiliates to learn how affiliate marketing works and measure performance. They also provide educational resources for affiliates and merchants to improve their marketing efforts.

Top Best Affiliate Networks That Benefit From Web Hosting

Final: What is an Affiliate Network? Benefits and Best Practices

“Responsive Web Design always plays an important role whenever going to promote your website.”  - Josh Wilson.

Many affiliate networks exist to connect affiliates and merchants. While the best affiliate network fits your needs and goals, opting for an affiliate network with excellent web hosting is recommended. Here are the top affiliate marketing networks that integrate web hosting advisors on their websites.

Amazon Associates is Amazon’s affiliate marketing program. Affiliates on Amazon Associates earn a commission when they give recommendations for Amazon products, and users click on their unique affiliate link to purchase them. In addition, affiliates make a commission for other eligible products the user buys on Amazon within 24 hours of clicking the link. However, Amazon Associates’ commission is lower than most affiliate networks, offering about 1% and 2% commissions for physical video games and consoles, respectively.

Regardless, Amazon Associates effectively makes products available to affiliates and pays their commissions due to professional web hosting. With the help of the best website builders, Amazon Associates provide features and functions that help affiliates promote and earn commission seamlessly. It also lets them choose from the various categories of products available and harness multiple tools and resources for support.

Commission Junction (CJ) is a massive affiliate network connecting affiliates to merchants in various industries, such as retail, travel, and the financial sector. Due to effective web hosting, CJ affiliate offers an impressive analytic feature that allows users to monitor their activities in real time. As a result, the platform is intuitive, enabling users to perform actions quickly.

ShareASale is among the largest affiliate networks partnering with over 3,900 merchants across 40 categories. So, if you are an affiliate marketer looking to promote fashion, home, garden, health, and wellness products, ShareASale is among the global affiliate networks to use. Despite partnering with thousands of merchants, ShareASale enables affiliates to find merchants of their choice effortlessly through the best web hosting practices.

Its responsive and seamless website experience allows users to explore tools and resources to attract leads and increase sales. Consequently, affiliates who use ShareASale harness the seamlessness it offers to improve their affiliate marketing efforts.

Rakuten marketing is a massive affiliate network for brands, agencies,  publisher partners, and affiliate marketers. It connects these categories of people with those they want to partner with, across several niches, from fashion to financial services. Its impeccable web hosting lets users navigate its interface efficiently, performing various functions.

In addition, affiliate marketers can find the right programs, create affiliate links, and get paid in a few clicks. Its responsive user interface and general website intuitiveness allow users to get things done quickly.

FlexOffers is among the top affiliate marketing platforms providing comprehensive marketing solutions for affiliates and merchants. With 12,000 advertiser programs and various categories, FlexOffers enables affiliates to choose the products they want to promote, whether travel, retail, or business.

In addition, FlexOffers’ excellent web hosting allows users to access all the resources they need to boost their marketing and access more customers effectively. This way, affiliates access merchants in different industries, promote their desired products and services and maximize available support to reach more customers.

Best Practices for Affiliates

Final: What is an Affiliate Network? Benefits and Best Practices

  • Choose Reputable Affiliate Networks

The right affiliate networks facilitate your affiliate marketing efforts. They connect you with various merchants, monitor transactions, provide the best tools to track performance and boost your affiliate marketing results. However, partnering with the wrong affiliate network can limit your options and affect your earnings.

Therefore, work with reliable affiliate networks by researching extensively. Check online reviews, and ask other affiliates for recommendations. Doing this allows you to select an affiliate network you can trust to guarantee your earnings and connect you with the right merchants.

  • Understand the Terms and Conditions of Each Program

The terms and conditions of each program will help you decide if a program is right for you. So, read the terms and conditions carefully to find specific details on how the affiliate network works. What are the rates, account registration,  terms, and payment schedule? Understanding these details will help determine if the affiliate program fits your needs and goals.

  • Regularly Track and Optimize Performance

The best affiliate marketing networks offer analytical tools and resources to monitor activities in real time. Consistent tracking allows you to identify areas that need improvement to boost your affiliate marketing efforts.

So, use tools and metrics to measure results. From click traffic to conversion rates and average order value, tracking marketing performance helps you improve your affiliate marketing strategy to achieve optimal results.

  • Follow the Rules

Understand the guidelines and policies of your desired affiliate network and adhere to them. This may include terms and conditions, how to set up an account, make ad placement, and disclose affiliate links. Following these guidelines allows you to stay in compliance and maximize the platform’s offerings.

Expert Tip: An excellent relationship with clients is how to maintain deals, get bonuses, negotiate rates, and work with businesses long-term. Therefore, beyond rates, build positive relationships with merchants by being reliable and meeting expectations.


Affiliate networks help merchants and affiliates achieve their goals efficiently. Rather than look for affiliates, and promote multiple products on separate platforms, affiliates can advertise various products from one place, access many merchants, and use relevant tools to track their performance and commissions. In addition, merchants also find affiliates with a broad reach to increase their products’ visibility and sales.

However, affiliate networks effectively offer these services through excellent web hosting. Professional web hosting simplifies users’ experiences on the platform, enabling them to achieve their goals faster. Therefore, if you operate an affiliate marketing network, use the Best Web Hosting to optimize your platform and create positive user experiences.

Web Hosting
best option

Next Steps: What Now?

Here are the next steps to take to use web hosting for your affiliate marketing network.

Further Reading- Useful Resources

Other resources to learn more about affiliate marketing networks and how they work include:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is an Affiliate Marketing Network?

An affiliate marketing network is an online platform that connects advertisers to affiliates. It serves as the link that allows businesses to meet affiliates and vice-versa. Besides, an affiliate network monitors transactions to guarantee affiliates’ commissions and supplies tools for real-time monitoring. This allows users to track transactions and other activities on the platform for prompt improvements.

What Services Does an Affiliate Marketing Network Provide?

Affiliate marketing networks offer several services for brands and affiliates. They offer monitoring tools and adequate security for fraud detection and protection. They also handle payment processing and responsive customer support for quick troubleshooting. Lastly, merchants and affiliates easily access relevant tools to improve their campaigns and boost sales on affiliate networks.

What Are the Benefits of Using an Affiliate Marketing Network?

Affiliate networks primarily aim to streamline how merchants and affiliates meet. Both parties can connect seamlessly due to the affiliate network’s services. In addition, it provides an array of tools users can use to create successful campaigns, make sales and oversee activities. Affiliate networks offer quick payment processing, maximum security against fraud, and active customer support.

What Are the Risks of Using an Affiliate Marketing Network?

Tracking results and earning commissions without discrepancies may be challenging, depending on the affiliate network’s credibility. This is why it’s recommended to opt for reliable affiliate marketing networks that guarantee results monitoring, appropriate commission earnings, and adequate protection against fraud.

How Can Advertisers and Publishers Protect Themselves When Using an Affiliate Marketing Network?

Maximizing the platform’s features is the best way to protect yourself as an affiliate on an affiliate marketing network. The best affiliate networks offer support tools to detect fraud, check performance, and monitor payment processing. So, use these tools to protect your earnings, and monitor activities. Finally, read the network’s terms and conditions to understand its policies and follow the network’s guidelines.

What Should Advertisers and Publishers Look for When Choosing an Affiliate Marketing Network?

Examine the affiliate network’s offerings before you sign up as an advertiser or affiliate. Check the available products, tools, and features to ensure they suit your goals. Research carefully to know how credible the network is. Next, review their terms and conditions to understand your obligations.

HostAdvice Speaks to ScalaHosting: An Interview with Chris Rusev

HostAdvice had the opportunity to speak with Chris Rusev, the CEO and co-founder of , a web hosting company that offers shared, cloud VPS, and res...
8 min read
Eddie Segal
Eddie Segal
Digital Marketing Specialist

Email Deliverability: What Is It, Key Factors & Best Practices

What is Email Deliverability? Think of it like mailing a letter and making sure it lands right in the recipient's hands, not lost or thrown...
17 min read
Ela Gal-Kfir
Ela Gal-Kfir
Digital Marketing Specialist

Email Marketing vs. Social Media: Which is More Effective?

What is Email Marketing? Email marketing is a  that involves companies reaching out to potential and existing customers via email ...
10 min read
Ela Gal-Kfir
Ela Gal-Kfir
Digital Marketing Specialist

Email Engagement Metrics, Calculation & Best Practices

Email engagement tells us how interested recipients are in the content of emails they receive. It provides insights into what types of em...
12 min read
Ela Gal-Kfir
Ela Gal-Kfir
Digital Marketing Specialist
HostAdvice.com provides professional web hosting reviews fully independent of any other entity. Our reviews are unbiased, honest, and apply the same evaluation standards to all those reviewed. While monetary compensation is received from a few of the companies listed on this site, compensation of services and products have no influence on the direction or conclusions of our reviews. Nor does the compensation influence our rankings for certain host companies. This compensation covers account purchasing costs, testing costs and royalties paid to reviewers.
Click to go to the top of the page
Go To Top