How to make money from your web host or domain registrar

by Randy Gingeleski

3 minutes to read

If you're a technical person, who you choose to support your websites' resources could be lucrative. Or not.

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For the longest time I just registered all my domain names through Namecheap. They’ve been promoted on this blog before — see this old article or this one.

Why? At the time, before or around 2014, they were one of the only registrars offering free “privacy protection.” Where all your personal information required by WHOIS gets anonymized. That was why I switched to them from GoDaddy initially.

But now that WHOIS privacy protection is common practice. And the security-related thing you should be more concerned about is how prone your host or registrar is to social engineering. More on that here.

Girl with laptop computer.
Photo credit - Victoria Heath / Unsplash

Making money with your host or registrar “the old-fashioned way”

Hyper-aware readers will note I may have leveraged Namecheap affiliate codes in my old posts about domain names.

This is what you might call “the old-fashioned way” to make money from the providers of your website’s tech stack.

You get a special link, you use that as your promote the host or registrar to your friends, then you get a commission if they buy something.

Honestly I don’t think anyone ever bought stuff from my links so won’t comment on how much it is. But after recently transferring my domains to a new registrar, it occurred to me that this new one offered a more lucrative relationship.

Increasing your IT marketability by doing stuff you already do

I transferred my domains to Amazon Web Services (AWS). I am in the process of going to AWS for the backend of this and other sites as well.

You’re probably aware most businesses leverage them or Microsoft Azure in some capacity for IT stuff now.

Managing my websites is something that’ll happen regardless of who my host or registrar is. As a technical person this is probably true to you, too.

Having familiarity and skills with AWS or Azure is desirable in my field. Building this skill set by doing things I’d otherwise be doing already adds value to my brand, job marketability, etc.

Now, it will help me to go the extra step and get AWS certified. Your normal website management may not hone all the skills you need to get even a basic cloud cert, though makes it easier for sure.

If this effort helps you get promoted or get a new job, potentially that means tens of thousands in additional compensation (cash, RSUs…).

Consider whether that’s more lucrative for your situation than what just shilling affiliate codes would. Because AWS and Azure aren’t offering affiliate programs the way GoDaddy or Namecheap do.

$100 bills
Photo credit - Pepi Stojanovski / Unsplash

Closing thoughts

This all doesn’t help people who don’t work in tech or desire to work in tech. You may be better off taking cash payouts from some affiliate program if you can, in that case.

But this becomes a case of short-term versus long-term thinking for tech workers with their own websites. Or a case of honesty, maybe hawking affiliate codes for something you don’t use yourself.

Give it some thought. In the future I intend to write about my own transfer of this site into AWS. It’s not as scary as you’d think.

Happy hacking 🙂