I’m a Hostgator Affiliate from last 4 years, and till now I have made over $25,000 from their affiliate program. Maximum ever I made with them in a months was $3125, and you must be wondering why I decided to pick this topic, and calling one of my successful program as a SCAM. Even after earning handsome amount of money as their affiliate, I still have a big doubt about the way they track sales, and count them as confirmed affiliate sales.. At times I do feel that Hostgator is cheating their affiliate, and not giving them the money they deserve. For the beginner, here is one guide which you should refer to:
In past 5 years, I have been affiliated with many web-hosting companies and many non-hosting affiliate programs too. I always share about those affiliate programs which are working for me, and should work for other bloggers in the same niche. You can find a big list of such successful affiliate program here. Now, getting back to how Hostgator is cheating their affiliates, and I feel I’m not alone facing this issue.
I have seen many bloggers and affiliate marketers ranting about the issue with Invalid and duplicate sales in their commission report. Here is a screenshot of my Hostgator affiliate dashboard. Notice the number of Inactive and invalid commissions:
Why I feel Hostgator system is flawed or they are cheating:
I’m use to seeing Inactive, Invalid, Duplicate sales in my Hostgator commission report, but from last couple of months the number of invalid affiliate sales has increased tremendously. Here is a response from Hostgator affiliate Director “Jay Weissman” from 2010, when I asked him to explain the difference between inactive, Invalid and Duplicate sales.
Hello, pending means that the commission is pending payment. That is the correct status for any sale which has not yet been paid out or flagged as invalid. Inactive means that the user has not yet made payment to us or is awaiting verification, that will go active once the users account is active with us.
Though this Email is from 2010 end, but I don’t think a lot has changed with their affiliate system in past 3 years. They still have the same system intact, and with the growing popularity of their hosting, they are degrading the quality of their affiliate program. in last 18 months, I have noticed that most of other hosting companies like Bluehost, Siteground, Webhostingbuzz (U.K. Hosting), Dreamhost have become very active with their affiliate program, and intact they have a relationship manager to look after active affiliates.
Whereas in past 12 months, I have been contacted twice by Hostgator Affiliate manager to help me with anything to improve the sales. Funny thing is, I replied to their Email with some of my queries, and they never replied back. I’m spoiled by the generosity of other hosting aff. manager, I see unreplied Email as very unprofessional move from Hostgator and more over it shows how least concern hostgator is about their affiliates.
Unlike Hostgator, I have never noticed such bad conversions on any other hosting program. This also made me think, why on earth someone sign-up for Hostgator, and never uses his account, or why they pay only for hosting which have active websites. Here is an excerpt from Hostgator TOS page on this:
“HostGator reserves the right to only pay for referrals that are active. Active is defined by clients with a website and domain name pointed to a HostGator server with user uploaded content. Commissions can be earned per each new client referred through the unique affiliate link”
The point of writing all this is not to say Hostgator is exactly cheating, but seems like their system is either flawed or the should re-work on their year old hosting affiliate program. Being an affiliate for years, it’s sad for me to miss out on one of the product that I use and recommend to others.
A good alternative to this is by joining their affiliate program via CJ Affiliate by Conversant, where they are paying $100/sale. Since the affiliate sale is counted by Commission junction system, you will be paid for every referral. This way you will avoid invalid sale issue and stuff, and will be paid for every customer (active or inactive) you refer to Hostgator. The only problem is with new CJ account, as your application to join Hostgator referral program may automatically decline.
So this actually is a big pain for new affiliates or existing HG affiliates like me who wants to shift from their affiliate software to CJ. This post is about pointing out the problem with Hostgator affiliate system, and to inform them about their outdated affiliate model. I still endorse Hostgator for hosting, but it’s the time they should work on building a better network and take care of this issues, which might make us think of them as a scam system. Here is my video take on Hostgator Aff. program:
If you also facing similar or any other issues with Host Gator aff. program, do share it with me via comment. What suggestion would you give to Hostgator Affiliate manager to improve their service and to make better relation with their affiliates?