Don't even think about using a free hosting service to host your professional affiliate site!
Not unless you don't mind someone else's ads plastered all over your site and a domain that looks like:
e-YUK! That's just cheesy and it doesn't give your visitors a good first impression.
You want your site to look professional, and the first way to give a professional appearance is to register own top-level domain name, ie. ‘http://yournichesite.com'.
Another good reason to have your own top-level domains is that many merchants don't allow affiliates who use free sites to join their affiliate programs.
Once you've registered your domain, you'll need a hosting service in order to store your site's files.
I've run the gamut of hosts from good to bad. ‘Bad' is when they go out of business without any forewarning and your sites just disappear – which is a good case for keeping all your files carefully stored on your computer for quick upload.
My sites are hosted on an Enterprise VPS server at WebSite Managers.
A dedicated server would be overkill for your first website, so I recommend that you sign up with BlueHost.
The reason I like both those services is that they use the Cpanel interface with Fantastico.
Fantastico allows you to install a large number of different programs with the click of your mouse.
At the time of writing, there are over 50 scripts loaded into Fantastico for quick installation on my server.
Program types include blogs, content management, customer relationship, discussion boards, e-commerce, FAQ, guestbooks, discussion boards (forums), hosting, billing, image galleries, mailing lists, polls, surveys, project management, and site builders.
Installing blogs, forums and other software is easy with Fantastico!
Installing a WordPress blog takes under a minute. I just type in the name of the folder (directory) in which I want to place WordPress and the software creates a new folder. Then you choose a name for your blog, as well as a username and password for administrative functions.
Click on ‘Finish' and presto! your blog is online.
Start your business right with a GREAT web hosting service like BlueHost.