Wealthy Affiliate (WA) offers numerous services for people around the world to start, run, and grow their online businesses. While it has its own affiliate program, only some members choose to participate in it. In this Wealthy Affiliate Review, I’ll cover in detail all the tools and services offered within the Starter and Premium memberships, including training, web hosting, keyword research tool, and community and its culture.
Wealthy Affiliate Overview
|Owners:||Kyle Loudoun & Carson Lim|
|Training and Community Language:||English|
|Starter membership:||$0.00 (no credit card information required)|
|Premium membership:||$49.00/ monthly|
What is Wealthy Affiliate?
Dry facts from the past:
- 2005: September 10, 2005, two Canadian entrepreneurs and technology innovators Kyle and Carson founded Wealthy Affiliate as a membership site that offered keyword lists to Internet marketers.
- 2006: Wealthy Affiliate had grown to 50 members. The founders added a WA Forum for communication and hired a first full-time employee. They also started putting together training modules helping their members to learn how to utilize the keyword lists and drive traffic to their websites.
- 2007: WA team started the development of its own web hosting infrastructure. Site Rubix was born. A lot of money and effort was put into creating an in-house site builder. In fact, Site Rubix required more resources than WA could offer at the moment without taking away resources from other projects and ideas. Therefore, Kyle and Carson decided to freeze the development and put on hold Site Rubix version 2.0. At the same time, WordPress was gaining attention as an open-source project.
- 2009: Another Senior IT professional was hired. Site Rubix was replaced with WordPress Express.
- 2011: The founders of Wealthy Affiliate decided to break out from the industry full of scams, stand out and take on the lead in the legitimate Internet Marketing business.
- Kyle and Carson thoroughly planned their route and started “The Open Education Project”.
- At the same time, the WA team has worked on two other projects: “Jaaxy” (a powerful keyword research tool) and “Street Articles” (at the time, a very useful and pioneering article directory).
- 2012: Wealthy Affiliate built its state-of-the-art online education platform.
- 2014: WA improved and reintroduced the SiteRubix platform, its security, and its components.
- SiteFeedback was added, a unique option that allows people to get perspective on their website from the real visitors
- SiteComments was added, a unique feature that allows people to achieve interaction and engagement on their websites
- An option to determine the SiteHealth was added.
- Free SSL for Everyone
- Training redesigned. Brand new updated courses with new videos
- Major update to the SiteRubix Hosting Platform. SiteSpeed was built.
- SiteContent Platform was created and over 1,000,000 Free Optimized Images added.
- Keyword Research Platform Jaaxy was integrated into Wealthy Affiliate; Jaaxy Lite edition became available for Premium members at no additional charge.
- New video technology and a full redesign of the WA video player were implemented.
- A completely new design of Wealthy Affiliate UX (User Experience)
- Wealthy Affiliate Has Gone Mobile.
- A significant upgrade to SiteComments 2.0 Platform; the ability to earn WA cash credits through SiteComment Platform
- A new Affiliate Programs Platform was launched.
What is WA today?
Wealthy Affiliate has become the most comprehensive Online Entrepreneur Training Program, technologically advanced, fast and secure Web Hosting, the most helpful and altruistic community, the most cost-efficient all-inclusive platform in the industry.
- It’s a training platform providing an excellent online education program on building an Internet Business.
- The continuous online education is offered in the form of live webinars, video and text tutorials.
- It’s an advanced technology company.
- It’s a supportive community, with over a million members from all countries in the world.
- It’s a program that allows working on your business while taking classes.
- It’s a suite providing 7 helpful components in its Site Rubix suit:
- Site Manager + Site Health
- Site Builder
- Site Domains
- Site Content
- Site Comments
- Site Feedback
- Site Support
- It’s a platform offering a powerful keyword research tool Jaaxy within its services at no additional cost.
- It’s a site offering Affiliate Programs platform within its suite.
- It’s an organization that as a reward to its best affiliates invites them to a conference in Vegas – all expenses paid.
WA has continued to evolve and innovate at a pace that is faster than the industry. A team of over 25 people is working diligently building and improving upon WA behind the scenes. The founders’ main initiative and focus are to help other people succeed online. Kyle and Carson are easily accessible via the WA internal communication system. They make themselves available and dedicate their time to support the individuals within the community.
Who is Wealthy Affiliate Good For?
✅ Employed full-time
✅ Employed part-time
✅ Stay-at-Home Moms
✅ People with Disabilities
✅ Small Brick-And-Mortar Business Owners
✅ Online Business Owners
Wealthy Affiliate is great for people from all walks of life, employment status, country of residence, etc. Wealthy Affiliate will work perfectly for seniors and young people alike.
It will work for people with many types of disabilities.
Who might have problems using the WA platform?
While the WA community has blind and deaf members, not all material is fully accessible for people with these disabilities. For example, lessons in the core courses include videos. The content of the video illustrates and complements the written content of the lessons, but there is no exact transcription or audio description of the videos.
Wealthy Affiliate is not suitable for people who don’t speak English because all training and community communications are in English only. Some members, whose English is very poor, utilize Google Translate or other translating programs. But then again, there are video-tutorials, which would be difficult to understand without the knowledge of English.
Wealthy Affiliate Review
Okay, now let’s get personal, emotional, and opinionated!
You won’t find the history of the company like the one above in any other source. Why? Because it is not an official brushed-up story like some companies tend to create for themselves to make a nice image for the public record. I compiled this overview from the personal WA internal blogs written over the years by Kyle, Carson, and other old-time members of WA.
After all of the above reading, do I still need to convince you that Wealthy Affiliate is not a scam, but a legit company and its landscape is based on the premise of helping others? That’s what they say, and that’s how it feels once you join as a member. Yes, I am a Premium Wealthy Affiliate member on an annual renewal basis. The following review reflects my perception and is based on my personal experience.
Why Did I Choose Wealthy Affiliate?
While looking for some work that I could do from home on a flexible schedule, while keeping an eye and providing some care to my young adult son with severe disabilities and amazing abilities, I checked out a couple of other Internet Marketing organizations before I came across Wealthy Affiliate. Both were legit companies (I didn’t bother to spend more than a minute on something that felt like a scam right away), but they were more expensive while offered fewer benefits. I will not name them now as I am not doing a detailed and accurate comparison in this post (I might do it in the future in a dedicated review). At each of these companies I signed up, watched, listened, and read the material they offered for free.
In the first company, I right away did not like the leaders and their ethics. I listened to the bits of the information they exposed for free on how to run an online business, and they made sense. However, I disliked the “motivational” stories (which were fake, as I found out later) they shared about their momentary transformation from a poor errand boy to a rich businessman. There was too much pathos, bragging, and false valuables in their promotional speeches. I also researched that after the first contribution, there will be endless upsells.
The second company had an incredible leader, but it only offered some good writing/ blogging training. I needed this training, but I needed so much more than just learning to write for a blog… I considered joining this program for $499… when I came across WA.
Wealthy Affiliate had it all. Co-founders of WA Kyle and Carson are open-minded, educated, ethical, supportive, calm, and patient individuals, who personally welcome all new members and offer their helping hand. The most attractive aspect for me was the FREE Starter membership, which gave me the opportunity to personally explore the program, its tools and services, and meet the community before I had to provide my credit card information.
This free Starter membership lets people use their own hands-on experience in deciding whether they want to stay, learn and build their online business on the WA platform as Premium members. I found that this program in its full capacity was exactly what I was looking for and upgraded to Premium within my first week. I’ve never regretted my decision and soon after changed to the yearly renewal option, which gave me some additional price break. I’ve been a Premium member since 2017 and I’m not planning to cancel my membership in the nearest future as I still get a lot of value and benefits from the program.
My View on the Membership types.
Please read the following attentively!
If you are like I was when I first joined, a complete newbie to the online marketing and website creation with WordPress, you won’t be able to advance much on a free membership. If you are serious about starting your online business from scratch, do expect to pay $49/ month or $495.00/ annually. The yearly payment option gives you an additional discount of $93 per year and includes the purchase of your own .com domain name ($14 value) – together it comes to $107 off compared to the monthly option. The annual payment plan also gives you 100 Community Credits (to be used on requesting comments and feedback for your website), and bonus Live Class with Kyle, the co-owner.
If you are on a monthly payment plan, the optional purchase of your own domain name, which you’ll take with you if at some point you decide to leave WA, is your only additional expense. You can build your website on a SiteRubix subdomain for free. Your URL will look like this: https://YourWebsiteName.SiteRubix.com. However, your own domain is your property, you can develop it into your brand, and the web address of your site will look cleaner: https://YourWebsiteName.com.
That’s it. There are no up sells at WA.
So, my excitement was not really about a free membership, but the first 7 days of it, when a free member has access to almost all the features that Premium members have access to. My advice to you: sign up to take the first course of 10 lessons, explore the system and all its features and platforms, talk to the members in the live chat, experience 24/7 members’ support. Then, decide for yourself that Wealthy Affiliate is an amazing community to join, the best online university providing top-level practical education, and an all-inclusive platform giving you all the tools you’d need to build your own business.
If you JOIN Wealthy Affiliate TODAY using my referral links in this article and decide to upgrade to the Premium within the first week, I offer you an action-taker special price for the first month: $19.00 instead of $49 – it’s 61% OFF your first month of Premium Membership!
On the other hand, you can keep your free membership forever, you can start and continue working on the website WA offers for free on its SiteRubix subdomain, but in 7 days your access to most of the services, including live chat, will be shut down, and your resources will become very limited.
You’d be able to upgrade to the Premium Membership at any later time at a regular fee for the monthly or annual payment options – whichever you choose.
Here is the comparison chart of Starter vs. Premium membership.
FREE (Starter) membership is not available in Nigeria.
Per Kyle, free membership was banned in this country in order to protect the Wealthy Affiliate community from much fraud and spam coming from this location.
What kind of business will you be able to build, develop, improve and market with Wealthy Affiliate?
Please note that I did not promise you quick money with minimal effort anywhere in my review. WA can walk you through the process and teach you step-by-step how to build your online business, and you will succeed, but only if you follow the instructions and work smart and hard, especially at the beginning. You need to do the work, and it takes time. How long will it take until you make your first sale, stream steady income, become rich? It’s all up to you. Some people make their first sale in 2 months, others – in two years. Be prepared to NOT earn any money within the first 3-5 months. If you follow the training step-by-step and complete all the tasks in each lesson, you should make several hundreds or even thousands by the end of your first year. Once the dollars start coming and you continuing working with the same effort, the growth of your residual income will then go up exponentially.
WA Starter members are introduced to affiliate marketing, which requires a website with quality content. There are no pre-requisites. All tools and training needed to build such a website are available for you at Wealthy Affiliate.
As a Premium member, you’d be able to receive training, expert advice, and guidance to almost any type of online business or marketing of a local business. The core courses of training are focused on Affiliate Marketing. There are two branches:
- Online Entrepreneur Certification
- Affiliate Bootcamp
Starter membership opens up 10 lessons in the 1st course in each branch.
Premium members have access to 5 levels of Online Entrepreneur Certification (10 lessons in each level) and 7 phases of Affiliate Bootcamp (also 10 lessons in each phase)
Additional tutorials are available in other classrooms on many essential topics. An incomplete list is as follows:
- Keyword, Niche and Market Research
- Everything WordPress
- Authoring & Writing Content
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Engagement & Marketing
- Website Development & Programming
- Pay Per Click Marketing
- Local Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Email Marketing
Awesome video tutorials and live webinars are available to the Premium members on different types of online businesses (such as e-Сommerce) and marketing techniques (for example, Local Marketing), and to further detail, clarify and update ongoing changes and essential topic in the Internet Marketing industry.
Website Hosting and Domains
Per Carson, Site Rubix “…is one of the most powerful, robust, and feature-rich website platforms in the world that is leaps and bounds more advanced than any vanilla web host that you are used to (ie. Godaddy, Hostgator etc).”
Kyle: “Our mission is four-fold: Security. Speed. Reliability. Support.“
Since I don’t have access to the backstage of this platform and technical knowledge for the thorough assessment, I will cite Kyle and Carson on what they tell us (and as a client, I don’t have any reason not to trust them!). I’ll give you my personal feedback on what I see as an end-user below these specifications.
The advanced features of the WA hosting and domains include:
- The most secure hosting anywhere
- Virus & Malware protection
- WordPress optimized servers
- WHOIS Privacy Protection
- Full redundancy
- Daily backups
- 24/7 website monitoring
- Fully managed
- Unlimited Emails & forwards
- Advanced DNS Management
- Site Health analyzing
- Website auto-login
- 24/7/365 Site Support
Carson tells us that WA is “…on the bleeding edge of the industry when it comes to our hosting offering.
What does this mean to you?
- More Security
- More Speed
- More Power to process the complexities of WordPress
- More Power to keep your websites backed up
- More Redundancy (reliability)
- More Distribution of your sites
At WA our mentality is different than every other web host out there.
Our mentality is that your website deserves to be running optimally at all times. To make sure this happens, we limit not only how many other sites share the server, but how loaded the servers are.“
And he continues: “At WA, you’ve got the best servers, and your sites share the resources with exponentially fewer websites. This all adds up to a website platform that can handle the demand of the world’s most popular (but sometimes resource consuming) website platform WordPress.“
Another quote from Kyle: “When I think of hosting and what creates a great hosting experience, I think of the way a healthy body operates. If you don’t “feel” any pain, and you don’t realize it’s there, then it is operating 100%. The same with hosting. If you don’t have any speed lag, you don’t have security issues, you have 100% up time, and your support is seamless and actually is working for you (when you don’t even realize you need them), that is an optimal hosting environment.
In other words, you shouldn’t feel your hosting. You should just be able to build your business and focus on THOSE elements, we should be providing you with a seamless environment to host and serve your websites without you having to worry about anything.”
From my personal point of view…
I feel exactly as Kyle says in his quote above: I don’t feel my website hosting – no pain or discomfort! When I do need technical support, often just to ask a question due to my lack of knowledge, they get back to me within 5 minutes!
One doesn’t need to have any technical skills at all in order to build a website within SiteRubix or purchase his/her own domain. Building a website in SiteBuilder literally takes 30 seconds! I find SiteRubix suite very convenient to use. It offers really great components such as SiteComments and SiteFeedback. Those are the platforms where a Premium member can ask other members to leave comments on his/her website and request feedback for the website accordingly. SiteContent is a recently enhanced platform, which offers great multi-layered spell checker and over 1,000,000 free images. It counts the number of words as I type them in, and auto-saves my text every minute. I really like using it. Every now and then I come across some glitches in SiteContent, but nothing is perfect. As a former software engineer, I wouldn’t believe myself and you wouldn’t believe me if I said that this environment is flawless. The tech team of WA is constantly working on improvements.
My 7 Personal Favorites about Wealthy Affiliates
- Ability to thoroughly explore the platforms, products, and services before committing to the Premium membership and its price stability and efficiency.
- Systematic, clear and comprehensive for the newbies’ step-by-step instructions in the form of video and text with illustrations tutorials.
- The fantastic, ethical and altruistic worldwide community, where expert-entrepreneurs are voluntary offering support 24/7
- Worry-free, no-technical-skills-required website platform, secure hosting, speedy and efficient Site Support response and professional service.
- Leaders’ human aspect: setting a personal example, participation in the community and individual support from the co-founders Kyle and Carson.
- Weekly live webinars are my most appreciated training sessions.
- Jaaxy – state-of-the-art keyword research tool. To WA Premium members Jaaxy Lite edition is free, Pro is available at ~ 61% discounted price ($19/mo vs. $49/mo) and Enterprise edition is available at ~ 50% discount ($49/mo vs. $99/mo).
I truly believe that an education similar to the courses offered by Wealthy Affiliate should be a part of the standard school program. Each one of us is talented and skilled in something. We all have our passion and areas of expertise. Many of us try to get rewarded for sharing their knowledge or talent and helping others, but only a few of us succeed. Why? Because most of us are financially illiterate and we have no idea on how to market our products or services.
Therefore, no matter what age you are in today, I highly recommend to sign up with Wealthy Affiliate University and start your education now – so, that in a year or two you’d be able to supplement your earnings or your retirement income. Perhaps, sometime in the future, you’d be able to stop making someone else rich, quit your job for an employer and start working for yourself on your own schedule in your area of interest and under your own management. Perhaps, you’d be able to retire or semi-retire early because the online business you started today will require less of your time in the future and bring you some passive income.
Are you ready to explore your options and benefits at the Wealthy Affiliate all-inclusive platform?
If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please use the “Comments” field below. I’d be happy to hear from you and give you a hand.
- Comprehensive easy-to-follow training for newbies and more advanced marketers
- Powerful fast and secure web hosting
- Excellent support
- FREE Starter Membership
- Engaged and supportive worldwide community
- While the community is active and supportive, the social engagement can be addictive.
- With the proper commitment, it takes 3-5 months until first earnings; 9+ months for consistent income
- Free members get live support only for the first 7 days