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How To Choose The Best Web Hosting

 If you're like me, you have only a basic idea of what web hosting actually is:  if you want to start a website, you need web hosting! 

I didn't understand why I needed it or even how it works, but now that I have my website "live" on the internet  I understand it a whole lot more. 

A web host is the company that is responsible for displaying your website on the world wide web for everyone to see.  They're basically selling you space for your site to be displayed along with many other options.  They usually will provide you with email accounts for your site, website statistics, a basic website builder program, customer support and many other tools. 

Now, out of all the thousands of web hosting companies - you need to choose one and where do you start?  What do you look for?  How much will this cost you?  The list goes on and on.  Here are some basic things you need to consider before you choose a hosting company. 

1)      Decide if this is going to be more of a hobby for you or a serious business that you'd like to launch.  Most hosts will offer "mini plans" for a person who is just looking to create a hobby website and these plans tend to be much cheaper also.  Although, if you start it more for fun and want it to grow into something more, most companies will allow you to upgrade to a bigger and better package. 

2)      Free host vs. paid host.  There are many free web hosting companies out there that are terrific for the beginner.  These can be perfect companies for you, but you should be aware of the differences between free versus paid.  With a free host you are obligated to their terms, their specific templates, they usually place their own ads on your web pages and you do not get your own domain name (www. Whatever you want. Com).  These free hosts perfect for the person looking to create a hobby and not earn any money with their website.  If you are serious about earning an income with your website then you definitely should purchase your web hosting.  People/customers will take your much more seriously if you have your own domain name because they'll know that you are serious about your business. 

3)      Price.  If you're just starting out you don't need to be paying that much a month for web hosting.  It is very easy to find hosts that offer their services to your for $3.95 a month to $6.95 a month.  Granted, they may not offer you the world with these packages, but you don't need that much when you're just starting out until you see how you're site grows and which direction you'd like it to go.  Also, look around - many hosts will include a domain name with your hosting package purchase. 

4)      24 hour customer support (including a telephone number that you can call for support). This is very important if you are a beginner and are not exactly sure how everything works.  And make sure you can call them with your questions also, not just through emails.  Sometimes it is much easier to talk to a live person than wait and wait for them to get back to you through email. 

5)      Are you looking to build multiple sites.  There are many hosting companies that will offer you awesome deals on packages if you are looking to host multiple domain names. 

Now, also consider some of your other options such as a website builder if you do not know any html codes or if you do not have a wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) program such as Microsoft Frontpage.  Will you be needing multiple email accounts, message boards, chatrooms, a large address book for a mailing list or any other specific options that your site will need.



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