There are so many web hosting services available that it can be quite overwhelming to a new website owner. So many choices! No matter what type of site you have, from a parenting blog to a professional website to a fansite, there is an option that is right for you. But how do you find it? How do you even begin your search?
Web hosting is not as mysterious as it sounds. It simply means that there is space dedicated for the information and data that makes up your website. If you think of starting an online business much like starting a traditional business, then web hosting is your location, where your store "lives". You need to make sure that it is big enough, and safe enough, and well maintained.
If your needs are simple, one of the many free web hosting services available may be just the thing for you. Sites such as Geocities and Angelfire will host your website for free, but do place advertising on the site instead of requiring payment from you. They do not give you as much control of your site as a paid web hosting service, but for many people, they do provide all the space and features necessary. In addition to being free, they also provide most of the technical formatting required for your site, so that even if you do not know that HTML means, much less how to use it, you can still set up your own website easily and quickly.
Do be sure to research what past and present customers of the service you choose have to say about the service before you make any commitment. Looking for reviews of the web hosting service providers, chatting with others in forums, and just asking around with any other website owners you know are all good ways to get an unbiased perspective on how the company's walk matches up with its talk. Any service can claim to have great customer support, but do they really back that up? If not, you are sure to find that information in reviews and forums.
Whether you are just starting out and need things to be as simple and straight forward as can be, or you are an advanced user ready to custom create a flashy website, there is a web hosting site that is sure to be just right for you. All it takes is a bit of patience and effort to compare the features offered by different services, and the reputation of each site, and you are sure to make a decision you will not regret down the road.