Posted by Oliver Bradshaw on May, 8th 2012
To get started with your very first website, consider a free web hosting company. After all, your initial site is the one that will teach you lessons – not make you a ton of profits. You may end up with a lot of downtime, and you’ll have ads that aren’t yours, but you’ll get an intro to running your own site.
If you want a good website, look for a web hosting service that comes with different features such as a forum, a chat room, a shopping cart or a subscription form for instance. Often, coding this kind of pages or tools is too complicated for someone with limited experience.
Consider starting with shared hosting. If you are just getting started in the online world, and especially if cost is a factor, shared hosting is a great middle ground between free hosting and more expensive hosting options. You just need to make sure that your plan provides the minimum requirements your site needs. Another advantage to shared hosting is you can have the advantages of a higher tier web hosting company at a cheaper cost, with the ability to upgrade your plan later as your business grows.
Make sure that you understand all the costs that will be associated with using your host. Many places offer a lower rate to hook you in, however after time you realize that there are a lot of hidden costs associated with them. So be sure to find out all the different fees that you may have to pay, like setup costs or maintenance fees.
One of the most important things to look for when choosing a web hosting provider is high server uptime records. You’ll want to look for providers offering uptime in the high 99% range. One caveat though, is providers claiming 100% uptime. Although a perfect uptime rating might indeed be accurate, it can sometimes indicate required maintenance and upgrades are being neglected.
There are many web hosting companies to choose from, but not all will be suitable for your site. Take the time to compare hosts, and put these suggestions to use as you assess your needs, make comparisons, and ultimately select the right web host with the service and features you need.