There are many web hosting companies out there offering their services. Simply enter a search into Google and you will be bombarded with thousands of companies claiming to have the best hosting packages. The trick is to be able to identify which company will be the best to go with when hosting your website.
First of all, remember to steer clear of companies that offer free web hosting. There is always a catch. Sure, you may not have to pay for hosting, but think about it carefully. How is the company covering their cost for hosting you? They are plastering advertisements all over your website! This takes away from the professionalism and attractiveness of your site, and will deter internet browsers. In addition to this, there is always a limit to your free hosting package. In some cases you may not be able to have lots of graphics or flash images on your site. You may have a very low space limit, which will be irritating if you are planning on having a large site with lots of information. Another downside is that these free web hosting plans may not supply you with an email account that you can use with your domain name. Sometimes they do, but they will only give you a handful of email addresses with a tiny amount of space.
Of course, if you just want a simple personal site without email addresses, perhaps a free web hosting plan will be convenient for you. On the other hand, if you want to start a business site, it is better to find a hosting provider that will offer you a specific package. What you should be looking for is a hosting provider that will give you a breakdown of their different packages. They will explain that for a certain price you will get this much bandwidth, this many email addresses and so on. A good hosting provider will have on call support via telephone or email that is prompt and responsible. Some good hosting providers even offer training courses to assist you in learning how to manage your site.
A good, reputable website hosting provider will have a portfolio of sites that are hosting with them. If it makes you more comfortable you can contact one of their clients to find out how reliable their support is.
Beware of hosting providers that force you to sign a contract for hosting. They may wish to tie you into a hosting package for a year, with the payment requested up front. If you commit to this, you may find after a month or two that you are not entirely happy. Perhaps there are frequent email problems and the support desk of your hosting provider is never available. You may find that your site is sometimes down without warning, or you run out of space and are unable to contact anyone to purchase more. A good web hosting provider will allow you to pay for your hosting on a monthly basis, with the option to opt out whenever you wish. You can also pay up front if it is more convenient for you, but are able to get refunded if you are not happy with the service anymore.