The function of a Web Hosting Company or Web Host is to store your website on on a server (computer) and make your website accessible to the Internet. The first job when choosing a web hosting service is to determine what kind of website you will be building. This will influence your choice of web host and the cost of the hosting package. A simple brochure or blog website will not generally need many resources and so the package could be cheaper, but on the other hand if you are sharing photo and audio-video media or planning to build an ecommerce site you can use up a lot of the web hosts resources and incur a higher charge for its services.

A good idea if you are looking to build more websites in the future is to go for a web hosting company that can expand with you. Log on to the web hosts forum and ask questions to the moderator if you need more clarification on your requirements.

Many web hosts supply website building tools that function similar to desktop publishers to make the job of putting a website on the World Wide Web a process that a beginner can do. As for the prices of web hosting packages these can vary a lot from one service provider to the next. You should do a certain amount of research before committing to a web host, make a list of features and surf the web comparing prices and features of different web hosts to get a feel of the current market. This should reduce the risk of paying over the odds for a web host.

The two main variables to take into consideration and which consequently have the biggest effect on the price of the package are disk space and bandwidth. Most of the other features a web host can offer come as standard. Disk space represents the storage capacity for your website, estimate how much you will need now and in the future. Bandwidth is a measure of the data transfer from your website on the web hosts server to the visitors computer via the Internet. Due to technological developments this feature changes over time and the researcher should take a notepad and compare how much bandwidth each company is offering and at what price.

Sometimes problems occur with our websites and we need to talk with someone at the web hosting company. A good level of customer support must be in place. If you are planning to run an ecommerce website you are potentially losing money every time your website is offline. Ideally web-based and telephone support is preferable. Companies may also offer a forum, a live chat room and downloadable help files. Support must be 24/7, prompt and knowledgeable.

Another important issue is how many email accounts, domain names and sub-domains do you require. This could range from one to unlimited. Phone or email the web hosts support desk for advice on these questions. Also include in your research web hosting related forums and websites to help give you a more informed choice.