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How to Choose the Best Web Hosting For You

 To answer the question "how do I find the best web hosting to suit my needs?" you must first know what web hosting is and what it's all about.

It can all be pretty confusing for the beginner. There's lots of information about web hosting services available on the internet, but a lot of it is full of technical mumbo jumbo written by technogeeks that are out to prove how smart they are, that the average person wanting to put up their first web site or blog doesn't really want or need to know.

In short, web hosting is something like your computer hard disk, it provides storage for your website files in a place where other people can access them easily via the internet. The difference here is that the computer hard disk is located inside a server computer somewhere else in the world, that belongs to a web hosting company and the server computer is connected to the internet. Whenever an internet user (like us) requests a file (web page) the server computer fetches the files and sends them to our internet browser - for example Internet Explorer or Firefox.

The web hosting company rents you space on their hard disk, for you to put your web site files on so that people can access them via the internet.

So now that that's all clear (I hope), we need to look at what we're wanting to achieve with our website. If it's your first site, you've maybe got a vision in your mind of what you want to have on your web site. For most people when they start out planning their first web site it's not a huge plan and their web site won't initially require a huge amount of resources. That can definitely change over time, but if you choose a good hosting company you can start off with a beginners plan, and then if and when you find that you require more, you can upgrade. You're not stuck with your first choice! Remember that - so don't stress over making the wrong choice.

Even most small business owners thinking about putting up a website for their business, usually won't require any more than a basic plan - at least initially anyway.

In my view, especially for the newbie, the most important things to consider when looking for the best web hosting for you are:

* Reliability

* Cost

* Support

Lets start with reliability. Whether you're a mum at home putting up a blog with recipes on it, or a small business owner advertising their business online, you want a reliable web hosting company. Good companies will guarantee their uptime - that means that they guarantee that the population of the world will be able to view your website at least for the amount of time that their guarantee states. For example the hosting company that I use guarantee 99.9% uptime. That means that my website will never be down for more than 0.1% of the time. You really don't want people going to your website and not being able to access it - there's nothing more annoying!

Next is cost. That's pretty simple really - you don't want to be paying any more than you have to for web hosting. You've got better things you could be spending your money on right? However, don't let cost be your only decision maker - you want the reliability and support as well!

And then there is support. You want good support 24/7. Not just on week days from 9 til 5. I've had that in the past and you know what? Your problems won't happen between 9am and 5pm. They'll happen in the weekend and the evening and on public holidays! You need good, friendly, reliable support. Especially as a newbie. Not knowing what you're doing means you will really need some support at times, and it's a good feeling when it's there, let me tell you!

Another criteria I would suggest for any web host that you are considering is that they use CPanel. CPanel just makes looking after your web site easier! It has lots of neat little software programs that make things really simple - like installing WordPress (Word Press is great for creating blogs or web sites - it makes it really easy! Even my old Mum and Dad use it) for example - it takes a couple of minutes and it's done and then you can start working on your site. It also makes it a whole lot easier for the not so technically minded to do scary things like move your Word Press blog to another web host!

Other stuff to consider are things like email accounts - how many do you need? Are you going to use email addresses with your domain name on them or are you going to continue to use whatever you're using now? (Your domain name is the address that you want for your web site. For example if you wanted your site to be you could have email addresses such as '' or '' etc. You get the picture). Some basic plans only allow for one email address, some more.

Domains -while we're on the subject! Most basic plans will allow for one domain to be hosted. That means one website address. If you only want one then that's fine. If you wanted to put up a couple of sites then that's something you need to consider because with some account types you can host a number of accounts or even unlimited numbers. Remember tho, you can always upgrade if you need to later.

How to choose the best web hosting for you

So there's the basics and I hope it helps. Shortlist a few web hosting companies and then compare what they're offering and I'm sure you'll find the best web hosting to suit your needs.

When and if your needs change, then look at it again. If you've got questions go to my site The Only Journey [] and send me a message. I'll do my best to answer and if I can't, hopefully someone else will.

And have fun with your web site!

Sue Woledge has created her blog The Only Journey [] to share with others what she is learning about internet marketing, personal development and life.