Once upon a time it was considered rare, unique and cutting
edge to be able to answer “yes” when someone asked whether
you had your own website. My how times have changed!

In fact, the whole world appears to be going global. And
acquiring web space has become as common and easy as
selecting telephone, cable or dish TV service – well,
almost.

Web hosting is the service which allows anyone to post web
pages to the Internet. It’s a simple enough idea. But
finding the right web hosting service to meet your
particular needs is far from simple. In fact, some of the
difficulty in selecting the web hosting provider that’s
“just right” is due to the huge selection and options that
are available.

Here are three things you must consider when deciding which
web hosting plan is right for you…

First, there are basically two types of web hosting
services: free and paid. Free web hosting provides you free
web space to post your web pages. But there’s a trade off.
You’ll not only be limited in the amount of web space and
traffic you receive, your website will typically contain
advertisements from the company hosting your web pages. And
often times, these advertisements appear in the form of
large, annoying banner ads at either the top or bottom of
each of your web pages. This might not be such a big deal
if your web site is only a family or hobby site. But this
type of distraction is totally unacceptable for almost all
business purposes.

Second, if you desire a web hosting solution for business
purposes, then you’ll want to consider paying for your web
hosting services. And the first option you’ll want to
consider is whether you want “shared” hosting – which means
that you’ll be sharing web hosting space with other users,
or whether you want “dedicated” hosting – which means you’ll
have an entire computer dedicated to hosting your web pages.

Obviously, shared is cheaper than dedicated hosting. And,
for a vast majority of web hosting needs, shared hosting is
the ideal solution. Your website will be free of
advertisements you don’t want and the cost of web hosting is
reduced.

Dedicated web hosting is typically used by huge businesses
or organizations that desire, and are willing to pay extra,
to have their web pages hosted separately from other web
users. There are a variety of reasons this might make
sense. For example, a company may have sensitive
information they need to host and a dedicated web hosting
server is ideal to maximize privacy and security.

Third, you’ll need to decide which payment plan makes the
most sense to you. Typically, you can pay by the month,
every three months, yearly or a one-time fee for lifetime
hosting.

How long you contract web hosting services for really
depends upon your web hosting needs. If you’re relatively
new to building and hosting your own web pages, then you
might want to opt for a monthly service. Experiment a bit
and extend the service if you find it meets your needs.

One thing you’ll definitely want to watch out for is the
“trial” web hosting package. These contracts offer, for
example, the first 60 days free and then require that you
make a longer term commitment. While this type of
arrangement may seem quite appealing, it’s based upon the
web hosting company betting that at the end of the “trial”
period it will be too much of a hassle for you to move your
web pages to another hosting service, so you’ll just stick
with them. So, forewarned is forearmed. Just beware…