Quick Guide to Reliable, Affordable Hosting - Extra Detail
Hosting, or rather 'getting hosted', is one of the most nebulous parts of getting a site up and running on the Internet. It is 'The Big Step'. You can't see it or touch it but without it you ain't got no site. Once you have done it successfully the first time, though, it is a real thrill. Seeing the fruits of your labour and knowing the world can see it too, after having overcome all the irritations along the way, is a real 'Can Do' moment.
What is it?
Well, in order for your site to be visible to others on the Internet, i.e.. when someone types in your URL - think of it as your site's address, for example, yoursite.com - then a request is being made for that site to be transmitted - over the internet - to your computer.
Now, that data is coming from the hosting company's servers (think computers). But, to send that data you first have to send it to them. They then save it and store it (all automatically) and send it out when someone asks for it (by typing in the url on their computer's browser just as you did to get here - unless you clicked on a link, of course.).
So, if you want people to visit your site, your site has got to be hosted.
Happily, prices have plummeted in the last few years so that it is very reasonable to host even a single site by yourself. There are outfits that claim to offer hosting for $5 with unlimited bandwidth and a lot of space but ... well, you guessed it, there are no free or dirt cheap lunches that can offer a satisfying meal.
Often you will find support is non-existent or sporadic, servers go down regularly (which means your customers can't see you and you lose business and credibility) and amazingly, the promised bandwidth disappears even when you are far from your limit.
Consequently, choosing a dependable hosting company will not only save you time, it will also save you money and, perhaps even more importantly, extreme frustration and the pain that comes from continual head banging.
Good Support Is Critical
Now, to be completely, honest, there is a bit of trickiness involved, some of the terminology can be a little strange at first, so finding a company that not only hosts, but also gives good support is critical. Getting a 4/5 ranking from me - and where I have all my all my sites is Hostgator.
Of particular value is the LiveChat service which, although the onhold time can stretch to a couple of minutes sometimes, will give a lot of assistance day and night - and that is a true blessing. They also have e-mail support, almost by return, and telephone support, but I have not tried that yet. Also, watch out for the forum which serves as a useful secondary source of help. Go there now to get your hosting account by clicking the link Recommended Hosting Choice.