So you've got an idea for a website, but don't know where to start? You're not alone. Every day thousands of new webmasters, like yourself, get confused when trying to find a good web hosting provider and understanding what all the listed features of the available hosting plans really mean. While I don't have enough time to go into major details here, hopefully I can help make your passage through the muddy waters of web hosting a little easier.

First, you need to realize that not all web hosting providers are the same. There are many reasons for this, but let's face it, the number one reason is there are too many part time web hosts out there, and part-timers just can't put the time into their hosting company to really make it successful. There are exceptions to this, like in anything else, but it's just a simple fact of hosting.

So how do you determine what hosting company to go with?

Well, there are many different hosting review sites available that could help you make a decision, but ultimately the choice is going to be up to you. Don't be afraid to try out several different hosts to find one you really like. If you choose the wrong host to begin with, it's not a problem, since most hosting providers will help you move your site to their servers.

Some of the things you'll want to look for in a good host are:

How Long Have They Been In Business?

You can usually determine this by looking around their site, but sometimes, you'll just have to pick up the phone and call. The longer the web host has been in business, the more likely they'll have the experience and knowledge needed to ensure their servers stay up and running with minimal problems.

Do They Have A Phone Number Listed On Their Site?

I've discovered over the years that if the hosting company doesn't have it's phone number listed prominently on their site, then you are better off going to a different provider. If they list their number on their site, then give them a call and ask them a few questions. Are they friendly? Does it seem like they are genuinely concerned with helping you? Did they take the time to answer all of your questions or did they seem like they were rushed? This is one step that will certainly help you weed out the web hosts you don't want deal with.

Is Their Technical Support In House or Outsourced?

For the person new to web hosting, this can be an incredibly important question to answer. Sooner or later, you're going to need to use your web host's technical support, and it will definitely help minimize frustrations and misunderstandings if your web host's technical support is in house.

Are Their Hosting Plan Features Comparable To Their Competition?

For someone new to web hosting, determining what all the features mean can be more than a little confusing. But don't let all the mumbo jumbo technical jargon get in your way of making a decision of which host to choose. Most of the reputable hosting providers today have pretty much the same standard set of features. Unlimited Space and Bandwidth, MySQL databases, Host Unlimited Domains, etc. Just compare the different plans and choose the one you think is best. You can learn what all these features mean AFTER you get your hosting set up. And remember, you can always change hosting providers later on if you feel you made the wrong choice.

Over the last 15 years I've spent literally thousands of dollars on web hosting and have first hand experience of just how bad web hosting can get. To help you avoid the pitfalls of choosing the wrong web host, I've put together a list of the best web hosting providers that I've personally tested and use. You can see who made our list at: http://atHosted.com

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