It is usually best to have a place to put your pages, before you create them. They will need a home...they are called "homepages" after all. At least they are called homepages until "they" become more than "one". At that point, they are called "websites".
Finding a webhosting service is not hard. I would recommend that you sign up with a paid hosting company now that the costs are so low. You can get hosting now for around $15/£8 per year. Obviously the more features and space you need the price goes up - read on to find out what you should expect from web hosting.
The hosting companies, I recommend are:
- PowWeb Hosting - 1,000 MB + 2 Months FREE! - $7.77/mo.!
- LunarPages: 500MB of storage and 20GB of transfer for only $7.95
- The UK's Cheapest
There are many aspects you should look for when you are ready to pay for webhosting...especially if you are designing a business site.
The first thing you should consider is the amount of space you will need. You certainly won't want less than 30MB of space, and you will want even more than that if you can afford it. The next thing that should be considered is the servers reliability and speed. Is their guaranteed uptime at least 99%? Are they using T3 connections? These are very important considerations. If your site can't be accessed by your potential visitors half the time, or the pages take four days to load, you have wasted your time designing the site, and your money paying for webhosting. Ask these questions of potential webhosting services.
Next, you should see what extra features they offer. Some things to look for are:
- FTP transfer
- Free e-mail accounts
- Free autoresponders
- Use of a CGI bin Secure server for SSL transactions
- A lot of bandwidth
- Free registration or transfer of your domain name
- Web stats
- PHP or ASP scripting support
Every webhosting service offers different things...some more, some less. The important thing is to get what you are paying for. After taking into consideration the first three important things, space, uptime, and connection, you should go with the webhosting service that can offer you the most added features for the money.
You will eventually want your own domain name, if you haven't already gotten it. A domain name is "www.yourname.com". It is your web address that you will use.
Getting your domain is a simple process. If the webhosting service you sign up for offers to register your domain name, simply follow their instructions. Otherwise, i would recommend one of the following domain name providers:
- Dotster: $14.95 Domain Registrations
- Discount Domain.com: Get your own .com domain name!
- Cheap Domain Names
Simply go to their site, fill out the box that checks to see if the name you want is taken or not, and if it isn't, proceed to the sign up forms. After submitting the forms, it will take a couple of days for your domain name to become active.