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Published June 25, 2010
If you are unaware of the terminology, website hosting can seem a bit intimidating. There are huge numbers of web hosts around all able to provide a variety of packages. There is also all the technical speak which most people will not understand, so just how do you set about selecting a quality web hosting solution that will prove reliable and meet all of your needs?

Well you have to decide your intentions for your website in the short term and in the future and also consider how  serious a web master you really want to be. A website can really change your life. In essence you need to decide whether you will just set up and run one site or will you get bitten by the bug, as many do, and desire to have many domains and websites.

What is the primary role of your website? Will you be marketing products or services from it and therefore need a merchant solution? Will your site require a database to store product and client data? How much disk space will you require – if you will be using videos or other large files then large amounts of space will be required.  How many visitors are you expecting? Do you expect that your marketing efforts will draw huge numbers of visitors which will mean that a high monthly bandwidth limit is high on your list?

If you need help with some of these questions then this is available by using Google or alternatively a friend or a business acquaintance who is knowledgeable in this area.  It will then be possible to equate the various hosting packages that are available. When looking at companies that provide hosting , take note of two very important points:

1. Has the company been around long? You do not want to trust your website to a company that started out in the hosting business last week.

2. What level of support is provided? You want 24 hour 365 days a year support that is responsive to your requests and that are courteous and amiable towards you now and in the future.

A shared package is the most affordable web hosting for those just starting out. With this type of hosting you are provided a share of the resources of a server connected to the Internet. You will be provided with an agreed allocation of web space for your files and other storage needs and you will share the server's CPU, memory and Internet bandwidth with others who have shared hosting on the same server. Hosting companies now have some amazing shared hosting deals available providing a large amount of web space and bandwith transfer.

In the future if your website becomes a success then you may need to upgrade your existing account to a dedicated or virtual server arrangement. This will move you out of the sharing situation into one where you have total use of the server provided. This will cost a fair bit more but it is likely to be a preferable option compared to purchasing servers and an Internet backbone connection. A good hosting company will ensure that any upgrade of your account will be carried out smoothly and efficiently so that your site does not suffer any downtime.
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