Setting Up Your First Web Hosting Account


The Basics

Setting up a web hosting account for the first time can be confusing and frustrating for the novice. This article will guide you through the steps of setting up a new web hosting account for your website.

Setting up your web hosting account will depend upon many things, the first of which is:

Do you already have a website built and ready to be hosted?

If the answer to that question is yes, then your next set of questions should be:

How was your website designed? Did you design it yourself using Microsoft FrontPage, or did you use some other WYSIWYG website building software? Did a professional designer build your site for you? Did they use Microsoft FrontPage, or did they use some other WYSIWYG website building software? Did your designer use a database driven software, such as Cold Fusion? Maybe they coded your site using a text editor - you'll need the answers to these questions.

If you have a FrontPage website, you'll need a web host who supports FrontPage. If your site was developed with Cold Fusion, you'll need a web host who supports Cold Fusion. This also applies to other design software not mentioned here. Check with your web designer and/or web design program's documentation for further help with this.

Maybe you haven't yet designed your website. Many web hosts offer online website building software that requires no programming or HTML knowledge. If this is your strategy, make sure your web host offers such software, and find out if there's a cost for you to use it.

Finding The Right Web Host

Locating a web host that gives you the reliability you need, plus excellent customer service, and that offers all the features you're going to need, can be challenging.

You can begin your search by asking business associates, friends and relatives who have websites of their own, who they use. Just as you would get a recommendation for a good restaurant, word of mouth can sometimes steer you in the right direction.

You can also check out the many web hosting directories on the web. These directories are set up to allow you to search using the features that you're looking for in a web host. Keep in mind though, that many of the listings you see may also be paid listings that are pushed your way for obvious reasons.

Once you narrow down your search to a few potential web hosts, your next step will be to visit the many web hosting message boards and forums on the web. Perform a search on each of the potential web hosts that you have in mind - read through the posts and see what other people's experiences have been with the hosts you have in mind. If you see too many negative comments or experiences by others, you might want to take a hint from that and rule out that particular hosting company.

Once you've narrowed down your search to a few web hosts, you should make contact with them and get answers to any questions you have. Since you're a beginner at this, you might strongly consider using a web host that provides telephone support. A web host that provides only email support may not be able to fully answer questions that you have - this applies to sales questions as well as support questions.

When you make your inquires, keep track of which host responds to you the quickest. Which of these hosts answers your questions patiently and takes the time to go over details with you? Do they seem more interested in getting you to sign up, or do they address topics you have no concern about, beware of those danger signs.