I have been creating websites for several years now and started out with very basic needs. Initially I was satisfied with a very basic free package that did everything I thought I needed at that time. This was a simple package that was included for free with my high speed internet access.
With these types of packages, the number of features is extremely limited but it will introduce you to the basic processes. Although they might appear totally unacceptable to the experienced webmaster, they are not all that bad. This is a way to learn the basics at no cost.
More serious involvement and desire for a better website lead me through another progression. This was still in the free webhosting realm though. I began experimenting with the other types of free websites offered by places such as Yahoo and Geocities. This seemed like a great progression for me at the time and I was quite proud of the achievement.
Again, although these hosting packages are looked down on by the experienced webmasters, they filled a need. I learned more about creating websites for free while on a gentle learning curve.
I then made the big move to paid website hosting. At this point I created websites in which I had much greater control over the appearance and functionality. The learning curve has been steeper since then. The hosting packages today permit anyone to create professional looking websites that permit interaction of all sorts with the viewers. Most packages have server side web creation software to build very nice looking websites that will serve most basic requirements.
Most of the offerings today are very similar in pricing and features. There are a couple of areas that I suggest you look at very carefully. These may well be the most important differences in the offerings.
One important feature you should understand on signup is the term bandwidth. Many applications such as the very popular blogging can ultimately generate considerable traffic and resources demands on your hosting package. This is where you will sort out the wheat from the chaff. Some packages simply do not permit the resource load (bandwidth) that many common applications require. This could be cause for them to suspend website activity at any time with no notification. This will be very frustrating for you.
I have left another issue to the very last because from my experienced point of view it is the very most important and possibly misrepresented by some webhosting providers.
I don't care how good you are or how experienced you are in building and uploading websites; there are times when you are going to require support from your website hosting provider. Now some of these people go to great lengths to proclaim that is a priority. Unfortunately that is not always the truth. Nothing is more frustrating than having a website that is not functioning properly and not permitting potential viewers to access it.
You will be pulling your hair out if you have an issue and you can't get anyone to respond to your pleas for help. I strongly suggest you research customer testimonials or forums to confirm there record of satisfaction. Remember that if you have good support, you will work through any issue in putting up and maintaining your website.
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