The very first question you need to answer before having a web hosting, has nothing to do with potential web hosts. Before you even Google the term “Web Hosts”, you need to look within first. Sorry if I am getting a little Zen on you, but this really is important.

You need to figure out what YOUR goals are.

Before worrying about technical details, you need to consider what you want to accomplish with your web hosting.

It is an obvious first step. If you just want a daily journal you can find that for free. If you have the next great idea for a social network, then you might be looking at a big investment.

Make a checklist of all of the things you need and plan to do on your website. Think of every action you want people to take on your site. Write down things like…

  • How much traffic do you expect/need for your website?
  • Do you want to sell things on your site?
  • Will you be hosting large file downloads?
  • Will you have hi def photography on your site?
  • What are your monetary goals?
  • Do you need an extra secure connection? (If you want to accept credit cards you might)
  • Is website speed very important?
  • Do you need email accounts?
  • Will you need regular backups?
  • Do you want to control the hosting yourself, or have it managed?
  • Etc…

Your end goal here is to have a big list of things that you want or need in a website. You can even consider, splitting your list into two columns; things you need right now, and things you want eventually. Some hosting methods make it very easy to expand your operations as you go (while others don’t, more on that in next section). You may be able to settle for a cheaper hosting solution, while you build up your website audience.

Right now, this list might not seem extremely helpful, but when you begin your research it will be an invaluable tool. Keep the list handy when doing your research.