Image via CrunchBase
Web hosting is somewhat of a foreign term to those who have never had a website. Once you find a domain name you like, such as a dot-com address, you must register that address with a host. There are a number of hosts such as www.Ipage.com and host gator which have publicly available software where you can check an address for availability. You must first decide what you need a website for and then decide if you can go for a free host or whether you should pay a monthly five dollar fee.
If your goal is to blog then there’s a number of options available to you. Companies such as TypePad and Blogger offer a free hosting service. The free software allows tools for search engine optimization to drive traffic to your blog. There are generally a few tools you can use to dress up your blog not as much as you will find at a paid web host.
A more traditional website with multiple pages and a bounty of design options will only come with a paid host. Www.Godaddy.com for example will supply a number of starter formats you can use to get your website up and running. These companies offer 24 hour live support on the phone and online. They also have free tools to help you upgrade your site. For example, you can add a user forum to increase traffic to your site or commission your web host to write search engine optimization pieces that will drive new users to your website.