After you (or your site developer) have created your Web pages, you need a place to put them. When you buy Web "hosting," you are basically just paying rent for a little folder on a server that is connected to the Internet. Generally it runs around $10 – $20/month and it covers the cost of keeping your site running and the bad online elements out. Setting up and taking care of a Web server is not a small undertaking these days because of security issues, so hosting is probably not a job you want to tackle yourself.
Finding a hosting company is easy. Often, your Web developer will have recommendations or may even say they do hosting themselves. Most Web developers are not really hosting the sites themselves, however. They actually re-sell hosting, much like graphic designers resell printing. And just like the guy doing your brochure probably doesn’t have a printing press in his basement, the guy developing your web site doesn’t have a server in his living room.
You can easily find a hosting company yourself. However, finding one that is reliable and easy to talk to may be more of a challenge. When you buy hosting, you want a host with good "up time" (i.e. the site is UP most of the time, not dead in the water).
When looking for hosting, you should figure out what you need for your site and only pay for the services you want. If your site relies on any type of back-end software like a database, you may need to make sure that the software runs on the types of servers that the hosting company has. Most companies have Windows or Linux/Unix servers. Make sure you confirm with the hosting company that your software will work with their configuration.
Beyond that, you generally see limitations on storage space and data transfers. In most cases, unless you have really big plans, the amount they offer is more than you’ll ever need. Many hosting plans also come with statistics and e-mail accounts, so you can have e-mail that matches your domain (firstname.lastname@example.org). Other options may include e-mail tools for sending out newsletters, chat or bulletin board software, or even a shopping cart.
Those are just a few of the available options. Sometimes, it can be difficult to compare different companies, but focus on the features you need and only buy what you will really use on your site. Once you have selected a hosting company, you’ll need to go back to your domain registrar’s site to change the settings so your domain name points to the new host. This process is sometimes referred to as "changing the name servers" and the precise process varies slightly among registrars, so consult the online help at the site where you registered your domain name.