If you are just starting out with online marketing you are being faced with many decisions and choices. One vital choice that you make may mean the difference between total frustration and total satisfaction. After more than 16 years of marketing online I have had my share of both.

In this case I am referring to selecting a place to host your website. Unless you are a well funded upstart, you need to rent space online to host your website. For web hosting there are almost as many choices as there are online marketing schemes.

Depending upon your nature and the immediacy of your need, you may want to hear about the good first. But I will tell you first about the bad.

The first myth you should know about are the claims about unlimited hosting. Most web host companies offer unlimited bandwidth and unlimited host space. If you buy the right service you can even host unlimited domains from a single account. The claim that comes best to being true is the ability to host more than one domain from a single host space.

But this feature of hosting multiple domains is in reality limited by the supposedly unlimited bandwidth and unlimited host space.

I have actually lost track of the number of times I have been asked to leave a host company unless I upgraded my unlimited account. The truth is that you can only get unlimited bandwidth and unlimited host space up to a certain point. Once your website business catches on you may wake up one day to find out that your site is no longer alive.

You go to your website and get a dreaded message saying something like ?this account has been suspended’.

You immediately panic and wonder what you did wrong. Certainly it must be some temporary glitch in the internet. You hope it is a problem that will resolve itself after a few minutes. You press the refresh button and wait. Then you wait a little while longer. Then you contact support. Hopefully they actually have the live support they said they did when you signed up.

I actually got the above message last week, so I contacted support. Unfortunately this host did not have live chat support. I was forced to submit a trouble ticket and then wait for them to reply back to via email. For some inexplicable reason they gave me no reason, they just turned it back on ? after 2 days.

If they do have live chat support they also might ask you to submit a trouble ticket so that someone else can look at the account and get back to you with their explanation. This is where you might get some bad news about that unlimited bandwidth you thought you had.

As it turns out, every host site has a weasel clause in their terms and conditions. In essence, that clause will say that if your website causes too much server activity that you will be shut off. If you are lucky you can talk them into some type of maneuver that will let you keep your account somewhat the way it currently is.

If you have a wordpress based blog, the simplest solution may be to install a cache plugin. The plugin will actually create a file on your host space. Without this type of cache, each attempt to open a file on your website will require the server to access your wordpress database to create and present your page. This takes more resources than simply having the file already exist on your site. Maybe the host will take this as a solution.

However, the web host just might say that you need to upgrade to a dedicated server at 10 times your normal cost. So, there goes that myth about unlimited bandwidth.

Another problem that the host may dream up is that you have too many files on their system. Miraculously this also seems to impact the bandwidth problem. In one case,? I was told that I was required to reduce the number of files in my account. This host account was supposed to have unlimited space and unlimited domains. The only solution was to move some of the domains to another host site.

Sure, I had a lot of files and a lot of domains. But the account was supposed to have unlimited space. With the cheap cost of hard drives one would think that space would never be an issue. But I was faced with the task of uploading thousands of files to a new host over 3 days.

Here comes the ugly part.

Sometimes a bad host does not go away. Five years ago I canceled a hosting account because of their total incompetence. Inexplicably two subscriptions charges were just made to my paypal account for another year of service. After 5 days and repeated contacts with support, they finally refunded the money after I disputed the charges with paypal.

Their service was a sorry excuse and a great example of the fallacy of unlimited services. I had about 30 domains hosted in an account which was supposed to include unlimited domains, space and bandwidth. They first told me I need a dedicated server that cost 0 a year versus the 0 I had been paying. Instead, I convinced them to only pay another 0 for a second unlimited account.

About 6 months later they contacted me again to repeat their request for an upgrade. This time I agreed. I had about multiple domains hosted with more than with about 400,000 files. My income was more than enough to cover the cost and the thought of moving all that was very discouraging.

Unfortunately, the host messed up the transfer miserably. After repeated attempts, they could not get the new server to work properly. In the process they also lost the files for two of the large domains. Even though they were supposed to have complete backups, they never could find them. I had to hodge podge new files uploads from my computer.

I had enough of them and their incompetence and started to move all of the sites to new hosts. I was finally rid of the memory of their stupidity until I got the new charges.

But, onto the good part.

I now have a great web host with great live chat support and super rates. The Ipage web hosted sites are so good that I also have two totally unlimited accounts with them. With two accounts I have plenty of room for growth, and the ability to move domains around if the usage for one account gets excessive. Excessive usage can be a great thing because it can indicate success. The host itself has to have good.

I actually opened the second Ipage account because of the incompetence of two other host companies that I also currently have accounts with. There was a great wordpress plugin that I installed at the other two host sites that did not work. At one of the host companies I contacted support about the issue. After looking into it they told me that the problem was a defective plugin. The support issue was even sent up the line to the executive support staff.

However, I installed the plugin at Ipage and it worked perfectly. This alone proves that there is good support, bad support, good hosts and bad hosts. Pick the right host and you can concentrate on building your website.

As the editor for AutoTweet, I check out products and techniques for making your twitter life easier and more profitable. Selecting the right services and tools to build your wrbsite is fundamental for your success. A good web host is a vital element for a properly working website.

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