If you're looking to get your very first website off the ground, you might assume that because you live in Toronto you're limited to hosting companies when it comes to someone to store your website on their servers. But through the magic of the internet, you can hire a hosting company from anywhere in the world, which means you have a lot of options. Here are some of the things you'll want to think about when you're choosing a company to host your website.
Cost - this is the number one concern for many people who are just starting out making websites because in the early days of a web based business, you're likely to garner little attention and make little money, making every penny you save on overhead important. You can get a one website hosting package from many popular hosting companies for under $7, but be aware that bandwidth is limited on most of these packages, so it won't be suitable any longer if your site becomes popular or if you want to host more than one site on the same package.
Trustworthiness - this should be your actual number one concern when choosing a company. Because web hosting is a largely unregulated industry, it's easy to fall prey to scammers who will hold your domain name hostage until you pay exorbitant hosting fees. Whenever possible, register your domain with a separate company and never do an availability search for a domain unless you're prepared to register it that instant, because your interest can end up raising the price of the domain. You'll also want a company with a good track record when it comes to downtime so that your site doesn't spend a lot of time offline.
Environmental impact - web hosting is a very electricity intensive process. Big companies may have hundreds of computers running at once with accompanying air conditioning systems to keep them all from overheating. If you're concerned at all about the environment, you can choose a company that runs on solar, hydro, or wind power or buys carbon credits to offset its emissions.