Problems with your web host can cost you a lot of money. Make sure that you make a careful choice in this area.
Here are the most important things that you should look out for:
1. Make sure that they have good technical support. Preferably 24 hour 7 day per week support.
2. They need to have a fast connection speed. It is no good if it takes people forever to download your site.
3. Make sure that they guarantee their availability at least 99% of the time, preferably more (some guarantee 99.7% or 99.9%). When your website is successful, one day that it is down can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
4. You should have your own domain name (www.mydomain.com). The problem with free hosting is that they won't offer you your own domain, which means that your website looks very unprofessional
Some other things to look out for, that you may or may not need depending on what type of web business you are going to operate:
Ability to have a secure server for credit card transactions.
You might need autoresponders for your website.
Access to your log files so you can get stats for your visitors.
Unrestricted FTP access to modify your site.
Access to your personal CGI bin.
Shopping cart software.
Here are few recommended web hosts, that offer good service:
SEO Hosting - Gotwebhost.com is what I use for most of my sites, you really can't go past them in terms of value for money.
IPowerWeb - They have hosting for $7.95 per month with free setup, 200Mb of space and 20 Gigs monthly bandwidth.
For domain registration, I recommend My Domain Friend - it's a great tool for combining keywords and generating domains.
Software package that does everything for you
There is a software package which I can highly recommend which is called Site Build It. This service will not only build your website, but it also including hosting for your website, registering your domain name, submitting to the search engines, optimizing your pages so that you can get to the top of the search engines, and there is actually quite a bit more included in the package as well.
Find domains that have just expired
Sometimes you can get a really good domain name by looking for a domain that has just expired. Thousands of domains expire every week, and some of them are just because the owner forgot to pay! If you look carefully you can find some excellent domains. You might even find a domain that is already listed in Yahoo, or a domain that has lots of links to it from other sites - this way you can get a head-start with your web business!
There is a free service where you can search for deleted domains at: