Web Hosting

A web host is simply a computer that is always on and connected to the internet, so when someone wants to see your web site, the web host computer will answer their request.
The main things you want with hosting is: Reliability means your page is always available to be viewed (good uptime) and it will load fast.

One thing to be aware of is that webhosts say they have 99.99% uptime. That means there can be 4.32 minutes of downtime per month, which is 52 minutes per year.
So it sounds good, but that's a fair bit of downtime, more than you would expect after reading 99.99% uptime.
In the ideal case there is no downtime at all, and most of the time this is how it works, but they usually won't guarantee more than 99.99%.

If your target viewers are in Australia, many people recommend Australian Hosting because the page should load faster. US based hosting is generally cheaper and with larger disk space, and the speed difference is not usually noticeable.
You can get hosting with Australian companies that have US servers allowing you to pay in Australian dollars with no currency conversion.

Digital Pacific

An example of Australian Web Hosting is Digital Pacific, who according to people on the whirlpool forums, has provided good service.
I haven't used Digital Pacific myself for web hosting, but I use them for my domain names and their support has always been helpful for the few times I've needed to ask something.

For more information about what Digital Pacific offer, click on the banner below.



To see how fast a website hosted by digital pacific performs, have a look at www.floatsandtrailers.com.au.
If you look at a few different pages, you will be able to see how fast they load, and you can compare it with other websites.
This site is hosted on Australian servers.

HostGator

HostGator claim to be among the biggest webhost, they're not very expensive. To get a feel for how fast HostGator is, look at how fast pages load at www.leandamichelle.com.au. It is hosted on HostGator.

Crucial Paradigm

Crucial Paradigm have US based servers, are competitively priced and fairly reliable. Sometimes pages have a small delay loading, about 5 seconds, but the majority of the time performance is pretty instant.
To see how fast for yourself, try a few pages at www.specifikations.net. It's hosted with Crucial Paradigm.