A Web host company will provide you with space to host your website A domain name and a whole host of scripts from forum software to shopping cart integration.
If you want to be seen on the internet you will need a web host, but do not just go picking any host. You need a reliable web host who offers a quality service. So here comes a few of my own personal needs before i sign up with a web host.
Price, Ok this is not the most significant factor when choosing a web host, but we do not want to be paying stupid prices for a service we can get just as good from someone else at half the price.
Experience, This is one of the things i expect from a web host, Yes every company has to start somewhere but why should you be the one to suffer if someone does not have the experience to keep your site online at least 95% of the time.
Reputation, as anyone who has a buisness knows reputation goes a long way, make sure you choose someone with a good one.
Infastructure & Adaptability, A good webhost will already be planning for the future, they need to be able to upgrade to the latest and fastest equipment as and when it is needed. New things come out on the internet all the time and you want your provider to be able to offer advice and support if needed.
Support, Most websites now offer 24/7 support online and offline, make sure the one you choose also offers the same support, no point having customers if your site is down and your web host is unavailable.
So with all that in mind take your time and shop around, use google and make use of the review sites that are out there.