Most businesses will need a hosting service to launch their website. You are not tied to the place where you have registered your domain name. A hosting service is paying for server space to load your website files. After your files are loaded then you would tell the domain name where to look by updating the DNS information where your domain name is registered.
And I've probably lost you from boredom already! Basically, hosting is one of the most important things in making sure your site is up and running. I've used quite a few shared hosting providers over the years and they range in price and quality a great deal. In shopping shared hosting services, you should consider the user interface, support, performance and pricing.
User Interface - what that means to me, is that I can find what I need in a logical manner quickly. Since I'm always thinking about my clients needs, if I have a hard time finding something important quickly, then odds are so will you.
Support - this is a huge thing! I'm not really a patient person, especially when a website is down! So I like a lot of options to communicate! What I'm looking at, is do they offer: online chat, phone and support tickets. Online chat is by far my favorite support feature, it's usually fast on response and you'll know pretty quickly how good a hosting service is on the first chat.
Performance - Are their servers sold over capacity? Are their servers well protected with the latest software? Are they able to handle your specific requirements? Some hosting companies have reputations in the community of always over selling capacity on their servers. How does that impact your website? You are constantly competing for resources, if you are unlucky enough to be on a server with a very high usage client your site will get bumped offline a lot or perform very slowly. This is usually very noticeable to me because we often create your website on a development server where it is working fabulously then move it to your hosting provider and have it perform horribly. The only change was the hosting! Here's a handy little tool to check out how many accounts you are sharing your hosting service with. You'd be amazed at the differences, do some comparisons!
Price - Well anyone who knows me will tell you I like to find a good deal! That being said moving your website and email accounts on a regular basis is not a cost savings! If you are just doing a website on a casual basis and performance and such are not as big of a concern then you can find some very inexpensive hosting services on the web. But if you are looking for a good stable hosting company then price is important but it should not be the determining factor in your decision.
We've been using Site5 since 2011, while they have a lot of great attributes, we've definitely ran into enough issues to have recently changed to Siteground. Right now I'm loving Siteground on all levels! The other hosting providers that I've checked out were HostGator and Arvixe, while both appear to work well, I just quite simply didn't like the user interface.