So how does this factor into building your own website. Well, it does so in a few ways.
First, some Internet Service Providers (ISP) will also host your website free of charge. Usually they only allow a small website, but it may be enough to get you started. Second, some ISPs are more than just ISPs. They not only offer internet access, they also register domain names and provide website hosting for your domain. If you's rather deal with just one company for everything than with three companies (one ISP, one domain name registration and one website hosting).
There are LOTS of internet service provider companies out there, probably thousands, so finding one isn't difficult. The differences between them are in cost, service and connection speed and reliability, but cost isn't always a good predictor of service, speed and reliability, so if there's a chance to "try before you buy", it's always good to check them out. See how your connect speed is. See if the connection drops out. Contact their customer service department with a question (any question!) and see how long it takes to get a response. Call their toll free number and see if you get a person or just an answering machine.
One thing to be aware of is that so called "accelerated" dialup access, offering speeds "up to 5x normal dialup", are a bit deceptive. They use local caching and compression schemes which can accelerate the downloading popular pages and text based files but if they use it on pictures (and some schemes do), picture quality can suffer badly. That's not exactly what you're looking for if you're interested in photography! So don't get "accelerated" service if you want faster photo downloads without quality loss, because you won't get it, nor will you get accelerated uploads. While the front page of MSN might snap onto your screen almost instantly with an accelerated service. Downloading a 100K image file from some obscure website will either crawl along at the same old pace, or if it is speeded up the results will be a degraded image due to compression.
Note also that "56K" dialup service is 56K for downloads only. For uploads it's only 33.6K (maximum), "accelerated service" or not!
If you want to go faster than that (which is nice for both viewing and maintaining sites with a lot of images, such as most photography sites), you need high speed internet access, which normally means DSL or cable modem, and that's covered in the next section here.