When you want to make a website for your company, for a hobby, a blog… You want it to actually be online all the time. And the only way that's going to happen is when you choose a good web hosting provider. If you choose a bad one, well good luck then.
Now when choosing a provider, it's important to know what to look for. But before we look at what's important, we'll discuss the disadvantages when choosing a bad (and usually cheap) provider.
Disadvantages of having bad web hosting:
Loss of revenue and audience:
When your site is down and you're running a business then you will lose potential customers. When people find your website down most of the time, they'll also likely think that your company is unreliable. When your site is about your hobby, then you have made it so that people can visit your site and view what you're doing. You'll likely want to build an audience, but that's not going to happen when the place they want to visit online, isn't up.
Bad effect on your ranking:
Your goal with a website usually is to attract a lot of people. So you will want to be ranked higher in the search results. If your site isn't up when search engines are trying to visit, then your ranking will be affected in a negative way. And slow websites can also hurt your ranking. People don't like it if they must wait long for your webpage to load, especially when surfing on the web.
Security breaches and attacks:
Websites get attacked everyday by people who want to steal information, scam or just do damage. Although it's impossible to have a perfect secure website, a good and reliable host will be harder to attack and will also have your data backed up. You really don't want to lose all your data and the trust of your visitors (or customers).
Now that we've covered several disadvantages of a bad host let's get to the next topic, how to choose a good web hosting provider.
Choosing a good provider:
Before you read any further, you must first know that there are a lot of different types of hosting. Such as VPS, Dedicated and Managed web hosting.
So the first and most important factor when choosing a good provider is the customer support. You may have a good host, but if there's a problem and they aren't responding then what are you going to do? Most providers offer 24/7 support, but this doesn't say you'll get an immediate response. So be sure to do your research.
Coming second would be the up-time track record. As I've mentioned before, this is very important. While it would be difficult to have a 100% up-time, if the host has one between 95% and 99% then I would find it good enough to choose them.
But then comes the cost, while a lot of providers are cheap. They aren't really that reliable. Since you usually get what you pay for, it's better to choose a web hosting provider that costs a little bit more.
The last factor I would look at when choosing would be the ability to upgrade. When you're getting increasingly more traffic, you want your website to be able to handle it smoothly. Having a good amount of ram, hard drive space can do wonders.