People often ask me about factors that they should be taking into consideration before signing up for a web hosting service. Unfortunately, there is not one, simple answer. Instead, different types of requirements can be served with different types of services. You can start with narrowing down your own requirements. Don't forget to make two distinct lists: ‘must-have requirements' and ‘optional requirements'. Once you are aware of what you need out of a web hosting service, second step would be deciding your budget. This is probably the easiest step of all because you would know that already somewhere in the back of your head.
There are heaps of hosting providers available in the market. Hence, we started our search with narrowing down what we are looking for. A simple Google search can return several services and it might be hard to choose from. But if you keep your list of requirements in front of you, it would be much easier. Here is what you can do to aid your search:
1) Study the web hosting service: After filtering a few service providers, you should start digging into the business history of each. Remember to strikethrough those that are not in business since a reasonable amount of time. A reasonable amount of time can range from one to three years. Read reviews of that particular service provider on blogs and forums. Only move with this provider if it passes the first step.
2) Choose web hosts with at least 99.9% uptime: Do remember that a cheap service may attract you with colorful banners and advertisements. However, it is not necessary that their servers are capable of handling traffic consistently, no matter what the load is. Many good services mention their server up-time. Filter your list of web hosts with only those that have at least 99.9% server uptime.
3) Look for Support & Knowledge base: Never sign up with a service provider that doesn't offer 24/7 support. Many good hosting services offer live chat option. Although the wait-time is considerable, but you have an advantage of getting your issue resolved quickly. Make sure that the company has a good knowledge base available at your disposal and it includes basic FAQs in it. You don't want to keep your website visitors on hold till your web host fix the issue.
If you consider these three things in your web host hunting, you will definitely end up finding a great service that will the long-lasting companion of your website and your clients.