It is not easy to find the best web site hosting but there are four important factors to consider. You will see that, at this point, cost is not a major issue. In fact cost should always be a secondary issue until you are able to find multiple hosting companies that can offer the necessary service. You have to accept that there will be a price as free services will not be appropriate.
This can be overlooked as nobody expects to have problems but if they do arise, or even if you just want a question answered, support will become a primary concern. When this happens how you are dealt with will be very important.
If you have a problem you want it resolved yesterday and certainly do not want to wait until the provider’s office hours, especially if times zones differ. When you do get in contact, you want your question answered or problem solved and not to be given the “run-around”.
The best web site hosting providers invest in support and have people contactable 24/7 by phone as well as electronically.
Your site must respond fast for users. Offering a poor experience will drive visitors away and they may never return.
How does a hosting provider’s own site perform, do the pages load quickly? If their site is fast that is a promising start. Try searching for comments on your potential host but try to ensure this is from independent users. It is always more likely that people will post negative rather than positive comments so expect to see some complaints about all hosts.
The best web site hosting companies guarantee 99.9%+ system availability. Clearly it would be impossible to see 100% uptime, so occasional brief periods of downtime are acceptable but regular long periods are not.
Compensation may be given if uptime targets are missed but that will not compensate for the damage to your site’s reputation. Quite simply you will lose potential visitors permanently.
As above, you need to seek out independent reports on the past performance of the hosting company.
Good hosting companies will provide a user friendly control panel like, cPanel, that allows you to set-up email accounts, FTP accounts, analyze visitor information and more (actually more that most people will ever use).
What is well worth looking out for are tools like Fantastico which make it easy to install additional software. Amongst other things this allows you to install a WordPress site in a couple of minutes.