Internet Web Site Hosting - What should I Look for?
1. Space: How much space do you need? If you're not going to have sound or video files on your homepage you may not need much space. If your main files are going to be html files, scripts and jpg and gif files, you probably won't need more than 1 GB.
2. Bandwidth: Watch out for hosting services that say they provide unlimited bandwidth. There's no such thing as unlimited bandwidth and it could actually be that they presuppose that you won't be using much bandwidth and shut down your website if you get too much traffic. You should rather go for a web host that clearly states exactly how much bandwidth you have at your disposal.
3. Databases: If you want to have a forum, a poll, a guestbook or other script related interactive things on your web site, take a look at how many databases you get. Windows hosting allows you to put up asp scripts and Linux hosting allows php scripts. If you only get one database you can put up multiple databases in tables but preferably you should get at least 10 - it's easier and less messy that way.
4. Prices: Not only should you look for the monthly price, also check for how many months you must undertake to pay for the service. Some hosting companies require that you sign up for at least 12 months. Also, is there a setup fee? Are e-mail forwarding or e-mail accounts included in the price?
5. Support: Last but not least, good support is extremely important. There are horror-stories out there where someone's hacked into one of the databases of the customer, deleted all data, and the support team never answered the question about backup possibilities. This is of course unacceptable, but how can you know unless you've already signed up? Good support should be fast and helpful. You can try the support team by writing an email with a question to see if/how fast they reply.
6. Uptime: All companies say their uptime is 99.99% but it's important to know that they have to say so no matter what because of the competition. Often you don't find out about the real uptime and server slow-downs until you've already signed up.