1.) First, the industry standard for uptime is a minimum of 99%, so you want to check that out first. Does the given web hosting provider service have a track record of being that reliable? You really don’t need your site to go down a lot. Ironically, the providers that promise you unlimited storage space and bandwidth are the ones that tend to let your site crash the most, because they get overloaded. So, be wary of these.
2.) Next, consider how much space you’ll get with a given provider. As mentioned above, those who offer no limits to the amount of diskspace may not be the most reliable. But if you are going to want to have an image gallery or something else that would gobble up megabytes, you may have to consider going for one anyway. But if that’s not what you’re going to need, perhaps you only need anywhere from 30 to 50 MB of storage space.
3.) You also don’t need unlimited bandwidth unless you’re trying to become the next MSN Live. You’ll still get all the traffic you need without infinite data transfer allowance, so once more stick with going for uptime reliability. 1 GB is plenty. Along those same lines, you probably don’t need unlimited e-mail accounts, or even dozens of them. If your target web hosting provider offers you about 15 or so, that’s a good deal.
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4.) Now, how about tech support? Does the host you’re considering have a good reputation with this? If they don’t, just forget about them. There’s nothing worse than poor customer service and tech support. Even poor uptime is not (quite) as bad.
Make sure your target web hosting provider will give you CGI-bin access. They’ll probably have to have the script for them pre-installed for your security. If you write scripts yourself, be sure your provider will support your languages–PERL, C++, or whatever you may use.
5.) Now, the final and perhaps most crucial factor of all in choosing the appropriate web hosting provider. You get what you pay for. Web Host Providers that compete on price are cheap in both senses of that word. While you do want to get competitive rates, compare apples to apples and make sure that all of the quality that you want is there first before you start comparing prices. If you wind up paying a little more, that’s money well spent.