Web hosting can be very lucrative considering the marginal cost of each additional customer and the big chance of locking them up – most clients are reluctant to switch if the current host is good enough.
As a buyer, you want your money worth the deal. Here is a general list of things you should do at choosing a web hosting provider:
- Is their sales site design good and unique?
Not necessarily has to be beautiful and gorgeous but uniqueness and aesthetics integrity should account for the seriousness they take in their business. A bad design or a copied design would just hint their inability to start decently, let alone their competence in serving you well.
- Is their sales site PageRank high enough? Does it have good amount of back links? Is it old enough?
Senior sites are undoubtedly more trustworthy. And a senior site often bears high pagerank (check any site’s pagerank here) and a fair amount of backlinks (check for number of backlinks of a site by link:site.com in Google). You can also check for the age of a web hosting site by querying its whois infomation.
- Do others / paying customers review for them or against them?
There’s plenty of places where you can find reviews and ratings of hosting companies. One of the biggest unbiased community is Web Hosting Talk. Just go search the name of the provider for what others are saying about them.
You can also search for ‘xxx hosting reviews’ in Google for ratings and reviews. But be warned that some of the reviewing sites are financially affiliated with the web hosting providers and therefore the reviews should be taken as rather biased ones.
There’s actually much more to consider when choosing a web hosting company. Remember that there’s no perfect hosting provider except what’s perfect for you and that there’s no web hosting without a single negative reviews. So instead of obsessively seeking the most reliable hosting service, comparing for the most cost-effective one would be a better idea.
Update: A good approach is to try to detect and find out what famous websites are using as host by tracing the IP address and where the domain is hosted.