Learning how to choose a reliable web host for your web hosting needs is an important and difficult decision. Make sure that you prepare a detailed list of your web hosting requirements before you start searching to find the most suitable web host. Here are few 'verification' points to make sure that your web host is reliable.
Past performance: Go through the web site of the host to find out details like how long the host has been around, up time commitment (I will come to this later), any awards that the web host has won, any well known sites that are being hosted by this provider (normally a list of clients can be found on the host's site or you may find testimonials). These should provide you with a sufficient amount of confidence in the first place to deal with this specific web host.
Up time:This is a very important feature. Web sites hosted on the servers of a particular web hosting provider are subject to technical problems and things can happen and servers crash. This means that during this period if a web surfer comes to see your site, they will be unable to view it. Normally represented as a percentage, this value gives you the idea of the time the sites hosted by the particular host are up and working fine. A value above 98% is good. Nowadays many web hosts guarantee a certain percentage of up-time like 99.8%. This is exceptional.
Flexibility: A flexible web hosting plan is useful because you can start with a minimum plan and later upgrade to another hosting plan when your needs grows. Web Hosts who provide only one kind of plan are always not useful for everyone.
Cost and features: Compare the features and costs of a few web hosting providers. See if the features match your need. Also make sure that all basic requirements are covered and also check out the availability of latest technologies on the hosting feature list. Even if you don't need them, this can show the reliability of the provider.
Payment plans: Check out very carefully the payment plans of the web hosting provider. A monthly payment plan is always good even if it costs you a few dollars more. You always have the choice to change providers at any time you want. Most web hosts now provide a 30 day money back guarantee period.
Support: This is something you will need the most. What kind of support the web hosting company provides the clients such as telephone support, email, FAQ sections, etc... Maybe a dedicated discussion board or forum will help as well. Also check on the delay in responses especially for the email support service. A web hosting provider who supports clients 24-7 is an excellent feature.
Backup: Last but not least. Recently we have been hearing a lot about sites with tons and tons of pages disappearing. Why, because of some technical problems on the servers and no backups. No one likes to see their years of hard work disappear within a few seconds. Now, many reliable web hosting service providers have a daily automatic backup feature.
Learning how to choose a reliable web host for your web hosting needs is really about what is important to you and your needs!