We suggest to look at first your needs - how much of server space, bandwidth, domains, databases and e-mails do you really need and then take detailed look what web hosting providers offer.
Which web hosting is best?
We are been creating websites more than 10 years and hosted websites with quite different hosts. There are few of them, which are providing professional services, but they all vary just a little bit from each other. Most important is to take a moment and think about your needs at first and clear your mind about priorities. Which is more important: cheaper price or proved quality? Let's walk over some characteristics of modern web hosting service, which elements are exactly included and how important they are for you.
We have been seeing our clients to risking with loosing data, poor technical hosting support and sluggish performance to save few bucks. Most of the time it ended with double workload for us, since customers expected us to clear the mess. We can safely say that better server uptimes, ergonomic control panels, fast databases, up-to-date operating systems, systematic backups and excellent support also make our everyday business of creating vibrant websites a lot easier.
Communication from people to people
It is important, that you understand from first sight, what kind of hosting services company provides. Is the registration form simple enough and all different choices easy to comprehend? The first indication of miscommunication would be highly used technical jargon. If host provider is not able to create simple registration form, it great risk, that they will use same technical jargon also later in providing support.
Which kind of website do you have?
Medium size websites use no more than 2-3Gb of disk space and about 10Gb Bandwidth. Having some extra space may be wise, but there is little sense of paying for server space, which exceed real usage 12x or even 25x times. For optimal choice it is great if host provider has well diversified price list - you would be able to start with lower expenses and upgrade your hosting plan timely when your website grows and needs more resources.
Which domains are included to package?
It is possible to make life much easier with choosing site hosting provider, which provides domain registration service within one package. It means, that you need to worry less about updating, configuring and making sure, that domain works well - all this is provided to you by hosting company. Make sure, that creating new e-mail addresses in format is possible in hosting management panel. Creating new e-mail addresses is really basic service, but there are still host providers, who doesn't have decent e-mail accounts manager yet in their management panel.
Visitors statistics of your website
It is wise to choose website hosting provider, which has good website visitors statistics integrated to the hosting manager panel. There are many great solutions, which work equally well, like AWStats, Webalizer, CrawlTrack. To be able track the visitors statistics in details, be sure that there is at least one of those programs available by website host.
How fast is the web hosting server and host's network?
Website scripts executions speed depends how fast and powerful servers are there available. Most website hosts publish servers technical data on their website. Another quite important parameter is network speed measured in milliseconds. Literally it means how long and fast cable is connected to host provider servers. Good is, that you are able to measure it by yourself with clicking "Start" => "Run" => type in "command" => and then type "ping domainname.com" any number below 100ms is good, faster is always better. Sometimes same hosting company has servers in defferent states and even different countries - additionally to USA also in Canada, Europe and even in Australia.
Be sure to measure address, which designates closest servers to you. If site hosting company is multinational, choose for your website the server, which is nearest to you.
What are help desk regular hours?
Check what kind of customer service is available, are the channels like e-mail, instant messaging, phone suitable for you. Usually servers technical maintenance is done 24/7 but customer support hours are not always the same. See also guidance materials and FAQ pages - are there sufficient materials and are they easy to understand.
Which web hosting is best?
We are been in website building business for years and acquired some understanding which hosting site web providers have better service and less technical problems. Based on our experiences, we wrote page about which web hosting provider is best, based on what worked for our clients in the past. Feel free to take a look, some of them are good for medium websites, there are also couple of them which work excellently even for larger portals.