I have always thought it is dang near impossible to choose web hosting for an amateur. There are packages and platforms and options and of course pricing from next to nothing on up to hundreds of dollars per year. I have some link building websites that I choose to put on cheap hosting as the downtime is not a concern for sites of this specific purpose.
I track server downtime on all sites I admin including the hosting this site is on and the service I offer for my clients. I thought I would share some results that are common from todcanhost and then from a from a Company who's TV ads you may know but I will not name. Keep in mind no servers are up all of the time. I recommend making sure that total up-time is 99% or better and that downtime events are short in duration. That is, you don't want 1% downtime in a month to be 7.2 hours in one consecutive outage, you would hope outages would be short in duration.
TV Advertised Cheap Hosting Company (30 days)
TodCanHost (30 days)
You can clearly see the big name Cheap hosting company was down only 6 times. compared TodCanHost being down 19 times. But look at the percentages of up time in 30 days. Big and cheap is only up 81.94% of the time, compared to TodCanHost with 99.91% up-time. I can guess most would not be happy with their website being down for 96 hours straight as reported for Big and Cheap on Jan. 17, 2014.
Up-time is just on factor in Webhosting. There are many other parts of the puzzle too. Server Space, Bandwidth, Server Speed, Operating system, Options such as email, and SQL database availability. This article is just a real world look at one factor that to most is the most important first consideration....Is my site up?
Don't take a chance. Budget for a webhost that includes all the things your business or organization will need. Obviously up-time, but also included should be toms of email accounts, and the ability to host multiple websites. This really means you should have a minimum of $250/yr budgeted for webhosting.
To find the best web host simply google "best web hosting" or something similar. You will get results that look too good to be true. Detailed evaluations and descriptions. Google The hosts name, and you will get more spot-on and to the point sites that tell you all you need to know. Problem? Yes...Almost every one of them is a paid site or post designed to appear like an independent review. The hardest thing you will find is a real review of web hosting. That's what makes it difficult of the novice... The best way to find out is by experience, and you don't need to experience 10 bad web hosts to find a good one. I already have walked that road and that is what motivated me to put together a great all around solution in TodCanHost.