1. Contact current customers of the hosting provider. See how satisfied they really are, whether they have encountered any problems, and how the hosting company responded. Contact customer service and see if anyone picks up the phone.
2. Pick up the phone and call the support line. Ask a few questions and see how they respond. Are they courteous? Can you understand them, or are you speaking with offshore support staff? How long did it take for someone to answer?
3. “Make sure you understand the different packages and services the company provides. “Read the website; ask questions.” There are a number of factors to consider. How much storage space will you get? What about bandwidth and data transfer – how much is covered? Will you be charged for over-usage and if so, how much? How frequently will site backups be made? What’s the hosting company’s uptime / downtime experience? What level and type of customer support will you be entitled to with the package you choose – email-only support, telephone customer support during business hours, or telephone support 24/7? What level of security monitoring and intrusion prevention/detection is available?