Amazing how many have answered in this thread yet didn’t read the OP’s question…
I’d add to Bluedreamer’s excellent reply
I’d avoid any company that sells ‘unlimited’ whether it’s space or bandwidth. These companies are in a race to the bottom and can’t actually deliver what they promise without compromises.
I also avoid companies that don’t state registered company details and an office address, and a landline phone number. It’s basic professionalism, ask yourself why any respectable company confident of its capabilities and reputation, and of a useful size, would omit these.
If you’re more technical, check whether they have their nameservers on the same ip as their hosting, it’s indicative of cost cutting and again a lack or extra effort in provision of hosting infrastructure. Chatting to live chat and asking a few tough questions can also be indicative.
You might consider avoiding too cheap. Cheap attracts the wrong hosting network/resource neighbours, doesn’t pay for well qualified support staff and sustainability.
I also avoid companies that don’t state server spec. If it’s not stated there’s often a good reason (old domestic spec servers with no raid and slow domestic quality drives)
Your best option is… to ask around the forums here at Sitepoint.
Seriously, direct recommendations work the best I’ve noticed. You can be warned about some, and hear perks of others. Plus, some of us have hosted with places so long that we have direct contacts with sales and tech reps.
I personally adore QuadraNet (I joined them when PacificRack, but now combined into this bigger company), if you were looking for a suggestion.
Thank you. This is very helpful advice. I’m narrowing my search now, trying to be as systematic as possible. I think I’m in a higher price range than what some of the posters here have suggested - I can’t afford a dedicated host but some hosts offered shared plans with only a limited number of other clients on the same server for prices in the $25-$35 a month range and that’s where I’m looking.
Most people don’t actually read posts on these boards so I knew it was probably a waste of time to tell people to NOT suggest specific companies. This happens all the time on forums - I swear that half the “people” on these forums are just bots keying on keywords in the text.
I am actually just getting dedicated servers for the past few years. I use those unlimited or cheap host or parking domains or sites that are still not quite ready yet. Have you considered finding Dedicated Server host instead of web hosts?
I had the same problem with Unlimited hosts, my site image was hotlinked by a rogue site that sucked 50GB of traffic in a week. The “unlimited” host shut down my site without warning. SO I do agree that its best to get the exact figure rather than the unlimited one.
Unlimited ones are also prone to misuse. I want to add on to the “bad neighbors” point someone mentioned above. Say you find someone who says they host with them. You need to find out how many people they put on the server. So you take this site and try an online tool like “Reverse IP” to see how many people they put on same IP. Ofcourse servers have more than one IP but not too many like 7 is max I have seen. That gives you an idea how fast (or slow) your experience would be. Too many is a bad thing.
sorry I couldn’t help much. I used specific company name to give an idea of what type of hosting would work for you. Sorry for trying to help.
@PatrickSamphire - Thanks for bringing the issue to my attention. It’s now resolved:
For Windows ASP hosting, I like CrystalTech. I’ve used them for years and they are very good.
This is 1and1.com they have been around forever and offer reasonable pricing with us hosting. I wasn’t a fan of their hosting panel but other than that they provide an excellent hosting service.
If you were going to use them, you would probably have to go with their $9.99/mo plan and above since that’s the minimum plan that offers a MS-SQL database.
DiscountASP.net have been around for quite some time and I have heard good things about them.
On the WHT you will be able to find a tool which allow you to post requirements and get quotation from subscribed web hosts.
There are a few sites out there where you can search for whatever specs you want.
I’d recommend this one:
Also keep an eye out for coupons etc when signing up, do a search for the specific host you want.