There is no dearth of web hosting companies. If you run a quick online search, note down the names of the webhosts, get a few more from classifieds and then a few more from references then you will end up with a few dozens of them at the least. The only way to ensure that you hire a good web hosting company from that huge list is to have an objective comparative approach.
Here is a brief but very useful guide on how to compare web hosting companies.
You should always start with cost. There is simply no point in considering companies that you cannot afford. The comparison of costs should be at par. You should compare different kinds of plans and check their cost and reject the one that charges you more. You should consider similar types of plans and check the corresponding costs to make the comparison. Be aware that some companies mention the lowest cost or their starting costs which may not apply to the plan you are referring to. Also, you must see to it that the costs you are considering are inclusive of all services and taxes. This is just to ensure that your comparison is being objective and with loopholes.
Once you have assessed the costs, check the plans. You must list out every feature and service mentioned in the plan. Create a table to see who offers what. You should not be overwhelmed by the tons of features and services that some web hosting companies offer. You must only take into account the features and services that you think you will use. There is no point in having twenty extra features and paying higher if you are not using them. Also, it is better to have ten features that you would use and get the best out of those ten features instead of having twenty features and receiving poor service at the same cost.
A web hosting company will always claim a fascinating uptime but you must verify if they can deliver on it. You can ask around, seek experts’ opinions, read reviews and get an idea of the reality.
Credential of a web hosting company is very important. You can check out the credential of web hosting companies from review websites, forums and by speaking with present and former clients of the companies.
Finally, you should judge the kind of approach a webhost has when they are trying to vie for your contract. If you are uncomfortable dealing with them and if there is even one warning sign that they wouldn’t deliver or would be unprofessional later then you should back off.