Confused about how to choose a business web hosting company? It can be hard to know which hosting company to trust with your business website. After all, your website is your calling card online and it’s important that you choose a reliable, high quality web hosting company to make sure that your site runs smoothly. Here are 5 tips that can help you choose a quality hosting company for your website:

1. Don’t use free hosting services – You might be tempted to try out a free hosting service and save some money but remember the old adage “you get what you pay for”. That is definitely true when it comes to web hosting! That doesn’t mean that you need to rush out and get the most expensive hosting plant that you can find but don’t bother with the free hosting services, they will do more harm than good in the long run. Free services also often have a lot of add ons that you need to pay for like stats and website tracking info so even though the hosting is free the services that you need are not.

2. Check out how long the average help desk wait is – Somewhere on the site they will tell you how long it usually takes their help desk personnel to answer a trouble ticket submitted by a customer. The average help desk wait is 24 – 48 hours. If they say that the average wait is longer than that you should find another web hosting company.

3. See if they have live help available – These days most business web hosting companies offer live help through chat applications or instant messages during normal business hours. Live help isn’t always terribly helpful but at least you can talk with someone right away when you have a problem. If you can find a hosting company in your preferred price range that offers live help you should choose that company so that you’ll be able to get a hold of someone if you need to.

4. Check to see how many email addresses you get with your website – Any hosting company should offer you free POP3 email addresses with your website. Find out how many the company offers before you sign up and make sure that they offer more than you think you’ll need so that you can change email addresses or add and subtract email addresses as employees come and go.

5. Ask about their security protocols – This is important when you’re buying hosting services. It’s important for any business but it’s especially important if you’re going to be doing any ecommerce or asking clients or customers for personal information or financial information. Find out if the company allows you to install additional security and what security they offer as a standard part of their services.