Finding a reputable web host is something any good webmaster has to do. They need to have a feel for exactly how quickly and decently a web host can deal with any problem that may arise. For example, if their server crashed, would you lose your sight? Probably not.
Imagine the day where you lose your entire customer’s information due to a server “meltdown”. This may include transaction ID’s, credit card numbers, ordering information (including, of course, what they ordered). What are you going to tell them? Are you going to spend a day calling or emailing all your customers saying “Hi, this is (your name here), and I’m sorry to inform you that we’ve had some technical issues? We’re going to need you to visit our website again and tell us exactly what you have ordered.” What are your customers going to think of you then?
Or maybe you own a blog. Blogs are usually updated on a daily basis or at least a few times a week. Over time, you’ll end up with hundreds and hundreds of posts. If they were to suddenly disappear, what would you do? Keep in mind that the way your customers find your blog, to begin with, is through all of the posts they find on Google. If your posts disappear, then guess what: You disappear off Google, and your readers vanish as well. Restoring a lost blog is no easy project. The only real way to do it is to simply start all over again. This can be a very frustrating task for anyone that took the time to write a lot of posts. Really, who wants to write the same thing twice?
If you had to re-create a community site, chances are a lot of your community will disappear once they find that your site is gone. Think about it. People get pretty much addicted to whatever type of community site they find themselves in, be it MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or even some forum. Chances are if your site is not able to handle them, there’s another that will. People have a tendency to “flock” to whatever is popular at the time. If your site says “I’m sorry, we’re broken, please try again in a while”, most of your visitors aren’t going to wait. They’re just going to look on Google for something else. And we all know how quickly that can be done.
The good news is that thanks to the power of the internet, we can find out a lot about almost any company or service available, including web hosting services. All it takes is a few minutes to research them on Google. Just do a simple search for the whole domain. If there aren’t a lot of results, or if people seem to only talk about their bad experiences, then don’t trust it. A little research can go a long way.