Ask any Internet entrepreneur what most important decision they had to make for their Web site was, and chances are pretty good they'll say:
"choosing my Web host".
Here are most important things you need to ask your potential Web host before you part with your hard earned cash.
1. "How long have you been in business?"
Very important, as Web hosting is a business that requires a lot of technical experience. It is very high tech, and a new company might not have had time to get accustomed to all many different technologies you'll be using for your Web site.
2. "Who are your customers?"
Are their current customers serious business people or just hobby Webmasters with personal homepages? Ask for some URLs of serious ecommerce sites that they host.
3. "Do you provide live 24x7x365 support?"
You will definitely require support from your Web host from time to time. Questions will arise that you'll need answers to. Sometimes you'll need these answers as soon as possible, or even immediately. A good Web host must have 24 hour support staff available on hand to take your emails and calls. Your emails should be responded to within 1-2 hours max.
4. "Do you guarantee 99% uptime?"
No matter how good a Web host, your site will be unavailable for short periods of times due to routine maintenance work. The best Web hosts however offer a money back guarantee in case your Web site isn't up 99% of time (over period of one year usually).
5. "What kind of Internet connection do you have?"
You need a fast connection from your Web site to Internet. The fastest connections are leased lines (includes T-1, T-3, OC-3 and DS-3). You should be looking for a Web host with leased lines. No leased lines? Simply look for another Web host.