There are several factors that you need to seriously consider when finding the right hosting company — here’s a quick list.
If your target market is limited only for a particular country (e.g. Philippines), then why would you want a server be hosted in far countries like Canada? You can just imagine how long it will take your page to be transported to local viewers. But, if the hosting company has a very far reach having servers in the west unto the east, then be sure to request them that your website be hosted on the nearest country (e.g. Singapore), that is, if they really have no local presence. Some web hosting company sort that out automatically especially if they have a huge server farm across the globe. Yet, I would still firmly advise that you imply to them your specific preference, just to be sure. Otherwise, opt for local hosting providers.
Some hosting companies promise 99.99% uptime. I don’t know how they do that. Maybe, your site is replicated across their global servers and that you’re in a cloud. Yet, cloud providers still picks up data from the original source and failure to do so will result in Error 502. I would advise that whatever promises they make, you will have to really monitor your uptime. Otherwise, it’ll affect your “DropOffs” in Google. Worst, if SE (search engine) spiders happen to crawl your site during downtime, then that could induce errors.
If you find frequent downtime, and that they would say “it’s ok on our side, we’re seeing your site”, then your ISP might be at fault. But, if your ISP is doing good and that you’re fine browsing other websites except yours, then there really is something wrong with your host assuming that nothing is wrong with your codes (check your site error logs). You can’t blame it on the limited bandwidth because servers must communicate bandwidth exceeding limits to your browser.
You must also be aware of the seemingly never-ending hackwars between hosting providers. Some really make use of those old tactics to clog bandwidths of their target competitor to the extent of hacking the sites hosted within. You’ll have to be sensitive on this especially if attacks are frequent, affecting your online presence and expected traffic. They may claim that such events never exist or are just figments of imagination, don’t be so sure.
Sometimes, they themselves launch tests to make their servers more hackproof — but, that must be communicated to you, as a subscriber, so you’re aware of what’s going on.
Frequent downtime is not good. Transfer at the earliest possible time especially if your site is critical to your income generation.
Page Load Speed.
Yes, you’ll have to optimize your pages for fast loading. Cache program will also help. Bringing your site into the cloud would even help you better. But, since this topic is about hosting, then optimization shall intently be omitted being a contributing factor. If you’ve religiously done your share to keep your site good and optimized, but your site still crawls, then you’re probably hosted on a shared bandwidth.
Some hosting companies really squeeze shared hosting accounts within and even beyond their alloted shared bandwidth, thereby sacrificing page load speed of all those sites within that shared bandwidth. All these for maximized profit at a minimum cost.
To get out of that problem, opt for a larger bandwidth. Better yet, go get a dedicated bandwidth if you have enough extra to shed for your website’s sake.
Hosting Cost and VAS.
Some sites really offer low cost hosting. But, be careful of their performance. You must talk to friends about the hosting provider’s profile and reputation. Google about the hosting provider. If you hear a lot of bad remarks, then think twice.
Other companies offer low cost hosting yet provide noticeably good service as may be evidenced by online reviews. But, you must also be mindful about the value-added services (VAS). That’s where they usually earn and VAS cost are most often higher as compared to other providers who provide higher hosting cost. A common value-added service is SSL certificate that separately triggers the mandatory upgrade of your account towards having a dedicated IP. There are a lot more.
This has really been covered above, but, a good separate criteria for choosing the right hosting company for you.