As you look to establish an online presence, it is very important that you select the right web hosting company. Web hosting is the service that delivers your website to people when they type in www.yourname.com. There are thousands of these companies online today, and knowing the right questions will help you select the one that meets your needs. Here are some to get you started.

1) Is domain registration included, or do I have to pay extra?

Most of the best web hosts today offer free domain names (the .com) when their clients sign up for a long-term package. Registering your domain with the company you host with reduces headaches and hassle that can result from trying to import your domain to your hosting company. However, understand that this feature is often only available when you pre-pay for one year or more or bundled with web site design package.

2) How many websites can I host with this hosting package?

Many Internet marketers have a large number of websites. These websites can be informational sites, or websites used to target very small niches. Whatever the reason, having the ability to host extra domain names at no extra charge can save you from purchasing a brand new hosting package for each domain you register.

3) What is the percentage of guaranteed uptime?

When a web host experiences downtime, your websites are inaccessible and your company could lose money. Leading hosts will guarantee the amount of uptime – which should exceed 99.8% for the best companies.

4) What level of service does the company provide?

From uploading files to configuring systems, hosting a website can be a tricky business. You need a company that provides world-class support when you need it. Before signing up for a hosting package, make sure the company you’re considering provides support through multiple methods: email, helpdesk, knowledgebase, etc. The best companies will offer 24-hour phone support in case of emergencies. When hundreds of thousands of dollars are on the line, you want to have this level of service.

5) Does the company offer a money-back guarantee?

Occasionally people run into web hosting companies that provide poor service or slow web servers. In order to prevent yourself from being locked into a year-long contract with a company that does not provide the level of service you need, make sure the web host you’re considering offers a 30-day money back guarantee. This is standard in the hosting industry, and nearly every reputable host offers it.