As with most things in life, if you need a professional website and want a decent website hosting company, it will generally cost something. Website hosting can be free, but if you are a business, you're most likely going to need more than what free service providers can offer.
Website hosting is simply space on a server where your website lives so think about it like a traditional business needing premises and its very similar. If your website does not get uploaded somewhere then it won't be online.
Many hosting companies will offer additional services as part of the package. In our case we offer clients hosting, technical support, a domain name, access to the content management system and also email accounts if you do not already have an email solution.
Work out how much bandwith (data transfer) your site needs. Try to avoid choosing a package which is too close to what you currently use as you could be charged for any excess then used.
What is the support offered. Is it only by email or can you speak to them? Most cheaper providers will show why they are cheap when things go wrong!
Most businesses can not function without email. Apart from perhaps wanting different email addresses for consumers to mail (eg delivery enquiries, pre-sale enquiries, general enquiries etc), you might take on more employees who will also need their own email address.
Our hosting is not the cheapest at between £132 and £176 plus VAT per year, but we have worked with the same data centre (the location our servers are stored) for over 10 years and we work with them as they are one of the largest hosting comapnies in the world who offer unbeatable reliability and support. Because of this our sites are fast and we have almost no down time each year. Its the type of service a large company would use but we have priced it to make it affordable to smaller businesses looking for a professional solution.
Age of businesses is important, although new businesses don't often like to flag this. A track record and history offers some comfort if you are buying any product or service.
Although this is a complicated topic with a number of different areas most businesses will want a website (and domain) that is optimised for their target market. We host our websites in the UK. Google uses the location as part of its algo so in theory a UK business should host their website in the UK to obtain the best possible SEO (search engine optimisation) ranking. There are also speed considerations for your website visitors.
If you want to discuss website hosting and the different things you should consider then please get in touch and one of our friendly web designers can go through things with you.