In today’s business world, having a web presence is a must. Many companies go online and search for a web hosting company. They then choose the people who come up first in the search engine. This is a huge mistake. It is important to do your homework. Based on a study done by staffers at the Federal Trade Commission, Google uses their search engine to promote their own interests (click here). What does this mean for the rest of us? It essentially means that you see what they want you to see. The sites that come up first are not necessarily the best. Just like you take time to find the best house or car, you need to take time to find the correct web hosting company. Most people in business don’t understand what they should look for. You need to assess the company’s offerings. Compare them to other companies in the same industry. For instance, many companies offer introductory rates such as $1 a month for the first year, but once the new bill comes your service jumps to $12.95 a month. Yes you saved for the first year, but now you are paying twelve times the introductory rate and getting nothing for it. Many times the cheap comes out expensive. Let’s say that you have two companies. One has the introductory rate of $1 and then jumps to $12.95. The second charges you $3.95 and the rate never changes. After 2 years, there is a huge monetary difference. The first company would have charged you $167.40 while the second company would have charged you $94.80 for the same service. As a business person, you just lost $72.60 because you failed to do your homework. Looking into a potential company is very important. Read a few review boards and look at customer comments. Prior clients are an invaluable source of information. If the company has bad support, run! Make sure the company has contact information and take the time to call. Get to know a little about the industry and then make an informed decision. Remember, web hosting is another step in presenting your brand, so do it right.