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Finding quality small business web hosts can be a challenge especially for individuals & businesses with limited budgets. This is because the high-end hosting companies focus on the corporate market or high traffic websites. They are not interested in the small and home office sector because the scale of operations is low, and the margins are less.

This has led to the mushrooming of scores of web hosts that offer shared hosting packages to small and medium companies. Most of these web hosts do not have the technical or financial muscle to provide state-of the-art services. Some of them own one or 2 servers while there are several others who offer reselling solutions.

It is therefore important to examine the claims and market pitches of small web hosts carefully, before deciding to host your website on their servers. You must especially avoid resellers. The resellers may convince you of high quality service but are in no position to provide those services because they don't own hosting companies. They are only acting as middlemen.

To find a reliable host, you need to make a short list of potential web hosts in your city. You can then visit their premises and verify their claims, especially the hardware owned by them. You can't do this cross-checking when you purchase web space on the net. If possible, you should obtain the list of websites hosted by the web host. You can then contact owners of these websites, and get to know their experience.

You must find out which hosts offer the services you need, and their costs. Hosting firms need to be evaluated for their knowledge and accuracy by asking questions. You have to ensure that the host is honest and committed to customers by asking them relevant questions.

You should choose a host who is flexible, scalable and who can grow with your business. You need to watch for signs of rudeness, impatience and unresponsiveness in a host. Initially, do not enter into a long-term contract for hosting. If you can have more than one site, consider spreading them among several hosts.

As small hosts understand the needs of small business better, you may feel comfortable with them. However, you must not be carried away by hosts offering more than your requirements and skimp on support. The customer is expected to be technically knowledgeable and self-sufficient to negotiate an affordable price for hosting.