My current web host plan will be up in about 3 months. I purchased a one year plan with my host provider, Host Monster. I have really been pleased with their service over the last nine months. I will most likely stick with this company unless I can find a better deal. Searching for a web host provider can be frustrating at times. There are a several factors that I consider, but initially I look at cost (annual or monthly and set up fees), disk space (how many MBs of storage), data transfer (how many GBs) and database (must have MySQL). I like to use websites like http://www.webhostingchoice.com that have search tools for finding web hosts that meet your needs.
I have learned the hard way that a cheap plan does not mean that it is the best plan. Besides an affordable package with the extra features, I need quality customer service that is easy to access, responds in a reasonable time frame, shows patience and understanding and provides the correct answers. After dealing with at least six different web hosts over the years, another one of my criteria for making the final pick is that the company must have a toll-free number. And if the number is available 24-7 then that is even better. Dealing with a company via e-mail is fine, but I appreciate the convenience of being able to use my phone to call a sales, customer service or tech representative for assistance. Afterward, I would have no problem with following up with questions in an e-mail.
My web host provider has helped me a great deal since March. At this point it is likely that I will stick with them. If something changes in the near future then I will definitely do some research to find the best deal available within my means.