It's not at all easy to select a perfect web hosting company rather it is as complicated as sending one of one's children off to college. One may have complete confidence in his/her son or daughter's abilities but unless they are placed in the proper environment they will not have the opportunity to thrive. In the same way, no matter how sophisticated or impressive the website one may have designed, but if it is not placed at the right place all is useless.
Selection of web hosting is not just finding a place for website rather it is finding the company that offers resources that enables one's website to operate effectively and to grow as per demand of the business or public. This implies that one must be able to store and transfer enough data so as to enable smooth functioning of site with less cost.
In case of free web hosting the providers place their ads on one's site. These ads help in generating revenue for the hosting company by enabling them to display ads to visitors to one's website. However, the choice is entirely on user to determine whether the ads are appropriate for visitors or not. In addition one is also having the choice to decide whether the amount of storage and the available bandwidth is sufficient for the type of website one wants to display or not. For a personal website, that is periodically modified, a personal website is sufficient. However using services of free hosting on site with significant traffic or a site, which is with commercial focus, is not a right option.
This is because all commercial web-hosting companies are not created equal. While deciding for the proper service, cost is a factor but reliability and service can't be ignored. One should expect his/her host to be up and functioning 100% of the time but at the same time guarantee of 99-99.5% uptime is also must. Less than this is not at all acceptable.
If one is managing much of the activity for one's site, then he/she must make sure that he/she gets the Control Panel of his/her choice. There are some hosts providing Control Panels that are cumbersome and complicated. One must make sure that if the provider is having all the functionality that is required not now but in near future. These features include PHP, MySQL, SSI, .htaccess, SSL, etc. One must examine carefully for the offers for email and auto responders also.