Originally posted by UltraUnixNET
2. A very good rule of thumb, do not go with real cheap providers and you won't go wrong easily
That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. There are a number of not so cheap hosts that overload their servers as well. I know, I was once their client.
1) If the webhost uses a 3rd party merchant service, you can almost assume that they won't have access to any of your credit card details.
As an example, we use 2checkout and all we can get from a client is the expiry date and the first/last 4 digits of the credit card along with an address and phone number.
2) Ask to see some of their clients websites. Test the speed of the website and such. Ask to see if they are willing to move your account to another server should you find the server you are on to be overloaded.
3) There can be no guarantees. Sometimes you may get lousy speed because of your own ISP and it is not the hosts fault. However, if they do use a sub par network, that will be very obvious.
Do some research on the networks they use.
Hope that helps.