We were recently contacted by someone who had encountered an issue with their website. They were using a low cost hosting provider which had worked for a couple of years without to many issues, but out of the blue their site had fallen over and the support desk had made some attempts to fix it, but with little success. As a result the site had been offline for 2 days and had actually cause the person to loose business.
We had a quick look at customers site and it became obvious that the site had been moved without the clients knowledge to a different server with a different configuration. This meant that the site as it was currently setup stopped working and needed to be altered to work with the new configuration, which we did and promptly got the site back online.
This scenario really outlines I feel the issue with what we call "budget hosting". Budget hosting is great if you have a relatively low importance website (such as a personal blog or are just getting started and need something online) but once you start to grow and rely on your site your company needs to consider reliability. Budget hosting accounts promos lots of features for a very appealing price and very often come with some sort of "up time guarantee", but really all that guarantee states is that the site goes down then you can claim the relative cost back, which in reality will mean maybe a few pounds. It is doubtful that this will equal the cost of lost business.
How ilateral deal with hosting...
At ilateral we haven't had an outage for any of our clients that has lasted longer than about 45 minutes in over 7 years of trading. This is because we monitor all our clients sites 24/7 and have servers with automated recovery scripts and fallbacks should the worst happen. We also run servers that are dedicated to only websites (no bundled emails, ftp accounts etc) which means that our websites load very quickly.
Our hosting may be a little more expensive than budget hosting providers, but what don you think the cost of your website being down for 48 hours will be to your business?