It is understandable if you as a newbie on the internet market are looking for a hosting service that will not take a major chunk out of your already limited budget, but when it comes to finding a cheap and reliable hosting company, there is all the more reason for you to do your groundwork thoroughly.
Browsing out on a discussion thread asking for some advice and tips can be a good thing, but do not feel content with just basing your decision on what a few people thought about a particular hosting company. First of all, you do not know who these people are, for all you know they could be on the payroll of the company that they hold in such a high regard.
A few people do not constitute a grapevine you should listen to; it is more like a bad homebrew giving you ideas you would never follow through on had you been completely sober. You need a vast amount of voices in order to be able to establish a really reliable pattern.
But there are good forums and threads that can help guide you in your quest for a hosting company that is cheap as well as reliable, but even if you have taken these precautionary steps, and the web company of your choice is starting to experience lengthy periods of outages, then you should really listen to the sound of your cold feet telling you to walk away as soon as possible, because no matter what trustworthy and heart-warming excuse the hosting company can provide you with, it is on their head to have enough safety measures installed to guarantee that their clients suddenly find themselves in the vacuum of a 24-hour outage.
It is not in your interest to give the hosting company the benefit of doubt. Even if this outage turns out to be a one-off kind of thing for them, it is better for you to be safe than sorry, so the moment you start to experience problems related to this, try to switch to another host as soon as possible.
Another important precautionary step to adhere to is to never register your domain name with your hosting company. If you do this you will always be dependent on the host company to redirect your information to another server should you wish to switch hosts, and as you can see there is an obvious risk of conflict of interests arising out of this situation.
Finally, do not pay in advance for the services of a hosting company. A lot of times you will find yourself presented with this option, and the offer always comes sweetened with a large discount attached, but the problem is that if the company goes bust, your hard earned, pre-paid money will still sit neatly stashed in their bank account.
So the moral of this story is that the cheapest short-term offers do not necessarily have to turn out to be the most cost-effective long-term options.