Checking the performance of a website hosting company can be a difficult thing to do since most hosting companies host their website on a private server and use content delivery networks to ensure their official home page always loads quickly.
If you are already hosting your websites with a particular company, one thing you can do is upload a large file and then ask others to download the file. For example, you could upload a file that is 100MB in size and then post a thread in a hosting community for members to download it.
Having multiple people download the file from different places around the world will give you a realistic picture of the speed of the network. Be sure to take into account the multiple data centres your hosting company uses to deliver your files.
Premium products such as Testing Master can be used to see how a host will handle extreme loads. Large companies may also consider using a premium service such as LoadImpact to perform realistic tests of their server from across the world.
HetrixTools is a fantastic service that can be used to monitor the performance of hosting companies. Their free plan allows you to monitor up to five websites or services free of charge.
Smaller companies and individuals will be reluctant to spend money to test the performance of a host. Thankfully, there are other options available.
For example, you can find a lot of useful information about the speed of your hosting company using a website speed testing service such as GTmetrix. Ask your hosting company for your server IP address if you do not already know it and run a speed test to see what sort of response you get.
A lot of factors come into play when testing the performance of a hosting company. This includes the location of the data centre and the location of the person requesting the data. Due to this, it can be difficult to get an accurate picture of a host's performance.
The only real sure way to compare multiple hosts is to upload the same website to all of them and then run speed tests on all of them from multiple locations. It may seem like a real hassle to do this, but moving hosting company is a big move so it pays to take your time and choose the right one.
Many hosting companies have a thirty day money back guarantee. You could take advantage of this if you want to compare the performance of different hosting companies. Alternatively, you could contact the hosting company you are considering hosting with and ask them for a trial account so that you can perform some speed tests. A good hosting company would be interested in helping you do this if it means getting your business.