Time and time again I deal with web hosts. Why not, I’m a web designer. I’m the poor fool who must design, upload and configure your hosting and frankly there are a lot crap hosting out there. It’s frightening really and embarrassing when I have to back to a client to tell them their hosting is suck.
Your hosting, as of this day in 2010, doesn’t need much. However there are a lot of folks who charge way too much and give you shit. I’m not going to talk about them. Instead here is what your hosting should have.
Storage: Near or above 1 gigabyte.
In the world of real it should have more but you really won’t need more than 500 megabytes if your aren’t going to post pictures. More is better simply because the web is expanding.
Bandwidth (AKA: Data or Data Transfer)
The 800lb gorilla of the web is bandwidth. Your hosting package should have 25 gigabytes or more. Unless you become famous, or are famous you probably won’t hit that. But it never hurts and all it takes is one Digg to send your site oblivion.
Really, your basic package should have this. It’s one of the languages along with ASP and ColdFushion which run applications on the web. If you don’t have PHP support at some point your going to want something that needs it and your host, who’s been holding back, is going to charge you for it. And they shouldn’t.
Access to at least 1 MySQL database.
You’re rarely going to need more than one for most websites but the good hosts give you at lest 10.
Not a control panel for your webpage but the actual software Control Panel. You should be able to log into the back end of your website and create everything easily in this day and age. If you have anything but Control Panel you’re almost always being over charged for your website. In my experience, this is as true as death and taxes.
If you can’t get an email address with your URL at the end, you’re probably over paying. Just saying.
Finally who do I recommend? In my experience these are people with good customer service, great hosting packages that include one or more domain name and give you way more than what I’ve listed above…all for about $3-$10 dollars a month. It depends on the package. Most people, me included, just need the $3 a month packages.