There are lots of hosting companies that offer web hosting these days, what you need to decide is how much space do you need? what features do you want? For example: Shopping Cart support, Coldfusion support, php, ASP, ASP.Net. Do you want blogging software such as PhPBB, Mambo? Do you want Linux based or Windows based? Do you want FTP and Anonymous FTP? Do you want Email? How many MySQL Databases are they offering you. ODBC support, What bandwidth are they offering you? Are they 99.9 % up-time? make sure they have good technical support and prompt response. These are some of the things you should look for.
That all sounds great .... but to most ... what the heck did you just say? I think you lost our original poster ... and 75% of everyone else by being soooooo technical?
Again, this is not a personal attack ... but this is where a "total turn-key" solution might be needed.
Prior to what server to host with, the real question is ...
- Why do you think you need a web site?
- What exactly do you wish to do with the web site? E-Commerce, Informational Site, Blog-sphere, ect.?
- Are you going to "hack" your way through designing a site ... or do you realize that this venture is best left to true professionals?
Once you have addressed those 3 questions ... then you start to look for true professionals that can show you variances in what you wish to do.
Siince I`m familiar with E-Commerce, there are many questions to ask yourself, and your team, prior to even looking for yur "web design team".
- Are we going to carry inventory ... or are we going to drop-ship?
- How are we going to handle fulfillment, if we are going to cary inventory?
- Will we charge for S/H?
- What will be our return policy?
- Are we willing to invest in a merchant account .. or are we simply going to use PayPal? If we use PayPal exclusively, what are the draw back?
- How are we going to market / merchandise our site and products?
- What budget do we have for web design? Marketing expenses? Monthly expense, ie. hosting fees, gateway fees, ect?
- Are we going to carry just a few items ... or ... will our on-line store be growing over the next few months, yrs?
- How do we handle an "out of stock" or "temporaliy discontinued" within our data base / store?
- How will we handle a "back ordered" item?
- Are we interested in offering gift certicates/gift cards? If so, do you have any ideas on how that might work? Who you will market them to ... general public, businesses?
- How are you going to survive financially till the on-line store starts to support itself, as well as you?
Whew ... once you`ve gone through that exercise ... now you just might be ready to start to look at "web design teams" ... the hosting bit is easy ... its all the other stuff (work) you need to do prior, that is the REAL IMPORTANT STUFF.
IMHO, if you don`t do the "homework" stuff first ... you are destined to fail.