Where to host your Drupal Site ? (Hosting)
Drupal does not have any special web hosting requirements. You can host a drupal site with any PHP / MySQL web hosting provider. However there are some web hosts which provide some excellent support and features for Drupal sites. Most drupal hosting companies will provide you with Auto Installation or Free drupal installation.
You will stumble across several drupal hosting providers , here are few things you can check for.
1. Check the reviews of the company on various websites. One trusted website I use is webhostingtalk.com. Here you can get some honest reviews about a host. Most hosting companies fake reviews on the top review sites to get more business. So be careful when selecting a host. Usually if you can pay around $10 per month you can find a decent host.
If you keep your budget limited to $1 - $3 you are headed for sleepless nights.
2. How skilled is their customer service ? Write an email to the support or sales team. Mention your requirements clearly. Ask them lot of questions upfront. See how they respond. You can determine a lot of things from the way they respond.
3. It’s better to get a host with PHP5.x and MySQL 5. If you pick the version 4 of PHP or MySQL you are up for some troubles when newer modules don’t work or your upgrades fail.
4. Drupal makes a lot of database queries, one thing you should check is what is the database response time. You can always ask the host for this information. If your database response time is less , your site will be much faster.
5. Don’t be fooled by high bandwidth and high web space offered by a web host. Go for stability. Most drupal sites just need around 250 MB space and 10 GB data transfer per month. I would select something like 1 GB disk space and 20 GB transfer rate to be on safe side. If you feel you have a big site, wait for the traffic to increase and then upgrade your account to high bandwidth as required.
6. Check if the host is flexible. If you have to upgrade / downgrade, will they support it ?
7. Others: Make a list of your requirements . Carefully review those with the webhosting company. If you want UNIX Shell access then write that down. What are the things that you can compromise for ? This is as important as writing your requirements or priorities.
To see big list of drupal hosting providers check this page http://drupal.org/hosting
Some hosting providers I have heard of that provide good support are Host color, AN Hosting, Hawkhost, Downtownhost, Siteground. Again verify for yourself before you buy.