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[edited by: SteveWh at 9:40 am (utc) on Dec. 18, 2006]
I've recently installed a popular CMS on one of my sites, and it was NOT fun. I spent 2 days jumping through hoops, and that was just to get it installed. The same CMS on another site, with another host, took all of 10 seconds.
The difference? One host uses C-Panel, it uses Fantistico to load a plethora of packages. The other host uses V-Deck, and that is cludgy, IMO.
Go with someone who offers C-Panel and Fantastico if you want ease of installation in the future. See if you can find a list of products they support.
That's just one consideration. Shop around and do some comparisons. You can get a good host and good service for a good price, do some comparisons. Sign up for one year of hosting, and then if you find you aren't satisfied you can change. A lot of things can happen in a year.
Sure, its a valid consideration, but not the first. If you go with cheap, expect cheap.
Show me one today that has great support and I might jump ship. Actually, there are some, but you will pay for it. Forget cheap if you want great support. Me? I save a little money and occasionally exercise my vocal cords.
A lot of this is dependent upon your own configuration and usage. The biggest problem I've ever had with a host was when they made some configuration change that blew all of my php pages off-line. The second biggest problem has been with downtime. This year has been a good one for staying up - no significant downtime.
Bear in mind that cheap and fantastic support do not usually go hand in hand. In fact, hardware and bandwidth are cheap right now, so the difference in pricing will almost always revolve around service levels.
You need to determine which is more important - price or support. You cannot have both, so some compromise will need to be made.