It’s for a business and cost is less an issue than reliability (our web hosts have been screwing up). We’re looking for a new host and would prefer not to have a reseller, we’re looking for someone that manages their own data centers. The data centers should be in North America.
The host I use for most of my client’s work and my own sites is quite good. I think they’ve scheduled downtown maybe once in the past year, and I have never had the site down, except due to my own scripting errors or other coding related issues.
If you have the technical expertise to look after it, a virtual private server will give you great flexibility to do pretty much whatever you want without the restrictions of shared hosting but at less cost than a dedicated server. I’m very impressed with Linode for Linux virtual servers.
If you want shared hosting where you basically get a directory to upload your files and don’t need to be so technically involved at the lower level then let me throw in Jodo Host. I’ve been with them for about three years and very happy. Before that I’d had plenty of disappointing experiences with lost cost hosts. They have Linux and Windows hosting. They also have virtual servers but I’ve not tried them.
I host my stuff on Bluehost, I’m a moderator on their forums, and I’m happy with the service I get (I’m an affiliate, as well, but I’ll refrain from posting my affiliate link here!). They’re hosting over 1.5 million domains in their own humongous data center in Utah. They offer unlimited website space, unlimited bandwidth, etc., etc. Lots of goodies. Nonetheless, I can’t recommend any shared host for a serious business site.
There are reasons why the shared hosts can give you all kinds of stuff for a measly $7 a month.
The first is that they don’t really have much built-in redundancy. If the server you’re on goes down, they’re not going to move your stuff to another box - your site is going to be down until they fix whatever’s ailing that server. Usually, that doesn’t take long, but it can also be a day or two. In the business world, that could be a killer.
Second, while support is available 24x7, but you’re never going to get the undivided attention of a support tech for more than 30 seconds, and he’s not going to be able to help you installing your slightly unusual XYZ application.
Third, there are usually restrictions that aren’t trotted out on the intro “sign up with us!” page, like limits on CPU usage, limits on the total number of files you can have, limits on the number of outgoing emails per hour, and so on.
If a business is serious about maintaining a web presence, especially if it’s going to be an interactive one, a dedicated server or VPS is worth the extra bucks.
If you’re looking for a java/tomcat host I’d suggest dailyrazor, they have lots of options, good uptime, US based servers and support. They are pretty quick to answer any questions you have too, even on weekends.