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whats the best hosting company?

hey all. I have been working of my university mysql php database, and web hosting.
but now it is time to get my own database and site hosting for my portfolio.

so i just want to ask a few questions.

1. whats the best php database and web hosting company around?

2. i will be transferring all my php websites from the university hosting and exporting my data base tables to the new hosting. what complications could arise in terms of compatibility between server versions.  

3. should i go for Linux or windows hosting. (i heard Linux is funny if php is formatted without capitals in query's?)

4. Should a portfolio website be my name? and is it best to get .com or .co.uk  example: christopher-sowerby.com was thinking hyphens are bad to use?

here is all the info i can find on what my data base set up is at university:

# MySQL client version: 5.0.77
# Used PHP extensions: mysql
# Server version: 5.0.77
# Protocol version: 10
# Server: Student and Staff MySQL Server (Localhost via UNIX socket)
# User: g7090679@localhost
# MySQL charset: UTF-8 Unicode (utf8)
3 Solutions
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
1. There are many good hosting companies around but it would be hard to say that one of them is best.  The only one I actively recommend against is 1and1 because their error messages are actually wrong and their customer support is not good.

2. You say 'websites'.  Some hosting allows multiple domains per account and a few don't.  The biggest issue is PHP 5.2 and below and PHP 5.3.  Some major changes were made with PHP 5.3.  This page tells about the changes: http://www.php.net/manual/en/migration53.php

3. Linux isn't 'funny', it is case sensitive.  That means you need to use the exact case in file names that exists on the server or it won't match.  Some hosting companies do not provide MySQL on Windows hosting.

4. The domain name should suit your purposes.  If these are just personal but not business web sites, you can use any name.  If they are business sites that need to be found thru search, you need to be a little pickier.  If you are actually putting up more than one web sites as opposed to pages, then you will need a domain name for each of them.

In summary, you need to make a list of your current usage and compare it against what the hosting companies offer to make sure you can get what you need.
Also... How many sites etc could make a difference..

Migrating gives issues mostly through poor includes and require statements and db names...
Mohamed AbowardaSoftware EngineerCommented:
1. The best dataabse for you depends on how much data you want to store, I recommend you to start with MySQL and later on if you need more powerful database you can upgrade to SQL Server.

3. If you are using PHP you should choose Linux.

4. ".com" is the most common and used TLD online, therefore it's better to use it.
helpchrisplzAuthor Commented:
host media uk ..... :)

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