I finished my website. It's awesome! How should I go about selecting a hosting provider? What features should I look for? What "got-chas" should I be aware of?
Uptime - Obviously you want some one reliable. The higher the uptime the better, from 99.9% upwards.
Bandwidth - Concentrate on this. Make you have a good estimate on the load your site will handle and make sure you have enough plus some spare in the case of a surge in traffic. Last thing you want is your site taken down halfway though the billing cycle because you exceeded the bandwidth. Especially if it occurs when a lot of users are using the site. They won't be back again!
Avoid stupidly priced hosting - 1tb for $29.99! Stuff like that is a con, there is no way they have the space for every user and just assume no one will use all of it. They probably have enough for a few users and the rest take 3mb or something. While you may have all the space you'll need, I would avoid a company engaging in shady practices.
SUPPORT! - Hosting can, and probably will, go wrong. Support is vital. You need a company on the phone at all times ready to resolve your issue within hours. Sooner if possible.
And make sure it supports all the technology you need.
First off make sure they host the OS you want as well as the languages you want, ie some windows servers will not run php.
Make sure a databases is included or how much extra it will be.
Bandwidth, and diskspace are important well.
Beware of shared hosting such as godaddy. The price is seductive but the overloaded serves make your site run extremely slow. Also compared to a dedicated server you are very limited.
Security should be at least a minor concern. I have a hosting account with Bluehost, and their nonchalant response to the recent security breach is disconcerting, to say the lease.