1. The quality and stability of the hosting company. Search the internet to check if they have got a rating and review.
2. Space provided at least 5 GB
3. The no limit for the mysql db, even if it is one database. Remember the database increases as time passes.
4. The number of consecutive connections permitted, at least 10. In the even digg decides to kiss you 😀
5. If you are going for a personal website then look below $6.
6. The bandwidth provided is for decoration. You will not need the said bandwidth unless you are having over 20,000 hits a month, if this is the case the you make enough money from google adsense to fund a dedicated server.
7. Dont buy the gimmick of 12 months of pre-paid hosting and you get 12% off, as you might change your web host after 4 months, if you are not satisfied with the current.
8. The number of emails does not play a role if you are a small business. Web hosts say they will provide you with 1000 emails. Just a question, what are you going to do with this many emails anyway?
9. Some web host provide the same price for linux and windows hosting, check the features and go for what is convenient.
10. The support response will be 12 or 12 hours or minutes, but when you really need the support you will never get one.
11. Do not fall for the SSL certificate shit, as you will not require them unless you are doing credit card transaction. Assuming you are doing one too, you will have a link clicked to forward the details to a page that will have a SSL certificate.