First of all let’s do a brief review of what MySQL web hosting actually is. SQL is an acronym for Structured Query Language which is one of the relational database management system. You may see these management systems referred to as RDBMS. These database management systems are commonly used for sites such as Flickr and Facebook among others. These databases are basically used as content management systems.
There are many elements of database platforms with acronyms and MySQL is just one of them. The acronyms of these platforms list in order the operating system, server, database, and languages. One operating that uses MySQL include LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP and/or Perl and/or Python). When you see acronyms such as BAMP (with a BSD for Berkeley Software Distribution), DAMP (with Darwin OS), MAMP (with Macintosh OS), SAMP (with Sun Solaris), and WAMP (with Microsoft Windows) you will know what they are talking about.
MySQL is very versatile. It is commonly used because it has the capability to work with so many platforms. However, it is crucial to make sure you that your web hosting provides a platform that you want to use with MySQL. A lot of hosts will limit MySQL use with Unix/Linux. Just be sure that this is what you want.
When you are dealing with databases like MySQL you need to make sure that storage will not be an issue. You need to be able to backup so be sure to inquire on what storage is available. Also, you need reliability. Can you imagine what would happen if Facebook ran on a server that didn’t have almost 100% uptime? It would be a disaster. When you run a database that people rely on your web hosting needs to fit that need.
Security is also an issue. You will be storing a lot of information, some of it may be personal to your clients or employees. Make sure that you choose web hosting provider that provides state of the art security for your database. Be sure that your web host offers 24/7 support so that in the case that something does go wrong, you can get your database up and running as fast as possible.