What should a Joomla Hosting package include?

The growing popularity of Joomla hosting has caused the costs of getting yourself a website up and running using the popular CMS (content management system) to come crashing down.  What used to be a $100s/month, team-run operation is now no more than a $5/month, internet connection and 10 minute a day job, thanks to the introduction of Joomla hosting companies.  These companies offer space on servers on which Joomla is installed, meaning you can up and running right away, from anywhere with an internet connection. You don't need to buy or maintain your own server, everything is included in a small monthly fee.

For $5/month, you can have a fully operational eCommerce website made through Joomla, or a cup of coffee every fortnight. I know which I'd benefit more from...

A standard Joomla hosting plan at $5 / month should include :

Web Space - At least 10GB of web space (or even better, 'unlimited'!) is more than enough for most, the average web page is only 2MB, meaning you could have 5,000+ standard pages on your site without worrying. By that point, it is likely that you would have grown out of a $5/month plan, anyway. The mention of the word unlimited was important to include as you will notice, if you look close enough, that unlimited rarely ever means unlimited in the hosting world.  You are fine as long as you don't violate their fair use policy, but who knows how far you'd have to go to break that?

Free Domain name - Important for every website owner, a domain name is how a website is identified and reached.  Without a domain name, you don't have a real website, so being supplied with one is vital for Joomla website building success (unless you already own one, in which case, it's rather pleasant to be able to get another free anyway because brand building is another big focus).  Free domain names are extremely common in the hosting world, so a plan which doesn't include one generally isn't worth considering.

Email accounts - An essential for almost every website owner, email accounts with their domain after the '@'.  Without them, your website can lose integrity and visitor confidence completely subconsciously. Like the free domain name, email accounts are included in the best Joomla hosting packages; if one your considering doesn't, consider elsewhere or be prepared to shell out for another service to do the honours.