I'm trying to figure out how to best get started on a web-mapping project, and am wondering about where I should host my maps from.
In terms of my skills, I'm quite good at desktop mapping and cartography, and I've got mediocre PHP, mySQL, HTML and CSS skills - but I want to create this really fantastic interactive web map site that will (in my dreams only, probably!) have some kind of base layer, then overlay my own township and section grid, and have possibly hundreds of thousands of sample points. Each of these points will have data attached, and when clicked, will display it's info in a pane, and then provide the ability for registered users to comment on and discuss it. I'd like to also get some kind of feedback (thumbs up/down) ability for each user comment. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but this is what I'd like to have in the end.
My reading tells me I need a stack containing something like postGIS, MapServer, and OpenLayers. But I use inmotion for my current web development and learning, which I really like, so rather than waste time figuring out how to install all of these packages there (if I even can), is it better to go with an outfit like mapserverpro.com, which has this stuff set up already and specializes in GIS hosting? The price of their hosting packages is not a problem, and I just want to get pointed in the right direction to start with. I guess that my short question is: does anyone here have an opinion on what mapserverpro.com is like? Even mapserving.com? Or would a generic hosting service usually be able to handle the stack that I mentioned, and efectively be able to handle what I picture as being a large amount of GIS data?
Also, if anyone has any comments on how to most efficiently tackle a project like this, then please feel free to set me straight.