I recommend the OP remove 1 & 1 from this as well. I had a nearly similar experience with them, and I didn’t even use them for web hosting. While you are right in what happens with expiration, it is worth noting that 1&1 makes it as difficult as possible to transfer and *will* keep your domain after it expires. Once you’re in, you’re stuck and you’re at their mercy.
Since we are talking about personal pages in the first place, it might be that you are actually launching your very first one. A2’s cPanel will allow you to manage your page with ease. Not only your page, you have complete control over emails and other software within one account, too. They are in the game ever since 2003 so they know a thing or two about solid hosting solution for sites of all types.
Shared hosting is web hosting in which the provider houses multiple sites on a single server. For example, Site A shares the same server with Site B, Site C, Site D, and Site E. The upside is that the multiple sites share the server cost, so shared web hosting is generally very inexpensive. In fact, you can find an option for less than $10 per month.