I just ran across an error transferring a Magento site from one host to another and wanted to share the solution here. The fix is fairly simple however the debug process to track down the fix was quite involved.
In Magento there are several types of products and you will want to select the correct product type before setting up your catalog. A Magento configurable product is a product with multiple associated products, each with their own properties, which show up on the front-end of a Magento site as options a customer can select such as size and color.
The most significant benefit of using a Magento configurable product is it allows you to track inventory on each of it's separate associated products, for example, if you have a shirt in three sizes and three colors you can create a configurable product with six associated products, three for each size and three for each color. This type of setup allows you to set different stock quantities for each separate option so if I run out of small black shirts Magento will not display those options in the front-end until I update the quantity on those products and place them back in stock.