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Hosting Plan Features And Popular Web Hosting Control Panels
Here is what you should look for in hosting plan features:
Often hosting plan features are tied into the type of control panel that is provided with the hosting service. Most people take for granted that a control panel should be part of the package, but in smaller countries outside the USA this is often a 'luxury' that is not part of the hosting package!
Finding out whether your hosting server provider offer a control panel to manage your website is the first essential feature that you should look for. It is unacceptable to sign up for a hosting package if there is no control panel!
Common control panels for Linux hosting are (my recommendation is to go for Linux hosting and not Windows hosting):
All these control panels have their supporters and detractors.
I have to honestly say that my preference is CPanel. Cpanel offers a lot of functionality and a user friendly interface.
The following features are available with CPanel hosting:
~ Email management ~
Under email management you can create and delete all your email accounts. You also have access to a Webmail facility so that you can read your email online (as opposed to linking to your email account with Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express). You can also set up forwarders to forward one email account to another. You also have access to set up simple autoresponders to send an automated reply back if anyone sends an enquiry email to a specific email address.
~ Website statistics ~
Although most hosting providers do provide statistics facilities, it is worthwhile to make sure that they do. Some hosting providers think that the statistics programs consume too many resources on a shared environment and some of them therefore remove the facility. But statistics and the ability to analyze your traffic is essential when you set up a website, so make sure that you select a hosting provider that do provide you access to a web stats package. My personal favourite is AWStats. You can read an article on the different types of statistics programs as well as how to interpret your statistics here : http://www.tm4y.co.za/internet-marketing-tips/website-statistics.html
~ FTP ~
You should have FTP access to your website in order to upload files. This is absolutely essential if you want to manage your website. Cpanel also allows you to register new FTP accounts to give other people access to your website. You can restrict their access to specific folders on your website and specify if they should have read and/or write access.
~ File manager ~
If you are not comfortable with using an FTP package to upload your files, you can always use the file manager available in CPanel. The file manager enables you to upload files, unzip files on the server and to copy and delete files.
~ Backups ~
This allows you to make a backup of the files on your server, as well as to backup your MySQL database if you have one. This is very useful and should be done regularly. You cannot depend on the backups ran by the hosting service provider, since the service provider itself might just close its doors unexpectedly and you might not have access to your site - not to talk of your backups!
~ Subdomains and Add On Domains ~
You can add sub domains and even Add On domains (depending on whether your hosting provider allows for this)
~ Redirects ~
This is useful to temporarily or permanently redirect pages to another website or ther website pages. Be careful though with using temporary redirects, this might cause problems with the search engines.
~ Protect directories ~
You can set up password protected directories on your website
~ Pre-installed scripts ~
The Fantastico installer is one of the best features of the Cpanel control panel! This installer helps you to quickly and easily install lots of Open Source (in other words, free to use) tools and utilities, such as shopping carts, forums, project management tools, WIKIS and much more.
The CPanel control panel allows web hosting companies to make a lot of web hosting plan features available to clients who can then easily manage these features themselves.
About the Author: Christine Anderssen is the owner of Tailormade4You Web Design and Web Development Services, and Internet Web Hosting for South Africa. Visit our site for free Joomla and web design tutorials . Read the original article on internet-web-hosting.co.za/../webhosting-the-right-operating-system.html