Essential Components of a Linux Web Hosting Plan

When publishing a web site, there are three things that need to be taken into consideration: a domain name (web sites are uniquely identified by IP address, but that's hard to memorize, so a domain name can be bought to mask the IP address and point to it), web space (the amount of physical storage space available on a remote sever) and the actual web pages which form the web site.

When choosing a Linux based Web Hosting Plan, there are a couple of things that are essential in order to be productive and efficient:

* Full FTP access and multiple FTP accounts

FTP or File Transfer Protocol, as its name suggests, is a protocol that enables a user to easily transfer multiple files at once from his workstation to a remote server, via a specialized program called a FTP Client. FTP accounts allow multiple users to log in and modify files on the server, independent of one another. Administrators can limit the access level of individual FTP accounts, so that only certain users can execute certain operations.

* An Administrative Control Pannell

An Administrative Control Pannell or Admin CP is essential in any webhosting plan. Through the CP, administrators can control every aspect of the web site or web sites they manage (one CP can be used for just one site, or to manage a group of sites, which in turn are managed by smaller CPs), aspects ranging from disk space available and bandwidth information, traffic information and user information, email addresses, domains, sub-domains, and much more. Administrators can delegate users and grant them access to the CP, create content moderator groups or admin helpers, monitoring their activity and limiting their access level.

* Email accounts

Email accounts associated with your website allow users to create email accounts within your website (which means they can have email addresses of the form name@website.com). Your site resources are used to store emails and to support traffic and bandwidth distribution. This also means that you, as the website owner, are responsible for the security aspects of email accounts. All of these aspects can be controlled with the Admin CP. Generally the mode email accounts, the better.

* Backup

This feature is essential. An automatic backup service ensures that sensitive data is always safe. Data can be lost because of server failures, hacking or server downtimes, and in many cases, data lost means money lost, and the cost of repairing the damage is usually very high. Automatic and manual backups also ensure protection from coding failures (if a bug finds its way inside your web site coding, and does damage, you can always revert to an earlier build).

* Dedicated IP

A dedicated IP is an IP used exclusively by you. This allows you to have total control over your own little corner of the Internet. Most web hosts offer shared IPs (which means that the IP address you are using is also used by other people), so technically you own only a small part of your IP address. Dedicated IP addresses also allow you to use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protection for sensitive pages, which means that the data transferred is encrypted and secure.