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Web Host - Features

When searching for the right web host you will be assaulted with huge lists of features that the host provides. Many of these items are not important and should be included by default in even the most basic of hosting plans. However, there are a few features that you should pay close attention to.

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Most web hosts will give the option to either register a domain name at the time of signup or let you bring your own domain name. Additionaly, check to see how many domain names are supported for an account. If you later choose to own another domain name, it would be nice to be able to add it to an existing plan without having to pay an addional charge.

Sub Domains

A sub domain is what appears between the "http://www" and the domain name. For example say has a sub domain "ex" then the address would be "". Sub domains do not place a burden on the web server, yet many hosting plans will limit the number of sub domains allowed per account.


Forums, calendars, customer orders, and many other items use databases to function. If you plan on having multiple of these items on a server be sure that the plan you sign up for provides a sufficient number of databases.

The most common database for a web server is MySQL, which is a free open-source database system. MSSQL, PostgreSQL and GNU SQL are also popular SQL servers.

PHP Version

PHP has gone through many revisions, especially in the past year. Be sure that the PHP on the server is up to date, otherwise PHP scripts may not function properly. PHP is currently in the late stages of 4.x and will soon be moving on to version 5.x.

Hot Link Protection

Hot Link Protection allows you to prevent other persons from linking directly to media files located on your web server. When someone tries to link directly to your image it will deny the request, preventing them from using up your bandwidth. This is particularly useful for web sites that host a large quantity of media files. Visitors on your site will still be able to view the media as usual.

FTP Access

There are two basic types of FTP access to a web server. First is the password protected FTP that is common for webmasters to utilize for managing their web files. Though some web hosts may provide a web interface to upload files without having to use an FTP program, not having direct FTP access to your web files can be burdersome at times.

Anonymous FTP is the other type of FTP access. You can post files to a publicly accessible directory and users may directly connect to your server with anonymous FTP to access these files. No password is required for this type of FTP access.

Note: Depending on the plan's specifications, file transfers over FTP may or may not count against your allotted monthly bandwidth.

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