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.
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.
A sub domain is what appears between the "http://www" and the domain name. For example
say example.com has a sub domain "ex" then the address would be "http://www.ex.example.com". 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.
GNU SQL are also popular SQL servers.
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.
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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