What Comes with Your Web Hosting Account?
If you’re new to the world of web hosting and domain name registration, the array of features and amenities included in a web hosting account can be confusing. This is especially true if you’re still in the comparison stage, when you’re trying to evaluate hosting accounts side by side. If you’ve never built a website before, the names of the included features may unfamiliar. Understanding what each of the features offers for you is essential to getting the most out of your hosting company and website. Here’s an explanation of some of the terms you should know before you start shopping for a hosting plan for your website.
Linux hosting and Windows hosting refer to the type of operating system running on the server that hosts your website. Linux is the more popular option because of its stability, security and versatility. Web developers may choose a Windows server if they’re working with a website built with asp, or requiring the ability to connect to an MSSQL or MS Access database. In most cases, Linux hosting is your best choice.
If you are planning to register more than one domain name, look for a host that allows you to host more than one domain under a single hosting account. While some hosts limit the number of domains you can host or charge extra to host more than one domain, many allow you to host an unlimited number of domains for one monthly fee.
Some hosts will register a domain name for you, often for free as long as you maintain a hosting account with them. This saves you the cost of paying a separate domain name registration fee, and eliminates the chance that you might forget to renew the registration on time.
Most web hosts provide a file manager that allows you to upload, download and alter the files required for your website from an online control panel. Some also provide FTP access so that you can upload and download your entire website at once using an FTP client. That doesn’t mean that you need to know how to build your own website from scratch, though. Your web host usually offers a website builder that helps you build basic pages and add content easily. Website builders vary widely in capability. Some offer point-and-click simplicity to build complex pages. Others are no more than basic templates that you can alter with your own text and images. If you’re not comfortable with coding, look for a web host that allows you preview their website builder before you sign up for an account.
If you’re planning to use a shopping cart, accept membership fees or accept sensitive information from website users, you’ll want a web host that offers access to an SSL certificate. SSL provides for secure, encrypted transmission of data so that your website visitors can send sensitive information without worrying that their personal info is being vulnerable to hijacking.
Even low-priced web hosting plans include easy installation for blog and content management systems, shopping cart software, email hosting, guest books, photo albums and more. Before making a choice, explore all of your options and decide which offers the features that will help you build the website you want to build.
Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the world’s MOST POPULAR website advertising companies on the web.Learn more about Web Hosting.
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