Updated
Dec 2009

Good Hosting Plan Features and Control Panels

It is easy to recognize that hosting plan features correspond to the type of control panel provided. It is not as if the control panel is an essential part of the overall package. It is not. It is a luxury provided more as a bonus or freebie rather than part of the hosting plan. When attempting to look for a great and economical hosting plan, you need to enquire about the control panel offer. If you are on a budget, which you should be to run the business efficiently, you should never sign up for a hosting plan without the control panel feature.

You could choose between Linux hosting control panels such as Helm, Plesk, Cpanel or DirectAdmin. Each of them come along with their own supporters and detractors. Although they are all versatile, CPanel is a popular choice for the functionality it offers and its extremely friendly interface. When choosing the CPanel hosting plan, you need to consider some features to optimize the gradation of the hosting plan. You should look into the efficiency of email management. The creation and deletion of email accounts, access to the webmail facility, and online direct reading of your email, need to be in place while making the choice.

A good hosting plan will essentially offer access to auto responders for automated replies to mail. This feature also helps in accessing enquiry email directed towards a particular email address. You need to ensure that the hosting plan includes statistics related facilities. The ability to analyze business and personal web site traffic is essential. The plan should also enable you to access FTP. This helps in website management and the Cpanel package allows you access to new FTP accounts. However, you remain in control in regards to access to specific folders and what visitors can read and/or write.

File management is also critical when handling business online. The versatile file manager available in CPanel allows you to not only upload files and unzip files on the server, but also empowers you to copy and delete files, as and when required. A good hosting plan should allow you access to backup of important business related files on the server. It will essentially also allow you to backup your MySQL database regularly, without depending on the backup provided by the hosting plan provider. Always check on the availability and quality of the sub domains and add-on domains. On the basis of the hosting plan, you can make provisions for these add-ons. Redirects are also very important in regards to redirecting pages and content to related websites or web pages.

As far as possible, you should try to avoid the use of temporary redirects. Protect directories enable you to set up protected directories on the business website. The protection comes with the password that you allot to the task and thus lock, in your absence. A good hosting plan should also enable access and the use of pre-installed scripts, like the features of Fantastico installer within the Cpanel control panel. It not only allows quick and easy installation of open source and a number of tools, but also enables use of utilities like shopping carts, project management tools and WIKIS. A good hosting plan empowers you with features that are easy to manage.

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