Top Ten Tips for Getting More from Your Web Hosting Plan

When you have your own website or blog, you have customers, readers, or even just followers who are relying on your web hosting skills. The following tips will help you get the most from your web hosting plan:

  • Check your control panel for a backup option. Some control panels enable you to make automated backups. USE THEM. Backups are essential.

  • Use e-mail addresses at your domain. Having an e-mail address @yourdomain.com looks more professional and helps give people a sense of trust and faith in your brand.

  • Install an FTP client and learn to use FTP. Moving files around, backing up, and cleaning out unnecessary files is much easier using FTP, and you can save yourself from running out of space by deleting old files periodically.

  • Cron jobs can automate certain functions of your site. If you have a function you have to run regularly, check to see if it can be automated with a cron job.

  • One-click installs make installing software faster. Most control panels come with installers for various scripts and website platforms. Using the installer in your control panel automates the installation process and can make it much faster and easier.

  • Use server logs to find large files that are slowing your site down. Web users don’t like to wait for pages to load and will click away to a competitor’s site if your pages take too long to load.

  • Install an SSL certificate through your control panel. SSL certificates are essential if you are receiving personal information from your visitors. The certificates help ensure that the data is being securely transmitted.

  • Manipulate files on the go with the file manager. All control panels include a file manager that can be accessed through your browser and don’t require an FTP client. Although these file managers are not as powerful as FTP clients, they can be useful for moving or deleting files when you aren't at your normal computer.

  • Use SSH to run shell commands. Some things are just quicker and easier if done by typing a command directly rather than using a browser-based interface for them. If your host gives you SSH access, you can connect directly and run commands from your computer.

  • Create password-protected areas of your site using your control panel. Most control panels have a password protection function where you can protect files or folders from being viewed without the correct authorization. This can be used to lock up entire sections of your site, such as a members-only area.

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