Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

Essential Web Hosting Tools and Technologies

Even if you’re not a web developer, webmaster, or system administrator, you still ought to consider developer tools when buying web space. It’s better to prepare now rather than discover later that your web host doesn’t support a feature you need. There are a lot of developer tools out there, but these are the most essential.

PHP

PHP is a commonly used server-side scripting language. This means that scripts coded in PHP are executed on your web server, as opposed to your visitor’s computer. PHP will provide your website’s functionality. In fact, most popular web applications, blogging platforms, and content management systems are written in PHP. Make sure your web host supports the latest version of PHP. It’s also an advantage if they support older versions, since some web applications may still use them.

MySQL

MySQL is a relational database management system, which is used to store your website data. A scripting language like PHP is responsible for writing and reading the information stored in MySQL databases. It’s best to sign up with a web host that allows unlimited databases. Some web hosts provide a limited number, which will be inconvenient if you plan to build multiple websites.

Cron

Cron is a job scheduler. It allows users to run scripts or commands at a scheduled date and time, whether it’s a one-time task or a periodic one. Cron jobs are commonly used for system maintenance, such as automatic backups. They can also be used for other purposes, like sending email to mailing lists. A web host that provides an integrated control panel makes setting up cron jobs much easier by allowing you to use a visual interface.

CGI

CGI, or Common Gateway Interface, is a standard protocol for external gateway programs to interface with information servers. Basically, it’s a way for servers to interact with users. For example, web forms use CGI to process submitted form data.

.htaccess

Htaccess enables directory-level configuration. When you place an.htaccess file in a directory, you can override and fine-tune your web server’s configuration for that directory and its subdirectories.

Bonus: Ruby on Rails

While it may not be considered essential, Ruby on Rails support is a good thing to have. RoR is a web application framework used to build websites. It’s said to be simpler than PHP; it has more readable syntax, and allows applications to be developed with less code. Since it’s a new framework, some web hosts don’t support it just yet. It’s a good idea to find a web host that does, since RoR is becoming more and more popular.

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