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8 Must Have Tools in Using Web Hosting Service

8 must have tools in using web hosting service

web hosting is a handy service today because of it's popularity and affordability. However, it's not so easy to use all service properly without professional training. Here we list out the must have tools in using a hosting service correcty. When you're waiting for account activation, you should have them configured on computer to support your future works.

IIS remote manager

A must tool for windows hosting users. IIS remote manager provides users the ability to securely manage remote IIS servers on local computer. The small program has almost the same functionality of IIS where you can configure web app settings directly on its powerful GUI. Thus, if you're quite familiar with server operation but not used to your hosting control panel software, IIS remote manager is great tool in supporting your preference. Learn more and download remote manager on this microsoft page.


webmatrixAnother great tool from microsoft group. WebMatrix is a free, lightweight, cloud-connected web development tool that help with people create, maintain and edit website conveniently. It's especially optimized for open source and mobile compatibility. Via webmatrix, we can install most open sourced softwares like DotNetNuke, WordPress, Joomla and Drupal via few clicks away. The lightweight program has built in IIS server for script testing and we are able to configure all server service to work with. No matter you want to work with .net or php technologies, WebMatrix can always support you perfectly.

Learn more and install it online from this official site.


sql server management studio SQL Server Management Studio is a must for microsoft developers. It's configured automatically if we have installed sql server service, but it can be setup independantly as well. Via SSMS, we can connect to either local or online sql server database and apply any change under DBO privilege. All daily maintenance, optimization and backup etc can be all handled by this easy-to-use graphical management tool.

Get the latest SSMS from this microsoft download center.

MySQL Workbench

mysql workbenchA powerful mysql management tool with GUI design. It's previously well known as "mysql gui" and workbench is revolutional release by mysql team. The visual tool is perfectly designed for database architects, developers, and DBAs. MySQL Workbench provides data modeling, SQL development, and comprehensive administration tools for server configuration, user administration, backup, and much more. It can be installed on all leading operation systems such as windows, linux and mac os. Check details and download on mysql site.

Here you might talk about the default mysql tool "phpmyadmin" which is provided by every hosting service. It's nice but not so great comparing to workbench. Especially when you're server admin when you would like to manage multiple mysql servers with advanced monitoring, mysql workbench is simply the best.

SSH Secure shell Client

ssh secure shell clientProbably the best SSH tool for secure and friendly operation. It's not just a simple command line SSH program but a powerful file transfer tool. We can connect to sever space via port 22 for file uploading/downloading and the whole process is encrypted. Comparing to traditional FTP connection, this shell client is much more safe. Certainly, you can use it purely as a command line tool like putty. Learn step by step guidance and downloading from Sils site.


ftpA must tool for every hosting user. FTP is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one computer to another. Typically, we use to download/upload files between computer to hosting server space. The protocol is included by lots of development tools like micromedia dreamveaver and visual studio. We can also get dedicated tools from lots of vendors like cuteftp and filezilla. We highly recommend to use filezilla which is an open source project and provided for free. Learn more about filezilla and download from project site.


notepad++The best alternative tool of the default notepad from windows computer. Notepad++ is an open source sofotware for source code editor with support of multiple programming languages. Line indicator, codes grouping and highlighting are all supported by notepad++. The best of the best is notepad++ is provided for very small size and little system resource usage. In case you need to edit website source frequently and efficiently, notepad++ is simply the best. Check more from official site and download.


keepassUnlike all above tools, keepass is used for password securing and play as password manager. It helps to remember your endless passwords in secure database. Everything is locked by a single key file with password protection. In this way we only need to remember this key file password to view all other passwords in database. We don't have to worry about long and complex password anymore using keepass. As we learnt from internet, there're lots of security leaks recently because of bad password. A secure and reliable password manager is crucial to ensure the safety of our online properties.

Get keepass on keepass.info

DIY or Existing Web Hosting Plan?

diy server or hosting service?

If you're technical profession with hosting needs, you might consider whether to DIY a local server or sign up an existing hosting service. This article provides basic guidance on how to get your site online via local DIY hosting server. We'll also provide in depth reviews when you should use either option.

The local server setup is much the same from data center service, we may just implement less powerful hardware production. But we must configure all important server service to support a website. Hence, the following installation/configuration are MUST

  • Web Server. For whatever rate, you need to get a web server installed such as apache or IIS based your preference. If you operate a dot net application, you also need to configure proper asp.net frameworks after IIS setup.
  • Database Server. You need at least one type database engine to store website data like mysql or sql server.

The web server and database server can be automated by lots of available packages like LAMP or WAMP installer, just few clicks to have everything running. However, since we need to get website visable publicly, we must configure proper DNS pointer. Unless we registered a dedicated line, mostly we get dynamic IP support by ADSL connection so it's a challenge to configure on web server. In order to point our domain to the right IP number, we have to get a dynamic dns service like noip.com or dyn.com service. Depends your website requirements, you might need a paid service for quality performance.

Once all above service is setup properly, you can bind your domain name to web server and your website is ready to serve publicly.

DIY or Existing Hosting Service?

From all above description, it's not so easy to configure a local hosting server unless you're pretty confident about the entire process. But everything is ready with an existing hosting service. From editorial point of view, following categories are mostly concerned

  • Performance & Stability. As we know, our local internet connection is not guaranteed as data center service that comes with dedicated power and bandwidth supply. Especially when your dynamic IP changes frequently, it can result in temporary website unreachable. But such problem does not exist for hosting service because everything is pre configured. Also, there're big difference based our choice on hardware production and system setup.
  • Security. Probably the most important thing. Unless your put the DIY server in a dedicated room with well protection, you can't always guarantee nobody else can touch the server. Mostly, we use the server as personal computer too so we install lots of softwares that're not necessary for server purpose. Once we put the server publicly accessible on internet, we have to deal with virus and all kinds of attacks. If we can't well monitor it 24*7, there're big security risk.
  • Costs. There's no cost advantage at all for DIY server. We must prepare everything by ourselves and put into lots of man power efforts to make sure everything working properly. However, everything is handled by support team and we just need to pay severl bucks per month for guaranteed performance.

Thus, DIY server is not really good solution from above comparison. A decent web hosting service is good enough to support most website requirements with extremely high performance and security.

When You need DIY Server Hosting?

Since there's no much advantages for live server hosting service, why we still use DIY solution? Well, we must understand all that is real is rational; and all that is rational is real. Sometimes we have no more good choice other than DIY.

Our DIY server is actually a small local hosting system with everything included like web server, DNS and security protection etc. It's very good start if you want to practise before launching our own hosting business. We can fully understand the process of configuring such service. Especially when you're system or network administrator, you will get good experience by doing so.

DIY server is also perfect choice for enterprise requirements when you need extremely high protection of sensitive data. Lots of big companies have their own IT departments, they're responsible for both networking and company data security. Most important service are self hosted on local servers.

From all above comparison & explanation, both DIY server or existing hosting service are good choice. You just evaluate what your purpose is. If you just need to get a website online and reduce the costs as much as possible. We highly recommend use an existing service other than configuring everything on local computer.

Web Hosting Security is Manual Operation

web hosting security of human factors

Web hosting security is big concern by both service providers and end users. We probably tried everything we can to keep our data in safe place such as firewall and anti virus software installation, enhanced password policies etc. However, the server end daily operation is beyond our control. In this article we discuss hosting security problems caused by hosting company staff and how we should deal with it.

To start with, let's check following top security events from hosting industry.

On August 25, 2011, a former Rackspace sales employee called David John Whitman was sentenced two years of probation for defrauding the company over $60000 commission. Being a salesman, he had familiared with everything about the company structure and sent Rackspace multiple fake order forms to generate higher commissions.

On April 22, 2013, a former employee of Hostgator Eric Gunnar Gisse was arrested and charged with installing a backdoor that gave him root control over 2,700 servers. Before Eric left hostgator, he had been medium-level server administrator with good performance. He then worked at Rackspace as a DC technician. He's currently held at the Harris County Jail.

Besides above, there're multiple similar events revealed by thewhir website. As we learnt from all industry news, most top issues are generated from the internal company instead outside attacking. Thus no matter how hard we have tried to secure our stuff, everything will finally depend on people. That means when we consider security, human is a big concern.

The both Rackspace and Hostgator are pretty reliable hosting groups and millions of clients being served by their service. They're actually rule makers of the industry so with no doubt they have the most advanced technologies for server protection. However such serious issues are actually occured with them, why? Let's reveal the secret by our experience in working with several groups.

The truth

The truth is when a company grows, there're lots of peopel in & out on different positions. Most of the time the trainning courses focus on tech and service parts instead teaching people how to follow the company terms/rules and any potential punishment because of violation.

web hosting training course

In our training experience, we paid too much efforts in teaching people how to familiar with our tools and basic skills to deal with customer complaints. Because the trainning period is always limited for one or two weeks, there's no more time to teach other things. The real practice at work is also about technical guidelines which is directed by supervisors. Once customer complaints solved, they can do whatever they liked.

As we see, such workflow brought us lots of potential problems because employees are not tought how to follow company policies properly and even worse, many companies don't even have papered policies that could be seen in office. From support end, almost every people be able to grab client privacy information including email ids, full names and cc numbers etc. In the sight of supporters, there's no privacy because they have access to all client information, they can access to your hosting space without a valid id/password because everything can be bypassed from their end. You can't tell if your contact email is kept by anybody or not and one day you'll be surprised about a direct promotional email with your full name on it!

Another stupid thing is many hosting company employes part time workers in order to reduce costs. Most part time workers are students who are teenagers. They can determine when to work and when not to. Some people are even granted to work at home by VPN connection!

How can we Get guaranteed safe hosting?

truth of hosting security

The answer might vary based your situation. When you're running a big business, a reputable and high quality dedicated service is definitely the best choice because nobody could access it besides you. If shared hosting is good enough for you, you can probably do the following

Read company blogs about their daily workflow. This would be the most direct way to learn about a hosting company. If their people are active, they will post their company events frequently on blog. There we can know how the company looks like in reality. For example if everywhere is lousy in the office, they must be less professional in managing customer accounts. We don't recommend a hosting service without a company blog. In this way, InMotionHosting is very good example. It's probably the only hosting group who is managing so successful blog. Their people update almost daily for various events and upload lots of work evironment pictures so clients can know exactly how they're doing.

Learn about the company department structures. Read the company yellow page and email to their CEO directly if needed so you can understand how the service is organized. Based your understanding about the company you can judge easily if they're running a healthy business. Prepare your questions carefully so you can get useful replies.

Read online about the company history. If the hosting service has been offered for some time, there must be a plenty of customer reviews. We can read how people say about their service and if there's any serious issues to bring down customer business. Don't complain about the time taken work because you put your privacy and business there.

5 Things to do after hosting account setup

5 things to do after account setup

Your hosting account is finally activated after a bit of research with great efforts. Now what? No matter if you have dealt with other hosting service, you must know about the right procedure to have everything running properly. Based our recent communication to several clients, we found it's necessary to write a dedicated posting about how to work correctly with your hosting account after setup. Because lots of issues are caused by misusing of the service. We have gathered all problems and compiled a list of following guidance

Check account settings

The first thing you should pay attention to after you received account confirmation email. In your client portal, there're lots of settings can be customized such as login protection and account renewal settings. From the problems we received, multiple clients complained their account got auto charged without any notice in advance. But after we checked from client portal, the account has auto renewal "turned on". We can say the hosting is doing bad, but if we have done further investigation, such problem can be avoided. So make sure to check your account settings once you received confirmation email.

Secure passwords for different service

By default, all service is created by hosting account login credentials. It's absolutely not good for overall security. Because if any of your service is cracked by hacker then your entire account is placed at high risk. We highly recommend to configure different passwords for different services. Client portal, hosting control panel and FTP etc should be provided different credentials. So once your hosting account is created, be sure to apply such settings and your account will be operated safely.

Be familiar with the control panel software

The hosting industry is being standalized from the past two years development reviews. However, there're still big difference among different hosting providers. For example the most popular control panel "cpanel" has many versions and lots of hosting companies applied their own custom setups. Justhost is probably the leading one who has fully revised the control panel software. By their most recent control panel customization, everything is provided on the same navigation just like a powerful cms platform. Customer center, support center and control panel are fully integrated and control panel category structures are all redesigned.

Because of this, there're many things to learn about. Don't be scared by the effort and time. It's 100% worthy because you will understand how to manage stuff professinoally. This is also included from hosting company new staff training cource, they must be professional in each single point before they can sent to customer support.

Upload website files and do testing

Now, you can upload or migrate over all files and do testing. Remember, it's always important to confirm everything is working properly before your switch over domain directly. Normally, each hosting account is assigned a termporary address for website testing. Use it to test everything on your website and solve any problem with support before the next changeover.

Sometimes, your application can only work under FQDN. For such case, you can by pass DNS directly from computer hosts file. For windows operation system, navigate to "C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc" and open the "hosts" file via notepad then add this line in the end "10.10.10.x yourdomain.com". Make sure to replace the IP to your server IP and use your own domain name. Save the file and browse to it, it will bring up website from your new server. Remember to remove this configuration after your switched over DNS records.

Change over DNS server

Now it's time to change your domain DNS. Unless there's specific reason, we suggest change over the entire DNS server settings instead few DNS records. Because it's common for hosting companies do necessary maintenance on hosting server and they need to apply some changes every few periods. If we use their DNS server, then everything can be handled professionally by support team or else we must monitor such changes by ourselves.

Above guidance is solely written based our working experience on customer accounts. You probably have searched out the perfect hosting service, but it's another thing if you can use it properly. It's crucial to know how to use the service professionally and safely. This will greatly reduce lots of potential problems.

How to Get support Efficiently & Professionally

tips and guidance to get better hosting support

When problem occurs with our hosting service, the support team is our most reliable contact because they have full access to problem resources. But not all of us can communicate with technician properly based our support experience. We have to reply at least one time to understand what exact problem there is. We have generated the following suggestions & guidance on how to get support fastly and professionally.

Select the right support channel

Hosting companies always provide multiple support channels like online knowledge base, chat and ticket system. We must evaluate the kind of problem we encounter then determine the proper support contact. For example, if we have billing concerns, then there's no doubt we need to contact accounting department instead tech support or just send out a general inquiry. This will simply slow down the support experience.

Except for live person support, knowledge base actually be able to solve most common issues because its all provided by the support team experience. Some frequently asked questions like how to transfer domain and file uploading, there're great video tutorials, you don't need a technician at all.

Pick out the most important

As we know, most support technicians are pretty busy in fixing various problems every day. They don't have sufficient time to spend on every single case. Thus it's important to let technician understand the problem in quick time so they can do needful support. When referring to accounting issues, ownership verification is a MUST as always. So make sure you provide necessary verification for account changes.

Guide technician on how to produce problems

Some problems might be produced by a few steps guidance. We must provide the full steps to technician and possibly sample credentials will be needed. We supported  several clients who just screamed why service not working but refuse to provide us how to reproduce the problem. They just keep saying must be problems on server and show their profession in managing such service. We must understand we're not server administrator but regular user. If we don't provide necessary infomation to support team, they can do nothing.

Don't submit the same problem multiple times

Many clients submit multiple support requests under client area and hope to get faster fix. However, this does not speed up the process but simply bring confusion to technician. Your tickets might be handled by different technicians and if they work on the same case at the same time, it's easily to be crashed. For example when the first technician made a change on website configuration then reply to get further details, but later another technician made another change and still ask you to provide more information, they will be confused when they return to the problem. So never submit the same problem multple times, it helps nothing but just slows down the fixing process.

When problem occurs, don't worry. We need to make primary evaluation and find where the problem might be. Sometimes, we don't need to contact support at all. If we can do a little more research, we can find solutions easily from online resource. With our experience, many technicians search for support online and just provide guidance on how to fix problem by customers themselves.

Bye bye 2013 and Hello 2014

bye bye 2013 and hello 2014

2013 is passing away and 2014 is only few steps in the front. Here I would like to thanks all collegues and supporters to webhostpark project. You have contributed great efforts and ideas in bringing new blood to this website. We wish to make further coperation and better success in the next year. Here I would like to give a brief review of the last year and new plans in year 2014.

Web hosting company reviews

In 2013, we mainly focus on partner companies who have been sponsering our projects like InMotionHosting, Arvixe and WebhostingHub etc. We did further investigation and evaluation to most those providers. Especially for those companies who have been pretty active interacting with clients, we paid more attention to them and arranged direct interviews to their representatives. There would be a lot of changes to many providers in 2014 so large modification is expected on website.

Partners and coperation

There're total of 9 partnership requests and only 1 website approved by us for quality and efficiency guarantees. Since January to July, we accepted total of 20 guest articles for hosting service related. The direct result is our website page rank is promoted to PR4 by the late update. Such effort/coperation will be coninued in the coming year and we'll provide better user experience in using this website.

News update

We have been tracking web hosting news from different countries. From our analysis, US is still the biggest IT market and primary choice by most users(either novice or professional). Asia especially China got burst growth in the last year. Cloud service is widely provided by some IT giants like Alibaba and China Telecom. But based professional discussion in IT circle, their service will be hard to serve oversea clients because of the country policies.

Onsite support

We personally accepted around 50 live chat contacts from chat admin and over 80% people are looking for correct hosting plan selection. Most supports and communication are still handled by email since we can not always keep online. We'll try to be online as longer as possible on working days.

Plans for year 2014

Most works in 2014 are continued by current tasks. We'll keep on offering helpful guidance and in depth reviews to more companies. Further coperation to more hosting companies are expected. We'll also seek more partnership with other leading websites for better user interaction. Website redesign is scheduled and should happen in short periods.

In a word, we'll still do hard and publish useful information to support our visitors better. We hope you get fresh air by visiting here and earn better success.

Best regards