Hosting Account Features

General Hosting Account Features

Hosting on Linux Based Servers

A Linux (Unix) server provides a robust and stable hosting platform, ideal for the vast majority of web sites. We use the CentOS operating system which is an open source version of Red Hat Enterprise edition. CentOS is code identical to Redhat and they also now share a partnership between the organisations.

Being an Enterprise grade operating system, we benefit from superior performance, stability, resilience and reliability. Security is also a consideration when choosing an operating system, and with an Enterprise level OS like this, security updates are automatically picked up by our servers within hours of them being released, ensuring the upmost security of your hosted data.

High monthly data transfer limits

Each time your website is accessed data is transferred across the Internet, and our transfer limits are one of the most generous around. Your account is allocated a high bandwidth allowance per month and your data transfer can be monitored in real-time via your control panel. Should you approach or exceed your set limit then you will automatically be advised of this via an e-mail from the control panel. Should your website grow and so you require additional resources, you can upgrade your account at any time from the client area of our website.

Generous Web Space Allowance

All of our hosting accounts offer a generous allowance of web space on our servers, with all accounts being upgradeable should you require additional space in the future as your site grows. Every domain name hosted by us has its own FTP account which you can use to upload the files for that domain from your computer.

We use Enterprise grade Seagate SAS hard disks running in redundant RAID arrays for the ultimate level balance of performance and reliability on our shared hosting servers so as to ensure that your web pages are served quickly and your data is securely stored.


Online Support Centre

We provide you with a complete online support centre, known as our client area. This provides facilities for frequently asked questions about your account and full documentation. Any further questions you may then have can be answered by our sales or support staff accordingly via support ticket, e-mail or telephone if required.

Our client area also allows for ordering of hosting account upgrades as well as addon products and features such as IP addresses and SSL certificates.

Advanced Web Based Control Panel

We use the latest release version of the highly popular cPanel control panel software to manage your hosting account.

Your own personal control panel is easily accessible from anywhere via a web browser where you can manage all aspects of your account via an easy to use online interface which will allow you to configure items such as e-mail addresses, passwords, sub-domains, administer databases, etc. Your control panel layout and theme are also fully configurable to your personal preferences.

cPanel is an intuitive and easy to use package that makes maintaining your website easy.

Hourly website backups

All of our hosting accounts are now backed up and protected with R1Soft's revolutionary CDP (Constant Data Protection) backup system.

Fully automated off-site backups of your entire hosting account are performed once per hour, 24/7, therefore ensuring one of the highest levels of backups available anywhere in the industry.

The CDP server provides an interface where files or databases can be selected to be restored from the timed recovery point on the server.

Apache Web Server

All of our servers make use of the highly popular Apache Web Server.

The Apache HTTP Server is an open-source HTTP server for modern operating systems including UNIX, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS/X and Netware. The goal of this project is to provide a secure, efficient and extensible server that provides HTTP services observing the current HTTP standards. Apache has been the most popular web server on the Internet since April of 1996.


E-Mail Facilities & Features

Unlimited email addresses

Configure as many email addresses at each of your domain name(s) as required. Mail to any address can be sent either to a IMAP/POP3 mailbox supplied by us or forwarded to an existing email address elsewhere, such as your Hotmail or Gmail account. Mail sent to an address for which you have not configured a specific destination can also be sent to a specific default location or even rejected.

Exim Mail Server

Exim is a fast and scalable SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) mail server that routes your e-mail messages through the Internet to be stored on a mail server, such as POP3 or IMAP.

All of our accounts have SMTP enabled on them as standard so you don't have to worry about changing e-mail account settings, particularly if you're regularly on the move and changing ISP's.

We also provide SMTP access on an additional port for use with those ISP's that block outgoing mail on the standard port 25, as well as supporting TLS encryption for secure SMTP access.

Unlimited auto responders

Auto responders reply to incoming email instantly and automatically. You can set up an unlimited number of auto responders from within your control panel which can be used for example to notify your customers when you are on leave and advise them who to contact in the meantime.

SPF and DKIM

All of our account include the facility to enable and configure both SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domainkeys Identified Mail)s.

The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an open standard specifying a technical method to prevent sender address forgery. More precisely, the current version of SPF — called SPFv1 or SPF Classic — protects the envelope sender address, which is used for the delivery of messages.

DKIM attaches a new domain name identifier to a message and uses cryptographic techniques to validate authorization for its presence. The identifier is independent of any other identifier in the message, such in the author's From: field.

Both of these addons are used to prevent the spoofing of your e-mail address and so improve the security and reliability of your e-mail service

Email Spam Filtering

Unsolicited commercial email commonly referred to as SPAM is the Internet equivalent of junk mail.

Spam filtering is available as standard with the majority of our hosting accounts. The control panel makes use of the extremely popular Apache Spamassassin application to analyse your incoming main and also allow you to create rules to filter your mail on. This means that unwanted messages are filtered from your mailbox, by either deleting them or placing them in a separate folder for later review.

Our mail servers also consult with a number of very reliable dynamic spam databases (known as RBLs, or Real-time Blackhole Lists), namely Spamcop and Barracuda. These are lists of known recent spammers and so our servers will automatically refuse email sent from known perpetrators before they reach your hosting account. This overall message filtering therefore reduces the amount of junk mail in your inbox and so increases your productivity.

Webmail

Sometimes you may want to access your e-mail on the move, for example from a public computer, when on holiday or at another location such as a friend or colleagues computer.

Webmail is a browser based email client that uses IMAP to provide your email account users with access to their email messages directly over the Internet from a web page. This means that you can send and receive e-mail from any browser or computer, very much like Hotmail.

We provide webmail access to your accounts via a choice from the Horde, Roundcube & Squirrelmail webmail applications.

Unlimited Mailing Lists

Mailing lists enable single messages to be delivered to multiple recipients in an organisation. An unlimited number of email lists can be created on your account. Mailing Lists are commonly used to circulate topic discussions. A mailing list includes a set list of members. Whenever a list member post an email message to the mailing list email address, that email message is distributed to all list members

POP3 and IMAP Mailboxes

Our hosting accounts provide you with an unlimited number of mailboxes for storage of your e-mail. All mailboxes support connections via POP3 & IMAP as well as POP3s and IMAPs (SSL secured) so that you can direct and store e-mail coming into your domain name as you wish.

IMAP provides additional benefits such as IMAP idle and Blackberry FastMail support, which is advantageous for use with mobile devices, as well as being able to archive e-mail messages in folders and also share mailboxes with other users

Additionally, when using IMAP for e-mail your e-mail remains stored on your hosting account and so regularly and securely backed up by our servers

Account & User Level Account Filtering

Rules can be defined for the management of your incoming e-mail. This powerful facility allows you to place e-mails from a certain sender for example all in one folder, therefore vastly simplifying the management of a busy mailbox.


Domain Management

RAW Logfile Access

All hosting accounts have direct access to their web server & FTP log files. This allows you to view details of all visitors to your site, and also link to any other third party statistic programs that you may wish to use.

Web Disk

The Web Disk facility is provided using the WebDAV protocol and it allows you to easily access files within your hosting account.

You can drag and drop files to your hosting account as if they were another disk drive on your computer and also navigate through your hosting account just like you do the files on your local computer.

This can be used as your own personal cloud based storage facility, enabling access to your files from anywhere. cPanel even provides a mobile app to access your web disk on the move from your mobile device.

FTP Accounts

You can create multiple FTP accounts and restrict each of these to certain folders within your web space. This is particularly useful for collaboration sites where various members manage their own section of the site as this allows them to administer their own directory whilst not having access to the rest of the hosting account.

Domain Parking / Redirects

Your hosting account allows you to park/alias additional domains to it. You can configure whether these are forwarded to other external web space, or alternatively you can direct these to specific folders within your web space, therefore allowing you to host multiple domains from a single hosting account.

Online File Manager

Our online file manager enables you to access, create and remove files and directories on your hosting account via a simple to use, web-based interface. This is ideal for changing your site if you are on the move and do not have access to a standard FTP client.

You can also perform more advanced operations such as uploading ZIP files and then extracting them into your hosting account, as well as altering file directory permissions.

This makes for an ideal temporary substitute for an FTP client, which would be the preferred general method of accessing your account to make changes to your content.

Sub-domains

Sub domains allow you to separate your hosting account into sections in the format http://sub.example.com. All sub-domains have full CGI support, are administered via your site control panel and their bandwidth is calculated as part of the total domain usage.

Sub Domains can additionally be allocated their own separate FTP usernames, making them useful to providing restricted access to your account, for example to allow a 3rd party controlled access t your account to send or receive files.

Website Statistics

View real-time usage statistics for your web site - see how many people are visiting your site, where they come from, what search engine and keywords they use to find you and much more. You can access statistics for your website via your cPanel control panel.

Website statistics are particularly useful to see if your advertising campaign is correctly targeted, or if you are just curious about who your website visitors are and where they come from.

Statistical information about your website is available from the Webalizer, AWStats and Logaholic packages.


Website Scripting

PHP v5 Scripting

PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.

It is a powerful server side scripting language which is ideal for the creation of dynamic data driven websites, for example blogs, forums and shopping carts.

PHP v5 is installed on all of our servers and we regularly rebuild PHP to provide the latest most stable and compatible version so as to ensure maximum compatibility with the latest scripts.

MySQL Database Server

MySQL is a widely used relational database management system for SQL databases. It provides scalability & flexibility, high performance, high availability and robust transactional support.

A relational database stores data in separate tables rather than in one big table. A database management system allows you to add, access and process data stored in a SQL database.

We also provide phpMyAdmin with your account to allow you to set up configure and view your databases.

CGI Scripting in Perl

Perl is a high-level programming language and its process, file, and text manipulation facilities make it particularly well-suited for tasks involving quick prototyping, system utilities, software tools, system management tasks, database access, graphical programming, networking, and web programming.

Perl derives from the ubiquitous C programming language and to a lesser extent from sed, awk, the Unix shell, and many other tools and languages.

Each hosting account that you create is equipped with its own CGI directory, allowing you to install and develop your own Perl CGI scripts.

Server Side Includes

Server Side Includes enable the addition of dynamic elements to HTML web pages. Automatically insert dates and file information as well as calling external programs such as hit counters.

Automated script installation

Our hosting accounts include the popular script installer, Softaculous. This is a great Auto Installer having over 300 great scripts, 1100 PHP Classes and with more being regularly added. Instead of requiring some technical knowledge as would otherwise be needed to install packages such as Wordpress, phpBB and Joomla, with our automated script installer and a few quick questions your application can be installed and up and running in seconds.

Softaculous will also optionally inform you when a newer version of the software has been released and provide options for either a manual or automatic upgrade of your website scripts as needed, thereby allowing you to ensure that your site remains secure and also benefits from the latest features and bug fixes provided by the script author.

Please note that the Softaculous script installer is a commercial add-on to the control panel and is provided as a complimentary service. We do not support these scripts ourselves as the control panel only provides for easy installation of them. Support for the actual application must be obtained from the appropriate script author, however our developers are able to assist with these on a paid for basis if required as per any other scripting requirement.

Server Side PGP Encrpytion

PGP allows you to store and handle sensitive data such as credit card information in an encrypted state. You may also encrypt email such that only you can read it.

Our servers provide GnuPG which is a complete and free implementation of the OpenPGP standard as defined by RFC4880 (also known as PGP). GnuPG allows to encrypt and sign your data and communication, features a versatile key management system as well as access modules for all kinds of public key directories.

Even if you have nothing to hide, using encryption helps protect the privacy of people you communicate with, and makes life difficult for bulk surveillance systems. If you do have something important to hide, you are in good company

Customised Error Pages

Replace the standard and to some site visitors, uninformative error responses of the web server with a customised page of your choice. This encourages visitors to stay on your site when an error occurs, clearly and easily directing them to the correct location or a point of reference.


Security

Password Protected Directories

With this function, you can restrict access to certain areas of your website and also configure as many usernames, groups and passwords as required for access to these areas. Applications include sites where membership is required to view certain content or the creation of an extranet.

When enabled, password protected directories require authentication using a username and password before the files from them can be downloaded via the web. Groups, users and passwords are easily administered from within your cPanel interface.

IP Deny Manager & Hotlink Protection

Block by their IP address visitors to your website. Very useful for stopping persistent abusers of your site from connecting any further. Hotlink protection prevents people from linking to images/video, etc in your web space and so prevents them from unauthorised use of your data transfer allowance.

OpenSSL Secure Website

SSL is a protocol that allows you to transmit private documents through the Internet. It creates a secure, encrypted connection between a client (website visitor) and the web server over which any amount of data can then be sent securely. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data transferred over the secure connection. The most common use of this feature is for having a website secured with an SSL certificate, ie the padlock symbol appearing in the website visitors browser.

Please note: this feature generally requires that you have a dedicated IP address on your hosting account for full support. Our newer servers do support SNI so that SSL can be used without an IP address, however please be aware that this is not supported by some older web browsers, therefore an IP address is recommended for full compatibility.

DNS Management

On our Budget Hosting and above accounts, our DNS Management facility allows you to customise or create DNS records for your domain names. This is of use for example to point your e-mail to your own exchange server or even to your company intranet or home computer. The control panel provides seamless management of the DNS zones for any domains that are mapped/parked to your hosting account.

IP Based Hosting Account

If you have a requirement for personal SSL on your account (ie your own SSL certificate), then you will generally also require a dedicated IP address to be assigned to it as personal SSL cannot generally work without this facility due to compatibility with some older web browsers.

Having a dedicated IP address means that instead of your website sharing it's IP address with other customers on the same server, your website will be assigned it's own unique IP address on the Internet by which is it specifically referenced.

Please note that IP address usage has to be justified as per RIPE guidelines. RIPE NCC is the organisation responsible for IP address usage within Europe.

SSL Certitificates

We can supply you with an SSL certificate at prices significantly lower than the standard retail ones due to our partnership with Geotrust and volume of certificates purchased.

Our client area provides fully automated ordering & provisioning of certificates via our client area, allowing you to upload your CSR and have your new certificate issued t you in minutes for instant activation type certificates.

Alternatively, for a small charge we can perform the ordering and installation process for you if you prefer.