Disclaimer: This is just one person’s thoughts and opinions. No harm, infringement etc. is intended.
Finding a good web hosting provider today is much a referral and less a choice based upon an offer of some characteristics. Besides figures and numbers an opinion counts before you made a decision. And my intention is to share some of my experience with my web hosting provider.
Back in 2005 I’ve decided to buy a domain and also to find a good web hosting provider. So, I’ve “googled” some “web hosting” and if I remembered correctly iPowerWeb Web Hosting was the third result on the searching results first page. Sounds interesting “IPOWER” so I landed on their home page and I bought the “lostresort.biz” domain name. The price was lower than other competitors’ offer and their message convince me to go ahead and make a purchase.
After one year I made my mind and finally I bought the “Pro Plan” web hosting service. For what do I need for my plans is more than enough.
The iPower “Pro Plan” web hosting service
iPower offers two platforms for web hosting, one based on Linux OS and the other with Windows Server. The “Pro Plan” service, which I use, is based on Debian, a free operating system which uses a Linux kernel, but the basic tools come from GNU project. Debian is one of the most robust and reliable OS among Linux distributions.
The HTTP server is based on Apache HTTP Server Project, which is also available for free.
Basic features for this service are: storage space of 1,500 GB, Transfer/Bandwidth of 15,000 GB/month, one free personalized domain name, international domain name support and the possibility of hosting unlimited domains.
The access to the hosting account it’s accomplished trough vDeck Control Panel which is the interface used for account configuration and navigation through all available features.
Website administration panel
As you cans see in the screenshot first item is an editor for the .htaccess file for the Apache HTTP server. This panel have features to modify some characteristics for the web server or for the directories and files on the server. You can set: Hotlink Protection for your domains which means that you can prevent unauthorized URLs from loading files within specified directories at your site, which uses your bandwidth (also called bandwidth theft and leeching); Custom Error Pages for the standard server error message pages; Password Protection to protect directories and files with user access lists; URL Redirect to redirect requests for a specific file or directory to a new destination; MIME Types to add or override system MIME types; Open Directory Browsing to control access to the directories of your website; Block IP Address which allows you to block users from specific IP addresses or a range of IP addresses from accessing your site.
Also you have the option to view and edit the .htaccess file directly for root or a selected directory.
In this section you can allocate the space for the web site, the space for the mailboxes and to view the level of the used storage space.
After you have build your site you can use any FTP application to upload the files of your site to your iPower account, or any other files you may need. Also in this section you can set FTP accounts and can view information about last login and status or you have the options to edit, disable and verify these accounts.
In this section you have the ability to create folders, upload, rename, delete, move and copy files. Also you have the possibility to change files’ permission to the necessary value. For security reasons files’ extensions allowed for uploading, using File Manager, are: asp, aspx, bas, cfm, cgi, css, csv, doc, dwf, gif, gz, htm, html, ico, inc, jpeg, jpg, js, mdb, pdf, php, php3, php4, php5, pl, pm, png, ppt, py, shtm, shtml, sql, swf, tar, txt, wav, wmv, xls, xml and zip.
By enabling this feature you will be able to create your site using Microsoft FrontPage. But, because Microsoft does not support this web application anymore, you won’t be able to update or to receive patches from Microsoft. And because it is a proprietary of Microsoft is well suited to work fine with Internet Explorer web browser, another Microsoft product. This means that if you create your site with FrontPage there is a slightly chance that your website will look good with Internet Explorer, but in some cases not well with other web browsers. Because MSIE is loosing share on web browsers market you should take this into consideration when you are creating your web site.
I don’t have this feature enabled.
Google Webmaster Tools
This is a portal to the well known service Google Webmaster Tools.
Google Webmaster Tools provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility on Google. Using this feature on your iPower account will only generate a sitemap for your site which will be submitted to Google, and redirect you to the link I’ve posted above. So, it’s up to you if you create by yourself the sitemap for your site and submit it directly to Google or, you use this feature available on Control Panel to do this job for you.
This means that you can access your web pages via Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Note that you have to point your file location using an address like:
As the name it suggest you'll find information about server configuration like: platform type, MySQL, Perl and PHP Versions and installed PEAR and Perl Modules.
Set Site Editor
In this area you have the option to set the editor for your website pages choosing from: SiteDelux Web Site Editor, Microsoft FrontPage, WebSite Creator by CM4all or you can use your own text editor or custom HTML editing tool.
You have access to your log files' information using AWStats analyzer which is also free.
E-mail administration panel
In this area you can create mail boxes or forward email addresses.
You can access your email messages using one of the following web mail application: Atmail, SquirrelMail and Horde.
Note that being a third party application you don't get support if something is going wrong with these web mail application and maybe it will be better to use an email client such as: Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Evolution Mail, Eudora etc. to read and create email messages and to store them on a local machine.
In this area you can create a message that will be automatically sent as a response to any received message. It can be done as one message for all email recipients, or a message for each email recipient.
This feature allows you to choose what is happening with the messages you receive on your email server, if the destination recipient is not configured. You have the option to bounce them (the message will be returned to the sender), to save them (in a temporary mailbox) or to trash them (permanent delete).
Manage Spam Filter
In this section you have the possibility to set if the emails will be scanned to determine whether or not it looks like spam and what is happening with the messages which appear to be spam. Also you can create a White List or a Black List for the sender's recipient as an email address or domain, or the network address of the sender's mail server(s), or the IP address.