If you are opting for Linux Based Hosting Plan, make sure you have the following included in your plans:
1. Control Panel: This is the nucleus of your website. In a Control Panel, popularly known as CP, you can literally do anything. The moment you signup for a Hosting Pack, you must be provided with a CP to manage your web space.
2. POP3 email Ids and Aliases: firstname.lastname@example.org is an example POP3 ID. You must be provided with ample of POP3 email ids and it depends on the Package size.
3. FTP Accounts and Virtual FTP: This is where you upload your files, delete them, and update them. This again comes along with the CP. Make sure you have a handful of FTP sub-accounts also to provide your clients/users password protected directories. This is very much useful wherein your clients/users can use the FTP to upload /download files from particular password protected folder of your website.
4. Backup: Most of the Hosts take Automated Backups. But users do not take much care on this while choosing the Hosting Pack. This feature is as essential as any other in this list.
5. Web Statistics: Analysis of your website visitors plays a key role in the success of your website. If, your website has been launched and you get NIL Visits or More than 100 Visits per day. Whatever the case may be, you can view the Report using Statistics Application that runs in the server backend.
6. Bandwidth: Choose the Hosting Plan that gives enough Bandwidth for your website. Even though you cannot judge at the beginning, as time progresses, you can easily deduct the Bandwidth required.
7. PHP and Mysql Support: All the Linux Plans support PHP and Mysql. Make sure you get this free of charge when you buy the hosting plan. Few Hosting Providers may charge extra for MYSQL Database Support and PhpMyAdmin.
8. Webmail and SMTP: Email becomes a key part in your life once you launch the website. Check if the Hosts provide with WEBMAIL (mail.yourdomain.com) to check your mails thru a web-based interface using Squirrel mail or Horde. Corporate Users prefer downloading mails thru Email Clients such as Eudora or Outlook Express. Only if SMTP or IMAP support is enabled you can use this option. Hence check if SMTP support is provided.
9. SPAM ASSASIN: No email user is free from a spam attack. Hence you need to have Spam Filters installed on the server where your website resides.
10. IP: If your website prefers SSL Support (https://) as time grows, makes sure you get a DEDICATED IP. Most of the websites are hosted on shared IPs. Ask your Hosting Provider about the extra charges involved in getting a dedicated IP and SSL Support.