When shopping around for a web host, make sure they include
ssh, also known as the command line.
There are so many reasons that the command line can help you administer your CMS. But none of that magic can happen if you buy a web hosting package that doesn't include it.
So have a careful look at that feature list before you pull out your credit card. Usually, the command line is listed as
SSH Access, or something similar.
SSH Isn't Expensive
It's a very common feature; don't worry that you'll have to pay extra for it. True, if you're looking for $2/month hosting or something, it might not include the command line. But $2/month hosting is likely to be rather terrifying anyway. (Not always the case, but usually.)
Choose Linux, Not Windows
If a web host offers both Linux and Windows hosting,
ssh will only be on the Linux option.
Fortunately, we're talking about hosting one of the major CMSs, right? If you want WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, a Linux host is your best bet anyway.
Yes, it is possible to run these CMSs on a Windows web host. It's even possible to have a "command line" that is slightly analogous to
But, if you're looking to build, customize, and administer one of these CMSs, your life will be much, much simpler if you choose a Linux web host rather than Windows. The
ssh command line is only one of many reasons.
Don't worry, this doesn't mean you'll have to run Linux on your own computer. You can use Windows or a Mac, and administer your Linux host just fine.
Now Learn the Command Line
If you do decide to get
ssh, make sure you use it! Learn the basics of the command line. Even if you only use it once in awhile, those rare occasions will make you very glad you're familiar with this tool.