Once you have a dedicated server, you will find out how little time you have to read complex tutorials and documentation. This is especially true if you are offering hosting services to one or more customers. You will have real-world issues that need fixing right away. There are some shortcuts you can take to fix problems, but it is better to prevent them in the first place. The following are some steps you should take to make sure your server runs smoothly and securely.
1. Always Keep current backups of all data. You should backup regular documents, images, and databases. When possible, you should keep your backups stored on a secure, remote server.
2. Perform regular kernel security updates, and keep all software patched and secure.
3. Offer your clients a script installation service to simplify the installation of many popular web applications. This will minimize support requests for “Internal Server Error” and other problems. It will also help clients keep their scripts up-to-date.
4. Provide a web-based control panel for users to help them manage their sites.
5. Encourage users to regularly update their passwords and enforce strong passwords to prevent security breaches.
6. Remotely monitor your web server, mail server, and any other system-critical services. You can use a monitoring script or third-party service.
7. Do not max out your servers with more users and websites than it can comfortably hold. Leave a little room so that your CPU, RAM, and disks are not overtaxed.
8. Give users plenty of time to prepare for any maintenance down time, software upgrades, migrations, or other possible service interruptions.