A lot of people don't run a server from their home, with its own monitor and keyboard and whatnot. Most people run servers hosted remotely, purchased from a server hosting company or borrowed from a friend. If you're running a remote server, there are some pretty useful pieces of (free) software that you can get.
- PuTTY is a program that lets you access your linux server remotely. It gives you command-line access to your server. If you are not familiar with Linux, it will be difficult to use, but if you're hosting your server on linux you probably know enough to use PuTTY successfully.
- Screen lets you keep your linux server running even after you close your shell (eg, your PuTTY window). Any time you launch a server through something like PuTTY, you should run it in screen, so you can disconnect from the screen and still keep the server up. This page
has a good tutorial about how to use screen.
- FileZilla is an ftp program. It allows you to access your machine in an interface that makes transferring files very easy. It is much easier to load files to your server using FileZilla than, say, PuTTY, but it is not a good interface for executing files (such as the server executable files).
- HLSW allows you rcon access to your server without you having to physically join the server. This allows you to change maps, ban, etc.: everything you can normally do through console once your server is running. This video
walks you through some basics.