This paper may be viewed as having two aims. First, we continue our study of algebras of operators on a Hilbert space which have a contractive approximate identity, this time from a more Banach-algebraic point of view. Namely, we mainly investigate topics concerned with the ideal structure, and hereditary subalgebras (or HSA's, which are in some sense a generalization of ideals). Second, we study properties of operator algebras which are hereditary subalgebras in their bidual, or equivalently which are 'weakly compact'. We also give several examples answering natural questions that arise in such an investigation.