Web Hosting Features

What features should be included in a good web hosting package. Make sure the web hosting package has the features you need.

It is important to know the requirements for the website to be hosted so that the right web hosting features can be included. The web hosting package may include Email POP3 & iMap, variable disk space, databases (MySQL or Access), PHP scripting environment, security with SSL certificates, control panel, file management tools, website usage statistics, FTP access, sub-domains, and preconfigured website tools and CMS options.


The first feature many people consider with a web hosting package is email. Web hosting provides access to an email server to both send and receive emails. There can be limits on the number of email accounts allowed in the web hosting package, and different levels available to purchase, or as individual email accounts. Check the limits of the number of email accounts and any usage restrictions. They should provide both POP3 and iMap facilities, as well as a web based system called webmail to allow access from a web browser to the email account.

Disk Space

The web hosting package will usually have a limit on the amount of disk space that can be used on the server for one website. Modern websites based on Content Management Systems (CMS) and containing large numbers of images, video, or downloadable files can greatly increase the required dish space.

FTP Access

File Transfer Protocal (FTP) is used to securely transfer files from a local computer to the web server and is a basic feature in most web hosting packages. Websites based on a CMS can often manage many of the basic file transfer functions using built in scripts, so the use of FTP may not be necessary for a lot of web publishing needs. A control panel at the web host can also provide FTP facility.

Control Panel

A good control panel, such as cPanel or extend, is a graphical interface that provides access to configuration settings and tools to manage the features of the web hosting package and web site. It should provide access to FTP, Email configuration, databases and DB admin, backup features, website usage statistics, and other hosting account management features.


A website database is used to store data that is then retrieved using website scripts and used to construct a web page as it is served. Databases are a common feature of content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla, or E-commerce websites. Linux / Apache based databases are usually MySQL Databases or possibly PostgreSQL Databases, with MS Access being used on Windows Servers. The web hosting control panel should provide tools, such as phpMyAdmin, to allow the management and backup of the database separate from the CMS or E-commerce website scripts.

SSL Secure Server

The use of a secure server or SSL is becoming more common, and the latest changes to the Chrome web browser are highlighting websites that do not use SSL. Commonly used for e-commerce websites taking online payments or gathering large amounts or user data. SSL requires a certificate to be registered and associated with the domain name, and may be an extra cost.