There are numerous hosting plans offered by different web hosting companies. Aside from the varying prices, each hosting plan has unique features.

How do you decide which web hosting provider is the best for you? Yet, every company out there is promising unlimited resources, unlimited bandwidth, up to 99% uptime and an easy to use control panel. But do they deliver on their promise? Is unlimited bandwidth realistic?

These 7 features are essential components to look for in a great web hosting provider.

1. Website Builder

The web hosting company should provide you with tools to create a good website. A good website builder should exhibit the following characteristics.

  • Easy to use – Whether you are a beginner or a tech guru- the website builder should enable you build both a simple and complex website.
  • Easy to customize – In case you need to work with a website developer to make some changes or add more features, the ideal builder should enable you to achieve this.
  • Portable – If you want to change the hosting plan, the company should enable you to easily move content to the other host without loss or distortion.

Besides, a hosting plan that incorporates a website builder is a cost effective option to meeting your main website development needs.

Website Builder2. Simple Control Panel

A great webhosting company should provide an easy to use user interface even for the most tech non-savvy person.

It should enable you to do the basic activities such as email set up, FTP account set up on your own. Cpanels and Plesk are as some of the simplest control panels to use.  They integrate all administrative options to allow you to seamlessly control all aspects of your website.

You need not call the company’s customer support as the interface is self-explanatory. Furthermore, nobody wants to spend time that they would have otherwise spent growing their business trying to figure out a complex control panel.

3. Ecommerce Tools

Ecommerce tools are especially essential if you are running an ecommerce website. The web hosting company should provide you with a shopping cart software, SSL certification and means for business transactions such as PayPal and Cube cart.

Ecommerce Tools4. Advertising credits

Advertising credits are an invaluable promotion tool especially when setting up a website for the first time.  They enable you to advertise without having to inflate your budget with additional advertising costs. Advertising credits such as Google Ad words enable you to place advertisements about your website on the main search engines.

5. Email Features

Customized emails ([email protected]) are an excellent marketing tool. The email addresses with your domain name are regarded to as more professional than your personal @gmail or @yahoo email addresses.

While some providers limit the number of email addresses, great providers offer unlimited email ID’s.  The unlimited email ID’s come in handy when you are creating email addresses for various employees and departments within your company.

6. Reliable Customer Support

It is not uncommon to face technical challenges when setting up your website. Thus, you will require the help of the provider.

Ideal technical support should be available 24/7 and offer quick and efficient solutions to the challenges you are facing. Great providers avail real people in their customer care unit to address their customers live, on phone or through a chart. Better still, the company should have a toll free phone number. Alternatively, the company should avail comprehensive documents on common technical issues to enable you handle them by yourself.

You want a company that puts customer care and support at the front line.

Reliable Customer Support7. Site Backup

Technical issues such as replaced php files or server hard disk failure can cause site crashes when you least expect. In such a case, if your web hosting provider doesn’t offer regular site back up, then you are likely to lose all the contents of your website.

On the other hand, if the hosting provider backs up site files regularly, you’ll be able to restore the website to the original state.

A great web hosting provider provides regular full site back up and also provides a feature on the control panel that enables you to restore your site easily.

A Great Web Hosting Provider Delivers on Their Promise

Ultimately, the best hosting provider is one who delivers on their promise. If they say that they offer site back up, then they do so.

How do you know whether a certain provider will deliver? You know through honest customer reviews. Forget about bloggers who are paid to speak well about a certain providers. Read customer testimonials and reviews instead. They are less likely to be biased. Alternatively, ask for referrals from other website owners.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.