'Features' that should always be standard

S4 Hosting

Active member
There are some features in any hosting plan that I just assume will be included and would be surprised to not find.

But these same things that I just kind of feel are standard and expected, are included in many adverts as a selling point.

Free SSL is a good example, and the one that triggered this post.

Is it ok for any host not to offer that these days, and if not, then is it still a selling and advertising point?

What other 'features' do you think should be provided without exception?
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
I used to think that free Emails were a selling point, and for many years they were, but these days I actually prefer that the email is not included (or operated) on the server. This is targeted at a specific type of business client however, so Free may still need to be an option for other users.
 

S4 Hosting

Active member
I used to think that free Emails were a selling point, and for many years they were, but these days I actually prefer that the email is not included (or operated) on the server.

I think that included email is still a selling point, but it should be hosted on a dedicated mail server and not on a server that is also hosting client sites.
 

server

Member
Free SSL is a good example, and the one that triggered this post.
It's funny many web hosts put this in front of their offerings, this make them look like they don't have to offer anything more. Like that example with keys from apartment @FaveHosting mentioned - owner should advertise like "not only you receive an apartment, but we give you free keys as well". What else then? Free secure connection to web hosting control panel? Free secure FTP?
 

bigredseo

HD Community Advisor
Staff member
SSH is a selling point. Many hosts don't offer this. I used to spend quite a bit of time in shell with specific programs - I don't do it so much today.

Error Logs and Access Logs - this is something that annoys me at Bluehost. They don't provide access to Error Logs or PHP Errors etc. So if you're troubleshooting an issue for a client, you are literally blind as they provide no access to logs at all.

Free Website Transfer is always a good selling point for clients. I tend to be quicker than hosts, but for people that don't know how to do it, this is a good selling point. Not just adding a WordPress Plugin (WP Engine, SiteGround, Kinsta), but actually making a backup, transferring it, unpacking it, set passwords, turn the keys over to the client.
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
Free SSL is a good example,
Not really, as you still have hosts that sell SSL through Go get SSL/The SSLStore etc., so most people will just take on a free SSL rather than pay, so you as a host lose out on revenue.

When I close down my hosting business in 2018 I still kept my The SSL store account and Whitelabel store as I had and still have many customers with paid SSL certificates.
 

server

Member
For those customers, who need cheap hosting, I don't thing anything matters at all, except price, of course. For those, who are able to pay more: either they look for specialized services or they can fix many things themselves, just need proper environment to be set. Selling in web hosting got somewhat sophisticated over years, so concentration on advertising tech specs won't help much, IMO. Anyone can do that.
 

Artashes

Administrator
Staff member
Moving is a terrible process for a client. I feel like if anything should be a standard feature, it is the actual process of moving and setting things up. While most companies will do this for you if you ask, the majority of people don't know this. If a side-by-side comparison is made between two companies, with one of them offering free assistance to move your website, that company will be favoured.
 
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easyhostmedia

Well-known member
Paid SSL was a big scam for small websites, Let's encrypt exposed this to the whole world.
the scam was not paid SSL, it was the fact you had to pay for a dedicated IP to have a SSL cert. which it has proven you never did need 1. let's encrypt started by offering their free SSLs through cPanel, until cpanel gave them the boot and started their own with the help of Comodo.
 
I think PaidSSL and letsencrypt became an option with SNI enabled options.
Though SSL should be given for free in todays time. Backups aswell. I would actually say backups first.

Dont forget IDS Protection and Malware cleanup tools are very important as bots and hackers are intense today trying to hack wordpress sites especially.
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
Though SSL should be given for free in todays time
WHY?

You are aware SSL comes in 3 types and the work involved in validation before being issues means that at least 2 types cannot be free. The type you chose will depend on your organisation and website
 
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S4 Hosting

Active member

Why not?

SSL certs should be a standard, and at the simplest level should be provided free with all hosting plans.

Yes, higher validated levels of SSL can/should be offered and charged for, that's not in question.

The cost in providing free basic cert from Let's Encrypt or similar is financially zero, and it is neither difficult or time consuming.

Search engines punish sites without it, modern browsers show security alerts for sites without it, every site using it will make the internet a very slightly less shady place, and it has no downsides.

So, why would any host not offer it for free? The only reason is that they want to extract money from their clients for something that costs them nothing,
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
Search engines punish sites without it, modern browsers show security alerts for sites without it, every site using it will make the internet a very slightly less shady place, and it has no downsides.
Yes and that is why Lets Encrypt and Cpanel autoSSL came about when Google and Firefox decided to mark sites without HTTPS as insecure.

But even a paid SSL at wholesale price is as low as $6 a year and comes with validation and SSL badge, so hosts can even provide a paid SSL free to clients if they wish.

I would rather do this than use a free SSL such as Lets Encrypt, but we are all running businesses and in it to make money, so the more you give free the less profit you make.
 

S4 Hosting

Active member
Yes and that is why Lets Encrypt and Cpanel autoSSL came about when Google and Firefox decided to mark sites without HTTPS as insecure.

But even a paid SSL at wholesale price is as low as $6 a year and comes with validation and SSL badge, so hosts can even provide a paid SSL free to clients if they wish.

I would rather do this than use a free SSL such as Lets Encrypt, but we are all running businesses and in it to make money, so the more you give free the less profit you make.

I'm not really sure I understand your logic at all...

Any up to date SSL cert is much better than none, free certs cost hosts nothing in terms of money, time or effort, so why should that not be passed on to clients?

The fact that paid certs exist and are available, and are better in many applications, makes no difference to that.
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
I'm not really sure I understand your logic at all...

Any up to date SSL cert is much better than none, free certs cost hosts nothing in terms of money, time or effort, so why should that not be passed on to clients?

The fact that paid certs exist and are available, and are better in many applications, makes no difference to that.
Free SSL DON'T give validation and DON'T give SSL validation badge.

For simple personal websites and blogs then yes a free SSL will be fine, but for commercial websites then you should be using a paid SSL.
If a business cannot afford $6 a year for a validated SSL then they won't get my business.
 

S4 Hosting

Active member
Free SSL DON'T give validation and DON'T give SSL validation badge.

For simple personal websites and blogs then yes a free SSL will be fine, but for commercial websites then you should be using a paid SSL.
If a business cannot afford $6 a year for a validated SSL then they won't get my business.

Right, ok, but nobody is arguing with what commercial sites should or shouldn't be using.

As an aside, I don't necessarily agree with you on this. I think that under the condition that a company in not storing or processing users card details, etc. on their own servers, but using a third party service like Stripe then a free cert is fine for them.

But surely we all agree that a free SSL cert, which satisfies search engines, browsers, and does at the least show that you are connected to the domain that you think are, is a good thing.

Then why should all sites, regardless of how small or personal they are not be provided the opportunity to do that without extra hassle or cost, when as I've already stated it costs the host absolutely nothing.
 

easyhostmedia

Well-known member
As an aside, I don't necessarily agree with you on this. I think that under the condition that a company in not storing or processing users card details, etc. on their own servers, but using a third party service like Stripe then a free cert is fine for them.
SSL is to protect ALL customer's data, name, address, DOB, card details, etc. so yes you may use 3rd party for card payments, but you will still be storing customers' personal details, so any commercial website that takes customer details should be using a fully validated SSL certificate.
 
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