Matthew RogersAuthor: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: 2 October 2019
Affiliate Disclaimer

As a web agency with a LOT of hosting accounts, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what defines a great website host. When writing our web hosting reviews, we considered a lot of factors.

These factors include uptime, support options and response time, speed, server locations, ease of use, cost vs value, disk space, etc.

While we’ve built a handy UK hosting comparison table, and have individual hosting reviews further down the page, we know most people are short on time so let’s get straight into our list.

If we look at the results of our website hosting reviews, the best UK web hosting services for 2019 are:

  1. SiteGround
  2. GreenGeeks
  3. A2 Hosting
  4. eUKhost
  5. WP Engine
  6. Heart Internet
  7. HostGator
  8. CloudWays
  9. InMotion Hosting
  10. BlueHost
  11. DreamHost
  12. HostPapa
  13. StableHost
  14. Site5

A few of the better-known brands/sites that link to our content:

Logos

Web Hosting CompanyOverall RatingPrice/mo.Servers world-wideFeaturesWebsite
siteground2Grab Your Discount£2.95 (Temporary 67% discount, down from £8.95)
  • UK based servers + a global network
  • Lightning fast
  • Affordable (charges in GBP)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee!
  • Fast expert support
  • Officially recommended by WordPress = winner!
SiteGround ReviewGrab Your Discount
GreengeeksLogoVisit Site USD $2.95
  • Green hosting
  • servers in Europe
  • Unlimited disk space
GreenGeeks ReviewVisit Site
A2HostingLogoVisit Site USD $3.92
  • Cheap
  • Unlimited Disk Space!
A2 Hosting ReviewVisit Site
eukhost logoVisit Site £3.33
  • High performance
  • UK based
TSOhost ReviewVisit Site
wpengineVisit Site USD $35
  • WordPress hosting perfected
  • Higher price tag
WP Engine ReviewVisit Site

The 15 Best UK Web Hosting Reviews for 2019

 

1. SiteGround – Best Overall Web Hosting

In our opinion, the best UK web hosting company is SiteGround. They’re affordable, have very powerful servers in London, and most importantly, the support is top-notch (the average response time is 10 minutes at the moment).

They also come recommended for WordPress, by WordPress (very few hosting companies can claim this! They can, of course, tackle any CMS you throw at them). Oh, + they have a 30-day money back guarantee (which makes this a no-brainer imho)!

SiteGrounds’ plans also come with a host of cool features like an incredibly efficient security system, automated back-ups, and free SSL certificates (very important for e-commerce sites).

They have 3 hosting plans, their most affordable plan starts at only £2.95/mo (69% off the usual price)! 

SiteGround offers all customers immediate assistance when contacting their offices via phone, tickets, or live chat.  We really like that they – on average – respond to tickets within 10 minutes and that their team is available to assist you 24/7. By checking their many many online tutorials and e-books, you can also pick up the latest optimisation and security know-how for your WordPress website.

You will not be disappointed when it comes to SiteGround’s enhanced website loading speed. SiteGround offers you the chance to customise and individualise your hosting setup and improve your website’s overall loading speed. Their custom-built plugin, SuperCacher, also helps to improve your website’s loading time.

Pros

  • Free SSL
  • Free CDN
  • Fast servers in London
  • Awesome support
  • Recommended by WP
  • User-friendly
  • Easily scalable
  • Great security tech.

Cons

  • Other hosts offer a bit more disk space (but then again, you’ll have to try really hard to fill 10 GB)
Get Started Today & Grab The discount!
SiteGround logo

Price: £2.95

Disk Space: 10 GB

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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2. GreenGeeks – Best Green Web Host

GreenGeeks is one of the companies you just know is doing everything right, they’ve seen a massive growth since they went live in 2008. The reasons for their success is pretty clear once you start working with them, it’s a combination of global reach (multiple data centres around the world), awesome performance, great and pretty speedy support, and last but not least, they’re putting their energy consumption back 3 times into the grid through wind energy, which is quite amazing!

As far as specific features go, they offer unlimited disk space on even their most basic plan, have 24/7 support, and just like SiteGround, a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied! A solid #2 on our list!

Their basic plan starts at only USD $2.95/month (down from $9.95).

GreenGeeks offer virtual support all year round when it suits your unique schedule. You can contact a hosting specialist via email, live chat, ticket or by directly phoning their support team. In addition to round-the-clock specialist support from their global workforce, you can also have a look at their website tutorials and impressive knowledge base for more hosting tips.

By optimising their servers, GreenGeeks have built a reliable hosting platform that can give your website the speed it needs to ensure recurring traffic. This web hosting company makes use of Solid State RAID-10 Storage Arrays, PowerCacher, PHP7 and free CDN through CloudFlare. The combined efforts of their cutting-edge technology enable their servers to pack quite a speedy punch!

Pros

  • Eco-friendly
  • Unlimited disk space
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 24/7 support

Cons

  • Doesn’t charge in GBP
Get Started With GreenGeeks
GreenGeeks logo

Price: $2.95

Disk Space: Unlimited

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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3. A2 Hosting – Best Host for Resellers

A2 Hosting is on par with SiteGround, they also have a variety of blazing fast servers world-wide + have great support. While they don’t have the official WordPress recommendation, their performance with WP sites is amazing.

As is their performance with the majority of popular CMSs, their servers are very well-optimised and include 1-script installers for most CMSs like WP and Joomla.

They offer shared hosting, reseller hosting (we really like their reseller options, even over SiteGround), VPS, and dedicated servers.

They offer 3 hosting packages, their basic plan starts at only $3.92/mo (was originally $7.99/mo).

A2 Hosting takes care of your hosting needs by providing support through live chat, email, phone, and support tickets. You can also read customer reviews on their website which mainly reports high quality and timely service. They offer in-depth online guides and a wide variety of informational articles to help you customise and set up your website.

A2 Hosting’s Turbo Servers will give you loading speeds up to 20 times faster when compared to competing hosting service providers. This is achieved through allocating fewer users per server and also by providing every user with more resources. They make use of SSD’s, custom caching, and four global data centres to continually improve the speed of your website.

Pros

  • Unlimited disk space
  • Great support
  • Anytime money back guarantee
  • Free site migration
  • Global data centres

Cons

  • Doesn’t charge in GBP
Get Started With A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting logo

Price: $3.92

Disk Space: Unlimited

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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4. eUKhost

eUKhost has a decent reputation, they have hosting plans for pretty much anyone. From Linux, to windows, business-focused, and even WordPress optimised packages, it’s clear they know what the market wants. They have 4 data centres in the country, making speed a non-issue for local websites. They offer some cool extras like a free domain name and free daily backups.

That being said though, they don’t have any overseas servers, and their cheapest web hosting plan only offers 2 GB, if we compare this to our favourite, SiteGround, they offer 10 GB and do have quite a few data centres around the world.

As for hosting plans, they offer cPanel hosting, Windows hosting, WordPress hosting, business plans, reseller hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, and cloud hosting. Their plans start at £3.33/mo.

eUKhost takes customer support seriously and therefore offers around-the-clock assistance to all of their valued clients. They offer technical support via live chat, phone, email and through ticket submission. Additionally, you can also peruse their online resources and reviews to get a better idea of how they operate and to learn more about their hosting add-ons.

This company’s proactive server monitoring makes sure your website enjoys peak performance. All of eUKhost’s customers get a full 1Gbit connection at no additional cost and you can upgrade to the latest SSD drives which will maximize your loading speed. All of these perks enable customers to upload and download at higher speeds and help to reduce overall website latency.

Pros

  • Local host
  • Multiple data centres in the United Kingdom
  • A lot of hosting options
  • Free domain name

Cons

  • No overseas servers
  • Limited disk space on their basic plans
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eUKhost logo

Website: www.eukhost.com

Price: £3.33

Disk Space: 2 GB

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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5. WP Engine – Best Managed WordPress Hosting

If you’re actually looking for super high quality managed WordPress hosting for the, WP Engine is what you need! They are the market leader when it comes to hosting WordPress sites, and with good reason (though are a tad expensive). They have an in-house custom built caching system to serve pages super-fast (called EverCache), and combined with their CDN, they are the fastest WordPress hosting company around!

Their 24/7 support obviously specializes in WordPress, enabling them to fix any issue without a hitch. On top of that, they also take care of any WordPress core updates so you don’t have to worry about it. And when it’s a major update, they actually test the site first before updating to be sure nothing breaks, top notch service. They also have live real-time threat detection, actively block DDOS attacks, and they’ll even fix your site for free if it does get hacked…

All of the above more than justifies the price tag! Interested in the peace of mind and can spare the budget? Their plans starts at $35/month.

WP Engine offers support 24 hours a day, all year round via phone, live chat, or tickets. If you have an account, a specialist can help you to identify your hosting problem in no time and provide you with prompt assistance. They also have an online support page that provides useful information on migration, WordPress and image optimisation.

WP Engine offers higher loading speeds through PHP7 and HHTP/2 enablement, allowing 3x more requests to be processed per second. They also use EverCache which helps to alleviate some of the strain on server resources. They claim that all customers enjoy an average of 27% faster load times when compared to similar services offered by competing hosting providers.

Pros

  • Expert support
  • Super reliable
  • A lot of premium WordPress features
  • Fully managed.

Cons

  • Expensive
Go with WP Engine
WP Engine logo

Website: wpengine.com

Price: $35 (USD)

Disk space: Unlimited

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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6. Heart Internet

Heart Internet is very similar to eUKhost, both in pricing and features… they have 2 added benefits, they offer 5 GB disk space on their basic plan, and they have in-house support, which, if you’ve been browsing this site for a bit, you would know that we highly appreciate any company that doesn’t outsource support.

They also sponsor quite a lot of events and conferences like WordCamp, Pixel Pioneers, Hack24, and others. We do like a company that gives back to the community.

As for hosting options, they offer shared web hosting, premium hosting for more demanding sites, VPS, reseller hosting, dedicated servers, and WordPress hosting.

That being said, their reputation isn’t the best at the moment, with reports of frequent outages and worsening support… also, their basic plan doesn’t actually support MySQL databases, so no WordPress support unless you go a plan higher at £9.49/mo (excl. VAT).

Heart Internet can be contacted by submitting an online form on their website or through calling them directly. You can also contact them via live chat or through submitting a ticket.

If you want to take a shot at resolving a common hosting problem yourself, you can go through the informative articles that are posted on their Support Database page.

Heart Internet makes use of a cloud hosting platform that helps your website to even out the web traffic load. This means that your website will not be slowed down when you are experiencing peak traffic periods.

They also use HTTP/2 and regularly update their server hardware to ensure fast web load speeds and customer satisfaction.

Pros

  • Gives back to the community
  • Affordable for static html sites
  • Lots of hosting options.

Cons

  • No overseas data centres
  • Rocky reputation
  • No WP support on the basic plan
Visit Site
Heart Internet logo

Price: £2.66 excl. VAT

Disk Space: 2 GB

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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7. HostGator

HostGator has been around for a long time, in that time, they’ve gone from good to bad, back to decent again. They’re super affordable, but you’ll feel it in the quality of their services, support, and security. We’ve had multiple sites hacked on their servers, all having similar themes and plugins to other sites on different hosts, and they didn’t get hacked.

That being said, if you look at the price, the value you get is pretty amazing for only $2.75/mo… but if you have a bit of a budget, I’d probably go with a host that has a local data centre so you’re not dealing with the slow loading times that come with having a US server.

HostGator has the following hosting plans: Shared hosting, WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, reseller, VPS, and dedicated servers.

HostGator makes it easy for customers to communicate a hosting problem or to make inquiries. You can phone them, start a live chat, fax them, or share your screen and find a solution to your problem in record time. Apart from their year-round availability, HostGator also provides you with a library of video tutorials to help support your hosting needs.

HostGator provides both HDD and SSD hard drives and can configure their servers to accommodate your specific loading speed requirements. They provide you with unmetered bandwidth and give you the option of implementing custom server installations which optimises speed and offers you more virtual control. This can improve SEO and the overall user experience rating of your website.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Decent value

Cons

  • Lower quality services
  • Security
  • US servers
Visit Site
Hostgator logo

Price: $2.75 (USD)

Disk Space: Unlimited

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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8. Cloudways

Cloudways allows you to deploy, manage, and monitor high-performance apps and websites directly on cloud servers, cutting out the usual web hosting middle-man (this is NOT for beginners). If you know your way around a server, these guys are awesome! Good support, the choice a LOT of providers, from Digital Ocean, to AWS, to Vultr, they have the goods.

They also have their own CDN called CloudwaysCDN, and even built a custom caching plugin for WordPress (plugin called Breeze) that considerably speeds up loading times. Then for Joomla, they integrated full page caching for max speed.

Prices vary from $10 to $272/mo, depending on your site’s requirements.

You can’t go wrong here… if you’re a bit of a techie.

Cloudways gives you unending support through support tickets, live chat, and online forms. You can even request a call from them and they are readily available 24 hours a day. They also offer a knowledge base, as well as a community forum and they give you live updates regarding their system status on their Cloudways System Status page.

They make use of solid-state hard drives and their servers are PHP 7 ready which gives you top performance speeds when compared to other hosting service providers. Cloudways caches data around the world and uses Memcached, Breeze plugin, and Redis to ensure optimum hosting speeds for both WordPress and Magento. They also make use of HTTP/2 supported servers.

Pros

  • Affordable high-performance hosting
  • Great support
  • Super scalable

Cons

  • Bit of a learning curve
Visit Site
Cloudways logo

Price: $10 (USD)

Disk space: 25 GB

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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9. InMotion Hosting

While InMotion is not a bad host, their solutions are mostly focused on businesses, hence the higher price tag of $6.39/mo. They also don’t have a local data centre, so unless you’re targeting a demographic in the US and really want to host with them, there are better options.

They do offer most of the features and benefits most other hosts offer. And their security is top notch with FREE SSL, hack protection, custom firewall, and DDoS protection.

They offer shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, and WordPress hosting (which has WP specific features like automatic updates and security patches, and a drag-and-drop site builder).

If you have a query about InMotion Hosting’s services you can contact them through live chat, email, phone, or by submitting a ticket. You can also schedule a Skype session with one of their specialists if you want more in-depth advice.

They have an online support page that offers tutorials and other tools that can help you tackle frequently asked questions.

All of InMotion Hosting’s service plans include solid-state drives that offer faster content delivery from your website. This company also uses multiple data centres and advanced routing technology to give you that competitive edge when it comes to loading speed and website user-friendliness.

Pros

  • High-quality hosting solutions
  • Great support
  • Good security

Cons

  • Expensive
  • US servers
Visit Site
InMotion Hosting logo

Price: $6.39 (USD)

Disk space: Unlimited

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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10. Bluehost

Bluehost is a bit of a veteran in the web hosting industry, they started off as being quite amazing, but then got bought by EIG (who also own HostGator), and things started going downhill quite fast.

Since then though, they’ve been working on their image and hosting solutions to improve the overall quality, and it’s paying off. They’re marketing and general user reviews are definitely improving. They also offer plenty of disk space on their base plans (50 GB), and offer free SSL and a free domain.

For the UK, I probably wouldn’t recommend them because of the lack of local data centres. There are definitely better options.

As for hosting solutions, they have shared hosting starting at $3.95/mo, WordPress hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers.

BlueHost’s in-house technical team offers experienced around-the-clock support. They offer technical and account support via live chat, phone, or ticket submission. You can check out their video tutorials and knowledge-base too if you want to bulk up on useful information.

They have a toll-free US contact number and an international contact number to better accommodate all of their customers.

Bluehost offers different hosting packages which include Shared hosting, Cloud hosting, VPS hosting and Dedicated hosting. Standard Shared hosting will give you a web page loading time of 2-3 seconds. More expensive packages offer lower density servers which will provide you with more resources that can speed up your website and overall loading time quite a bit.

Pros

  • Veteran
  • Plenty of disk space
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Rocky reputation
  • Servers in the US
Visit Site
Bluehost logo

Website: www.bluehost.com

Price: $3.95 (USD)

Disk space: 50 GB

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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11. Dreamhost

Dreamhost has a really good reputation, and with good reason. They’ve maintained their high-quality hosting services throughout the massive price-war going right now, people really like them as they’re extremely reliable. The only downsides would be the lack of data centres in the country, and the cost at $7.95/mo… which you have to pre-pay for 3 years if you want the cheapest rate. It’s not ideal, but they do offer a 97-day money-back guarantee, which is nice.

They also have a special commitment to security and privacy which we like, they have free SSL AND free whois privacy which hides your domain name registration data. DreamHost also has 24/7 support options in case you need it.

They offer shared hosting, WordPress hosting, dedicated servers, and VPS hosting.

DreamHost offers live chat, email, phone, and ticket submission as support options. Existing customers can contact them directly by logging into their DreamHost account.

Customers can also keep tabs on the system status of DreamHost and share their experiences or ask questions on the company forum. Additionally, the knowledge-base can shed some light on advanced topics and customizations.

DreamHost offers a wide variety of hosting packages that all incorporate solid-state drives which allow your website to run 200% faster. All packages are available with unlimited bandwidth and you have the option of upgrading to a Fast Cloud Server or a Managed VPS Server if you wish to unlock to faster loading speeds.

Pros

  • Good reputation
  • Free domain name
  • Free SSL
  • 97 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Servers in the US
Visit Site
Dreamhost logo

Price: $7.95 (USD)

Disk space: Unlimited

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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12. HostPapa

This one is interesting, they create sites for every country their targeting, and offer pretty much the same as most other hosting companies, with no real stand-outs.

They do offer quite a lot of disk space at a competitive price ($4.35/mo). But again, no data centres in the United Kingdom, so unless you really like the brand, go with something like SiteGround instead.

As for hosting options, they have shared web hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers.

Customers can access HostPapa’s support services through email, phone, fax, live chat, and through support tickets. The support team is available 24/7 and if you need extra help, you can join a weekly webinar or book a one-on-one virtual training session with one of their hosting experts.

Most customer reviews report friendly service with excellent technical support.

HostPapa claims that their servers offer a 300% performance boost courtesy of their low density, optimally resourced servers. However, it should be noted that this feature is only included in the Business Pro package.

Other packages without this performance boost can still offer fast results if you are willing to enable CloudFlare. HostPapa also boasts a 99.9% uptime which means they are quite reliable.

Pros

  • Plenty of disk space
  • Free SSL

Cons

  • No local servers
Visit Site
HostPapa logo

Price: $4.35

Disk space: 100 GB

Support: Phone, Live Chat, Tickets

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13. StableHost

StableHost is an overall decent host. They offer all the same features as most other hosts, with the exception of their clustered hosting technology… which increases overall scalability and speed/performance, with the added bonus that issues with other sites on the same server shouldn’t affect your site as much as it could on other web hosts.

Their security is pretty on point though, with 24/7/365 support and an average response time of 20 minutes.

A good choice if you’re looking to target a US-based market, as again, no local servers…

They offer shared web hosting starting at $3.50/mo, reseller, WP hosting, and VPS.

StableHost is passionate about customer service and will be able to help you out by phone, email, or live chat. They also offer additional video tutorials to help you set up your hosting and website preferences. You can download the network speed tests on their website to find out what hosting location will be most beneficial for your customer base.

StableHost offers varying hosting packages, all with customisable versions of LiteSpeed, MySQL, and PHP.

They also use enterprise-grade SSD drives, dual CPUs and offer unlimited bandwidth which means that an increase in online traffic won’t have an effect on the performance of your website. This makes high-speed website loading a reality and increases your overall SEO rating.

Pros

  • Clustered hosting technology
  • Great support
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No local servers
Visit Site
StableHost logo

Price: $3.50 (USD)

Disk space: Unlimited

Support: Phone, Tickets

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14. Site5

Site5 also offers a decent service, but looking at the price-point of $6.95/mo, the value proposition isn’t really there as there are better hosts out there that are more affordable. Also, their main server is in the US so it wouldn’t be great for local sites here.

We do like the unlimited disk space, free migrations, and their backup system.

As for hosting plans, they have shared hosting, VPS hosting, and reseller plans.

Site5 can help you sort out all of your hosting problems with just the click of a button. This company is accessible 24 hours a day through live chat and email.

They also provide their customers with an Emergency Status Page and you can read common troubleshooting questions and their responding answers on the website for added hosting information.

Site5 offers unmetered disk space and bandwidth thereby giving you enough storage space to support a growing website. The main server is located in the US which does not make this hosting platform ideal for local websites.

Their standard web hosting uses PHP 5.3 which won’t really measure up to PHP 7 but will still get the job done.

Pros

  • Unlimited disk space

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Servers in the US
Visit Site
Site5

Website: www.site5.com

Price: $6.95 (USD)

Disk space: Unlimited

Support: Live Chat

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How to choose the top UK web hosting service

If you’re looking to create a website, whether you envision it being a large site that gets a lot of traffic, or a smaller project that won’t need as much capacity, or support as much traffic, you’re going to be faced with a few tricky choices. In addition to the actual site design, how the website is going to be set up (blog, business site, or do you need e-commerce hosting), your URL or domain name, and so much more, you’re also going to have to think about which web hosting provider to go with.

choosing UK web hosting

There are quite a lot of different web hosting providers, and the choice that is going to serve you and your website the best will have a lot to do with the type of site you’re looking to host, the purpose of that website, and the traffic you anticipate it generating. So aside from our web hosting reviews above, we’ve also gathered everything you need to know about how to create your own web hosting comparison.

What are the different types of web hosting?

Shared Hosting

shared hosting graphicShared hosting is the most affordable hosting option, it’s ideal for smaller-scale websites and projects you’re looking to build. Shared hosting has more limitations than other web hosting options available, but for most smaller websites like blogs, biz sites, and personal websites, these are limitations you will likely never even notice unless your project becomes much larger than you initially anticipated.

This cheap web hosting type works by a provider offering server space on the same server to many different clients; your website will not be affected by the other websites on the server, and your limitations will only lie in the fact that you are splitting the bandwidth, storage space, and more, with the other clients operating out of that server space (as briefly described in our SiteGround review).

Also keep in mind that even the most basic hosting packages usually come with 1-click installers for the most popular CMS’s like WordPress, Joomla, etc. Also, the majority of web hosts also offer shared packages for both Linux & Windows hosting (and of course support common languages like MySQL, PHP, etc).

VPS Hosting

VPS hosting, or virtual private server hosting, is the perfect middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated server hosting. It is like shared hosting, in that multiple websites are hosted out of a single server (hopefully in or close to the United Kingdom); however, in VPS hosting, a partition is used to separate your website from websites of other users of the same server. Thus, it comes with the many benefits of a dedicated server, with just a little less power and a much lower price tag.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Dedicated server hosting is often the best option for web developers when money is no object. A dedicated server allots an entire server to the client, meaning you can have that entire server to yourself and do whatever you would like with it. This opens the door to a lot of heightened performance capabilities, making them the go-to option for larger websites such as e-commerce sites, real estate directories, forums, and more. These do come with a high price tag, too, so are best reserved for larger endeavours.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is quickly becoming one of the favourite types of web hosting of many web developers in the United Kingdom. This is because it is a highly versatile option for websites both big and small. If there were any one-size-fits-all web hosting option, it would be cloud hosting. This type of hosting allows you to seamlessly upgrade or downgrade your plan as the needs of your website change, and it is also one of the most powerful and safe methods of web hosting. Powered by several machines, downtime is decreased, and your information is protected.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting is most frequently used by web developers, who purchase large amounts of server space in bulk and resell it (as the name suggests) to the clients that they design websites for. This allows the web developer to retain much more control over the websites they design, to keep them up and running efficiently. This is an uncommon type of hosting for anyone to purchase unless they are a web developer or the client of a web developer that is selling it to them. This makes the website project much simpler for both the client and developer and gives the developer more control over their portfolio.

research web hosting features

Comparing Web Hosting Services: Features, Specifications, and Terminology 

As you can see, there are a lot of different choices to consider when it comes to deciding on the right type of web hosting plan for your needs (even free hosting is an option). At the end of the day, your goal is to choose the type of web hosting that is going to give the best results to your website without breaking the bank. Once you have an idea of the type of web hosting package you want to go for, your next step is going to be to look for a web hosting provider you can trust with the performance of your website. To help you choose a provider that you can trust, these are some of the features you will want to check for before signing up (we use the same factors in our other top hosting lists like best website hosting Australia, top hosting in Canada, best web hosting Singapore, best NZ hosting, best web hosting India, best web hosting USA, & best hosting Ireland).

Server Location

Believe it or not, the location of your server still matters. Consider where the users are that are going to be trying to access your website, and your ideal server would be the one located closest to that point that has reasonable powerful. If the closest server is significantly underpowered, you’d be doing yourself a favour to use one a bit further away. It really doesn’t matter if you’re looking for city-specific services like web hosting in London, Birmingham, or Leeds… the speed difference will be negligible as long as the server is close-ish, or in, the United Kingdom (both SiteGround and A2 Hosting have servers worldwide).

Storage

Before you sign up for any web hosting provider, you are going to want to get an idea of how much storage space your website is going to demand. How many pictures, videos, or other media are you going to have on your site? How much information is it going to need to support (are you using your web host for email as well)? If your site is relatively small, you might not run into a storage problem regardless of the provider you go with.

Uptime

What’s the point of saving a website hosted on the internet if no one can access it? Uptime is something that the best web hosting companies are always looking to increase to make sure sites are accessible to anyone at any time of day or night. A lot of providers will advertise as much as 99.9% uptime guarantee, but it’s always good to fact check claims like that. Look up some testimonials online from people who have used their service to get an idea of what the reality will look like. We started tracking the uptime and response times of the biggest website hosting providers on our own hosting status page.

Backups

You will likely have valuable information stored on your website that could be disastrous to lose. That’s what makes backing up your information so important, so you should certainly investigate how often your web provider backs up their clients’ websites. Not only that but also look at their methods of retrieval in the unfortunate event that you do lose your information, and if they charge any fees to restore a backup.

SSL Certificates

SSL sertificatesSSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, it’s a technology that allows for the encryption of the data that transfers between your site and the visitors. It’s how you can make your site secure, and shows it to your sites’ visitors through the green padlock + https:// next to your URL on most modern browsers. It used to be only important for online stores or other sites that accept payments on-site. But these days, it’s a must for every single site out there. Luckily, with SSL providers like Let’s Encrypt, there’s no cost to you and you can install and renew them for free. When reviewing hosting services, take note of the ones that offer SSL certificates for free, and I would avoid those that want to charge you money for it.

That being said, there are different types of SSL certificates, and the more secure ones do cost money. The cheapest/free type is Domain Validation (DV) Certificates, next comes Organization Validation (OV), and finally Extended Validation (EV). OV and EV types require actual validation of the entity wanting the certificate.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is important for the performance of your website, so you want to make sure you have enough available to your domain to keep it functioning properly and improve the user experience. When it comes to things like shared hosting and even VPS hosting, you may have access to less bandwidth than you might with other options, but the provider you choose to get your service with may also have an impact on the amount of bandwidth you are allotted. Make sure to consider this before deciding on your provider to ensure you will have the resources you need.

Speed

Speed refers to the general loading times of a well-optimised site (with well-optimised we mean not too much code bloat, nicely compressed images, etc – basically just a site that’s designed efficiently). The speed of a site depends on 3 things, server locations, server performance (resources allocated to your hosting account), and custom scripts the hosts might have built to speed up site delivery.

Server speed

Server performance is a bigger issue, if the server doesn’t allocate you enough resources to run the site itself, you’ll have issues. Basically, just don’t cheap out too much on hosting (eg. don’t go with free hosting) and you should be fine. Our top 5 hosts are very good at this. On top of that, the best hosts (like SiteGround) build their own caching scripts to further speed up the delivery of your site.

CDN

The server location used to be very important, if your target market is local, hosting on a server in the US would definitely slow down your site enough that you’d notice is in terms of conversions/leads/sales. But these days, with CloudFlare being free, you can host almost anywhere, activate Cloudflare (which is a CDN or Content Distribution Network that serves your site from the nearest node to your site’s visitor), and have decent speeds no matter the location of your target market. Most web hosts offer this integration for free.

Other benefits from adding a CDN to your site include less load on your local server and DDOS protection if the CDN supports it.

Support

This is a big one, and with good reason. Without decent support, the potential loss of revenue/leads/visitors/etc can be massive. Responsive and efficient support can fix up things very quickly, meaning site downtime would be kept to an absolute minimum. While most of the top hosts offer 3 support options, with those being phone, tickets, and live chat, we still prefer support tickets as the go-to support option.

support options

While you might get a quicker response on the phone or over live chat, in most of those cases, the support staff have to think on their feet and try to get an answer right then and there… and yes that works for most smaller issues. But if you have a more complex issue, they might not know what you’re talking about, or that specific person hasn’t been trained to deal with that specific issue, etc. In those cases, it’s easier to explain it in a support ticket, attach screenshots of what you’re talking about… then that ticket goes to the right person, with a clear view of what the issue is, which can then be solved.

Support tickets are also easier to scale for the hosting companies themselves, as they don’t have to man the phones or live chat consoles all the time. Either way, you want support to be responsive and capable, with multiple levels of staff have specific expertise in various areas. What’s on the box might not be what you get in the end, like we found out in our DreamHost vs Bluehost comparison.

Number of domains/sites allowed

If you think you might want to host more than one website using your web hosting package, then make sure the provider you choose will allow you to do so! Even if you think you will only want one website, it’s still good to choose a provider that will allow you to have more if you want to. This way, you are always free to change your mind.

 

And that’s it, it might seem overwhelming to cover all the points, but just take it one step at a time. Maybe even create a spreadsheet and log all the specs for the best hosting providers, so you’ve got an easy overview.

OR

Pick a host from our top 5

 

Best Domain Hosting UK

I’ve included this section as a lot of people still search for this term, even though it doesn’t actually exist. Domain hosting is the combination of web hosting, and domain name registration, the whole package if you will. And as we’ve already covered web hosting above, we’ll focus this section on domain names, what they are and how to register them.

Domain name registrations

What is a domain name?

In a nutshell, a domain name is the readable version of an IP address that leads to a website, an alias. Without domain names, to visit a website you’d have to put in the IP address, like 192.168.40.208. Domain names overlay on top of the address, so 192.168.40.208 becomes yourwebsite.co.uk for example. You can lease domain names from registrars. And yes, you read that right, you can’t actually buy a domain name for yourself, you sort of rent it instead.

What is a registrar?

A registrar is a company that has the authority to handle the reservation of domain names and can assign IP addresses for them. They themselves answer to registries, who manage TLDs (or Top Level Domains) and delegate the commercial sales to the registrars. For the UK, Nominet is the registry for all .uk domains

How to register a domain name in the UK

If you don’t already have a domain name and want to get one when you sign up to a web hosting package, you’re in luck. A lot of web hosting providers, are resellers of registrars, meaning that they can handle the registration of domain names. All you need to do when you sign up for a hosting package is tick the “I need a new domain” box, enter your desired domain, and the host will do the rest, super easy.

If you already have a website and want to just register some extra ones, we like Namecheap, they’re easy to work with and very affordable. Or if you’re looking for a local registrar, try names.co.uk.

 

Creating your website: A Quick How-To

As you’ve probably noticed, a website requires 2 parts, a domain name, and web hosting to actually store your sites’ files. Assuming you already have both parts, here are the steps on how to build your website by connecting your domain name and web hosting, and installing WordPress (or whatever website builder you want to use) so you have a live site that you can start editing.

website creation

  1. Pointing your domain name to your web hosting: If you registered a domain name with your web hosting providers, they would have already done it for you, but if you have them separately, this is what you do:
    1. Find your web hosts’ name servers (example: ns1.webhost.co.uk, ns2.webhost.co.uk), you can find this in your welcome email, or in their documentation, or on the side in your cPanel. Or you can just aks them
    2. Copy the name servers
    3. Login to your registrar and find your DNS or name server settings for the domain you want to connect
    4. Paste the name servers in the name server fields and hit update, save, done, or whatever the action to save them is.
    5. Wait a few hours.
  2. Install WordPress: Most web hosting providers (if not all at this point) should have 1-click installers for WordPress in their control panel. If the host uses cPanel, you’ll find it in there. Otherwise, just look it up in the hosts’ support section and documentation.
  3. You know have a live site.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should it cost to host a website?

The cost of hosting a website depends on a few factors, with the major factor being the needs of your website. If you’re creating a personal blog or business site, then choosing a shared hosting plan at around £3 to £6 per month will work just fine. If you’re planning on building a massive e-commerce store or want to host resource-heavy web applications, you’re better off looking for a dedicated server or VPS, which can run into £100s per month.

How can I host my website for free?

You can host your website for free if you either host it locally on your computer or if you use a third-party service like wordpress.com or blogger.com. Both of these allow for a free plan that enables you to build a basic website on a subdomain of their primary domain, like myblog.wordpress.com.

Can I host my website on Google?

Practically, no, Google is not a hosting provider. While you can use Google Sites to create a free website, these are more used as a collaboration tool for businesses. They also have a service called Blogger at blogger.com that would be more suited for building personal websites (though there are limits to what you can do design-wise).

What is the best web hosting site for a small business?

In our opinion, the best host for small businesses is one that offers free SSL certificates, have servers around the world, and have great security to keep everything running smoothly. Check our top web hosting list for more info.

How do I choose a web hosting provider?

The best way to choose a web host that suits your needs is to first write down what those needs are. The majority of people just need a web hosting provider that offers fast hosting (preferably with a server in the UK), a smooth setup system, and 24/7 responsive support. Have a look at our comparison on the page for more details and other factors involved in finding a good website host.

 

And that’s it for this massive guide, hope it helped!

About Us

Tom from MangoMatter has been extremely helpful, professional and great support for establishing my Website, he is a wealth of knowledge and very efficient. I have no hesitation in recommending MangoMatter and have already done so.
Michelle Watson
iFix

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Phone: 07 3106 3330

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8 Comments

  • Avatar Robert says:

    Never heard about SiteGround before coming across your page… signed up last week, setup was super quick and my god my site is flying! Thanks 🙂

  • Avatar Bart Moles says:

    Thanks for mentioning the local server bit, switched from my US based host to one that has a server in the UK (went with Siteground), makes such a difference.

    Regards,
    Bart

    • Tom De Spiegelaere Tom De Spiegelaere says:

      Yeah, people definitely underestimate server location… though it can technically be solved by using a CDN, most people wouldn’t even know where to start.

  • Avatar Evie Renee says:

    Def another siteground convert here, needed a new host after old one kept going down. I was up and running the same day, with my old site migrated, so far so good 😀

  • Avatar Deborah Reid says:

    Many years ago I signed up with a website company located in the UK I do not recall their name. Because I could not reach the website editing I stopped paying them. But the website is still there. I received an order which I can but process. It was a web host company which had an easy builder. Maybe they changed their name. I need for that website to be taken down. Please help me to find that web host company. Please reply.

  • Avatar Owen Connor says:

    Thank you for the article – the tips on choosing are the real winners here.
    I’ve been through a few providers in my time, but for about half a year now I’ve been sticking to Hostinger. I can see that Tom from this site has a review on it. I absolutely have to recommend them, as I completely agree with that review. They’re fast, reliable and their support speed and efficiency cannot be understated. It’s true that a SSL certificate is not included, but it doesn’t cost much to get one. I’ve been using one of their plans for about half a year now and it’s worth every penny.
    Best wishes!

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