Web Hosting UK Comparison: Digging Deeper
If you’re looking to create a website for the UK market, whether you envision it being a large site that sees a lot of traffic, or a smaller scale 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, your URL, and so much more, you’re also going to have to think about which UK web hosting provider to go with.
There are quite a lot of different web hosting providers in the UK, 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 for the UK.
UK Web Hosting: Hosting Types
Shared Hosting (aka cheap web hosting)
Shared hosting is 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 cheapest hosting packages usually come with 1-click installers for the most popular CMS’s like WordPress, Joomla, etc. Also, the majority of UK web hosts also offer shared packages for both Linux & Windows hosting (and of course support common languages like MySQL, PHP, etc).
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 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 space 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 come with a high price tag, too, so are best reserved for larger endeavours.
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 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.
Web Hosting UK Reviews: What To Look For
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 qualities 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 web hosting France & best hosting Ireland).
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 UK (both SiteGround and A2 Hosting have servers world-wide).
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.
What’s the point of saving a website hosted on the internet if no one can access it? Uptime is something that UK web hosting providers 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, 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.
Whether you are a newbie to the world of web hosting or if you are a veteran who has seen their way around a little bit, you could still benefit more than you might expect from having a reliable support system in place (preferably in the United Kingdom). Check for the support capabilities the provider you are considering offers, as well as their hours of availability. At a bare minimum, they should provide phone support and live chat. Never say no to 24/7 support, either!
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.
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.
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 UK web hosting providers, so you’ve got an easy overview.
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