Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2020
Why our reviews are worth reading
As a web agency, we use/test a LOT of hosting providers to scale both our clients and our many many side-projects (we like to experiment).
Having done this for quite a few years now, we've used, analysed, and reviewed a lot of web hosts... these are our findings.
A few of the better-known brands that link to our content
Krystal: A quick summary for people with no time (pretty much all of us)
In a nutshell, we definitely recommend Krystal! They offer very reliable hosting, have a lightning fast UK data centre, offer lots of free features like free SSL certificates (make your site secure with https), free migrations if you’re coming from another provider, free backups, and lots more.
Here’s a quick overview of their best features:
Support: UK-based 24/7 support at your fingertips, and this in a time where everyone outsources support to save money, we’re impressed!
Security: Free SSL certificates, DDOS protection, and regular virus & malware scans to keep everything super clean.
Green hosting: Their London data centre is completely powered by renewable/clean energy!
60-day money-back guarantee: Pretty self-explanatory, just in case you’re not happy.
Speed: Using a combination of SSDs and LiteSpeed caching, their servers are very very fast!
Honestly, we really like them, they’re a no-brainer in our book. Their main cloud hosting plans start at only £3.99/mo.
Krystal Review – A UK web host that got it right.
Simon Blackler founded Krystal in 2002 because he was frustrated with poor services and bad business practices. Currently, they have hosted over 190,000 websites and have over 23,000 clients. At present, the company is the UK’s largest independent hosting company.
The company provides a variety of products and/or services including UK web hosting, Reseller Hosting, UK WordPress Hosting, Cloud VPS, and Dedicated Servers, among others. They have over 15 years of experience in the business and have earned themselves a spot on our top web hosting list.
Krystal takes pride in being responsible for the environment. They utilise 100% renewable energy in all their locations. They believe in being honest, responsible, and reliable towards their customers putting them ahead of everything else including profits.
They have hosted multiple charities for free and to date, they have supported a total of 167. There are days when they have even donated every single penny they’ve made to support causes such as Comic Relief.
Krystal offers three types of cloud hosting services. These packages are named Amethyst, Topaz, and Ruby.
The cheapest plan of Krystal is named Amethyst and costs GBP 3.99 per month excl. VAT. If you chose a yearly mode of payment, you can get 2 months worth of hosting services for free. Plus, if your billing cycle is every 3 years, you can get 1 year’s worth of hosting services for free.
The basic plan gives you a total disk space of 5GB. It uses solid-state drives which means your website will load faster compared to traditional drives.
With the Amethyst package, you can have 2 websites in 1 hosting account. You can also have an unlimited number of subdomains. You are also given an unlimited bandwidth allowing you to cater to thousands or millions of viewers per day. You are not charged extra if too many users access your websites at one point in time.
Mailboxes are also unlimited. Thus, you can have multiple email accounts for multiple people or departments of your website. Email features include unlimited forwarders and catch-all emails. Plus, you have an anti-spam service from SpamExperts. Mailing lists and autoresponders are also supported. You are only allowed a sending limit of up to 500 emails per hour.
The Amethyst plan is optimised for various web applications. These include WordPress, Joomla! Drupal, OpenCart, PrestaShop, Concrete5, and phpBB. Security measures are also taken to protect your website from cybercrime. These measures include weekly security scans, two-factor authentication, and comprehensive firewall, among others. IP address blocking allows you to prevent certain IP addresses from accessing your content.
When it comes to development, PHP, Perl, and Python are supported. Backups are done weekly and monthly and are stored off-server. Plus, you are given free unlimited SSL certificates. This means you can secure your website and the sensitive information it contains and/or handles.
You can also create customised 404 and 500 error pages. This can be good for SEO and conversions as you can create a customised page that redirects viewers to a relevant page on your site. Instead of hitting the back button and leaving your site completely, viewers will be more compelled to visit other pages of your site and stay longer.
The uptime guarantee is 99.99%. This means that your website will not experience downtimes in most cases. There is no setup fee and you have a 60-day money-back guarantee.
The company gives you plenty of options for customer support. These include the following:
- Service Status Page,
- Self-Help Guides,
- Online Live Chat,
- Ticket Submissions, and
- Telephone Support
Their Service Status Page provides you with details about the current network’s status. The server status of Core Services, Cloud Hosting, Business Hosting, and Reseller Hosting is included as well. To know if systems are operational or not, this is the page you have to visit.
Self-Help Guides are similar to a knowledgebase where you get tutorials that will help you manage the products and/ services you have availed. Online live chat support is available 24/7 while telephone support is available from Mondays to Fridays from 9 am to 8 pm.
The reviews of Krystal’s customer support system are astoundingly positive. Most people say that they go beyond the course of duty to help their customers. They are very efficient when it comes to providing what their clients’ need. Service is seen as consistently fast and useful.
Krystal prides itself on being an independent company different from other big-name hosting providers. It lives up to its promise of providing 100% fast and efficient customer support service.
Opting for Krystal’s services has a number of advantages. Below are some of them:
Free Website Builder
If you don’t have programming skills, you can still create a professional website within minutes with their free website builder. They provide fully-responsive templates, meaning your website will adapt to both desktop and mobile devices. Having a mobile-friendly website will also help you with rankings as search engines like Google moved to a mobile-first index favouring mobile-responsive sites over non-responsive ones.
Solid-State Drives (SSDs)
They use solid-state drives for disk space. This means you get to transfer data faster compared to traditional drives. If your website is faster, the user experience is enhanced and leads to more purchases. This can also affect your SEO. Faster websites are favoured by search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
You are given free weekly and monthly backups with the Amethyst Hosting Package. This is useful when your site suddenly becomes corrupted. You can fix the issue by restoring your site using a backup.
60-Day Money-Back Guarantee
They have a very generous 60-day money-back guarantee. They definitely have a better offer compared to other hosting providers who only provide a 30-day guarantee. If you are not happy with their products and/or services, you can get your money back.
Stellar Customer Service
With the Amethyst package comes unlimited mailboxes. This means you can give various departments of your website with their own email accounts. You don’t have to pay extra just to give everybody their own mail accounts named after your website.
Supports Multiple Applications
The hosting products and services of Krystal are fully optimised for web applications such as WordPress, OpenCart, Joomla!, PrestaShop, Drupal, Concrete5, and phpBB. In addition, they support PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby on Rails.
You are provided with weekly security scans to make sure you are protected from cybercrimes. Real-time malicious scanning is also available. A comprehensive firewall also protects your site from hackers. Two-factor authentication also ensures that only authorised users can access the site and its data.
If you have millions of viewers per day, you won’t need to pay an excessive amount of charges. With unlimited bandwidth comes the ability to cater to multiple viewers in a split second.
If we have to find a negative point, it’s maybe the disk space.
5 GB Disk Space
A lot of web hosts give you unlimited disk space these days… though those companies know well enough that the majority of sites will never exceed 1 GB… so I guess it depends if you’re planning to build a multi-thousand product shop, or just a blog/business site/etc.
We seriously LOVE Krystal and would want you to try them out. Their plans are packed with features that you will definitely need in creating and managing your website. Plus, they have an excellent customer support system that always has your back in case you need help.