The Very Best Web Hosting For The UK


One of the most important steps in establishing a website is finding a web hosting service that you can rely on. A hosting provider is responsible for holding all of your files and providing access to your website to a wide global audience. Whether you’re looking to host a personal blog, entertainment site, or digital retail store, the final product will only be successful if your audience has fast and open access to your content.

In the past, options for UK companies and individuals were pretty scarce. Thankfully, advancements in technology and the success of early .co.uk sites has lead to an array of hosting providers that you can work with. Unfortunately, not all of them are capable of giving you the service that you deserve. To give your visitors the smoothest browsing experience possible, there’s a lot of factors to consider on your search. Check out our guide below to learn more about the best UK hosting options.

 

Understanding the Different Types of Hosting Plans Available

Picking a hosting plan isn’t as simple as choosing an affordable tier. There are a handful of different types of plans available. They’re catered to work with varying budgets and technical demands. What these unique plans have to offer goes beyond speed and performance. They can also affect the ease of use and overall control.

 

Shared Hosting

The most affordable type of hosting you’ll find is shared. With a shared hosting plan, multiple websites are placed on a single server. The exact number of sites a host will put on a server varies dramatically. Some only put 10 while others can put up to 100. All of those websites share the resources of that server.

Shared plans have their advantages. For one, they’re very simple. Most providers have one-click installers for all of the popular platforms. Some even give you the option to use Windows-based hosting or Linux. As a result, these plans are accessible to those who aren’t familiar with all the technical details of hosting a site. They’re great for beginners and small-scale projects.

The downside of a shared plan is that you’re really at the whims of other site owners. Because resources are shared across the sites, you may experience dips in performance now and again. One site can experience a significant spike in traffic, essentially hogging all of the processing power and RAM.

 

VPS Hosting

VPS hosting plans are a lot like shared plans. However, rather than sharing resources, they’re delegated to you. VPS stands for virtual private server. Hosting companies will split the resources to create smaller virtual machines that you have complete control over. While there are still multiple sites on a single server, the fact that resources are delegated means that you don’t have to worry about performance issues caused by others.

A VPS plan does require a bit more know-how. You’re essentially given full command over your virtual machine. This is great if you know what you’re doing. You’ll be able to manipulate settings within the control panel to fine-tune the user experience.

 

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting offers fast speeds and versatility. With cloud hosting, your site is not stored on a single server. Instead, it’s split among multiple servers around the world. Cloud technology has come a long way in the last decade. It’s fast, reliable, and accessible.

One of the great things about cloud hosting is that your site can be accessed by most people regardless of where they are located. Despite wireless technology taking off, data and information still have to travel through physical cables to reach people. So, location can have a pretty big effect on speeds. With cloud hosting, this isn’t something you have to worry about.

Another big perk is that these plans are scalable. They’re great for growing businesses. When you need a bit more resources, you can add them without having to do much technical work.

 

WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting is a unique option that’s not offered by all providers. However, it’s a great choice worth mentioning. Basically, WordPress hosting is a type of managed cloud hosting. Everything is taken care of by the provider, allowing you to focus on your site and visitors. You won’t have to worry about the technical details at all.

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system based on PHP and MySQL. It’s simple and versatile enough to be used for a wide range of different sites. WordPress hosting plans aim to make getting a website up and running even easier. They often include one-click installations for plug-ins, scripts, and more.

 

Dedicated Hosting

Considered to be the top-of-the-line hosting option, dedicated hosting is for those who need the most resources and control. As the name would suggest, you get your own server with these plans. All your content and data is stored on a server that only you have access to.

Dedicated server plans include high storage allotments, fast speeds, and great performance. However, you’ll need to manage the server’s performance on your own. Most companies have a team or web administrator to handle the hosting account. These types of plans are perfect for large e-commerce sites, those with high traffic, and sites that host large downloadable files.

 

Reseller Hosting

Finally, there are reseller plans. A reseller plan is one that’s used by web agencies and firms that work with multiple clients. These plans typically offer a large chunk of resources, which can then be split up by the agency and given to individual clients. The great thing about a reseller plan is that they’re catered towards the agencies operations.

Each client can be given their own login credentials so that they have access to the behind-the-scenes workings of their site. However, the agency still maintains control over the account. They’ll be able to make changes to every client’s account from one single control panel.

 

 

What Makes a Good Web Hosting Service?

When you’re on the hunt for the best web hosting company for UK-based site, there’s a lot to consider. Consider your site’s needs and use the information below to narrow down your choices.

 

Server Network

First, let’s talk a bit about the web hosting network. Providers utilize large data centers that house multiple servers and network infrastructure equipment. Where those data centers are located are important. As we mentioned earlier, distance affects connection speeds. Users located in Asia or across the pond will experience slower load times if the data centers are in the UK. Comparatively, European web users will have much faster speeds. Consider where your target demographic is and compare it to a web hosting provider’s network.

 

CDN Technology

So, if server location affects speeds, does that mean that some of your audience will be forced to wait for slow load times? Not necessarily. CDN technology has changed the way people across the world access sites. CDNs, or Content Delivery Networks, make it possible for Internet users to achieve fast speeds regardless of where they are located.

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Essentially, cached versions of your website are stored on CDNs. When someone that’s very far away from your server tries to access your site, the cached version is loaded from the nearest server node. CDN technology has many perks. It’s fast, puts less stress on the primary host server, and may be able to provide you with DDoS protection.

Not all hosting companies will offer CDNs. Some also offer it as an optional add-on that you have to pay for. Consider where your audience is located and determine if this is a feature that you and your audience can benefit from.

 

Disk Space Allotment

Every picture, video, and animated graphic that’s on your site is going to be stored on the provider’s web server. Most hosting companies offer multiple tiers with varying amounts of disk space.

In addition to thinking about how much space you need, consider going with a company that uses solid-state drives. SSD storage is faster and more reliable than traditional spinning drives. There are no moving parts, so they perform much better.

 

Speed and Bandwidth Capabilities

Every provider is going to advertise that they have the fastest speeds available. Take these claims with a grain a salt. Many things can contribute to the overall connections speeds your users will experience. In addition to distance, the technology that the provider uses can have an effect. Look out for optimization techniques, SSD storage, and fast RAM.

When it comes to bandwidth limitations, unlimited is always better. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transferred from the server to a visitor. This isn’t just for downloads. Each time someone visits your site, data is transferred. The last thing you want to deal with is bandwidth caps when you’re getting a lot of traffic. Go with a plan that has unmetered or unlimited bandwidth to ensure that your audience always has access.

 

Security Features

Modern web users are all-too-familiar with the dangers of browsing the web. Identity theft and hacking are more prevalent than ever. To keep you and your visitors safe, it’s a good idea to go with hosting companies that offer some features that can keep everyone protected.

SSL Certificates
SSL certificates show users that your site is secure. SSL, or secured-sockets-layer, is an encryption technique that keeps the connection between a computer and a web server safe. In the early days of the Internet, SSL certificates were only used by banks and e-commerce sites. Today, users expect every site to be protected.

The best hosting plans will offer a free SSL certificate. Some providers also have additional certificates that can be purchased as an add-on.

Malware Protection
Malware can be used to attack computers and the web server itself. UK web hosting companies with built-in firewalls can prevent this from happening. They utilize advanced technology to stop attacks before they can affect your site.

Backups
If you were to suddenly lose all of your own website data, would you have to start over? Some hosting solutions offer backup services to keep all of your hard work saved. Depending on the plan, providers may make backups daily. Before you commit to a plan, check to see how easy and fast it is to access data that’s backed up. It’s better to be prepared than to lose months of work forever.

 

Uptime

Uptime refers to how often hosting servers are up and running. Ideally, this would be 100 percent. Unfortunately, things do happen. When the server is down, so is your website. This could affect your e-commerce sales and paint your company in a bad light.

Many hosting providers offer an uptime guarantee. This typically shows that the company cares a lot about providing you with reliable performance. Read the fine print and see what the company does to keep their servers in good shape. Things like regular maintenance, restricted access, and climate control can help to avoid accidental damage and downtime.

 

Site/Domain Limitations

Website hosting plans may have limitations on how many domains you can have. Consider this before choosing a plan. Cheap web hosting options may limit you to a single domain. If you need more than that, you’ll have to upgrade to a higher tier.

 

Customer Support

Customer support is something that you should never overlook. You’re paying for a service. At the very least, your provider should be able to help you when things go awry. While this may seem pretty obvious, it’s not uncommon for tech companies to skimp on customer service support by outsourcing help.

It’s a good idea to stick with providers that offer UK-based support. Look for a detailed support section of their website. There should be DIY guides, frequently asked questions, and multiple ways to get in touch with a real person. Live chat functionality, local phone numbers, and a ticket system are all good things to have.

 

 

Best Web Hosting Services for the UK

 

SiteGround

SiteGround is one of the best hosting options for UK companies and individuals. Not only do they have servers in the UK, but all over the world. To make accessing your content even easier, each plan also uses CloudFlare CDN for better speeds and performance. SiteGround offers a number of plans. There are shared plans for small businesses, managed WordPress plans for beginners, and cloud plans for those who prioritize speed.

While the shared plans do have metered storage, it’s quite generous. The top-tier plan offers 30 GB of space. All plans also come with free email accounts, unmetered traffic, and more. Higher plans offer regular backup services, additional email features, and the SuperCacher system for even faster connection speeds. SiteGround has 24-hour customer support so that you can get help whenever you need it.

Pros:

  • Offers many different web hosting packages
  • Access to free website builder
  • Managed plans for WordPress
  • Servers in the UK, Europe, Singapore, and US
  • Firewall and security features
  • Free SSL certificates on most plans
  • CloudFlare CDN
  • Daily backups available
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

 

 

 

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks is an innovative hosting company that offers a number of different types of plans. They have plenty of great features to make things easier for you as well. For one, they use both cPanel and Softaculous. You’ll be able to implement the apps and scripts you want with just a few clicks. Secondly, all plans have a robust security system. The servers scan for threats in real time to prevent malware attacks.

The thing that really sets GreenGeeks apart is their dedication to the environment. The company utilizes wind energy to power its data centers. They supplement the energy they use to power the servers by sending as much as 3 times back into the grid.

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Pros:

  • Environmentally conscious company
  • Unlimited disk space on RAID-10 SSD
  • Includes free domain name for first year
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free CloudFlare CDN
  • cPanel and Softaculous support
  • User-friendly website builder
  • 24-hour support
  • Real-time server monitoring
  • 99.9 percent uptime guarantee
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • No UK servers
  • Plans not available in GBP

 

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A2 Hosting

Whether you’re starting a blog or an e-commerce site based in the UK, A2 Hosting is capable of providing you with fast and reliable performance. The provider has optimized service for many content management systems, not just WordPress. As a result, there are many opportunities to create a site that’s truly unique to your company.

When it comes to speed, A2 Hosting does a very good job. The company uses SSD storage, has robust data centers, and even offers Turbo servers that are 20 times faster than normal. The provider also has its own custom caching system, which makes it easier for people to load your site quickly.

Pros:

  • Shared, Dedicated, VPS, Reseller, and WordPress plans
  • Optimized for WordPress and Joomla
  • Free migration services
  • Available Turbo servers
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Uses fast SSD storage
  • Unlimited websites and databased on higher plans
  • 24-hour support
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Support ticket system is a bit clunky
  • No UK servers

 

 

 

Bluehost

As one of the oldest hosting providers out there, BlueHost is great for your online business or blog. The company doesn’t have any servers in the UK, though their network is optimized for speed and performance. All plans are available with CloudFlare CDN as well to ensure that visitors have fast access to your content.

BlueHost has fine-tuned its service throughout the years. This is pretty evident in customer reviews and by just taking a look at their site. The company has a very detailed support page. It has troubleshooting guides and multiple ways to get into contact with a real person. The provider even has a page that displays server status. So, if you’re experiencing issues, you can check this page to see if an outage is affecting performance.

Pros:

  • Shared, VPS, and Dedicated hosting plans
  • Managed WordPress plans
  • Unlimited SSD storage for higher plans
  • Unmetered bandwidth on all plans
  • Available backups with CodeGuard Basic
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Available CDN add-on
  • Customizable cPanel access
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

 

 

WPengine

If you’re planning on using WordPress, WPEngine may be a great solution for your needs. The company offers managed hosting plans that are simple and effective. While they are a bit on the pricey side, you’re getting a lot for your money. Every plan includes an SSL certificate, real-time threat detection that looks out for malware and DDoS attacks, and a proprietary CDN system called EverCache.

WPEngine is capable of achieving very fast connection speeds because the network is large and optimized. The provider currently has data centers in many states in the US, Europe, the UK, Asia, and even Australia. Plans vary quite a bit. WPEngine has enterprise solutions, plans for small businesses, and even plans for developers wanting to resell server space.

Pros:

  • Optimized for WordPress sites
  • Managed hosting solution
  • EverCache CDN
  • Real-time threat detection
  • Free migration
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24-hour support
  • Easy site builder
  • Large network

Cons:

  • Only WordPress hosting offered
  • More expensive than other options

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Cloudways

Cloudways is not for novices. It’s a bit more on the technical side, so you may need to get outside help if you’re not ready to manage the service on your own. With all that being said, once you get the hang of things, Cloudways is an excellent provider. They offer only cloud hosting plans. You can take full control of how your website performs and operates. However, aspects like backups and security are managed for peace of mind.

The company uses cloud servers from a number of big-name companies. These servers are located throughout the world in over 60 data centers, ensuring that anyone can access your site from anywhere. For even faster connection speeds, the provider has its own CDN and fast SSD storage.

Pros:

  • Very fast cloud hosting plans
  • Managed backups and security
  • Available premium DNS
  • Completely scalable
  • Dedicated firewalls with regular patching
  • SSD storage
  • Proprietary CDN
  • 24-hour support

Cons:

  • Only offers cloud hosting plans
  • Requires a bit more technical know-how to get the most out of service plan

 

 

TSO Host

TSO Host is a UK-based company that started out as a domain registrar. Over the last decade, they have grown into one of the most popular local providers. They are based out of Slough, where the data centres are located. While the hosting plans don’t include a CDN for faster overseas access, they do support CloudFlare.

Many plans are available. These include dedicated WordPress hosting plans, shared plans, and even hybrid plans that combine physical servers with cloud servers. All plans are optimized with some of the most popular CMS, making it easy to get your site up and running in no time. If you already have one established, the company offers free migration services as well.

Pros:

  • Multiple types of web hosting plans
  • Optimized hosting for WordPress, Joomla, and other CMS
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Free site migration
  • Daily backups
  • Data centres in Slough
  • 24-hour support with fast response

Cons:

  • Only has data centres in the UK
  • No built-in CDN, though plans do support them

 

 

eUKHost

Another provider that’s based in the UK is eUKHost. This company has servers located throughout the UK, ensuring that local web users have very fast connections speeds. Many different types of plans are offered. There are options for small-scale personal projects and larger Enterprise hosting plans.

All plans utilize fast SSD storage and are available with many additional features. You can get automatic remote backups to keep your data safe, purchase an SSL certificate, and invest in real-time server monitoring.

Pros:

  • Affordable plans
  • Shared, VPS, Cloud, and Dedicated hosting plans
  • Many data centres in the UK
  • Linux and Windows-based servers
  • Fast SSD storage
  • 24-hour support
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Only has data centers in the UK
  • Relatively low storage allotments for lower plans
  • Many features require additional charge

 

 

Heart Internet

Heart Internet is a suitable option for those looking to host a simple static site. While the company does offer many different plans, the quality of service isn’t as high as some other UK-based competitors. Heart Internet offers shared plans, VPS plans, dedicated plans, and even reseller plans. For demanding websites, the company also offers premium hosting options.

Pros:

  • Many available hosting plans
  • Data centres monitored
  • 24-hour UK-based support
  • Linux and Windows-based servers

Cons:

  • Only has data centers in the UK
  • No mySQL support on basic plan
  • WordPress support reserved for higher plans
  • Many features require additional fee

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