With all of the websites we take care of for our clients, we have some intimate experience dealing with a wide variety of hosting services. All this time spent developing and implementing web sites gives us a unique perspective into which hosts provide the best in service and support to their clients, and which fall short.
We’ve poured through all of our different accounts and analyzed each host we’re working with to build this enormous comparison page. By the time we’re done here, you’ll be an expert in selecting the best web hosts. Or, if you’re pressed for time, check out our top three choices below:
- Servers in the UK and worldwide
- Knowledgeable and attentive support
- Super affordable
- Storage: 10-100gb
- Comprehensive support
- Recommended by WordPress
- UK Servers
- Storage: 10-40gb
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Quick and responsive support
- Storage: Unlimited
How We Reviewed UK’s Web Hosts
There are so many different factors that go into how well a particular host is performing.
Concerns like client support, response time and speed, uptime, server size, disc space, and ease of use are all in the front of our mind as we evaluate different hosts. Of course, the value that the host delivers compared to the amount of money you’re paying them each month is of paramount concern.
The top UK hosts manage to deliver in each of these different areas, but it’s their performance in two areas in particular that separate the best hosts from the rest of the pack. Speed and support are the two most important factors we considered when evaluating different hosts.
Speed, in particular, can make or break a website. More than half of mobile users will give up on your site and leave if the page takes more than three seconds to load. That short three seconds could be costing you over half of your potential business.
A host can make or break your site, and quality hosting is the foundation that needs to be in place with every successful web property.
Best UK Host Reviews (Updated 2021)
Let’s take a closer look at the top web hosts and the features that separate them apart from the competition.
1. Hostinger – Best Overall Web Hosting Company
- Website: https://www.hostinger.co.uk/
- Cost: From £.99/mo (regularly £7.99)
- Storage: 10-100gb
- Contact: 24/7 live chat
Since 2004, Hostinger has continued to refine the art of web hosting, making it easy and painless for their customers in the process. Nearly 30 million users rely on Hostinger for their hosting needs, and their low prices and a proven record of excellence makes them one of the top web hosting companies.
Hostinger offers a variety of hosting services for under a quid per month, and they offer easy WordPress setup, 24 7 chat support, 10gb of SSD storage, 99% uptime, a free SSL certificate, and the list of features only starts there. More expensive plans include features like no bandwidth limits, free domain name registration, and weekly backups.
This host earns top marks for its smooth and intuitive setup and control panel. In a matter of minutes, you can create an account, secure a domain and hosting, and install the CMS of your choice. Even if you’re brand new to web site hosting, you’ll be able to get your site online in no time.
Beyond their low priced shared hosting, they also offer other options, including a cloud platform, VPS, and hosting for WordPress and email. If you’re having trouble deciding on which option is best for you, their customer support team is knowledgeable and responsive, and they’re available 365 days a year, 24/7.
Speed is a non-issue with Hostinger, as they have UK servers and servers in North and South America, Europe, and Singapore.
2. SiteGround – Runner-Up Best Overall Web Hosting Company
- Website: https://www.siteground.co.uk/
- Cost: From £3.95/mo (regularly £11.95)
- Storage: 10-40gb
- Contact: Phone, live chat, tickets
Known for its world-class speed and performance, SiteGround is affordable, and their plans and service are second to none, making them one of the best web hosting companies.
SiteGround offers blazing speeds with servers in London and on four continents altogether. This host also has a responsive and capable support team, a free SSL certificate, GDPR compliance, and an incredibly efficient security system.
Their basic plan is available for 3.95 a month, and that includes hosting for one site with 10gb of SSD storage. The mid-tier plan bumps you up to unlimited sites, 20GB of storage, the SuperCacher plugin for even faster page speeds, and free site transfer.
Should you need service, the support staff is available through support tickets, chat, or phone, and they also offer a helpful library of troubleshooting tips and guides to help you get the most from your site.
3. GreenGeeks – The Environmentally Friendly Host
- Website: https://www.greengeeks.com/
- Cost: From $2.95/mo (regularly $9.95)
- Storage: Unlimited
- Contact: Phone, live chat, tickets
With an inspiring business model, remarkable performance, and a fast support team, it’s easy to understand the meteoric rise they’ve enjoyed since launching in 2008. They offer data centres worldwide, lightning-fast speeds, no bandwidth limits, and disk space, and even the entry-level plan includes email accounts and a free domain name for a year.
Whenever you need support, a team of worldwide experts is available by phone, chat, or support ticket. You’ll also find a comprehensive knowledge base for tips, troubleshooting advice, and more.
GreenGeeks offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and they use cutting edge technology like RAID-10 storage arrays, free Cloudflare CDN, and PowerCacher.
4. A2 Hosting – Best Dedicated Hosting and Reseller Solutions
- Website: https://www.a2hosting.com/
- Cost: From £2.44/month
- Storage: 100gb-Unlimited
- Support: 24/7 phone, chat, and support tickets
With their broad range of hosting solutions and a lightning-quick web server in every corner of the world, it’s easy to see why A2 Hosting draws comparisons to Hostinger. This host also boasts a 99.9% uptime guarantee and comprehensive support on your terms at any time.
They play well with the most popular CMSs, and there are single script installers for WP, Joomla, and others. A2 offers the most comprehensive reseller solutions, VPS, dedicated servers, and of course, a shared hosting option.
Under the hood, their Turbo Servers deliver speeds as much as 20 times faster than competitors by optimizing server load, and providing RAID-10 storage, and data centres across the globe.
As if that’s not enough, A2 offers an unbelievable money-back guarantee at any time.
5. Kinsta – Best WordPress Managed Host Service
- Website: https://kinsta.com/
- Cost: From $30/month
- Storage: 10-250+gb
- Support: Tickets
If you’re looking to leverage the power and flexibility of a private server without absorbing the enormous upfront cost, Kinsta is our favorite managed WordPress host. Kinsta provides incredible service and support at a price point that’s cheaper than you may think.
Kinsta relies on the Google cloud to power its infrastructure, and there are 23 different server locations for you to choose from, including one in the UK. With Kinsta, you can expect the latest PHP version with self-healing, an auto-optimizing DB, in-house caching, and KeyCDN integration for page load speeds that are second to none.
Kinsta also takes security to the next level with GeoIP blocking, Google Cloud firewall, DDoS protection, free SSL certificate, and daily backups. If your site is ever hacked, Kinsta will even fix it for free, so hosting with Kinsta is a no-brainer for security-conscious site owners who are concerned with the prospect of a data breach.
All these features we’ve discussed are part of the $30/month plan, and with each tier above, Kinsta adds even more features. All told, they offer ten different programs, offering fully custom solutions for customers who outgrow their highest enterprise plan.
6. Heart Internet – Best Host With UK Headquarters
- Website: https://www.heartinternet.uk/
- Cost: From £3.99/month
- Storage: 10gb-Unlimited
- Support: Tickets, phone, live chat
Heart Internet’s home base is in the United Kingdom, so they’re a clear choice for clients who are looking to keep things local. Plus, they’re an avid sponsor of community events, which is always a positive. They offer a variety of options, including dedicated servers, WordPress, and reseller hosting.
This hosting provider also maintains an entirely in-house support staff that can provide expert support through a variety of contact methods. For more adventurous site owners, there’s also a detailed resource section that can help you address common problems yourself.
With a network based on the latest architecture from Cisco, Love Internet provides multiple 10Gigabit connections through a variety of backbone providers to provide constant connectivity and plenty of bandwidth, even during times of high traffic.
Unfortunately, the most affordable plans don’t include WordPress support, and the company’s once sterling reputation for reliability and support has taken some damage in recent years. But, Love Internet is still a wise choice for a variety of sites and businesses.
7. HostGator – A Proven Hosting Veteran
- Website: https://www.hostgator.com/
- Cost: From $2.75/month
- Storage: Unmetered
- Support: Phone, email, live chat
As one of the original web hosts, HostGator has gone from one of the best web hosts to one of the worst, and they’ve since bounced back as a reputable solution once more. They’re one of the cheapest options on the market, but there are some caveats that come with a low price, including some security concerns.
HostGator offers a variety of options from shared hosting to dedicated servers and reseller hosting, and they have a capable support team that’s responsive and helpful. HostGator also offers a robust resource library for getting help on your own.
They offer unmetered bandwidth and storage, which is to say that they don’t enforce any hard limits on either, and in theory, they should provide all the bandwidth and storage your site requires.
Unfortunately, their lack of a local data centre means their page load speeds can’t keep up with most high-end competitors. Hostgator also has a reputation for being lax in the security department.
- Website: https://www.cloudways.com/
- Cost: From $10/month
- Storage: 25-160GB
- Support: Chat, tickets, premium support
For site owners looking to harness the power of the cloud and cut out the middleman, CloudWays is an awesome solution. Of course, you’ll need to know your way around a server to take advantage of this service, which isn’t for newbies.
They provide great support and the choice of several heavyweight providers, including Digital Ocean, AWS, and Google Cloud.
Their service includes their in-house CloudwaysCDN and a custom caching plugin that supercharges page load times on WordPress.
Their offerings run the gamut, with plans as cheap as $10 each month, or as expensive as $272 per month.
These guys do a great job of providing fast and focused support, and they’re available through tickets, live chat, or a contact form. You can also request a call at a specific time, and they’ll give you a ring when it’s convenient.
PHP 7 ready HTTP/2 supported servers, and SSD storage provides the performance and speed your site deserves while additional features like the Breeze plugin, Memcached and Redis optimize hosting speeds for both Magneto and WordPress.
9. InMotion Hosting
- Website: https://www.inmotionhosting.com/
- Cost: From $3.99/month (regularly $7.99)
- Storage: Unlimited
- Support: Phone, tickets, chat
For companies who need a business-focused solution for enterprise websites, InMotion is a popular choice, and they do an impeccable job of offering top-notch security with a free SSL certificate, a custom firewall, DDoS protection, and protection from hackers.
They provide a variety of products, including VPS, reseller, and dedicated server hosting. They also offer WordPress hosting with automatic updates and an intuitive site builder.
InMotion offers SSD storage, a variety of data centres, and proprietary router technology to provide users with a competitive advantage when it comes to page loading speeds. Unfortunately, they don’t have a data centre in the UK, so they aren’t the best choice for sites targeting visitors in the UK and Europe.
On the support end, they offer live chat, email, phone, and ticket support, and you can even book Skype sessions with a hosting specialist for more advanced issues.
- Website: https://www.bluehost.com/
- Cost: From £3.14/month (regularly £6.36/month)
- Storage: 50gb-Unlimited
- Support: Phone and chat
A veteran web hosting presence, BlueHost started as one of the most promising companies in the industry. They’ve since been bought out by the same parent company like HostGator, and the takeover has not been kind to their customers or product offerings.
Little by little, BlueHost has been improving their tarnished reputation, and they offer a variety of features that are sure to be attractive to beginners, such as a free domain name and free SSL certificate, and plenty of storage.
BlueHost offers shared hosting from $3.95 per month, as well as WordPress, VPS, and dedicated server hosting. The company maintains an in-house tech team that’s qualified to offer 24/7 support via chat, tickets, or phone.
Unfortunately, they don’t have any local data centres, which makes them a hard sell for the UK and European sites. But, if you’re targeting an American audience, their service is quickly returning to its once-proud form.
- Website: https://www.dreamhost.com/
- Cost: From $2.59/month (regularly $3.95/month)
- Storage: Unlimited
- Support: Tickets, phone, chat
Dreamhost has a long-established reputation for excellent and affordable hosting, and they’re known for their reliability and security protocols, which include free SSL certificates and WhoIs registration privacy.
Here, you’ll find shared hosting as well as hosting for WordPress, VPS, and dedicated servers, and all of their hosting packages provide SSD storage for lightning-fast page load speeds. Each plan includes unlimited bandwidth, and there are a variety of upgrades available that can also accelerate your site’s speed.
For issues, their support staff is available 24/7 to handle issues via chat, email, phone, or support tickets, and they have an expansive knowledge base for self-service support.
Unfortunately, they don’t have a local data centre, so page load times in the UK and Europe are sure to be slightly slower than they should be. Plus, while they offer very competitive monthly rates, you’ll need to sign up for a full three years to lock in their cheapest rate.
- Website: https://www.hostpapa.co.uk/
- Cost: From £1.95/month (regularly £6.49/month)
- Storage: 100gb-Unlimited
- Support: Chat, tickets, phone
HostPapa has quickly grown a global following thanks to their targeting landing pages that make them look like a local host in each of the markets they serve. They provide plenty of disk space and a bargain price for hosting. Unfortunately, they don’t have data centres in the UK, so they’re probably not your best choice if you’re targeting English or European customers.
They offer shared hosting, VPS, WordPress hosting, and dedicated server hosting, and they also have a capable and prompt support team that’s available day and night by phone, email, support tickets, or live chat. HostPapa also arranges weekly webinars to cover tips and tricks for getting the most out of their platform.
This host claims that their low server density and advanced resource allocation provides their customers with an impressive 300% performance boost compared to the competition, but this feature is only available as part of their most expensive packages. Even if you forgo this performance enhancement, you can bump your page speeds way up by enabling Cloudflare.
Choosing the Best Website Hosting Service
Developing a website is an important first step for virtually all businesses, and it’s one of the best ways to increase awareness of your brand with customers. It’s important to meet your customers where they’re looking for you, and since 90% of the adults in the UK and 99% of adults under 34 use the internet regularly, it’s clear that a strong internet presence is needed.
Whether you’re planning on developing a site that receives millions of visitors each month, or you’re planning on launching a niche site that doesn’t receive nearly that level of traffic, there are going to be some challenging questions you need to ask yourself to select a host that’s going to be able to provide exactly what your site needs.
Beyond the design of your site, you’ll need to consider the type of business you’ll be doing on the site. Will your new site be a blog? A landing page for your business? An e-commerce store? Depending on the type of site you’ll be running, you’ll find that some hosts are better suited than others to handle your business.
In our reviews above, we’ve provided our top choices for the best UK hosts. But, you’re likely to find that just because a particular host comes highly recommended, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the best host for your particular site.
To determine which site is going to be best suited to handle the unique needs of your website, there are several important things you’ll need to know about web hosting. We’ve compiled that list below. As you’re evaluating different web hosts, be sure to carefully consider these criteria, as it will make it much easier for you to confidently select your next host.
Different Types of Web Hosting Explained
For businesses looking for the most affordable hosting option, shared hosting is likely the best answer. Shared hosting is perfect for smaller websites and pet projects you may be looking to build out, and it’s the most popular option for small businesses that aren’t anticipating huge traffic numbers each month. But, it does have its shortcomings.
With a shared host, your site is hosted alongside other sites that the host also manages, which means that all of the sites on a particular server are sharing resources. With a shared host, you’ll be splitting bandwidth, storage space, and other critical resources with these sites.
If you’re running a small site, this will likely never be a problem for you. If your site traffic or the scope of your site grows, you’ll quickly notice the shortfalls of shared hosting, and you won’t have the resources your site needs to perform optimally.
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting acts as a bridge between hosting shared with other sites and hosting your website on a dedicated server.
VPS hosting is like shared hosting in the sense that your website is hosted alongside other websites on the same server. A partition is used to divide the server and provide each site the server hosts with individual bandwidth and storage.
This type of hosting isn’t quite as powerful or customizable as a completely private host, but it’s much cheaper than a private host is, which is a tradeoff that many site owners are happy to make in exchange for the extra power and storage that a VPS host can provide.
When money is no object, dedicated hosting is a clear choice. With this arrangement, you have full server resources at your disposal to host your site. Unlike shared and VPS hosting, storage and bandwidth are a non-issue, and the sky’s the limit in terms of the performance capabilities of a site hosted on a dedicated server.
Dedicated servers are the choice of large e-commerce operations, real estate directors, and multiplayer online games. Of course, building out a server from scratch is a massive expense, so unless you’re creating a site that needs to be able to support millions of users, you may not need the power and versatility that a dedicated server provides.
Cloud hosting service has become increasingly popular in recent years because of the flexibility it provides. Sites both large and small can make use of cloud hosting because it can seamlessly scale with your business.
A cloud server is powered by multiple machines that provide plenty of power, less downtime, and more robust security protocols. Depending on the needs of your business, you can instantly add or reduce your storage, bandwidth, and other features.
While this hosting arrangement is much rarer, it still may be a viable path for your business. With reseller hosting, a company (usually a web developer) purchases server space in bulk and then sells that server space to the clients they create websites for.
This arrangement allows web developers to act as a one-stop-shop for their development clients, and it also provides them with more control over the backend of the sites they design.
How to Compare Web Hosts: Features, Specs, and Industry Terms
Just as there are several different hosting arrangements you’ll need to consider for your site; there are also a variety of different features, terms, and specifications you need to familiarize yourself with to understand exactly what each web hosting provider is offering you.
Once you have a better idea of the type of hosting service you’d like to secure for your site, you’ll want to consider these features and specifications to narrow the field further.
Most web hosts maintain servers in locations throughout the world. While you don’t necessarily need to host your site in the same country that the majority of your visitors are located in, the closer you can host your site to your visitors, the faster your speeds will be.
Look for a host that offers many server locations, including viable servers located near the home country of your visitors.
Before pulling the trigger with any web provider, it’s smart to get a rough idea of how much storage you’ll require. The pictures, videos, and other media and information on your site all require storage space on the server. For small sites, storage won’t be a major consideration, but it’s something to closely monitor if you plan on running a larger site.
Your website is effectively useless if your visitors are unable to access the site. Top host services make uptime a major priority, and many boast that their servers provide 99.9% uptime. That sounds great on paper, but it’s always helpful to do some detective work.
Search for reviews of the service, and do what you can to confirm that the host delivers on their uptime promises.
Most websites store tons of valuable and protected information that would result in catastrophic losses for your business if it was lost or stolen. Backups are critically important when it comes to your information, and you’ll want to make sure that your host has a backup policy in place that ensures your information is protected.
You’ll also want to check into how the host retrieves backups, and if there are any charges associated with restoring a backup from the server.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology encrypts the data transferred between your site and your visitors. It’s what keeps your site secure, and it also gives a signal of confidence to your visitors in the form of the padlock on the left side of their address bar in their browser.
These days, every site should use SSL, and Google has said that it’s now used as a rating factor on SERPs. While SSL certificates cost money, most of the top web hosts provide a free SSL certificate at no cost to customers. You’ll want to avoid hosts that want to charge you high fees for their SSL certificates.
Bandwidth is the lifeblood of your website, and you’ll need to ensure you have plenty of bandwidth available if your goal is to provide a great user experience. Shared and VPS hosts typically provide the least bandwidth, so it’s important to ensure that you’ll have enough to spare, especially if you host your website with a VPS or shared host.
When we talk about speed, we’re focused on how quickly the pages load on a website. Three factors affect speed, location of the server, the performance of the server, and any custom scripts a host may employ to help improve page load times.
Most hosts deliver more than enough speed to satisfy the needs of the customers, especially the top choices on our list above. Usually, as long as you don’t try to cheap out and go with a free or nearly free host, you should be good.
Content distribution networks (CDNs) serve your site to visitors from the node that’s nearest their location. This allows you to achieve solid page speeds no matter where your site server is actually located. Most of the best hosts offer CDN integrations for free.
Issues with your site are frustrating, and they can start costing money immediately if they aren’t addressed. Most hosting services provide a variety of ways to get in contact, including phone and chat support. But, the best way to get your issues resolved quickly and completely is through support tickets.
Support tickets make it easier to fully explain your issue so that it’s easy to understand, diagnose, and fix, so you’re back up and running with less downtime.
Number of Domains
If you’re thinking of adding additional domains with your host, you’ll need to make sure you go with a hosting service that allows you to do so. Many providers only allow you to host a single site from your server. So, if you’d rather have the flexibility to add more in the future, go with a host that allows multiple sites.
What is Domain Hosting?
The idea of domain hosting is a bit of a misnomer, and it’s a combination of web hosting and domain registration. We’ve covered everything you’ll need to know about web hosting above, and now we’ll get into the basics of what you need to know about domain registration.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain is essentially a glamorous version of an IP address that takes you to a website. Without a domain name, you’d need to type in a series of numbers to visit a website. In a sense, domains are like vanity license plates. Another important distinction with domain names is that whether it’s a free domain name or one you purchased, you don’t own it in perpetuity, but rather, you lease it from a domain registrar.
What is a Registrar?
Registrars are the companies in charge of reserving and assigning names to the IP addresses that represent websites. Registrars are beholden to registries, who delegate the sales aspect of domains to the registrars. In the United Kingdom, Nominet handles all .uk domains.
How to Register a Domain
If you haven’t yet secured a domain and plan to get one when you sign up with a host, there’s no shortage of different providers who also sell domain names. When you sign up with them, there’s usually an option to purchase a new domain, some hosts even offer a free domain name with your purchase. All you need to do is enter your desired domain name, and if it’s available, the host takes care of the rest.
If you’re looking to just register a few new domains, there are plenty of different companies to work with, including Namecheap and names.co.uk. You’ll want to make sure to set up WHOIS privacy protection to hide your identity and contact details from solicitors or hackers.
Website Setup How-To Guide
Now that you’re familiar with the two parts that go into the making of a website, it’s time to start building your website. In this three-step process, we’ll explain how to connect your domain to your web host, install your website builder, and get your site live.
If you bought your domain from your web host, the process of pointing your domain name to the host has already been done for you. If you purchased a domain separately, here’s how to connect it.
- Find your hosts’ name servers, which are usually located in a welcome email or account dashboard
- Copy the name server address
- Head to your registrar and locate the DNS settings for the domain you’re connecting
- Paste the name server address into the server field, and hit enter or save
- Within a few hours, your domain name should point to your website
Once your domain name and web host are linked, you’ll need to install whatever client you’ll be using to edit your site. WordPress is by far the most popular, and most web hosts offer a simple one-click installer for WordPress. Refer to your host’s support section if you’re having trouble locating the installer.
Once you’ve installed WordPress or something similar, you can now begin editing your new website.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much is Web Hosting?
Many factors go into determining how much a web host costs, and the largest factor is how much bandwidth and storage your site demands. For smaller sites, the cost of a host usually runs less than 6 or 7 pounds per month. For larger sites with more demanding infrastructure, hosting can regularly run north of 100 pounds each month.
Can I Host my Website for Free?
You can host your website for free on your own computer, but a more popular alternative is to use a host such as WordPress or Blogger, as they’ll allow you to build a free website with a free domain name that’s a subdomain of WordPress.com. The features and support are limited, and you won’t be able to create a custom domain for your site, but you can get it online at no cost this way.
Can I Use Google as my Web Host?
While Google has its hands in practically every aspect of the internet, they aren’t a web host. You can use their Sites tool, or Blogger to build a free website, but they don’t offer web hosting.
What is the Best Small Business Web Hosting Company?
Virtually all the choices on our list above are ideal for a small business, so there’s no right or wrong answer. As a small business, find a host that offers free SSL certificates, servers worldwide, and impressive security protocols. Our top choices for the best UK host all fit the bill.
How Do You Select a Web Hosting Service?
There are many different aspects of web hosting, and it can be difficult to keep track of them all and why they’re important, especially if you’re new to selecting a web host. As a general rule, you’ll want to find a host that provides impressive page speeds, servers located locally and worldwide, a responsive support team, and an easy to use interface.
At this point, congratulations on making it through our exhaustive guide. Now that you’re a web hosting expert, it’s time to take your site to the masses!