Choosing the right web hosting company is important – but how do you separate the good web hosting providers from the bad? Our expert guide will help you find the best UK web hosting provider.
As some of you may know we have been offering UK based web hosting reviews for a long time. Starting the site way back in 2006! Back then there was a deluge of web hosting review sites all telling you that they offered you the ‘Best of’ or Top 10 Web Hosting lists. The majority of these we re just put together by the site owners, most with a vested interest. Usually who would pay the most would to be at the top.
However, we wanted to be different. Not being overly focused with who is the ‘best’, but recognising good service, speed, support, uptime and well as a reasonable price for that service. A lot has changed over the years, companies have come and gone but one constant that has remained is we are still often asked ‘who is the best’? Our answer always remain the same.. ‘Weelll, it depends’. This is the same answer we’ve been giving for years. But we also know most people want to just set their site up an not to be stuck with a slow site or poor service. So how do you find the best?
Remember: Choose a Web Host that is right for you
It is important to remember when you are looking for web hosting, there is no definitive guide to the who is the best. Everyone will have different experiences, expectations and requirements. You will need to think about what will you be looking to create? Will it just be a small site, ecommerce website blog or web application? Most smaller websites will be suited to shared web hosting 90% of the world’s websites run on a shared web hosting environment.
Shared hosting companies will offer you everything you need to get your website setup, and would be the best option for anyone looking to setup and run their own website.
Below is a list of the best UK web hosing companies. Generated by our system based from the user reviews from our site, based from our key ranking factors.
Find out how good they are
When you are choosing a hosting provider, it’s a good opportunity for you to ask them some further questions make sure that they are right for you.
Some questions you should ask:
- Is the hosting plan you are planning to select right for your needs?
- Do they offer any sort of service guarantee (such as uptime). What is it and how is it monitored?
- Will they move your site to another server if you feel the server you are on is too slow
- Is their support manned 24/7. Not everyone works 9:00 – 5:00 so this may be important to you
UK Web Hosting provider Krystal provide stats on their average ticket resolution time, average number of support tickets solved in 1 response rates and so on. Which is a really useful way to gauge how quickly your support request should be resolved.
Don’t be fooled by other ‘Best Web Hosting’ lists
Many ‘best hosting’ guides will tell you that they’ve ‘tested’ hundreds of web hosting services to bring you the best, of the best of the best.. Sir!. The question you need to ask though is how have they tested them and for how long? Unless you are using a service for a long period of time, you won’t get a full view on how well a company will perform. That is why we have always felt that real user reviews give a much better representation on how well a web hosting provider performs.
If you are looking for just hosting deals then we have written a round-up for the best web hosting deals. This will provide you with companies that are offering promotional deals to new customers.
How much does hosting cost?
For most web hosting is relatively in expensive less than the equivalent of a cup of coffee per month. If you are planning on running your business site, we could recommend spending a bit more looking at business hosting plans. These generally will have less site per server, therefore you should experience less downtime a better service from these plans.
Take a look at our business hosting comparison
If you are looking for the same service but want to save money most companies will offer discounts when you sign-up for a longer period. This can be the best way to save on your hosting bill. Many companies will also throw in extras when signing up for longer periods such as free domain names or SSL certificates.
Check out our list of companies offering a free domain name with hosting.
What is their Customer Support Like?
Finding out what a company’s customer support is like, can be difficult. It is one of those parts of the service you may not need to use until you need to use it. But the way a company responds to it’s customers can be crucial to your web hosting experience. Look for the factors that are important to you. You may feel one of the following is critical to you:
- Telephone Support – Are you one of those likes to speak to a person? Or are you happy with online chat or a ticket based system
- UK Based Customer Service Team – One of the issues many find difficult is dealing with customer services representatives fully understanding your requirements. If this is you, then looking at a company that offers UK based in-house customer service.
- 24/7 Support – Not all companies offer 24/7 support. Will you be working on your site outside office hours?
Reading reviews of a company will give you a good idea on how well a company performs when it comes to their customer service.
Web Hosting Traps to watch out for
Most of the web hosting ‘traps’ we hear are generally from the customer not understanding what they are paying for or thinking they are getting more than they will. The most common cause of complaints we see are :
- Prices increasing on renewal – Headline Prices are not always the price that you will pay on renewal. Many web hosting companies will offer promotional prices for the first month and then renew at a higher rate. UK consumer law states ‘Your customer needs to know how long their contract is due to run and how to cancel it (if they don’t want it renewed)‘. So any UK web hosting company, should provide clear information on what you will pay and when.
However : It is you responsibility to cancel within the time frame stated when signing up.
- Unlimited not being Unlimited – Truly unlimited is not a thing. Everything has a cost and bandwidth and disc space are included in that. However pricing has come down to point where a hosting company can provide more than most regular websites will ever need. So Unlimited is not necessary a bad thing. Just remember if you are hosting a lot of video files run a extremely busy website. You may run into ‘fair usage policy’ issues.
Final thoughts when looking for the Best Web Hosting
Whether you are a novice user, who is looking to build your first website or a seasoned website developer. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the options out there. Don’t forget trying to choose the best web hosting provider, is only part of creating your website. So try not over-focus on which web hosting company is the best. Rather what host is the best for your needs.