Every business that’s building a website needs a web hosting plan to go with it. But, the search for web hosting means a lot of decisions have to be made. Running a business in the UK means the hosting company needs to support that region.
There are hundreds of different hosting providers to choose from. Plus, there are various types of hosting, and technical terms that are easy to get lost in. Every business is different, and the needs and goals one company has won’t be the same from another.
As a business owner just getting started with hosting this guide will answer questions like:
- Is it the right time to invest in web hosting?
- What kind of hosting is best for UK businesses?
- What web hosting features are non-negotiable?
This guide will walk UK business owners through the process of finding the best website hosting.
Why you need UK web hosting
For some businesses, a website won’t be the hub of their business activities. Instead, it might be a marketing channel, a place for customers to find out about location, services, and more.
Or, with an online business expanding rapidly today, it could be expanding an existing store into the online world.
Signing up for UK web hosting services is equivalent to renting a portion of a server where website files are stored.
The cost of renting server space through a hosting company is incredibly low. Compare this to the cost of running an in-house website and server, hiring IT staff, and more and the costs get prohibitively expensive.
When it comes to getting a website online, using a web hosting company is the only way to go.
When you need UK web hosting
As a small business owner or a new startup, there’s a lot on your plate. Growing and running a business is already a lot of work, then adding website tasks to the plate, and the workload only multiplies. For example:
- Creating a website
- Building an online presence
- Learning how to market a website (via SEO)
- And much more
Plus, none of these tasks matter if your website can’t be accessed online. By choosing the right UK website hosting solution there’s no more worry about maintaining and optimizing a server, ensuring website uptime, protecting against viruses, and more.
How to choose the best UK web hosting
There are all kinds of hosting companies and plans to choose from. Even though all these companies offer web hosting, they’re oriented towards different users and niches. Plus, some are better suited for businesses and website owners in the UK, while others aren’t.
There are a variety of different plans, styles, and even UK hosting companies to choose from. Here are the most common type of hosting:
- Shared server hosting
- VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting
- Cloud hosting
- WordPress hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Reseller hosting
When signing up for hosting there are a lot of considerations on what type of website will be built.
For example, will it be:
- A website representing a business like a restaurant?
- A content-heavy website designed to rank in the search engines and get a lot of traffic?
- An eCommerce store that sells products in-house and online?
The type of website being built will influence the requirements of a UK web host.
However, regardless of the site, the following elements are necessary (most of which will be provided by the hosting company):
- A domain name
- A CMS like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla (WordPress is the most common choice)
- Sufficient bandwidth and storage space
- A free website builder (or a CMS)
- Business email support
- Firewalls, backups, and security features
One final consideration for UK business owners is having a host that supports the UK market. Most hosts today are global hosts, but it’s important to seek out a host that has servers in the UK, or within close proximity.
The website files are stored in the physical server, so the closer this location is to your website visitors, the faster the website will load.
Before we jump into the list of best UK web hosts below make a list of all the requirements:
The best web hosting providers in the UK
There are a lot of different features that web hosts provide. Here’s a list of requirements to look for in a web host:
- An uptime guarantee of at least 99.9%, or historical uptime levels
- Fast loading speeds and ability to scale
- A price range that’s within your budget
- Extras like a free domain name, SSL certificate, and CDN
- A responsive and helpful customer support team
In this UK web hosting review, we’ve researched the best UK web hosting providers that have all the above features and more. Every host in the list below is also GDPR compliant (which is very important these days).
Bluehost is one of the oldest and most respected web hosts on the market today. They currently power over 2,500,000 websites today and are one of the top recommended hosts from WordPress.org.
The WordPress recommendation carries a lot of weight since it currently powers over one-third of the web.
There are a variety of types of hosting offered by Bluehost, including shared, dedicated server, VPS hosting, and WordPress hosting. The WordPress hosting plans include one-click install, automatic updates, along with access to a library of plugins and themes.
Bluehost serves a worldwide user base, including the UK, which makes it a great choice for those looking for reliability in the UK. It doesn’t have the fastest servers, however, the uptime is an impressive 99.99%.
The Bluehost support team is very helpful and responsive, even with the large number of sites being hosted. Support can be reached via live chat, phone, and support tickets.
- Managed WordPress hosting are some of the best
- Free CDN included
- Free domain name
- A variety of hosting plans available
- Fast and helpful customer service
- Free migration for WordPress sites
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Cloudflare CDN isn’t free
- Email accounts are a paid add-on
- Only Linux support, no Windows
See the full review of Bluehost here.
HostGator is a long-running web host that offers a variety of different hosting packages. Overall, it’s more beginner-focused, but there are a variety of plans for scaling sites like cloud hosting, VPS, WordPress hosting, and even dedicated servers.
The basic shared hosting plan is equipped with a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and unlimited storage and bandwidth.
Server and hosting account management will be done via the industry-leading cPanel control panel, which helps beginners navigate the complex world of server and website management.
Within cPanel, there are a variety of CMSs that can be installed with a single click, plus the bundled website builder.
In terms of performance, the speeds are reasonably fast, coupled with a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Servers based in the UK
- Free domain name and SSL certificate
- Free site migration
- Multiple CMS support
- Multiple types of hosting available
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Expensive price renewals
- Average customer support
- Backups are an additional fee
See the full review of HostGator here.
Hostinger powers over 30 million websites around the world and provides extremely cheap pricing to users in the UK, making it a great value for money.
Regardless of the hosting plan, there’s a 99.99% uptime guarantee and users have access to real-time monitoring to see how the server uptime and downtime is performing.
They have server locations spread around the globe, including a big network of servers located in the UK.
Even with incredibly affordable hosting plans, site loading speeds will never be a worry. The most basic shared hosting plans have great server response times
In terms of support, the technical team can be reached via support ticket, live chat, and email.
- Easy to use hosting interface
- 30-day-money-back guarantee
- Fast loading speeds
- Affordable low prices
- Free SSL certificate and domain name
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Website builder is an additional fee
- Cloudflare CDN is a paid add-on
See the full review of Hostinger here.
Siteground is a solid choice for WordPress website owners in the UK. It’s even recommended by WordPress.org, who founded the WordPress CMS system that powers over one-third of the internet.
SiteGround offers a unique custom-built caching plugin that can boost site speeds while increasing the number of visitors a website can handle.
The performance is impressive, with uptime averages of 99.99% and fast loading speeds. On the two higher-level hosting plans users will get access to the advanced plugin to improve these even further.
Beyond the hosting performance, the customer support team is fast and very helpful. Support can be reached via live chat, phone, and email support ticket.
Siteground has data centers around the world, but there’s also one located right in London.
The only real drawback is there’s no free domain included. This will have to be purchased separately through a registrar like GoDaddy.
- One of the hosts recommended by WordPress
- Global datacenters including one in the UK
- SuperCacher plugin
- Dedicated and helpful support team
- Fast SSD storage
- Free CDN and website builder
- 24/7 customer support
- High renewal costs
- No free domain name
See the full review of SiteGround here.
GreenGeeks stands out with their commitment to the environment by putting three times their energy consumption back into wind power. Aside from its commitment to green energy, GreenGeeks provides high performance hosting with a great 99.99% uptime guarantee.
Now, GreenGeeks is one of the hosts on this list that doesn’t have physical servers in the UK.
But, they take great lengths to ensure this doesn’t affect performance, including having a server location close by in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Even though there isn’t a web server physically in the UK, they continuously monitor website traffic to ensure there aren’t any delays or lapses in service. There’s also real-time security monitoring to ensure all websites remain free from the risks lurking online.
GreenGeeks also offers unlimited disk space, email accounts, and bandwidth on every single hosting plan. There’s also a free domain name, which is great for new businesses on a budget.
- Environmentally-conscious hosting service
- Free CDN included
- Domain name included with every plan
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- No UK-based servers
- Lack of 24/7 phone support
Kinsta is one of the leaders of the WordPress hosting space. Most WordPress site owners will either upgrade or consider upgrading to Kinsta at one point in time.
Kinsta offers a full range of hosting services to WordPress site owners who want performance, but don’t want to manage everything themselves.
With managed hosting, things like updating WordPress, keeping up with security, removing malware, server optimization, and more are all taken care of.
Kinsta doesn’t utilize physical servers but instead relies on third-party hosting services. So, your server’s location will always be chosen from the closest Google Cloud server location, including the UK.
There are also a variety of unique features like daily backups, and a hack guarantee, to protect and restore sites if any hacking occurs.
- Expert WordPress site management
- Google Cloud has UK server locations
- Fast speeds and performance
- High-level security features
- WordPress-only sites
- Lack of phone support
DreamHost is a long-running hosting company that currently hosts over 1.5 million websites. The plans are well-suited for those on a budget and are equipped with features like unlimited bandwidth, a 100% uptime guarantee for a reliable web hosting experience.
There are a variety of plans available, but most are built for WordPress site owners. Even on the basic plans, WordPress comes pre-installed.
For those who want assistance building the best website, there are a variety of website builders included with every plan, including Remixer, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace.
A lot of hosts charge much higher fees after the initial hosting plan expires, but DreamHost has very low-renewal rates, which is rare in this industry. There’s also a 97-day money-back guarantee that gives users plenty of time to test out the service.
- Industry-leading 100% uptime guarantee
- Very fast loading speeds
- Money-back guarantee
- Great choice for WordPress sites
- Affordable hosting packages
- Free SSL certificate
- Recommended by WordPress.org
- Limited live chat support