The Best Web Hosting Providers of 2019

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Good web hosting is the backbone of any respectable website and can help to boost not only your reputation but also people’s trust in your brand. The best web hosting providers not only offer feature packed hosting solutions at a price that won't break the bank but also need to be rock solid and robust to minimise downtime.

We've reviewed some hosting services in the UK to find the best ones for you. Each one has been scored so you can see who comes out on top.

The score is calculated for each company based on…

  • Reliability – Robust hosting services protect your brand's reputation.
  • Value for money – Not cheap hosting but instead getting more for your money.
  • Support – Any issues, then who do you call? The better the support the faster you are back up and running.
  • Speed – Faster page load can improve rankings and the perception of your brand.
  • Uptime – Downtime can cost your business severely and cause you to lose customers.
  • Security – Secure hosting ensures your customer data is in safe hands, so they feel safe using you.

These are the factors we feel are most important when deciding the home for your business website. You can see our findings and compare each of the best UK web hosting providers from the table below.

Lowest price

?All prices excl. 20% VAT; using longest possible contract terms. Setup fees not shown. Billing periods not shown.

£1.00 pm

(was £4.99)

£1.00 pm

(was £5.99)

£3.99 pm

£0.99 pm

Services offered

?What kind of hosting services are offered by each provider.

Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Servers (Managed and Self-Managed), WordPress Hosting

Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Servers (Managed and Self-Managed), Dedicated Servers, WordPress Hosting

Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Servers, Dedicated Servers, Complex Hosting, WordPress Hosting

Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Servers (Managed and Self-Managed), Dedicated Servers

Number of clients in UK/World

?The number of people throughout the world who use this providers products or services.

800,000

18,8M World

250,000

42,000

Year founded

?The year this provider was founded.

2000

1997

2003

2004

What operating systems are available for their hosting solutions.

? What operating systems are available for their hosting solutions.

Linux, Windows

Linux, Windows

Linux, Windows

Linux, Windows

Website builder

?Do they offer a website builder product that can be used to create your website without needing technical knowledge or coding experience. Ideal for beginners.

available

available

not available

not available

Storage Space

?The amount of web space that is included in the hosting plan.

from 10 GB to unlimited

from 100 GB to unlimited

from 15 GB to ~4 TB 

from 10 GB to unlimited

Email

?What email services are included with the providers hosting product.

1 mailbox included in some hosting products

1 mailbox included in some hosting products for the first year

100 to unlimited mailboxes included in some hosting products

1,000 to unlimited mailboxes included in some hosting products

Free domain

?Does the hosting product include a free domain or web address.

1-3 free domains included in some hosting products

1 free domain included in some hosting products with the annual plan

1 free domain included in some hosting products

can be purchased optionally

Free SSL

?Does the hosting solution include a free SSL certificate to ensure your customers data is secure.

1 free DV SSL certificate included in some hosting products

1 free DV SSL certificate included in some hosting products for the first year or per site

Let’s Encrypt support

1 free DV SSL certificate included in some hosting products

Other free features

?What other features are provided with the hosting solution.

  • 24/7 Phone Support
  • Cancel Any time
  • Money back guarantee
  • Award Winning Company


  • Largest Domain Registrar
  • Fast page load times
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • One-click WordPress installation


  • Fast & Reliable platform
  • Free SSL
  • Free website migration
  • Free backups


  • Award-winning web hosting
  • 1,000 free mailboxes
  • Supports PHP, Perl & Python
  • Upgrade to host unlimited sites


Bandwidth

? What cap is placed on the bandwidth in the hosting package. The more bandwidth the more users can view your website at once.

unlimited

unmetered as long as it complies with agreements


up to unlimited

up to 1 Gbit/s

Transfer

?What is the data or transfer cap on the hosting. Is there a limit to how much data can be used or any additional charges for going over your allowance.

unmetered in some hosting products

unmetered as long as it complies with agreements


not published

unlimited in some hosting products

Backups

?What method of backups are available to keep your website and data protected in the case of data lose.

included in some hosting products

included in some hosting products

included in some hosting products

included in some hosting products

Control panel

? Is a control panel used to manage your hosting settings and configuration.

Own, Plesk, cPanel depending on hosting product

Own, Plesk, cPanel depending on hosting product

Own, cPanel depending on hosting product

Own, Plesk, cPanel depending on hosting product

Server locations

?Where are the servers located in the world. Locality maters for delivering your website fast to users, there may even be legal implications for where your data is stored in the world.

Leeds, UK

Europe (Netherlands), North America, Asia

Slough, UK

Leeds, UK & Strassburg, France

Support type

?If something were to go wrong, how can you contact their support team to resolve the issue.

chat (business hours), ticket, phone (24/7), letter

phone (24/7)

chat (business hours and evenings), ticket, phone (business hours and evenings)

contact form, phone, telefax, letter

Eco-friendly

?How eco-friendly is this provider, are their services green or not.

yes

(low energy minimises carbon footprint)


no

no

no

Our ratings (from 5 stars) with link to a more detailed review.

Pros

  • 24/7 support
  • Unlimited bandwidth across all plans
  • Easy-to-use website builder
  • ‘Make Me A Website’ feature
  • UK based
  • Money-back guarantee


  • 24/7 support
  • Unlimited bandwidth across all plans
  • Easy-to-use website builder
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • One-click WordPress installation
  • Windows and Linux hosting


  • Free SSL
  • Free website migration
  • Free daily backups
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Windows, Linux and hybrid hosting

  • Unlimited web space
  • 1,000 free mailboxes
  • Access to over 70 one-click apps
  • UK based
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • More expensive

  • Strict refund policy

  • Limited phone support
  • No website builder tools


  • More expensive
  • No website builder tools


What is web hosting?

Web hosting simply put is a place where your website files are stored so people on the internet can view your website. Every website is hosted on a server somewhere in the world and a web hosting company rents you space where you can store your website files called web space. Those files are then linked to your domain or web address and people can then go to that your web address in a browser to see your website. There are loads of web hosts out there that all can help you host your site so the world can see it.

How do I choose a web hosting company?

When choosing a web host, you should compare what features they include and think about whether or not they actually offer the type of hosting you need for your website. Also, the company's reputation, have they won any awards? What do existing customers say about their service? You should also read reviews to find out if what they say is accurate.

What do I need?

This depends on what you hope to achieve with your hosting and what type of hosting services you are going to go for. However, there are certain must-haves you will need to look for no matter what type of hosting you get. So, let’s take a quick look at a few important features you should always look for when choosing the best hosting company …

  • Uptime – The more reliable your hosting the better, too much downtime can put potential customers off or give you a bad reputation. It can also cause you to lose money as when your website is down it is not making you money. Look for the UK hosting companies that have good records of uptime and some even offer an uptime guarantee so if they experience downtime you will not be out of pocket.
  • Load time – Slow websites frustrate your visitors and can cause your website rankings in search engines to suffer. Both will cause your website to be less popular and you could potentially lose money. Keep the search engines and your visitors happy by ensuring your hosting company offers fast speeds and page loading.
  • Bandwidth – If you imagine a water pipe going to your house, a larger pipe means more water can flow to your house. Whereas a small pipe will only let a tiny amount of water at one time and filling a bath could take ages. In web hosting terms, bandwidth is the size of the pipe going to your website, the more bandwidth you have the more people can visit your site at once. You won’t make much money if just one person can view your website at a time so look out for a large bandwidth capacity to ensure there are no bottlenecks or performance issues.
  • Data transfer – When you have a mobile phone and you use the internet on your phone you will use your data allowance. Your mobile contract will usually have a data allowance and if you go over you will be charged for any additional usage. Web hosting plans are very similar, any time you upload files, or someone views your website you use data from your data allowance and there could be a charge for using more than your allowance. However, the best web hosts have unmetered data transfer which simply means there is no data allowance and no excess charges, so you don’t need to worry about going over and can use however much you need.
  • Storage space – Every type of web hosting usually includes an amount of web space, this is where you would upload your website files. Always check that the storage space you are provided with is larger than the website you want to upload it to otherwise you will have problems. However, most hosting packages give a huge amount of web space which is enough for all your HTML files and images. So, be careful not to go for too much as you could be overpaying for space you will never use.
  • Operating system – Typically this is either Linux or Windows, however, it relates to the operating software on the hosting server itself and not the OS of your PC. Most hosting is Linux based and means you can use things like PHP and MySQL to build your site. Just because you have a Windows PC it does not mean you need Windows hosting. Really you will only need Windows hosting if you need to use asp, ASP.NET or MS SQL, and that will only be the case if you are a developer and need to code using one of those languages. If you have never heard of asp or PHP then don’t worry either will be fine for you but we recommend using Linux as it is generally cheaper than Windows due to licensing fees the host pays.
  • cPanel – When managing your website and web space usually there will be a control panel for you to change any settings you need to. Generally, a hosting company may have their own custom control panel for you to make those changes, but some will offer cPanel as an alternative. cPanel is a well-known web management software that is used by a huge community that swear by it. What this means is you have a whole other community to ask questions and get help with and its use is well documented, so you can usually find guides on doing exactly what you want without much trouble.
  • Security – There are a number of online threats that you want to protect your website and your customers from, but luckily most good web hosts provide products that can keep your site safe. An SSL certificate will keep your customer's payment and personal details encrypted they also have the added benefit of boosting your site ranking as Google loves secure sites.
  • Backups – All web hosting sometimes has downtime and outages, with the best web hosts they are rare but not impossible. The best thing you can do is prepare in case the worst happens and protect your data with backups. The top hosts offer free backups as standard, so they can restore your site in the event of a disaster. It is best practice to always have a copy of your site but if you don’t and say the server hardware fails you could lose everything and could mean you have no website and no hope of getting it back. Backups can prevent damage to your business in such horrible situations and ensure that you are back up and running fast!

What are the types of web hosting?

There are many different types of hosting out there but how do you know which type is best for you? Simple, take a look below at our quick guide…

  • What is shared hosting? – Shared hosting is when many different peoples web spaces are all located on the same server. It usually offers a method of cheap hosting as the many people all share the cost of the server. The negative of shared hosting is performance can suffer so it is not recommended for super demanding sites. Most web hosting offered will be shared hosting unless it falls into one of the below types.
  • What is cloud hosting? – Cloud hosting is a type of shared hosting that is hosted across multiple servers. The advantage is there is no single point of failure hardware wise and servers can be spread worldwide causing increased speed and performance worldwide.
  • What is WordPress Hosting? – Another type of shared hosting but is used to host WordPress websites. Usually, this means you do not need to install WordPress yourself so it’s ideal for anyone wanting to use WordPress to create their site but do not want to get into the technical side of software installation and databases.
  • What is reseller hosting? – This quite simply is when someone sells another companies web hosting products to their own customers. They are literally reselling hosting.
  • What is VPS Hosting? – For people who want more flexibility and control from their hosting there is Virtual Private Server or VPS hosting. A VPS is a type of shared hosting but there are much fewer people on the same server and you have server resources allocated to you, so you have much better performance.
  • What is Dedicated Hosting? – This is the hosting option for the best performance and greatest freedom. You have your own server, it is dedicated to just you. No sharing with anyone so you have the full resources of the server at your fingertips. However, as there are no other uses to shoulder the cost of the hardware, dedicated server hosting is very expensive so should really only be a consideration for large companies. Dedicated hosting requires a lot of technical knowledge to use as you are responsible for the installation and upkeep of all server software. Best to avoid if you are a beginner.
  • What is cPanel Hosting? - cPanel as the only management software and is centred around cPanel. It could be shared, VPS or dedicated in nature but is simplified by the cPanel interface which means those with intermediate knowledge can easily manage multiple sites.
  • What is managed hosting? – This usually applies with dedicated hosting, if you do not have the technical knowledge to run the server yourself the web hosting company will manage it for you. However, this usually adds extra expense to an already expensive product.
  • Managed hosting vs unmanaged hosting? – This is basically, do you want to manage the installation and upkeep of the server or would you like someone else to do it for you? Both have their advantages but when it comes down to it really, it’s what technical ability you have. If you can do it yourself, great, choose unmanaged hosting as it will be cheaper for you. But, if you can’t do it yourself then get managed hosting, it might be more expensive, but it will save you a lot of hassle and headaches in the future.
  • What is email Hosting? – Email hosting is simply an email service that is provided by hosting companies. In some instances, it is a single email address you can use with your web address, in others it is a complete service where a whole business can give all employees an email address. Most of the time email is included in Web Hosting packages so you won’t need to buy it separately.

How to choose the right type of hosting?

The perfect package will have everything you need to run your website smoothly. For example, if your website will have lots of videos, applications and other dynamics, you'll need a plan that includes plenty of disk space. If you expect your website to receive a lot of traffic you should opt for a plan with a large amount of bandwidth. If you're setting up an ecommerce website, you'll want large MySQL databases and definitely an SSL certificate.

The best option for you will also be based on what your skill level is. For example, if you are a beginner you should probably go for Web Hosting with a website builder or WordPress hosting. They will give you the tools you need to get online without needing coding experience. Intermediate users would be best suited to Web Hosting, cPanel or a VPS as their technical ability is a little higher. Advanced users will definitely be at home with a dedicated server and will have the freedom they need to achieve any task. So, whether you want to create an ecommerce site or a blog there are many solutions available to you and which one you choose should match your skill level.

What about Free Hosting?

Free might be an option, but not the best web hosting option. It’s free for a reason and usually, that comes with a price to pay just not money based. Sometimes there is a lack of security options for free hosting, some will have adverts that appear on your website. Websites hosted for free lack support if something goes wrong, you can experience sudden downtime, there is a lack of features and quality. Unfortunately, everything has a price and it’s your brand's reputation will suffer as a result of free hosting. With paid web hosting you can use your own domain and you will receive the service you pay for, completely ad-free.

Is price an important factor?

You should carefully check the price to ensure it’s affordable and what you get for your money is worth it. Some web hosting companies may charge more, but they offer more services and have more features which will give you value for money. So, it’s always best to check what you’re actually getting and not just the price.

Do I need technical knowledge to use web hosting?

No, you can use web hosting even if you are a beginner. There are loads of options available to you and some great website builder products that enable you to build your website using professional looking templates in just a few clicks, so you don’t need any prior technical knowledge. They usually include hosting as well, so you don’t need to buy a separate product to host your site.

Conclusions

There are many great web hosting companies out there who provide a whole range of hosting products suited to many different skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner who’s just getting started, a developer, reseller or even a web designer, there is a package ready for you with all the features you need right out of the box.

The top web hosting providers we listed at the top of this page are the best web hosting companies we have found and despite the pros and cons, we found can all help your business to not just get online but to thrive. With expert support and guidance, they have you covered and can help you host your website whatever happens.

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