If you've already done some web hosting research, you might have realised the majority of the big name hosting services use data centres located abroad, and charge for their services in dollars. For the readers amongst you that have seen other web hosting UK reviews, it should come as no surprise that foreign currencies and data centres will mean a poor hosting experience, for two key reasons.
The first is a thing called: 'Latency'. In other words, the closer you (and your visitors) are physically located to a data centre, the faster your pages will load. And if your visitors are from around the UK, you want your servers to be near as well.
The second reason is the price. If you're being charged in a foreign currency, you'll often end up with the short end of the exchange rate hike - for example, in the last few years, the UK pound's become much weaker than the US dollar.
But finding a decent UK web host to solve those problems isn't easy. That's why I've spent the last several months carrying out extensive web hosting UK reviews, focusing on features like price, customer support, reliability, and speed.
So, in no fixed order, here are the 5 best UK web hosts I have found:
- Hostinger (fantastic prices with a great site builder)
- SiteGround (amazing customer support)
- iPage (excellent prices with numerous hosting benefits)
- GoDaddy (great eCommerce tools)
- tsoHost (totally UK-centric hosting)
Recommended for: Fantastic prices and easy-to-use building tools
That's the chief reason Hostinger has earned a spot on my list, with hosting packages starting at just £1.45/month. With that starter plan, you'll receive 10GB of storage and 100GB of bandwidth.
That makes the base plan suitable for personal or small business applications. However, if you do need the freedom to share data-intensive multimedia content, I recommend upgrading to the 'Premium' plan (for £2.95/month), as it includes unlimited storage and bandwidth.
Beyond that, if you're planning to use your site for online transactions, you should opt for one level higher than premium; the (£3.95/month) business package. This includes an SSL certificate which will encrypt all connections made to your site.
But whichever package you do choose, you'll get to use Hostinger's fully featured website builder which, thanks to its template-based and drag-and-drop design, will make it easy for you to create your site in a few simple steps.
However, if you want to go down a more traditional site management route, you can use WordPress instead – Hostinger includes 1-click WordPress installation in every plan.
The only drawback of using Hostinger's services is that you won't be able to call a support representative if you run into technical difficulties. Although 24/7 live chat support is available, phone and Skype lines are not.
- Cheap monthly rates
- Wide range of hosting plans
- Easy-to-use website builder included
- Reliable servers with near 100% uptime
- Cheapest plan has restrictive bandwidth and storage caps
- No phone support
Recommended for: Amazing customer support
Not only is SiteGround's support team accessible 24/7 by both phone and live chat, they absolutely go the extra mile by over-staffing every support shift to ensure there is always someone around to take your call. That lets SiteGround implement a no-wait-time policy for all support phone calls.
It also means SiteGround is able to guarantee a maximum wait time of 10-minutes for live chat queries. In my tests, I always got responses in less than 3 minutes though. Fantastic stuff!
That said, you may not even need to make use of that support network in the first place. SiteGround honour their 99.9% uptime guarantee - in fact, sites using SiteGround are very rarely down!
SiteGround servers are also super speedy because SiteGround includes CloudFlare CDN technology in all its packages. CloudFlare caches your site at different data centres around the world to reduce load times for global visitors. All of this will only cost £2.95/month on Shared hosting plans, which bags you 10GB SSD storage and unlimited bandwidth. Not enough? You can upgrade to 30GB storage; unfortunately, no unlimited storage plans are available.
- Excellent 24/7 phone and live chat support
- No phone wait time
- Unmetered traffic with every plan
- Free daily back-ups
- Storage caps with all plans
- No domain registration included
Recommended for: Excellent prices with various hosting featuresiPage is another fantastic United Kingdom web hosting service to choose if you want to save on your costs. Its prices begin at just £1.50/month.
But even better than the starter plan's price point are the features you included with it. Bandwidth and storage are unlimited with every plan, giving you the freedom to upload and share as much content as you like. And while most hosts charge extra for SSL certificates and domain registration, iPage includes them for free.
Remember, SSL certificates encrypt your traffic and are vital for business or eCommerce websites.
SiteLock (a service that constantly scans your server for suspicious activity) is another feature that the majority of hosts will charge £10-20/year for. iPage, though, manages to include it for free, making it a fantastic choice for security-conscious users on a budget.
And, like Hostinger, iPage has its own website building toolkit which you get free access to. You can also create your site with your CMS package of choice, thanks to iPage's one-click installer toolbox.
- Free SiteLock security package
- Free domain registration and SSL certificate
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- 24/7 support by phone and chat
- Site builder not as powerful as the competition
Recommended for: Great eCommerce tools
GoDaddy is the world's largest internet host by market share, and although you may know it as an American internet hosting giant, you can rest assured it hosts some of its 37,000 servers in London too.
Its starter plan clocks in at just £2.97/month and includes 100GB storage along with totally unmetered bandwidth.
Although the base plan includes some excellent custom-made software packages to help you create your site in minutes, GoDaddy is particularly suited to eCommerce hosting. I highly recommend GoDaddy's Online Store plan which costs £19.99/month and effectively sets you up with a pre-made digital storefront.
All you need to do is to drag-and-drop your content into place, and your digital marketplace will be good to go. Your store will come with text message order notifications and will work with standard payment methods like Paypal and credit/debit cards.
GoDaddy's developers have gone out of their way to make their tools easy-to-use, so that if you run into difficulties while setting up your site, you can get in touch with a knowledgeable agent 24/7 through phone or live chat. You can rest assured GoDaddy didn't get to where it is today without some excellent customer service.
- Great eCommerce site building tools
- Reliable and very well-known provider
- 24/7 phone and live chat support
- Not the cheapest host
Recommended for: Totally UK-based hostingWhile the other hosts I've listed are multinational companies that have data centres in the UK, if you want a truly good old-fashioned British hosting experience, tsoHost is a fabulous option. One of the main selling points being that it offers extremely cheap cloud hosting.
Normally, cloud hosting is only available at premium prices, but tsoHost manages to offer its cloud packages at the same rate as shared plans – both are £2.92/month + VAT.
Cloud hosting is significantly more reliable than shared hosting, as your site will be simultaneously stored on multiple machines (rather than just one). tsoHost also ensures a solid hosting experience with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. But if something does ever go wrong, you can restore your site to full functionality immediately, thanks to the free daily backups included with every package.
The base cloud hosting package includes 15GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth. And here's some more great news for your wallet: All cloud hosting plans include totally free domain registration and an SSL certificate. What's more, you can even use the base plan to host up to 3 websites at once (although that may be a struggle with the 15GB storage capacity).
- Entirely UK based company
- Affordable cloud-hosted servers
- Free domain registration included
- Unlimited bandwidth with all plans
- No unlimited storage cloud hosting plans
Which is the Best UK Host For You?
Sadly, you can choose only one of these awesome five United Kingdom-based web hosting services to use. To help, I recommend you focus on your personal needs, and see how they match up with the features offered by each provider:
- Hostinger has amazingly low prices and a brilliant free site builder
- SiteGround is extremely reliable and has top-notch customer support staff
- iPage is a great money saver with its free add-ons
- GoDaddy has ready-to-go eCommerce tools
- tsoHost is the best for UK cloud hosting
All of these providers right here are good UK hosting options - and you won't go wrong with any of them. Pick out the one that suits your needs the best - and good luck in your future website management adventure!
And if you think I've missed an awesome host, tell me about them by commenting below!