Best Web Hosting UK Services in 2020 (On-Going Case Study)

We went out and tested the top hosting companies within the UK so that you don't have to!

As you can probably tell, we simply test the best UK web hosting companies, using WordPress test sites to give us the data that means we can give you REAL insights into which web host is best (data doesn’t lie).

These include server response times, uptime statistics and customer server answering times. Seems simple right? That’s because it is…

Along with all this, we also have thousands of independent customer reviews (we’ve been around for a while!). This gives us an even clearer idea of which providers are good and which ones should be avoided…

As seen in :

As Featured in..
The Best Web Hosting Companies of 2020

BEST WEB HOSTING UK COMPARISON (+ UPTIME/SPEED DATA)

1. Hostinger: Best UK Web Host (99p/Month)

+ 99.9% uptime guarantee (100% during the past month)
+ Choice of 7 different server locations (inc a UK based one)
+ Ultra-fast UK server response times
+ Free SSL certificate included
+ 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
+ 24/7/365 customer service (great live chat response rates)
+ Great value for money (cheapest web host we’ve ever tested)
+ Unlimited storage/bandwidth
+ 1 Click WordPress Installer

Hostinger Cons

 They use a cPanel alternative (but in a lot of ways it’s better)

Hostinger offers clear hosting plans which are targeted to a variety of users. If you’re looking to host a small website or blog but don’t want to pay through the roof, you can nab a plan from 99p per month (yes it’s really that cheap).

Hostinger is a powerful platform, offering a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and they display their server statistics using real-time data. Their response times are well within the average, and in my tests, actually exceeded this every time.

It’s easy to think that the “cheapest” is never the best but with Hostinger it’s completely the opposite. The combination of amazing customer support, ultra-fast loading times and features make it our favourite (especially for UK sites).

In fact, they also offer some great VPS options for those wanting even better performance (without paying dedicated server prices).

2. SiteGround UK: Best Customer Service (£5.99/Month)

Siteground Pros

+ 99.9% uptime guarantee, regardless of the plan
+ Award-winning 24/7 customer support (I’ve never experienced such good service)
+ Choice of server locations inc the UK, Asia, Netherlands, Singapore and the USA
+ SiteGround’s unique and homegrown SuperCacher
+ Free SSL certificate for your website
+ Free Site Transfer (they’ll do the complete transfer from your old host)
+ 30-day money-back guarantee

Siteground Cons:

 More costly than other web hosts

I’ve always raved about SiteGround when I started using them back in 2014, since then they have blown the competition away (just look at their growth). SiteGround often gets recommended by other companies, including the leading CMS platforms like WordPress.org, Joomla and Drupal. SiteGround has been rated #1 by our community for the past two years (900+ reviews) and also by numerous FaceBook groups (read my review).

3. iPage: Best Cheap Web Hosting (£1.50/Month)

iPage Pros:

+ Unlimited storage and bandwidth
+ Free domain name included
+ Over £100 in extras for just £1.50 per month
+ 99.97% average uptime on my test website
+ 24/7 support
+ 1-click installs with plenty of features

iPage Cons:

 Not enough performance for an eCommerce site
 iPage use Vdeck instead of cPanel

You get a whole lot more for your money than you’d think with iPage. This budget web host offers outstanding features for just £1.50 per month, not bad hey? iPage, for me, not only feels like a reliable and affordable web host, but also a responsive, user-friendly tool that enables its’ customers to put together the full package.

4. BlueHost: Best WordPress Hosting (£2.30/Month)

+ Exceeds performance expectations (100% uptime recorded over a 30 day period)
+ Unlimited Bandwidth
+ Free domain name included (nice touch)
+ No hidden charges that you’re not expecting
+ Intuitive UI and control panel
+ Quick live chat responses
+ Free SSL Certificate included

Bluehost Cons:

 There are limits in their T&C’s to ‘unlimited’

There’s no doubting the experience that BlueHost bring to the market. Established in 1996, they host millions of websites across the world.

If you’re set on, or already are hosting a site via WordPress, BlueHost can offer you a great marriage of value and performance (including speed and reliability). Their 24/7 customer support is available should you need any assistance.

Bluehost has always had a reputation around one of the best WP web hosts out there and they continue to deliver to this day.

5. HostGator: Best Web Hosting for Beginners (£2.00/Month)

HostGator Pros:

+ My tests show a 99.99% uptime record over 30 days (they offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee)
+ Support available anytime (24/7/365)
+ Technical know-how is obvious when talking to advisers
+ Satisfaction or your money back! (45-day money-back guarantee)
+ Free SSL certificate

HostGator Cons:

 Customer support isn’t as fast as other web hosts
 Not as cheap when compared to its competitors

HostGator, have been a solid presence in the web hosting community for years. As you’ll see from my reviews, HostGator churn out some impressive speed and reliability results at a fraction of the cost of other competitors.

As far as web hosts go, if you want an affordable pricing plan that offers eCommerce features, HostGator can dish this up on a plate with no fuss at all. They’ve taken their decade of experience and applied it across the board to appeal to a real selection of markets.

6. GoDaddy: Best Small Business Web Host (£2.99/Month)

GoDaddy Pros:

+ 99.9% uptime guarantee (my test website recorded an average uptime of 99.97%)
+ Generous money-back guarantee of 45 days if you’re not satisfied
+ Unlimited bandwidth
+ Plenty of storage even on their cheapest plan (100GB!)
+ High security measures including 24/7 monitoring and DDoS protection
+ Smooth customer journey and easy to use interfeace
+ Plans available for Windows and Linux users

GoDaddy Cons:

 Live chat is for sales only (not customer support)
• Watch out for the price increase at renewal

If you’re not sure where to start on your web hosting journey, GoDaddy is a great option. They provide plenty of features to get started, backed up by decent performance statistics, and aren’t too pricey!

I’d highly recommend them for beginners or small businesses looking to make a name for themselves. They make web hosting look easy, and provide an excellent user experience.

7. GreenGeeks: Best Eco Web Host (£3/Month)

GreenGeeks Pros

+ Eco-friendly web host fuelled by 300% renewable energy
+ 10 years of hosting experience
+ No hidden fees
+ 99.9% uptime guarantee
+ Free SSL certificate with every hosting plan
+ Free domain registration

GreenGeeks Cons

 Lacking in customer service skills
 Not many currency options

If you’re worried about your carbon footprint, GreenGeeks are your go-to eco-friendly web host. Similar to SiteGround, this web host provides a variety of data center locations for you to choose from.

GreenGeeks aren’t for everyone but they certainly strike a nice balance between features and affordability. They’re a great choice if you’re just starting to dip your toes into the eCommerce world but don’t necessarily want to pay through the roof.

8. FatCow: Best Hosting for Small Sites (£3.00/Month)

FatCow Pros

+ Consistent uptime levels of 99.9% to 99.99% over the past 6 months
+ Unlimited MySQL databases
+ Unlimited storage and bandwidth
+ Renewable energy sources
+ Free domain transfer
+ Marketing credits upon sign up

FatCow Cons

 Middle of the road pricing
 U.S. focussed customer support

Another eco-conscious contender, FatCow boasts more of a playful nature that’s been around for 20 years. For many years FatCow were somewhat stuck in the 90’s but have, of late, updated their payment methods and features to bring themselves up to standards.

From only £3 per month, FatCow (for me) are a great contender in the unlimited hosting world. If you’re looking for simple yet effective, I’d highly recommend this host to increase your online presence.

9. JustHost: Best Host for Blogging (£3/Month)

JustHost Pros

+ Unlimited storage space
+ Free website builder
+ Easy to use interface
+ eCommerce software including Cube Cart, Agora, and Zen Cart
+ Friendly support staff

JustHost Cons

 No uptime or service guarantees
 Lacklustre performance features

If you’re not worried about a nice-looking website and fancy features, JustHost provide quality hosting and customer service in a simple manner. Although they aren’t my number one choice, I can definitely recommend JustHost if you want affordable hosting without the frills.

For customers who are looking for a host who can provide a free website builder at a fraction of the cost of some of its competitors, JustHost are a solid and reliable option.

10. Heart Internet UK: Best Reseller Web Host (£2.66/Month)

Heart Internet Pros

+ U.K. data centre (great for U.K. based customers)
+ 24/7/365 support
+ Intuitive control panel
+ Free Jetpack plugin with every WordPress installation
+ Website monitoring

Heart Internet Cons

 Setup fee on their basic plan
 Expensive hosting pricing plans
 Lack of features

An award-winning U.K. hosting company, Heart Internet boast exceptional performance and value for money. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing such promises, but there must be some truth behind their claims.

As web hosts go, Heart Internet provides a very user-friendly interface, offering beginners and experts alike a solid place to manage their accounts. However, it’s defiantly not the best web host we’ve reviewed before.

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Hosting Factors to Consider

Uptime refers to the amount of time your website is live on the internet, and therefore accessible to your website visitors. Uptime, in the hosting world, is usually represented by a percentage, and most web hosting providers offer some kind of uptime guarantee. For example, a 100% uptime guarantee would mean your hosting provider can guarantee your website won’t incur any downtime (aside from planned maintenance). Usually, if a web host cannot meet their SLAs, they will refund you or add a months’ worth of hosting credit to your account. I recommend choosing a provider that can guarantee, or has a good history of offering an uptime of 99.9% or above.

Storage is the amount of room a server can offer you to store your website files and databases. Most shared hosting servers will offer less storage than say a VPS server, but some do offer unlimited storage (in these cases, please make sure to check out your host’s Terms of Service for any restrictions). Some web hosts will refer to storage as “disk space”, but they mean the same thing as storage.

Bandwidth refers to data transfer, which ultimately means how much traffic your website can accommodate. You may see bandwidth called “transfer” or “traffic” by some web hosts. Again, a lot of web hosts offer unlimited bandwidth, however, they may outline in their Terms of Service that the traffic must be reasonable in relation to your business or industry, and if it goes over this, they have the right to cancel your services.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) creates an encrypted connection between your web server and your website visitors browser. If you have an SSL certificate installed on your hosting package, your website URL will show as HTTPS and in most web browsers there will be a padlock symbol in front of the URL. A secure website not only benefits your website visitors by protecting their information, but it also looks good in the eyes of search engines for SEO purposes.

A domain name is a name given to your website on the internet (e.g. this website’s domain is ukwebhostreview.com). You can purchase a domain name from any domain registrar, or in some cases, your web hosting provider will offer you a free domain name when you sign up for their hosting plan. Most of the time, even if your host doesn’t offer a free domain, you can purchase and register one from them (though they can be more expensive).

Best Web Hosting Companies by Industry or Service

Personal websites tend to be for the purpose of sharing information with a small group of people, writing your ideas down on a blog, or sharing your CV. For this purpose, your website shouldn’t receive a tonne of traffic, unless you’re in the public eye.

I’d recommend choosing a web host who is reliable and affordable, with a few added features for free:

If you’ve never hosted a website before or don’t feel particularly confident when it comes to web hosting, you’ll want to find a web host that is beginner-friendly. By this, I mean someone who offers great support, easy-to-use interfaces, and even a free-to-use website builder.

My recommendations for the best hosting providers for beginners are:

Every small business should have a website and therefore require web hosting. Small businesses tend to have more requirements than startups, such as advertising and marketing, great uptime, and a free SSL certificate.

Although small businesses aren’t necessarily raking money in, they should have a little more to play with compared to beginners or startups, so here are my recommendations:

Nonprofit organisations and charities don’t earn money as most businesses do. It’s therefore important to keep costs down, whilst offering a good amount of support and reliability. Most nonprofits shouldn’t need lots of resources either, so it should be easier to keep to a stricter budget.

If you’re looking for the best web hosting for nonprofits, here are my recommendations:

Many bloggers use WordPress due to its great blogging options and features. If you’re a blogger and you plan to create your website with WordPress, it would be a good idea to find a reliable web host who supports 1-click installations, as well as some extra WordPress features.

Bearing this in mind, I’d suggest the following for the best hosting providers for bloggers:

If you’re hosting an eCommerce website, you’ll want to seek a web host who offers great uptime, support, and resources. If your website gets inundated by traffic during an event or promotion, you’ll want reassurance that your web host can handle the requests.

On top of this, you’ll want an SSL certificate, automated backups, and some awesome features:

Your Hosting Questions Answered

If you’re researching the best web host, or simply shopping around for web hosting, you’re likely to see the term ‘shared web hosting’ quite a lot. Unless you have a specific need for any other type of web hosting (of which you’d already know about this), then shared web hosting will be your default go-to hosting option.

Shared web hosting, in simple terms, is where many websites (customers) share the space and resources of one web server. So, you effectively have a giant server with lots of little server slots available which multiple customers purchase and host their website. Shared web hosting is often cheaper than any other type of web hosting. Here’s an example to give you an idea why these companies can charge so little:

1 large server = £500 (one-off), split between 250 people paying £2.50 per month = £625 per month

Because shared web hosting customers share their server space with others, these plans are much more suited to people wanting to host a simple website, blog, or small business. For people who are looking to expand into a medium to large business where more resources are required, dedicated hosting, VPS, or even cloud hosting would be a better solution or even a free web hosting service (they do exist!).

If you’ve never hosted a website before, shared hosting would be my recommendation to you. Your web host has the responsibility to maintain all of its servers to ensure that your website performs as well as it can do (within reason). You, on the other hand, have the responsibility to maintain your own website; upload files, set up email accounts, monitor performance. Most web hosts won’t step in and help with these sorts of tasks unless you pay an additional fee.

The main advantages of shared web hosting are:

  • Low cost and often a discount is applied if you pay annually
  • Lots of features and tools available with easy to use instructions
  • Scalable pricing plans so that you can upgrade as your website needs an increase

 

The main disadvantages to shared web hosting are:

  • Restricted resources (unlimited doesn’t necessarily mean unlimited)
  • Performance may become an issue when your website receives more traffic

1-click installs are very popular and tend to come as standard with most web hosts. If you sign up to WordPress (outside of your web host) you’ll need to pay for your WordPress site. The reason being is that you’re essentially buying a domain name and hosting for your WordPress site.

When you purchase web hosting, you’ll have either linked a domain to your website or bought one (or got one for free) via your web host. Once you’ve signed up, your web host will provide you with your control panel login, giving you access to 1-click installations like WordPress.

It really is as simple as it sounds. Click a button and WordPress will be installed to your web hosting account – voila! You can then login to WordPress via your web host or via WordPress’s website, giving you the freedom to roam through tonnes of free templates, themes, and plugins to make your website even more awesome!

When you start looking at your web host, you’ll see two terms, or features mentioned quite a lot. These are storage and bandwidth and often have limits applied. However, some web hosts offer unlimited storage and bandwidth.

Storage:

If we’re talking about shared web hosting, each portion of a web server can store and therefore offer a certain amount of storage. Storage, in web hosting terms, refers to the amount of data your server can hold. Data includes content, images, HTML, scripts and more. If storage is difficult to get your head around, try visualising a bookcase at home. There’s plenty of places to store items, but at some point, the space will run out.

When you sign up to your web host, you may prefer to seek one that offers unlimited storage. If you can’t anticipate how much storage your website might need, this is a much safer bet. However, most web pages don’t actually exceed 3MB. Bear this in mind; there are some awesome web hosts out there like SiteGround who don’t offer unlimited storage but offer plenty for your needs.

Bandwidth:

Bandwidth is slightly more complicated than storage, simply because it’s a little harder to explain. Once your website is live and you start getting visitors, your website data gets pinged (transferred) from your site to the user. This is the method in which your website visitors can actually see the content on your website.

If your website is image or video-heavy, you may require more bandwidth. Content like images and text actually get downloaded when someone visits your website. The more people you have visiting your website, the more bandwidth you will need. A lot of entry web hosting plans offer enough bandwidth to support 10,000 visitors. This equates to about 10GB of bandwidth which should be enough to get you by. However, as I’ve already mentioned, if you foresee your website gaining more than 10,000 visitors per month, you may want to revise your bandwidth needs.

There are many different types of hosting. Some hosting providers will only offer one, or a selection of these types, however, it’s useful to understand what each one offers:

  • Shared hosting: One server hosts multiple websites and shares its resources
  • Cloud hosting: Almost the same as shared hosting, however, multiple servers are used in a network to share resources in order to provide the best uptime
  • VPS hosting: One server is divided into multiple virtual servers. The benefit of VPS hosting is that more resources are available and the servers tend to be more reliable as they are used by fewer people
  • Dedicated hosting: You’ll be able to rent an entire physical server to yourself, including its resources, for one website
  • Reseller hosting: Reseller plans allow customers to rent out server space to other people. If you’re looking to start your own hosting business or are a web developer, reseller hosting is a good starting point

WordPress hosting is the same as shared hosting in that customers buy a ‘slice’ of a server to host their website on, but it’s more of a concierge service to those with or who want a WordPress website.

WordPress web hosting may also be referred to as WordPress managed hosting; it essentially means that the main focus of your hosting plan is WordPress based, and you’ll have experts on hand who know a lot about WordPress to help you should you require it.

WordPress hosting is generally much better optimised to the application itself, as well as offering enhanced performance and security needs. Some web hosts may also update WordPress automatically for you to ensure that your applications are never out of date! If you’re really lucky, your web host might even keep your plugins and themes updated too.

If you’re thinking about dabbling with WordPress, I’d recommend getting a shared hosting plan like SiteGround or Bluehost that offers 1-click installations.

Most web hosting services share similarities, however, it really depends on what you want your web hosting service to provide. For example, we know there are multiple types of hosting; perhaps you want to host one website, in which case shared or VPS hosting will be sufficient. However, each host will provide different benefits; some have better uptimes than others, more resources, or some may be more suited for WordPress users.

No. Every website that you see on the internet has some form of hosting behind it. Even if you use a website builder to create your own website, they will use a hosting service which they’ll consider in the fee they charge you.

A web host is a platform whereby your website can be hosted on a server for it to be viewed on the internet. A website builder is a service where you can create your own website, yourself. Usually, you can choose website templates to build upon, and your web hosting will be included within the service. Some website builders like Wix offer a free plan so you can build your website and host it free, for life.

Absolutely. Some web hosts even provide this service for free, meaning they’ll move all your existing website files to your new web host. However, if they don’t provide this service, you can do it yourself. All you need is an FTP like FileZilla and your account details.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) ensures your website is secure for your website visitors. You’ll notice that your URL will have HTTPS in front of it, and most browsers will display a secure website by using a padlock symbol. If you plan to capture personal details or data from your website visitors, or sell products/services online and take payments details, an SSL certificate is essential.

Most search engines like Google will penalise your website for not having HTTPS, so it’s recommended to have one even if you don’t capture customer details. Many web hosts offer SSL certificates for free as part of their hosting package.

A data center is a location where multiple computer servers are held. This is where website data is stored and therefore delivered to your website visitors. It’s generally advised to select a data location in your own country or a location closest to where your website visitors are based. If your visitors are U.K. based, a U.K. or European server will deliver website content faster to them.

cPanel is a control panel, used by web hosting providers who use Linux. When you log in to your account and click control panel, you’ll be taken there, which is powered by cPanel. It is the interface you use to add email accounts, FTP accounts, install 1-click installations like WordPress, etc.

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