Trying to find the ideal UK web hosting company can be a complete minefield of different options with a whole load of technical jargon to go with it! Some are good and many are just terrible. I have created a guide to help you make the right decision when choosing the best web hosting company for your Blog or Business.
I have focused my guide on shared hosting plans. These are perfect for getting your site up and running whilst still offering great performance and reliability than some more expensive web hosts. I have run some traffic heavy sites on shared hosting and had performance issues. I would also advise you to read our in-depth web hosting reviews for more details on specifications and pricing..
Making a decision on finding the best hosting company can often be a big decision. I remember when it was way easier and was largely based on how much space they had or how much bandwidth they would allow every month. It’s just not like that anymore. In some respects it’s actually easier because most elements are the same across each host such as cPanel which has pretty much every auto-installer you could wish for along with 3rd party integrations that allow for huge amounts of functionality at your finger tips..
So below I’ll outline everything that you need to consider when choosing the best hosting company for your needs. These are the basics when looking for a host and I always consider each of these, some more than others but essentially that’s your decision as to what matters the most.
This is a obvious one but you’d be surprised how some hosting companies get this so badly wrong and is especially common with budget hosting. It’s a difficult one as you never really know what the support is like until you’ve signed up. They always say that the customer service is second to none but in reality this is never the case and only a handful of companies do it right. Some of the best web hosting companies have been ones that quite simply bring amazing customer service. This is what you should be aiming for. Never settle for bad customer service!
This is often over looked as all web hosting companies offer 99% up time guarantees but its NEVER like this. From my experience it can be below 90% in some cases and that’s bad use for your business. Imagine how much business you would lose if it’s down for 1 day? It’s just not worth thinking about.
This is becoming more of talking point mostly because the faster your host is then the better your site works for conversions, UX and now SEO. I’ve had bad experiences of slow loading sites and seen the impact that it has on conversions. Just a few seconds of delay and the customer will leave. It’s as simple as that. It’s especially important for an eCommerce site where conversions and UX are everything.
OK so this ranges from auto-installers to security. Ideally you want to choose a provider that has cPanel (most do) and straight away you have access to many different features and options that make life a lot easier but there are often additional features that are not included and are optional extras. One thing I would advice is to add the automatic backup of your website AND your SQL database, it’s just a few extra £ but it’s SO worth it. Pretty much every webmaster I know has lost there whole site from not taking precautions and backing up there site. PLEASE don’t make the same mistake! Another option is not to pay and just ensure that you manually take backups. The trouble with this is that it’s easy to forget to make the backup.
This is a classic sales technique used by most hosting providers. They often say “UNLIMITED” but in reality it’s never like it! Some people abuse that so often it’s more of a negative than a positive as you may be the one that suffers from larger sites that take up more resources. Remember this is shared web hosting so your site is hosted with thousands of others. They never mention that because it’s not a good thing but unless you want to pay £100+ for a VPS or a dedicated server then it’s the only option.
As you might notice. I have installed an SSL certificate on this site. It’s not really needed as there are no transactions taking place on the site but it does however give you a slight SEO boost. Google made this announcement in 2014 saying that it’s now a ranking signal. Anyway something worth considering and almost essential for any eCommerce site. This site has now make it possible to add one for FREE so now there’s no excuse…
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