Best Website Hosting in the UK — Go Global or Stay Local?
Did you know that while all the major hosting players are from the US, most European clients prefer the services of local providers?In Italy, eight out of the ten biggest hosts are Italian. In Germany, that number is nine out of ten. Click To Tweet
So what’s the situation in the United Kingdom?
When we look at the 10 best website hosting UK companies, the preference for local providers is apparent. UK hosts firmly occupy the first nine spots, and only Rackspace manages to breach the ranks at #10.
It’s not a big surprise, really.
If your target audience resides primarily in the UK, it makes perfect sense to choose a local provider. Delivery speeds will be faster, and customer support will be aware of the specific needs of the client…
But there is even more to it.
The UK’s expected divorce with the EU carries a lot of questions for global providers:
What happens with EU-related domain names?
How will the UK alter GDPR laws?
Will the London-based financial companies move their data to the supposedly safer EU environment?
How will Brexit affect the hosting prices?
The United Kingdom faces a hazy future, that’s for sure.
But certain UK web hosting providers seem well-prepared for what tomorrow might hold. Here are some of the top choices on the market.
BEST UK LOCAL HOSTS
The United Kingdom, along with Germany and the Netherlands, is the most preferred data center location in Europe for a reason.
Actually, more than a few reasons.
1. UK2 Hosting
+ Affordable prices
+ Multisite hosting
+ Helpful support
Price: from £1.99/mo + 20% VAT
UK2 Hosting has been around for a while. More than two decades to be exact.
The question is: Has it put that experience to good use?
Let’s see what the numbers have to say.UK2 Hosting has registered over 1 million domains and powers thousands of websites for clients from 200+ countries. Click To Tweet
The impressive numbers are no surprise, really. The company is part of the UK2 Group, which is owned by The Hut Group, one of the UK’s few unicorns (startups that reached $1 billion in value).
The UK team utilizes a spacious London office, the same location in which their shared servers reside.
Timely assistance shouldn’t be a problem then.
UK2 Hosting divides its shared plans to best answer the needs of various businesses:
- Essential — for startups and small blogs.
- Business — for multiple websites.
- Business Premium/Cloud — for complex setups and resource-heavy projects.
I found the UK2 packages pretty robust in terms of features.
The company provides UK unlimited hosting space and bandwidth plus the ability to host ten websites even on the lowest plan. That comes with no limits on the number of mailboxes (up to 10GB each) and subdomains.
Should you choose one of the yearly billing plans, you can also secure a free domain name. And yes, that domain name remains cost-free as long as you renew the hosting account.
The UK2 prices are some of the most affordable I’ve found in my research of the UK market. Accounts start at just £1.99/mo, and you can secure the rate for up to two years.
As with most hosts, renewal prices are steeper than the introductory deal, and with UK2 you can expect a bill of around £5.95/mo.
The provider advertises even more affordable packages called Cheap Web Hosting, but they aren’t that low-cost (starting from £1.49/mo) and quite limited in resources.
You can get sales assistance from UK2 via live chat and phone. The problem is they are not even 24/7 — help is available only between 9-17 GMT, Monday to Friday.
At least you can contact Tech Support at any time, but you can only use the phone and the ticketing system for them. Live chat is a no-no.
I gave the sales chat a spin a few times with some questions.
I was a bit annoyed that it never connected me instantly — I was always first in the queue but still waited for a good couple of minutes before getting through.
It was smooth sailing from there on, though.
Every time I got a pleasant, patient operator, ready to clear the air about pretty much everything — data centers, server specs, billing policies.
Such an attitude tells me the guys at UK2 are straight-shooters, which is good enough for me.
UK2 offers enough versatility and hands-on support to top the ranks for best UK website hosting in 2019. The provider has a long experience in web services and certainly puts it to good use. A suitable choice for both startups and more complex enterprise projects.
+ Optimized speeds
+ Free site migration
+ Free daily backups
Price: from £2.92+ 20% VAT
One of the most popular UK WordPress hosting providers first appeared 15 years ago as a domain registrar. Gradually adding new products and services, the company is now present in the VPS, Cloud, Dedicated, and Reseller hosting niches.
The tsoHost team operates from two offices, in the UK and Bulgaria. The focus on the local audience is apparent, as the company utilizes a single data center in Slough.
tsoHost relies on three strong principles:
- We know hosting back to front.
- Customer service with caliber.
- We keep things simple.
This provider lets you choose between three distinct plans — Startup, Business, and Ecommerce. They allow you to host up to three, eight, or twenty websites respectively.
The packages seem very well-rounded.
Fast servers and data center connection ensure optimal performance.
Firewalls, 24/7 monitoring, and daily backups enhance your security.
Prompt customer service and free service migrations make your life easier.
In short, you’ve got your bases covered.
The price tags for such feature-rich accounts are actually quite affordable. Starting at £2.92/mo (VAT excluded), it might not be the cheapest solutions out there, but it’s certainly one of the most cost-effective.
So how can a service win the title Best Web Hosting in the UK?
For starters, providing excellent support wouldn’t hurt.
You can contact the tsoHost team via chat, phone, and tickets, but only the latter is available 24/7. The other two channels are present only between 7 am GMT and midnight.
My first live chat contact hit a quick bump. I got connected quickly, but then the whole tsoHost website went down and took some time to recover.
Not the best first impression, but not enough to give a final verdict.
Second time around, things went way smoother. The operator was quick to connect and reply, answered all my queries, and pointed out the best plan for my needs.
GoDaddy owns the tsoHost brand, so it’s even more surprising this UK provider still manages to provide reliable customer support.
You will often stumble upon the tsoHost name when searching for UK website hosting. The company is known for its stellar services and enough resource allocation for small and medium businesses. Online reviews reaffirm the excellent impressions of tsoHost and help rank the provider among the best in the niche.
+ Smart SSD storage
+ Intelligent load balancing
+ Free SSL certificate
Price: from £2.50/mo + 20% VAT
Imagine you are 17 again and you have an IT project for school but can’t seem to find a suitable environment for it.
What do you do?
Yeah, I’d probably leave it and move on as well.
Well, high school student Andrew Michael thought otherwise. He went ahead and created his own hosting company to best cater to his needs. That’s how Fasthosts was born back in 1999.
Two decades later, the numbers are more than impressive. Fasthosts cares for 411,000+ websites and 1.4+ million domain names. Nearly 260,000 customers trust the company and make it one of the most recommended hosts in the UK.
All the magic happens in Gloucester where Fasthosts house both their offices and data centers.
FH clients enjoy a lot of benefits, starting with the web servers. The machines utilize a clustered architecture which ensures there is no single point of failure, so your website can remain online even during maintenance and upgrades.
All plans include SSD storage, which is great for speeding up your website. Performance-wise things are looking even better when Fasthosts adds intelligent load balancing. This setup helps spread your site across multiple servers and load it from the fastest possible path.
The actual accounts are not too shabby either.
You’ve got everything needed to start and grow an online business — unlimited mailboxes, SSH access, subdomains, one click WP install, the works.
One unusual limitation is 100MB on mailboxes, which is pretty low. But as far as I understood from support, I can upgrade a few of them to 2GB.
Here is where things got a bit confusing.
Looking at the website, it seems that apart from the tutorial archive, Fasthosts offer phone and email assistance. Yet, on some pages, they also mention a live chat. As I failed to find it myself, I had to resort to Google and found an article in their knowledge base.
“You can start a chat session through the support site, but you must be logged in to Fasthosts to do so.”
Oooooooh, now you tell me.
Alright then, let’s send a few sales questions over email.
My replies arrived within the hour.
Frankly, I was not too impressed. While the operator answered every query, the info did not contain any details and just raised more questions.
For example, I asked where their data centers were, provided I needed excellent connectivity to the United Kingdom.
The answer? In the UK. Plain and simple.
As if I hadn’t noticed that from your domain, website, hosting offers, and all that. I got an exact location only after a second email.
Same went for renewal pricing and support communication channels — five-word replies without much effort to help the client and a lot of emails going back and forth.
Fasthosts provides one of the best website hosting in the UK, especially if you are looking to host a single project. The servers are fast and secure, and the accounts are reasonably-priced. I’d like to see the company put more effort into its support services, but an overall great job.
+ Host unlimited websites
+ Multiple UK locations
+ Robust infrastructure
Price: from £3.33/mo (VAT included)eUKhost is one of the oldest and well known UK hosts. The company takes care of 35,000+ clients and their 150,000+ domains on a daily basis. Click To Tweet
The prominent UK provider is present in all major niches in the industry — shared hosting, email hosting, VPS and Dedicated servers, Cloud services. You can choose between a Linux and Windows environment for each of those offers.
eUKhost avoids putting all eggs in one basket and rents servers in three datacenter locations — Maidenhead, Wakefield, and Nottingham.
So you’ve got a lot of choices, that’s abundantly clear. It’s now a question of how good they are…
Let’s take a look at the Linux cPanel packages:
First thing you might notice is they don’t offer a lot in terms of storage capacity, especially compared to other hosts, like tsoHost or Fasthosts. 2GB for the Basic plan is not nearly enough in the long run, even if you are just starting off.
And here’s the thing about “Unmetered” resources — hosts often play around with that term too much.
What do I mean?
The eUKhost’s Terms&Conditions have the key:
“In cases where any account, as per our discretion, has been identified to be using bandwidth to an extent which may affect other customers, we reserve the right to warn, suspend, terminate or – with prior notice to the client – charge additional fees…”
In short — if we don’t like what we see, we may act as we please.
Price-wise eUKhost falls somewhere in the middle — the £3.33/mo total translates to around £2.77 without VAT, which is a reasonable price for any reliable UK host.
No one can say eUK host doesn’t provide proper care for its clients. The company is present across-the-board with live chat, phone, ticketing, and contact forms.
All available 24/7 and easy to find.
The live chat queue prepared me for a five-minute wait, but luckily, I got connected in less than one. The operator did well with my basic queries, but when I threw him a curveball, his defenses quickly started crumbling.
– So I see you have WordPress packages, how are they different from the standard Shared plans?
– They are optimized for WordPress websites.
– Ok…but optimized how? What makes them different?
– They have more storage space than the standard plans.
– Well, more disk space isn’t really a WP optimization, is it?
At this point, I gave him an easy way out — just tell me this is only for marketing purposes and I don’t really get anything different. But no, he had another brilliant counter-attack:
– WordPress optimizations cannot be measured dynamically.
I tried to explain to him how little sense that reply makes but to no avail.
Oh well, I’ll know not to get way too technical…hopefully I won’t need to.
eUKhost is a formidable provider with long experience and powerful web servers. Some reviews find it the best web hosting for small business owners in the UK, but I think there are better choices out there. The accounts are bare-boned, and support doesn’t seem to have much in-depth knowledge. Still, you can find it suitable for testing purposes and small personal projects.
BEST UK GLOBAL HOSTS
Any global provider looking to expand its hosting services on the European market is eyeing the UK as a great opportunity.
Here are some worthwhile mentions:
+ Ultimate performance
+ Exceptional support
+ Best for WordPress
Price: from £2.95/mo + 20% VAT
One of the biggest global hosts has a strong presence in the UK market.
Part of it is because the provider has servers in London.
The other part is because it’s just a great company.
SiteGround was established in 2004 and quickly gained recognition as a host that wants to change the status quo. It did that by setting a new bar for customer support services while still keeping a watchful eye out for technology innovations.
The result is over 2 million hosted domains and 500+ trusted employees in five international offices.
SiteGround has aptly named its shared hosting plans StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.
As you can see, StartUp is suited for a single project, while the latter two can host unlimited websites within the confines of the storage space.
But we are just getting started.
You get а superfast SSD storage, a free CDN, and a unique account isolation setup so bad neighbors can’t bring troubles to your doorstep.
You hear that hackers? You better beware!
SiteGround solidifies each server with anti-spam and malware software solutions, anti-hack systems, and constant security patches.
I can go on like that all day. Very rarely can you get so much on such a simple shared plan.
Quality comes at a price, but with SG, it seems well worth it.
You can get Siteground UK Web Hosting at prices starting from £2.99/mo, which carries a discount of nearly 70%. Come renewal you can expect an £8.95/mo rate for the StartUp deal.
There isn’t enough praise in the world to describe SiteGround’s level of support services.
It’s like eating oatmeal and raisins your whole life before trying ice cream.
I can safely say that a good 90% of the hosting industry is oatmeal and raisins.
I’ve never waited to connect to a chat with SiteGround, and it always felt more like speaking to a friend than a corporate representative you’ve only just met.
Technical support is available only via phone and ticketing, but even the sales operators are knowledgeable enough to provide first level support.
All channels are open 24/7, so you won’t be left on your own, regardless of the time or date.
Few can come close to SiteGround when it comes to competing for the best website hosting in the UK. The host is a perfect choice for WordPress users or any businesses with a long-term growth plan. The SiteGround team is always there when you need assistance. Servers are performance-optimized with unique account isolation.
What more can you ask for?
+ Unbeatable prices
+ Custom control panel
+ Litespeed servers
Price: from £0.99/mo + 20% VAT
When you ask Google about cheap web hosting in the UK, you will probably get Hostinger in a lot of the search results.
The Lithuanian provider is for all of you novice webmasters on a tight budget.
Hostinger’s epic journey to success started in 2004.
Instead of puffing chests with the big global hosts, this enterprise had another idea. By establishing subsidiaries in every major and emerging market, it was able to target small entrepreneurs with free or low-cost hosting services.
The strategy proved a huge success, and today, Hostinger serves over 29 million clients in 178 countries.
To ensure their optimal experience, the provider utilizes seven data centers across the globe — in the UK, the US, Netherlands, Lithuania, Singapore, Indonesia, and Brazil.
The Hostinger website reveals a choice of three shared package plans — Single, Premium, and Business.
Yes, you see that correctly — the lowest plan is under a pound per month.
Don’t miss the fine print, though — this is a whopping 90% discount so the renewal rate will quickly jump to a tenner. In such cases, I always advise the client — if you like what you see, get it for as long as possible.
Worst-case scenario — you can cancel within the first 30 days and get a refund.
I consider Hostinger the exact opposite of SiteGround — here you benefit from an unmatchable price that comes at the cost of extra features.
You only get the bare essentials, especially with the Single plan — one website, one database, one email account.
A free domain option is only available in the Premium plan, while SSL certificates and daily backups come with the Business one.
Still, Hostinger ensures that everything is spotless under the hood. You’ve got server-level caching for optimal speeds, advanced DDoS protection for extra security, and real-time monitoring for constant uptime.
Not much added but certainly a solid base.
When you land on Hostinger’s Contact Us page, you will see a big red “Let’s Chat” button.
This might give you the impression that you are about to chat with a company operator.
Well, your impressions are wrong.
I don’t mind providers that only offer phone and email support. These methods often work better for some issues, especially technical ones.
But don’t mislead me into thinking I have a chat option when in reality, I don’t.
Anyway, I sent a few questions in a ticket and got my response within 15 minutes. The operator cleared my doubts and went the extra mile to suggest a suitable package for me.
I just hope the support operators will be so swift if my site goes down and I don’t know what to do.
Hostinger is one of the best UK hosting providers, and you will struggle to find a better quality solution at such a low price. The company understands the needs of every market it penetrates, so small and medium UK businesses can seriously consider this option for their first venture in hosting.
+ Feature-packed accounts
+ Top-level support
+ Big choice of server locations
Price: from £3.26/mo (VAT included)
FastComet didn’t need more than a few years to make a name for itself. The company already had a core team with combined decades of experience working for other hosts.
That was crucial, as FastComet knew precisely what to change and how to make the industry better.
In just five years, the provider grew to 70 employees and 50,000 active clients.
A sure sign it’s doing something right.
Worldwide coverage is no biggie — FastComet has servers in Chicago, Dallas, Newark, Toronto, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, Singapore, Tokyo, and Mumbai.
Talk about an impressive array of server locations.
Packed with the ultra-fast SSD technology, FastComet’s shared services give a lot more than your run-of-the-mill hosting solution:
I mean, not many other providers can say they add daily backups, CDN, SSL, and BitNinja security for free in each package.
We are talking about a complete solution from the get-go.
I was delighted to find out the resource limitations for each plan were clearly stated on the website, not just cleverly hidden in the ToS. Such honesty speaks volumes to many potential clients.
If you are on the market for the best website hosting in the UK in terms of performance, the FastCloud Extra plan may very well be a crowd favorite. Starting at £8.20/mo, it gives you a ton of server optimizations, like Varnish, Memcached, APC, and OPCache.
If you feel that’s overkill, you can start with a single project on the £3.26/mo plan and grow from there.
You’ve got a 45-day money-back guarantee in case things go south and you want to cancel.
The policy of honesty and personal relations with the client reflects on FastComet’s support services as well.
The company takes pride in its team, and you can meet them all on the website’s About Us page.
I still wanted to speak with the people behind the photos, so I headed to the live chat.
Got connected immediately and started shooting questions like a complete newbie. The operator showed a lot of patience and didn’t just give me two-word replies.
He sounded sure in his replies and didn’t take time to check each bit of info.
FastComet advertises 24/7/365 support via phone, chat, and tickets. If the level of quality of technical assistance is the same as I got from Sales, then every FC client is a happy camper.
FastComet is one of the most reliable website hosts in the UK for a reason. It’s a one-stop-shop where you can get hosting, domains, servers, and add-ons like an SSL certificate. Not the cheapest one out there, but who wants to associate a serious business with the “cheap” label?
Finding the most trusted web hosts in the UK was no easy task.
Online reviews often come from affiliates or paid supporters, so I had to check things out myself.
I ran performance tests and tested the customer assistance of over 20 hosting companies before shortlisting four local and three global providers with a UK presence.
My rigorous process sifted the contenders based on the essential elements that make up a good host. Those are the factors that most often influence client decisions and tip the scales in favor of the most reliable UK hosting companies.
- Speed — there are a lot of things you can do to speed up your website. But if your whole setup is on a slow and crammed server, your efforts will prove fruitless. After all, a fish rots from the head down.
I cross-examined the speed test results from several third-party platforms, like Pingdom and GTMetrix, to ensure more realistic results. For maximum precision, I also ran the checks at least three times in a period of one month.
- Uptime — you can have the fastest and best-looking website, but if it’s not online for everyone to see, what’s the point? Uptime guarantees are one of the first things to check with any potential hosting solution.
I tracked uptime statistics with the StatusCake monitoring system and collected results over a 1+ month period. When downtimes occurred, I always checked if scheduled maintenance was the culprit.
- Features — a great host always pampers its guests. If server resources are the core of your account, the extra goodies and services are the cherry on top. Don’t just look for the bare minimum — after all, your goal is to grow your business.
My research dissected the UK shared hosting packages of the top providers and outlined what you can expect once you become a client. A search for the good, the bad, and the non-existent features.
- Support — hosting providers rarely focus on perfecting their customer services, when in fact, this would be one of their best selling points. 24/7 support might be an industry standard, but how many hosts are actually doing it right?
I took one for the team and put myself through loads of sales and support conversations to determine which company can best satisfy the growing needs of the UK market. This included tests of the live chat and ticketing of all contenders.
- Price — at the end of the day, it all boils down to the price tag. People always look for affordable solutions, especially when they are on a tight budget.
The providers on this list have all shown a very promising cost-to-feature ratio, but some still managed to impress with fantastic price cuts.
The best thing is that you don’t just have to take my word for it.
There are some additional checks you can do on your own to guarantee you pick the best web hosting in the UK.
Five Things to Check Before Buying from a UK Provider
1. Connectivity Speed
Your connectivity speed outlines how fast your server can respond and how quickly you can upload/download content. While this is not particularly helpful in determining key factors like server load and performance under stress, you can still get a good general idea of its capabilities.
Most hosting providers have a test file available for download from every data center location. If you can’t find it, simply ask the support team for assistance.
2. Sales Assistance
See how many times I’ve mentioned the hosting support throughout this text? After so many years in the hosting industry, even I frequently find myself in need of some quick clarifications. I can only imagine how a novice user might feel…
More often than not, hosts offer a 24/7 live chat for new clients, while technical assistance for existing ones goes through the phone/ticket channels. Still, a polite and knowledgeable sales operator is always a promising sign of similarly adequate support.
3. Pricing Structure
You can see the flashing ads everywhere.
Web hosting for just $3.95/mo!
Amazing deals starting from $1.99/mo!
Buy now for just $0.80/mo!
The promos can easily make your head spin. But that’s exactly what they are at the end of the day — promotions. They can be so mouthwatering that we often rush in without checking all the details.
Length of contract.
Make sure you confirm all those things to avoid unpleasant surprises.
4. Data Center Locations
You want your website to be as close to your target audience as possible. Especially if they are mostly in the same location. You would look for an Indian host to serve your clients in India. And if you want to conquer the UK market, you would search for the best web hosting in the UK.
The web servers are vital for your website speed, so housing them under a secure roof is a great start.
5. Online Reviews
It’s in our nature to want to share our experiences. Especially bad ones. That’s crucial for online businesses, as 72% of all potential clients make their decisions only after reading the reviews of a company.
If you dig hard enough, you can find cult-like praises and horrible complaints about pretty much every hosting provider. The bigger they are — the harder they fall. Take your time to figure out if there are any common issues and threats and how the host deals with them. Not every accusation is legit, and the same goes for the compliments. Take everything with a pinch of salt.
Importance of a Good Local Host
Let’s face it.
There are many advantages in choosing a company of international renown as your hosting provider. But local hosts exist for a reason. Some geolocation benefits that you just can’t beat. Namely:
- local data centers
- faster delivery speeds
- native support
- personalized approach
- better understanding of the local environment
As all my colleagues here at Hosting Tribunal undoubtedly grew bored of hearing, UK web hosting services exist for a reason. This buzzing market is in constant need of reliable online solutions, and local companies should be quick to deliver if they want to stay in the game.
So what do you think of our UK hosting comparison?
Do you believe it can help you choose a new host?
Or are you missing something?
I tried to be as detailed as possible, but there’s always the chance I left something useful out. After all, the UK market is huge, and online businesses have extremely diverse needs and expectations.
Some clients look for performance. Others are all about support. But most can agree on one thing — if their audience is mostly in the United Kingdom, then local hosting is the way to go.
Especially with Brexit looming…
Q: What website host should I use in the UK?
A: The first thing you should determine is where your business will operate. If you want to cover audiences from all over the world, there are plenty of global hosts with an international presence. But if you don’t plan to cater to such a large crowd, you should first check the best hosting options in the UK and go from there.
Q: What is the best web hosting provider in the UK?
A: The United Kingdom is one of the preferred destinations for hosting in Europe, so local providers have a big pool of potential customers. While it’s impossible to pinpoint a single best one, there are a few preferred choices that flaunt reliable services and knowledgeable support. Those include tsoHost, eUKhost, and Fasthosts.
Q: Which is the fastest web hosting provider in the UK?
A: No web host can truly be called “the fastest.” There are just too many factors involved — the specifics of the client’s project, the load on the servers, the proximity to the server that runs the speed test. Still, some hosts generally perform better than others. Our breakdown of the best website hosting in the UK revealed that SiteGround (global) and tsoHost (local) are some choices that will rarely let you down.