- DATA CENTERS: 1 UK location
- SCALABILITY: Full range of services
- SUPPORT: Very good
- CONTROL PANEL: cPanel & Proprietary
Last Updated: November 9, 2020
- DATA CENTERS: 1 UK location
- SCALABILITY: Full range of services
- SUPPORT: Very good
- CONTROL PANEL: cPanel & Proprietary
- HOSTING OPTIONS: Web, reseller, business, WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and PrestaShop.
- DATABASE: MySQL.
BEST UK BUSINESS HOST
- Advanced email hosting
- Dedicated resources
- No storage caps
- No bandwidth restriction
- No daily backups
- Lacks advanced features
tsoHost caught my attention as a company supporting a number of British business sites. Its portfolio covers everything from small business websites to demanding apps by international companies.
And, going by what customers say, tsoHost does its job well.
I was eager to do a tsoHost review and see what all the fuss is all about. I hooked up a website on tsoHost’s servers to all sorts of testing tools and commenced the review process.
The tests revealed a few exciting aspects of the hosting service, especially for business owners.
Keep reading to find out what tsoHost can do for you.
What Is tsoHost?
tsoHost is a UK-based hosting provider established in 2003. It’s an impressively long time to not only stay relevant but to thrive in the hosting industry. No wonder it’s often considered one of the UK’s top hosts.
Now, determining who holds tsoHost is a bit complicated. The UK web host is owned by the Paragon Internet Group, which is under the Host Europe Group. In turn, this company got acquired by GoDaddy in 2016, meaning GoDaddy practically owns tsoHost.
It’s not really a surprise, since GoDaddy spent billions to acquire the lion’s share of the UK hosting market.
Surprisingly enough, tsoHost maintains a high degree of autonomy, even under the new management. There have been a few changes, which I’ll address, but the platform largely stays the same. It provides some reassurance tsoHost might not fall to GoDaddy’s unsavory practices.
Let’s dive deep into the tsoHost review and see how it all pans out.
The Essentials—tsoHost Uptime, Speed, and Support
This is where you really see what a host is made of. Luckily, tsoHost’s performance and support can give other providers a run for their money.
Here are our test results.
Web hosting solutions are in a good place nowadays, at least in terms of uptime. Providers can deliver quite decent availability thanks to all the hardware and software advancements that secure client data and add failover mechanisms to virtually everything.
Anything above 99.9% is considered acceptable, as it only allows around a minute and a half of downtime per day—hardly something you’d notice. Of course, many hosts get an even better result.
The first thing I did after getting my tsoHost login was hook up a site to an availability monitoring system. I wanted to see if the service is reliable or if there would be frequent outages.
The provider performs decently. Over several months, the provider’s uptime was above 99.99%—not even a whiff of an interruption.
A great start!
Shared plans come with a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee. If availability falls below 40 minutes in any given month, you will be credited a free week of hosting. It’s a handy way to ensure the UK shared hosting provider keeps its servers in check.
If you go beyond the standard web hosting to VPS or dedicated servers, tsoHost adds a few more clauses to the SLA. In addition to 99.9% server uptime, it guarantees 100% power and network uptime. It showcases how confident tsoHost is in its systems.
If something happens to a dedicated server, the SLA promises a 15-minute response from an engineer and a 4-hour limit to replace failed hardware that can’t be repaired. A formal SLA for those on more premium servers is a nice addition.
tsoHost hosting solutions feature near-impeccable uptime with a comprehensive (and generous) SLA.
Speed is a bit more nuanced than uptime but no less important.
The maximum load speed for your website is determined by the speed of the underlying server. It’s practically impossible for a client to get around slow shared hosting speeds. Hands down one of the biggest pitfalls for webmasters today, so sluggish providers are best avoided.
I wanted to review tsoHost speeds to see if the provider can help you avoid slow load times.
I tested a basic site. I turned off all the caching solutions and measured the response times, load speeds, and performance under heavy traffic. The data paints a complete picture of how the base infrastructure performs in a real scenario.
tsoHost has data centers in Maidenhead, Milton Keynes, and Slough. With the three locations near London, the provider has excellent coverage in the British Isles.
The important thing to remember is that tsoHost is not an international web host. The further away visitors are from the UK facilities, the more your speeds drop.
I ran the tests from UK locations, and tsoHost performed decently.
The TTFB falls around 389MS, which is a solid time to process a page request. You can match tsoHost vs. Bluehost, which has an impressive server infrastructure in its own right.
It takes around 1.4 seconds to fully load a basic page. I’ve seen faster load times, but it’s alright for a site with no caching.
The way tsoHost’s backend performs under load is a real treat too. 250+ virtual connections brought down the average response times by less than 0.1 seconds. It’s mostly a negligible change. tsoHost can certainly handle traffic spikes.
The tests for this detailed 2020 tsoHost review showed acceptable load times. The frontend is about average compared to others we tried, but the sturdy backend can handle quite a bit of traffic.
A poor support system is the Achilles’ heel of many hosting providers. Cheap, outsourced support or overworked agents means you can’t get professional assistance when you need it.
The first thing I noticed is that tsoHost live chat and phone support are only available 7:00-24:00, UK time. Ticketing works 24/7, but this is only for paying customers and is mostly used for serious technical issues.
The lack of round-the-clock support via fast channels is common for UK website hosting providers. However, if you’re in a different time zone and need to host a site in the UK, it might be a bit annoying.
Plenty of tsoHost reviews praise the support team, so I couldn’t wait to see what all the fuss is about.
Fortunately, support agents do a solid job.
I tried the live chat and ticketing. There is usually a queue for the chat, but it is rarely more than a few minutes.
The agents are all polite and respectful. I asked for clarification on various features, and I always got the answers I was looking for. They also told me how to get around various platform limitations, like the lack of Let’s Encrypt.
Even when the agents didn’t know the answer, they were swift to check with senior staff. tsoHost support runs like a well-oiled machine, and there are obviously a few experienced system administrators working behind the scenes.
The knowledge base has a few good tutorials. The articles are to-the-point and explain the topics well. It would be nice to see better navigation, as well as the option to search results by relevance.
But that’s just me getting a bit nitpicky. The knowledge base has answers to the most common questions, so you might not even need to contact the tso support team.
The tsoHost team does a great job, though chat and phone are not available 24/7.
The Pros of tsoHost
Numerous tsoHost reviews praise the robust features. Here are the provider’s most significant advantages:
CloudLinux Account Isolation
Reliability and power are a big deal in hosting, and everything is magnified when running a business website. Any downtime or performance issues make you look bad in front of potential customers. In general, business websites require more to run properly.
As tsoHost seeks to accommodate this category of websites, its setup is more powerful as well.
The plans are created on top of CloudLinux. The solution is used for shared hosting, and it puts each client into a so-called Lightweight Virtualized Environment.
It’s something of a middle ground between shared web hosting services and VPS. Yes, the clients share the same underlying OS and technologies. But each account is isolated and gets its own pool of resources.
It’s a much more stable environment that ensures you won’t run out of resources because of other users. Precisely the kind of reliability business websites need.
Also, CloudLinux is more secure than other Linux distributions by default. Even if one client account is hacked, the attackers can’t access the server configuration files.
The extra reliability can be an invaluable resource in running an effective business site.
Generous Resource Allocation
tsoHost allocates plenty of resources to support a large website.
The starter tsoHost cPanel account gets you 100GB of storage, which is a massive amount of space. You are also allocated 1 CPU core and 512GB RAM. It’s generous for a shared platform and can support even more demanding websites.
The Maximum plan ups this to 2 CPU cores and 2GB RAM. It doesn’t restrict your storage, as long as you need it for website content. The plan can easily handle multiple websites or a robust ecommerce platform like Magento.
If you have a demanding, traffic-heavy site, tsoHost won’t disappoint. tsoHost reviews claim the provider is among the best for business sites.
Most website owners rely on Linux-based platforms. Linux hosting is more affordable, and a multitude of CMSs and shopping cart software is built on the OS.
Still, tsoHost focuses on businesses, and that means more than hosting websites. A considerable advantage of a Windows Server is the array of exclusive business applications. Many companies rely on them to streamline their workflow and even maintain critical business functions.
That’s why tsoHost VPS and dedicated servers support Windows as well. You can set up an ASP.NET-based website or run applications like SharePoint or Microsoft CRM.
If your employees rely on MS Exchange for emailing and collaboration, tsoHost has you covered with separate managed services. I’ll cover those in the webmail section.
tsoHost’s cloud hosting platform works with hybrid solutions. You can run PHP code through an Apache Linux server cluster while an IIS Windows cluster would execute ASP.NET code.
Such hybrid orchestration is feasible by using Docker containers or cloud instances. tsoHost simplifies the process. It lets you control everything easily from the proprietary tsoHost control panel. It’s one of the very few providers with simple management for such setups.
tsoHost can handle mostly anything you throw at it. A virtual private server might be a bit of an overkill if you have a small ASP-based blog. For more demanding Windows sites and apps, though, tsoHost is the perfect match.
tsoHost mostly targets businesses. Its offer wouldn’t be as complete without webmail.
Instead of integrating webmail into cPanel, tsoHost lets you use Flockmail (also known as Titan). Flockmail includes robust security tools, advanced search options, and various other tools.
You can create up to 100 inboxes on the smallest plan, each with 1GB of storage. If you need extra storage, you can upgrade to a premium Flockmail service.
The service includes calendaring and contact book features, so it’s great for collaboration. You can get a trial for premium features like meetings and video conferences for up to 50 users.
If your business needs emailing and you want to make communication easier between employees, tsoHost webmail is excellent.
Larger businesses can rely on Microsoft Exchange. Aside from keeping your emails in one place, this comes with all sorts of security features, file and contact sharing options, and collaboration features.
You can purchase 25GB inboxes for £8.33/month each. tsoHost’s tech team can configure the Exchange server in any way you want. You can get the most out of the software without paying an expensive in-house expert.
All in all, tsoHost email services have you covered, whether you need a simple inbox or an enterprise-grade software.
Free Site Migrations
Starting a new website is always exciting, but what if you already have one somewhere and want to move to a new hosting provider? Migrations can be a real challenge if you lack server management experience.
tsoHost offers to migrate your website free of charge. But that’s not all.
Most hosts only offer professional cPanel-to-cPanel transfers. Moving data between different platforms is too much of a pain, so you would usually have to pay a professional. This severely limits your options if you’re not on a mainstream system like cPanel hosting.
The advantage here is that the UK website hosting provider will do a website transfer from just about anything with FTP access. This includes cPanel, Plesk, Extend CP, and even custom panels or servers without one. The only sites it won’t move are ones hosted on closed-source SaaS platforms like WiX and Weebly—and this is kind of a given.
The host guarantees it will move the website and do a QA follow-up—and with zero downtime at that! The provider can even handle transferring complex ecommerce sites without losing any data. You just might need to put the original site into maintenance mode to avoid accepting new orders during the migration.
You get one free migration for a basic site on the Economy plan. This means you can move something like a blog built on WordPress to tsoHost for free. For the Maximum plan, it’s five basic and three ecommerce migrations. The ecommerce migrations are for more complex sites that can’t just be copied over without transfer downtime.
Being able to move multiple sites for free is a massive advantage. That’s why the migration service gets such a high spot in the tsoHost review.
Free Domain Name
Getting free stuff bundled with your hosting plan is always nice—especially when it’s something you would otherwise have to buy, like a domain name.
tsoHost throws in a free domain name registration with each hosting plan. You just need to go for an annual subscription, and you’ll be able to register one during checkout.
The TLDs eligible for a free registration include popular ones like .com, .org, .biz, and various UK country code extensions.
tsoHost domain names renew at reasonable prices. A .com one would cost you £7.95/year, and .co.uk is £4.95/year. It’s even more affordable than NameCheap, which is well-known as a budget-friendly registrar.
With tsoHost you can save a few bucks in the first few months. Even better, you can avoid overpaying once you renew your domain. If you don’t have a domain yet, it’s worth a go.
High-end Solutions Available
Shared hosting is where most website owners start. However, businesses often need scalability, especially when running more demanding applications.
tsoHost has plenty of higher-end services if you need more control or resources.
tsoHost VPS plans are great if you require more power and the full flexibility of your own server, but don’t need an entire machine. The virtual servers are fully managed, come with automated backups, and add robust cyber security tools. The plans start at £19.99/month, so you can make a smooth transition from the largest shared plan.
Dedicated hosting has similar advantages to VPS, but it’s way more powerful. Plus, the tech team will fine-tune every nook and cranny of the server. You can even add a custom-configured hardware firewall for unmatched safety.
tsoHost has a unique offer for its clients – custom solutions dubbed “Complex hosting.” You can discuss setting up pretty much any cloud orchestration. Just keep in mind, the hosting is premium and so are the prices. Common ecommerce setups start at £750/month.
tsoHost hosting services include plans that can handle just about any app. You can sign up with the host without worrying if you’ll have enough room to scale down the road.
Lots of Security Add-ons
Security is a big deal for business websites, meaning it’s a big deal for tsoHost.
tsoHost lets you purchase the Sucuri website security add-on. The service includes a web application firewall, security and malware scans, and various monitoring features. Higher tiers add a CDN and an automated backup solution.
Sucuri engineers will even evaluate your website’s security, keep track of performance, and resolve any security issues in under 12 hours.
The prices start at £4.99/month. It’s a bit overkill to be used on the smallest plan, but those on higher tiers or VPS hosting might find it a valuable resource.
There is no Let’s Encrypt on tsoHost shared plans, which I’ll discuss in the Cons section. However, you can purchase various premium certificates. Some come at a 50% discount, while you can get a basic cert for free on the two largest shared plans.
The certificates are signed by Starfield Technologies, the same company that develops GoDaddy SSL. You can get all forms of certificates. OV and EV ones are especially useful for businesses to showcase their legitimacy to customers. The green address bar comes with extended validation and is especially useful for maximizing ecommerce conversions.
You get free installation and full support for all certs you purchase through tsoHost, which is excellent. You can still buy third-party certs, but you would have to install them yourself or pay extra for installation.
The last add-on is mostly for users on dedicated or complex tsoHost hosting servers. Namely, you can get a custom hardware firewall just for the purposes of your application.
You can get a Juniper SRX550 shared firewall or a Juniper SRX345 dedicated one. The latter is a 5-Gbps firewall with 800-Mbps IPsec VPN—a powerful defense for preventing all sorts of attacks. tsoHost’s team will configure the device to your specs and ensure it’s always updated and operational.
The shared firewall costs £34.72/month. It’s overkill for VPS, but it’s great if you’re on dedicated plans and need extra security. For £190.97/month, a dedicated firewall is an excellent choice for mission-critical applications.
All in all, if you need to secure your website or business apps, tsoHost has a few excellent add-ons.
Most web hosting companies in the UK share a similar pricing pattern. They attract users with affordable initial deals and then increase the renewal prices.
tsoHost is one of the few providers with fixed prices. You can get £1-£2 discount by prepaying for one year, and the discount carries over even when you renew the plan.
As the UK web host has fair rates, you can get a plan that stays affordable throughout your stay. It’s quite an advantage if you want to stick with a provider long-term.
It’s always reassuring to see a host with a money-back period. It’s your warranty in case of an issue, but that’s not all. It also shows the provider is confident the service is enough to keep customers interested.
tsoHost extends a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s a standard policy that gives you the chance to back out if the service is not what you expected.
It’s best to use the grace period to play around with the features and see how the tsoHost control panel feels. You should be able to get your website up and running in the first month. You might not get a lot of traffic if it’s your first site, but you can still see if all the tools and software work as intended.
To cancel the service, go to the dashboard and then email the support to get a full refund. The second step is a bit unnecessary, but the process is not so convoluted to call it a disadvantage.
It’s a fair offer from tsoHost, and a risk-free chance to see how the platform works firsthand.
The Cons of tsoHost
Despite many positive features, I did run into a few hiccups when making this tsoHost review. Here’s where the provider still has room to improve:
Shared Hosting Runs on HDD
Solid-state drives are pretty much the norm in the hosting industry. They are simply much faster and reliable than traditional HDD storage, which is everything when you want to maintain fast load times. That’s why all the top hosts moved their entire infrastructure from HDD to SSD storage, some having made the switch years ago.
Few tsoHost reviews point this out, but tsoHost’s shared plans still run on older drives. In part, this explains why it takes so long to load up a page, despite running on an otherwise powerful setup.
There’s little more to say; tsoHost runs shared solutions on inferior technology. Speed is vital for having a successful site, especially if you run a business. Going for tsoHost over more cutting-edge providers might put you at a disadvantage.
No Automatic Backups
Daily backups are an essential part of hosting. Servers fail all the time, and all sorts of problems can compromise website data. Not even RAID arrays are a replacement for a backup file you can fall back on.
It’s pretty easy and affordable for web hosting services to integrate an automatic backup solution into cPanel. Sure, backups take up storage, but tsoHost is generous with storage allocation as it is.
The problem is that tsoHost has no automated backups on any of the shared plans—not even weekly backups or a paid backup add-on. You can only take manual local backups through cPanel. Automated ones are available on VPS plans and higher.
You would have to set up your own scheduled backups and arrange to export the files off-site. It’s not a huge task, but it’s a pain if you just want to easily deploy your site.
tsoHost makes things unnecessarily difficult by not integrating an automatic backup system.
No Free SSL on Smaller Plans
This is yet another serious omission that’s glaringly obvious as soon as you get your tsoHost logins.
The plans don’t let you activate AutoSSL through cPanel. This is silly since automatically setting up a free SSL certificate is pretty much the norm.
Search engines penalize websites without encryption, and browsers warn users to stay away. Lacking an SSL certificate practically loses you traffic and conversions. Not to mention SSL encryption is one of the strongest security measures you can install.
There’s no reason tsoHost wouldn’t have such a feature. Even worse, many tsoHost reviews complain the provider removed the free SSL installation after it got acquired by GoDaddy.
Sure, tsoHost claims this is a technical issue that will get worked out. But if you consider GoDaddy makes quite a chunk of change on premium SSL certificates, you have to wonder about the provider’s motives.
Coincidentally, tsoHost offers you its own certificate at half-price. This is a decent solution with a site seal and a warranty. However, there’s really no reason to pay if you need encryption without bells and whistles.
It’s worth it to point out you can still set up a free Let’s Encrypt cert manually through GitHub—if that’s not too technical for you.
It’s still a con that customers get pushed into purchasing a tsoHost SSL certificate. The two larger shared plans come with the SSL included for free, but users who would go for the starter offer are left to fend for themselves.
Uninspring CMS Hosting
I was excited to see dedicated plans for apps like WordPress, Magento, and PrestaShop. The PHP-based CMSs are some of the most popular among both bloggers and business owners.
I was eager to review tsoHost WordPress plans, but they quickly turned out to be a disappointment. There’s really nothing to distinguish the offer from regular hosting. Sure, you get a 1-click installation for the software, but that’s about it. The servers stack is in no way optimized, and there are no tools like automatic updates or custom content caching.
I checked with the support if there was something I was missing. Not really, it turns out. The agent confirmed WordPress-optimized plans are not in any way different from standard web hosting.
Optimized plans can be a big advantage when hosting a solution like WordPress. Unfortunately, tsoHost offers nothing of sorts.
Dubious User Reviews
When I started this tsoHost review, I was amazed by the provider’s reputation. It has around 6,900 reviews on TrustPilot with more being added daily. Even better, the great majority are excellent 5-star reviews. Heck, I thought, that’s even better than SiteGround!
Then, I took a closer look.
Sure, there are plenty of tsoHost reviews on Trustpilot. However, there are plenty of other providers with just as many positive comments, especially ones that ask customers for reviews.
On the other hand, 8% of the testimonials are 1-star reviews. It might seem negligible, but those are 550+ users that disliked the service so much they did leave a comment.
The ratio looks even less promising on sites like HostAdvice that make it more challenging to fudge the numbers. There it gets an average rating of 3.6 out of 10—not so impressive.
Most negative comments come down to the same thing. The UK web host used to be top-notch, but the service went into a gradual decline after GoDaddy got in the picture. Common complaints include slower ticket resolution times, questionable sales practices, and a general drop in performance.
tsoHost might work well, but the number of dissatisfied customers indicates trouble behind the scenes.
tsoHost Plans at a Glance
tsoHost has four shared plans with reasonable prices. The fees below reflect an annual subscription. You can also elect to pay monthly, bringing the price up by £1- £2. Just keep in mind VAT is added to the total cost, depending on your country.
|tsoHost’s starter plan is ideal if you want to run a simple blog or get a fresh website off the ground. Plus, it’s some of the cheapest hosting in the UK that still gets you reasonable resource allocation. For £3.99/month, you get 100GB of storage, 1CPU core, and 512GB RAM—plenty of resources for more demanding sites. The Economy plan is a fantastic place to start your journey in website ownership.||The Deluxe plan has the same server resources, but it lets you host up to five sites and lifts the limit on storage. Plus, it raises the cap on email inboxes from 100 to 500. It would cost you marginally more—£5.99/month. It’s a nice upgrade if you want to host multiple simpler sites.||The Ultimate plan ups the available RAM to 1GB and the CPU cores to 2. For £8.99/month, it allows you to run up to ten websites and gets you a premium tsoHost SSL certificate free of charge. If you need a plan with more power, go for this one.||With a price of £14.99/month, the Maximum plan increases the available RAM to 2GB, making it great for demanding projects. It keeps all the advantages of the previous tiers and gets you free website migrations for five standard sites or three ecommerce ones. Fantastic for more complex setups and resource-intensive sites, and a decent place to start if you mean to eventually move into VPS.|
|Software installation:||1-click installation via Softaculous|
|Migration:||Free inbound migrations from any platform|
|Payment options:||Credit/debit cards, PayPal, and BACS|
|Other hosting solutions:||Reseller hosting, WordPress/Magento/Joomla/Prestashop hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, managed MS Exchange, and custom setups|
|tsoHost user reviews:||Mixed|
Do We Recommend tsoHost?
Sure, tsoHost is solid for UK-based website owners and businesses.
The uptime is respectable, the backend reliable, and tsoHost support is friendly and helpful. The provider manages the basics well, and it allocates enough resources to handle a reasonably demanding website—even on the smallest plan.
The offer is astonishingly broad. tsoHost hosts both Linux and Windows websites and even designs custom and hybrid Linux/Windows solutions. Quality features and a few useful freebies are included across the board.
The host specializes in business sites. Companies can benefit from relevant tools, including robust tsoHost webmail, managed Microsoft Exchange plans, and premium SSL certificates.
That said, there are some gaps in the service. The provider lacks automated backups, free SSL security, and, most notably, SSD storage. All three are huge factors for any website, but especially business ones, so it’s tough to fully endorse it.
All in all, tsoHost offers decent UK website hosting with premium features that cater to businesses. It’s not perfect, but it has a reasonable value for money ratio. If you can get around the things I discussed, you can get some pretty good deals.