Best UK Web Hosting Companies (On-Going Hosting Reviews & Performance)

Finding the right hosting company for your online business is never straight forward. I discovered this when I was trying to find the best web hosting provider some years ago for my WordPress website. I’ve been through many different hosting providers as a result of this and don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I did. There are always mixed web hosting reviews on which company is best. I decided that the only way to solve this was to test and use data as a measure rather than biased opinions.

“I have reviewed the Top 10 Web Hosting Companies and tested the up-time, features, customer support and response times for each of the companies listed below. I use Pingdom for up-time and loading time results and then recorded the waiting times for both live chat and phone waiting times. I did these consecutively so it’s more accurate. I’ll be updating the hosting reviews on a regular basis to ensure that they maintain the same performance month on month”

 

RANK:
WEB HOST:
MONTHLY PRICE:
UP TIME:
FEATURES:
 DISCOUNT LINK:
£2.19
ON SALE
81% OFF
99.99%
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free Ad Credits
Free Domain Name
£1.19
99.91%
Unlimited Bandwidth
Unlimited Disk Space
Free Domain Name

Visit Site
Read Review

£2.38
99.82%
Unlimited Bandwidth
Free Advertising
Free Domain Name
4.

SiteGround
Visit SiteGround

£3.14
99.99%
Free Backups
10GB Disk Space
Free Site Builder
5.
£2.98
99.91%
Unlimited Bandwidth
Unlimited Disk Space
Free Domain Name
6.

£2.50

99.98%
Unlimited Bandwidth
Unlimited Disk Space
Free Domain Name
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£1.90

99.90%
Unlimited Bandwidth
Unlimited Disk Space
Free Domain Name
8.
£2.40
99.76%
Unlimited Bandwidth
Unlimited Disk Space
Free Domain Name
9.

£0.99

99.5%
Unlimited Bandwidth
100GB Disk Space
Free Domain Name
10.
£3.50
98.98%
Unlimited Bandwidth
Unlimited Disk Space
Free Domain Name
Visit Site

Best Web Hosting Reviews (Updated in May 2017)

Below, I’ve combined the results of my own tests (I regular test between 20 – 30 of the best web hosting companies).

eHost

Best for: Overall value for money
Server response time: 389ms
Uptime: 99.99%
Customer support: Average of 2 – 3 minute response times via both phone and live chat, but a fast, effective service once you’re through. 4/5 problems solved within five minutes of first response.

Short review:
The combination of unlimited bandwidth, load-balancing servers and decent uptime results, plus no domain name fees for the duration means eHost’s low £2.75 price tag makes them typically one of the best value for money web hosts currently on the market.

>> Read a detailed review of eHost

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iPage
Best for: Low cost web hosting
Server response time: 468ms
Uptime: 99.91%
Customer support: iPage live chat has taken increasingly longer to get a response from over the past 12 months, but their phone support remains among the best in the industry. Live chat response can be anywhere from 5 – 10 minutes, whilst phone support is always no more than 1 minute. 4/5 issues resolved within 5 – 7 minutes.

Short review:
At £1.19 per month, iPage offers one of the best budget hosting packages around. Uptime and server response times – whilst certainly are solid- do leave something to be desired. A great starter host if you’re building a website for the first time, but if you’re serious about achieving your business goals online, you may be better off looking to invest more in a faster, more reliable solution.

>> Read a detailed review of iPage

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Just Host

Best for: Ease of Use
Server response time: 473ms
Uptime: 99.82%
Customer support: Much like iPage, when Ideahost are good, they’re very good, but when they’re not so good, they’re terribly frustrating. Live chat and phone support tests recorded similar times ranging from 1 minute (great!) to a hair-pulling seven minutes (ouch!). Like eHost, the good news is that the majority of problems were resolved within five minutes.

Short review:
The fact that Ideahost recorded some of the lowest uptime levels of any hosting provider on our list did give some cause for concern, but honestly, there are companies out there performing much worse for a much higher price tag. Again, they’re a valuable option for new start-ups and those who need limited resources, with the effortless usability making them a solid option for newcomers.

>> Read a detailed review of Ideahost

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SiteGround
Best for: Customer support
Server Response Time: 599ms
Uptime: 99.99%
Customer support: Siteground’s customer service has always been highly praised among professional website owners, and in 2017, they continue their run of award-winning service with remarkably quick responses and fast, effective service. 5/5 of our test calls resulted in problems being fixed in under five minutes, with both phone and live chat support resulting in response times of under a minute. In terms of customer service SiteGround are hands down the best host for overall response times.

Short review:
Siteground more than hold their own in terms of reliability, and are a solid example of a company where you really do get what you pay for. The higher cost is offset by great customer service, making them a good option for those who need that added level of professionalism for their online business.

>> Read a detailed review of Siteground

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Blue Host

Best for: WordPress website hosting
Server Response Time: 503ms
Uptime: 99.91%
Customer support: As with some other companies on our list, mixed results came when testing Bluehost’s customer service teams. Phone chat tended to be the quickest option, with responses between 1 – 2 minutes, whilst live chat typically saw us waiting for around 5 – 10 minutes, and in one extreme example, as much as 30% for a proper response. 3/5 problems were resolved within five minutes, and 2/5 in under ten.

Short review:
Bluehost has often been hailed as the undisputed kings of WordPress hosting, thanks in no small part to their reputation as the only official WordPress host out there. They offer a number of dedicated packages, plus knowledgeable support make them good for WordPress, but unremarkable load speeds and uptime mean they couldn’t be ranked higher than the middle of the table.

>> Read a detailed review of Bluehost

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Host Gator
Best for: Loading speeds
Server response times: 360ms
Uptime: 99.98%
Customer support: Typically among the slower companies when it comes to response times, live chat ranges anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes on average, increasing to 20 – 30 minutes on particularly bad days. Phone chat fares a little better, with responses ranging from 5 – 10 minutes. 4/5 issues were thankfully resolved within five minute.

Short review:
Veterans of the shared hosting market, Hostgator’s better-than-average uptime and load speeds make them a solid option for both newcomers and well-established site owners alike. Unfortunately, the sub-par customer service response and higher, long-term price tag means they remain in the bottom half of the table. It’s not the worst company out there but it’s certainly not the best hosting company we’ve tested.

>> Read a detailed review of Hostgator

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Fatcow
Best for: Unlimited hosting
Server Response Time: 660ms
Uptime: 99.0%
Customer support: Like much that FatCow do, their customer service is average at best. Typical live chat and phone support response times range between 5 – 10 minutes, with most issues resolved between 5 – minutes also.

Short review:
FatCow are certainly not the worst company I’ve ever had to deal with, but nor do they really offer anything that makes you truly excited about them. A good amalgamation of the best bits of other hosting companies, there’s nothing at FatCow that you won’t find with other providers.

>> Read a detailed review of FatCow

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Green Geeks
Best for: Eco-friendly web hosting
Server Response Time: 650ms
Uptime: 99.76%
Customer support: Over all, a good effort from GreenGeeks, phone chat and live support both responded within 1 – 3 minutes in multiple tests, with 3/5 problems solved in under five minutes, and the remaining two problems in under ten.

Short review:

Whilst GreenGeeks may be one of the slower performing companies on our list, their commitment to using only renewable energy sources to power their servers, coupled with far better-than-average customer service does keep them in the running as one of the best web hosts currently on the market.

>> Read a detailed review of GreenGeeks

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Visit 1&1
Best for: European-based hosting
Server Response Time: 658ms
Uptime: 99.95%
Customer support: Good, but not great. Live chat isn’t an option, though there is an extensive knowledge base to help you solve most common problems yourself. Phone chat however, is available 24/7 with typical responses ranging between 1 – 7 minutes according to Top Ten Website Hosting Test Results. All problems were resolved within 1 – 10 minutes.

Short review:
Based in Germany, 1&1 are thus far the only European owned company on the list. Their prices are incredibly low, and the flexibility of the billing process makes managing payments very easy. Reliability could certainly be improved, and for my money, they aren’t the easiest company to use, but a solid option nonetheless.

>> Read a detailed review of 1&1

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Host Rocket
Best for: Business website hosting
Server Response Time: 676ms
Uptime: 99.98%
Customer support: A decent result from HostRocket, though as you’d imagine given their place on the chart, others do fare much better. Live chat response times ranged from 1 – 7 minutes, with phone response typically averaging between 3 – 5 minutes. In the tests I carried out, 4/5 issues were resolved within five minutes, with the fifth taking 20 minutes.

Short review:
Much as with FatCow earlier, there’s often nothing wrong with being average, and if HostRocket are good at anything, it’s that. Their prices are neither the least nor most expensive, their uptime is neither the highest nor the lowest, and their customer support is fairly decent. That said, poor load speeds do let them down. Overall not a great web host and there are much better options out there.

>> Read a detailed review of HostRocket

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How Did I Decide Which Providers to Feature on Top 10 Website Hosting?

Right across the globe, there are literally hundreds of web hosting providers all competing to get websites like yours and mine onto their servers.

These range from the small, indie start-ups with just a handful of decent servers to the huge, multi-national brands such as the group of companies owned by Endurance International.

As you can imagine, it would take me an insane amount of time to cover them all. That said, as a professional working online, I have used more than my fair share of companies on my journey to find the one solution that was right for me.

When I decided that I was going to share my thoughts and experiences with business owners like you, I knew that I needed a way to determine which sites to include and which ones to leave out.

I’ll discuss each of these in further detail below.

I also looked closely at what features were included with each hosting company’s entry level package, and whittled these down to the ten companies which are featured in the table above.

It’s worth noting here that this isn’t a static table. Along with the ten web hosts you see, I continue to monitor and test around 10 – 20 more, and regularly update this website so that it features only the ten companies who are performing the best on any given week.

Is Price an Important Factor When Considering a Hosting Provider?

The short answer, is ‘yes and no.’

Yes, you want the absolute best value for your money. Let’s be honest, that’s just good old fashioned common sense. As a business owner, the last thing you need is to be paying out more than you need to for solid, reliable web hosting.

Yet here’s the thing, those introductory prices don’t last forever.

There will come a time during the life of your website that the special ‘first term’ rate runs out, and you’re faced with paying the company’s standard monthly or yearly rate. Don’t worry, with all but a few exceptions, this is fairly standard practice across the hosting industry.

What it does mean however, is that the initial price of your hosting plan shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when choosing a site. Assuming you’re going to be running for at least a few years, it pays to consider the true long-term cost so that you can better plan out an ongoing budget.

Nor does the price alone offer any clear indication as to the quality of a web host. Trust me on this one, I’ve seen hosting companies offer absolutely rock bottom cheap rates, only to discover that this is exactly what they were; cheap, unreliable, and barely fit for purpose.

In other words, you really do get what you pay for with web hosting. Whilst you no doubt want to keep an eye on the purse strings, factors like up-time and server response times are far more important when it comes to choosing the right package for your new site.

Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule, and I’ll discuss these in detail in the hosting reviews featured on this site.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Company:

  • Customer Support – Easily one of the most important factors to consider. I’ve had terrible experiences of long waiting times and poor customer responses. Let’s be honest having support that you have to wait for can really have a bad impact on your business and it’s a frustrating experience trying to get something fixed. Most of the best web hosting companies I’ve dealt with have had amazing service (especially SiteGround). You’ll appreciate good customer service when your launching your site.
  • Web hosting Response Times – Having a fast and responsive server has a huge influence on the customer experience and Google have now added this as a ranking factor. Basically the faster your site performs the more conversions your likely to have. Even a slight delay can have a huge impact on your conversions. Anything below 400 ms is good enough. Optimising your site is something else to consider too which you can do via various plugins such as W3 Cache and WP Optimize.
  • Up-Time – Having a reliable host is nearly as important as how quickly it responds. If your hosting company has poor up time then your losing business. You can use services to inform you (such as Pingdom) to inform you when your site goes down. Most hosting companies promise amazing up times of 99% etc but the reality is that it’s often far below this. For many, the ideal web host is the one that provides good quality in all the main areas we discuss on this site. It should be affordable, reliable, and come complete with tools and features designed to help you make the most of your website. That said, there are those among you for whom up-time is the one main, deciding factor when it comes to choosing the right company for you. If that sounds like you, the chart below ranks our current Top 10 web hosts in order of up-time only.

What Kind of Web Hosting Do You Need?

When your looking at web hosting for the first time there are many different types and options that you could go for. These range from cheap hosting providers who your sharing a server with thousands of other sites to dedicated options that cost hundreds per month. In many respects they all do the same job but performance and up-time can vary a lot. I’ll explain each type so that you can get a better understanding of which is best suited for you.

  • Shared – This is by far the most popular type of hosting. It’s cheap and offers great performance in most cases. Your sharing a server with other sites which is why it’s often cheaper than dedicated options. The resources are shared across all sites which means performance can suffer depending on the host and how they allocate resources for each site. It’s perfect for beginners and even more established sites that are on a budget. You also get all the functionality and features of the more expensive dedicated servers.
  • VPS – This is another option for customers on a budget. However it’s still cost’s over x10 times the amount of shared hosting so it’s not as popular as shared hosting but for traffic heavy sites then it’s ideal. Your sharing a server which less customers and you nearly get the same performance as dedicated options.
  • Dedicated  – This is perfect for demanding websites that need plenty of resources to be able to run. It’s an expensive option but if your site generates large traffic or consumes a lot of resources then it’s required. You’ll also need to ensure it’s managed unless you have previous server experience.
  • Cloud  – In recent years this has become a popular option for many business owners and is quite similar to VPS in some respects. Instead of being hosted on a physical partition it’s actually hosted on a virtual partition of the server. This means you can easily scale up your business without adding additional hardware.
  • Reseller Hosting – As the name suggests this is made for web hosting re-sellers and hosting companies. This means that all the daily management of the servers etc is done by the provider. It’s popular because you can get better rates and scale as you grow your business by purchasing server resources in bulk. This type of hosting only applies if you wish to start your own hosting company as it’s for advanced users only.
DISCLAIMER: I review the best web hosting companies to help other webmasters find a reliable web host. We receive compensation from hosting companies in order for us sign up and test the providers that we have mentioned. However, this does not influence our web hosting reviews and rankings in any way.