Every business should have a website if they want to take advantage of the huge potential customers on the internet. Instead of advertising, the majority of businesses are now discovered through search engines such as Google. If you are starting a website or blog, the first thing you need is the best web hosting. A web host will host all of the data for your website on one of their servers in a data centre. Your website will be delivered from the server, to a visitor as they browse your website. Depending on the technologies used by the web host, some may deliver your data faster, which will result in faster page load times.
There is huge variety in the services offered from web hosting providers and also a substantial difference in price. Making the choice on which web host to use will depend on the requirements your business website such as the amount of data storage you need and the the level of traffic you expect. For more information about the features of web hosting, take a look at the FAQ near the end of the post.
Below is a list of our favourite UK web hosting providers.
I have hosted a number of websites on Evo Hosting and i’ve now been using them for over six years. Evo Hosting prides itself on super fast web hosting which always means websites a quick to load, even with a lot of content. Furthermore Evo Hosting takes backups every night to ensure all of your websites data is secure. Customer service is also very good with Evo Hosting. Over the years I have had a few issues with updates on my websites which have left me needing support. The email support I have received has always been very fast and quickly got my website back up and running.
Evo Hosting offers a free domain when you purchase a years web hosting. I found the Home Plan to be a good blend of cost and features which will be fine for most websites. Once you purchase hosting you can use the 1 click installer and there are over 300 scripts available.
LCN was founded over 17 years ago in 2000 and claims to provide everything you need to get online. The website is very easy to navigate due to there being no technical jargon which makes it easy to find the hosting package right for you. The support from LCN is some of the best on offer with 7 day customer support and a variety of ways to contact including via phone, email & social media.
What I really like about LCN is the account dashboard which is very modern and easy to navigate. Everything is easily accessible and makes tasks such as updating details very easy. LCN also provides a great webmail experience which makes your emails easily accessible from any device.
Looking for one of the largest web hosts on the internet ? 123-Reg has services connected to over 1 Million UK websites. I have used 123-Reg several times and find them great for small business websites. If you are new to websites, their hosting is easy to use to help speed up the process of getting your website online. The simple control panel is quick to navigate and the support articles make it easy to get help when you need it. As well as hosting, 123-Reg also provides a range of additional services such as SEO & email marketing to help get your small business website off the ground.
You have most likely already seen their adverts somewhere, but GoDaddy are the worlds number 1 web host. GoDaddy has support available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Furthermore they offer 99.9% uptime to ensure your website is always online when your customers go to visit. As with other web hosting, goDaddy offers easy installation of popular scripts such as WordPress and Joomla. GoDaddy offers unmetered bandwidth to ensure you never run out, even with a large amount of visitors and also offers a free domain with annual web hosting purchases.
If super fast web hosting is your main priority, a2 Hosting makes a great choice. If you look around their website you will see they have won a number of awards for the speed of their hosting service. Using solid state servers, they claim you can achieve up to 20x faster speeds. a2 Hosting provides support 24/7 to ensure you can always get help when you need it and also offers free migration if you are moving from another host. If you are planning on creating a website that hosts a lot of media content, using high speed servers will help to ensure you achieve minimum page load time.
Web hosting FAQ
What is a domain name ?
Your websites domain name is the address that visitors will enter to go to your website. A domain name starts with WWW and can have many different suffixes, the most comm including .uk, .com, .net & .org. A domain is required to provide a link to access your hosted website and without a domain name it would be very difficult for potential visitors to access your website. Luckily, domain names are pretty cheap and a lot of web hosts will provide a domain name for free when you purchase web hosting. You can purchase a domain name from another company and connect if to your website. However this is slightly more difficult and probably best to avoid if this is your first website.
How much storage do I need ?
The storage of your web hosting package decides how much data you can keep on the website. Starter web hosting packages may include just 500mb storage, where as bigger business plan packages may include 20 GB. If you are starting a website for your small business that will mostly include text and a few pictures, 1 GB hosting will most likely suffice. However, If you are starting a blog and will be sharing a large number of posts including pictures and other media then you will be best getting more storage. If you plan on hosting a website revolving around media such as a photography or video website, you are going to require more storage. You can normally easily upgrade your storage if you find yourself running out of room further down the line.
Why does bandwidth matter ?
A hosting packages bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred between the web host and visitors. Each time a visitor views a page on your website, the data/content of that webpage is transferred to the visitors browser. The data is typically a small amount but when you are getting thousands of visitors it can all add up. The amount of bandwidth you need will depend both on the number of visitors to your website and also the type of content your website contains. for example if your website is streaming videos it will use a lot more bandwidth than a website containing mostly text. Just like with storage, it is normally easy to upgrade bandwidth if you need more later.
What is the difference between shared and dedicated hosting ?
Shared web hosting is where a web hosting company will host a large number of different websites on the same server. This is fine for most of the websites on the internet and if you are a small or medium business, this is is all you need. On the other hand, a dedicated server only hosts your website on that server. Dedicated servers are often very expensive and require more technical knowledge. Only large websites that use a lot of resources need a dedicated server.
What is WordPress hosting ?
Many web hosts now offer WordPress hosting separately to their normal web hosting packages. However it is not needed to how a WordPress website. WordPress web hosting usually helps you by automatically managing things such as instillation and updating the CMS. Their servers are sometimes tuned to provide better performance for WordPress websites. WordPress hosting is often more expensive and is not essential for your website even if you plan on using WordPress as it can be easily installed within minutes.
How important is UK Based & 24/7 support ?
Theres nothing worse than trying to access your website and for some reason you just can’t get on. This is when you really need a good support service to get you back up and running as soon as possible. Web hosting support teams can usually identify the problems in minutes and have you back up and running a lot faster compared to you trying to find the issue on your own.
How important is up-time ?
The up-time is the amount of time as a percentage the web host claims your website will be online over a given period. A website could be offline for a number of given reasons including server faults, web host performing upgrades and hacking attempts. If you website is not online it means no potential customers will be able to get access. A higher up-time normally indicates a higher quality web host.
What is SSL protection ?
Secure Sockets Layer protection allows a visitor to establish a secure encrypted connection between your website and their computer. This prevents potential hackers from making sense of any intercepted data sent between your website and the visitors computer. SSL protection is not essential, but more websites are starting to take advantage of the feature. Whether you need it will depend on the type of website you are setting up. SSL protection is not really needed on a blog but essential on a website taking private customer information and payment details.
Am I best paying annually ?
You can normally pay monthly or annually for web hosting. However I always recommend paying annually as you can achieve a significant discount. furthermore, some UK web hosts also offer a free domain name if you decide to pay annually.
Do I need much technical knowledge ?
Most web hosts have now made it extremely easy to set-up web hosting without any technical knowledge. With easy to use dashboards, web hosting is now easy to navigate and there is often lots of support materials available on the hosts website. Furthermore, most content management systems such as WordPress can easily be installed with just a few clicks.
Should I read others reviews ?
Not sure about which web host to go with ? take a look at other customers reviews of the web hosts. There are normally loads of reviews for each web host that you can find using Google. Checking out reviews will give you a valuable insight from other customers to see if the hosting company is living up to their claims.
How long does it take to activate web hosting ?
Getting your hosting account set-up and activated is actually a very quick process. once you have chose your hosting package and domain name, it usually takes just minutes to get everything up and running. This means you can begin working on your website the same day.