Web Hosting UK Review
Why You Should Use Web Hosting UK Services
The top UK web hosting services in our review are InMotion Hosting, the Gold Award winner; Arvixe, the Silver Award winner; and Just Host, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing a web host to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of the best UK web hosts.
Nowadays, businesses and even many professional individuals find value in having a website. Many small or single-person businesses use them as an informational platform, so customers searching for their information can easily find what you want them to find. Having a website to place on a business card, to include social media site or to offer verbally to potential clients or audience members both looks more professional and helps you spread your brand.
When you make the commitment to build a website, you're usually in it for the long haul. Domain name registrations last at least one year before you must pay for a registration renewal; if you don't re-register it, then another company or individual can eventually buy the name and use it for their own purposes. If you're paying for a domain name, then you likely want to make sure it's put to good use by paying for a web hosting service.
Depending on your experience in website management, a web host's help and support and its management and building features are a vital consideration. Most services use cPanel, which is a standard industry application that helps you build your website and manage the content, such as pictures or words, using a variety of methods. If you're newer to content management, you may find better luck learning a WordPress or Drupal system that integrates with most cPanel systems. You can check out more articles about web hosting UK services for information on web hosting.
Web Hosting UK: How It's Priced
Web hosting services advertise their prices based on a per-month subscription model. You can save a varying percentage on the cost of your hosting service if you pay upfront for multiple years; generally, the longer term you pay for upfront, the greater the percentage you save.
Basic plans vary in some of the extra features they offer. Many services offered at least one year of a new domain name at no charge but require you to pay the registration fee for every subsequent year. Most services also offer to transfer a domain from another service for no charge.
Additional features you might consider when signing up for a plan include domain privacy registration. This replaces your personal information used to register a domain name, such as your name and phone number, with information of a company. Registration information for each domain name is publically posted on the web where anyone can access it, so the extra security can be a benefit to deter theft of your personal information.
Web Hosting UK: What We Tested, What We Found
With each UK web host service we reviewed, we purchased the company's basic shared web hosting package on a monthly subscription term to give it the fairest comparison. The numbers included on our site for bandwidth and disk space offered by each company are based on the advertised numbers for each service's basic plan. Companies offered anywhere from one to three shared web hosting plans of increasing monthly cost, with higher plans offering better security or more unlimited features.
We built a basic business landing page using the tools provided by each service. Landing pages included content and images. Almost all companies offered cPanel as their web management application, which is the industry standard. The best services offered more cPanel features and functionality than others, such as the ability to craft custom 404 pages that your audience reaches if they click on a bad link or run into a problem with their site; these custom pages let your customers know they're still on your site. In addition to the landing page, we also set up and used domain-based email accounts and looked for a bandwidth usage chart.
Help & Support
A website is useless if it doesn't function the way you want or need it to. In that sense, help and support from the web host is a vital part of any package to consider. All companies offer 24/7 help and support in at least some form. Most companies offer phone and email support, either through a direct email address or via a ticketing system that lets you track the status of each ticket. All but one company offered live chat support.
To test the responsiveness and quality of a service's support, we called the service's phone and tested live chat of each company during varying hours of night and day. Knowledgeable support staff who didn't need to take several minutes between each question to find answers garnered services higher support quality scores. We also took into consideration support staff who avoided trying to upsell higher-level packages and who provided tips to help us better manage the features we had.
For testing live chat specifically, we accessed the chat system ten times over the course of the week during varying times of day. We timed each live chat transaction from when we began the chat to when a live representative responded to us and took the average of the ten times to give a rough estimate of how quickly a service responds. The service with the best response time overall was WebHostingPad.
Our Verdict & Recommendations
The top systems on our reviews offered the best combination of help and support, basic plan features, usability options and overall site security. Many services offer "unlimited" options, such as unlimited disk space or email accounts, to draw you and get you to sign with them. Each company defines "unlimited" in different ways, but most will limit or suspend your service if you use an excessive amount of resources that cause performance issues to other clients' websites. Services offer a terms of usage and service on their sites to detail specifically what their policies are concerning these unlimited features.
InMotion Hosting, Arvixe and Just Host are the top three overall best plans to consider for building your site, based on how comprehensive and flexible their basic plans were. Although they don't offer as many "unlimited" features as some lower plans, they also include more options and features for no cost with their basic plans. Included with these features are great security options to help secure your data as well as your customer's data should you use your site for eCommerce. Any of these companies can offer you a great starting point for your website or a potential partner as your grow your site and your business.