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Best Web Hosting UK Services in 2023 (GDPR Compliant and FAST!)

Tony Leong
REVIEWED BY
Tony Leong
UPDATED
February 03, 2023

 

best host uk

The best web hosting providers for the UK offer fast speeds both locally and globally. This guide rounds up the best web hosts that offer GDPR compliance, features, and excellent support at a fair price.

 

Trying to choose the best web host for a UK website? We’re glad you’re here. An excellent host is the foundation of any good website, so it’s important to choose well.

 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the world of web hosting. There are hundreds of brands out there vying for your attention. To spare you time and heartache, our team’s written up this handy guide especially for UK websites- whether you’re targeting an audience that’s within the UK, Europe, or worldwide.

 

Since 2014, we have been recording performance data from over 45 web hosting brands we’ve bought and tested first-hand. We believe the 7 brands shortlisted here are fantastic for UK websites: GDPR compliant, features aplenty, and all of them with response times of less than 191 ms in London – fast!

 

Hostinger stood out to us as the best host for UK websites. But by the end of this guide, you should have a strong understanding of what to look for, and how to pick the host that best fits your use case.

 

Best Web Hosting UK Services

 

#1

Hostinger UK

Best overall value web hosting

Hostinger UK

5.0

  /5

Jump to details

#2

DreamHost

Best WordPress-endorsed hosting

DreamHost

5.0

  /5

Jump to details

#3

Kinsta

Best managed WordPress hosting

Kinsta

5.0

  /5

Jump to details

#4

Best premium hosting for businesses

SiteGround UK

4.0

  /5

Jump to details

#5

HostPapa

Best host for small business websites

HostPapa

4.0

  /5

Jump to details

#6

Bluehost

Best optimized WordPress hosting

Bluehost

4.0

  /5

Jump to details

#7

Best cPanel alternative hosting

ScalaHosting

4.0

  /5

Jump to details

 

How We Choose the Top Web Hosting For UK

 

Here are some markers we look for in an outstanding web host for UK websites.

 

  1. Speed
    Host is tuned for speed in both hardware and software without needing to pay extra. We put all hosts through the Bitcatcha website speed test tool to see how quickly their servers respond to requests from within the UK, and anywhere else in the world. We want a fast web host that can at least meet the requirements of Google’s Core Web Vitals!.
  2. User-friendliness
    Host offers a control panel and supporting tools that are easy to use, even for total tech beginners.
  3. Value for money
    Host offers a fair price for the features and resources offered. Some offer unlimited bandwidth and websites.
  4. Uptime
    Host offers an uptime guarantee of at least 99.9%.
  5. Excellent customer service
    Host offers 24/7 professional support in a range of options like live chat and ticketing, whether you’re in the UK time zone or elsewhere.
  6. Security
    Host helps you keep your site secure, be it via SSL certificates, firewalls, proactive monitoring, backups, etc – without charging extra for the basics.

 

Why You Should Trust Us

 

Our Bitcatcha team has been researching and testing out web hosts since 2014. To date, we’re managing 95+ test sites all hosted on a range of hosting plans from over 5 different web hosting brands.

 

Once we set up our test site, we employ our Bitcatcha Speed Test Tool (as seen on LifeHack and HuffPost) to check each hosts’ server speed, and install an uptime trackers to monitor uptime. These results allow us to write data-driven reviews and comparisons of each host.

 

More details on how we review web hosts here.

 

Note

  1. All prices shown are based on a 12-month plan introductory rate unless stated otherwise.
  2. We use an exchange rate of 1 GBP to 1.25 USD.

 

World Speed Score

A+

Speed In London

9 ms

Price (GBP)

£2.99/mo

Key Features

  • 100GB SSD
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free domain & SSL
  • hPanel
  • Localised support

“At extremely low prices, Hostinger manages to provide excellent features & uptime plus multiple data centers in Europe.”

 

Hostinger is a Lithuanian web hosting company, spread across 7 regions, that include the UK and the Netherlands. So again, you’ve got the option between the two.

 

There’s one thing about Hostinger that secures it a spot in most of our top-hosts lists…

 

It’s so dang affordable!

 

Their Single web hosting plan starts from an unbelievable £2.49/mo. Fancy going large? Even their Premium plan starts from only £2.99 (at 48-months rate).

 

Does a low price mean a dodgy deal? Not at all! With their impressive features, global presence and wallet-friendly pricing, we think Hostinger’s place as the #1 best web host is well earned.

 

Pros and cons of Hostinger

 

Pros

  • ✓ Outstanding speed and uptime performance
  • ✓ Data centers in London
  • ✓ Premium hosting features for a low price
  • ✓ Speedy servers with great global coverage
  • ✓ Great support team serving in 20 languages

Cons

  • • No daily backups on some plans
  • • No phone support

 

Hostinger performance

 

We ran it through Bitcatcha’s server speed checker and the numbers spoke for themselves.

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore Sao Paulo
143 ms 83 ms 9 ms 239 ms 194 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
118 ms 267 ms 262 ms 88 ms 10 ms
Average Speed: 141.3 ms – See full result

 

Our test site is actually already hosted from their Netherlands server, however the numbers still blew us away!

 

The London response time was 9 ms.

 

Bear in mind this would likely be even quicker if you chose to host from the UK. However, we’re pretty happy knowing that this host offers the option to switch between Amsterdam and the UK, should Brexit cause any issue later down the road.

 

It scored another A+ rating with an average speed of 141.3 ms.

 

Hostinger features and pricing

 

In fact – all of Hostinger’s plans come packed with plenty of premium features, and start at a very low introductory price if you opt for their longer plans. For our tests, we went with their Premium Shared plan that starts at £2.99/mo for a 48 month plan.

 

Features Single Shared Premium Shared Business Shared
Price GBP 2.49/mo GBP 2.99/mo GBP 3.99/mo
Renews at GBP 4.99/mo GBP 7.99/mo GBP 10.99/mo
Storage 50 GB 100 GB 200 GB
Bandwidth 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Databases 2 Unlimited Unlimited
See all features
*All plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

Great speed and low prices aren’t the only things that qualify Hostinger as a true value-for-money web host.

 

They’re a very experienced company that knows the industry well. They’ve helped serve over 29 million clients to date!

 

What’s more? Hostinger users are protected by a 99.9% uptime guarantee, a Bitninja security suite, and you’ll manage everything from their custom, user-friendly hPanel interface. You’ll also get a free SSL cert on their business hosting plan.

 

Sure, there are some functions missing, like CDN and daily backups. But Hostinger definitely gives you great value for what you’re getting, and is a great option for anyone on a budget getting started.

 

Hostinger customer support

 

Hostinger’s customer service is another big reason we enjoy using their hosting services. They offer support 24/7 over live chat, and from our experience, provide almost instantaneous responses to our queries on there.

 

What’s even better, they currently run 4 support centers that serve over 20 countries in their native languages – much more than what most hosts offer. We just really wish they offered phone support – since it’s likely that some people may prefer talking to a real human on the phone to solve issues.

 

What we didn’t like about Hostinger

 

Hostinger’s introductory prices are really affordable BUT there’s a catch to it; you’ll be tied down to a contract of 48 months. A lot can happen in 4 years, and we’re not sure if we’re willing to be tied down for so long.

 

Learn more about Hostinger

 

 

 

World Speed Score

A+

Speed In London

77 ms

Price (GBP)

£2.36/mo

Key Features

  • Unlimited SSD
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Free domain & SSL
  • 100% Uptime Guar.
  • 97-day money back

“World-famous hosting service endorsed by WordPress and with an 100% uptime guarantee.”

 

DreamHost is a world-famous hosting brand that’s been around since 1997. They offer a huge range of hosting options, from shared and VPS, to managed WordPress hosting.

 

Pros and cons of DreamHost

 

Pros

  • ✓ Officially WordPress endorsed
  • ✓ Outstanding speed performance
  • ✓ Excellent security suite
  • ✓ 97-day money back guarantee

Cons

  • • No data centers outside the US (slower speeds for Asia or Oceania)
  • • Limited time for Live Chat support
  • • No free telephone support

 

DreamHost performance

 

After reading around, we decided to try out their Unlimited Shared plan with its promises of lots of ‘unlimited’ features. We ran the test site through our speed checker and the results blew us away!

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore São Paulo
70 ms 2 ms 77 ms 242 ms 117 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
194 ms 210 ms 169 ms 16 ms 87 ms
Average Speed: 118.4 ms – See full result

 

They scored a top-notch A+ ranking with an average worldwide response time of 118.4 ms. And even though DreamHost only has data centers in the US, our London node still pinged in at a very speedy 77 ms. Impressive indeed! That means that, even if most of your website audience is based in Europe, they should enjoy zippy speeds.

 

DreamHost features and pricing

 

Dreamhost offers two tiers of plans – we’d recommend the Shared Unlimited if you want more unlimited resources to play with.

 

Features Shared Starter Shared Unlimited
Price GBP 2.36/mo GBP 2.36/mo
Renews at GBP 5.59/mo GBP 8.79/mo
Storage 50 GB Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited
SSL certificate Free Free
See all features

 

What’s also definitely worth mentioning is their money back guarantee. Whilst most hosts offer a standard 30-day money back guarantee, DreamHost takes it to the next level by extending it up to 97 days!

 

DreamHost is an active participant of the open-source community, so we weren’t surprised to see that they’re fully GDPR compliant. They have a solid privacy policy, and all users are able to control their personal information from a handy ‘Privacy Center’ interface. Plus, all DreamHost plans come with a free SSL integration – which is a win for your own GDPR compliance.

 

However, where DreamHost REALLY shine is in their compatibility with WordPress. They’re 1 of only 3 web hosts that are officially WordPress endorsed! Considering WordPress powers 43% of the Internet, we think that’s a pretty solid vote of confidence.

 

WordPress runs perfectly on DreamHost’s plans and integrates nicely into their interface. They’ve even got their own drag-and-drop WP Website Builder. As the cherry on top – much of their support staff are WordPress experts, which will make solving any technical issues a breeze.

 

In short – DreamHost is a fast and fantastic web host, particularly if you’re running WordPress.

 

DreamHost customer support

 

DreamHost offers in-house customer support via Live Chat and ticketing, and from our own trials, they responded within minutes and proved extremely knowledgeable in WordPress.

 

However, their Live Chat only operates within 5:30AM – 9.30PM Pacific Time, which is 1:30pm – 5:30am in London. Outside that, you’ll need to rely on their ticketing system, forum or knowledgebase. There’s also no free telephone support, but you can request a call-back for a fee.

 

What we didn’t like about DreamHost

 

As mentioned – DreamHost’s data centers are all in the US. It can serve the UK and the European region just fine, but if most of your website audience lives in a region far away from the US, they may experience slower speeds. That – and the customer support limitations we’ve mentioned.

 

Learn more about DreamHost

 

 

 

World Speed Score

A+

Speed In London

10 ms

Price (GBP)

£28/mo

Key Features

  • Google Cloud
  • 25,000 visits /mo
  • Daily backups
  • WP expert as support
  • Hack fix guarantee

“Built on Google Cloud architecture, Kinsta is lightning-fast & GDPR-conscious, but pricier.”

 

Fact: Kinsta is a managed WordPress host.

 

What’s more important to know? Kinsta’s services are powered by Google Cloud’s premium network.

 

That means users have access to the highest levels of performance, speed and security of Google – who is already one of the leaders in the cloud networking industry.

 

We’ll get into how this directly benefits you in a sec.

 

Pros and cons of Kinsta

 

Pros

  • ✓ Cloud-based infrastructure
  • ✓ Server speeds powered by Google Cloud’s Premium tier
  • ✓ Support from high-level WordPress experts
  • ✓ Kinsta CDN powered by Cloudflare

Cons

  • • No phone support
  • • No free email hosting
  • • Expensive monthly prices

 

Kinsta performance

 

We whipped up a test site using their Starter shared hosting plan. The results?

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore Sao Paulo
130 ms 95 ms 10 ms 287 ms 203 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
487 ms 266 ms 221 ms 83 ms 13 ms
Average Speed: 179.5 ms – See full result

 

Yes, another solid A+! With an average speed of 179.5 ms.

 

Best of all – they have a London data center that pinged an amazing 10 ms. That means UK audiences should definitely enjoy top speeds.

 

Since it leverages off 30+ Google Cloud server locations, Kinsta has a nearby server in London. You’ve got another 9 options in Europe, including Zurich, Madrid, Frankfurt, the Netherlands, and Milan. Shifting between them is just a matter of opening up a support ticket. It’s definitely the most flexible host in this aspect.

 

Kinsta features and pricing

 

Kinsta easily provides one of the best Managed WordPress Hosting solutions in the scene. Sign up, build your site, and let the Kinsta team take over from there as they manage your updates and monitor for security flaws.

 

Features are plentiful, you get daily backups, your uptime is guaranteed, and you get software like Kinsta CDN to turbo-charge your site. That said – Kinsta is a premium WordPress host. And that comes with premium pricing.

 

Features Starter Pro Business 1
Price GBP 28/mo GBP 56/mo $115/mo
Storage 10 GB 20 GB 30 GB
Free CDN 100 GB 200 GB 400 GB
Monthly visits 25,000 50,000 100,000
Multisite support No Yes Yes
See all features
*Kinsta plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

 

What about GDPR? Well. Encryption isn’t mandatory to GDPR, however comes strongly recommended. Thanks to Google Cloud Platform, all data is encrypted at rest. Kinsta has even built their own WordPress cookie consent plugin that lets users choose which types of cookies to opt in on, which helps websites guarantee legal compliance.

 

So out of all the hosts on this list, Kinsta seems to be the one that goes above and beyond for GDPR compliance.

 

Kinsta users will also enjoy other benefits from its cloud architecture that many typical shared or VPS hosts can’t offer.

 

For example, you’ll get great protection against traffic surges. In the event of a spike, your website’s container simply scales to as many CPUs as you need.

 

Similarly, if your site starts to outgrow your current bandwidth allowances, there’s no need to migrate to another server type or host. Just pay the next tier up!

 

Kinsta customer support

 

Kinsta offers 24/7 support via the Intercom widget. But more importantly – their support team is amazing. It’s composed entirely of veteran WordPress developers and Linux hosting engineers, so the level of tech support is pretty hard to match. You won’t be bouncing between level 1 or level 2 support reps – you’ll always be talking to real experts. From direct experience, every query we sent was replied to in under 3 minutes.

 

What we didn’t like about Kinsta

 

Among all the featured brands on this list, Kinsta is the most expensive. You’ll have to ask yourself if YOU yourself are looking for this degree of support, and resources. It’s a great fit to owners serious about growing traffic, and wanting a fully-managed solution that’s fully GDPR compliant.

 

Also – they don’t offer phone support. At that price point, you’d think that Kinsta would be able to at least provide weekday phone support for their clients.

 

Learn more about Kinsta

 

 

 

World Speed Score

A+

Speed In London

4 ms

Price (GBP)

£3.99/mo

Key Features

  • Google Cloud
  • 20GB SSD
  • 100,000 visits /mo
  • SuperCacher
  • 24/7 techn. support

“Premium web host with data centers across Europe on the celebrated Google Cloud Platform!”

 

SiteGround specialise in high-quality offerings, speeds, and service that we think is ideal for larger businesses around the world. Today, they have data centers in 6 locations across 4 regions, including one right here in London!

 

Pros and cons of SiteGround

 

Pros

  • ✓ WordPress-endorsed Managed WordPress hosting
  • ✓ Quick server response time all over the world
  • ✓ SuperCacher tech. to load your site 4x faster!
  • ✓ User-friendly custom dashboard

Cons

  • • Not cheap (rates go up significantly on renewal)
  • • Free domain not included
  • • No VPS or dedicated hosting plans

 

SiteGround performance

 

But how fast are they really? We hosted a test site on their GrowBig plan to get some official numbers and the result was a VERY solid A+ ranking.

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore Sao Paulo
138 ms 86 ms 4 ms 179 ms 212 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
292 ms 250 ms 223 ms 87 ms 16 ms
Average Speed: 148.7 ms – See full result

 

With an average response time of 148.7 ms, SiteGround is impressively fast. It pinged a blistering 4 ms from London, which means very zippy speeds if your audience is based in the UK.

 

These numbers make sense when you consider that SiteGround runs on speed-enhancing SSD drives. They also recently made the move to the Google Cloud platform, providing users with Google’s state-of-the-art security, reliability, and speeds. Not to mention they also throw in free Cloudflare CDN and premium SuperCacher into their plans!

 

SiteGround features and pricing

 

SiteGround offers a range of plans for a range of users.

 

Features StartUp GrowBig GoGeek
Price GBP 1.99/mo GBP 3.99/mo GBP 5.99/mo
Renews at GBP 11.99/mo GBP 19.99/mo GBP 31.99/mo
Storage 10 GB 20 GB 40 GB
Traffic Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Monthly visits ~ 10,000 ~ 100,000 ~ 400,000
See all features
*SiteGround plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

The GrowBig plan is fairly priced at only £3.99 a month, and comes packed with goodies, which boost your server speed and overall efficiency. Their SuperCacher boosts site load speed up to 4x quicker, you get to enjoy free daily backups, free priority support and free restores!

 

Aside from that, SiteGround is very reliable. Their 99.9% uptime guarantee is bolstered by a great security suite to protect you from malware and those dreaded data breaches that are a GDPR nightmare. In fact – when they became fully GDPR compliant in 2018, they adapted their Privacy Policy and listed out their Data Processing Agreement (DPA), which regulates their responsibilities as a host and helps clients run their own GDPR compliant sites.

 

The downside? Obviously, price. SiteGround’s renewal prices are quite expensive. Be mentally prepared to pay more than double the introductory prices to renew the contract. Is it worth it? We think so. Overall, SiteGround delivers high quality on all fronts and excellent speeds whether your audience is based in the UK, or beyond.

 

SiteGround customer support

 

SiteGround offers support via 24/7 Live Chat, ticketing, and also the phone. We’ve consistently found SiteGround’s team to be extremely capable, and used their Live Chat extensively. The wait is never long, and our problems were usually resolved very quickly. Users on their GrowBig plan or above get access to their 30-day priority support.

 

What we didn’t like about SiteGround

 

Whilst their ‘recommended’ GrowBig plan starts at £3.99/mo, it jumps up significantly to £19.99/mo upon renewal. That’s pretty expensive compared to the others on this list, and not everyone may have that kind of budget. Be sure to maximize your subscription period to take advantage of their 53% – 63% introductory discount!

 

Learn more about SiteGround

 

 

 

World Speed Score

A+

Speed In London

8 ms

Price (GBP)

£4.76/mo

Key Features

  • 100GB SSD
  • 1 Website
  • Free Domain
  • Multilingual support
  • Unmetered Bandwidth

“A value-packed hosting solution with very solid support and a server in Europe!”

 

Coming up next is HostPapa, a Canadian hosting company with plenty of tempting plans on offer.

 

Pros and cons of HostPapa

 

Pros

  • ✓ Great server speeds in Europe & North America
  • ✓ Eco-conscious
  • ✓ Great support team
  • ✓ Free knowledgebase of videos and tutorials
  • ✓ Free 30-minute consultation 1-on-1

Cons

  • • Automatic backups cost extra
  • • Slightly more pricey than others on the market
  • • No data centers in Asia or Australia

 

HostPapa performance

 

We’re happy to report that they have data centers in the US, Canada and Europe, so we weren’t too surprised to see extremely fast speeds reported from our 3 HostPapa-hosted test sites. Here’s what came back from the site hosted from their Amsterdam server:

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore Sao Paulo
159 ms 119 ms 8 ms 160 ms 213 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
115 ms 275 ms 238 ms 129 ms 14 ms
Average Speed: 143 ms – See full result

 

Just look at that 8ms response time for London! On top of that, HostPapa’s worldwide average response time was 143 ms, earning them a solid A+ rank. To sum it up, HostPapa’s servers should respond quickly for ALL your site visitors, wherever they’re based – but especially so for anyone in Europe or the Americas.

 

HostPapa features and pricing

 

HostPapa’s cheapest plan works well for small single sites, but their Business Plan is where things really ramp up. For £3.16 a month, you’ll unlock unlimited websites, a free domain, unlimited SSD storage, unlimited emails, free SSL and free Cloudflare.

 

Features Starter Business Business Pro
Price GBP 4.76/mo GBP 4.76/mo GBP 14.36/mo
Renews at GBP 9.59/mo GBP 9.59/mo GBP 19.19/mo
Storage 100 GB SSD Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
SSL certificate Free Free Free
See all features

 

In all, we think HostPapa offers great value for money. Its plans are really cheap, but you’re still getting a solid product.

 

HostPapa customer support

 

Beyond speed and features, we love HostPapa for the effort they pour into their customer support. From our experience, their ‘PapaSquad’ are extremely responsive and helpful. Interestingly, you can even request a free 30-minute 1-on-1 consultation with them on anything hosting-related – which is quite an unusual feature!

 

They also have an extensive user base full of helpful videos and tutorials that cover everything from how to make your site GDPR compliant, to how to improve your WordPress security. In all – very beginner friendly!

 

What we didn’t like about HostPapa

 

We can’t help but wish HostPapa had a few more data centers around the world, (especially in the Asia / Australia region) to cater for website owners with audiences further away.

 

You’ll also need to fork out an extra £38 for automated backups, which isn’t exactly cheap – especially since some hosts throw it in for free!

 

Learn more about HostPapa

 

 

 

World Speed Score

A+

Speed In London

183 ms

Price (GBP)

£2.65/mo

Key Features

  • Linux & cPanel
  • 10GB SSD
  • Automatic backup
  • Resource protection
  • Free SSL Certificate

“WordPress-endorsed hosting that offers great speed, and an even better support team of WP experts.”

 

Whilst it’s not super fast in the UK, we figured Bluehost still deserved a mention.

 

Why? Because Bluehost is the official recommendation of WordPress. They claim that ‘No one powers WordPress better or understands it more than we do.’

 

With a full-time WordPress CORE development engineers in their team, it’s not a stretch to believe.

 

Pros and cons of Bluehost

 

Pros

  • ✓ Officially WordPress-endorsed
  • ✓ Free SSL, CDN and domain and access to cPanel
  • ✓ 24/7 phone, live chat and email support
  • ✓ 1-click WordPress install

Cons

  • • No uptime guarantee
  • • Less security features on cheaper plans
  • • Cheaper plans don’t include much storage and security features

 

Bluehost performance

 

Based in North America, they scored a very decent A+ rating on our server speed checker.

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore Sao Paulo
23 ms 78 ms 183 ms 193 ms 164 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
330 ms 168 ms 125 ms 92 ms 174 ms
Average Speed: 153 ms – See full result

 

It pinged from London at a slightly laggier 183 ms. Not the fastest of this list, but still within benchmark.

 

Bluehost features and pricing

 

Features offered by BlueHost are quite solid, with 10GB of SSD storage, free SSL, SEO services and a free domain included in their Basic plan. Not bad at all, considering the low entry price of only £2.65 a month (with 12-month plan).

 

Features Basic Plus Choice Plus Pro
Price GBP 2.65/mo GBP 4.90/mo GBP 4.90/mo GBP 12.54/mo
Renews at GBP 8.98/mo GBP 13.47/mo GBP 17.07/mo GBP 26.06/mo
Storage 10 GB 20 GB 40 GB 100 GB
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Website 1 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
See all features
*Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

That said, the amount of storage offered at each price point isn’t quite as much as you’d get from several of the other hosts on this list. On top of that, renewal prices do jump up quite significantly.

 

Key features include:

 

  • Free SSL
  • 10GB SSD storage
  • Versatile pricing plans
  • SEO services to help sites build a SEO plan
  • A highly technical WordPress support team
  • Where required, support can help fulfilling any GDPR-related data subject requests

 

Their Basic plan starts from £2.65 and includes 10 GB SSD Storage, unmetered bandwidth and free SSL.

 

Bluehost customer support

 

Bluehost outsources their support team to India and currently offers support via Live Chat and phone. We did run into some hiccups and unhelpful trainees when we first started using Bluehost, but things do seem much better now. They also have a pretty robust knowledge-base filled with useful tutorials and guides.

 

What we didn’t like about Bluehost

 

It’s too bad that Bluehost has only 1 data center (in the US). Although they’ve got fast servers, they could be so much faster if only they built more data centers worldwide, covering a wider range of locations.

 

Bluehost also decided that uptime guarantees aren’t a thing with their services. Some might be okay with this, but to us, that’s pretty sketchy.

 

Learn more about Bluehost

 

 

 

World Speed Score

A+

Speed In London

43 ms

Price (GBP)

£9.56/mo

Key Features

  • Unlimited websites
  • 100GB SSD storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free domain & SSL
  • SPanel

“Superior performance and feature-packed. SPanel is powerful, and is one of the best things about ScalaHosting.”

 

ScalaHosting is one of the more experienced web hosting companies on this list, and it shows. Having been around for more than a decade, they’ve been quietly innovating and improving, earning them loyal customers that see value in their services.

 

Pros and cons of ScalaHosting

 

Pros

  • ✓ Great speed performance
  • ✓ Uses cPanel – incl. Softaculous installer
  • ✓ SShield security (99.998% success rate in blocking attackers)
  • ✓ Unlimited Websites and migrations

Cons

  • • Only VPS plans get all-in SSD performance
  • • High fees upon plan renewal
  • • No website builder

 

ScalaHosting performance

 

They’ve only got 2 data centers (one in Dallas, USA, while the other is in Bulgaria, Europe). Although the servers aren’t exactly located here in the UK, they still performed pretty well considering the distance.

 

US (W) US (E) London Singapore Sao Paulo
178 ms 119 ms 43 ms 183 ms 228 ms
Bangalore Sydney Japan Canada Germany
147 ms 286 ms 250 ms 116 ms 37 ms
Average Speed: 158.7 ms – See full result

 

With 43 ms response time pinged from London, the A+ ranked web hosting provider is not one to be trifled with.

 

ScalaHosting features and pricing

 

Feature-wise, ScalaHosting offers quite a lot of value for customers.

 

Features Mini Start Advanced Managed VPS
Price GBP 5.56/mo GBP 7.16/mo GBP 9.56/mo GBP 31.96/mo
Renews at GBP 7.96/mo GBP 9.56/mo GBP 12.76/mo GBP 39.96/mo
Storage 20 GB 50 GB 100 GB 50 GB
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
CPU power 1x CPU 2x CPU 4x CPU 16x CPU
See all features
*All plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

 

They’ve brought out the big guns in terms of features, which is great at making the customer feel like they’re getting more than they’ve paid for.

 

We could spend days talking about their features. Free migration, free domains, free SSL, 7-day automatic backup, free CDN… ScalaHosting offers all these and more, but we can get these features easily from other providers too.

 

What stood out for us while using ScalaHosting is their SPanel. It’s only available on their managed VPN plan, and quite honestly, we feel that this alone is worth the price.

 

Wholly owned and developed by Scala, SPanel is a solid alternative to cPanel, with all of the perks (plus a little extra) and none of the drawbacks.

 

Aside from being able to do everything that cPanel can, SPanel comes with SShield (able to halt 99.998% of all cyber attacks) and SWordPress Manager (which allows you to control almost anything WordPress admin related directly from the SPanel control panel).

 

It’s also fully compatible with cPanel, so issues with site migrations are now…non-issues.

 

With prices starting from a measly £3.16 a month, ScalaHosting provides users with reliable web hosting, fast speeds, and perks aplenty.

 

ScalaHosting customer support

 

ScalaHosting offers award-winning 24/7 support via Live Chat and ticketing. They claim that that’s why their customers stay with them for 7 years on average.

 

What we didn’t like about ScalaHosting

 

SSD storage is pretty much a must in every web hosting provider these days, but ScalaHosting only provides it fully in their VPS plans. If you intend to use their shared hosting plan, your audience won’t get to enjoy the performance benefits usually associated with SSD.

 

They also don’t come with a website builder – if they did, they’ll probably be higher on this list!

 

Learn more about ScalaHosting

 

 

 

Why Is Using A Good Web Host Important In The UK?

 

With a staggering 94.8% of the population now with access to the internet, and the region’s ecommerce industry booming, it’s an exciting time to be kicking off your own UK website.

 

Last year, ecommerce made up a whopping 20% of all retail sales in the UK. Yup, ecommerce is set to grow by 5.7% annually until 2023.

 

This sort of growth means BIG opportunity. Question is – are you able to catch it?

 

And… How so?

 

Perhaps an affiliate blog? Or online store? Depending on what you’re going for, your site will come with its own specific needs that your host provider will have a chance to address.

 

Maybe you need extra bandwidth for your growing inventory. Or, compatibility with a preferred e-comm platform like Shopify.

 

End of the day, a good host isn’t just a tech platform – it’s a tech partner. The ‘right’ one should support your business’s growth long into the future.

 

That means being flexible and resourceful enough to help you cash into the promising future of UK ecommerce.

 

How might Brexit & GDPR affect web hosting?

 

London as a major hub for now

 

Part of your host decision-making is considering where in the world to host from. Since you want your site to load quickly for your audience, it’s usually best to pick the data center closest to them.

 

Good news if your audience is local – London is currently Europe’s largest data center market, and the third-largest in the world! It’s home to local hosts, but it’s a hotspot for big international hosts to set up servers. In fact, it currently ranks #2 amongst the top financial centers in the world.

 

That said… the uncertainty that’s arisen pre and post-Brexit is raising lots of questions about its future. Some reports suggest that Brexit is a real threat to London’s role as a major global data center hub.

 

Sure, London is highly developed and well-connected. But if, due to passporting and legal complications, the UK isn’t able to sustain EU’s financial services, there could be a big migration of data and services out of London.

 

Then, there’s the question of data residency…

 

For that, you need to understand the VERY important concept of GDPR.

 

What on earth is GDPR?

 

In short, it stands for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

 

It’s a set of standards that applies to all members of the EU, including Britain for now… including you!

 

It exists to give regular people power over the use of their personal data, and holds businesses more accountable.

 

And – it’s VERY important that your website is fully compliant with it! Non-compliance can land you a very ugly fine.

 

Thing is, Brexit complicates things. Since Britain exited the EU, it’s now considered a ‘third country’ not technically under the old GDPR. EU organisations will need to take extra-strict measures to make sure all their data transfers to the UK are lawful.

 

“So… I’d need to move my site to a London server??”

 

Well – hope is not lost. Luckily, there’s a concept called ‘adequacy’ that makes things simpler. This is where the European Commission assesses the UK’s regulations to check that they’re up to scratch.

 

Sure enough, on 28 June 2021, the EU granted adequacy, which means the UK can continue to transfer data much more freely in most cases. This decision is expected to last until 27 June 2025. Meanwhile, GDPR was kept in UK law as the ‘UK GDPR’..

 

Some people predict that the main direction of data movement will be OUT of London and back into the EU, to avoid these cross-border complications. Some large European companies have already started shifting some of their data requirements back home.

 

However, the reverse is also likely – with some British data likely to return home.

 

What else might Brexit affect?

 

  • New hefty import duties and additional VAT means UK products may get more expensive for those outside the UK.
  • Some ccTLD domain names, like .eu, are only available to businesses in the EU. What’ll happen to the 300k+ .eu domains already registered to UK businesses is unknown!

 

You may read up the specifics of GDPR compliance here, we don’t want to bore you.

 

To Host Inside, Or Outside The UK?

 

Is your audience mostly in UK?

 

  • GDPR compliance necessary now, very likely still important in the future.
  • Consider hosting from London (should also be faster)
  • Note, since the UK has been granted ‘adequacy’, it shouldn’t matter where you’re hosting from.

 

Is your audience mostly in EU?

 

  • GDPR compliance necessary.
  • Consider hosting from the EU, outside London (should also be faster)
  • Note: GDPR applies to anyone processing the personal data of individuals in the EU – regardless of where in the world they’re based.

 

For both cases, and if your audience is a mix of UK & EU citizens – you might want to consider a host that has datacenters in both London & elsewhere in Europe. This will give you the flexibility to migrate between them with minimal hassle.

 

The UK has already implemented GDPR into domestic law, so it does look like they’ll still be upholding GDPR in the long-term.

 

And so, wherever your audience is, your best bet is to make your site fully GDPR compliant (we’ll explain how in a bit).

 

How does one factor GDPR into choosing a web host?

 

Under GDPR you’re expected to keep data secure, and explain to users how you’re using their data. It’s enforced with hefty fines for any organisations who fail to comply, or suffer serious data breaches.

 

So, a good host will help provide a secure line of defense, they offer:

 

  • Enhanced server security through firewalls and brute-force defense systems.
  • SSL certificates to ensure any data submitted into a web form is encrypted. SSL isn’t required under GDPR, but comes highly recommended.
  • Proactive monitoring software or system to track and detect any attempts to hack your website, with a system in place to react quickly in the event of a breach. According to GDPR, any serious data breach needs to be reported to the ICO within 72 hours.

 

Not only are you protecting customers, you’re also protecting yourself and making sure you’re ready to transact with your customers, wherever they’re based.

 

Still, at the end of the day – we can only guess at the far-reaching implications of Brexit (we aren’t lawyers, only host enthusiasts).For sure, it’s a climate of both potential and uncertainty.

 

Setting your website up with a reputable host that offers very strong security features, can only be a good place to start.

 

What Are The Types Of Web Hosting For UK Sites?

 

Now that you’ve got a decent idea of what to look for in a web host, let’s dive into another very important topic – the different types of web hosting available.

 

Because yup – hosting comes in many different shapes and forms! But don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as you might think.

 

And it’s really important to pick the right type of web hosting plan so that you’re not overpaying for anything you don’t need, nor signing yourself up for a plan that doesn’t give you enough resources to accommodate your traffic or website growth.

 

1. Shared hosting

 

We’ve focused on Shared hosting plans in this article because it tends to be the most affordable and accessible type of web hosting – especially for smaller websites or first time website owners.

 

True to the name, shared web hosting is all about sharing server space and resources with a few other users. It’s simple and no-fuss hosting that’s affordable and always what we recommend for general purpose hosting or if it’s your first time building a website.

 

The downside of shared web hosting? It is possible for rogue users to eat up too much resources – which can cause slowdowns for everyone else sharing that server. You can avoid falling into this by picking a reliable brand like Hostinger that takes no nonsense from their users.

 

2. Cloud hosting

 

If you find that you’re outgrowing your shared hosting resources, it might be time to upgrade to cloud hosting.

 

With cloud web hosting, your website is stored in multiple servers up in the cloud. This tends to be a more reliable and high-performance mode of hosting that ensures stable uptime and fast speeds. It also tends to be very easy to scale up – which is perfect for large traffic sites or eCommerce sites. The only caveat is the price – cloud hosting tends to cost much more.

 

3. VPS hosting

 

VPS hosting takes one big physical server and splits it into several different servers, each working as a dedicated server for the user. VPS thus tends to be much faster, more private and more reliable than shared hosting, since you won’t need to worry about anyone else hogging your resources.

 

If your website is prone to big traffic spikes, or eats up a lot of resources – VPS is a good option. It costs more – but the performance, customizability and stability is hard to beat.

 

Confused how this compares with shared hosting? Read our guide on shared hosting VS VPS.

 

4. Dedicated hosting

 

Dedicated hosting is a great choice for anyone who wants total control over their servers, and has the big budget to pay for it. With dedicated web hosting, you’re essentially renting out an entire dedicated server for yourself – with ALL of its resources.

 

If you’re a big business or a site turning over very high traffic, this may make sense for you. It’s extremely fast, reliable and customizable to a tee. The big drawback is price – dedicated web hosting will cost you a pretty penny.

 

5. Managed WordPress hosting

 

If you have a WordPress site and want to be as hands off as possible, Managed WordPress hosting could be for you.

 

It’s something like normal shared hosting, but with some added support. Managed WordPress hosting plans help manage things like WordPress updates and plug-ins, security patches, back-ups and more. If something goes wrong, don’t panic – these services usually will have WordPress experts as support to sort everything out for you because… managed!

 

However, be prepared to pay a bit more.

 

Verdict: Which Web Hosting Is Best For The UK?

 

Quite frankly, we don’t have the answer to that. Each one of these services serve a different purpose, and there really is no “best” web hosting service, only the one that works better for your business or website.

 

For those that are just starting out or are looking for an affordable option to host your website, you just can’t go wrong with a shared web hosting plan. Just make sure that the service comes with good features, knowledgeable support, and is able to handle the traffic you’re expecting for your site.

 

Here is a recap for the very best host for UK websites:

 

Hostinger UK DreamHost Kinsta SiteGround UK HostPapa Bluehost ScalaHosting
Hosting Plan Premium Shared Unlimited Starter Growbig Starter Basic Advanced
Storage 100GB SSD Unlimited 10GB SSD 20GB SSD 100GB SSD 10GB SSD 100GB SSD
Avg. Global Speed 141.3 ms 118.4 ms 179.5 ms 148.7 ms 143 ms 146.3 ms 158.7 ms
Speed in London 9 ms 77 ms 10 ms 4 ms 8 ms 143 ms 43 ms
Free SSL Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (for the 1st year) Yes
No. of websites 100 Unlimited 1 Unlimited Unlimited 1 Unlimited
Starting price /mo* £2.99 (48-mo plan) £2.36 £28 £3.99 £4.76 £2.65 (36-mo plan) £7.96 (36-mo plan)
See all features
* Prices are based on a 12-month plan introductory rate (unless stated otherwise). Get lower prices by opting for longer subscription plan.

 

There will never be an absolute right answer, but you’ll want to be sure your chosen host meets the following criteria:

 

  • Secure
    Effectively helps defend your site from hackers and malware, and aids you in GDPR compliance.
  • Excellent speed
    Earns at least an A+ or A rating on our Bitcatcha speed test.
  • Support
    Provides 24/7, effective support.
  • Reliability
    An uptime guarantee of 99%.
  • Value for money
    Balances the features you need with a fair price.

 

Whether you’re searching for web hosting to stretch your penny, the best services to suit your needs, or maybe something that lies somewhere right in the middle, you can be sure to find something that caters to your business from these excellent brands.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Which is the best web hosting for the UK?

 

After much testing, we’d recommend Hostinger as the best web hosting provider for UK websites. They’re affordable, and offer a London data center, GDPR compliance, premium features, and exceptional customer support. Even if your audience is not based in the UK, Hostinger is a solid option since they have a wide selection of data server locations all around the world to choose from – ensuring your website should load quickly for anyone accessing your site.

 

2. Which is the best web hosting with data centers in London?

 

If your website is targeting a UK audience, the good news is that London is an excellent place for connectivity, it’s Europe’s largest data center market, and the third-largest in the world.

 

Our #1 recommended web host, Hostinger, has a London data center. Other strong hosts with servers within the UK include Kinsta and SiteGround. All three have additional data centers within Europe too.

 

3. Which is the best web hosting for small businesses aimed at audiences in Europe?

 

If you’re targeting European audiences, reputable web hosts with presence in the region, like Hostinger and Kinsta, are a great bet. Hostinger has data servers in the UK, the Netherlands and Lithuania. Kinsta offers even more server locations: the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France.

 

If you’re targeting audiences in the US – consider DreamHost – which specialises in this region.

 

4. How does GDPR affect my choice of web host?

 

GDPR requires website owners to keep data secure and to clearly explain to users how you’re using their data. It’s important to choose a good web host who can help provide a secure line of defence to protect you from costly data breaches – such as providing secure server security through firewalls and monitoring systems, as well as offering SSL certificates.

 

A secure web host will help you protect your customers and also yourself.

 

5. How much does web hosting for UK websites cost?

 

Whilst host pricing can vary greatly, expect to pay an average of £36 to £540 per year for shared web hosting services – excluding domain and SSL. Domains typically cost between £2.99 – £100 a year, while additional SSL can cost anything from as little as £15 up to £250 annually. We recommend finding a web hosting service that throws in domains and SSL for free – such as Hostinger or DreamHost.

 

Hostinger is a particularly good budget choice, and costs a mere £2.99 a month if you opt for their 48 month plan. Users get high-performance hosting, a domain, SSL, unlimited bandwidth and 100GB SSD, which should be more than enough for small websites.