Best UK Shared Hosting Companies 2024

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I have been one of the industry’s pioneers, building and using internet datacenters.

My experience started as early as 1999 when recruited by a Canadian telephone multinational I helped create the world’s first high speed fibre optic networks and I built with my own hands the first circuit boards on racks that equipped North America’s first datacentres.

My technical knowledge was further enriched while working for another American giant that manufactured hard drives and recording heads needed to equip computer systems, security devices, storage and backup supplies.

Since 2008 I have been the founder of numerous online ventures and I’ve been living and breathing web marketing and web technology. If there are any serious webhosts out there chances are I have studied their speed and uptime while many of them I have tried and tested on my own sites.

 

 

How to find the best Shared Hosting company for your site

 

Introduction

The difference between bad and good shared hosting can be very technical. Therefore, most articles about webhosting providers inevitably go into technicalities. In this article I will talk about how you find the best shared hosting companies in the least technical way so that everyone can understand.

If you wish to read the summary scroll down to the bottom of the article.

 

How to pick a reputable Shared Hosting Provider

There are a number of factors you should take into consideration when you choose the best hosting for your website. I will explain them here in a simple way starting with the most important:

 

1.      24/7/365 support

What does 24/7/365 support mean?

It means that you can email, phone, or chat live with a representative of the hosting company any time of the day or night round the year. Note here that webhosting providers are very careful with this claim. They promise you support, which means that someone will answer your call, but not necessarily technical support. If 24/7/365 webhosting technical support is vital to your website you need to know that this kind of support is available before buying hosting.

What is the difference between data centre support and call centre support?

Some hosting companies promise 24/7/365 support and they even give you a local telephone number. However, this is redirected to a non-specialist team in a call center. You have “call centre” support when a member of a customer support team based in a call centre answers your call, records your issue and promises to forward a ticket to a technician. This kind of virtual support is outsourced to a company that handles support calls on behalf of many companies. Many times a call centre will be located in another country. The call centre staff may be able to assist you with minor issues but they may have limited technical knowledge of the hosting server. This is not the kind of support you need when your ecommerce site is down because of a traffic spike in a middle of an email campaign to 200,000 subscribers and you are desperate to speak to a server technician in the actual data centre.

How do you accurately predict a webhost’s support?

Try contacting the host at the weekend, or in the middle of the night. If you do not have a customer ID chances are your call will be answered by a member of the front end team or sales support. Sales support and technical support are usually not the same teams, however, you can judge the quality of technical support by the quality of sales support. If the sales team are courteous and answer your question promptly, if they appear to be knowledgeable and if they request your feedback on their service then you are dealing with a good webhost that focus on quality. If 12 hours pass and you get no reply from sales via phone or chat then simply continue your search for a hosting provider.

 

2.      Uptime

What is uptime?

Uptime is the amount of time in hours that your site has stayed online in a period of a month. If the server brings error messages such “site cannot be found” or “server down” then this is server downtime. Good webhosting providers have a 99.9% uptime guarantee; If there are 720 hours in a month, 99.9% uptime guarantee means that the server will server your pages for 719 hours and 28 minutes in a month– guaranteed. It also means that your website maybe down for 32 minutes throughout the month, which is an average of just over a minute per day. This, however, translates to 6 hours and 24 minutes of downtime in a year.

Why is uptime so important to your site?

There are mainly two reasons uptime may be important to you. Firstly, the financial reason. If your site makes $10 an hour in gross revenue, 6 hours and 24 minutes of downtime mean $64 of lost revenue in a year, which may be the price of you shared hosting annually. The cost may be much higher if uptime is less than 99.9%.

The second reason uptime is important is that if Google picks up server errors too often it may drop your site in the search engine results for your main keywords. This is because Google cares about user experience and does not like to serve pages that are down. A drop is Search rankings could have a huge cost impact if your site is your business.

How do you verify the uptime claims before you buy hosting?

You can’t really. Nevertheless, a hosting merchant who offers 99.9% uptime guarantee is much better than a merchant who take no responsibility for their uptime. Essentially, an uptime claim that is close to 100% means that the hosting provider are serious about their service, and that is good for you.

 

3.      Disk space (storage)

How is disk space measured?

In the IT world the ability to store data in a device is measured in bytes. A kilobyte (KB) is 1,024 bytes, not one thousand bytes as most people thing and that is because computers use binary and not decimal system. A web server is nothing else but a computer and its storage capacity is measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB). There are 1024 MB in 1 GB.

Is there such thing as unlimited storage?

The short answer is “No”. When hosts say that they offer unlimited space all they mean is that they have huge space available in their datacentre measured in Tera Byte. This is tens of thousands of times more than the average website needs. And that’s what unlimited storage really means. Huge space is there and available, but you are only given 50GB or 100GB. If your files exceed that you will have to upgrade to another hosting product. Alternatively, you will have to reduce the number of files you are using or the host may shut your website down.

The best shared hosting providers will actually tell you how much space you get

Good webhosting companies will not just promise unlimited storage because they know this is misleading. Terms of Service usually tell you how much space you get, and how you may lose files if you go above it. All hosting providers that offer “unlimited space” will tell you that there is no cap on the disk space, as long as you are fully compliant with their Terms of Service, meaning you don’t overdo it and become a nuisance to your hosting neighbours in the same server.

 

Summary

When searching for a good shared hosting provider there are 3 things you need to look for:

  • 24/7/365 support. This means you can email, phone, or chat live with a representative of the hosting company any time of the day or night round the year. Before buying, test the service by contacting by phone, chat or email a member of their team and see how prompt and helpful the response is.
  • Uptime. This is the amount of time in hours that your site stays up in a month measured as a total percentage of the total hours of a month. Good hosting providers promise 99.9% uptime. Any hosting that has uptime of 99% or less is bad and you should not buy it.
  • Storage. This the space in Giga Bytes you can use within the shared hosting facility. The best shared hosting providers will give you 100GB of space or more. This is plenty for a small blog, small ecommerce site or a business site.

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