The most important part of creating a website isn’t your content. It’s your web hosting. Great content will make your website more enjoyable for your visitors, but if your website isn’t reliably hosted, it will suffer from slow loading times, frequent crashes, and just generally being a nightmare to run. Behind every single one of your favourite websites is a great web hosting provider.
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What is a web hosting provider?
Websites don’t just float untethered in cyberspace.
Every website on the internet is stored on a server.
A web hosting provider owns and operates servers where you can store your website. The precise hosting package will vary depending on your needs, but your web hosting provider will usually give you these three things:
- Domain: A domain is your website’s address. It’s what people type into their browser to go directly to your website. Your web hosting provider will let you choose a domain name for your website, so that your visitors can find you.
- Server: Server space is the most important thing your web hosting provider will give you. This is where your website will “live”.
- Storage: Your web hosting provider will also give you space to store all the text, pictures, videos, and code that make up your website.
Why do I need a UK host in particular?
Web hosting providers can usually be found all over the world, but here’s why you’ll want to choose a UK host:
- A UK host means UK-based servers: This is especially important if you have a UK-based business, or if most of your visitors are in the UK. Server location affects loading speed. The farther your customers from your servers, the more slowly your website will load on their browsers. If you want a lightning-fast website, you’ll want to choose a UK host with servers that are close to your customers.
- Guaranteed English-speaking support: This makes communication a lot smoother, which comes in handy if you urgently need to have a problem resolved.
- No time zone issues: When you’re in the same time zone as your UK host, you don’t have undue delays in response time.
Why do I need a web hosting provider if I can just store my website on my own server?
Servers are expensive machines, and they’re not even a one-time investment.
Not only are they expensive to purchase, but they’re also expensive to store and to run. (They use a lot of electricity.)
Servers also need close maintenance to ensure they keep running properly. Even if you’re technologically savvy enough to monitor your own servers, this takes up so much of your time that it’s just not feasible for most people. And if you free up your time by hiring extra IT staff to maintain your server, you’ll have to spend more money on their monthly salaries than you’d ever need to spend if you’d just chosen a good hosting package from a reliable web host.
What are my options if I choose to use a web hosting provider?
These are your main hosting options:
Shared hosting means that your website shares server space with other websites. This means that all the server’s resources (e.g., RAM and disk space) are shared among all the websites on the server. Shared hosting is usually the most affordable hosting option. It’s perfect for beginner website owners who aren’t sure if they want to run a website long term, and for websites that don’t get too much monthly web traffic. So if you have a smaller website or if you think you might want to start a website but you’re not quite sure, shared hosting is perfect for you.
VPS hosting stands for Virtual Private Server hosting. It’s a hosting option in which a single server is divided into multiple private servers using virtualisation technology. When you choose VPS hosting, your website technically shares server space with other websites, but your website will get its own private server. This means you get your own RAM, disk space, and processing power that other websites can’t use. You’re not competing for resources the way you are with shared hosting.
Virtual private hosting is perfect for bigger websites that get lots of visitors and need more storage space.
Dedicated hosting means your website gets a server all to itself. This is the perfect hosting option for people whose websites get millions of monthly visitors, or for people whose websites need to handle sensitive information. This is a premium hosting package, but if it’s what your website needs, the extra security is well worth the money.
Other services that a good UK host will offer
These are some additional services that a good UK host will offer to make sure your website keeps running smoothly and attracting visitors:
An SSL certificate encrypts data that’s sent between web servers and browsers. It keeps your visitors’ information safe from hackers. If you want to be able to collect your users’ credit card information on your website, an SSL certificate is mandatory. But even if you don’t need to collect credit card information, an SSL certificate is a great addition to your website. It increases your search engine ranking and lets people know that it’s safe to visit your website.
This article will provide tips for selecting an SSL cert for your site.
Backups are essential for keeping your website’s data secure. A good UK host will provide backup service so that if anything ever goes wrong with your website’s data, your website can be restored quickly.
cPanel control panel
cPanel is a graphic-based, user-friendly interface that makes it possible for even novice website owners to manage their own websites.
A good UK host will also offer great customer support, so you’ll be able to resolve problems quickly and smoothly. At hosting.co.uk for example, we offer 24/7 support to all our customers – even if you buy our cheapest package. We wish we didn’t have to point out something that should be obvious, but unfortunately, not all web hosts offer customer support for their more affordable hosting options.
A website builder makes it possible for you to create a gorgeous website in just a few clicks. Our website builder gives you hundreds of templates to choose from, and you can customise them using drag-and-drop technology to create the website of your dreams without breaking a sweat!
Our SEO tool analyses your website to determine exactly why your website isn’t attracting as many visitors as it could be. After analysing your website, our SEO tool gives you a report and a step-by-step guide to tweaking your website so that it starts attracting more visitors.
Free hosting migration
A good UK host will also take the hassle out of hosting migration. If you aren’t satisfied with your current hosting situation, or if you have a hosting provider that’s based somewhere other than the UK, contact us and we’ll transfer your website to our hosting platform for free!