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Website Hosting Costs for Small Businesses UK

website hosting UK costs

The chances are that you’re falling short of your competitors if you don’t have a business website. This is because they’re taking advantage of search engine optimisation and digital advertising – those days of TV and newspaper advertising are long gone and these days, a website is the first port of call for new and existing customers across most industry sectors. 

If you need a small business website but you don’t know where to begin, find out about website hosting. Before you turn your shiny website idea into a concrete reality, you need to contend with website hosting – this is the groundwork for a website that will beat them all. 

What is Website Hosting?

Website hosting is like the wiring of your house, it’s completely invisible, but if you don’t have it, nothing works as it should. Website hosts are companies with servers – large mainframe computers – that deliver data to a browser when your URL is requested by your customers. 

Just like your power company or home internet provider, you have lots of options for hosting services – and they all offer something different. Let’s look at features, resources, and costs? 

Types of Website Hosting

Naturally, you want to know about the cost of website hosting, but before we dive into that, let’s briefly consider the many website hosting options you have at your disposal, such as: 

Shared Hosting

If your business has low to moderate traffic, the best option is a shared hosting service, this means you share the server with other businesses like yours, but don’t worry your paths won’t cross! The upside is that you get website hosting for less, but you share the CPU and RAM which might slow down your website during peak traffic times; but it is much cheaper. 

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is another type of website hosting used by small businesses in the UK. Instead of a single server to store your files and resources, the site is hosted on a network of servers allowing greater flexibility, scalability, and speed. Cloud hosting also means you are less likely to encounter crashes or speed issues like the kind found on shared servers. 

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

This type of hosting provides more resources and flexibility than shared hosting. VPS hosting means your website is stored on a virtual machine that runs on a physical server; you get dedicated resources, such as CPU, RAM and storage, and can install your own software and applications. VPS hosting is suitable for website’s with moderate to high traffic.

Dedicated Hosting

If online reliability is top the agenda for your small business website, you need a dedicated server. Dedicated servers are more expensive, but they are entirely dedicated to your business website. Dedicated servers provide dedicated resources and are not shared with other uses. This type of server is best for websites with high traffic or custom configurations. 

 

Factors That Affect Website Hosting Costs

Your choice in website host is a key component to the success of your business website. Here are the main things to consider when choosing which small business website host to go for: 

  • Type of hosting: You have options for hosting including shared or dedicated. Shared is always cheaper as you’re sharing your server with other businesses. Dedicated hosting will be more expensive as you’re paying for individual service, 
  • Resources: CPU, RAM Storage and bandwidth all add to the cost of  your hosting bill. Take time to understand or check the services that you need included in your hosting to make sure you don’t pay for more than you need or get caught without something that is beneficial to your business. 
  • Features: Email hosting, SSL certificates and website builders are additional services offered by most hosting companies. Things like SSL certificates are recommended for every website, but you may not need email hosting or a website builder if these things are already covered elsewhere. 
  • Server location: The location of the server where your website is hosted will impact the cost you pay. UK based servers will be cheaper for UK based customers. Consider data privacy laws before plumping for the cheapest, as it may be better to pay slightly more to have your site in the country you’re based in. 
  • Support: Having good customer service from your website host is important, particularly if you’re managing the site yourself and aren’t very tech savvy. Check reviews for customer support from other host users and also remember to check when their support is available. 24/7 is a bonus!
  • Contract length: A website host might offer you a discount when you sign up for a longer contract upfront. It’s possible to save money when you sign up for a one-year contract instead of a monthly plan.

Tips For Choosing a Hosting Provider

Not all website hosting providers are equal. Aside from your budget, the factors below can all add up to helping you to find a great host for your businesses online presence.   

  • Look for reviews: Reading reviews and testimonials from other small businesses can help you find out whether the host is a worthy match for your business or not. 
  • Consider support: You’ll be amazed at how often you need server support, so make sure you choose a host that offers 24/7 support – especially if you’re not tech-savvy.  
  • Check uptime: Make sure you find a host with high uptime, this is the percentage of guaranteed uptime a host can provide: a rate of 99.9% or higher is recommended. 
  • Look for security features: You’ll be thankful you chose a host with excellent security features, such as an SSL certificate, firewalls, and backups to protect data. 
  • Check pricing and features: Rest easy with the best host at the best price after you compare pricing and features across different hosting providers. Look for hosts that offer scalable plans allowing you to upgrade a hosting plan as the business grows.

How Much Does Website Hosting Typically Cost?

If cost is your main concern when it comes to website hosting, you may be pleasantly surprised. Hosting fees are generally very affordable but will vary depending on the length of contract, services added on, location of the server and plan features. 

  • Shared hosting: Shared hosting plans normally cost between £1-£10 per month, depending on the provider and features included. Shared hosting plans offer fabulous basic features and shared resources, making them a great choice for low traffic websites. 
  • Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting plans usually cost between £4-£50 per month or more, depending on the provider and resources. Cloud hosting plans offer flexible resources and scalability, so they’re an amazing option for small businesses with unpredictable traffic or ones needing high-performance capabilities.
  • VPS hosting: VPS hosting plans typically cost between £10-£20 per month, depending on the provider and the resources included. VPS hosting plans offer dedicated resources and more advanced features, making them a good option for small businesses with moderate-traffic websites or more complex web pages.
  • Dedicated hosting: Dedicated hosting plans typically cost between £50-£500 per month or more, depending on the provider and the server specifications; these plans offer full control over the server and high-performance capabilities, making them an inspired  choice for small websites with high-traffic, or e-commerce websites.

Which Website Hosting Provider is the Best?

When it comes to number one website hosting providers, there is no one-size-fits-all. The answer depends on a range of factors that determine how suitable the host is to a business; these include individual needs, budget, technical expertise, and website requirements. 

Some of the most popular website hosting providers for small businesses in the UK include:

  • Bluehost: Bluehost is a popular website hosting provider that offers a range of hosting plans, a quick and easy set-up, backup data and security protection, along with access to professional advice anytime. 
  • HostGator: HostGator is another fabulous website hosting provider offering a range of hosting plans, including shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting. HostGator provides reliable uptime, 24/7 support and a user-friendly interface.
  • Hostinger UK: Hostinger UK provides hosting for almost any type of website and has data centres around the world; they offer WordPress hosting and cloud hosting with optimal performance. 
  • A2 Hosting: A2 Hosting boasts 20x faster speeds than their competitors along with a range of hosting options, including e-commerce hosting which is vital if you plan on selling items on your website. 
  • GoDaddy: GoDaddy is one of the biggest domain registrars, but it also provides hosting packages that are reliable and fast. GoDaddy has a 24/7 support team capable of handling all your website building and hosting requirements in one place. 
  • HostPapa UK: HostPapa has a user-friendly dashboard that helps you to control your website with ease. It is stable, fast and can be pre-installed with WordPress.

In summary, small businesses in the UK must consider their website hosting needs and requirements carefully when choosing a hosting provider – why not make a list of what you need from a provider? While there are many options available, businesses should prioritise reliability, security, support, scalability and price, in order to partner with an ideal host. 

 

What Else Should You Consider When Building a Website?

Website hosting is not the only consideration for small businesses in the UK, several other factors can impact the success of the website. Here are some additional considerations. 

 

  • Domain name: A website’s domain name is like its address on the internet – it’s needed to tell people where you’re located. Try to choose a domain name that’s simple, easy to remember, and relevant to your business; domain names are usually registered through a domain registrar, which typically charges an annual fee. 
  • Content management system (CMS): Business websites also require a CMS to publish content and help your small business to be discovered: some popular CMS platforms are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. When choosing a CMS for your business, consider your level of technical expertise, budget, and site requirements. 
  • Website design: The appearance and functionality of your website also determine its success, so consider the colour scheme, typography, and user experience carefully. If you want to rank well on search engines you need a website that is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimised for user engagement. 
  • Website content: Now that you have an online platform for your small business it’s time to populate it with relevant text, images, videos, and other media. Your website content must be relevant to your business and offer value to your customers – always make sure your content is relevant, informative, and engaging for visitors. 
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): When potential customers search one of your keywords you want your website to be the first one they see, which is why you need search engine optimization. Through keyword research, content optimisation, link building, and other techniques, you can compete effectively with your near rivals.   
  • Analytics and tracking: Make the most of analytics and tracking tools to monitor traffic and user behaviour on your website, and make more informed choices about your website design, content, and marketing. 
  • Security: Nowadays, cybersecurity is needed to protect businesses and customers from data breaches, hacking and other security threats. Secure your website by installing SSL certificates, using secure passwords, and implementing security protocols. Many website hosts offer built-in security protocols. 

Building a successful small business website in the UK goes beyond website hosting, it involves other crucial factors such as your domain name, CMS, website design, website content, SEO, analytics and security. If you want to build the perfect website and you have enough budget, it can be helpful to partner with a professional to ensure the best results. 

Creating and Managing Your Website

Building and managing a website requires a range of technical, design, and communication skills. Below, you can find some of the key skills required to build and optimise your website. 

 

  • Basic computer skills: Whether you wish to build or operate a small business website, you will need basic computer literacy. Understand how to navigate the internet and use word processing software. 
  • Creativity: Your small business website should be visually appealing and user-friendly for customers and search engines. Some basic graphic design skills can help with creating logos, banners, buttons, and other visual elements. 
  • Content creation: Content is key to attracting visitors to your website and improving your search engine ranking. Ensure you have good writing skills, along with an ability to create and publish a range of content including blog posts, articles, and videos. 
  • Basic knowledge of SEO: Understanding SEO and its techniques can accelerate business growth and make you more competitive. Begin by learning keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building. 
  • Communication skills: Creating and managing a small business website isn’t always a solo effort, you will have to collaborate with others. Make sure you have strong communication skills and work with the right people to build the website. 
  • Time management: Make sure you have project goals in place and manage your time effectively to meet your targets, this ensures your website is operational and ready to support your bottom line. 

Along with a high-quality website hosting provider, these skills ensure your small business website runs smoothly, that you’re competitive in your niche, and can be discovered easily. 

 

Final Thoughts

Website hosting is an essential component for building and a small business website in the UK. Choose the right hosting plan and you can benefit from better website performance and a better bottom line, which influences the perception and operation of your website. Remember, choosing the best host provider often depends on your business requirements.  

Successful small business websites are secure, visually appealing, informative, and engaging – they are also optimised for people and search engines. For stand out results make sure you understand the needs of the business when choosing your website host, and consider partnering with a professional website designer; as long as it’s within budget. 

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