Choosing a hosting provider for your UK WordPress website is probably one of the first decisions you will have to make before launching a project. This decision should not be taken lightly as the wrong choice of hosting can have continuing detrimental affects upon your websites SEO effectiveness. When considering which hosting provider to choose you should consider a number of factors, particularly if like me, you live in the United Kingdom.
If money is no object then choose a hosting provider that is as close to your intended audience/market as possible and opt for at least 4GB of server RAM and, if possible SSD storage. This will ensure lightening fast response times and a great user experience. If this is you you can stop reading this article here and go directly to the SiteGround hosting website and choose the best hosting plan you can afford. However, if expenditure is a consideration, then you need to weigh up a number of factors in deciding which hosting provider to choose. If you just want to know which hosting plans are best just scroll down to the last paragraph.
There is considerable debate in online forums about whether you should choose a hosting provider whose servers are actually located in the country in which you are located. There is some merit in choosing a server in you target country, namely latency speed (the time it takes for your website to respond to any given user input). If your hosting provider is based on the West Coast of the USA and your user is in the UK, the response times of your website is going to be slower than a similar website hosted on a similar server in Milton Keynes. But latency is not the only factor in influencing your websites load speed. Many UK based hosting providers are not particularly up to date or competitive in terms of hosting infrastructure and hardware. They can be more expensive and have inferior server architecture to foreign providers, particularly US based ones. One key point to remember is that hosting server location is not a major factor in SEO effectiveness. WordPress websites have many ways to identify themselves as geolocated in a particular location. SEO plugins like Yoast and their addon “Local SEO” can help target your website on a specific location. Search Engines, such as Google and Bing use your top-level domain suffix (e.g. .co.uk) to associate your domain to a geographical location (in this example, to the United Kingdom). So where the website is actually hosted is not as important as it might seem at first.
Having used many different hosting providers, both UK and internationally based, there is a great deal of difference in the amount of ‘bang’ you get for your ‘buck’ in terms of server quality and hardware. Unfortunatley the advertised speeds and resources hosting providers promote do not always live up to expectations. I have found that the only real way to see how good a hosting provider is, was to take the plunge and buy a package and see how it goes. Hopefully this article will save you the possible expense and hassle of doing this yourself. To some extent you get what you pay for.
When it comes to WordPress websites they work best when you have a decent amount of dedicated RAM and preferably a solid state hard drive (SSD). The bigger your WordPress website is, the more of these resources it will need. Webpage load speed has become an increasingly important metric for search engine providers such as Google and Bing. Simply put, the faster your website loads the better your page rank will be. The distance your server is from your users can cause a longer response time (latency – see above). Shared hosting, small RAM allocation and old server SATA hard drives can all increase your WordPress website load speed. If your websites homepage takes longer than 5 seconds to load in your target country and you currently host it abroad, then it may well be worth considering moving your hosting server closer to your target audience and sucking up the additional cost from a local UK based hosting provider.
I have used an number of hosting providers over the past year, including Godaddy, Hostgator, 1and1, PlanetHippo, TSOhost, SiteGround, Hostinger, Inmotion, UK2 and one does stand out among them all. In terms of website load speed, server up time, support and overall user satisfaction I have to recommend SiteGround. If a client now asks me to recommend a hosting provider, I can say without hesitation that Siteground is the hosting provider I would choose. Page load speeds are significantly faster than other providers and I have been impressed with their support as well. I am now using SiteGround for all of my new projects and when i get some spare time I will migrate my older websites on other hsoting plans over to Sitegound. Other notable mentions are Godaddy, for excellent telephone support; Hostinger for reasonable budget hosting for small static websites; Hostgator for good value VPS annd cloud hosting.