Web Hosting - Photo by Tom Raftery

A guide to the different the types of web hosting available in the UK.


Types of Web Hosting

The best type of web hosting for you or your business depends in a variety of factors.

If you are only planning to set up a small personal website, lower-priced ‘shared hosting’ will probably be fine for you until your website becomes very popular.

Some small businesses may also find shared hosting to be suitable.

However for those that want more reliability and greater bandwidth a higher spec solution may be appropriate – such a VPS, cloud based solution or dedicated server.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting plans can vary in quality, but generally speaking are at the lower end of the performance spectrum.

Get shared hosting if you are on a lower budget, have relatively modest needs, and don’t expect to have a landslide of visitors hitting your website.

Shared hosting quite literally means the hosting is ‘shared’ with other users of the same server. This means you could be sharing with anywhere between a few hundred, to a few thousand other websites on just one server. Or in the case of bigger companies you may be essentially placed on a cloud server sharing with tens of thousands, even millions of other websites.

Best for: personal users and small businesses


A VPS or virtual private server is a mid-range solution for those that have higher bandwidth or reliability needs, but can’t yet afford a dedicated server or other high end solution.

On a VPS users are allocated a dedicated amount of CPU and RAM, and depending on the set up, are generally able to set up the server to specification – with a particular control panel and server mods.

The amount of resources allocated to VPS can usually be increased or decreased as necessary, so if your site becomes more popular you can upgrade the amount of RAM or CPU you need.

Best for: those with higher bandwidth or reliability needs, small to medium sized businesses or popular personal websites

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server basically means you get an entire server just to yourself. You can pick the server specs, operating system and control panel.

Dedicated servers are for medium to large websites that want a solid amount of reliability, and the ability to completely customise their server set-up.

Bigger websites may get more than one dedicated server and use a load balancer, or have dedicated database servers.

Best for: medium to large websites and companies

cPanel Hosting

cPanel is a popular control panel system. cPanel simlifies adding new domains/sub domains, databases and a range of other basic tasks.

The ease of use of cPanel makes it a popular choice for web designers and site owners around the world.

cPanel hosting is usually quite cheap, and if you shop around you can find companies that allow you to add more than one website to your package, which can save costs in the future if you run multiple websites.

Windows or Linux?

There are two main types of servers/hosting packages: Windows and Linux/Apache.

Windows Hosting/Servers

Windows servers tend to be used by larger and more corporate websites. Windows servers are generally seen as more reliable than Linux, and run the basic set of Microsoft software: SQL, .Net etc.


Linux servers can be run at a lower cost than Windows servers, so are a popular choice amount small and medium sized companies.

Linux servers usually run the typical LAMP bunle of software: Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP/PERL/PYTHON.

UK Web Hosting Companies

There are a huge amount of web hosting companies in the UK.

We are trying to put together a database of UK web hosting companies in our directory here.

Like and Follow