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UKHost4u - Review and Testing

Our Verdict

Since the last time I checked out UKHost4u, they have made numerous improvements - and not just on their website!

While their pricing has increased slightly, the higher level of service they provide easily offsets this. Their customer support was incredibly helpful and friendly, and I experienced no server or network issues using their web hosting. UKHost4u is a great option for businesses of most sizes, but if you need a more specialised product or want unique features, you may want to look elsewhere.

Pros

Cons

Fantastic customer support

Slightly more expensive than some hosts

Fast network

Lack of long term discounts

Unique VOIP plans

VPS/Dedicated servers not customisable on the website

Lots of different features

 

UKHost4u is a industry leading premier hosting provider based in the United Kingdom, providing a wide range of hosting services catering to any type of website from small businesses to large enterprise clients. Founded over 10 years ago, UKHost4u has grown from offering small hosting solutions to local clients, to providing a variety of hosting setups across the United Kingdom. From small personal blogs to large enterprise solutions, UKHost4u has a variety of services to suit any scenario.

Uptime

On their website UKHost4u claim to have a comprehensive network infrastructure in their data centre with an impressive 99.9% uptime guarantee. I’m pleased to say that in this regard, they don’t disappoint. After monitoring my website’s uptime over a 3-week period, I saw an uptime result of just below 99.9%, which falls close in line with their brand’s promise. Contrary to some of the earlier reviews I saw of UKHost4u, I had little to no problems with the performance of the hosting, so I can only assume they have made leaps and bounds in their quality of service over the past few years. Any downtime I experienced was actually due to coding issues on my website so I have to hand it to them with this one.

Security

Security is one of the areas where many hosting providers, especially in the UK budget hosting market, can fall flat. Thankfully, in recent years UKHost4u seem to have adapted their marketing strategy and no longer present themselves as a low-cost, budget web hosting provider - instead they seem to be focusing on offering a higher quality product. This revised focus shows in their security measures as well, with a range of security features built into each hosting plan available from their website.

UKHost4u claim to host from a Tier 2 ISO 270001 secured, Maidenhead-based data centre, with a variety of security systems in place. According to their website, 24/7 monitoring is in place along with DDoS protection for each server. Their data centre also uses an N+1 PowerWave UPS system for backup power in disaster recovery scenarios.

During my time with UKHost4u I never really experienced any of the issues that would lead to me being able to test any of these security systems, so while I cannot fully verify that their security systems are as they claim, the fact that nothing went wrong shows that they at least have their bases covered.

Customer Service

Reading past reviews of UKHost4u’s customer service, I was hesitant to come to their support team with any problems. Previous reviews have indicated that UKHost4u’s customer support has struggled with communication, in addition to not always providing the technical support that many web hosting customers have come to expect. Eventually though I did run into some issues of my own making, and thankfully their support team couldn’t have been more helpful.

My website’s Wordpress installation began throwing 500 errors at me which, unbeknownst to me, was cause by incompatibilities with my Wordpress plugins. I had no knowledge of this and their support team responded to let me know this immediately after submitting my ticket, with an astonishingly fast response rate - in stark comparison to the old reviews I’d seen!

Speaking to Will and John from support, I was reassured that it was just a temporary issue on my website which could be fixed easily and quickly. As a beginner in the world of web hosting I was initially quite worried that I had seriously messed the website up but luckily it was just a minor issue. The support staff over at UKHost4u were courteous and friendly, and went beyond the usual level of technical support to assist me in getting my website back online.

Whatever changes UKHost4u has made to their staffing and support structure have definitely paid off. I found myself pleasantly surprised at not only the level of professionalism that the support engineers had, but also the fast response times and excellent technical support. In this regard, UKHost4u have made leaps and bounds, performing better than many of the other goliath hosting providers.

Hosting Types

UKHost4u offer a wide range of hosting services from their website, as well as the traditional shared web hosting plans that they started with. Their home page displays a myriad of different services aimed at most types of businesses, from small startups, to large enterprise businesses.  During my time with UKHost4u I opted for one of their specialised Wordpress hosting plans.

First up are the regular shared hosting plans. This type of hosting is what got UKHost4u big back in the early days of web hosting, so my expectation going in was that the shared hosting would be high in performance, security, and features. As I was only hosting a simple Wordpress website, I went for the Basic Web Hosting plan. The cheapest of the shared hosting options, I was granted 50GB of disk space, 1 independent website, as well as unlimited databases and email accounts. This was ample for my requirements, however with the limit of only 1 independent website, those requiring hosting for multiple websites will need to go for the slightly more expensive Advanced or Business plans. These two plans also do come with free extras including an SSL certificate and a free advanced spam solution.

Other shared web hosting plans include: Enterprise Hosting for larger businesses or enterprises, Reseller Hosting for web hosting resellers, and Wordpress Hosting which is a new solution, specifically designed and optimised for Wordpress Hosting. Had the Wordpress hosting plan been available at the time of review I would have gone with that, however I had to settle for the Basic web hosting plan. Although the Wordpress hosting plan claims to be more optimised for high performance Wordpress setups, I didn’t experience any issues with hosting a Wordpress site on the Basic plan. Users with more complex websites might see obvious advantages with the Wordpress plan however.

Next up is the Website Builder plan. Website builders have become their own industry these days, so it can be hard to compete with them. Powered by Sitepad, UKHost4u market their website builder plan as an easy and quick way to get your website online with no prior experience. While I can’t testify to the legitimacy of this, I did try out the demo for Sitepad and found it straightforward and intuitive. Experienced web developers won’t be able to get much out of this but for a beginner it’s a good way to get a website online quickly.

Moving away from the shared hosting plans, the next offering on their website are a variety of VPS packages. UKHost4u seem to have extensively revised their VPS offerings and the range of plans are now affordable, with the cheapest plan starting at £15 per month, as well as customisable. Their website states that all packages are completely customisable, although there doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the website to configure them. A slider-type option for choosing resource allocations and configurations would be nice.

Dedicated Servers are up next and this is another area where UKHost4u have made significant changes. Focusing on offering a more complete product, UKHost4u have moved away from offering budget services and this is reflected in their Dedicated Server offerings as well. Although the plans are not the cheapest plans available, they do offer a generous resource allocation as well as a range of additional features with 24/7 support. Similarly to VPS hosting, the website states that dedicated plans are completely customisable, but an option to customise the plans is nowhere to be seen.

The final type of hosting that UKHost4u offer is VOIP hosting. VOIP hosting is a fairly new product that UKHost4u has been offering for some time. This alone puts it ahead of most regular web hosting providers who simply don’t offer VOIP hosting - the choice is few and far between. With plans hosted on 3CX, Elastix, and FreePBX, there appears to be a good selection of plans for enterprise clients as well as those who don’t want to pay for licensing fees.

Several additional products are offered alongside the hosting plans on the UKHost4u website. SSL Certificates are available through Comodo with the Essential SSL, Wildcard SSL, and EV SSL found on the website. It’s a good choice to provide SSL certificates however many providers now offer free SSLs so it would have been refreshing to see that here. SpamExperts spam protection solution is also available as an addon to any existing hosting plans. While there’s not a great deal of information about this on their website, it claims to greatly help prevent incoming spam from hitting your inbox.

Domain registration is the other main service that UKHost4u provide. Domain names can be searched through the website, with hundreds of different domain extensions to choose from. Extras such as domain privacy can also be added upon registration.

Pricing

Pricing is one of the areas that UKHost4u had, for a long time, had the edge on many of the competitors. Along with many other changes that UKHost4u has made, this is one of the biggest. Affordability is no longer the priority, and while UKHost4u do still offer some competitive pricing on their hosting plans, especially when the special offers are used, the focus seems to be on offering higher quality service with more features. As such, many of the plans have had small increases in pricing.

Shared hosting plans start at £5 per month or £50 per year. Currently they are offering promotions of 3 months for £1 per month, and 3 years for the price of two. This is certainly not to be overlooked as these deals do offer great value for money. Enterprise hosting starts at a higher price point, at £20 per month, however similar deals can be found here with 50% off the first 3 months. Wordpress hosting plans start at £10 per month, with the same 3 months for £1 promotion. Finally, Reseller hosting starts at a substantial £25 per month, without the 50% off the first 3 months deal.

Website builder plans start at a very affordable £6 per month, or £60 per year. With a 30 day free trial of the product, this is a great choice for those looking to build their first website.

VPS Hosting plans are priced higher than shared hosting plans (as expected), with the entry level plan starting at £15 per month. Unfortunately there’s no introductory offers for VPS plans which would be ideal, especially when compared to the competitors.

Dedicated servers are as expected, the most expensive product that UKHost4u has to offer. Starting at £50 per month for the entry level plan, the Dedicated server plans offer reasonable value with a decent set of features. Additionally, UKHost4u are running a 50% off your first 3 months promotion, which is a good deal for a dedicated server plan.

Features

Shared hosting provides everything that you’ve probably come to expect from a reputable hosting provider. Users are given access to the universally-known cPanel control panel, where they can control every aspect of their hosting package - from DNS records, to email accounts, and everything in between. This in itself is nothing special however UKHost4u also bundle in the Softaculous Applications installer. Softaculous acts as a script installer and lets you quickly install countless scripts and software platforms such as Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal. This takes away the stress of manually installing CMSs and additional software. Cloudlinux is used on their shared hosting servers in order to contain each user’s resource usage and helps stop performance being affected by other accounts on the server. CageFS is also used to fully virtualise each user’s file system in a secure manner. UKHost4u provide a fairly generous resource allocation on their plans, with unlimited databases and email accounts on all plans.

Enterprise hosting offers a similar set of features with a few additional extras. All enterprise plans are hosted on fully SSD-driven servers with more generous resource allocations, as well as a free SSL certificate and SpamExperts spam protection.

Reseller hosting offers some new additions to the standard feature set. As well as the higher resource allocations, UKHost4u also provides access to Web Host Manager (WHM) control panel for managing user web hosting accounts. WHMCS is also provided, which provides a complete billing management system for all user accounts in the reseller plan. This is a very handy addition to the Reseller hosting plans.

Wordpress hosting is where the real change can be found. This all-new specialised package comes with an array of optimisations that aim to maximise the performance of websites hosted on these servers. Powered by Nginx, the new Wordpress plans also feature a range of optimisations such as GZIP compression, PHP-FPM, compression mechanisms, MariaDB and more. Also featured is a staging environment as well as Wordpress Migration and automated backups.

Website builder plans are slightly devoid of extra features although the website builder tool itself is intuitive enough. Included is access to some of the shared hosting features such as cPanel and unlimited bandwidth, as well as fairly generous resource limits.

VPS hosting has gone somewhat of a transformation compared to last time I checked out UKHost4u’s website. Customers can now choose between Linux and Windows operating systems, as well as Plesk or cPanel control panels. Access to SSH or RDP, VNC, and KVM is now provided. UKHost4u also now provide a separate control panel for managing the power states of the VPS, so it can be started, stopped, or restarted at will.

Dedicated hosting remains a strong offering from UKHost4u. Focusing strongly on bespoke server solutions, their web page explains that you have complete control over every aspect of your dedicated server, from the operating system to the hardware itself. Modern, high-performance equipment is provided with various guarantees and SLAs.

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