Krystal Hosting Review (2020) – The UK’s Best Web Host?

Krystal Review

Krystal are the UK’s largest independent web host, with nearly 200,000 websites entrusted on their servers. But how good are they?

Now this is going to be a review just looking at the facts and figures as I have been a customer of Krystal since April 2018 and have ran a variety of websites with them including Ecommerce, Business and Blogs. So I do have a lot of first hand experience using these guys.

Krystal-Hosting-Logo

Pricing
Resources
Support
Performance
Reliability

Total out of 5

4.7

Disclosure – this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you sign up to services via a link in this post, I do receive a commission, which helps keep the site running and at no cost to you. BUT in no way does this influence my review of the company, if I don’t like something then I will say so!

Krystal Pricing

Krystal-Hosting-Logo

Cloud Hosting From

£4.99/m

• 2 Websites
• 5GB SSD Storage
• Unlimited Bandwidth
• Weekly Backups
• Free SSL Certificate
• 99.99% Uptime Guarantee

Krystal-Hosting-Logo

PCI Compliant Hosting From

£29.99/m

• Unlimited Websites
• 50gb SSD Storage
• Unlimited Bandwidth
• 4-Hourly Backups
• Free SSL Certificate
• 99.99% Uptime Guarantee

Krystal-Hosting-Logo

Managed WP Hosting From

£14.99/m

• 1 Website
• 5GB SSD Storage
• Unlimited Bandwidth
• Daily Backups
• Free SSL Certificate
• 99.99% Uptime Guarantee

Krystal are not the cheapest when it comes to web hosting but they never aimed to be, instead their focus, as set out by CEO Simon Blackler when he founded the business in 2002 was to provide its customers with an “honest, reliable and personal” web hosting platform and this meant focusing on the quality of the platform first and foremost.

Now while they are not the cheapest, they are also nowhere near the most expensive either, as the basic Amethyst package starts at only £4.99/m +vat and this is perfect for anyone who is just starting out or only has a small amount of traffic visiting their site every month.

There are a couple of things that I really do like about the Krystal pricing structure and that is:

  1. You Can Pay Monthly – this is quite unusual amongst web hosting platforms as most require you to pay annually. There is an option to pay annually and you do get a discount as it works out that you get the equivalent of two months free.
  2. Not Hefty Renewal Fees – unlike many other web hosting services, Krystal don’t lure you in with a special offer price for the first year and then load you in the second. The prices you see clearly advertised on their site are the prices you pay. Occasionally, they do a special offer, where you only pay £1 for your first month but they are still very clear about what you will pay after.

It is also easy to find out the amount of resources (CPU cores, RAM, Entry Processes), that you get with your package. Some other hosting providers aren’t as up front as what Krystal are.

Specialist Hosting

Along with their very popular cloud packages (which is basically shared hosting), Krystal also offer some specialist hosting for different kinds of businesses.

PCI Compliant Hosting

One of their most popular options is their Business Hosting, which is ideal for self-hosted ecommerce platforms such as Magento, WordPress + WooCommerce, Opencart and Prestashop as the servers have been set up so that they are PCI Compliant. No only does this mean that the servers are very secure but it will also be easier to make your website PCI Compliant.

You also get far more in terms of server resources, which is ideal if you either have a large site or are going to be getting lots of visitors.

Managed WordPress Hosting

WordPress is the world’s most popular platform for building websites and Krystal recognised this and created a specialist managed hosting which they call Onyx.

This is great for bloggers who as the Onyx platform has also been specially optimised for WordPress so that you can get the best performance from your site.

Reseller Hosting

Maybe you are a web developer or designer and want to offer your own hosting to your clients, well you can do this by using one of Krystal’s white label reseller packages. Packages start from £14.99 a month and you still get support from the Krystal team, should you run into any issues.

Customer Reviews

To give you a complete picture of what other customers and users think of Krystal, I went to three of the best sources of customer reviews, Trustpilot, Facebook and Google. You can see the ratings below:

Trustpilot Logo

4.9 out of 5

FaceBook Logo

4.4 out of 5

Google Logo

4.6 out of 5

I think it is pretty fair to say that Krystal is pretty highly thought of by its customers, obviously there are a few negative reviews out there but I don’t think that there is a big company out there that can maintain a 100% positive review score.

Krystal Hosting Pros

What I am going to look at in the next section of this review are the aspects of using the Krystal hosting platform that have been a positive for me.

24/7 UK Based Support

Not everyone is tech savvy, so you want to know that there is someone you can contact when you are having problems with your site, performance or just a general enquiry and Krystal have always been very good in this regard.

From helping me migrate my site over to them when it first signed up to various enquiries that I have had since, I have nearly always had helpful replies, whether via the online chat, phone or by email. The responses have always been quick and helpful.

In the two years that I have been with them, there has only been one instance where the response I had was below average and not particularly helpful.

Free Migrations

Moving from one hosting provider to another can be a bit daunting and the thought of moving your website can fill you with dread. But Krystal make the move from another provider to theirs extremely simple by migrating websites for free on their Cloud, Business and Onyx packages.

This is also done with very minimal disruption to your website and my experience of migrating my site to them was painless. Free migrations are only available to new customers.

Performance

The reason why I moved to Krystal, was that the performance I was getting with my previous host wasn’t great and lots of the reviews said that moving to Krystal had improved their sites load speed.

And I had exactly the same experience, I saw a 50% reduction in my sites load time when I moved to Krystal and made any other changes to my site. The combination of Litespeed servers and SSD really does help the performance of your site.

On a side note if you are using WordPress, I would definitely recommend installing the Litespeed Cache plugin as it works perfectly with the servers and you should see improvements to your sites load times.

Testing The Performance

As I do a lot of testing when it comes to EcommerceGold, I thought I would put Krystal to the test for this review. Now I am not going to be using either of my main sites for this as they are both optimised and it wouldn’t be a fair test.

Instead I installed three popular pieces of software (WordPress, Opencart and PrestaShop), with demo content and ran them through Pingdom’s Speed Test Tool (London) and you can see the results below:

WordPress Logo

0.38 Seconds

0.37 Seconds

0.37 Seconds

0.62 Seconds

0.62 Seconds

Now this is just on their cloud hosting and to me, those are some very impressive times! I also done one with WordPress + WooCommerce and that came out at 0.95 Seconds.

Now these figures are only quick tests to see how quick these platforms loaded in their basic forms. This will differ with your own site as there are lots of factors that impact on how well or poorly a live website performs.

Reliable Hosting

Krystal guarantee a 99.99% uptime and in the two years that I have been with them, there was only one time in March 2020, that I had any issues with my sites not loading and I was told that this was down to them having some issues with the server that my site was on (this was also the time I had the below average support).

Other than this one incident, I haven’t experienced any major issues, there has been the odd time when my site has been down for 5 minutes and this usually happens in the middle of the night and doesn’t have any negative impact on my sites.

Free SSL Certificate

On all Krystal accounts, you can install a free SSL certificate with LetsEncrypt and this is really easy to within your sites Cpanel. Not only are they free to use but they also auto renew as well, which means that you don’t have to think about it once you have installed it.

You can also install your own paid SSL certificate if you want to and once again, this can easily be done via Cpanel.

Green Hosting

Datacentres consume a lot of energy and as responsible business and website owners, we all want our sites to have as little negative impact on the environment as is possible.

Krystal share this sentiment as well and have gone the extra mile, not only were they the first UK based host to run completely off renewable energy but they also donate to trees for life, which plants trees to help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the world.

This is a huge plus for me as I personally like to work with companies that share similar beliefs to myself.

Other Pros of Krystal Hosting

Rather than having lots of little sub-headings for these smaller pros, I thought it would be easier to just put them in a list:

  • Unlimited Sub-Domains
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Regular Off-Site Backups

Krystal HostingCons

As with everything in this world, nothing is perfect and Krystal is no different, so this is what I don’t like:

No CDN Included

On the Cloud and Business packages, you don’t get a CDN included with your monthly price. For websites with a primarily UK based audience or customers base, this isn’t a major thing as you will still get good performance from your site.

But if you have got an international audience, then you will want to consider using a CDN as it will have a positive impact on your sites performance. Now, this isn’t to say that they don’t offer one, because they do and it only costs £5 a month for 50gb worth of storage, which is really quite good. Maybe I just want too much?

On the new Onyx managed packages, only the basic package doesn’t include a CDN, all the other packages do.

Conclusion

Krystal Review

Paul @ EcommerceGold

Krystal-Hosting-Logo
Pricing
Resources
Support
Performance
Reliability

Summary

Is Krystal the UK’s Best Web Host?

It is quite hard to argue against them!

From personal experience, they have provided me with a solid, reliable and well performing hosting environment on which to build a variety of different websites.

The support I have received across the two years has been brilliant and I have no hesitation about contacting them if I have an issue.

Yes, they are not the cheapest but having been there and tried that, I would much prefer to go for quality over price and I would and do recommend them to anyone who is looking for a web host.

4.7