TL; DR: FreshSites was founded in 2011 to fill a need for responsive web hosting in the U.K. Neil Skoglund and his team set out to create a solution that was local, reliable, and customizable, and FreshSites has established a reputation with U.K. businesses as a service-oriented hosting partner. The company doesn’t advertise its services; it relies instead on positive reviews and word-of-mouth to attract new clients. Ultimately, the mission of FreshSites is to simplify hosting for entrepreneurs who want to focus on growing their brands, not wading into technology.
In the early 2010s, it wasn’t easy for U.K. businesses to leverage the reliability of a local hosting provider. Most well-known enterprise web hosts weren’t popular with customers, and local SMBs had few options within the country. The problem with opting for out-of-country hosting, though, was latency — or the total time it takes to send a data packet — because U.K.-based websites were often forced to contract services from web hosting companies thousands of miles away.
“If a company in England hosts a website on a U.S.-based server, the latency on that is ridiculous,” said Neil Skoglund, Managing Director for FreshSites.
Neil noticed the latency problem in the U.K. when he was part of a website design team in London. Not only were the company’s sites slow to load, but its clients struggled to contact the support team for help with solving issues.
“We were fed up,” Neil said. “So, we decided to become hosts ourselves because no one was doing it.”
FreshSites was born in 2011 from that desire to provide consistent web hosting services in the U.K., with Neil as managing director.
Seven years after it was founded, the latency Neil’s company experienced is a thing of the past, and FreshSites is one of only a handful of reliable local hosting options in the U.K. The company also addresses other issues that many businesses experience with global hosts.
“Big hosting companies are easy to set up if you know what you’re doing, but if you don’t, it’s nearly impossible. And there’s little support — sometimes for 24 hours or more,” Neil said.
FreshSites differentiates itself with its local service, low latency, and responsive customer service. And it does that while offering hosting packages for businesses of any size and mission.
Many larger hosting companies advertise their ease of use in any business situation. But entrepreneurs, startups, and SMBs may not find those hosting options so intuitive.
For example, some hosts offer a one-click installation package, but that feature can come with a caveat.
“What they don’t tell you is that, if you’re launching for the first time, you’re not going to know if it needs to go into the directory or what plug-ins you need to install,” Neil said.
FreshSites recognizes that most companies just want to get online and start creating content, not researching plug-ins, and figuring out the inner workings of their dashboard.
The company offers two primary packages: WordPress hosting and managed WordPress hosting. For companies hosting only one WP site, FreshSites provide 1GB SSD storage, 10GB monthly transfer, and five email accounts for one low yearly fee. For businesses that need a little more, the next tier supports 10 WP sites with 10 GB SSD storage, 100 GB of monthly transfer, and unlimited email accounts.
Managed WordPress hosting plans make the lives of entrepreneurs even more straightforward with automatic updates, a 99.98% uptime guarantee, and around-the-clock customer support. Smaller sites can start with a plan that includes one CPU core, 1GB RAM, and 90-day backups. Larger companies can select a plan with two CPU cores and 4GB RAM, among other features.
FreshSites also recently entered the reseller market to help local web designers. That’s because the company understands that some SMBs need more hands-on assistance when developing a website.
“We resell services, but when you call, you still get someone from FreshSites who knows what they’re talking about,” Neil said.
FreshSites is committed to customer support in a way that most companies aren’t — regardless of whether they’re local or international. In fact, Neil said that the company’s support is one of its biggest selling points.
The company aims to reply to each ticket within 20 minutes during regular business hours. Outside of those hours, it strives to address issues within two hours, and representatives are happy to use chat or, unlike some web businesses, get on the phone.
“Someone’s always at the other end of the phone or online chat to talk you through whatever issues you’re having. And businesses knowing that they can get through to us can be a huge thing,” Neil said.
That commitment to customer service has helped FreshSites grow considerably in the last seven years. And the company doesn’t even have an advertising budget. Instead, it relies solely on satisfied customers to attract new clients.
With such stellar online reviews, it’s easy to see why businesses find FreshSites so attractive.
One customer lauded the company’s service in a testimonial, saying: “They offer some of the best customer service I have ever received. They are super responsive, happy to help with anything, and are friendly and professional as they do it. I am so impressed and grateful and will use as often as possible and recommend in the future.”
Another client echoes those sentiments: “Fantastic service — amazingly quick, clear and helpful responses. Really feels like the team are here to help you with whatever you need whenever you need it. Couldn’t recommend more!”
And those reviews are just a small sample of the many customers who have recommended FreshSites. The company boasts close to a five-star rating with hundreds of reviews on a variety of platforms.
“That’s quite good for a small company,” Neil said.
FreshSites aims to provide businesses in the U.K. with personalized hosting packages and support. With that goal in mind, it has also created customized hosting solutions based on customer feedback. And its proprietary system allows FreshSites users to test different set-ups, rather than merely using an out-of-the-box solution.
For example, customers recently began recommending that FreshSites use WP Rocket to speed up its WordPress hosting service. After exploring the plug-in, the team decided to add it to its managed hosting solution.
Further, Neil said that the company is always testing PHP versions and web browsers to ensure that its packages function seamlessly for clients.
Those customization opportunities are a far cry from the early 2010s when Neil and his team developed FreshSites after identifying the need for a local hosting company.
The company has found ways to differentiate itself further in the market by offering responsive support and a 99.98% uptime SLA.
Through it all, FreshSites has maintained its belief that web hosting should be straightforward so entrepreneurs can focus on their businesses.
“Launching a website shouldn’t be hard. Our mission is to make it easier for companies to focus on the content while we focus on the technology that makes it work,” Neil said.
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About the Author
Sean Garrity is a Managing Editor at HostingAdvice with more than 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing for numerous industry-specific trade publications. At HostingAdvice, Sean is charged with orchestrating the site’s content production, overseeing a team of writers, and ensuring the quality of feature and how-to articles. His goal is to keep organizations and entrepreneurs informed on the latest trends and technologies that can help them streamline operations and thrive online. When he isn’t wrapped up in discussions with experts, you can find Sean in front of his monitor, looking for what’s coming next in the fast-changing tech landscape.