Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2020
Why our reviews are worth reading
As a web agency, we use/test a LOT of hosting providers to scale both our clients and our many many side-projects (we like to experiment).
Having done this for quite a few years now, we've used, analysed, and reviewed a lot of web hosts... these are our findings.
A few of the better-known brands that link to our content
Pickaweb: A quick summary for people with no time (pretty much all of us)
In a nutshell, Pickaweb is a great host. Looking at the all the hosting options and features like free SSL, migrations, and a decent amount of disk space… you can’t really go wrong. Just don’t go with their budget package, it’s cheap but only offers enough for static html sites or placeholder sites, as it doesn’t support MySQL databases (so no WordPress, Joomla or other CMSs). Aside from that, you should be happy with whatever package you decide to run with.
That being said, if you’re not specifically tied to your web host being only UK based, we would still recommend looking around for hosts that offer multiple data centres around the world for that global reach.
Our personal favourite is still SiteGround, they also offer free SSL and CDN integration, have epic support (avg. response time of 10 minutes at the moment).
They also have multiple data centres around the world (including in London), and are officially recommended by WordPress (<- very few companies can claim this. They can, of course, tackle any CMS you throw at them), they’re a true no-brainer, check out our review here.
For more about Pickaweb, keep reading below.
The company was created by Pilar Torres Wahlberg and Tony Messer in 1999. With over 16 years of experience in the industry, Pickaweb is the choice of about 20,000 businesses in the UK.
They offer a variety of products and services including UK based Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting, Domain Registration, Dedicated Servers, Online Website Builder, SSD Hosting, SSL Certificates, and Data Backup.
They’ve garnered awards such as the #1 Reseller Hosting and #1 Unix Hosting service provider as given by WebHost Directory. They were also featured in Entrepreneur, Business.com, Search Engine Journal (SEJ), and GlobalSign. On a side-note, if you’re wondering what our personal choices are for great web hosts in the UK, have a look at our best web hosting review page.
Pickaweb provides four types of packages for its web hosting services. The packages are named Budget, Starter, Pro, and Business. They can be seen in the image below:
The cheapest plan is called Budget and according to the company it is best used by beginners. According to the image, the Budget plan will cost you GBP 2.69 per month. Although if I choose a biennial mode of payment, we calculate it differently upon checkout.
As seen below, a biennial payment term will cost about GBP 64.64. This equates to about GBP 2.6933… per month. We know that the amount is almost the same but it is actually misleading.
If you pay on a monthly basis, the Budget package will cost you GBP 3.99. Add-ons such as domain registration, website builder, and data backup and restoration features can be included during the checkout process.
With the Budget package, you are given a total web space of 5GB. Data transfer is limited at 30GB. This is different from other hosting companies which usually do not set a cap on your bandwidth. A free domain name registration is not available as well. If you want one free domain name, you can get Starter, the next plan. The said package costs GBP 4.25 per month if you pay for 24 months upfront.
You are given only one email account to use with the cheapest plan. If your site has multiple departments, you won’t be able to give each person in charge of that department with his/ her own email account. Servers are located in the UK. This is a good thing if your customer base or target market is based in the said country.
If you don’t have the technical experience, you can easily build a site through their free Website Builder. You have a selection of pre-made templates that are powered by HTML5 and CSS3. We know that you’re scared of these languages but you don’t have to be. It just means that the sites you can create through the website builder will be mobile-responsive. Meaning, it will look good on any device may it be a tablet, a smartphone, a laptop, or a desktop.
When it comes to programming and databases, the Budget plan supports Python, Ruby on Rails, Flash, Shockwave, Cron Jobs, GD 2, Image Magick, CGI, and PhpMyAdmin. So definitely enough to help you start a website. With the IP Address Blocking feature, you can prevent a specific IP address from accessing your website’s content.
For analysis, you can use AWStats (Advanced Web Statistics). It shows information about who is accessing your website. It also displays details divided into hourly, daily, and monthly averages. Facts about your visitors are shown as well. These facts include the visitors’ browsers, operating systems, countries of origin, referers, etc.
These stats are very important if you want to learn more about the people interested in what you have to offer. If you know your target market, you can create content based on their wishes and needs.
Finally, Pickaweb gives a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with your purchase.
Various support options are made available by Pickaweb. These are the following:
- Knowledge Base
- Tutorials and Free Resources
- Telephone Support
- Online Live Chat Support
- Email Support
The Knowledge Base is filled with articles that provide guides on their products and services. The Tutorials page contains more videos and guides on web hosting. Free Resources is a page dedicated to providing other useful information such as blogs on how to protect your website and articles on the best web design tools.
Telephone support, online live chat, and email support are available 24/7. You can choose whichever mode of communication you prefer. No ticket submission is available through the website. This is replaced by an email address you can contact through your own personal or business email.
Reviews on Pickaweb’s customer support service were mixed. For example, some reviews stated that a single question will lead to different answers from different support staff. This means, their support representatives lack the training they need on the company’s products and services.
On the other hand, others praised its support service saying that it is one of the best companies out there. They go beyond what was expected. Other people find the tutorials and the knowledge base very helpful when it comes to handling things on their own.
With all that being said, we cannot say that Pickaweb has the best support system. Although, with the positive reviews, we can say that they do their best to accommodate their customers. There are times, though, when they fail to deliver on their promises of great customer support service.
There are advantages when it comes to signing up with Pickaweb’s hosting services. Below are some of them:
Free Website Builder
If you have no clue about coding, you can still build your own website with Pickaweb’s Website Builder. The said platform allows you to choose from hundreds of templates in various niches. These templates are also mobile-responsive, meaning they adapt to various devices.
Being mobile-responsive also means higher conversions since people on mobile devices can easily navigate throughout your site and user experience won’t suffer. SEO rankings can also be enhanced with a mobile-responsive website since Google released a mobile-first index algorithm favouring responsive websites over non-responsive ones.
Although you are given only one mailbox per hosting account, it comes with great features. These include email redirection, spam protection, autoresponders, mail forwarding, and catch-all emails.
Email redirection allows you to forward emails sent to one account onto another account. Autoresponders allow you to automatically respond to messages coming into your account. When you are on a holiday, for example, you can automatically send an email that you are out of town whenever a message is sent to your account.
Spam protection includes tools that protects your account from spam and unwanted email messages. The mailing list feature allows you to send emails to multiple addresses all at one time. Finally, catch-all emails give you the ability to send all email messages received by an account under your domain name to one specific central mailbox.
Programming & Database Features
With the Budget package, multiple databases, applications, and languages are supported. These include Perl, Ruby on Rails, and Python. Flash, Shockwave, GD 2, Image Magick, Cron Jobs, Curl, and PhpMyAdmin are also supported.
No company is free of flaws. Below are the disadvantages of getting Pickaweb’s Budget Package Hosting Services:
You are only allowed 30GB worth of data transfer. Thus, you cannot accommodate thousands (or millions) of viewers on your site. If you have a lot of site users, you have to go with the Pro plan which costs GBP 6.99 per month if you pay for 24 months upfront. The said plan provides unlimited data transfer thus allowing you to send data to an unlimited amount of visitors all at the same time.
No Free Domain Registration
Most hosting providers provide a domain name that is free for up to 12 months. This can help you save money. However, Pickaweb doesn’t provide a free domain name with the Budget package. It is only available with the Starter package which costs GBP 4.25 per month if you choose a biennial mode of payment.
With Pickaweb, we are in the middle ground. We are on neither side. They’re not a bad company although they’re also not the best out there.
We suggest that you go for SiteGround’s hosting services. They have more disk space and more data centres around the world. If your target market is not limited to the UK, then SiteGround provides you with multiple data centres to provide faster website speeds to various locations around the world. Plus, if you love WordPress, you will love SiteGround. The company is recommended by WordPress, for WordPress.