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UK2 review

Is this experienced UK-based web host the right choice for your website?

21:9 Hero
(Image: © UK2)

Our Verdict

UK2 gives the beginners the assistance they need without emptying their pockets.

For

  • Wide array of services
  • Competent customer service available 24/7
  • Jargon-free guidance
  • 30-day-refund policy for selected plans
  • One-click installer with most plans

Against

  • Website is non-intuitively designed and lacks information on some subjects
  • Only one data cater in UK
  • The knowledgebase could be optimized

As the name suggests, UK2 is a UK-based host, headquartered in London, and it has been in the web hosting industry since 1998. They claim that during more than two decades of work they’ve registered more than one million of domain names of websites in more than 200 locations around the globe, so there is definitely a reason why they are considered one of the largest web hosting companies in the UK. Currently, they are a part of the UK2 Group which owns many other hosting brands, among them Dotable and VPS.net.

As far as we were able to find out, they have only one data center in the UK and there is barely any information about it. However, if you want cloud hosting, you’ll be prompted to choose one among several global locations in Europe, the US and Canada. 

The UK2’s main website is not quite as intuitive as it should be and many users might spend considerable time navigating around while forgetting what they were looking for in the first place. The first search window you encounter upon entering the site isn’t related to knowledgebase, FAQ or similar information source, but rather a way to check availability of your desired domain name. If anything, the website is responsive and appears to be updated regularly.

UK2 has a decent-looking blog filled with the various interrelated subjects, some of which are highlighted by the criteria of popularity and publication date. It appears to be active and updated on a monthly basis.

As for the social media, they have presence at Facebook and Twitter, and both profiles seem to be active and available for customer interaction at this time.

Pricing

Upon entering the site, you will be offered a hosting a plan that is currently on sale with details about pricing, discount and additional features. Scroll down and you will be prompted to “design your perfect hosting solution” by picking the options that define you as a user and your professional requirements. Following this, you’ll be offered three hosting plans that ought to suit your needs, varying by the hosting type, price and added features. Basic shared hosting, WordPress, Cloud, Managed, SSD VPS and dedicated server are all at your disposal. 

UK2's basic and most budget-friendly Starter WordPress plan starts at £4.99 ($6.47) a month, but if you choose a year or two, the monthly price drops to mere £2.00 ($2.59) which is £23.95 ($31.06) for a whole year or £47.90 ($62.12) for two. This will get you one domain name, access to FTP, 5GB SSD Disk Space, five 10GB Pro IMAP Emails, Cloudflare CDN (which is always included with WordPress hosting plans) as well as backups and automatic malware removal. 

Pricing

UK2 offers a variety of plans to meet your hosting needs (Image credit: UK2)

If you are more ambitious, you could go with Business Hosting, which will allow you to build up to a 100-page website and up to 1000 x 10GB email addresses to share with your contacts and customers, all within reasonable prices. All previously mentioned plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Although VPS Cloud Hosting is consider to be aimed at the tech-savvy, UK2 will throw in “state-of-the-art” cPanel and first-rate 24/7 customer support to make everything much easier.

When paying methods are concerned, the options include direct debit, debit/credit card and PayPal, which is more than what is usually available.

Ease of use

Upon picking out your plan, you’ll be immediately offered a few add-ons such as Website SEO Guru (a marketing tool) or SiteLock (which should improve security of your website) and all for an extra price. After this, you’ll be prompted to choose your domain or use an existing one, add your personal details and select a paying method. At every step of the way, a “Having problems?” window will pop up, offering you to contact customer service via telephone or live chat, which may be needed because some parts of the process are not as intuitive as they could be.

While selecting the paying method you are offered a checkbox choice to store it, which is quite refreshing to see. The last step is creating an account password monitored by quite rigorous strength meter, after which the sign-up process is finalized.

cPanel

UK2 lets you manage your website with the industry standard cPanel (Image credit: UK2)

Since UK2 uses an industry-standard cPanel, if you’ve used web hosts in the past and are familiar with the layout, you’ll have no trouble navigating around. Even if you haven’t, cPanel makes for a largely easy-to-use experience. If you’ve selected VPS or a dedicated server, you’ll be able to decide between a selection of cPanels, depending on whether you use Windows or Linux as an operating system. 

In any case, with CPanel you’ll be able to efficiently monitor and manage everything, from variety of tools and add-ons to domain, checking or changing your account details, upgrading your hosting plan or contacting your customer service. Installing WordPress, MediaWIki, Magento, Softaculous or similar apps is only a click or two away.

Although the UK2 doesn’t provide any kind of website builder with its standard account, the website builder feature is offered through the main website and throws in social media integration, search engine optimization, editing tool for digital media and SSL certificate with support, which is always nice to have.

Performance

We used GTmetrix to measure the performance of our UK2 site (Image credit: GTmetrix)

Speed and experience

Following the test run with GTmetrix, we found that UK2 passed the speed trial, at least judging by the performance of their main site. It took 6.9 seconds to fully load from the average of 8.2 and 74 requests from the average of 89, which shows a good performance.

Interestingly, when it comes to uptime, UK2 doesn’t make any definite promises, besides pointing out that “performance and ultimate uptime are their top priority”. Despite that, during the uptime test that run over two weeks on their main website, we recorded no downtime at all and an insignificant amount of oscillations. Although the period we tested is relatively short for a definitive judgment to be made, all things considered, UK2 is clearly off to a good start.

Support

UK2's knowledgebase has some helpful articles but finding them can be difficult (Image credit: UK2)

Support

On first impression, the knowledgebase is as confusing as the main site. They offer an alphabetical index in the center of the page, a list of “Recently updated articles” on the right and the tree of categories on the left side. To find a desired piece of information you’ll need to make your way through several subcategories. In its defense, there is search box in the top right corner, but that will get you plenty of articles that only deal with topics in brief, so you will be forced to invest more time in your research.

To avoid that, you could, as suggested on the same page, simply contact the customer support. Luckily, UK2 provides 24/7 support 365 days a year via telephone, live chat or ticket and it is truly one of the highlights of the company’s offer. 

UK2 Help Centre currently doesn’t have a support forum.

The competition

Both UK2 and Tsohost are web hosting companies originating from the UK and with more than decade of experience behind them. They offer more than a decent array of features and extras, a newbie-friendly approach, as well as competent support. However, cPanel that Tsohost offers is their customized version, so if you are looking for the industry-standardized one, UK2 might be a right choice for you.

Bluehost is an equally competent host from the US, with years of experience behind them, a great deal of features on offer, more budget-friendly prices than UK2 and all of their plans including unlimited bandwidth. Therefore, if data centers inside the UK are not a must for you, Bluehost can provide you with everything you are looking for.

UK2 as well as Hostgator are newbie-friendly, but all plans offered by the latter include a free website builder, which is a great tool to have at the start. In addition, although both of them offer 24/7 support, Hostgator’s website is more user-friendly and its knowledgebase is better organized, so if that matters to you, Hostgator might be an ideal choice. 

The most obvious difference between UK2 and Easyspace is in their location as well as in the locations of their data centers. Both offer a fair amount of hosting plans, features and add-ons, but Easyspace adds a free SSL certificate and unmetered bandwidth even to the most affordable plans, which can be a deciding factor for some.

Final verdict

UK2 certainly isn’t the most affordable host to have, but it offers competent customer service and a cPanel packed with helpful tools which will boost the morale for beginners. If you want all of the abovementioned features with the addition of unmetered bandwidth and more budget-friendly prices, then Hostgator or Bluehost could be a more suitable choice for you.