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Clook is a quirky web hosting company that was incorporated on 15th May 2002. They have over 100,000 managed hosting accounts, and do not by any means give off the "Large hosting company" vibe that so many others do like Bluehost, Hostgator, and GoDaddy. If you're looking for a locally managed hosting company in the UK, then Clook is definitely worth looking into. Here's what you need to know.
This is a UK based company with Datacenters in two locations - Hemel Hempstead and Manchester, UK. Here are the names of the management team:
Chris James - Managing director
Chris Yates - Lead Sys-Admin
Si Pendlebury - Technical Support Manager
As you can see, it's quite small and they give the impression of being a pretty chill team.
They've been around for a long time, so they definitely know what they're doing. Their datacenters check all the right boxes including being fully staffed 24x7x365. In addition, they have power backups that go to the UPS and diesel generators without any downtime, as well as the standard security measures like CCTV, perimeter, and biometric controls.
Unlike some other hosting companies though, I haven't seen any "green" certifications for their datacenters, so that might be something they want to work on!
For a basic shared hosting account, Clook offers quite a bit. I was surprised to see that they take automatic nightly, weekly and monthly backups, from which you can restore your site. So that's pretty cool! They can restore an entire site, or just a part of it.
Also, their support is 24x7 and they're reachable by telephone.
Here's where it gets interesting. The traditional understanding of a VPS or a dedicated server is that it can come in both managed, as well as unmanaged flavors. Unmanaged servers give you a "bare metal" system so to speak. Even if it's just VPS, you can pretty much install anything you want and it's your headache to fix stuff if it breaks.The same goes for dedicated servers - but even more so! Some companies provide only managed servers for their VPS offerings, but definitely allow their customers to have unrestricted access to their dedicated machines.
Clook on the other hand has no unmanaged options at all! Not even for their dedicated servers. This means that if you take a VPS or dedicated plan from them, you can only install "approved" and maintained software packages. What's even more amazing is that SSH access isn't available by default! You have to specifically contact customer service to obtain it.
Now to me, that's taking things a bit too far. It's understandable that Clook wants to maintain the integrity of servers and don't want to deal with the hassle of fixing something when it (inevitably) breaks. But to completely remove the option altogether - it's something I wouldn't expect.
So Clook is a great option if all you're looking for is essentially more powerful hosting with greater redundancy, speed, and capacity. But if you're looking for a VPS or Dedicated server that you can create your own special custom environment on, with the unsupported packages, then it's best to find that somewhere else.
Clook can also host your e-mail for you. They gave up support for Google apps and Outlook a while back and use their own hosting solution. You can get up to 100 GB of e-mail space and they don't charge for each user - which is nice. They'll also migrate your existing e-mail accounts onto their servers for free.
All of the above offerings are backed with a 30 day money back guarantee with no questions asked. I really like Clook and they way they present themselves. It's refreshing to be able to host with a company that's small, and doesn't belong to a large management group. So apart from the small caveat of not being able to get a bare bones VPS or Dedicated server, I would definitely recommend them!