Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Picaholic Review

Company name: Picaholic


Picaholic offers flash website software for creative professionals. The guys at Picaholic claim they had “removed the time, complexity and time-to-market normally associated with building high-end flash site”. Let’s look closer at what you can get choosing this service.

The Picaholic website management package comes with pre-built flash templates. Currently there are 4 templates available at the company’s display gallery. By the way, it’s rather weird that a user needs to hunt around the Picaholic website in order to find the list of available templates. I found it in the FAQ section, for instance. The templates look nice, each of them has its own menu system, image gallery and page layouts. Video background is a cool feature, such gurus of flash web design as HelloMonday often use this hook in their practice. The ability to switch between templates in one click is a nice touch. However, the lack of diversity and originality in Picaholic template designs can be felt immediately. The company promised new templates to be deployed on a monthly basis in 2009, it’s December and still there are just four themes offered. Instead, the company highlights the ability to order an advanced website customization and a team of professionals can design the website for you for some extra fee.

Picaholic delivers a few decent opportunities worth your attention. These are unlimited pages, zip image upload, high impact images and videos, password protected galleries, free 7 day trial, and what’s more pleasant, 30 money back guarantee. The fact you can’t reside your site on your own servers darkens the aforesaid advantages a bit.

Among the great features provided by Picaholic are mobile compatibility and cross-browser support. At present visitors can view images and text on their mobile devices, including iPhone and Blackberry. Video streams are promised to be released soon.

One of the main highlights you can see in the feature list of Picaholic is SEO-friendly site structure. Let’s make an experiment and test one of the websites created with Picaholic for SEO-friendliness. We’ve searched for the pages indexed on this website We have found that there are links to the website pages in index but they all have the same meta description which is not SEO friendly. Plus, no text content was indexed on those pages except that the page has a flash file on it. This means the pages, even though they are in Google index, are useless. Another step is to type “lisa zimmitti contact” in Google to see if the contact page would show up. What we got was the same index page with "design by picaholic" as a snippet. Thus, the website failed the test – this is definitely not as SEO friendly as Picaholic states.

Now let’s see what all this enjoyable flash websites management claimed by Picaholic team will cost you. There are 3 payment options presupposing the long-term subscription loyalty: from $25 per month; from $60 per quarter; from $200 annually. Not too expensive, but my opinion is that the current functionality of Picaholic websites is a bit overpriced. For justice’ sake, we should admit that the company is developing and many new options are announced to be implemented in the flash websites in future. So let’s wait until the number of advantages will correspond to the price.

On home page you can see a showcase of websites built using this software. Judging by this gallery and a number of positive testimonials available on the main page as well, lots of people are happy with the Picaholic product. All presented designs are beautiful and original. The only drawback we’ve noticed is that a bunch of websites loads rather slowly.

In general, solutions offered by Picaholic are satisfying and you can build a nice looking portfolio website using this software. However, we recommend you to take advantage of the trial period and check all the functionality and options carefully in order to make sure the product will return the expenses.

Hope this post was useful. You will find links to other systems reviews on the right.

1 comment:

  1. We used Picaholic for 2 years - and we're now moving to ShowIt. Not only is it a much easier to use system - the functions are fantastic. As of the last 6 months or so Picaholic's Customer Service has gone down the drain - nobody is ever there during there "business hours", and it gives you direction to leave a message, but disconnects before you ever reach an answering machine.
    I've been calling and emailing for 2 weeks straight to cancel my account, and to no avail.