1&1 Hosting (5/10)
Founded in 1988, 1&1, a German based company, is one of the largest and oldest web hosting services. Initially, they started as a simple hosting company but now offer a comprehensive range of products.
One of 1&1’s most attractive features is that it is at the more affordable end of web hosting.
They are currently offering a domain name free for 12 months (price correct as of 17 May 2017) with a basic package starting at £0.99 per month for 12 months. After 12 months, this increases to £9.99 (plus VAT at 20% = approx £11.88 per month), To get the free domain name, you have to sign up to a 12 month package.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? However, the basic package is not suitable for serious business and your domain isn’t instantly live.
Whilst they offer dedicated SSL security, there are no options for Online Marketing or an Eshop.
To have these features included the price rises significantly – to around £30.00 per month plus VAT.
They also offer a 30 day FREE trial on all of their products, with the option of month to month contracts. However, if you simply want a domain name, read the small print which states this contract must be taken for a year’s cycle. Also, the cost of your domain, or MyWebsite Services are NON REFUNDABLE.
1&1 automatically renew your package unless you cancel. This can only be done online and is only effective once they have issued written confirmation of cancellation to you. In order to avoid a further 12 month’s charge, the contract must be cancelled one day prior to the end of the initial contract period.
Interestingly, whilst writing this article, and navigating 1&1’s website, their basic package has risen to £1.19 per month!
1&1’s website appears to have a user friendly interface, easy to navigate and offering advice on how to create your own website with simplicity and ease. It appears to be aimed at the inexperienced beginner, although like most other hosting companies, it does offer professional web services. However, it is simple to find quite technical features, but difficult to locate best options for non tech users.
- 1&1’s products are all integrated, which is a big pro for many people.
- They boast a 99.9% uptime reliability on your website (although this is industry standard) and file uploads are quick for websites with basic features.
- In contrast with some other companies offering cheap hosting options, 1&1 offers plenty of memory to run your website. They use integrated WordPress which recommends a minimum of 64MB to run.
- 1&1’s key strengths lie in its WordPress support. They offer 3 packages, ranging from basic to Unlimited, the most feature-packed of the three options. However, the seemingly ease of “1 click set up” offered is not as simple as it first appears. Further, in the “free mode” they automatically install 15 plugins.
- All packages come with free email.
- No business is complete without E-Commerce. 1&1 offer a dedicated E-mail Marketing Manager, giving an overview of your email traffic, address management and more.
1&1 offer dedicated 24/7 customer support.
Whilst it is relatively quick to have a phone call answered, the advice is limited especially for first time users. Your initial call will be answered by a front level entry operator, usually working from a script. If your problem is more complex than can be answered, your call will be passed to another department or a call back arranged.
This whole process can take considerable time and effort and the internet is littered with negative comments regarding 1&1’s poor customer support.
They offer an online contact centre with solutions to common problems. However, this is a minefield to navigate particularly for the inexperienced user.
There is also no Live Chat service currently offered.
THE GOOD AND THE BAD
- Integrated WordPress for website creation
- budget pricing
- 24/7 support
- Offer both Linux or Windows based servers
- Poor technical support
- Hidden extras and unnecessary add-ons can increase costs
- Cancellation of contract is not simple
- Basic packages have limited capability / features
- Your domain is not “instant”. It takes between 3 & 5 days to come live.
1&1 offer a great budget package for users working on small projects or with tight budgets. They offer rock solid uptime stability with rich website creation tools and a reasonable level of basic support.
They score highly on reliability, security and pricing (average 8 out of 10) but very poorly on customer and technical support (3 out of 10). Overall rating for 1&1 is 5.
Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions in the comments section below.