1&1 has been operating in the web hosting industry since 1988. It is owned by United Internet, a German internet company that is regarded as one of the largest web hosting providers in the world. 1&1 provides both domain registration services and web hosting services, including standard shared hosting, Linux hosting, cloud hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. The company also offers specialized hosting for WordPress and commerce based websites.
We setup a WordPress website on the company’s standard shared hosting plan in order to test the service quality of this company, and to craft a fair and unbiased review for you based on firsthand knowledge. We carefully observed various aspects of the website for a period of 8 months, and gathered enough information to come up with our review of 1&1’s hosting service. Here’s what we have to say.
The Pros of 1&1 Hosting
Pricing Plan: Among the major perks of 1&1 hosting, the most remarkable one is their extremely affordable pricing plan. In terms of pricing, 1&1 hosting is one of the most affordable web hosts in the industry. It offers a very reasonable pricing plan for the first introductory year, costing a mere $0.99/month. This plan includes a domain and an SSL certificate, making it one of the most attractive introductory plans that you can find in the industry. After the first year’s introductory plan, the price will slightly go up but even then, it remains quite reasonable if compared to many other web hosts.
Uptime: Surprisingly, 1&1 claims no uptime guarantee on its website, unlike other web hosts. However, we did find out that company takes measures to ensure maximum uptime for its users. 1&1 stores all data in two separate locations so that if one server experiences downtime, the other server will automatically take over. During our 8 months evaluation, we measured the average uptime for our website to be 99.96%, which is not the best in the industry but is still fairly acceptable. A point worth mentioning here is that 1&1 offers a unique feature to its users: a mobile app that lets the users view the status of their website at all times.
Customer Support: Customer support is also one of the areas where 1&1 seems to really stand out. The company offers extensive support to its users through a variety of mediums. The company offers technical help over the phone 24/7, along with support through email. 1&1 also offers support through its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, a practice uncommon in the web hosting industry. Moreover, the company also runs a YouTube channel where it posts informational videos for users from time to time. We interacted with the company through the phone, email, and the company’s Facebook page; and we found their customer service to be highly responsive and helpful.
Extra Features: Not only does 1&1 offer a full range of web hosting solutions, it also offers several other extra features to its customers. The company offers a free domain name and SSL along with their packages, in addition to Facebook, Yahoo, and Bing marketing credits. The company’s control panel lets you install the most common applications and scripts with a single click, including ZenCart, WordPress, Joomla, PHP, and Drupal.
Security: 1&1 means some serious business when it comes to the security of your website. The company offers sophisticated and advanced security solutions to ensure maximum protection for your websites. A free SSL certificate is included with all of their packages, along with DDoS protection, making your site secure from malicious attacks by hackers and spammers. The company has a geo redundant infrastructure, meaning that a parallel processing takes place across separate data centers, ensuring the maximum possible availability of your data.
The Cons of 1&1 Hosting
Complexity: We think the primary drawback of 1&1 hosting is its complexity. While it is true that setting up and running a web hosting account is not as simple as a Facebook account, it shouldn’t be as difficult either as 1&1 tends to make it sometimes. We came across several reviews that complained about the problems they faced while trying to point their domains (which they had purchased elsewhere) to 1&1. With other web hosts, this is a simple two-step process but not so with 1&1. Another problem the users stated and we experienced it ourselves too, was the unexpected error messages popping up. We came across these error messages several times while trying to submit forms, and while trying to install a database for WordPress.
Speed: Speed refers to the amount of time it requires for your site to load up when someone types the address of your website in their browser. Speed is very critical for the success of your website, as well as for your ranking in the search engine results. While 1&1 provides a quite good uptime, the company’s loading speed isn’t nearly as impressive. During our evaluation period of 8 months, we recorded the average loading speed at 1015ms; which is slower than the industry standard of 985ms. This is another major con that prevents 1&1 from competing with the best web hosts in the industry.
Industry Reputation: While our own experience with 1&1 was not so bad, the company is generally not regarded as a good webhost. Despite some of 1&1’s unique features and extremely reasonable prices, there is a great wealth of negative reviews about the company that will advise you to avoid using their service. It does make us doubtful about the company’s credibility and we’d suggest that if you choose to host your website with 1&1, don’t subscribe to a longer package straight away and try their service for a month or two to make sure it works for you.
Control Panel: Connecting to the previous point, 1&1 does not offer the standard cPanel control panel for its users; rather it offers a custom control panel that is not as convenient and powerful as the cPanel. There isn’t much information available about their control panel in their help section, and thus we had to refer to customer support several times to find our way with the control panel. It can be particularly confusing for novice web masters to get things done with this control panel, making it a major con of 1&1 web hosting.
Considering the overall pros and cons of 1&1 hosting, it can be regarded as an average web host. It offers some unique features and great value to its customers, but lacks at some key areas such as loading speeds and ease of use. Nonetheless, considering its cheap prices and extra services offered, it is a good choice for new webmasters who want to get a feel of what it’s like to host a website.
We Recommend Siteground
Weighing both the pros and cons of SiteGround, it can be concluded that SiteGround is one of the best webhosts overall. The most important aspects for a webhost to consider are their uptime, speed, customer support, and security; and SiteGround excels in all of these areas. SiteGround is amongst the most ideal webhosts in the market today.