123-reg

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123 Reg is boss for beginners, and can even be suitable for pros. Affordable hosting packages tick all the right boxes for hobbyists and newcomers, and even offer some support for power users and business website owners. 123 Reg is one of the most affordable and popular hosting providers in the UK.

Review Summary

123 Reg has a history dating back to 2001 and currently serves thousands of UK businesses, but there’s reason to believe not all promises are upheld. Despite offering top-tier features and affordable packages coupled with supposedly world-class customer service, you might find that 123 Reg’s performance and wisdom doesn’t quite tally with the firm’s lengthy industry experience.

Overview

Pull together a consensus from the hundreds of 123 Reg reviews doing the rounds and you’ll reach a quick conclusion – something’s rather rotten in the ranks. However, it’s only fair to acknowledge the fact that you can’t please all the people all the time and one man’s pain is another’s pleasure – could it really be that it’s all a tale of doom and gloom with 123 Reg, or are we looking at bad press simply being given more focus than the good stuff?

As mentioned, here’s a hosting company that’s been in business since 2001, so it’s fair to say they’ve seen a fair few changes come and go over the years. Right now, 123 Reg hosts upward of 1.4 million websites and manages more than 3 million domains, so they’re major players in every sense of the term. You can probably pick up from the name itself that the firm focuses on domain registration and website creation, rather than simple and stripped-back hosting solutions.

And to their credit, it’s always nice to see a hosting service that’s made every effort to make the whole subject as simple as possible – with the easy to use website builder in-tow it really does come across as a great site and service for those just getting started.

So the big question is – how does all this stack up when put into practice? Or better still, why such negative press seemingly from all corners?

Hugely Affordable and Simple System

What immediately jumps out at you when considering signing up with 123 Reg is the promise of a .co.uk domain name for only £2.99, and a .com, .org, .info, .biz, .eu for £9.99. That’s considerably lower than you’ll find almost anywhere else – the standard for the former being around the £6 mark so it already seems like an offer that’s too good to turn down.

For this low price you also get to make full use of their intuitive InstantSite Starter website builder, which offers users the chance to build a website in a matter of minutes. Or in their own words: “InstantSite is the website builder that lets you make your own website – fast. Just pick a website template, customise it to fit your needs and publish. You’ll have a professional site in minutes.”

Step up to the InsantSite Plus for an extra £1.99 per month and you’ll jump from 10 site templates to 324, while £4.99 per month gets you the InstantSite Pro package with a ton more templates to play with. Admittedly, it takes some time to find the templates that are in any way inspiring, but it’s still a hugely easy system to get started with and the prices aren’t bad at all.

So again – why the negative press?

Cracks Appear as Demands Grow

The long and short of it with 123 Reg is this – most seem to agree on the fact that it’s a safe choice for newbies and hobbyists, but as far as building professional websites for business purposes goes, not so much.

There aren’t many places on the web right now where you can invest just £2.99 per month and get yourself a website up and running with a .co.uk domain name – it’s as simple as that. However, things start to go a little sour for 123 Reg when it comes to those expecting a wholly more powerful and professional service package, which in most cases seems to have led to disappointment.

What lets 123 Reg down is a combination of wavering customer service standards and general inconsistencies. Things tend to go well when you’re going about the basics, but get yourself deep into the building of a site with dozens or hundreds of pages and cracks begin to show. You run out of space before coming close to your 500-page limit, you find that some of the data describing the packages on the website is misleading and you find yourself in a rather infuriating battle to get any kind of prompt service.

There’s very little you can ask for what the 123 Reg team will be able to sort for you in less than 24 hours – hardly the end of the world for hobbyists, though potentially catastrophic for business users.

In Conclusion: Not all Bad

To write 123 Reg off as one to avoid at all costs isn’t fair – so many reviews out there fail to mention it can be a brilliant service for casual newcomers, bloggers and hobbyists. As far as full-blown professionals and business websites go on the other hand, it’s not necessarily as rosy a picture.

Visit 123-reg.co.uk

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