2016 123-reg review: Everything you need to know

Overview: 123-reg is a UK based hosting company offering affordable domains and a varied hosting portfolio.

Pricing:

Start Up: $2.99/mo for shared hosting.

Business: $4.99/mo for shared hosting.

Professional: $8.99/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: Anyone looking for-an-all in one hosting option for their business or blog.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Website Builder Packages: 123-reg places heavy emphasis on their website builder. That’s why they have separate plans just for their website builders, in addition to the traditional shared hosting plans. Their website builder packages are Business, Business+, and Online Shop. All plans come with their proprietary website builder, free hosting, free domain for the first year, email addresses, website analytics, and customizable templates. All of their templates are responsive. With the lowest-tiered plan (Business), you’ll get stuck with “Built with 123” on your pages. Online Shop, their highest tier, allows you to build an online store with 10, 100, or unlimited number of products. All packages also come with social icons, photo galleries, blogs, contact forms, image sliders, click to call (good for businesses), SEO functionality, and widget for YouTube videos.

inSites Widget: Smart content is getting more sophisticated. What is smart content? It’s the type of content personalized for the visitor consuming it. Considering 95% of website visitors are anonymous, having smart content makes your website more targeted and powerful. inSites widget helps with personalizing your site for your visitors, by displaying different content customized for them. This widget is included in all web hosting plans offered by 123-reg, including website builder packages and online shop plans. inSites widget increases engagement with your visitors by tailoring your content to their taste.

Online Shop Plans: 123-reg also places special emphasis on online shops. They have special plans just for ecommerce, which are Online Shop 10, Online Shop 100, and Online Shop Unlimited. Online Shop is 123-reg’s proprietary all-in-one ecommerce product and the plans differ in the number of products they allow to be sold. All plans come with free hosting, email, domain name (up to a year), setup wizard, analytic and SEO tools, and mobile-ready templates. With Online Shop, you can manage product options, create your own promotions, track your marketing campaigns, set up online payments, have integrated shipping with UPS, USPS, FedEx, and more, and take inventory. While there are many open-source ecommerce products (e.g. PrestaShop) out there, 123-reg’s Online Shop is designed to work exclusively with 123-reg and there is hardly any learning curve, making these plans ideal for beginning merchants.

Reviews:

We looked at several online reviews for 123-reg and found that people are most satisfied with their pricing and ease of use.

One reviewer recommends them by saying: “123-reg makes a very good entry point for new comers, ie; someone trying to find their feet in a complex business environment.”

Another customer agrees that they are user friendly: “There have been no hidden surprises and the pricing is very reasonable. I would recommend 123-reg to users of all ability, as it allows beginners to understand the basics whilst featuring advanced tools if you need them.”

There were also a few negative reviews. We found that 123-reg customers had problems with uptime and their customer support.

One frustrated customer writes: “I also monitor my websites with Monitor.Us to give me their uptime. This last week it has been reporting a 65% uptime, which I find to be totally unacceptable.”

Another unhappy reviewer warns: “The VPS is a nightmare, downtime and terrible support with ‘pass the blame’ excuses. So all in all 123-REG are a nightmare, I would never recommend them to anyone.”

We also checked Twitter to see what was being said about 123-reg. We found one user happy with the support team:

Here another user is unhappy with their hosting package:

Pros:

  • Attractive Templates: All the templates offered by 123-reg are attractive, mobile-ready at no extra cost, and follow modern design practices. There are templates for business, health and beauty, ecommerce, restaurants, portfolio, one-pager, and others. Most users should easily find something to their liking.
  • Inclusive Website Builder: 123-reg’s website builder is inclusive with hardly any add-ons necessary. It is designed to be easy to use even for beginners.
  • Many Options: In addition to website builder plans and online shop plans, you also have a choice of WordPress hosting, Joomla hosting, Drupal hosting, premium hosting, and Windows hosting.
  • Good Introductory Prices: 123-reg has good introductory prices for one year.
  • Detailed Knowledgebase: Their knowledgebase is detailed and should answer any questions you might have regarding the products, setup, or billing.

Cons:

  • Free Domain is UK Only: Since 123-reg is a UK company, it’s not surprising they only offer a free domain that’s co.uk. If you want a .com domain or any other extensions, you’ll have to pay extra.
  • No Help with Migration: Because every hosting provider is different, 123-reg offers no migration help. But there is a user guide that explains how you can transfer your site. It’d still be nice to see a migration service, even for a fee.
  • Support Not User-Friendly: 123-reg provides a very extensive support center with answers and troubleshooting. But there is no live support and there doesn’t seem to be a way to contact them by phone either. You’re required to go through a series of dropdowns to select what relates most to your query. This kind of acts as a ticket system, but it’s cumbersome and not very user-friendly.

Summary:

123-reg is a web hosting company based in UK. They offer shared hosting plans with special emphasis on website builder and online shop. All plans come with 1 free domain for a year, although it’s only for co.uk. domain names. Their templates are attractive and the website builder is powerful. However with a lack of migration help and no live support this may not be the best option for users who need a lot of hand holding.

Takeaway: 123-reg is great for people who don’t know HTML or want to start an online shop. These specialized plans are what set 123-reg apart. Their regular shared cloud hosting plans don’t seem too different from other companies.

Meet the hosting addict

JP Smooth

"JP Smooth" is a tech entrepreneur and owner of too many websites lol. He swears he's used over 50 different hosts but nobody believes him. He also enjoys plunging into the Boise River every morning in the summer months.

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