Our 123-reg Shared Hosting Review
123-reg is the United Kingdom’s largest domain provider and belongs to the Host Europe Group. The company hosts more than 1. 4 million websites and has registered over three million domains. The hosting solutions offered by them include shared hosting, cloud hosting, email hosting, dedicated servers, virtual private servers, SSL certificates, specialized e-commerce solutions, Site Scanner malware protection, website building tool, pay-per-click management services, Instant Traffic SEO services and its custom website design service called WebWorx24.
They are headquartered in Stockley Park, Uxbridge and was founded in 1998. The company’s customer data is hosted in an eco-friendly data centre in the United Kingdom. It features multiple Internet connections and a 10 Gbps network, as well as redundancies in security, fire suppression, cooling, power and storage. Network resilience is improved by peering with other Hosted European data centres and multiple presence points. Technical support is available on a 24/7 basis via email, live online chat and ticketing system. They offer a supplemental knowledge base as well.
123-reg Shared Hosting Plans
They have a number of shared hosting plans, as well as a range of Premium Semi-dedicated plans for easy upgrade should you need or want more resources.
The basic information about each of the four plans is below. The Premium Plan is their lowest semi-dedicated plan and comes with 2GB RAM and better server performance.
|Plan||Space||Transfer||Websites||FreeDomain||Free SSL||Price (excl. tax)|
|Essentials||10 GB||Unlimited||1||1 free||No||$3.86 (£2.49)|
|Business||100 GB||Unlimited||5||2 free||No||$4.64 (£2.99)|
|Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||10||3 free||Yes||$10.85 (6.99)|
From what we have seen, there is nothing special about the shared hosting plans. The cheaper plans have many restrictions on functionality, and the Essentials plan especially so. You are therefore advised to look at the feature list carefully before ordering, as you may find basic functionality such as IP blocking, Mailing lists or even password protected folders disabled. You can see a screenshot of the top part of their pricing tables below:
From what we can see, they offer very standard hosting. They do not offer any premium features such as SSD storage or SSD Databases, and their hosting plans are fairly restrictive unless you pay for a pricier plan.
Hosting Platform & Control Panel
During the order process, you can choose between Windows and Linux servers. Unless you have a specific need (such as ASP.net), then we would recommend that you choose a Linux server. It is, however, great that you get a choice as many hosting providers only offer Linux.
When we looked around the web, we found various references to them offering cPanel (Linux) and Plesk (Windows) as a control panel, but we were concerned that we could not find anywhere on their website referencing this for their shared hosting. In order to seek clarification on this point, we opened a support chat (which was answered swiftly) and to be honest they almost seemed surprised \ confused that we were asking the question.
After a short minute or so pause (it seemed they were seeking clarification themselves from a more senior person) they clarified that cPanel and Plesk are only available on their VPS plans and that they use a custom control panel for their shared hosting. We must say we are quite disappointed by this.
You can get a glimpse of what their control panel looks like in the screenshot below:
No Migration Help
A side effect of the custom control panel is that you won’t get any help migrating your websites to 123-reg, and equally, when you move away from them to another provider, any new provider would not be able to help with migration either. With established control panels such as cPanel hosting providers can automate the migration process and things like emails, SSL certificates and other settings can all be transferred in minutes. This is why many hosting providers offer free migration when using cPanel.
They do on the other hand state:
There are many excellent web hosting providers around that bend over backwards to help you settle in with their hosting, and as a result, you may want to look elsewhere. That being said, we don’t know to what level of assistance they would offer if after trying to migrate a site you asked for a little help. If this concerns you, you may wish to speak to them directly about it.
Uptime and Support
This is something that can be tough to determine if you haven’t used the hosting for any length of time, and as such you are better looking at the User Reviews at the end of this Review to gauge their levels of Uptime and Support.
Certainly, we have looked around the web, including web hosting forums, and bearing in mind the size of the company there was not much chatter, although this may be because they are UK based, and the forums are mainly US based. We do see this as quite positive as quite often web hosting companies that have a lot of issues with support or uptime usually have many complaints on such forums. Equally, though, very few people were recommending 123-reg and as such we get the opinion that they are a company that is OK, but not something people are overly keen to rave about.
Of course, there are exceptions:
Has to be said, absolutely outstanding customer service received from @123reg today. Didn't have to go the extra mile but did. Every credit.
— Rule Creative (@RuleCreative) February 12, 2014
We think in time, though (as this review is fairly new) our 123-reg reviews left by our readers will provide the best insight.
Charged to Move Domain?
One of the things that concern us the most is that apparently if you need an IPS tag to move your domain away from them, then you may be charged $20.
We know of no other hosting provider that does this and quite frankly are shocked that they choose to do such a thing. This almost wants us to scream “stay away” when considering them for domain registration.
Money Back Guarantee \ Cancellations
They offer a 14-day unconditional money back guarantee, although this does not apply to domains or other add-ons. This is significantly less than any other web hosting provider, so it is important to make up your mind whether you wish to stay with them relatively quickly.
After the money back guarantee period has run out, there are no refunds. If you wish to cancel at the end of the term, you should note that you need to give 30 days written notice, and there are a few complaints around the web of credit cards being charged automatically. You can find the relevant terms here:
They clarify that the written notice can be made via support ticket.
Our 123-reg.co.uk Review Final Thoughts
They are an incredibly popular domain and web hosting provider in the UK. The parent company HEG owns other major brands such as Heart Internet as well as many large European brands. Their presence in the US is somewhat limited. They must be doing something right to have this much presence, but ultimately this means you won’t get the more specialized service, or features.
If you want a host that is fairly reliable and is not going to disappear overnight, and you wish to host with a UK company, and then they are a solid choice if a custom control panel does not bother you.