1&1 : the savings come at too great a cost

I’ve been using 1&1 for much of my hosting for over 5 years now, and after a recent sequence of events, I’m coming to the conclusion that I can no longer afford to reduce my costs by using them.

The biggest and most frustrating concern by far is their Support provision. Namecheap and Rochen both tend to reply to a support query in under 15 minutes, regardless of the time of day. Once logged in Rochen’s ticketing system is open and clear, and responses are meaningful and, wait for it … helpful! Namecheap also provides a live chat, and even if it means getting other support team members involved they have so far answered all my queries… in real time.

My recent experiences with Rochen and Namecheap throw into sharp contrast the service from 1&1. Anyone who works with 1&1 will probably know that their Support is legendary…. they consistently reply within their 24hr window, though often only by a matter of minutes and they consistently fail to understand the nature of the request, and rarely provide any meaningful or useful information in their responses. With each response typically providing no relevant information it grates a little fruther that they insist on ending each email with :’…If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us…..’  As such I now summarise in bullet form the nature of the problem in each communication to avoid the otherwise mandatory ‘starting all over again’ as it passes from person to person. The bottom line is, that if you ever need to contact 1&1 Support hope to goodness it is not for anything important or urgent!


We look after the websites for a variety of small businesses and personal/family sites.When they need a little back-end functionality I typically prefer ASP.net/C#/MSSql, and so have been running on one of 1&1’s Microsoft hosting packages throughout that time. However in recent years WordPress has become more and more popular with the sites we help out with, and so I recently started the process of migrating to a 1&1 Linux package.

My preference is generally to teach people enough to be able to maintain and update their websites themselves, and another hope for moving to Linux/Wordpress is that self updates/maintenance would then become more and more feasible across the board, even for the friends who have very little confidence in the IT side of things.

I’ve been enjoying Rochen’s cracking cPanel tools for some time, and having read the blurb about 1&1’s “one-click” I had hoped that 1&1 would provide a similarly hassle free experience. However they have implemented their one-click WordPress install in such as way as too made it at best pointless.

My final email to 1&1 support about my issues with one-click highlights the issue:

“To summarise:

–  1&1 provide ‘one-click’ to enable your customers to install WordPress easily.

–  Keeping WordPress updated is crucial to reduce security risks and to maintain functionality.

–  My one-click installation of WordPress leaves that instance in such a state that update fails because of permissions.

–  My new WordPress instance is therefore currently unusable

– one-click is therefore not fit for purpose.”

Wordpress update FAIL

 After 5 days of circular conversation, it finally got passed to someone who was able to provide a meaningful reply:

“Please be informed that since you are using the One-click application in installing WordPress, you can only utilize the version of WordPress that is available or provided to you in the Once-click application.

In addition, for security reasons, these are the following changes and modifications that are not possible with the Click-n-Build or the One-click applications:

1.  Installation of new templates, new plugins, new modules, new components, or new language packages.

2.  Insertion of custom source code (e.g. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or PHP) in preinstalled templates or other places in Click-n-Build applications.”


So that’s it…coupled with the frustrations caused by 99% of interactions with Support…. it is time to move on.

I have a stellar track record with Rochen, whose Support teams are knowledgeable, communicative and responsive. After many recommendations I will also be trialling NameCheap as a new potential domain registrar.

[future post to come about the workflow to transfer domains away from 1&1]