PROS / It offers an impressive number of apps for developing a complex website.
CONS / 1&1's Unlimited plan is more restricted – 100 subdomains, 100 email addresses and 20 MySQL databases – versus plans from top-rated web hosts.
VERDICT / If you are looking for a secure, feature-rich website host, 1&1 is a good choice, especially for the price. However, it's not as easy to use as other website hosting services.
1&1 is a web hosting service that combines strong functionality with cost-effectiveness. The service offers competitively priced hosting packages, including unlimited web space and bandwidth. 1&1's Unlimited package is rather standard in the saturated market of domain hosting providers; however, the service stands out among competitors for the notable security and support options it offers its customers. It's not as easy to use as other sites on our lineup, but it offers a huge set of apps for enhancing your website.
This web host is one of the few services that offers nearly every security feature we sought out – site backup and restoration, secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption and secure shell (SSH) protocol, antispam, solid-state drives – which 1&1 includes in all of its plans.
It backs up your website daily and has free site-restore services. This allows you to revert back to the last saved version of your website in case something happens to your active site because of a glitch, hacking, a virus or simple human error. You also can view the raw access logs to learn more about who is accessing your websites by IP address, date and time.
This website hosting service also protects your email with virus guards, spam guards and antiphishing protections. The spam guard is customizable from the control panel.
If you are using your website for sales, the SSL encryption is a great feature. Your website is encrypted to bank-level security for free so customers can enter payment and delivery information securely. SSH protocol lets you access other computers through your website, a helpful feature for customer support.
This website hosting company uses solid-state drives for storing your information. These drives make it easier to access information, resulting in faster load times for visitors.
Control Panel Tools
This web hosting service provides a web-based control panel that gives you access to your site pages, image files, publishing tools and more. It also has a website builder that allows you to easily build a professional-looking website.
One of 1&1's most impressive features is its click-and-build applications. It offers a multitude of apps ranging from full CMS systems to blogs, message boards and more. The apps are an easy way to enhance and build your website without extensive effort or web design experience.
Several of the apps are eCommerce solutions, including Magento, PrestaShop and osCommerce. You also get advertising credits with your web hosting account. It, of course, works with WordPress but offers other content management and programming systems as well. Like most of the web hosts we reviewed, 1&1 offers free domain name and free domain transfer.
There's nothing more annoying to a website visitor than running into a 404 page, but sometimes, programming errors happen. With customizable 404 pages, you can design a page that matches your brand and add a message that's more personal, humorous or helpful to encourage your visitor to try again instead of clicking away.
Help & Support
1&1 provides good customer service. Each of the representatives we spoke to was friendly and helpful, and they provided informative answers to our questions, particularly in the web design platform. Additionally, the 1&1 hosting service has a range of useful online resources you can reference as you build your site and access the hosting features.
The website's in-depth FAQs and knowledgebase provide comprehensive information regarding the hosting service and its features and functionality. There are also video tutorials so you can see, step by step, how to complete certain tasks.
Finally, this is one of the few web hosting services that also has user forums. These are especially good if you want to get into the nuts and bolts of website building with 1&1, as you can reach out to peers with questions or suggestions.
With feature-rich hosting packages and excellent security, 1&1 proves that it is a reliable and effective web hosting service. The company offers all the essentials to get a site up and running, and the unlimited disk space, bandwidth and domains provide a strong incentive to try out the service. While its lowest-priced plan has more limits than top-ranking web hosting services, 1&1 is still an excellent service.
Contributing writer: Karina Fabian