PROS / The service provides comprehensive server access, including FTP and SSH.
CONS / Live chat can only help you with the proprietary website builder.
VERDICT / Register.com gets the job done, but there are services with better and more affordable hosting packages.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Web Hosting services.
Register.com is a workable small business web hosting provider, but its entry-level hosting packages fail to measure up to the competition. With limited bandwidth, domains and disk space, you’re likely to find yourself wanting more with this web hosting service.
The service’s Essential domain hosting plan includes 300GB of disk space and 250GB of monthly bandwidth for one website. This provider offers other hosting packages more apt for professional users, but with these plans, the increase in cost is significant while the increase in functionality remains nominal. The only package the service provides with unlimited hosting capabilities is its Premium plan, which isn’t monetarily a viable option for most website owners.
Register.com’s feature set is likewise inadequate. The service provides a control panel, but little else is included under its hosting plans. The web hosting service does have site building tools, shopping carts and SSL certificates for eCommerce websites, but these are only available at an additional cost. Register.com also lacks advanced features, such as cron jobs and customizable error pages, and its email capabilities leave much to be desired. In fact, none of the service’s hosting packages include unlimited mailboxes or email features such as autoresponders or spam filters.
Given its lack of features, we were surprised to find that Register.com has most of the server access features we looked for, including secure shell (SSH) access and FTP. Unlimited FTP accounts are available only under the professional plans and allow you to give other individuals, such as employees or site designers, access to your website. The Essential plan only offers one FTP account, which limits you in terms of who can contribute to your site.
When it comes to ease of use, Register.com can vary; at times it is easy to use, but it's difficult and frustrating at others. The service’s usability depends on how you want to use it. If you are simply using the Essential plan to host your website, the service is easy to use. It’s only when you expand into its other functions and features that it can become muddled and cumbersome to navigate.
Register.com offers 24/7 email, telephone and chat support; however, the chat support team is not trained to help customers with anything other than the proprietary site builder. They can't and won't help you with the web host's control panel.
The web hosting service posts a few FAQs, and through your control panel you can access a list of help topics like getting started, CMS help and website stat support. We would have liked to see information that is more thorough though. For example, the FTP support page only had eight support topics and website statistics only seven. However, you can access more answers through Register.com’s online customer support section. This web hosting service also posts video tutorials and a comprehensive glossary that could prove helpful for users new to web hosting.
Register.com provides a range of hosting services, but its entry-level plan offers the bare minimum and far less than most of the hosting providers we reviewed. Overall, it is a decent web hosting service but just isn’t compelling enough to compare with some of our higher ranked solutions.