1&1 Web Site Hosting

1&1 is a huge hosting company that takes out multi-page ads in every issue of PC World. I tried them for a year and I've got to say it left a bad taste in my mouth. It turned me off so much I quit making progress on the project I had hosted on their stie.

Over the past several years, I've used a few hosting companies, some now defunct. I will list here only my grievances with 1&1. I realize they are purely subjective, but I also know there are others out there with similar feelings.

A crappy username. There is little more annoying than not being able to set your own username. With 1&1 you can't. For a 1&1 username you get a permanent account number, which I managed to forget several times over the course of a year — a permanent account number like some secret Swiss bank account. For every website, whether you're hosting a picture of yourself or taking in millions of dollars in credit card accounts, you've got to remember this username in order to access the management tools. Ridiculous!

FTP access isn't easy. Perhaps this issue is related to the account name. But there was little in the way of proper upload, other than through the website management tool.

Site statistics stink. Website visitor counters and tracking tools vary greatly from hosting company to hosting company. Some are great. Some are poor. 1&1s fall into the latter camp.

Design tools poor. 1&1 sends you a free cd of crappy freeware webdesign tools, and site submission tools. It'll make you cry. I can't recall any templates, for those interested in turnkey solutions, and if there were templates, they were buried.

Unresponsive customer service. Really. I understand that a $7.99/month customer will get less human interaction than the big boys, but a company can answer the phone in approximately 20 minutes. Further, after searching forever to find a support email address, I never got a response. I had a host in Hong Kong, once, who returned support questions within 30 minutes, guaranteed.

Slow setup. Host your site on Yahoo and within 24 hours you'll see it on the Internet. With 1&1 it took 72-96 hours for my new domain to appear. And 1&1 had the nerve to blame the major DNS servers. The same ones Yahoo has to contend with.

Here's what I want for a hosting solution:

  • Low-cost hosting — under $7.99.
  • A good site statistics tool.
  • A good site submission tool so that my stuff can be found.
  • Acceptable uptime. Think Six Sigma.
  • Helpful and responsive customer service.
  • PHP and MySQL standard, or as a reasonably priced upgrade.
  • 2GB or more of storage.
  • A decent amount of, or unlimited, bandwidth. Think at least 20GB.
  • FTP access.
  • Quick setup of site.
  • Oh! And my ability to change the name. (Did I mention on Yahoo's you can use the same email address you have for the rest of their services?)