123-Reg Reviews

Read our expert opinion of 123-Reg, along with unbiased reviews from 1 real users

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 center in the United Kingdom. 

Be sure to check out the many reviews left by our users at the end of the article, or click here to jump to them now.

Editor's note: Their score is currently based on just one review, so more feedback is required to give an accurate account of their hosting services. They did have some major issues in April 2016, deleting the contents of many servers while failing to keep promised backups. This resulted in the loss of many customer websites.

123-Reg key points

Top considerations

Not EIG Owned

Platform

Linux, Windows

Server Location

Europe

Developer features

Ruby on Rails

Expert Opinion

123-Reg Shared Hosting Review

123-reg Shared Hosting Plans allow a choice between Linux and Windows.

They have a number of shared hosting plans, as well as a range of fully managed VPS plans for easy upgrade should you need or want more resources. Semi-dedicated plans are essentially shared hosting plans with more resources made available.

The basic information about each of the four plans is below. The Premium Plan has been covered under our 123-reg VPS review, as we believe they have only covered it to show a link to a great upgrade path. It comes with 2GB RAM and better server performance. We have grouped it with the standard shared hosting plans, to create some consistency with how they advertise the various plans on their website.

Essentials Business Unlimited Premium
SPACE 10 GB 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited
TRANSFER Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
WEBSITES 1 5 10 Unlimited
FREEDOMAIN 1 free 2 free 3 free Yes
FREE SSL No No Yes Yes
PRICE $3.86 $4.64 $10.85 $23.26

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:

123-reg hosting plans

Linux server features

All of their web hosting packages include MySQL and support PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby, as well as running GD library, ImageMagick, Ghostscript, and Zen Optimiser.

Windows server features

Windows hosting packages support ASP and .NET 2, 3, 3.5, 4, and 4.5 and MS SQL databases. The servers are configured with Windows Server 2012.

4 Reasons to use 123-reg Shared Hosting for your website or Blog

#1 Choice of Windows or Linux hosting

There is a distinct lack of high-quality hosting providers that offer both Windows AND Linux hosting. Most just offer the standard Linux hosting, which is what you should choose unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise (i.e. you require ASP hosting).

#2 Their Managed Premium (VPS) plans provide an excellent upgrade path

As you have seen, 123-reg are one of the few web hosting providers to have such large resources available for their shared hosting plans. If you like the simplicity of shared hosting, but know that you soon may outgrow the traditional shared hosting plans more likely to be offered at other providers, then 123-reg is a real option.

Of course, another option is a fully managed Cloud, but even then some providers are more fully managed than others.

#3 Some positive reports around the web of their UK telephone, live chat, and ticket support.

It is surprising how many web hosting companies now don't have the full range of support contact methods. 123-reg have them all, and this is a big plus.

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:

You only have to scroll back on their main Twitter account to see more praise being given, although like any other hosting company of this size there are also a few complaints.

We think in time, though (as this review is fairly new) our 123-reg reviews left by our readers will provide the best insight.

#4 Install Apps such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla with their one click installer

Whether you choose their Windows or Linux plans, you will be able to install all the common apps with just a few clicks via their simple admin. interface. This is a common feature with many web hosting providers, but always worth mentioning.

6 Reasons why you might not want to choose 123-reg for your web hosting

#1 Custom Hosting Platform & Control Panel

When we were researching 123-reg via the trusty "Google search", we found various references to them offering cPanel (Linux) and Plesk (Windows) as a control panel. However, when looking at their website this detail was suspiciously absent. In order to seek clarification on this point, we opened a support chat (which was answered swiftly).

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.

With control panels such as cPanel, Plesk or DirectAdmin offering excellent features and migration automation we do recommend web hosting providers that provide them. The 123-reg control panel looks fairly basic, and lacking some of the more advanced features that they offer, such as SpamAssassin.

You can get a glimpse of what their control panel looks like in the screenshot below:

123-reg review control panel

#2 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:

Every hosting provider is different, so unfortunately, we can't provide a standard transfer service. But it's not too difficult to handle it yourself, and we've produced a useful guide to transferring your website that will talk you through every step.

There are many excellent web hosting providers around that bend over backward 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 website you asked for a little help. If this concerns you, you may wish to speak to them directly about it.

#3 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.

I've been with 123-reg for like ten years. If my client wants to leave, I move it to the new provider. Now — 123-reg with zero customer loyalty wants me to pay 20 bucks to leave their service (change the IPS Tag). Surely its not legal to add this charge with no warning or no acceptance. This disgraceful business. No one else charges for this.

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.

#4 Limited time Money Back Guarantee

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 providers, with many providing between 30 and 90 days money-back guarantee. It is therefore important to make up your mind whether you wish to stay with them relatively quickly.

That being said, you should be able to make up your mind about a web hosting provider within two weeks, especially if you put them through their paces with some support requests early on.

#5 Requirement to give 30 days notice of cancellation or you will be charged automatically

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:

12.1.1 the Client upon serving 30 days' written notice on 123-reg following completion of 123-reg' prescribed template procedures for terminating the whole or any part of the Agreement

They clarify that the written notice can be made via support ticket.

While many web hosting providers have a habit of automatically renewing hosting at the end of the term, the 30 day notice requirement is quite draconian. If you sign up with 123-reg, just make sure that if you do not wish to renew at the end of the term that you give the correct notice and this will be no issue.

#6 Their lack of expertise \ disaster planning when major problems occur is worrying.

2016 has been a terrible year for 123-reg.  

First, in April 2016, they deleted many of their VPS Servers with over 50 percent of the data permanently lost resulting in many customers losing their websites (always make off-site backups ok?!?).

Secondly, in May 2016, they suffered from major email outages affecting customers on around 67 web servers. To give some credit, this is only a small number of the 115,000 servers their parent company has across Europe.

Lastly (at least for now), in August 2016, they suffered from major outages due to a relatively large 30 Gbps DDoS attack. Fortunately, at least in the latter case, they managed to recover fairly quickly.

Ultimately the second two items are not overly serious, but nevertheless, the trend is worrying. The VPS data deletion, though, should never have been allowed to happen.

Editor's opinion: Do we recommend 123-reg?

We have some concerns about recent events relating to data loss, and as such we would urge some caution here.

On paper, 123-reg look pretty ordinary. The only thing we really like about their shared hosting is the ability to scale up the resources with their Managed Premium hosting plans.

We do not have enough feedback from our users about the level of support or reliability, so we may have to defer judgment for the time being. That being said, the recent incident where they lost many customer websites, despite their advertised backups does not provide confidence in their service.  

Until we get some further guidance from our users via their reviews, then you may want to check out one of our other highly rated web hosting providers, such as SiteGround.

123-reg Frequently Asked Questions

What people are saying

Find out what people are saying about 123-reg below, or alternatively, if you have experience with them yourself, feel free to leave your review.

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: Yes

8.4
Support
9
Features
9
Speed
9
Uptime
9
Value
6

I have used 123-reg for several years and have always been very happy with the hosting and support. I think where they get let down is the value. I decided to leave in order to get more disk space for the same price elsewhere. If you are new to hosting they are perfectly ok, but for UK hosting they are a little expensive.

Check out our top user-rated host: SiteGround
Need help choosing a hosting provider?
Check out our top user-rated host: SiteGround