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1and1 Website Hosting Review: Worst of the Worst

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 10.42.22I eventually realized that I had to leave 1and1 on 25 March 2014 after sending customer support three emails over several hours requesting assistance before receiving any response.  Each one was marked “WEBSITE DOWN”

By John Donovan

Iand1 has had advance sight of this article with an invitation to correct any inaccurate information.

The company has supplied comment which I have published below the article on an unedited basis.


I have been operating websites for almost two decades and have used a number of website hosting companies.

In recent times it has become hard to avoid the 1and1 website hosting company bearing in mind their heavy advertising on the Internet and on TV.

In the light of my horrendous experience of doing business with the company, I wish I had checked some of the online reviews before deciding to give them a try in November 2013.

The impression I gained from the blurb on their website was that the company recognized the importance of performance and maximum uptime, or as they describe it “maximum availability.”

I want to stress that the above headline and the comments herein are based on my experience as a customer of the company.

The prices are good but the customer support is terrible.

After constant problems with sluggish loading speed and interrupted online availability when using the first hosting package, we upgraded to a mid-range virtual server. It is advertised as a one-click operation, but to my surprise the website was unavailable for almost 24 hours without any warning while the migration was in progress.

I complained and 1and1 credited a months charge back to my account.

A nice gesture, but I was not worried about the cost. I was very concerned about the impact on my website of being unavailable for so long.

The lack of concern over downtime as was evidence from the migration process, was displayed on almost every occasion the website went down.

And we were still plagued with bouts of sluggish loading and the site being down for hours at a time on the upgraded server.

I eventually realized that I had to leave 1and1 on 25 March 2014 after sending customer support three emails over several hours requesting assistance before receiving any response.  Each one was marked “WEBSITE DOWN”

In the first email I asked: “Would it help to move to a dedicated server? If so, what do you recommend?”

It was only after there was no response to this question that I realized my emails were not even being read by 1and1 and hence I was wasting my time and more importantly ruining the credibility of my website by remaining with 1and1.

When I did transfer to another hosting company there was no down time at all. A copy of the database was transferred to a new server and tested before the instantaneous switchover was made.

1and1 support had made excuses saying we needed to get a developer to look at the server configuration. However, when we moved elsewhere, the new hosting company solved all of above problems without any involvement on our part.

The performance has been constantly quick – it has not slowed down at all, and site availability has been 100%.  All at about the same package cost.

I have tried to cancel the 1and1 package on line but since it was unclear whether I had succeeded, I sent an email a few days ago to 1and1. There has been no response thus far. It seems that it might be easier to join than leave.

Iand1 is the worst website hosting company I have come across.

It was a dreadful experience that caused me a lot of frustration and anxiety and wasted a huge amount of my time.

I sincerely wish I had never heard of 1and1.


Comment from 1&1 Internet Ltd.

We are sorry to hear that Mr Donovan has experienced concerns regarding his 1&1 service.  As a global leader amongst web hosting providers, with over 13 million customer contracts worldwide, it is perhaps inevitable that a very small number may have issues from time to time. Nevertheless, we very much appreciate customers bringing any problems to our attention, and always aim to address these the best that we can.

Having looked into the customer case, it is clear that Mr Donovan’s experience with 1&1 has been affected by a combination of a number of rare and unfortunate issues. Our individual support teams have worked to assist the him on identifying the best hosting solution for his needs, and on additional occasions worked to ensure that specific technical issues were investigated and resolved.

Whilst it is regrettable that there was indeed a period of delay in resolving a server issue, support was further delayed as a result of Customer Care not receiving confirmation of the correct password at some points.

It is incredibly rare that the customer has experienced numerous server downtimes.  The customer was offered a credit as a good will gesture. Furthermore, we apologise to Mr Donovan for any loss of performance.

We have assisted the customer with the closing down of the account, and confirmation of termination was sent to him on Thursday 10th April.

In this case, it is clear that we have not met our own very high expectations for customer experience.  We thank Mr Donovan for his patience, and apologise unreservedly for any frustration or inconvenience. Whilst we trust that all matters have now been closed, we continue to be at his service to resolve any outstanding queries or issues.

Comment from John Donovan

The question of supplying password information arose at a very early stage in our contact with 1and1 customer support and thereafter we always supplied the codes every time we reported a problem. The only other point that it is fair to make is that being a gripe website publishing controversial articles, it may have attracted more disruptive activity from a hostile third party than would be the case with a normal website. Royal Dutch Shell has admitted past hostile intervention and once did briefly close the site down. The site has been the subject of monitoring by Shell Global Security and the focus of an aggressive team set up to counter our online activities. Denial of service attacks on the website have  been reported to the police on more than one occasion, but not while 1and1 was hosting the site. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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