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123 Reg Review – Why You Shouldn’t Use Them For Web Hosting

So you’re thinking about using 123 Reg? Before you do, it might be worth checking out my top reasons why you shouldn’t use them in my 123 Reg review below.

As a web designer I have used a lot of web hosting companies over the years so I know what is worth paying for and what isn’t. So here’s my complete 123 Reg review.

123 Reg Review – Quick Intro

About a month ago I decided to checkout 123-Reg since I was looking for a UK based web hosting company. Naturally I thought I would try the most well known one which is 123 Reg, and I already purchased my domain name for £2 at Crazy Domains so I just needed web hosting.

After working with 123 Reg for over a month they have convinced me on one thing, never to use them again! Here is my 123 Reg review and my top reasons why you shouldn’t use them:

Sneaky Pricing Tactics

123 Reg Review

After choosing my package for £4.99 per month they employed their first tactic. The first tactic they use is to not allow you to pay on a monthly basis but every 3 months.

Most web hosting companies will try to get you to signup for more than one month but they allow you to pay monthly which is what most people want when starting a new website.

So I have just found out I now have to pay for 3 months instead of one, great! The second tactic they use to get you to pay more is a “setup fee”, which is another £10! The best web companies I have used do not charge you any “setup fee”. I have just paid £15 now you want me to pay another £10 to set the whole thing up?

“…This can take 24 hours”

For some reason everything at the 123 Reg headquarters operates in slow motion, so when you want to change something you are told that it will take 24 hours to change that.

This very frustrating as it took me days to just get my website setup due to the waiting time. Now compare this with GoDaddy and there is a huge difference which shows it’s just not necessary as with GoDaddy I had everything setup within an hour!

For example: setting up your web hosting account (despite paying £10), pointing your domain at your web hosting, or just generally changing any settings within your account.

‘InstantTraffic’ Scam

This really frustrated me because it is simply stealing money from people. They offer something called InstantTraffic which claims to “Boost your website’s rankings in Google and other search engines to attract more visitors to your site”. How do they do this? By magically submitting your website to search engines.

As someone who knows about how search engines work I can tell you now, this will not do anything. Here’s why:

  • Google and Bing are the most used search engines. All the others will not bring you any website visitors.
  • Search engines automatically list your website so you don’t need to do anything.
  • Submitting to search engines does not help you get listed.

A very well respected company, SEOMoz, also explains this here.

So to sum it up you are paying them to submit your website to hundreds of search engines which 99% of them are useless (except for Google & Bing), which makes no difference at all as they will index your website automatically.  Please do not pay them any money at all to do this it is just not worth the time.

123 Reg Review – Conclusion

The only thing I liked about 123 Reg was the support which was helpful, but the only reason I needed the support was because they made things so difficult. Overall I can’t see a reason to use 123 Reg when other hosting providers are so much better, which why I wrote this 123 Reg review.

If you are looking for a decent web hosting or domain company I can recommend Crazy Domains for domain registration and GoDaddy for web hosting. I have used GoDaddy for a number of years and they have always been affordable, fast, and helpful. Please share your thoughts below and share your 123 Reg review.


  1. Iain Allen says:

    Must admit I’ve been with 123reg for a number of years and I’ve not been entirely happy with them. Recent problems with them have made me look around and I feel a bit foolish for not looking before, there are loads of better options.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. They are absolutely hideous, support staff is also NOT UK you can clearly tell this from the lack of extremely basic English grammar and spelling. When you have experience with a good host in your case it was GoDaddy in my case it was FatCow (amazing customer support) – both non UK companies, I think there is something lacking in the UK hosting scene, a value for money host with customer support that actually works., anyone out there?!

  3. They’re dreadful. I am only investigating them because a client had already set up web hosting. Quite apart from the fact he set up a Windows Server account (not really 123-reg’s fault), everything is so bad.

    The control panel is confusing and slow to load. The web pages load very slowly. There seems to be a ‘price tag’ attached to everything that’s not considered basic. You talked about 24-hour waiting periods — I had something that said it would take 48 hours, and there wasn’t even a confirmation that I’d set up the particular item properly so I had to wait those two days to see if it had worked!

    As a developer, I can’t get any obvious access to server or error logs, so debugging scripts is near-impossible. It’s been set up in an attempt to be friendly for novices, yet it seems to fail at both!

    It might be cheap but as with so many things, it’s a false economy.

  4. 123 reg, my experience couldnt be much worse. 22/10/2013 says:

    I run a small window company which had someone looking after my website under 123 reg and wanted to transfer so i could do this myself. i was told it was a simple transfer and nothing would change. well the transfer went into a wrong account so i’m told and needed to send info so it could be sorted out. After 5 emails, and 4 fax’s later i’m now without a website and business email non existent. told it would take 24 hours to sort, over 9 days later nothing has changed or any emails recieved. i would advise anyone to steer well clear on them as useless. I’m considering legal action.

  5. I’ve been using for the past couple years and they have been excellent. UK based hosting, good, fast and very reliable. Great support. I’ve used 123 reg and godaddy in the past for hosting and would NEVER use again. Terrible and very slow.

  6. I purchased two domain names from reg123 a couple of years ago. They automatically charged me for those two domain names without telling me, and even worse, after my instruction to cancel the domain names. I had to change my bank card, as I stupidly signed up with their renewal “service”. Reg123 is one of the most evil companies I ever came across!!!

  7. 123-reg cannot be trusted to renew your email addresses nor your domains. Although my control panel is set to auto renew, 123-reg does not do this. I had a live chat with them yesterday evening and as soon as I mentioned the words ‘legal department’, I received a ‘Systems Down’ message (really?). Fortunately, I had printed the live chat as proof of events and details of the girl to whom I was chatting with. From the quality of her English (as well as her name), I deduced that 123-reg Support is not UK based.

    I do not receive reminders regarding email and domain renewals and discovered that all of my email addresses had been deleted thus losing all of my Inbox emails (I had set my email to IMAP – big mistake). During the live chat, the girl admitted that they have had ‘glitches in their systems’. But that is not my problem. 123-reg is supposedly big enough not to have technical issues. I am happy to pay for a service but 123-reg is incapable of providing a reliable service.

    I will be transferring all of my domains and email addresses to a more reliable service provider as and when all are due for renewal.

    In essence, do not trust 123-reg. This company will let you down big time. Their website is snazzy and gives the impression that big is beautiful and reliable but it isn’t. Avoid at all costs.

    • Funnily enough I had the opposite issue when I was with 1-2-3 reg, I had set some domains not to renew, yet several months later I saw my Paypal had been charged and “magically” all my domains had somehow changed back to auto-renew.

      They really are a terrible and dishonest company, I would not recommend them to anyone.

  8. Jason King says:

    Shocking! I have experienced problems at least once a month with 123 Reg, and every single day I use my email it goes slow or kicks me out – regardless of the device I use.

    Today I’ve spent an entire day without access to my email which means I’ve lost an entire day’s wage.

    The frequency of problems with 123 Reg determines the very poor quality of service you receive. What’s the point in having friendly customer service staff if the service is fundamentally flawed with such poor service delivery.

    The frustration and loss of earning experienced means I will never have a good word to say about 123 Reg and will be moving to another provider ASAP.

  9. Former 123 reg customer says:

    Bought one of their packages with unlimited disk space. Very soon our web site started crashing with errors saying we’d run out of disk space. Complained to customer services but they told us that “obviously the package isn’t unlimited and that they would delete our site if we contined using anymore disk space. Put in a written complaint to their head office who replied by email to say unlimited disk space is just a marketing term and that they were not liable, due to clauses in their terms and conditions. Have since moved to a web hosting company that’s cheaper, offers technical support by by phone, offers weekend support and doesn’t lie unlike these absolute scumbags. Do not use 123-Reg.

  10. I have been designing websites for a while. My latest client insisted I use 123reg because all his domains were registered there so it made things easy.

    What a diabolical host! This host is the slowest I’ve ever seen with constant down time – the website is almost impossible to build / update on wordpress because of this and loads very, very slowly in all browsers.

    I went to the 123reg site to complain and was asked to complete a survey. The survey then downloaded adware (malware) which plagues your computer with underline ads, pop up surveys and is very difficult to get rid of.

    What an utter disgrace!!

  11. Not sure if I experienced a tactic from 123-reg to encourage domain name purchases or if it is a coincidence but here is my experience.

    Was looking for a domain name ideally with a few of the common options e.g., .com, .net etc… Anyway find a name that is completely unused but still thinking about alternatives. Visit 123-reg again and enter the name I am considering and I find half of the new domain names are now flagged as taken. Check whois and some other providers and none of those domains are taken.

    So instead I go to GoDaddy, register the set of domain names I want, including one that 123-reg say is already taken.

    Now when I check on 123-reg I can see the domains I registered correctly shown as taken and all of the others that were previously taken are now available!!

    As I say could be a complete coincidence but it really felt as though something was happening to push me into a purchase.

  12. Interesting, I have cheap hosting with them, which is a little slow, but other than that find them to be great… I never had trouble with domains renewing, and the hosting is more reliable (in uptime) than my other servers (I have other hosting too).

    Only thing I have found annoying is that 24 hour thing… I can set up a site and all point to them straight away, however for some reason it will point to a holding page for 24 hours (when I don’t see why, if it has made it to the server, I don’t see why they can’t direct it properly for 24 hours). Having said that, they blamed DNS propagation, and when I checked fresh from an alternative connection (always good to have alternatives available), it was directing properly, so I guess they do something odd with DNS at their own end that gets cached in the ISP logs for a while… Darned annoying though…

    I have seen way worse reviews of GoDaddy though… Wouldn’t touch them…

  13. They charged me £59.99 for a domain that I no longer wanted. It was on back-order but they didn’t bother contacting me prior to charging me for it, now they refuse to give me my money back. I therefore started to remove all my domains from them and now they have locked my account and refuse to speak to me.

    They will be hearing from my lawyer in due course. The prices are VERY VERY cheap but now I understand why as they charge you if you want to leave them!!! Avoid them like the plaque.

  14. 123 reg are terrible I moved my site last year and took the business hosting package as we had an issue with a web design company who completely messed up our site so we transferred it to 123 reg big mistake the site kept crashing and we were constantly on to them they then said vps was the best solution for us so I searched around and found a uk company host-it so transferred my sites onto their vps server.
    Last week I received a call from 123 reg after cancelling all hosting they said my site was not being found and I should activate instant traffic what a load of crap they were also trying to sell me google add words and kept saying I was being found how strange as I listed on the first page in google and bing I told the idiot to do one and I would not use 123 reg I am now moving my domain names as they are a joke they are con men and full of crap really bad service don’t use them

  15. I have two domains registered with domain registrar for community websites which serve the table tennis community in and around Dorset and also get a lot of hits from other places mostly people visiting Dorset and who wish to find information to play table tennis. These two domains have now been suspended by 123-reg having failed validation as per the message displayed from the whois search on nominet. I had initially reported this issue around September 25th 2014 without a proper resolution. The first line support didn’t even bothered to raise a support issue. That was the time when I contacted Nominet when I was suggested to contact 123-reg again and also was suggested to move domains to a different registrar.

    As a second attempt I contacted 123-reg again on the 8th of October and having insisted issued a support ticket and subsequently closed the ticket saying the issue has been resolved. All this time I have been receiving emails from Webfusion asking me to click a link and validate my details (only Name). I did that several times but not sure why it has not validated.

    Last week I had realised that my domains have been suspended pending validation from webfusion. I had contacted them again on the 27th October 2014 and they issued another support ticket and said the issue will be resolved within 24 hours. I had contacted them again on the 28th October and wanted to talk to a manager and I was denied the opportunity. In spite of several updates on the ticket they neither resolved the issue nor escalated the issue to a manager. They haven’t even provided information about what the problem was and when it will be resolved.

    I had updated the call with several messages asking for information and escalation but fell on deaf ears. I think this registrar is scandalous. The one thing they do very promptly and I repeat very promptly was to nick money on time when the domains due for renewal. Apart from that they clearly lack in customer support and issue resolution. I really don’t care what and how they do but I need the issue be resolved quickly as I feel the registrar has let the community down by not resolving the issue quickly.

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