By Pete Griffin
One.com’s big selling point is price. Their bargain offers now include a free first year of their starter package with 15GB of storage. Adding extras – up to 500 GB of storage – doesn’t add a great deal to the price and all packages come with a decent feature set of a site builder, WordPress hosting, unlimited email accounts, unlimited transfer and a domain. Can you really build and host a decent site for nothing though? Find out more about this web host in our complete review...
One.com has expanded its offering from just hosting to a full-service site builder and claims to have more than 1million customers using its servers. While the extras pile up as you move through the packages up to the business-level service the price remains extremely low. A new e-commerce service is available as a beta test, showing that One-com are continuing to learn, grow and provide more for their customers. For beginners or those with a simple site, One.com is a low-risk way to dip their toes into running their own site.
There’s no phone support, but One.com’s 24/7 chat support seems to be speedy (with waiting times of under a minute during our test). Video guides and online tips help beginners get started quickly. There are 90 pre-designed templates to choose from for everyone from shop owners to crafts people, travel firms to event organisers. Four blank templates offer a clean sheet to start from for more flexibility or a really quick blog set up.
The starter pack offers 15GB of storage with 512MB of RAM, a database and a domain. The storage ramps up quickly through 100GB and 200GB to the 500GB business package and the RAM doubles as you take each step. All accounts get SSL, with SSH security on all but the basic package. The top package offers 8 CPUs to handle traffic to your site. Unusually there are no claims for unlimited or unmetered access, in fact traffic isn’t mentioned at all without some digging around in the knowledge base, which is slightly concerning.
Daily backups are promised by One.com. They use Hewlett-Packard servers running Apache with Linux running and MySQL and PHP installed. The servers run with safe mode off and open basedir on. One.com say they’d rather have the high performance of turning off safe mode and say that all PHP scripts should work on their servers if they’ve worked in PHP safe mode. There are impressive reported physical security measures at their Danish base. The total bandwidth is 2x2 Gigabit with three international carriers. If you’re concerned about the environment, One.com boast that they are powered by green electricity.
One.com starts with a free package. Wouldn’t it be lovely if free always meant free? Here the hidden cost is a $13.80 set-up fee. Their packages are only available for customers who sign up with a one-year contract, but there is a 15-day money back guarantee period (much longer ones are available). They make all the right noises about cancellation policies, but the proof tends to be in the pudding with these things. One.host can be praised for their refusal to try to up-sell to customers as soon as they sign up. We were offered a beta test of their e-commerce offering, which is a new product so it’s right it should be flagged up, and their daily security scans, but didn’t feel bombarded with offers and hidden pricing. Value is One.com’s USP, and it seems a genuine offer.
|Plan||Introductory Offer “Free”||Renewal Monthly Rate|
|Starter Monthly||$13.80 set-up fee||$3.04|
|Professional 12 month||$4.99||-|
|Pro 24 month||$6.99||-|
One.com is easy enough to use but it’s not the most up to date interface and there are some dead ends in the navigation – we had to put in passwords several times while apparently already logged in. The splash page with its attractive offers is the most modern looking part of the site, once inside things are much more functional – though that may be to your taste.
The site designer feels a little dated, but works very well. Templates are selected and then edited by “pages”, “components” and “properties”, where you get to grips with individual design elements. The number of templates has recently grown considerably but they do all look rather samey.
You will have to choose and register your domain name before you can get to grips with any site editing. To many people this is putting the cart for the horse.
The ability to add more professional features, including a one-click WordPress install that worked without a glitch on our attempt, and other pro design tools should allow experienced designers to flex their muscles.
E-commerce is still in beta-testing, and if that’s a must-have for your site it may be worth delaying your decision until more information is available.
One.com’s site builder is a simple affair with relatively few frills. The hierarchy of “page”, “component” and “properties” is intuitive, and you have the option to edit templates of individual pages for global or targeted changes.
Adding a page from a template, introducing a component, for example a background, before tweaking its colour and borders to your taste is a simple drag-and-drop and menu based process.
Structure is also easy to reorder, you simply drag your pages where you would like them to go.
Do remember to save your work, particularly if you have multiple tabs open. The undo button is always in view at the top right of the screen.
The range of templates is OK, and obviously aimed at small business people like garage owners, hairdressers and personal trainers and online businesses and personal uses like t-shirt selling, posting a resume or organising a wedding.
Most computer users, even if they have very little design experience, could run up a functional, decent looking site in no time at all.
|Great value||Not very good looking|
|Good pro design features||Navigation is not always clear|
|Speedy chat help||Some text is badly translated|
It’s email or chat help only from One.com. Our experience was good, with our queries being picked up by helpful support agents in under a minute during our test. It’s not hard to find complaints about support online though, so it may be a matter of luck and timing. There’s a good set of FAQs and a couple of video guides. One.com are Danish and some of the text isn’t written in very natural English. Technical details are hidden away far from the cookie cutter answers that customers are directed to use first.
If you want to get online quickly and cheaply you should certainly consider One.com. It’s hard to fault their value or their simple, functional approach to web design.
For beginners and bloggers then, One.com is great, but for highly functional or high traffic sites reports suggest there could be some issues.
The site feels friendly and the help is approachable and useful.The fact that they back and use so much open-source software – seeing this as a tool that allows them to offer great value prices – makes this feel a welcoming place, particularly to people used to getting under the hood of their sites.
Sometimes the navigation isn’t very intuitive and the interfaces feel a little old fashioned, but if you want a blog or a brochure that shouldn’t concern you overly.
The future success of their beta-stage web shop application could add another level to this attractive site for starters.
Get stuck in as soon as you sign up; a 15 day money back guarantee is one of the shortest on the market.
About Pete GriffinPete is a digital strategist with 15 years of experience in media production
and web project management, in PR and broadcast media environments.
He’s the owner of "We Are Digital Vision," a Cardiff based digital communications
consultancy the offer consultancy, content and design services