123-Reg Website Builder Review 2021

Is 123-Reg the best website builder? Find out below.

Overview

The 123-Reg website builder is easy to use and has a drag and drop system which means that even those not used to using this sort of software will be able to build their own website. It also comes with powerful e-commerce so if you need to be an online store then it could be a really useful package to use. There are four forms to the web builder which means that you will be able to choose the one that is best suited to your needs. There is a 14-day trial period which is free and so you will be able to try out the site before you commit to paying for one of the packages.

Plans & Pricing

There is a free trial which will allow you to try out the site for 14 days. It does have limited options though but it is a good idea to have a go and see how well you get on with it before paying for a monthly package. You do not even have to enter any details to try out the free trial, you just have to select a them and you can get going with it. It will then create a sample website for you which you can then edit as much as you like. You will not be able to publish the site though, until you have paid. There is a £4.99 package which is called business and it provides a free domain for a year and a free email address, web hosting, zoom video conferencing and google calendar as well as blogging tools. The Business+ is £9.99 and removes the ads and has a developer mode and so is suitable for those that would like to add more personalisation to their website by programming it. It also has 3 email addresses, discount coupons, a restaurant menu, Yelp reviews, multi-language options, and advanced design mode. It is worth noting that you will also have to pay for ecommerce if you want to add it on and this means that the price can go up a lot.

Tools & Features

  • 123-Reg is a company that does a lot more than just provide a website builder service as they will also allow you to buy domain names, email accounts, host your website and a lot more. The company wanted to make sure that their website builder was a simple as possible to use and they have done that. It is very intuitive and when you click somewhere the item appears exactly where you could expect it to. The editing tools are really easy to understand but they are also powerful and there is also a drag and drop facility as well.
  • The templates are all responsive so they will scale to fit all sizes of screen form tablets and mobile phones to PCs. This is extremely important and means that it will be a lot easier than having to change it for different devices. You can directly edit it for different devices though if you feel the need to and you can view what it looks like in the different screen sizes as well, so that you can work out whether it will look as you expect it to.
  • There is a blog section on the main menu and you will be able to import an existing blog if you wish to but you could start a new one if you wish to or if you do not already have one. It is very easy to add new pages and customise the blog and there are lots of useful options such as creating tags and custom URLs for each post.
  • There is no SSL security included in the basic web builder or ecommerce packages which means that you will have to pay for an SSL certificate which starts at £29.99 a year. Although not that expensive, most web builders include this for free and so it can feel a bit unfair that you have to pay for it.
  • There are language options so you will be able to change the main language of your site or add different versions of your site for different languages which can be very useful if you serve an international market.
  • There is no app store as such but there are already integrations that you will be able to use. These include social media offerings which can be extremely handy such as TripAdvisor, Reddit, Facebook, Vimeo, Twitter etc.
  • Performance can be useful with regards to page speed, both because search engines like fast pages and because it is good for users as well. The desktop versions are impressively fast and although the mobile versions are it a bit slower, they are still pretty good.
  • There are lots of SEO tools included which means that you will be able to easily optimise the site. There is the ability to change page titles and descriptions individually and add in meta tags. You can even generate a custom sitemap. Google Analytics is also integrated in alongside 123-Reg’s own analytics tools so you can easily track performance and see how your marketing campaigns are doing.
  • Customer support is available 24/7 and the support centre is always manned. There is live chat available 9sm – 7pm on weekdays and 9am – 4.30pm at weekends. They state that they will aim to answer queries within 60 minutes within their working hours.

Themes

There are lots of themes and so it can almost be daunting at times to be able to choose the one that you think will be suitable. There are 100 templates in total but they do vary in quality. Some of them are only just acceptable there are some that are really impressive. It means that there will be a lot of choice for you and you will be able to pick something that you will find is really suitable for your website. The templates are split into categories so you can choose the one that suits you the best. They include things like restaurants, events, gardening, health, tradesmen, technology, fitness, consulting, medicine, dentistry, cleaning and retail. You can try all of the themes for free but if you want to actually publish a website you will need to have a paid package. You will also need to upgrade to a business package if you want to edit the theme at all.

Pros & Cons

The fact that 123-reg is so easy to use and so intuitive has to be its biggest advantage. It means that anyone can use it, even if they have no prior knowledge. Even experienced web builders may like it though as the fact that it is easy will mean that it will not take long to put together a website.

Websites will look good on all devices and there are may themes and templates to choose form so that you can create something that looks unique.

It has lots of SEO tools which can be extremely useful if you want to make sure that the site is visible and it is easy to incorporate social media which can be a key part of your marketing.

The price is a big draw back though. Although the packages seem okay, the free option produces a website that cannot be published unless you pay. You will also have to pay for additions that might normally be included in other web builders.

Domain Names

The packages both include a free domain which means that you will be able to host on something which is relevant to your business or have your business name in the domain. If you already have a domain name then it is possible to move it across. The free domains have limited extensions which are .co.uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .com and .uk and obviously you will need to find one that no one else is using. It will only be free for the first year and after that you will need to renew it with a standard registration fee.

Ecommerce

There are ecommerce options that you can use and they will depend on the price plan that you are on. The number of products that you can list will be determined by the pricing plan, for example. You will find that flexible shipping rates, order management system and automatic tax calculators will be included at all levels. The ecommerce comes at different prices levels – £14.99, £24.99 and £49.99. Often with web builders the ecommerce is included, so you will need to be aware that this is not and you will have to pay extra. It can be pricey at the highest level, but it is important to compare what you are getting and consider what you need, so that you can decide whether it will provide you with good value for money, according to what you need.

Conclusion

The web builder is very intuitive and this makes it really attractive. It means that anyone who is not experienced in this area will still be able to use it really easily. It also has really good drag and drop functionality and that means that you can easily make the website look as you want. However, the biggest drawback is the pricing. You will have to pay for things, such as ecommerce and SSL which other web builders incorporate into their pricing plan. You also cannot have ecommerce on the cheapest plan even though you have to pay for it, which seems rather a shame. So generally, it is rather expensive compared to others but it is so easy to use that some people may think that it is worth paying that extra money.