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1&1 was first established in 1988 and can claim to be one of the largest hosting organisations in the world with more than 10.5 million customers and handling 11 million domain names. The company has 10 separate arms located in Europe and North America, each with its own website and hosting plans. The company is truly massive, so for the purposes of this review, I will focus on the UK arm, which was opened in 2000.
UK customers may already be familiar with 1&1 through its TV advertising. The company is focused on domain name registration and shared hosting services, although there are wide range of other services on offer.
1&1 Hosting Plans
There are 4 different Linux based shared web hosting plans available through 1&1 and each plan allows for unlimited bandwidth.
- The 1&1 Starter plan is the ultra-low cost option, providing 5 GB disk space, up to 1000 email accounts, 1 MySQL database and only 1 ‘click and build’ application.
- The 1&1 Standard plan offers a step up from the starter plan with 50 GB disk space, 300 email accounts 10 MySQL databases and 5 web applications.
- The 1&1 Unlimited plan lifts the limit on disk space and web applications allows for 5000 email accounts and up to 100 MySQL databases. This account also comes with a free domain name.
- The 1&1 Business plan is the top end shared hosting plan available and lifts the limit on email accounts and databases.
1&1 customers can also opt for Windows hosting. There are three plans available which are similar to the Starter, Unlimited and Business plans offered by its Linux-based hosting products.
There are 3 VPS hosting plans available. Each plans allows the customer unlimited bandwidth and they can choose from Linux or Windows operating systems. VPS hosting comes with a static IP address, a SSL certificate and an optional FTP backup product.
- For Linux VPS hosting, customers can scale their server needs from 521 MB RAM (burstable up to 2048 MB) and 20 GB disk space up to 2048 MB RAM (burstable up to 8192 MB) and 80 GB disk space.
- Windows VPS hosting is scalable from 1024 MB RAM and 20 GB disk space up to 4096 MB RAM and 80 GB disk space.
There are 3 dedicated server hosting plans available through 1&1. Customers can choose from a range of Linux and Windows operating systems, and each plan is based on processor speed. Customers who choose Linux operating systems can also opt for a managed service, although this costs extra.
- The L plan allows for up to 4 Intel Xeon or AMD processor cores with up to 12 GB RAM and 1,000 GB disk space.
- The XL plan uses Intel Xeon E5 processors and customers can have up to 12 cores with up to 32 GB RAM and 2,000 GB disk space.
- The XXL plan also uses servers built around the Intel Xeon E5 processor but customers can get up to 32 cores, 64 GB RAM and 4,000 GB disk space.
1&1 also offers a dynamic cloud server hosting service. This allows the customer to build a cloud server based on Linux or Windows. The service is configured on a sliding scale, allowing customers to choose up to 6 processor cores, 24 GB RAM and between 100 and 800 GB disk space.
1&1 also offer a variety of other services, including a web site building tool, search engine marketing, eCommerce tools and an affiliate programme.
1&1 makes no claims or promises regarding uptime for web hosting customers, and neither is there an SLA or guarantee to reassure prospective clients. However, all data is stored simultaneously in two locations. Should one server fail, another will take over. This is a good provision, but the lack of uptime guarantee might put off some people.
As 1&1 is part of a large hosting organisation, it utilises data centres throughout Europe and the US. There are over 70,000 servers in use by 1&1 and their data centre all utilise the usual array of power backup systems, cooling systems and 24/7 security to keep them up and running at all times. Interestingly, 1&1 have a mobile app allowing customers to view the status of their servers at all times.
There are a range of support facilities offered by 1&1. Before going into these, it’s worth noting that each arm of the organisation has its own technical support contacts; in America there is a US-based email address and phone line, where in the UK there is a UK number and email address.
Technical support is available 24/7 and the phone line is a freephone number.
Customers also have the option to allow the technical support to view and guide them through a solution using the Netviewer application. The company also maintains a comprehensive list of FAQs for self help purposes.
1&1 has active Twitter and Facebook accounts (again, these are country specific: there are different accounts for German, US and other areas, so make sure you follow the right one for your location). Looking at the accounts, 1&1 do seem interact with their customers through these channels and will readily respond to support queries on social media.
There is also a YouTube channel where 1&1 videos are posted from time to time.
1&1 in the News
1&1 is a huge hosting organisation and as such, it is unsurprising that it has made appearances in the technology news sites. All of the official press reports I found on major tech sites were positive.
1&1 Control Panel
1&1 provide the Parallels Plesk control panel for its VPS and dedicated hosting plans, although it appears to provide its own custom control panel for shared web hosting customers. Unfortunately, there is little detail about the custom panel in the help area, so it’s difficult to compare it to more common control panels such as cPanel. The information about the control panel does confirm that you are able to perform the majority of functions you would expect, although I wasn’t able to confirm how user-friendly it is.
1&1 have also created a useful (and free) application called EasyLogin which allows customers to access all of their 1&1 applications directly from their toolbar.
Web hosting customers who purchase the Unlimited or Business plan get a free domain name and Facebook and Yahoo!/Bing search marketing credits. The control panel also supports one click installs covering some of the most common scripts and applications (such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PHP, ZenCart and more).
1&1 also provides green hosting badges for customers to place on their website. The company uses the top energy efficient servers, paperless billing and other eco-friendly office initiatives to back up its green credentials.
1&1 Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
1&1 is able to offer a 60-day money-back guarantee, and whilst this isn’t the longest guarantee I’ve come across, it is longer than the majority. This guarantee only applies to the shared hosting plans and doesn’t include domain name registration fees, software license fees and software shipping or handling fees.
1&1 is a part of a huge hosting organisation – and you can really tell. Its website is sprawling, and there are a range of options for customers in various countries.
The services it offers are comparable to many other hosting providers, but the sheer number of positive articles in the technical press suggest that this is a company that’s well-respected. This alone is enough to boost confidence.
The lack of information regarding the control panel may put some customers off, and it’s a shame that shared hosting clients aren’t provided with a little more information upfront. A simple video tour would go a long way to easing any fears new customers might have about using a custom panel.
Having said that, the lengthy money-back guarantee on shared hosting plans allows plenty of time for customers to assess the control panel and cancel their services if they don’t find it suitable.
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Benchmark Email is a fitting name for this email marketing service because it sets a benchmark for the type of performance you’d expect to help you improve your email marketing campaigns. With Benchmark Email, you can create newsletters, surveys, event information and coupons quickly. Your marketing pieces can include your logo and color scheme, as well as images and video. Whether you’re skilled at web design or have talents in other fields, you can create documents, send them when you want to and see how your customers respond to them. For these reasons and more, Benchmark Email is our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner for bulk email marketing services.
Adding contacts to the Benchmark Email database is as easy as downloading a file, importing an address book from your email account, copying and pasting email addresses from a document, or adding them into the system one at a time. To download a file, you need to have a document with a file extension for Microsoft Excel, CSV or text format. To import an email address book into Benchmark Email’s database, the contacts need to be from the major email inbox providers, such as Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo.
Another convenience that this email marketing service includes is the ability to segment contact lists. This is helpful if you want to send out an email campaign according to demographics such as the subscriber’s age or location.
This email marketing service also helps you keep track of bounced messages, contacts who have unsubscribed from your mailing lists and more. You can also create and send surveys or emails with videos in them to your subscribers.
The service includes advanced options to help you customize, organize and optimize your email marketing campaigns. Creating an email advertising campaign in Benchmark Email is relatively quick and easy. Each part of the creation process, from inputting your mailing list to composing the email, is organized efficiently in sequential tabs.
Once you’ve organized your list, the wizard guides you through the necessary steps to complete your email. If you wish to edit a particular step, you can easily navigate to a specific part of the email. You have the option to create a message with a customizable template, and you can make use of the HTML editor if you want to do the coding yourself.
Benchmark’s templates are adequate and provide a solid selection in various themes, including cards, newsletters, promotions and event invitations. You can add pictures or logos via a simple drag-and-drop function, and performing edits such as resizing is straightforward.
Sending & Reporting Features
In Benchmark Email’s reporting tab, you’ll find all of the reports that are available, including an active campaign summary and reports on click-throughs, contact statistics, email forwarding, survey results and email abuse. On the downside, Benchmark does not offer conversion tracking within the software itself. However, it has not neglected to address this need in email marketing campaigns; instead, the company offers integration with Google Analytics to track conversions through purchases or paid accounts.
The important stats and records in the tracking and reporting section help you evaluate your email marketing campaigns. Graphs and summaries help you to determine the success of the campaign and identify where there is room for improvement. You can see reports for both emailed messages and surveys.
From the dashboard, you can compare multiple reports that update in real time. The reach of your tracking doesn’t stop there, however. Your dashboard also keeps track of your social media campaigns and displays likes and wall posts on Facebook as well as tweets on Twitter. Your marketing campaigns can expand their level of reach with integration options for Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and YouTube, among several others.
Help & Support
This email marketing service provides a comprehensive support portal for customers. Some of the features include tutorials that walk you through the setup process, a FAQs database, a searchable knowledgebase and a glossary of terms. This email marketing service also adds more than 20 user manuals on a monthly basis. Its content library includes a company blog in addition to monthly corporate and partner newsletters. You’ll also find well-researched articles that include best practices and how-tos, as well as information on building an email contact list, spamming, and current marketing news and trends.
If you need further help or tech support, you can contact the company directly via email or phone, or you can chat live with a representative. Support is available on a nearly 24-hour basis and is free. We are impressed with the extent of the company’s efforts to inform and educate its customers.
Benchmark Email provides everything that you need to target your audience with a professional email campaign. Through its comprehensive service offering, you can monitor the results of your emails with excellent reporting capabilities. We are impressed with the feature list, easy-to-use interface, and excellent help and support. This is one of the top email marketing services available, and it provides an excellent software product that adds power and greater reach to your marketing efforts.
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Click Magick is a new tracking service that has just been launched into the marketplace in 2014. The main question that we (as marketers) need to ask in regards to tracking services is:
There are many different tracking services out there like CPVLab, Linktrackr, Hypertracker, Clickmeter and so on. That’s why I want to write this review to explain the pros and cons of Click Magick so you can decide for yourself if it is suitable for you.
This is just a review: You can visit the main site by clicking here.
What are the features of Click Magick?
Let’s start with the basics when it comes to tracking. Just like with most tracking services, you are able to place a conversion pixel and track your opt-ins, sales, up-sells and so on. Also, if you need additional pixels to track other revenue metrics, you can do that as well. Click Magick allows you to split test different links by placing them into a rotator. You can of course set the rotator to favour a certain URL or just set it at 50-50 so you can do a proper A/B split test.
As you can see for yourself in the image below, it has all the essential tracking features.
I really like the Quality Traffic stats. It shows exactly where the traffic is coming from and breaks it down to Tier1, Tier2 and Tier3 traffic. On top of that, it gathers all the data from the traffic source and punches out a Quality Score for your traffic. The quality score is indicative of how good the traffic really is.
Let’s look at my stats for example. I got a 76.2% conversion rate on my squeeze page, for which I bought traffic from a vendor at Safe-Swaps.com.
Looks all good and all right? Let’s look at the quality of the traffic.
As you can see, the traffic has just started but I can already see that the quality of the traffic is NOT going to be so good. I really like having easy access to the quality of the traffic because it makes your marketing life so much easier. (I was going to hide the number of clicks and brag about my conversion rate … but it ain’t happening, LOL).
So now I showed you some of the useful and important features for tracking, but what makes it so different to other tracking services?
The Pop Over Feature
When you track a link using Click Magick, you are also allowed to place a popover. Similar to Trust Jacker, for those who know about it, you can set a popover on websites that other people land on once they click your tracking link.
Pretty neat if you asked me!
Below is an image showing you exactly what I mean.
So I know the first one is a horrible example, where a Fat Loss Factor banner is set to popup on Empower Network’s home page. But I just wanted to prove a point that you can pretty much place any popover targeting any site. Not sure about those with ad-blockers installed but I don’t think it matters, since this is not really an ad (I think). Either way, as you can see on the second image, the popover has a scarcity that required the visitor to purchase a particular product within a given time to receive the bonuses. This feature allows you to upload your own images, set the time frame for the popover to be triggered and so on.
Very amazing feature I got to say.
The Magick Bar feature.
The Magick bar feature, like most plug ins out there, allows you to place a bar on your landing page. Of course, this is designed to increase your click through rate but I’ve had bad experience with these bars so I don’t really use this feature.
However, for those who can come up with a better strategy to utilise it, this feature might help you out. Here is what it looks like.
What happened here is that Wikipedia.com is set up as my landing page from within ClickMagick. Once visitors click on the tracking link they will end up on Wikipedia.com but with a Magick bar as well. Setting this up is just as simple as setting up your popover. In fact, none of these features require any advanced technical skills or coding and is actually very newbie friendly. (Trust me, I would know because I am always last to catch onto the latest technological gadgets!)
The Count Down Timer
This feature is purely a design for scarcity. There is really nothing much to talk about this feature, because we all know how important countdown timers are. I know there are plugins that allow us to perform very similar actions, but it’s still nice to have the option to do so using your tracking service. There are many different forms and types of timers that you can chose from, but here is one example.
As you can see, it’s literally just a few clicks to create these features. You can actually combine the count down timer with our Magick bar or pop over as you can see from the above images. Now that is a unique feature that I have not seen any plugins or software do.
That’s pretty much all the “Special” features from ClickMagick.com.
So should you purchase Click Magick?
I’ve actually tried many different tracking services and I’ve got to say the special features within Click Magick really makes it stand out. On top of that the pricing for this tracking service is actually very cheap compared to some other tracking services out there.
Let me just say, if you already have a tracking tool and everything is working fine for you, don’t bother switching over unless you want to take advantage of the features.
Look, Click magick has a 14-day trial period that allows you to come in here and go berserk and try out every possible feature you like. At the end of the two weeks, if you think it is not worth it, just cancel. That was the exact mindset I had when I tried Click Magick but I guess I got sold in the end…
That about wraps up this review and I hope you have the information you need to make an informed decision.
At the end of the day, a tracking tool is a tracking tool. Yes, it is a very important tool but as long you market correctly, you should be fine
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