Easily.co.uk Exposed: Big Promises Disguise A Host Of Problems
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It’s always interesting to see how different companies evolve over the course of time, particularly as the face of the web changes.
Back in the 90s, a web design agency called WebConsultancy came up with the idea for Easily. In 1999, however, the website was called easywebnames.com and not easily.co.uk.
At the time, the purpose of the business was to provide cheap domain names, which is a mission the company continues to pursue even while now working under the NetNames Group umbrella.
Today, Easily aims to provide customers with three things: reliable web services, fair prices, and premium support. Let’s see how well this company lives up to that promise.
Easily Web Services
Since the time of its founding, Easily’s primary focus has been to provide customers with extensive options for domain names. Although these services still remain front-and-center on the website, Easily has branched out to cover the full range of services a business might need to build a successful website.
Here are the individual services you can purchase through Easily:
There’s nothing out of the ordinary with this service. Easily allows customers to:
- Purchase a generic top-level domain (gTLC)
- Transfer a domain from another company
The one main difference you may note here is the extension offerings. Because this is a UK-based business, the more traditional .com and .org aren’t always the top options. Instead, you’ll find extensions like:
There are also a huge number of non-traditional extension options, most of which come at a premium price. Here are some examples:
The cost for traditional domain names is about average for what you’d find anywhere else; the cost of non-traditional ones, however, is exponentially more expensive. The cheapest one is double the cost of .uk. The most expensive is almost ten times the cost of it.
Although Easily doesn’t give much attention to their web hosting offering, it is indeed there to round out its attempt at serving as a one-stop shop.
There are a number of shared hosting plans available, each of which comes with the basics, including unlimited bandwidth and easy WordPress installation. The main difference between the plans is the amount of storage and databases the customer receives as well as a choice between using Linux or Windows.
The cost of Easily’s web hosting plans is pretty reasonable. However, because each comes with the bare minimum and requires users to purchase other plans to round out the all-in-one website building service with a domain, email, a site builder, and possibly e-commerce, the cost of hosting is a bit misleading.
Details are incredibly sparse regarding the infrastructure that’s responsible for hosting Easily’s customers’ websites. We know that the data center is “secure”. Specifically, here is what Easily has promised:
- A secured data center
- Daily backups
- Daily monitoring
- No storage of credit card details and only the bare minimum of customer data on Easily’s servers
- ISIS Safe Shopping payment security compliance
- PCI DSS compliance
There is no information regarding Easily’s uptime guarantee (if there is one).
The good news for customers that decide to try Easily’s hosting is that a 30-day promise allows you to cancel any shared hosting or email service within the first month with no penalty.
Email services from Easily are not built into any of its web hosting plans, and so customers who need personalized emails will have to purchase these separately.
Easily offers a number of email plans for customers, depending on what sort of email services are needed. For example:
- A personalized email address to match the domain
- Email address with contact management tools (like calendar and tasks)
- Email addresses for your team along with collaboration tools
- Mobile push notification email services
Regardless of which plan you choose, you’ll receive at least one personalized email, anti-virus and anti-spam, and the ability to access your email from whichever client you prefer.
While Easily web hosting includes WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal integration and easy installation, a website creator (i.e. site builder) is also included as an offering.
This site builder tool is a simple solution, one that utilizes a visual editor interface so users can edit their websites in real time. It also includes over a hundred design templates — that are customizable — that customers may start from.
However, it’s important to note the differences between the plans. They do differ in terms of how many pages you can build as well as how many templates you have to choose from, which is standard. What is not standard is the restriction Easily puts on what you can change and when. Some of the plans stipulate you do not have the ability to change your template or pages at all while some require you wait 30 days to do so.
Cost is another factor to consider when choosing the Easily website creator add-on. The cheapest plan seems reasonable enough; however, you won’t have the ability to change your theme or page types after you’ve published. All other plans cost more than twice what the most basic offering does to unlock the (restricted) flexibility you wouldn’t have to bargain for with other site builder tools.
If you want to build an e-commerce site, you can purchase a separate eShop plan from Easily. Here are a few of the highlights of the plans:
- 100+ store templates
- eBay integration
- Secure online payment processing
- Advanced marketing offered for premium plans
The eShop plans are kinda pricey, and there aren’t many specifics available about the eShop builder or the types of controls available to users (especially if you want yours to be fully-loaded and ready to upsell and cross-sell). Because of this, it might be a smarter move to use a WordPress plugin or an e-commerce site builder tool from another company, as Easily does not offer a money-back guarantee on this.
Search Engine Submission Service
This isn’t a service advertised in the site’s navigation, but it is included at the bottom of the site, so it’s worth noting here.
Easily’s search engine submission service is a sort of premium XML sitemap submission service. In other words, Easily will send your site to hundreds of search engines for ranking. While this is something you can easily do within WordPress, Easily takes this a couple steps further and also offers:
- Analytics that tell you how your keywords are ranking and trends in their popularity
- A review of your site and, consequently, recommendations of keywords that would perform better on it
The cost of this service really isn’t justified as you can use WordPress plugins to automate a good portion of this service and then employ the use of third-party tools to take care of the rest.
A Note About Customer Support
Since part of the Easily promise is to deliver first-class support to its customers, we wanted to go over exactly what this entails.
Here is a summary of Easily support:
- All customer support is handled in-house from Easily’s London office.
- Phone and email support are available from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Email support is also available from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The Easily website also includes a self-service section with guides on how to use each of its services. Information is limited, and the knowledge base looks a bit antiquated, so working directly with Easily’s team might be the safer of choices. For customers who don’t want to use phone or email, they can submit a ticket and request support that way.
Does Easily Fulfill Its Promises?
I noted earlier that Easily’s three-pronged promise is to provide customers with reliable web services, fair prices, and premium support.
There isn’t much to go on regarding the quality of web hosting and other services provided by Easily, so that’s a hard one to call. However, with a 30-day money-back guarantee on web hosting and email, this does make an investment in Easily a less risky choice.
Although prices seem fair at first glance, it’s important to consider the full picture here. Easily does not merge any of its offerings, so the costs add up: domain, email, hosting, site builder, and e-commerce.
And as for support? Well, it’s nice to know that the company has an expert team that handles all inquiries right from within its office. However, the team is only available during UK business hours during the week and at limited intervals over the weekend. Self-service options aren’t all that impressive either, so customers who use Easily could easily find themselves in the lurch if something should happen outside that window of availability.
All in all, it’s probably safest to only recommend Easily as a domain name provider. It’s what the business started as, and it seems to be its strong suit to this day. Anyone looking for reliable, secure, versatile, and comprehensive web hosting solutions, however, should go elsewhere.