Easily Review: Best UK Budget Hosting for Small Business?

Looking for low-cost, reliable web hosting in the UK? Read our review of Easily.co.uk to find out if it's right for you.

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Katie Horne
Katie is a C# developer-turned-technical writer who loves the Oxford comma, NYT Crossword Puzzles, and knitting for no reason whatsoever. She has a love/hate relationship with JavaScript and thinks that package managers are the bees knees.

Last Updated on December 17, 2018

Easily.co.uk is one of the largest domain name registrars and web hosting companies in the UK. Founded in 1999 as EasyWebNames.com by a company called WebConsultancy, Easily pioneered the idea of offering low-cost domain names at a time when other providers were charging almost ten times as much for the same services.

Today Easily is owned by internet conglomerate NetNames Group, which encompasses an assortment of businesses offering things online brand protection, domain name services, and SSL certificate sales.

Easily Focuses on Low-Cost Solutions for UK Consumers

Easily still maintains a focus on low-cost solutions, including domain name registration, web services, and web hosting, aimed at UK businesses and consumers looking to get their web presence started.

Easily’s goal is to prioritize site reliability and to back everything they sell with first-class customer support (and a money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied).

Despite the company’s focus on the UK market, made all the more apparent by the inclusion of 20% VAT on their products and services and the hours during which you can reach their London-based support team, Easily servers over 100,000 customers in 150 countries.

Domain Names from Easily

Easily got their start by offering low-cost domains when other registrars were charging ten times as much. Today, they still offer robust domain registration services.

easily.co.uk review domain registration
You can purchase a domain from Easily, create your website with their site builder tool, and get hosting.

Purchase a Domain

If you don’t already own a domain, you can purchase one from Easily. In addition to offering you many options for your domain name, you can choose from hundreds of different extensions, such as .co, .plumber, and .uk.

Transfer Your Domain to Easily

If you already own a domain name, you can transfer it to Easily for free and pay only the fees required to extend the renewal date for your domain. If there is any time left on your domain name contract with your existing provider, Easily will cover the fees.

You’ll get free web forwarding, email forwarding, and DNS management, so your visitors will be able to reach you even though you’ve moved.

Transparent Pricing and Add-ons

Regardless of which option you choose, the fees you’ll pay for a one-year registration is displayed as soon as you make a selection. Note that all prices shown are exclusive of 20% VAT.

Finally, during checkout, you have the option of adding email inboxes, the Easily Website Creator tool, or both to your domain name purchase.

You’ll be required to register and pay the appropriate fees for your domain on an annual basis.

Video above: The Easily.co.uk YouTube channel features some small business owners sharing how they’ve used Easily to grow their business.

gTLDs

Generic top-level domains are a type of top-level domain. There are different types of gTLDs, and as a small business, you can choose the gTLD which most accurately describes your industry or offering.

Up until February 2014, there were only a handful of domain extensions available, such as .com, .biz, or .net. Since then, hundreds of new extensions have become available, such as .guru, .clothing, and .bike.

Easily offers you the ability to choose from over 150 domain extensions, so given the proliferation of websites on the internet, you’re likelier to get a domain name that fits your organization.

Email Services from Easily

Easily offers standalone email services. This allows you to purchase email inboxes using a custom domain that you can access anywhere.

All email packages come with anti-virus and anti-spam protection to keep junk mail, viruses, and other threats away from you, as well as a calendar, contacts list management, tasks lists, notes, and information management tools.

easily.co.uk review email services
Easily website

You can choose from four different pre-configured email service packages. They primarily differ regarding the amount of space you have to store your emails, as well as the maximum size attachment you can send. The premium packages, however, also come with the ability to forward your email to another account.

Web Hosting from Easily

Easily offers a variety of shared, Linux- or Windows-based plans from which you can choose.

Regardless of which plan you choose, all plans come standard with the following:

  • Unlimited bandwidth as long as your site isn’t impacting the ability for others’ websites to function.
  • Easy-to-use control panel to manage your site and hosting.
  • 1-click WordPress install as well as support for Joomla and Drupal.
  • Around-the-clock monitoring to ensure that your site is online and that there aren’t any issues.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee for hosting plans and email services. Some limitations apply.
  • Free data transfer if you are moving to Easily from another host.
  • 1-5 MySQL databases, based on the hosting plan you choose.
  • phpMyAdmin, PHP4, and 5, and Perl for using MySQL
  • UK Freephone and online support, though with limits. They are updating support options soon.
  • Ability to easily scale up hosting packages if you need more resource.s

Linux vs. Windows Hosting

Linux is the most popular operating system used by web hosts. Fans of Linux – which is open source software –  argue it offers more freedom and stability than Windows.

However, if you’re using a Windows application like Microsoft SQL or Microsoft Access, you will have to opt for a Windows server.

The user interface is slightly different too. Linux-based hosting plans use cPanel, and Windows servers come with the Plesk control panel.

Linux-Based Hosting

Easily offers three different Linux-based hosting plans. They differ primarily regarding the disk space you’re allocated and the number of databases you get.

The Linux plans also offer support for phpMyAdmin, PHP4, and Perl.

Windows-Based Hosting

Easily offers three different Windows-based hosting plans. Similar to the Linux-based plans, the Windows plans differ primarily in the amount of disk space you’re allocated.

The operating system on your server is Windows Server 2008 R2, and you get support for the following versions of the .NET Framework: 4.5, 4.0, 3.5, 2.0, 1.0. Windows plans also support ASP, PHP5 and media created using Adobe Flash.

Pricing and Billing

The prices listed are what you would pay for a one-year contract (exclusive of 20% VAT). There are no setup fees associated with any of the plans, but note that none come with a domain name. You’ll need to purchase or transfer a domain to Easily before you can use any of their web hosting options.

Need a Website? Create Your Own with the Site Builder

One of the add-ons you can purchase when registering a domain name with Easily is the Website Creator.

The Website Creator allows you to create a professional-looking website if you don’t have any technical experience with design or web development. You’ll also receive instructions on how to upload the website to your hosting account.

Getting Started with the Website Creator from Easily

To get started you simply select a pre-built design template. A template is a pre-designed website. It’s ready to go. Easily offers you a hundred to choose from.

Then you can customize the style and color, add and edit your text, and save your changes.

You don’t need to worry about writing any code — what you see in the editor is what you will see when your site is live on the internet.

Website Creator Packages

There are several Website Creator packages that you can choose from, but all include easy integration of a multimedia archive/gallery, image and Flash media editing features, search engine optimization (SEO), a Flash-based intro/landing page, visitor counter, a guestbook, and a blog.

The primary differences between the packages are in the number of pages you can create for your site.

  • Limited: The Limited package allows you to create up to 8 different pages for your site.
  • Starter: The Starter package allows you to create up to 10 different pages.
  • Advanced: The Advanced package allows you to create up to 25 different pages.
  • Full: The Full package allows you to create an unlimited number of pages.
  • E-commerce: The E-commerce package allows you to create an unlimited number of pages, choose from 250 templates, and use of business-related domain extensions, such as .biz.

Pricing and Billing for Website Creator

All prices listed are for a one-year subscription to the Website Creator (exclusive of 20% VAT). You cannot, however, purchase Website Creator as a stand-alone product — it must be purchased along with an Easily domain.

It’s also worth noting that you’ll have to pay for an individual instance of the Website Creator for each domain you have with Easily.

Build an eShop in Easily

For small businesses who want to get started with an online shop, the Easily Shop features give you a host of e-commerce-related features that make it easy to do so.

No Coding Skills Needed

Because you have over 100 templates to choose from, you don’t need to know HTML to build the storefront you need to display your products attractively. Furthermore, the sites have been coded with search engine optimization in mind, and you can easily integrate with eBay to expand the reach of your business.

You also get tools that make digital payments easy to manage, as well as packing slip creation and automatic invoicing.


Video above: Unlike many hosting companies that offer DIY site builders, Easily does not display any of their design templates. They also do not offer any examples of actual online stores or bloggers who use their templates. They require that you purchase a package before you access the site builder. However, their “eShop” page provides a how-to video, which indicates they are using a product called “ePages.” If you Google ePages you can go to that site to see templates and testimonials.

Using EasilyShop

To use EasilyShop, you must have a domain registered with Easily (which is not included with any of the EasilyShop packages).

There are three different eShop options for you to choose from:

  • EasilyShop Personal: With EasilyShop Personal, you can add up to 300 products across 50 pages/categories, and accept twelve types of payments securely.
  • EasilyShop Professional: EasilyShop Professional allows you to add up to 1000 products over 100 pages/categories, take 13 types of payments securely, mobile-ready optimizations, the ability to sell downloads and cross-selling tools to extend the pool of sellers who see your site.
  • EasilyShop Premium: EasilyShop Premium is very similar to Professional, but you can add up to 5000 products across 500 pages/categories and accept 14 different payment types securely.

If you need additional marketing features such as newsletter creation or the ability to support vouchers, coupons, or promotions, you should opt for one of the higher level packages.

The premium package features include:

  1. Sell up to 5000 products 
  2. Add up to 500 pages or categories for your products
  3. 14 secure online payment options 
  4. Fully customizable design
  5. Optimization for search engines to improve online rankings
  6. Search suggestions for buyers
  7. Optimized for mobile and tablet 
  8. Cross-selling tools
  9. Supports downloadable products like ebooks
  10. Set Up Assitant to get your site up and running.

EasilyShop is billed annually, and prices listed are exclusive of 20% VAT.

View Easily pricing

Choosing Between Website Creator and EasilyShop

Easily’s Website Creator and EasilyShop are add-on services you can purchase when you register a new domain with or transfer an existing domain to Easily. They are mutually exclusive products, however, so if you purchase one, you do not need to purchase the other.

For those who seek to create a site that is strictly informative, the Website Creator is a better option. If you plan on selling products or services, then EasilyShop is a better fit.

Search Engine Submission Service

When you purchase a new domain name, your site isn’t automatically indexed; you’ll have to submit your site for inclusion.

Because submitting your site to all of the major search engines can be cumbersome, Easily offers the Search Engine Submission Service. For a flat annual rate, Easily will submit your site to over 400 search engines on a monthly basis, track your rankings and display your stats on your control panel, and provide you with the information you need to make sure that you’re using the best possible search terms on your site.

Affiliate Program from Easily

Easily has partnered up with Affiliate Window to provide commissions to those whose referrals end up purchasing services from Easily. Commissions begin at 8.5% and rise to 12% for normal monthly sales. They also offer monthly specials that allow affiliates to earn even more.

If you’re interested in discussing other possible partnerships, you can contact their affiliate manager for additional details.

Technical Assistance & Customer Support from Easily

Easily’s self-help resources include detailed guides on their products that you can search through and a knowledgebase.

Easily mentions that you can reach their London-based support team 24/7, but reading the fine print indicates that this means you can email the team 24/7. On their System Status page, there is a list of times when you expect to receive a response to your questions:

  • Telephone and email support is available from 9 am to 5:30 pm (GMT+1), Monday through Friday.
  • Email support is only available from 9 am to 12:45 pm (GMT+1) on Saturdays and Sundays.

Furthermore, they offer limited hours for email support if there’s a bank holiday.

The discrepancy is quite confusing, but suffice to say, if you’re going to be in need of around-the-clock support, you’re probably not going to get it from Easily. But, that may be changing soon.

Starting in 2018, Easily started upgrading their customer service offering. This update is ongoing at the time of writing and will include 24/7 phone support.

Security: How Will My Website Be Protected?

One of the downsides to shared hosting plans is related to security. Because all aspects of the server are shared among many sites, something that affects one site can easily affect another site.

Added Security Features

Easily, however, has attempted to mitigate such risks by taking security seriously. In addition to continuously scanning the sites they host, and their servers for malware and malicious activity Easily keeps the bare minimum of data on their servers (and no credit card details ever).

Security for E-Commerce Sites

Furthermore, Easily participates in the ISIS Safe Shopping program, which means that their secure payment pages are checked continuously and is PCI-DSS compliant. (This means that they meet industry standards regarding how they handle sensitive credit card information).

See Easily plans

Is There a Money-Back Guarantee?

Easily backs their products and services with a money-back guarantee. If you cancel your purchase within 30 days, you’ll receive a full refund of all fees paid.

The guarantee, however, does not apply to the following:

  • Upgrades and renewals
  • Limited-time special offers and promotions offered by Easily
  • Domain name registrations
  • Products and services offered in partnership, such as the Search Engine Submission Service and AVG Internet Security.

Is Easily Right for Your Company?

Easily offers a host of options that you can mix and match to get the web services package that best fits your needs. Their low-cost offerings, however, are best for small- to medium-sized businesses looking to get started with e-commerce. Larger businesses (or small businesses who already see higher traffic levels and transaction volumes would do best to look elsewhere).

Clear Pricing and Easily Customizable Packages

Easily is very clear about what you get with your purchase. They are one of the few providers who list annual fees, instead of listing monthly fees that you have to pay for upfront on an annual basis.

Additionally, they offer you the option to build your package by adding only the products and services you want to your cart. The company does not bundle everything together and force you to pay for things you don’t need just to get the features that you do want.

Easy to Upgrade, But Limited Capacity for Growth

While Easily makes it easy to upgrade from the lower-tiered packages to their higher-tiered packages, they do not offer any VPS or dedicated hosting services. Those who outgrow their shared hosting plan will have to seek hosting from another provider when this happens.

Consider that other providers who offer a variety of hosting options let their customers upgrade to a different type of service (for example, from a shared plan to a VPS plan) with just a few clicks in their control panel.

Support is Limited But Getting Better

Finally, Easily’s support offerings are somewhat limited when compared to those of their peers. The company, somewhat disingenuously, claims that they offer 24/7 support, but what this means is that you can email them 24/7. The hours during which their London-based support team is limited (and even more so on the weekends or holidays).

If you see an outage or face an issue Friday night, it could easily be two or more days before you get your questions answered or your issues attended to by a support team. For those who are hosting e-commerce sites that do online sales, this can lead to a serious decrease in revenue and loss of trust in your company by your customers.

Visit Easily.co.uk for more information

All those caveats aside Easily is a solid provider of low-cost, high-value shared hosting for smaller businesses or those who see a lighter level of traffic.

FAQ: Easily Frequently Asked Questions

Still not sure if Easily is the right choice for you? Below, we answer some of the most-asked questions from Easily.

Is Easily a good option for WordPress hosting?

You can host a WordPress site on Easily. There’s 1-click installation, so it’s easy to get your WordPress site going with this web host. However, other web hosts offer optimized WordPress hosting package with more features.

This means they’ve designed hosting plans to improve the performance of your WordPress site. Bluehost, SiteGround and WP Engine (though this option is pricier than most) offer specific WordPress hosting plans.

How does Easily stack up against Bluehost, SiteGround and iPage?

When selecting a web host, make sure to consider the quality and range of support options. SiteGround is known for great customer service and comes with 24/7 live chat. Bluehost and iPage also offer users round-the-clock live support.

Overall, Easily’s plans provide fewer features than these well-known hosts. For instance, SiteGround comes with Cloudflare CDN to boost your website speed while Bluehost gives customers on the mid-range plans free marketing credits. iPage, Bluehost and SiteGround also offer more variety in the type of hosting plans, so you can upgrade as your site grows.

Does Easily offer a money back guarantee? Are there any catches?

Yes, they do offer the “Easily 30-Day Promise.” According to their site, if you are not happy with their services in the first 30 days, they will refund the cost of your purchase. It is worth noting that this only applies to shared hosting packages, Website Creator packages, EasilyShop packages,  and their email services that are purchased at full price.

So, if you buy a promotional bundle, or get add-on services such as Search Engine Submission or domain name, those costs will not be refunded. This is a pretty standard caveat in the hosting world, so I wouldn’t call it a catch, just something to be aware of.