1&1 Click And Build Installer Practically Useless

I received an email the other day from a concerned 1&1 customer informing me that their one-click application installer does not allow WordPress to be automatically upgraded. I sent the following email to 1&1 sales department to figure out why it’s set-up that way.

One And One Installer

If I understand this correctly, the one click installer for WordPress is not able to be auto-upgraded, correct? If this is the case, why bother having that feature to begin with? It seems to me that is an irresponsible thing for a webhost to do. The ease of installation is a great thing but if it can not be auto-upgraded when a new version of WordPress is released, it makes the ease of installation a moot point. Could someone from 1&1 explain to me why the one click installer for WordPress is set up in this way?

Their response:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting us.

Please be informed that for security reasons, the following changes and modifications are not possible in Click & Build applications. Installation of new templates, new plugins, new modules, new components, or new language packages are not allowed as well as insertion of custom source code (e.g. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or PHP) in preinstalled templates or other places in Click & Build applications.

However, you can install WordPress manually, just refer to the link below for the steps.

The email goes on to list each step in the manual installation process. So not only can you not upgrade WordPress if it’s installed via their application installer, but you can’t install themes, plugins, language packs, or the insertion of code. It’s as if you’re using a locked down version of WordPress.com. How many people stick with the default theme, default plugins, etc and don’t plan on adding anything to WordPress? Slim to none is my guess. Their particular setup has been like this for over 6 years and counting. I’d love to see some figures from them on how many people are using their Quick Application installer specifically for WordPress.

I’d like to say WordPress is easy to install and for someone who is tech literate, it is. However, after browsing the WordPress.org support forums and seeing so many people struggling to FTP this and MySQL that, it’s hard to say it’s easy to install. That’s why the one click installers were invented, they were supposed to lift the burden of being tech literate to get a WordPress site up and going but by using the click and build installer from 1&1, users are setting themselves up for disaster with more pain and struggles that are unnecessary.

My advice is to stay away from any of these one click installers and go through the process of manually setting up WordPress. It’s worth learning in the long run. For tips on installing, I highly recommend the following Codex article, Installing WordPress. For the visual learners, this presentation from WordCamp Phoenix 2013 does a great job explaining how to install WordPress in different ways. These are the slides that go with the presentation.

I know Fantastico has the ability to install WordPress without the need of FTP or database credentials but does it carry the same limitations? I sure hope what 1&1 provides is not considered the industry standard for quick installations.

15 Comments


  1. dreamhost has automatic installation and supports automatic upgrades on all of those installs. very useful for those sites you set up for a friend and forget about ;)

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  2. I didn’t know that! That’s shameful. How can 1&1 offer such a lame and unsafe service? They should get rid of it, for their users sake.

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  3. I’ve got a decent sized site that was started with with Fantastico WP Install.. Currently the site supports a news type theme with 17 homepage loops, BuddyPress and Forums, it’s been active for 2 years and I’ve never had a problem updating it or with any theme or plugin..I’ve tried

    I have another site under construction, so far it’s been under construction for about 6 months- That one is Buddy Press on top of multi-site – It has a really complex primary theme- that contains 8 mini themes inside – I’ve had no problem setting up network sites or anything else.. An update comes along, click the button, wait a second to be sure, then get on with life. That was started with a Softaolous one click install, that included the multi site install.. Subfolders only

    I’ve also looked too closely at 1 and 1’s one click install, and their support..

    My father used to tell me if I couldn’t find something nice about someone, to keep my mouth shut.. Good advice

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  4. To be perfectly honest, it comes as no surprise to me that 1&1 have this system and that it is not designed to work as it should for their customers. In Germany 1&1 – which provides telephone as well as Internet services – has an exceptionally bad reputation which, sadly, most people discover after they have signed a contract with them.

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  5. Have been hosting at MediaTemple for some years now. Their installer also allows you to do everything. Install themes, plugins, updates etc.

    The only host where I hosted for a short while which was as broken as 1&1 was godaddy.

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  6. I was hosting a site on my vps for a friends store but 1&1 filled their head with dreams so I got transfer code for them from my registr. but 1&1 could not even get domain name transfered for them.

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  7. This is ridiculous! They are basically taking away all of WordPress’s features.

    Regarding Fantastico, there’s no limitation whatsoever. I have built lot of sites with it and they are like normal WP installs. Heck, it is better than normal install since it does not limit you to username “admin” by default!

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  8. This is a very useful post. My concern is security, if you can’t update you can’t stay secure. This could end up making WordPress look bad, which is totally unacceptable.

    There are many good hosting companies out there that do support upgrading and you are absolutely right to highlight those who do not. Thanks again!

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  9. I know Fantastico has the ability to install WordPress without the need of FTP or database credentials but does it carry the same limitations?

    Thankfully, no it does not. I installed one of my WordPress sites with Fantastico, and you could do anything you want just as with a normal install. Since then I have setup several installs the manual way, which as you say was easy for someone like me who is tech oriented. My host now uses Softaculous instead of Fantastico, and it also allows updates, custom code, etc. Its even integrated with cPanel to give you a notice there when an install is out of date.

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  10. 1st call offers one step word press installer. It installs it, then you log in and can upgrade wordpress and add themes etc.

    I do not know of any host that offers upgrades with the one step.

    Scott

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  11. I found a couple of very good one-click solutions out there in the last years. Some even inform you when it is time to update and provide procedures for it.

    When it comes to 1&1: i left them back in 2006 since they didn’t allow me to run WordPress on my hosting account there at all.

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  12. There area good number of cPanel hosts that offer Fantastico installs of WordPress 2.6 (pre 2.7 update feature.)

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  13. This is really pathetic. I remember using the 1-click installer as a test circa 2007 with 1and1 for WordPress, realizing I couldn’t do anything but choose from their terrible selection of themes and then taking it off to install WordPress manually, but I just assumed that in the intervening six years, it would be better.

    Wow.

    Just…wow.

    Seriously though, this is the challenge that self-hosted software is up against and it’s why hosted offerings such as WordPress.com, Squarespace, Tumblr, etc. have gained so much steam over the last few years. It was one thing in 2004 or 2005 when I first used WordPress to expect that there would be some learning curve involved. Even in 2007, the concept of an automated installer script was novel.

    But I genuinely get worried about solutions like this that aren’t updatable yet are sold to newcomers who don’t necessarily know they should be going to Squarespace or WordPress.com, they just know, “I want a domain and web hosting, this thing says its 1-click, OK.” Especially from such a large host.

    Ironically I still have a few domains with 1and1, only because the renewal is cheap and I haven’t wanted to transfer them, but I should just bite the bullet and do it.

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  14. This is extremely bad. This “apps” provided by 1and1 are completely useless for developers. I remember trying back in 2008 to install Joomla. I couldn’t modify anything. I contacted 1and1 support and they told me that it wasn’t possible. They advise me to install it manually, and then the technical support specialist added: “We already inform our admin team on this issue and they are working on it, however we don’t have a time frame when it can be fixed and updated”. So 5 years went by and the same issue is present on all “Click-n-Build” apps.
    I am seriously thinking about moving all of my domains to a new server.

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  15. I know this article is quite old by now, but I must say that this article doesn’t make any sense.

    I’ve been hosting my WordPress sites (which is all I use at this point) on 1and1 for nearly two years now and have had full access to every element in WordPress (I use every elements of WordPress in various ways simply to see how they work and can be used). It sounds to me like the installation is set to 1and1’s “Safe Mode”, which makes it difficult for an inexperienced user to break the installation.

    For this, when installing, you’re supposed to select “Free Mode” and you will have full accessibility.

    My comment is in regards to the “ClickAndBuild” function that 1and1 provides. I’ve just come across this article over and over, and so here’s my input for what it’s worth.

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