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.

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