1&1 is not a very well-known company, but they are definitely one to watch. They want to make sure that they offer their customers the very latest in technology. They are specifically targeting the 20% or so of small businesses that don’t have a website yet. To reach them, they have put a lot of money into a television and print advertising campaign, and some 700,000 paying subscribers have signed up since then.
What really sets 1&1 apart is that they are specific to certain niches. They currently cover some 200 different industries and they have about 140 templates to choose from, all of which look very professional. However, you do need to have a little bit of knowledge about content generation and search engine optimization, because if you leave their own texts on your site, you won’t get ranked on Google. So many people have kept the original text and, of course, these are considered to be duplicate content. Thus, make sure you are ready to write your own content.
1&1 does not offer any free options, not even a trial. You do, however, get a 30 day money back guarantee. Until 2010, 1&1 was actually a partner of Jimdo, and you can see this when you compare the two website builders. They went their own separate ways six years ago because they each have a different focus.
1&1 wants to get everybody online. Considering that, to date, only 20% of small businesses have a website, that is no mean feat. To achieve it, they have launched an aggressive advertising campaign that has resulted in some 700,000 new paying subscribers. Through 1&1, you can get access to a range of different services, including hosting packages, domain names, and more. Founded in 1988, they have been around for a long time, and they are also known for their aggressive advertising campaigns.
Pros of 1&1
- They offer a wealth of options. When they first started, they only offered hosting, and they continue to be one of the largest registrars on the internet. But now they offer a range of other packages as well, many of which are integrated. These include loads of apps and daily server backups.
- Their performance is really good as well. Obviously, starting as a domain host, their goal has always been to have almost no downtime and to load pages very quickly. Their uptime of 99.9% has held steady at that level since 1988. Furthermore, their pages do indeed load incredibly fast.
- They offer fantastic customer service. They offer a 24/7 telephone helpline with people from all over the world manning the lines, each of whom is incredibly knowledgeable. You should expect to wait no longer than one minute before someone speaks to you. Furthermore, every telephone call is followed up with an email.
Cons of 1&1
- The user experience with 1&1 is surprisingly poor. A lot of people find that it isn’t intuitive enough, which is something that shouldn’t exist anymore in today’s day and age. Unfortunately, many people are frustrated with 1&1, feeling like all they want is for domain names to be transferred to them. Similarly, the DNS settings are really hard to find.
- Things often don’t work. The form submission, for instance, fails quite often.
- You need to be quite technically skilled and knowledgeable to use 1&1. While they do offer features for non-technical users, they are surprisingly hard to find.
- 15 plugins are installed as standard, even if you go for ‘free mode’, where you are supposed to be in full control.
1&1 comes with some interesting features:
- Reasonably easy to use if you have some experience.
- A fast setup speed with a 30 day test period (do remember to cancel it if you don’t want to sign up for a year automatically).
- A very well designed user interface, which shows you quite clearly all the things that you can do.
- You can customize the templates that they offer you. The templates they offer look really good, and this means many people don’t customize them. It is recommended, however, to change various elements as much as possible so that you don’t have substantial similarities with another site. This would also be bad for your search engine optimization (SEO), particularly if the other site was there first.
- The Plus Plan offers full mobile optimization. This is not available on cheaper plans, however. This is quite rare, with the majority of website builders always offering mobile optimized designs.
- Excellent SEO options, so long as you make changes to the template you have chosen. You can edit the URL of all your pages. Some limits do exist, however, and you need to be aware of how these can affect your SEO.
- You can add Google Analytics tracking in your header, even on the basic version. The more advanced plans offer analytics as standard.
- You can easily integrate various HTML widgets, as well as things like visitor counter, weather service, and Google Maps.
1&1’s MyWebsite Templates
There are more than 100 templates for you to choose from. The quality of these templates is really good, and they are all mobile ready. As such, most of your visitors will be able to have a good experience when they visit your website. However, the templates are a bit basic and reminiscent of the internet before 2010. Some people feel that they are outdated but others hail the quirky, vintage style of the designs. The templates have all been pre-assembled, so you are encouraged to make as many changes as possible. In so doing, you can also create something that looks more modern than what you initially started with. This does require a little bit of technical knowledge, however.
One of the things that make 1&1 unique in terms of their templates, however, is the ‘Business Templates’ section. Unfortunately, you cannot see what these will look like until you finish the full registration process. This means that you could actually do a whole lot of work choosing a certain business template, expecting it to look a certain way, only to find that you didn’t like it. It does, however, come with pre-defined navigation, which means that you can adjust everything that is on there.
Whether an advantage or a disadvantage, most of the templates come with pre-written content. If you are completely new to website building, or if you are in a hurry, you can leave that content in place. However, as previously stated, this is not a good SEO practice and will make it more difficult for people to find you. That said, you can change the content over time to create a better optimized site.
1&1 offers a huge array of apps. In fact, you have over 200 to choose from. These include a number of mobile ready apps. As such, building a site that is unique and functional is very easy.
There are a number of ecommerce packages that are available. Your main considerations in choosing between them should be the category of products you have available and how many products you want to sell. If you intend to have quite a large number of products available, with a large customer database, then you may want to choose a package that has various add-ons included, such as product customization, payment gateways, information pages, customer data administration, and more.
1&1, in certain packages, allows you to connect your store to eBay, Google Shopping, Facebook Shop, and Amazon. You have access to a great SEO-cockpit through 1&1, which is a great marketing tool that helps you to make sure you store is properly optimized. You can even set your store up in multiple languages (two to 15 languages and various currencies).
With a good shop package, you can even include multiple pictures per product. 1&1 has a wealth of design templates available for you, as well as a few basic ones if you are just getting started. Installing the design and shop system is just the first step, however. You have to make sure you have the necessary web space, so that your shop can always be accessed. This is included in the ecommerce packages that 1&1 offers, thankfully.
1&1 MyWebsite Pricing
1&1 offers three different website builder plans. The MyWebsite plans are:
- The 1&1 Basic Plan, which is the cheapest of all. The plan starts at around $1.99 a month and then goes up to $9.99 a month after. You get the MyWebsite builder, an SSL certificate, domain and email, and access to over 10,000 of MyWebsite’s templates plus over 20 million images.
- The 1&1 Plus Plan gives you all of the features of the MyWebsite’s Basic plan but adds Online Marketing. This plan starts at $4.99 a month and then goes up to $19.99 after.
- The 1&1 Premium Plan includes everything from the Basic and Plus MyWebsite plans then adds eCommerce capabilities. The Premium Plan starts at $9.99 a month and then goes to $29.99 a month after.
In addition to MyWebsites, 1&1 offers a full range of web hosting plans including Shared, VPS, and Dedicated servers.
1&1 offers a wealth of support options as well. The organization is very large, however, and they have various technical support contacts for different issues. It also depends on where you are based yourself, as there is a different email address and telephone number for the different countries. The phone line and technical support desk is open 24/7 and the telephone call is free.
You also have the option of allowing your technical support operative to view your screen using Netviewer, an easy to use application. Additionally, there is a lot of self help out there, through the comprehensive FAQ on the website.
1&1 is also very active on Facebook and Twitter, specific for each country. Hence, do make sure you follow the one that is right for where you are based. The interaction between 1&1 and their customers has been found to be really good, so it is likely that their social media desk is always manned. Plus, there is a YouTube channel where they sometimes post videos.
Wrap Up on 1&1’s MyWebsite
The website builder that 1&1 offers is reasonably easy to use and will allow you to build a functional website. The interface during setup is also very good, so you should be able to make a go of it. However, the prices are quite steep, particularly since they go up after one year of use. They do, however, offer a 30 day free trial, which means that you can test one of their packages out and decide whether or not it is worth the money. Do, however, make sure that you cancel it, as you will automatically be subscribed for a full year if you don’t. A major let down is the lack of blogging features and the online store is not as good either. However, if you simply want to make sure that your web presence is up to date, then 1&1 is the right solution for you. As such, I 100% recommend it.