1&1 are an all rounder website building / hosting company who have been in the business as long as anyone can remember. Catering for over 120 business sectors, it’s hard to ignore what 1&1 have to offer, with emphasis on not only creating your own website but also growing it with SEO, FaceBook and newsletter tools. You can build an online shops for up to 1,000 products fit for purpose with an SSL certificate and access to multiple online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. Unfortunately, you can’t help but feel that it is slightly outdated.
1&1 are on the expensive side of website building services, starting at $9.99 / month. With no option to start without giving up your credit card, the leap is made very hard to take with 1&1 as the nature of the trial is ‘if you don’t forget to cancel, you will be burned’. In terms of value, as 1&1 have been around a long time, they have clearly developed a good sense of what website builders want. I love the inclusion of an SSL certificate, but you have to spend at least $19.99 / mo for 2 years to use it, at which point it becomes tempting to look elsewhere.
As part of their latest update, Version 8, 1&1 now offer a tablet editing interface and the ability to write and publish blog posts from your mobile. Desktop editing is done, as you would expect, in a drag and drop fashion, the standard for website builder products in 2015. As well as 1&1’s own features, their editor is extended by a web app store with hundreds of different apps which can add functionality to your site, much like the app store Wix provide.
1&1 have a large directory of over 400 templates, but unfortunately the quality is lacking compared to the industry standard. All templates are mobile ready, which is a great features and means that you won’t have to worry about providing a bad surfing experience to the majority of your visitors. Most of the templates are very basic and pre-2010 looking, which is where the aura of ‘outdated-ness’ stems from. Templates are the starting point of your website, so it is important that they are of the highest quality.
Additional features with 1&1 are few and far between, with mainly an online photo editor and analytics to boast. The 2 features mentioned are extremely useful, especially the photo editor as, even for menial things such as cropping or rotating photos, having a built in photo editor can save a lot of time switching between softwares / porting over files. Analytics are impressive, but the majority of people will end up outsourcing this to Google Analytics.
1&1 have over 13 million customers, so they are very well seasoned in the daily battle that is customer service. 1&1 conduct a lot of their support over social media, which is a smart move and is the way other companies should move going forward. If you are more conventional, you can either email different support queues, call their support team or read their online help articles.