1&1 IONOS Website Builder Review: Is It Right for You?
Best for international growth
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Best for White Collar Businesses
What Are the Pros and Cons of 1&1 IONOS?
- Multilingual tools are perfect for international growth
- Templates are well-suited to corporate businesses
- Handy in-editor SEO tools
- Can be confusing and limiting to work with
- No free plan or free trial available
- Dated interface
Overview of 1&1 IONOS
1&1 IONOS MyWebsite is a website builder designed for the professional. Its design, features and interface are all geared towards helping small businesses get online.
But before we get into this, let’s go back a step.
A website builder is an online programme that helps you build your own website. You don’t need to know how to code, you don’t need to fork out thousands of dollars, and it’ll only take you a few hours to create!
Here at Website Builder Expert, we test tons of website builders. We don’t just want to tell you about the best ones on the market – we want to pair you with a website builder that will meet your personal needs.
Now that’s cleared up, we’ll walk you through how good 1&1 IONOS really is.
How easy is it to use?
Is it just for small businesses?
Read on to find out…
This review covers 1&1 IONOS’ website builder, MyWebsite. The company also provides hosting – you can read our 1&1 IONOS hosting review here.
How Easy Is 1&1 IONOS to Use?
The purpose of a website builder is to make designing a website as quick and easy as possible. So how did 1&1 IONOS do on this front?
If we’re being honest, not great. In our user testing, 1&1 IONOS only scored 2.8 out of 5 for ease of use. This is the lowest score out of the 14 builders we tested, meaning it’s the least intuitive and user-friendly of the bunch.
So why did 1&1 IONOS perform so poorly in this category? This mostly comes down to how limited and restrictive its editor is. Our users found it very difficult to personalize their templates due to the section-based layout. It was particularly difficult to move different elements around. Even something as simple as choosing a color scheme was much harder than it needed to be.
Advice from the Users
It was easy to understand how to add certain elements, but moving them around wasn’t as smooth. It took me multiple attempts to try and get an element where I wanted it.
This wouldn’t be so bad if 1&1 IONOS’s templates were already pretty polished but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Although the templates on offer aren’t terrible, there isn’t a ton to choose from and those that are available aren’t winning any design awards.
In fact, users felt that they were quite outdated, which isn’t ideal when customization potential is so limited. This means you have to work twice as hard to try and create something unique to your brand. As a result, 1&1 IONOS only scored 2.5 out of 5 when it came to the design category.
Heads up!Once you’ve published your website, you won’t be able to go back and change your template. This means that you should consider carefully when choosing one. Ideally, you want to pick one that will grow with your business. If you do decide you want to switch, you’ll have to start from scratch.
It’s not all bad though. If you’re someone that doesn’t have the time to spend on design, 1&1 IONOS’s templates still pass the muster, especially for small businesses. This is because they all have a corporate feel to them that convey a sense of professionalism. All you’ll need to do is swap the dummy content out for your own and you’re well on your way!
Plus, we were impressed by how easy 1&1 IONOS makes search engine optimization. You can access all of the SEO features from the editor, so you won’t need to waste navigating between pages to make your website search engine-friendly.
So what do users think of 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite?
Well, in our testing and research, it achieved a customer score of 3.3 out of 5. This isn’t the best, but it’s certainly not the worst either, putting 1&1 IONOS in 11th place out of 14.
Overall, our users wouldn’t pick this builder out as their favorite, but it’s not all bad news. 1&1 IONOS will still appeal to a set group of users, which is what we’ll be exploring in our next section.
Is 1&1 IONOS Right for You?
1&1 IONOS for Business
This is where 1&1 IONOS comes into its own. The MyWebsite website builder is set up to help small businesses get online.
1&1 IONOS comes with a free domain for the first year, a personal email account, built-in email marketing, social media integration, and tools for SEO (search engine optimization).
It can also translate your site into multiple languages. This is great if you’re looking to promote your services in different countries, but more on that later.
Its value for money is a great point in its favor, too. Lots of businesses that are just starting out often have a small budget to work with. 1&1 IONOS’s affordable plans mean that small startups won’t have to break the bank in order to establish a respectable online presence.
1&1 IONOS for Blogging
Although it’s not known for its blogging capabilities, 1&1 IONOS does provide a range of tools to support a blog.
1&1 IONOS offers features such as displaying article categories, allowing comments on posts, social bookmarking, a search feature, and an RSS feed.
However, we wouldn’t recommend this website builder if blogging is your main purpose because it lacks features such as blogging analytics, comments, and the ability to schedule posts. There are better platforms out there, such as Wix and Squarespace, that are better equipped to support a blog and help it grow.
Saying that, 1&1 IONOS isn’t a bad choice if your primary goal is to build a business website with a blog attached on the side. It won’t be the most impressive element of your site, but it will definitely be functional. If you’re keen to learn more about how to start your own blog, read our guide.
1&1 IONOS for Ecommerce
In the past, we saw 1&1 IONOS’ ecommerce functionality as just a useful add-on, but there have been some improvements since then. There are now four plans on offer, the most advanced of which (Expert) allows you to sell an unlimited number of products, supports wholesale businesses, and integrates your store with Facebook, Instagram, Ebay, and Amazon.
While it’s still got a long way to go to match the power of dedicated ecommerce platforms like Shopify, it will do the job for businesses who want to build a website builder with an online store attached. Plus, it’s pretty easy on your budget, too!
However, if ecommerce is your main goal, or you want something with a more fully realized ecommerce offering, we’d recommend taking a look at either Wix or Squarespace. These builders still give you the option of having a website alongside an online store, but with more advanced sales tools and a lot more scope for growth.
- Ecommerce Website Builder Comparison Chart – For a full breakdown of the online store builder market, see our detailed chart.
- 5 Best Ecommerce Website Builders – Click here for our list of the best online store builders.
1&1 IONOS for Portfolio
Portfolio sites certainly aren’t a strength of 1&1 IONOS. The templates have a more corporate feel to them, and given your lack of creative control, they don’t really work for artistic industries.
You can create photo galleries, add testimonials, and embed live feeds from your social media. This is great for showcasing some work, but it’s not enough if that’s the main focus of your site.
Squarespace is the clear winner when it comes to building creative portfolio sites. Its templates are modern and stylish, and it’s not just us saying that – it’s used by loads of professional photographers and artists too.
1&1 IONOS for Scalability
Thanks to its built-in marketing tools, SEO features, and multilingual translation, we’d say 1&1 IONOS has good potential when it comes to scalability.
Your website can grow with your business, and you can even start selling online should you wish. Again, 1&1 IONOS is primarily for small businesses, which means it does have its restrictions. You won’t be able to build an overly complex website or online store, and with its feature score of 2 out of 5, you’re likely to find that there are some advanced functionalities missing.
However, if you don’t need all those extra bells and whistles, and you’re looking for a website builder that’ll be kind to your budget, 1&1 IONOS will likely tick all of your growth boxes.
Tools and Features
A website builder is only as good as its tools and features, right? You want to know that when it comes down to it, your website builder has everything you need for it to perform.
1&1 IONOS isn’t the most complex of website builders, and as a result, a lot of what it offers is pretty limited. You’ll find that it’s missing a bunch of advanced marketing features, such as popups, and the number of compatible social media feeds is reduced.
However, there are a few areas where 1&1 IONOS really stands out. Below are three of the most important:
You don’t need to rely on the sometimes flakey Google Translate. With 1&1 IONOS, you can translate your site’s content into 62 different languages. Not only that, but if you’d like multiple languages on your site at once, you can have up to 60 at any given time. Muy Bien!
This is a fantastic tool for anyone who works internationally. You don’t have to limit yourself to the US and UK markets – advertise your services in Spanish, French, or even Mandarin!
One neat tool 1&1 IONOS offers lets you change your site’s content based on who’s viewing it, or what time of year it is.
Let’s say you’re a dental practice and want to let new customers know they can get a free consultation. You can set your site up so new visitors see the free consultation offer, but others won’t – amazing!
This works for seasonal deals as well. You can change what people see on your site to reflect the calendar month.
Help and Support
1&1 IONOS offers 24/7 phone support. On top of that, it has live chat available from 8am-8pm, and a dedicated knowledge base. However, you won’t be able to access this knowledge base from the dashboard, so if you have a question whilst building your website, you’ll need to flick between tabs to get the answers you’re after.
Is 1&1 IONOS Good Value for Money?
1&1 IONOS has three plans to choose from:
- Starter Plan – $1/month
- Plus Plan – $5/month
- Pro Plan – $10 per month
Heads up!Although exceptionally cheap, it’s important to point out that these prices are promotional introductory prices. This means that they’re only valid for the first 12 months, after which point they’ll increase. The renewal prices are as follows:
- Starter – $5/month
- Plus – $10/month
- Pro – $15/month
If you want to sell online, each website builder plan has the option to add an ecommerce store. This will boost the monthly cost of the Plus plan up to $25 per month for the first six months and then $35 per month thereafter.
The Starter and Pro plans will stay the same, costing $1 and $5 per month respectively, but you will notice a jump up in the renewal price. After 12 months, the Starter plan increases to $12 per month, whilst the Pro plan increases to $20 per month after the first six months.
When it comes to ecommerce, the main difference between the plans is the number of products you’re able to stock; with the Starter plan, you can sell up to 500. With the Plus plan, it’s 5,000, and with the Pro plan, you can sell up to 10,000 products.
The other key difference is the number of other channels you’re able to integrate with. With the Starter plan, you’re limited to Facebook and Instagram. The Plus plan allows you to sell on Facebook and Google Shopping, but not Instagram, while the Pro plan gives you access to all three.
All plans (ecommerce, or non-ecommerce) come with a free domain and email accounts, social media and business widgets, and a multilingual translator tool. We can think of much worse ways to spend five bucks!
There’s no free trial or plan with 1&1 IONOS, but at $60 for the entire year, we reckon it’s well worth taking a look at and seeing what you think.
1&1 IONOS Review: Summary
Although it’s not the best website builder on the block, 1&1 IONOS doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. It’s a good option for anyone who wants a cheap and basic website.
If you want something flashy or artsy, there are plenty of other platforms out there to choose from. But if you’re interested in creating a basic business website with the aim of international growth, 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite could be a good choice. You can put a site together quickly and easily, without spending a fortune – or even spending much at all.
If you’ve done your research and think 1&1 IONOS is right for you, go ahead and sign up to see what you think. Thanks to its incredibly cheap $1 per month entry plan, what have you got to lose?
1&1 IONOS Review: FAQs
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