1And1 Review: Is Their Web Hosting Right For You?
A 1And1 Review For You
This 1&1 review will help you answer the question, “Is 1&1 the right web hosting service for me?” The company offers web hosting services, which means that they provide server space to show your website online. When you purchase web hosting services, the services among different companies can vary substantially, which is why it’s important to read several reviews like this one and others.
First, we’ll talk a little about web hosting and what it means. If you already know all about web hosts, great! Then just skip ahead to the 1&1 review for the facts about this popular web hosting platform.
What Is a Web Host?
When you build a website, you need two things: you need a domain name and a web host.
- Domain name: A domain name is the ‘address’ for your site. It’s what people will type into the browser bar to find your site. Domains begin with www and can end with .com, .net, .org etc. No two domain names can be exactly the same. If you are buying a domain name, it’s based on what is available. Domain names are purchased for a set time period of one, two or more years, and must be renewed. You can have two or more domain names pointing to the same website (web host).
- Web hosting: The web host is the place where your actual website resides online. Web hosts rent you server space and show your site to someone who types in the domain name or clicks a link to visit the site. The web host does not need to be the same company as the company from which you buy a domain name, although they can be.
You can purchase both together, or buy your domain name first to make sure you have it as you shop around for your web hosting partner.
Some people purchase more than one domain name and have the domains forward traffic to one site. This is useful is people misspell your company name a lot: Belle’s Computers may be mistakenly spelled Bell’s Computers, so the owners might want to purchase both bellescomputers.com and bellscomputers.com to make sure that anyone searching for them online finds their site, not a competitor’s site.
1&1 Review: An Overview of 1&1
- Shared hosting means you share a server with other companies, although your own information and resources are kept secure (they can’t peek at your stuff and you can’t peek at theirs.)
- Dedicated hosting is usually for companies with big websites that need a great deal of server space.
- WordPress sites use the popular WordPress theme and templates for content-rich sites like blogs or other sites that contain blog entries and plenty of text.
Depending on the type of website you’d like to build, you can choose from the plans listed above. A blogger might purchase the WordPress hosting, while a small service business like an accountant or a doctor’s office might like shared hosting. Someone wishes to start an ecommerce business or a big company might choose dedicated hosting.
Building Your Site
Once you sign up for a package, 1 & 1 offers access to a tool called Website Builder. Website Builder offers basic templates that can be customized for your business needs. For instance, you can add pictures and text, etc. If you’ve used a simple graphic design program online or edited photos using a photo editing tool, you’ll get the hang of Website Builder very quickly.
When you set up your site, you’ll enter basic information into Website Builder. This includes the site name, header and footer information, and keywords. Other items included in the basic package are special apps that you can add to your site to add social media links to G+ and other sites.
The template selection has been updated to include newer templates that appeal to many types of businesses. There are categories for retail, arts and leisure, health and beauty and many other common business categories.
Choose the template that suits your needs and the Website Builder walks you through it. With over 10,000 templates to choose from, you’ve got plenty of beautiful templates to work with.
A unique feature of 1 & 1’s website building software is access to a library of stock images. There are over 20 million images in the library, an impressive number that you can choose from to build your site. Since you would have to buy stock photos elsewhere to use them legally, or take your own pictures, this is a nice cost and time saving feature.
If you’d like to use your own HTML code or templates to build your website, for an additional $9.99 per month you can subscribe to the upgrade version of Website Builder. This enables you to load your own code into the tool to build custom pages. The upgrade also enables YouTube videos to be embedded into the site, as well as inserting your own HTML code into existing templates or replacing their code with yours.
1&1 offers email addresses free with your hosting account, so you can add custom emails for many members of your company as well as Admin mailboxes and the like. The process of creating additional email addresses is very simple.
Speaking of email, 1&1 offers a unique feature: email marketing management. They have their own email marketing system that you can purchase as an add-on to your web hosting.
Permission-based email marketing is a great way to promote your business, and buying an email system from your web host can make it a lot easier to integrate email signup forms into your website than adding HTML code and fussing with customizing forms from third-party providers.
1&1 is also ecommerce compatible. For an additional $9.99 per month, you can access their special selection of ecommerce templates and features. Features include setting up sales tax, delivery methods and payment types accepted. A nice added feature with the ecommerce package is a database that tracks your customers, so you can use it for marketing later on.
Billing and customer service staff are available 24/7 via telephone support. Email support is also available, but the company does not offer live chat.
Website Builder allows you to put in place basic SEO tools like keywords and categories to help search engines find your pages. The company also offers for an additional monthly fee extensive SEO services.
Added services are based on packages of services. These include keyword and backlink monitoring, reporting and more.
Many of these services are available elsewhere for a lower price. Reports on inbound links, traffic and other data can be found on Google Analytics at no charge. Companies like ours can offer competitive pricing on other aspects of SEO. You may be able to find these services much less expensively than what 1&1 offers.
Now we get down to pricing. This can be confusing, since so many of 1&1’s services are add-ons. But the basic prices are as follows:
- Personal: This package is recommended for personal websites, such as hobby or family sites. Current price is .99 per month for the first year, then goes up to $6.99 a month thereafter.
- Basic: A simple, basic website package for a small business or freelancer’s website is $4.99 per month. After the first year, the price increases to $9.99 a month.
- Plus: The Plus package includes marketing tools in addition to all of the other features offered in lower-tier packages. It is $9.99 per month. After the first year, the price rises to $19.99 a month.
- Premium: This is the highest package the company offers and is intended for ecommerce sites and large businesses. It is $14.99. After the first year, the price rises to $29.99 per month.
1&1 is one of the few website hosting companies that includes a 30-day money back guarantee. You just have to let them know within 30 days that you intend to cancel.
The Bottom Line: A Good, Serviceable Website Host at a Reasonable Price
1&1 is a good, serviceable site host offered at a reasonable price. The features are good to excellent, with many additional benefits like those 20 million stock images and 10,000 free templates to choose from. Although the introductory prices are low, be aware that they will rise in year two. This may give you sticker shock when you get the bill for hosting after your initial year is over, but it’s a common occurrence among site hosting companies.
Companies and individuals who might benefit by using 1&1 include freelancers, consultants, and independent contractors who need a robust enough site to company with others online but who don’t need a lot of bells and whistles like a big company or agency. The templates make creating a site easy and quick, and the apps enable to add plenty of details to your site.
1&1 is a reliable web host providing better than average services in an industry crowded with competitors. If you’re looking for a good host for your first website, they fit the bill.