Originally, 1&1 was partnered with Jimdo and the 1&1 website builder was a white-label version of Jimdo. But a few years ago, the partnership dissolved and 1&1 was left to start improving Jimdo’s website builder on their own.
The 1&1 website editor can devolve into a mess at any given time. I mean what is going on in this screenshot? (right?)
You drag-and-drop elements in order to build a page. One bright-spot for 1&1 is that there are plenty of elements to choose from (and extra “Web App” elements such as Yelp reviews that you can add).
Unfortunately I found many elements were thoughtlessly designed. For example, the newsletter signup element (which doesn’t look like much) forces you to include a Captcha— why!?
Oftentimes the website editor was unwieldy. It felt messy and just … crammed full of stuff. In this screenshot (right) the logo editor has a Save button but it’s hidden behind the sidebar menu. Yikes!
Editing the footer is very limited. There is a Print button included on your footer— and there is no way to remove it. Who is printing webpages in 2016?! There is also no meaningful customization you can do to the footer other than editing the copyright message.
The post editor is limited to three sections: text, photos and video. Unfortunately you can’t have more than these three sections (example: text, video, text), it’s an annoying and unnecessary constraint. Over all the blog element strays too far from the conventions of a blog. For example, there are no individual post pages— so people can’t share your post on social media. There is a commenting section, but not integrations with Disqus or Facebook comments. You can’t create drafts or set posts to publish on a future date. Show Screenshot
You can install Ecwid or Paypal store apps from the 1&1 web app store, but 1&1 does not provide any ecommerce functionality. (It’s confusing— 1&1 seems to have a separate ecommerce product that they advertise as well. Don’t be dooped by that— the website builder upgrade does not give you this ecommerce builder.)
The form builder lets you add text fields (both single and multi-row) and checkboxes— but that’s it, you can’t add radio buttons or file uploads. Strangely, there is no way to order your fields. You can only add extra fields on the end of the form— that’s annoying (and such an easy fix!). You can send form submissions to up 3 email addresses (but there is no database saving form submissions, so make sure you don’t accidentally delete those emails!). There is no way to customize the success message or send form submissions to a custom page.
No. Images did not display sharp and crisp on retina displays (such as iPhones and Macbooks).
There is a newsletter signup element but it has to be integrated with 1&1’s Email Marketing Manager (it can’t be integrated with popular email services such as Mailchimp). But the worst part is all newsletter signups have to have a Captcha (those spam protection tests). I’ve never seen a newsletter signup have a Captcha— that’s a great way to lose a ton of potential signups! Show Screenshot
There is a very simple menu builder. Menus are made of sections that let you create items with prices. It’s worth noting that there is no description field for items— so you can’t have a description of the item displaying beneath it’s name.
Most themes are quite basic. They’re not terrible but they definitely don’t feel contemporary either.
In 2014 I wrote a blog post about 1&1’s cancellation policy (it went sort of viral). In the post I explained how 1&1 invoiced me weeks after I had cancelled my account. At the time, I asked 1&1 customer support why this had happened and they told me “sometimes the system generates crazy invoices, but don’t worry because now you won’t be charged.”
Billing systems should never generate “crazy” invoices.
While for this review (March 2016), I did not receive any “crazy” invoices after cancelling, I am still suspicious of 1&1’s billing department and have decided to keep it rated as having “bad” billing practices.
The cancellation is an 8-page process. It’s pretty needlessly confusing and often has contradictory instructions.
After you go through the process and confirm your cancellation you’re told to call in to 1&1 “in order to avoid data loss in the event of an accidental or malicious cancellation request.” I wish they would have just told me to call in from the start!
Fortunately after calling in I was able to cancel. In all it took me about 20 minutes to cancel my account. It would be nice if 1&1 could improve this process!
I founded Site Builder Report in 2012 to help people find the best website builder. My work is supported by earning an affiliate commission when readers choose a website builder based on my reviews. In my spare time I make music (check it out!).
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Keep in mind that 1&1 may have changed since then. If you believe something is out of date in my review, please let me know.