1&1 Ionos Review

Expensive, limited and old-fashioned

4 stars

A Straightforward but slightly limited builder

The 1&1 Ionos website builder program has a decent website editor, but one that is sorely let down by its outdated templates and expensive packages. Compared to the likes of Wix or Weebly, 1&1 Ionos is sorely lacking.

4 stars

A Straightforward but slightly limited builder

Features

3 stars

Design Flexibility

3 stars

Value for Money

3 stars

Help & Support

5 stars

Ease of Use

4 stars
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Pros

  • In-depth editor
  • Easy-to-access code
  • Multilingual options

Cons

  • No free package
  • No sign-up without a credit card

What is 1&1 Ionos?

1&1 Ionos lets you create a website with no prior experience of website development. You pick a template that will determine the general look and feel of your site, which can then be further tailored. 1&1 Ionos utilises a drag-and-drop editor, like most other website builders, which allows you to add elements into your website, such as text, images or videos.

Being on a drag-and-drop editor, it will all align with the other elements on your website. You can move different elements around the page with ease. You can also add widgets such as contact forms, photo galleries, website translators and more – these can add extra layers of functionality to your website.

1&1 Ionos claims that you can build professional websites for any industry or purpose, and will make your site more successful. It gives you specific tools designed to help your pages appear higher up the Google results pages and create newsletters to reach your customers.

The website builder is only a small part of 1&1 Ionos’ internet services portfolio which includes domain registration, website hosting, business email solutions, server maintenance, online marketing and website security. In fact, it’s no even 1&1 Ionos’ own tool. It’s a rebadged version of Duda – another, completely separate company – and you can tell.

1&1 Ionos claims its website builder offers easy website solutions for an affordable price whether you want a blog or a professional website. It also offers a unique service it calls the “Online Business Card”. This lets you create a shell of a website which can be published in less than five minutes to give you an interim online presence before your full website goes live – helpful if you need to get online, like, right now.

Find out more – What is a website builder, how much do they cost and which one is right for you?

Let’s see how 1&1 Ionos compares to the other website builders we’ve reviewed.

Scroll horizontally to see the full table on mobile.

Wix

Weebly

Squarespace

1&1 Ionos

WordPress

GoDaddy

Site123

Wix logo tinyweebly logo tablesquarespace logo tiny1&1 Ionos tableWordpress logo tinyGoDaddy LogoSite123 logo
Test score4.5 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars3.5 stars3 stars3 stars
VerdictComfortably the best website builder we’ve tested, and brilliantly simple, even for beginnersAnother great website builder that’s also very approachable for first-timersStands out with its attractive templates, though not quite as well-rated as WixTemplates and prices aren’t as great as those offered by rival website builders.Perfect for blogs, but can be fiddly for other types of siteSome big improvements to templates in the past year, but a little light on featuresCan help you build a website, but the options are more limited compared to rival website tools
Number of templatesOver 50056914332908188
Blogging
Portfolio sites
Business sites
Ecommerce sites
Features4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars2 stars3 stars
Design Flexibility4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars
Value for Money4 stars3 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars2 stars2 stars
Help and Support5 stars4 stars4 stars5 stars4 stars2 stars3 stars
Customer Score5 stars4 stars4 stars5 stars3 stars4 stars3 stars
Ease of Use4 stars3 stars4 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars4 stars
Free plan14-day free trial30-day free trial
Paid plan (monthly)Starts from $8.50Starts from $5Starts from $12Starts from $7Starts from $4Starts from $5.99Starts from $10.80
Try it TodayVisit WixVisit WeeblyVisit Squarespace*Visit 1&1 IonosVisit WordPressVisit GoDaddyVisit Site123

* Take 10% off Squarespace with code ‘TECH10’

1&1 Ionos: The Good

If we’re honest, the negatives outweigh the positives when it comes to 1&1 Ionos. However, if you are set on using 1&1 Ionos, then these are the things you have to look forward to.

In-depth Website Editor

You get a lot of control over the elements you can add to your website. Alongside the typical font, color and size changes you can make on all editors, you’ll be able to change all manner of aspects for each column or widget – individual element colors, padding, using videos or images as the background for text boxes and more, it’s all there.

All these changes can help make your website completely unique, which is just as well, given the slightly dull nature of the templates.

Multilingual

From the outset, you get the option to have your website translated into 60 different languages.

You can either do this via Google Translate or by entering translated text yourself. This isn’t something all website builders do, and might be really important if your business operates in multiple or multilingual countries, for example.

Code Access

You’re able to access all of the HTML/CSS code for all of your site, all of the time. Most website builders (in an effort to stop people breaking their templates) try to keep you away from the code, so it’s nice that 1&1 Ionos will let you access it, should you want to.

However, it does beg the question – if you’re a good enough to coder to make use of this, why do you need a hand-holding website builder in the first place?

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1&1 Ionos: The Not-So-Good

Sadly, there’s a few more negatives than positives when it comes to 1&1 Ionos.

No Free Package

As we mentioned above, there’s no free package and not even a free trial. You have to sign up for a year’s package with 1&1 Ionos. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee, but this isn’t as appealing as free taster. The lack of any free package is a glaring omission and will likely deter as many users, as it ties you into year-long contracts from the word go.

Template design

1&1 Ionos’ templates look, frankly, outdated. Although there are a lot to choose from, their design is a real let down. They remind us, personally, of the way websites looked around 2013. The editing tools are pretty good, but when you’re starting from such bad templates, you have to polish hard to get any sheen.

Compared to templates offered by services such as Wix and Squarespace, these templates lack the polish and the slick user experience design we’ve come to expect.

Poor Blogging Interface

Even though 1&1 Ionos states explicitly that you can use its website builder to create a blog, you wouldn’t want to. Not only do the templates look outdated, but the actual blogging interface is poor.

Instead of working like a regular text editor with added functionality, 1&1 Ionos’ blogging system uses a line-by-line editing system. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but its priorities seem misaligned. You lack the stylistic control you get with blogging platforms such as WordPress, but you have the ability to add custom HTML code blocks. Bizarrely, the image editing system enables you to turn images into what, must be, 1&1 Ionos’ idea of a meme, or put stickers over the top of the images.

1&1 Ionos Pricing

As discussed, there’s no free package, and all of the options tie you into a year-long contract.

The three package options offered by 1&1 Ionos (a lot less choice than many of competitors), are Personal, Basic and Plus.

The Personal package is really too basic for any serious use, you don’t even get a domain included in the price, or access to industry specific templates.

The Basic package gives you a domain, industry specific templates and multilingual functionality. Confusingly, the Basic package is cheaper than the Personal package for the first 12 months, but then increases to $9.99 per month.

The Plus package costs $9.99 per month for the first twelve months but then increases to $19.99 per month. You only get access to some SEO and email marketing features over the Plus package, though, so it’s difficult to recommend.

Getting Started With 1&1 Ionos

First things first – don’t expect a free taster. Unlike most other website builders, you cannot sign up for 1&1 Ionos without choosing a paid-for package and giving 1&1 Ionos you card details or using PayPal. Yep, there’s no free version of 1&1 Ionos (we’ll talk more about the prices later).

Creating an account is straightforward – you’re then asked to choose between a business or personal website. If you choose a business site, you’ll be required to add an address and a telephone number, and this will automatically fill your website or Online Business Card when you publish.

You then have to choose a website template from a very long list (more on these later as well). After you’ve chosen a template, you’ll get the option to start working on the Online Business Card, which will follow the template for your main website and can be published straight away.

Then you’ll be into the main section of 1&1 Ionos’ editor. There’s a host of pre-loaded content and images which can, unlike a lot of other website builders, be published. Of course, whether you want your website to be chock-full of stock photos and generic text is another matter.

1&1 Ionos: The Verdict

1&1 Ionos is simply too limited to seriously recommend. There’s no free version, no eCommerce functionality and the templates look outdated. It’s difficult to know exactly who 1&1 Ionos would be the right website builder for, as nearly all of its competitors offer a lot more and do things more slickly.

If design is paramount for your website, try Squarespace. If you want the best all-round experience, try Wix. But if you’re not looking for good advice, try 1&1 Ionos – click the button below to see it for yourself.

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