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1and1

1and1 (www.ionos.co.uk) is a popular DIY website builder which is aimed at helping anyone to get on the web, whatever their level of skill. With its easy-to-use templates, a good bundle of features and a reasonable hosting price, it’s an uncomplicated process to create a professional-looking website. It even comes with a free domain name, such as .co.uk, .com. .net or .org to give your website a mainstream web address. You can have up to 500 pages and 200 email address, which is more than most therapists will ever need!

There are a number of website packages to choose from. Whilst you can choose the Basic package, the Plus Package gives you more business tools such as an e-Newsletter and Professional SEO and is more suited to small businesses. You can upgrade and downgrade at any time if you want to change your requirements as you pay monthly.

At first sight, 1and1 has a very similar design to Jimdo as it used to be an investor in Jimdo before they went their own separate ways.  The first thing you need to do is select your website template – there are over 140 to choose from. 1and1 offers industry-specific templates (such as health and social care) which are tailored to that field of work and come with pre-inserted images and relevant text. Whilst this sounds an easy option, it’s important to remember to change the text so your content is unique to your site, otherwise the search engine won’t like it. If you’re a more advanced programmes, you can code your own templates using the HTML/CSS Editor.

The website editor is very easy to use and is like laying your text and images out on the page using any type of design package. It works on the principles of drag-and-drop Elements, which you can add to the page. An element can consist of a text box, header, picture or more sophisticated things like a contact form and widgets (e.g. a visitor counter). You can add main pages and sub-pages, plus there’s a sidebar where your contact information is always present so people can contact you easily. In addition, a handy feature of 1and1 is that if you upload your own images, you can use the in-package Image Editor to tweak them so they’re ready for publication.

If you use social media to promote your Practice, you can integrate your website with sites like Facebook, Twitter and more so clients can connect with you using these mediums. The Plus package comes with the Social Media Hub which means you can publish your Facebook and Twitter comments and posts simultaneously from your 1and1 User Interface Manager, saving you having to log into the social media accounts separately. This is really useful if you need this feature.

You can also embed videos and YouTube clips into your site to make it more interactive. To help clients to find your Clinic, there’s the option of adding a Google map. You can make your website quite dynamic and user-friendly with 1and1’s variety of features, which includes online forms , an ability to create and send eNewsletters (in HTML format) to subscribers, and the option for you to upload PDF files and others for your clients to download at home.

A limitation of 1and1 templates is that the most popular ones aren’t fully editable. This is a minor annoyance. In addition, 1and1 doesn’t use web fonts so you only have the default 12 fonts provided to build your website. The text editor is very good though, allowing you to edit your text as if you were using Microsoft Word, such as highlighting, bolding and italicising text. Whenever you’re building your website, you’re always able to preview your changes before you save it for publication, and there’s an invaluable Undo button in case you regret your last move!

Whilst you can add a Blog to your 1and1 website, this isn’t a strong point of the package. It is a very simple design, you can only add one image to it and there is no RSS feed for people to subscribe to. You are able to add a basic online shop, if you need to sell any products or want people to be able to pay for their therapy online.

1and1 make sure that the Plus package gives you professional search engine optimisation. This includes you receiving automatic notifications on how your search engine ranking is doing. You can optimise your site yourself by getting keywords in to the page description and page title, and adding meta-tags. It’s easy to monitor your progress using 1and1’s basic analysis tool which provides visitor information, page views and more. You could also benefit from integrating it with Google Analytics though  as this will give you more detailed data than 1and1’s tools.

1and1 provide two main support options: telephone support and email contact.  There are mixed reviews on the internet about the quality of this support, with a general trend towards the telephone support being quite good but the email support tending towards generic replies which don’t always properly address the question which has been asked.

One of the major drawbacks of 1and1 is that you have to pay upfront by credit card, so if you decide to leave within the 30 day trial, you have to remember to cancel. This is not a straightforward process, taking you through six steps until you can finally terminate your contract with them. It would be easier if they offered a free trial period like many other DIY website building companies and just subjected you to on-site advertising instead.

Overall, 1and1 is a fairly decent website builder but it does have its weakness. This includes the cumbersome money-back trial feature, the poor blogging facilities and the inability to fully edit some of the templates. However, on the other hand, it’s easy to create a website that looks professional and is packed with lots of features to keep your potential clients clicking to find out more! In addition, 1and1 provides hosting, a domain name and a website building tool that will give your business a good presence on the web. Despite these benefits, you might want to look at some of its competitors first and take advantage of their free, no-hassle, trial period rather than having to pay and then cancel if you find it’s not right for you.

Cost - Prices as of January 2019:

Pro Package: 6 months at £1 a month, then £20 a month. All prices exclude VAT. 

Business Package: 12 months at £0.83 a month, then £10 a month

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N10kb-1qbWI 

http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/reviews/1&1/our-review 

http://www.websiteplanet.com/review/1and1-website-builder/