1&1 MyBusiness Site - the website builder and hosting service from 1&1 - is open for business.

The past few years has seen a mini-revolution taking place in web design. For more than a decade now, ISPs have offered site building templates for users to construct a website relatively simply, but these rarely extended beyond a few static page templates that were generally cumbersome to use.

More recently, however, advances in such things as cascading style sheets (CSS) and Ajax (a dynamic scripting language combining JavaScript and XML that allows sections of a page to be updated quickly) have transformed the way in which amateur developers can work. Sites such as Moonfruit, Mr Site and Homestead offer slick, browser-based applications that require no download and are fast and responsive.

MyBusiness Site from 1&1 is in a similar category: once you have signed up to the service (which allows a five-day trial period before you begin to pay), you select from a range of templates before entering content for your site. It is more than possible to get a professional-looking site up and running in a couple of minutes.

The ability to upload a template and add content in 1&1 MyBusiness Site, however, is nothing to get excited about: what is significantly different about this new breed of online web editors is how you interact with the application to edit your site.

After logging into your new 1&1 MyBusiness Site website, you will see a toolbar on the right side of the screen with options to modify layout, styles and settings.

Layout is fairly self-explanatory: the 1&1 MyBusiness Site base layout screen displays a series of options for arranging the main content on your page, which can be fine-tuned by clicking the Custom Layout button to see the HTML code for the page (a very nice touch for more experienced designers).

The Style icon controls such things as text styling on the page, as well as background images and patterns (other elements of CSS control such as positioning are handled under the layout tab).

Settings, meanwhile, deals with such things as 1&1 MyBusiness Site page titles and password protection.

If you want to change any element in on an individual page in 1&1 MyBusiness Site, simply click on it and start typing or upload another image.

While 1&1 MyBusiness Site is a little more expensive than some alternatives, included in the price is unlimited web space and traffic (competitors quickly ramp up the price for bandwidth), as well as advertising tools to promote your site on search engines and elsewhere.


It’s important to bear in mind what this type of application does not offer, for the more experienced of web designers, namely full control over scripting and programmable elements of a site. But for a small business user, however, who knows nothing about web production and cannot afford expensive bespoke services, this is a great way to get a good-looking presence online.