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IONOS: web hosting review

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Ionos
IONOS by 1&1
  • From £1 per month excl. VAT
  • Free domain & SSL certificate
  • Daily website backup free of charge
  • 1-click installation available for WordPress & 70+ open source applications
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About

IONOS (by 1&1)

1&1 has been trading since 1988. It became 1&1 IONOS in 2018, moving forward with its mission of empowering businesses through powerful technology.

It offers five different types of website hosting:

  • Shared (web hosting)
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • WordPress
  • Cloud

With such a broad range of hosting on offer, it comes as no surprise that 1&1 IONOS manages 12 million domains and holds 8 million customer contracts worldwide. We recommend IONOS for small white-collar businesses. This is because of its all-around packages, relatively cheap pricing, and strong focus on security and reliability.

 Starting from  $4 per month

Pricing

Here’s a breakdown of the different hosting price plans offered by 1&1 IONOS. Most of the plans except Cloud hosting have long-term promotions running, which we’ve included below.

Shared Hosting

  • Standard: £5 /Month excl. VAT
  • Plus: £8 /Month excl. VAT
  • Premium: £14 /Month excl. VAT
  • Ultimate: £22 /Month excl. VAT

VPS Hosting

  • VPS S: £1 /Month excl. VAT
  • VPS M: £5 /Month excl. VAT
  • VPS L: £10 /Month excl. VAT
  • VPS XL: £16 /Month excl. VAT
  • VPS XXL: £24 /Month excl. VAT

These are extremely attractive deals. With 1&1 IONOS, you can get started for just £5 /MonthJust remember when the promotion is over, you will start paying the regular price, so make sure you know how much you’ll be charged further down the line.

Best Value for Money

For most people, shared hosting is the place to start. In this case, the £5 /Month Standard plan offers the best value for money for regular websites.

The Plus plan is suitable for up to five websites. If you’re running a serious enterprise and need more than that, the £14 /Month Premium plan gives you real bang for your buck too. This plan includes 500GB storage, 500 databases, and 500 email accounts – you even unlock SiteLock malware protection to keep any nasty threats at bay.

While the Standard plan is only suitable for around 100 visitors per minute, the Plus plan can handle around 300. That’s not bad for an extra £3 /Month!

Hidden Costs

1&1 IONOS is upfront with its pricing. As long as you pay attention when you’re choosing your plan, you shouldn’t get caught out by any sneaky costs.

At least, in theory. We found several reviews online complaining of unexplained charges. Having scoured 1&1 IONOS’ Terms and Conditions, we have to assume this is down to error, rather than anything underhand. That said, cancelling your contract is quite tricky – we’ll look at that shortly.

There is a £50 set up fee on the Dedicated hosting plan. If you want to use the 1&1 IONOS MyWebsite website builder or email marketing software, you will need to sign up to a plan and pay extra per month. Some plans also charge a small amount for backups. 

This is the slight downside of 1&1 IONOS offering so many different services under one roof. The great part is that they’re all easy to integrate and work seamlessly together. The drawback is people expect everything to be included in one price package, and all of this is not as cheap as you first expect.

1&1 IONOS also offers a no risk policy on it shared and VPS plans that lets you cancel at any time, so if you’re not happy with its service, you don’t lose a cent.

Overall, 1&1 IONOS won’t break your bank account. It’s one of the cheapest hosting providers on the market, and its promotions are consistent and offer decent value. There are add-ons which you can purchase, but they’re not forced on you. Just don’t be surprised when renewal time comes around and prices revert back to the regular rates.

24/7 via email, telephone and live chat

Support

 

Great customer support can make all the difference, and it’s especially important for hosting companies. If something goes wrong with your website, you want it back online as fast as possible.

1&1 IONOS offers 24/7 phone support 365 days a year, as well as a clear knowledge base where you can find frequently asked questions and how-to guides. There’s a live chat option, but not always an agent available. Some plans, such as dedicated and VPS hosting, also offer free email support.

Response Time

Performance

You don’t want a car that’s constantly breaking down – especially if you have to use it every day to get to and from work. The same goes for your hosting provider. You need a reliable service that keeps your website running smoothly.

This is where uptime and downtime come in. Uptime shows how much of the time a website is live and running, and downtime is how often sites go “down” and are inaccessible to visitors.

The first thing to say is, there’s no such thing as 100% uptime. Updates and fixes mean there will always be instances when downtime is unavoidable. But you want your provider’s uptime to be as close as possible to that perfect score.

1&1 IONOS has great uptime scores. On its website, it claims to have “almost 100% uptime”, and when we tested it ourselves, this proved right: 1&1 IONOS came out with 99.98% uptime. 

So it’s got the stability, but what about the speed? In today’s world, website speed is massively important – especially on mobile. If your site takes between just one and three seconds to load on mobile, there’s a 32% chance of that visitor giving up!

Visitors are impatient, and page load times can make or break your website. There’s just no point having amazing content if nobody hangs around long enough to see it. 1&1 IONOS isn’t the fastest hosting provider in the west, but it doesn’t do too badly either.

1&1 IONOS has 15 data centers – you’re usually given the one located nearest to you, unless you’re on a plan where you can choose your data center. Performance will vary depending on which of the 15 data centers is being used.

Overall, 1&1 IONOS doesn’t have the go faster stripes of a rival like HostGator. But it’s not left totally in the dust. Your website should load fairly quickly, and not leave visitors tapping their feet and reaching for the back button.

1&1 IONOS Hosting Review

Final verdict

With its array of plans and extra software, such as email marketing, domain registration and website builder platform, 1&1 IONOS is ticking a lot of boxes.

We recommend this provider for small businesses and individuals, but not for total beginners. It has good cloud hosting and dedicated hosting plans, but anyone after shared or VPS hosting should look elsewhere.

1&1 IONOS has enough features and plans to really scale a business, and offers competitive prices which are great for those starting out on a budget. However, it’s unsuitable for beginners because of its challenging interface.