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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

IONOS (previously knows as 1&1) is a web hosting service that includes several website tools.

They cover most of the hosting options available, such as shared hosting, VPS hosting, WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, and more.

IONOS hosting review

This, coupled with decent pricing, has made IONOS a favorite in the hosting service world.

But how good is IONOS Hosting?

For the purposes of this review, we’re mostly covering IONOS’s shared hosting services.

We tested a number of factors including customer service, overall usability, service uptime, and more to present you with the most complete review possible.

Let’s dig in.

General Info & Hosting Overview

Our Rating:

Our Verdict: 4.5

SPEED: 748 ms (April 2020 to January 2021)
UPTIME: 99.98% (April 2020 to January 2021)
SUPPORT:  Phone, Live Chat, Knowledge Base
APPS: WordPress, Duda, Drupal, phpBB, Joomla
FEATURES: Dedicated SSL Certificate, Dashboard, Website Builder
HOSTING PLANS: Shared, VPS, WordPress, Cloud, Dedicated Server
PRICING: Starting at $1.00/mo (renews at $10.00/mo)

Pros of Using IONOS Hosting

IONOS started out strong, delivering great uptime and speed results.

But what else are they good at?

Let’s have a more detailed look.

1. Strong Uptime – 99.98%

One of the most important metrics that we measure when it comes to hosting providers is uptime.

You’re paying to have your website online. If uptime is lacking and your site is routinely going down, then your hosting service has failed you in its most crucial area.

IONOS claims to have a 99.9% uptime. According to their customer service department, the only reason they don’t claim 100% uptime is that they are unable to account for natural disasters.

Ionos last 10-month uptime and speed
IONOS average uptime | See stats

And so far from the data that we’ve gathered over the past ten months, their uptime has been a strong 99.98% with only a bit more than an hour of downtime.

Here’s the last 10-month average uptime data:

  • January 2021: 99.96%
  • December 2020: 100%
  • November 2020: 99.95%
  • October 2020: 100%
  • September 2020: 99.99%
  • August 2020:100%
  • July 2020: 99.98%
  • June 2020: 100%
  • May 2020: 99.93%
  • April 2020: 100%

2. Good Page Loading Speed 748 ms

A slow site isn’t just annoying: when a page takes over 5 seconds to load, over 25% of your potential visitors will already look elsewhere.

Why is that?

Site performance is a big deal when Google examines your site. Your all-important SEO score, which determines your placement on the world’s most popular search engine, relies heavily on it.

Site speed is the fourth most important SEO ranking factor, behind only site security, crawlability, and mobile-friendliness.

So a slow site is an immediate turnoff for Google and website visitors.

We live in an age of instant communication and instant information. If you’re lagging, chances are that the user can find another site with similar information that cares more about their experience.

That’s why it’s great to see IONOS producing a good average page loading speed of 748 ms in the last ten months.

Ionos Speed Mar 2020 - Jan 2021
IONOS average speed See stats

3. Free SSL Security

Security is another important aspect of a hosting service. Thankfully, it is an area where IONOS excels.

The service uses a GeoTrust Dedicated SSL Certificate and a Wildcard SSL certificate. This encrypts your website for advanced security, which is something that should help you breathe a sigh of relief when you’re conducting business online.

An SSL certificate is needed to have an HTTPS website. If your URL starts with HTTP, Google will actually mark your site as unsecured. Additionally, SSL certificates protect the data that is exchanged between users and the site. This helps your customers trust you more, which is the backbone of any business relationship

The GeoTrust Dedicated SSL Certificate is included with the server, Developer Shared Hosting, and Developer eShop packages. The Wildcard SSL Certificate comes standard with all Linux and Windows shared hosting plans.

4. Free Domain and Email With Some Packages

Extras are always nice. We love to see hosting packages throw in some bonus features at no cost when you subscribe to one of their paid options.

IONOS actually offers two of the most common free features, domain registration, and email addresses.

A domain name is free for one year with Essential, Business, and Expert Shared Hosting Packages.

When it comes to a branded email account (another necessity if you want to be taken seriously by the people you do business with), both the Linux and Windows packages come with email accounts on all levels. Windows subscribers can receive between 25 and 500 email accounts, while Linux customers will get between 10 and 100 accounts. It all depends on the package you’ve chosen.

5. Improved User Interface

IONOS doesn’t use the classical cPanel, instead, they have developed their own custom backend. For those who are used to the cPanel, it may be confusing and take some time to get used to in the beginning, but overall, it’s rather easy to use.

Iono's user interface

In the dashboard, you can manage domains, SSL certificates, email addresses, check your site’s statistics, and so on.

IONOS has also added an improved search bar, where you can find settings and switch between products faster.

There have been a lot of mixed feelings from other users about IONOS’s interface, especially it not being very intuitive compared to cPanel. But it seems that IONOS has made an effort on improving the dashboard usability and made it more logical to use.

Cons of Using IONOS Hosting

Now let’s have a look at what IONOS is lacking.

1. Limited Customer Support

IONOS offers 24/7 customer support for non-registered users only via phone or knowledge base. If you already have an account with them, then you can also access support via live chat from your client area.

IONOS support options

We logged in to our account to test IONOS’s live chat and asked the customer rep a simple technical question. However, the question remained without a reply because, after a 20-minute wait, our chat got terminated due to inactivity.

ionos live chat

After a while, we tried again and then got a message that IONOS’s live chat is unavailable.

IONOS live chat unavailable

Overall it seems that IONOS’s live chat option is inconsistent and you’re better off contacting them for help via phone or browsing their knowledge base for solutions.

2. Account Registration Only Possible in Limited Amount of Countries

One of the things that you first might not even notice about IONOS, is that you can register your account with them only in a limited amount of countries. The majority of the countries are represented but for example, if you’re located in China and want to sign up with IONOS, it’s not possible as it’s not on their list.

The same goes for most of the European countries. Even though IONOS was established in Germany and its headquarters are still located there, only some of the European countries are represented on the list.

Few examples where you can’t sign up with IONOS:

  • China
  • Iran
  • Egypt
  • Morocco
  • Myanmar
  • Europe (Poland, Romania, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Czech Republic, etc)

So, you might be better off checking before sign up, if you can even continue the registration in your country.

3. No Free Website Transfers

If you’re migrating your site to a new web host, a great way to sweeten the pot is to offer a free transfer.

It allows a new customer to take some of the stress and financial burden off of the process.

That’s not something IONOS offers.

We made sure to check with their customer service department via live chat. According to Jean from customer support, they do not offer free transfers, and she could not give a solid answer when asked about pricing.

According to Jean, the transfer process has to be individually quoted to clients because it is charged hourly.

IONOS Cost, Plans, and Payment Methods

IONOS has two different varieties of shared hosting services, each with three web hosting packages to choose from.

First, they offer Linux hosting — which is just called Web Hosting on the official website.

They also offer Windows hosting. Obviously, these different variations of shared hosting take place on different operating systems.

Both are priced well, but you get a lot more features with the Windows option. Each browser has three different levels to choose from.

Let’s start with Linux:

Essential Plan Business Plan Expert Plan
Pricing $4.00/month
Renews at $6.00/mo
Renews at $10.00/mo
Renews at $16.00/mo
Websites 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Storage 10GB Unmetered Unmetered
Email Accounts 10 50 100
Other Features • Basic CPU and MEM Resources
• Free Domain
• Enhanced CPU and MEM Resources
• Free Domain
• Maximum CPU and MEM Resources
• SiteScan and CDN
• Free Domain

Over on the Windows side of things, you have a number of larger plans that come with a commitment period.

Business Plan Pro Plan Expert Plan
Pricing $5.00/month
Renews at $10.00/mo
Renews at $12.00/mo
Renews at $16.00/mo
Websites 1 5 50
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Storage 100GB 250GB 500GB
Email Accounts 25 100 500
Other Features • Free Domain • Free Domain • Free Domain

IONOS accepts PayPal and credit card payments.

Do We Recommend IONOS?

Yes, we do.

Their flexible plans for both Linux and Windows are affordable and include a lot of useful features. SSL security makes this a very secure service, and we truly liked that it comes with a free domain.

Moreover, IONOS has delivered fast loading speed and reliable uptime.

But there are also downsides. You can’t sign up with them in most European countries and the promoted $1.00/month pricing renews at a much higher $10.00/month.

We’re also don’t like their too limited support options.

While IONOS doesn’t tick off as many wins as we would like, it is still a reliable hosting provider that will get the job done.

Best alternatives for IONOS (1&1):

Further reading: The 10 Best Web Hosting Services (In 2021)

Have you used IONOS before? Please consider leaving a review below — good or bad — doesn’t really matter as long it’s helpful to our visitors.

2 user reviews for 1&1 IONOS

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    Tom S

    5  — August 25, 2020

    Solid Product & Good Customer Service

    I used a virtual server on Ionos for a few months to host 8 – 12 regions on OSGrid running the opensim software and with Ubuntu as the OS. I had no downtime. I had only 4GB of RAM but the performance of the simulations was very good. I had excellent customer service. After a discounted first month I paid $20 a month. I’d use Ionos again without hesitation. Recommended.

    Thomas D

    5  — August 24, 2020

    Good, reliable, fairly priced

    Have been with IONOS/1and1 for probably a decade, and while we’ve tried others we keep most of our services with IONOS. Why? Fair pricing, solid uptime, and all the features we need (although we’re not that complicated of a business). Worth noting that we had a recent event that required a call into customer support, and it was definitely one of the best CS calls I’ve ever been on: not just because they pulled a rabbit out of a hat and saved us from a bad mistake, but they were really nice while doing it.