IONOS Review

How Does IONOS Stack Up Against Other Web Hosts?

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Maddy Osman

Maddy Osman

Web Developer & Writer

If you’re looking for a web hosting service, you’ve probably come across IONOS (formerly known as 1&1). This popular hosting platform from Germany provides several hosting services, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, WordPress hosting, and cloud hosting.

Add competitive pricing into the mix, and you can understand why IONOS is a favorite among the web hosting community.

But how good is IONOS, really?

To answer this question, we put the platform to the test. For our IONOS hosting review, we carefully evaluated a range of factors such as service uptime, ease of use, customer service, and overall user experience.

The result? A comprehensive review of IONOS hosting services that will help you make an informed decision about whether this web host is right for you.

Let’s take a closer look.

An Overview of IONOS

SPEED: 765 ms (average between January 2022 to December 2022)
UPTIME: 99.98% average between January 2022 to December 2022)
SUPPORT: Live Chat,  Phone, and Knowledge Base
APPS: 1-Click Installs for over 70 Apps (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.)
FEATURES: Dedicated SSL Certificate, Dashboard, Website Builder, Email Account, Free Domain for 1st Year, Unlimited Storage and Bandwidth, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, Free SSL Certificate, and more.
HOSTING PLANS: Shared, VPS, WordPress, Cloud, Dedicated Servers
PRICING: Starting at $1/month (renews at $10.00/month)

Advantages of Using IONOS

IONOS’s web hosting plans are affordable and reliable, with shared hosting plans starting at just $1/month

IONOS had a strong start, providing reliable uptime and excellent security features.

But that’s just the beginning — what else can this hosting provider do? Will it meet your needs?

Let’s take a closer look and find out.

1. Reliable Uptime

IONOS delivers by achieving 99.98% uptime for the entire year of 2022

Uptime is a big deal when you’re running a website. Not only does having a high uptime rate help build trust with visitors, it’s vital for your customers to reach you and make purchases.

The good news is that IONOS delivers on this front. The web hosting platform proudly claims to offer 99.9% uptime — which equates to 43 minutes of downtime per month.

So we put that claim to the test. And to our surprise, IONOS did even better than the promised 99.9% by averaging 99.98% in 2022. That’s equivalent to less than eight minutes of downtime in a month, which is even better than the hosting company’s initial claim.

There was a small dip in uptime in March 2022 (at 99.88% with 55 minutes of downtime). But other than that, IONOS consistently over-delivered.

So if reliable uptime is important for you or your website’s users, then IONOS should be near the top of your list.

2. Safe and Secure Web Hosting

IONOS’s shared hosting plans provide sufficient protection against security breaches

Shared hosting plans may be more affordable, but they often provide inadequate protection against malicious attacks and security breaches.

While researching our IONOS review, we were thrilled to see this host bucks this trend by offering robust protection features even in its basic shared hosting packages.

For starters, IONOS offers distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection to help safeguard your website from incoming attacks, and provides a guarantee that your website will stay up and running in the face of malicious activity.

In addition to this, IONOS also provides daily backup and recovery of up to six days of data. All IONOS plans also come with a free Wildcard SSL certificate to encrypt data and enhance the security of your website.

With IONOS, you get the best of both worlds: a reliable and secure shared hosting plan and an affordable price point.

3. Competitive Pricing

IONOS offers competitive pricing for its web hosting plans

IONOS is a great option for those looking for a cheap hosting provider.

The host offers a variety of plans, with its shared hosting Business plan starting at just $1/month.

This plan is perfect for regular websites, as it offers unlimited websites, storage, and databases.
For those running a more serious enterprise, the $8/month Expert plan is a great option, as it includes 19GB of RAM and maximum performance.

While the pricing for IONOS is definitely attractive, it’s important to keep in mind that the introductory offers will renew at a higher price after the promotion is over. As an example, the Business plan renews at $10 per month.

Our IONOS review also found extra fees such as the $50 set-up fee for the dedicated hosting plans, and extra charges for using the website builder or email marketing software.

Despite this, IONOS is fairly transparent with its pricing and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans.

Overall, IONOS offers great value for money and is a good choice for those looking for an affordable hosting provider.

4. Free Domain and Email Account

IONOS offers more than just the basics when it comes to web hosting.

With the Essential, Business, and Expert shared hosting packages, IONOS includes many all-important extras at no extra cost.

IONOS offers free domain registration and email accounts with its web hosting plans

IONOS’s hosting packages come with a free domain name registration for the first year. On top of that, it also provides an email account so you can establish a professional presence online and stay connected with your customers.

5. Improved User Interface

IONOS offers its own custom control panel instead of the typical cPanel. As a result, reviews about the hosting provider’s dashboard have been somewhat divisive, with some users finding it difficult to get used to in comparison to cPanel.

The good news is, IONOS has put effort into making the dashboard more straightforward and intuitive.

Thanks to the improved design, IONOS’s custom dashboard offers users a convenient and efficient way for users to:

  • Manage domains, SSL certificates, and email addresses.
  • Monitor and analyze their website’s statistics.
  • Quickly locate and access settings through the enhanced search bar.

With its logical design and clear structure, our IONOS review found its user interface may appeal to those who are new to web hosting.

Disadvantages of Using IONOS

Despite the benefits of using IONOS web hosting, there are also some drawbacks to consider.

Will they be deal-breakers for you? Let’s find out.

1. Slow Server Response Speeds

IONOS is below industry standard in terms of server response speed

When it comes to website performance, speed is paramount. After all, Google has made it clear that page speed is an important search engine optimization (SEO) ranking factor.

And in a world of instant communication and information, users are likely to search elsewhere for similar content if your website is lagging behind.

So, how does IONOS fare in terms of speed?

For the entire year of 2022, it achieved an average server response time of 765 ms. There was a small and steady improvement in speed in May (721 ms), June (727 ms), July (730 ms), and most notably, August (686 ms), but it was still slower than the industry average of 456 ms.

This could be a problem since pages that load slowly can make users feel like the website is unresponsive and unreliable. And that may cause potential customers to leave your website.

But will a server response time of 765 ms be fast enough for your website?

If you’re a startup owner, a beginner looking to set up your first website, or a hobbyist on a budget, probably.

But suppose your business model relies heavily on the speed of your website, such as e-commerce brands or websites with extensive media content. In that case, you may want to look for hosting providers with a response time closer to 300 ms, like GoDaddy or DigitalOcean.

2. Customer Support is Lacking

When it comes to customer support, IONOS is a bit of a mixed bag.

On the one hand, the host offers 24/7 assistance through both phone and live chat, as well as a wealth of helpful articles and guides in the help center.

However, the live chat often has delays or is temporarily unavailable during certain hours. And while phone support is always available and eager to help, it’s only available to 14 countries.

IONOS live chat is helpful but can sometimes be temporarily unavailable

There’s no question that it has great potential, but our IONOS review found that when it comes to customer support, there is still some work to do. If a reliable and accessible support team is important to you, you’re much better off signing up with Bluehost or HostGator.

3. Account Registration Is Limited to Select Countries

Depending on your location, it’s possible you won’t even be able to register for an IONOS account in the first place.

Why? Due to “tax regulations or an internal policy decision,” IONOS registration is limited to select countries.

IONOS tweet explaining why hosting is only available in limited countries

As of this writing, the countries where IONOS registration isn’t possible include China, Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Myanmar, and some European nations.

IONOS’s drop-down list of supported countries

In Europe, notably absent are Russia, Greece, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, and Portugal.

If you’re from somewhere other than the U.S., Australia, or the UK, you may want to double-check if IONOS registration is possible in your country before signing up. Otherwise, you could end up wasting a lot of time and energy.

Quick Facts

  • Ease of Signup: Straightforward and guided sign-up process
  • Control Panel and Dashboard: Newly-improved custom IONOS control panel
  • Domain: Free for the first 12 months
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, PrestaShop, Drupal, etc.): 1-click installs for over 70 apps
  • Money-Back: 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans
  • Account Activation: Quick activation
  • Payment Methods: PayPal and credit card

Do We Recommend IONOS?

Yes, we do, with a few caveats.

As a web hosting provider, IONOS has quite a few things going for it. Our IONOS review found it offers flexible plans for both Linux and Windows, with an affordable price point and plenty of useful features.

We’ve seen a reliable uptime and an improved server response time to help your page load times as well.

IONOS offers reliable uptime, SSL security measures for peace of mind, and you get a free domain thrown in for the first year, too

However, there are some downsides.

IONOS isn’t available in some countries, including many European nations. Additionally, the $1/month pricing plan renews at a much higher $10/month cost. And the availability of support options are a bit too limited for our liking.

All in all, IONOS is a reliable hosting provider that will get the job done for websites that are not heavily speed dependent. It isn’t perfect, but it has enough features to help you create the website you want.

If you’re a small business owner looking for a reliable and affordable hosting solution, then IONOS might be the right choice for you.

But if you’re not satisfied with IONOS, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can always get your cash back in case things don’t go as planned.