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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

IONOS (previously known 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: 713 ms (March 2022 to August 2022)
UPTIME: 99.97% (March 2022 to August 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 Bandwidth and Storage, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, Free SSL Certificate, and more.
HOSTING PLANS:Shared, VPS, WordPress, Cloud, Dedicated Server
SITE TRANSFER:Not Free
PRICING: Starting at $0.50/mo (renews at $10.00/mo)

 

Pros of Using IONOS Hosting


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

But what else are they good at?

Let’s have a more detailed look.

1. Strong Uptime – 99.97%

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 last 6 months speed and uptime data
IONOS last 6 months average uptime (monitoring since 2020) | See stats

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.

And so far from the data that we’ve gathered over the past 6 months, their uptime has been a strong 99.97% with almost an hour and a half of downtime.

Here’s the last 6-month average uptime data:

  • August 2022: 99.99%
  • July 2022:100%
  • June 2022: 99.99%
  • May 2022: 100%
  • April 2022: 99.96%
  • March 2022: 99.88%

2. OK Loading Speed 713 ms

A slow site isn’t just annoying: when a page takes too long to load, many 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.

So how did IONOS perform?

They delivered an average page loading speed of 713 ms in the last six months.

IONOS last 6 months average speed
IONOS last 6 months average speed (monitoring since 2020) | See stats

The good news is, that they have improved their speed since last year (over 800 ms loading time), but the bad news is that they are showing an increasing trend for slower speeds. However, for now, they have earned a place in our pros section.

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 Account

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 address.

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 an email account on all levels.

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

Some time ago IONOS offered 24/7 customer support for non-registered and registered users only via phone, email, or knowledge base.

IONOS support options

Just recently they also started offering a live chat option which we tested out.

We were connected to the customer support representative in less than a minute and asked a simple question about site migrations. Even though the customer support rep was very fast to reply, they only offered one-syllable answers and it felt like we had to force the information out of them.

IONOS live chat

Overall, it’s nice that IONOS also offers a live chat option now, but we feel that it could be better.

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 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 signing 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.

So if you want to migrate your site to IONOS be ready to pay $70/hour.

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 PlanBusiness PlanExpert Plan
Pricing $4.00/month
Renews at $6.00/mo
$0.50/month
Renews at $10.00/mo
$8.00/month
Renews at $16.00/mo
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Storage10 GBUnmeteredUnmetered
Email Accounts111
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 PlanPro PlanExpert Plan
Pricing $5.00/month
Renews at $10.00/mo
$6.00/month
Renews at $12.00/mo
$10.00/month
Renews at $20.00/mo
Websites1550
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Storage100 GB250 GB500 GB
Email Accounts111
Other Features• Free Domain• Free Domain
• SiteLock Malware Protection
• Free Domain
• CDN

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 a reliable uptime and an improved loading time.

But there are also downsides. You can’t sign up with them in most European countries and the promoted $0.50/month pricing renews at a much higher $10.00/month.

We 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 2022)


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.