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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: 865 ms (August 2020 to July 2021)
UPTIME: 99.98% (August 2020 to July 2021)
SUPPORT: Phone, Live Chat, 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 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 last 12 months speed and uptime data
IONOS average uptime | 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 12 months, their uptime has been a strong 99.98% with only an hour and a half of downtime.

Here’s the last 12-month average uptime data:

  • July 2021: 99.95%
  • June 2021: 99.99%
  • May 2021: 100%
  • April 2021: 99.97%
  • March 2021: 99.99%
  • February 2021: 100%
  • January 2021: 99.96%
  • December 2020: 100%
  • November 2020: 99.95%
  • October 2020: 100%
  • September 2020: 99.99%
  • August 2020:100%

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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. Slow Page Loading Speed 865 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.

IONOS delivered an average page loading speed of 865 ms in the last year.

IONOS last 12 months average speed data
IONOS average speed | See stats

Moreover, they have been going gradually slower throughout the whole year.

3. 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 sign up, if you can even continue the registration in your country.

4. 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.

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.

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’re also don’t like their too limited support options and that they have a bit too slow average speed.

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.

8 user reviews for 1&1 IONOS

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    Elcorese B

    5  — March 26, 2021

    Easy migration

    It was easy to migrate my old site, and when I did have a challenge, it was fixed so quickly that I was actually surprised! I had my own support rep, who responded to my request. He took a look at it, fixed the problem as well as explained what happened. Which is very encouraging if you’re not really super tech savvy.

    Andrew S

    1  — March 15, 2021

    Stay away

    Tried canceling numerous times have all the emails to prove it. They kept charging me every month, I made it so they couldn’t take my form of payment anymore and they sent me to collections over $58. Trash company with trash customer service. I gained nothing from these people or this website. You’ve been warned.

    Andy B

    1  — February 2, 2021

    Not good

    Honestly, you are better off with another provider. Non-existent customer service and surprise charges are constant.

    Bill

    2  — January 28, 2021

    Very poor for hosting emails

    I have been using 1 and 1 / IONOS for over 20 years.  I routinely have email situations where the IONOS servers are placed on SPAM blacklists.  It can take weeks to resolve and during that time I must use an alternate email like gmail.  I have stayed with them because I was too lazy to change.  But now, it is out of control and makes the email useless.  I am seeking alternatives now.

    Mike

    5  — January 21, 2021

    Great service

    Was very easy to set up and the price for hosting was absolutely awesome. Way better than using shopify for my hosting of my ecommerce site. Thanks.

    Orel

    4  — January 1, 2021

    Overall it’s a pretty good bargain

    I’ve been hosting my first WordPress site with IONOS since almost a year ago.
    Their first year managed hosting offering is absolutely bonkers – I got my website, email accounts, domain, and SSL certificate for 12$ for the first year (annual plan which renews at 4$ a month after that), while their product is pretty solid I find tech support to be fairly incompetent. Whenever I needed them I always felt like I’m not getting good technical service, the representatives were nice though. You get what you pay for when it comes to their support. 

    Overall I really recommend them especially for people new to blogging or web hosting, but I will probably move away after the first year because of the price increase.

    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.