IONOS, previously known as 1&1, is a large, international web hosting provider. The company offers various hosting products, including shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers.
Ionos is headquartered in Germany and has over 12 million domains worldwide. The company has been in business since 1988 and was one of the first web hosting providers.
Overall, IONOS is a good web hosting provider for those with shoestring budgets, but its features and performance are not on par with more expensive hosts.
Comparing IONOS to the Best Web Hosting Services
IONOS is a budget-friendly web hosting provider for those who are looking for a simple option. Without frills, IONOS offers a solid product with decent features and performance. However, when compared to the best web hosting providers, IONOS falls short in several areas, which is why the company did not make our list of the top web hosting providers.
We’ve tried dozens of web hosting providers, which is why we composed a list of the best web hosting providers based on several key factors, including price, features, performance, customer support, and ease of use. See all of our top picks to determine which web hosting provider is the best option for your specific needs.
IONOS Web Hosting: The Good and the Bad
Strong Uptime: Uptime is one of the most critical metrics for a web hosting provider. If you are paying to have your site hosted online, you want it to be available for your visitors. IONOS has strong uptime, averaging 99.97%. According to IONOS’s customer support, the only reason that they can’t claim 100% is that they cannot account for natural disasters.
Pricing: The price truly is right with IONOS. Starting at $0.50 per month, IONOS is one of the most affordable web hosting providers. Although web hosting is probably not much of a concern for most budgets, it is an additional factor that can save money for small businesses and individuals who are just starting out.
Page Speed: Loading time is one of Google’s most critical ranking factors, meaning that your indexing on the world’s most prolific search engine largely depends on it. Nobody wants to wait around on a nonresponsive page, and it is Google’s job to only show users the best pages based on their search queries. IONOS’s average loading time has come down a long way and now sits at 736 milliseconds.
Free Email and Discounted Domain: IONOS offers a $1 domain for the first year with any of their hosting plans. This is a nice significant saving, as domains can cost between $10-20 per year (and oftentimes more). Additionally, IONOS includes email hosting in all of its packages. Email hosting is an additional monthly cost with most web hosts, so this is a nice perk.
Free SSL Security: IONOS offers a free SSL certificate with every hosting plan. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security protocol for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. The server, Developer eShop Packages, and Developer Shared Hosting each come with the GeoTrust Dedicated SSL Certificate. For Linux and Windows shared hosting plans, the Wildcard SSL Certificate is available.
Affordable Design Service: If you don’t have time to focus on the design of your WordPress site, IONOS has an affordable design service that will take care of it for you. This also includes SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to help you rank higher on Google.
Ecommerce Hosting: IONOS offers ecommerce hosting, which is a benefit for those who want to start an online store. WordPress powers tens of millions of ecommerce sites, so it is a popular platform for online stores. If you want to use WordPress for your ecommerce site, IONOS has a plan for you.
Excellent User Interface: IONOS’s backend is custom-built, so its UI is very user-friendly. The navigation is easy to follow, and most features are self-explanatory. From their dashboard, you can easily see your domain name, hosting plan, and site usage statistics.
Lower Carbon Footprint: IONOS uses sustainable hosting practices and gets all of its power for its servers from renewable energy sources.
Customer Support: While IONOS offers 24/7 customer support through phone, email, and their repository of blogs and FAQs, they recently removed their live chat option. For many, live chat is the most convenient way to get answers to their questions. Unless you want to wait days for an email or wait on hold for hours for a real-life representative over the phone, you are out of luck.
Lack of Transparency in Pricing: After the first year, the price increases 20X for their Business plan. Other plans also see sharp increases. For a web hosting provider, we would like to see more transparency in their pricing. Furthermore, surprise charges and increases in pricing are constant, meaning that what you budget for may not be exactly what you end up paying.
No Free Web Host Transfer: If you are coming from another web host, IONOS does not offer a free site transfer. This is a standard feature that most web hosts offer.
IONOS Pricing and Options
IONOS has three pricing tiers:
- Essential: For basic websites or projects
- Business: For businesses and medium-sized web projects
- Expert: For multiple web projects and built-out websites
Essential begins at $4 per month for the first 12 months. Then, the monthly cost raises up to $6. The Essential package comes with:
- One website
- 10 GB of storage
- 10 MariaDB or MySQL databases
- Free professional email
- Free domain name for one year (.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz)
Business begins at $0.50 per month but jumps up to $10 per month after the first year. It is best for unlimited websites and comes with:
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited databases
- Professional email domain
- Domain name extension for one year
- Upgraded MEM and CPU resources
Expert is a plan developed for agencies or businesses with multiple web projects. It begins at $8 per month, then jumps to $16 monthly after the first 12 months of the contract. It features:
- Unlimited websites
- Unlimited storage and databases
- Professional email and website domain (first year)
- Maximum CPU and MEM resources
- Advanced security features
- Site analytics
- Lightning-fast CDN
Web hosting for agencies and freelancers
Freelancers and agencies often need to host multiple websites for their clients. IONOS’s Business and Expert plans offer an affordable way to do this. By partnering with IONOS via their agency partnership program, you also get activation credit, access to expert support and personal consultants, and project management support through the Agency Partner Portal
With access to a personal consultant, you can get help with anything from project planning to migration services. Thanks to this partnership, freelancers and agencies also enjoy additional flexibility in their contracts.
Though cloud services are not offered for basic plans, IONOS provides fully scalable cloud solutions for its agency partners.
Dedicated hosting allows you to have a whole server to yourself. With a dedicated hosting plan, you don’t share your bandwidth with anyone else. This can be a great option for businesses that experience high traffic or need special software installed.
SSD Dedicated Hosting and HDD Dedicated Hosting are both types of hosting services that provide users with a server that is solely dedicated to their website. The main difference between the two services is the type of storage they use. SSD stands for Solid State Drive, which uses flash memory to store data.
This type of storage is much faster than the traditional HDD, or Hard Disk Drive, which relies on spinning disks to store data. If speed is important to you, then an SSD server is probably the better option. However, keep in mind that SSDs don’t hold as much data as HDDs, so you may need to upgrade to a larger SSD if your website grows over time.
IONOS offers four SSD-powered dedicated hosting plans:
- A8i SSD: Entry-level hardware with 8 GB of RAM
- L16 SSD: Advanced hardware with 16 GB of RAM
- XL-32 SSD: Premium hardware with 32 GB of RAM
- X32 SSD: Ultimate performance with 64 GB of RAM
And four HDD-powered dedicated hosting plans
- L4i HDD: 12 GB of RAM (DDR3 ECC)
- L16 HDD: 16 GB of RAM (DDR4 ECC)
- XL-32 HDD: 32 GB of RAM (DDR4 ECC)
- XL-64 HDD: 64 GB of RAM (DDR4 ECC)
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a type of hosting that gives you your own virtual server. This is a great option for businesses or individuals who need more power than what a shared hosting plan can provide, but don’t want to pay for the resources of a dedicated server.
IONOS’s VPS plans come in five standard packages:
And four memory-optimized packages:
For each, you can choose between the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, or Spain for your server location. All VPS hosting plans are ISO 27001 certified and come with SSL encryption, DDoS protection, backups, and firewall management.
Fully-managed web design services
IONOS also offers a fully-managed web design service. This is a great option if you don’t have the time or resources to design and build a website yourself.
With this service, IONOS’s team of experts will work with you to create a beautiful website that meets your specific needs. They’ll handle everything from the initial planning stages to the launch of your site. And once it’s up and running, they’ll continue to manage and maintain it for you.
Not only does this come with intuitive and user-friendly templates, but it comes with on-page SEO optimization, 24/7 support, and allows you to make your own edits as well.
Design Service S costs $30 per month and includes a $199 setup fee. With this, you get access to the website builder, a design consultation, and three custom web pages as well as one website edit per quarter.
Design Service M costs $45 per month and includes a $299 setup fee. With this, you get everything in Design Service S, plus five custom web pages and four website edits per quarter.
Design Service L costs $60 per month and includes a $399 setup fee. With this, you get everything in Design Service M, plus unlimited website edits and HTML/CSS adjustments.
Ecommerce Online Store Builder
These days, it has never been easier to sell online. With IONOS’s eCommerce Online Store Builder, you can create a professional-looking online store in just a few clicks.
This service comes with everything you need to get started, including a customizable design, secure checkout, and product management. You’ll also have access to 24-hour support from IONOS’s team of experts.
There are four plans available:
Starter costs $12 monthly and allows you to sell up to 500 non-digital products or services on your website easily. It also allows you to offer popular payment methods like PayPal and credit cards. Additionally, you can offer traditional shipping through FedEx and UPS.
Plus costs $20 monthly and allows you to sell 5,000 physical products in-store, online, and on your social media platforms. It also lets you track your sales and website analytics through Google Analytics.
Pro costs $35 per month, but comes with Instagram Shops integration, in-app store management for when you’re on the go, and Facebook advertising visualization in real-time. It also permits you to engage your customers through favorites and wish lists.
Expert allows you to unlock the full potential of ecommerce for $50 per month. With this B2B ecommerce solution, you can sell an unlimited number of products and services online. With Square POS integration and Amazon Business, you can streamline your sales process and reach more customers.
How IONOS Web Hosting Ranks
Among web service providers, IONOS has a lot to offer. With a wide range of services and plans, they can accommodate the needs of businesses of all sizes. With 8 million customers and counting, they are surely a good web hosting provider for many.
However, they did not make our list of top web hosting providers. In order for a web hosting provider to make our list, they need to be the best at what they do. For each of IONOS’s capabilities, there is a service out there that does them a little bit better.
Being good at most of their strengths is the status quo for modern technology. Thus, when coupled with extremely deceptive pricing and lackluster customer service, IONOS falls short of the mark.
Here are our picks for the best web hosting providers:
- Hostinger – Best web hosting for most
- SiteGround – Best for keeping uptime above 99.99%
- HostGator – Best for scaling your small business easily
- DreamHost – Best pay-as-you-go web hosting
- Bluehost – Best drag-and-drop page builder for beginners
- InMotion Hosting – Best price for hosting two websites on one plan
- Nexcess – Best for experienced WordPress users
- A2 Hosting – Most dependable web hosting for European and Asian audiences
There you have it – everything you need to know about IONOS web hosting. From their wide range of services to their competitive pricing, they are surely a great choice for businesses of all sizes.
However, they did not make our list of top web hosting providers due to the fact that there are other providers out there that offer more transparent pricing, slightly higher quality services in their own respects, and offer excellent customer service.