Is IONOS the Perfect Web Host?

7.0 Out Of 10

PlansDomains, Shared WordPress, Website Builder VPS & Design
Data CentersNevada/US, New Jersey/US, Germany, Spain & United Kingdom
SupportChat, Phone, Knowledge Base & Social Media
UptimeGood (99.9% past 6 months)
GuaranteesUptime and 30-Day Guarantee
Migration is free
Best forSimple web hosting site
StrengthsExcellent customer service and pricing
WeaknessesSlow loading web pages
PromotionShared Hosting starting at $0.50/month

IONOS by 1&1 is a major brand in the Internet service industry. I receive a lot of questions from readers about their hosting product. I have worked with by 1&1 web hosting many times for clients and just purchased a hosting package to help me run a separate project. This is my 1&1 web hosting review. It compares their product with other top host .

IONOS by 1&1 offers a broad range of products including domain names, hosting and website builder packages. Founded in 1988, IONOS by 1&1 has been one of the most established web hosting companies. They are also one the most aggressive advertisers, with full-page ads in magazines as well as TV spots. My experience is that GoDaddy is the best in mass-market advertising and brand awareness.

IONOS By 1&1 Pricing

IONOS offers web hosting services that range from shared up to VPS, dedicated along with custom products like WordPress or Reseller Hosting.

Hosting plans

Web hosting (or, shared) is the mainstay of website hosting. A shared hosting plan is a group of accounts that are hosted on the same Linux server. They can run WordPress and any other application on a . It is a reliable and cost-effective way to host most websites. This guide explains shared hosting. A2 Hosting offers three main shared web hosting plans.

*Prime Price$4.00/mo.$0.50/mo.$8.00/mo.
Renewal price$6.00/mo.$10.00/mo.$16.00/mo.
Storage10 GBUnlimitedUnlimited
No cost domain name1 Year1 Year1 Year
SSL Free
IP dedicated
Daily Backups

* Prices per month for 12-month subscription

Get IONOS from 1&1

To create a new company, they recently merged with one the largest cloud providers in Europe. They have redesigned many of their products and restructured the products.

However, a large brand does not always mean a great product. That’s why I did a 1&1 IONOS review.

2 quick asides before diving in. There are a lot 1&1 IONOS reviews online – often with user-generated reviews based upon anecdotes or personal experience. This is fine, but I have a different approach. I believe that there is no “best” or “top”. There are better matches for different goals depending on what you want. has 1&1 hosting promotions that are super-cheap.

Second, I refer to “hosting” as Linux shared web hosting. These setups can be used for common Drupal, Joomla or WordPress setups. A Linux-powered server is the best choice unless you have a compelling reason to use Windows. This is the industry standard and offers more flexibility than a Windows-powered server. Also, I am specifically interested in shared web hosting. Unless you have a reason (like having a constant +10,000 visits/day), then it is probably the best fit. It’s also the most cost-effective.

IONOS Alternatives

SiteGround Review



Uptime Guarantee


Migration is free



Get Up to 73% Off

Namecheap Review



Uptime Guarantee


Migration is free



Get A .COM For $0.98!

GoDaddy Review



Uptime Guarantee


Migration is free



Only $4.99

The Best Web Hosting

Pros of IONOS

My conclusion is that IONOS doesn’t have any “pros”. They have areas that are fine. Their brand and 26-year history of success are their main pros. For the purposes of this 1&1 review, here are some pros and cons of their web hosting service. (Or skip to the conclusion and recommendations here).

Cheap Pricing

1&1 IONOS Hosting offers web hosting at a more affordable price. They offer a 12-month introductory deal (see their plans here), then raise the price after one year which is still very affordable.

They are in line with the majority of their competitors, after the 12-month intro deal.

When you take out the core services you pay for (space and performance), their pricing tiers are almost identical to those of HostGator and GoDaddy.

1&1 IONOS is different because they put hard caps on all of their plans, but they are transparent about it.

Many hosting companies don’t know how to define shared hosting terms. They are a bit loose with “Unmetered”, and “Unlimited” which means that, once you take into account other sites on your server you will have *way* less resources then they would admit.

Although I would consider 1&1 IONOS’s limitations a problem, I find their pricing to be an asset. You can easily compare apples with apples and know exactly what you’re buying.

Pricing is a matter of preference. 1&1 has points for space and options, which are great for those with tight budgets who want to know exactly what they’re buying.

Relative Options

1&1 began as a hosting provider, but they now offer everything digital. They are the largest domain registrars and usually include 1 year of a brand new domain with every hosting purchase. Many people find their integration to be a plus. They offer daily backups of servers and a variety of apps that can be installed within their backend, such as Joomla and WordPress.

Their feature set is not very notable. They are not distinguished from other web hosts in any way. They are available to agencies and developers working with clients. Their features and options are placed in the pros column for the purpose of a pros and cons type 1&1 hosting review. This is especially true if you value server hosted email, ad credit, or any other web builder tool.

Relative Performance

A website hosting server’s only true task is to deliver your website files promptly and reliably every time someone requests them.

My clients and I have never experienced significant downtime at 1&1. They claim to have independently verified 99.9% of uptime. This is industry standard. I won’t be able to monitor them, but they claim 99.9% uptime.

One thing I can measure is the speed at which 1&1 delivers files to a browser. There are many variables that affect how fast websites load, but the most important is the speed at which the server responds to the initial request. This is also known as Time To First Byte (TTFB). These are the results of a speed test I conducted in December 2015.

Here’s the April 2020 test where they improved.

These tests aren’t great. They are however slightly better than other major web hosting brands (ie iPage).

For small sites with low overhead or graphics, 1&1 is still a good choice. 1&1 is solid when it comes to pricing and options. They also focus on the developer market and agency market. There is nothing to stand out or impress in any 1&1 hosting review.

Cheaper web hosts often skimp on memory because customers seldom check this setting. That is why 1&1 comes through. Your website files will be built as soon as your server responds.

Customer Service

Based on personal experience, the last thing I want to mention is their customer service. If you look at the internet forums , 1&1 is known for their excellent customer service. (I will add customer service later). Despite this, I have had positive customer experiences with 1&1.

They have a 24-hour phone number that they answer, which is a big difference from other web hosts. My most recent experience was that it was answered in under a minute by someone speaking South Asian (may or not be outsourced customer support).

Although the issue was not resolved on the phone at this time, I hung up and she immediately followed me up via email to update me.

Like 1&1’s other “pros”, this one was selected because it exceeded my expectations. Except for the speed of the response, which disappointed me, it was cordial and available enough to place customer service as a potential pro at 1&1.

Cons of IONOS

Poor user experience

User experience is the main problem with 1&1 Hosting. It should not be difficult to get a hosting account for your website or email, whether you are a business or personal user.

Servers are more complicated than Facebook profiles, but we’re well beyond the 1990s. Hosting accounts should be easy to use, even if they are not designed with the highest level of polish.

Previous experiences with 1&1 and my clients’ websites were disappointing. After the IONOS merger, my trial ran revealed a “pretty”, but still frustrating backend. Here are some problems I experienced that were not present on other providers.

First, it was difficult to point my third-party domains to 1&1. The whole process felt like an upsell for me to transfer my domains to 1&1. I’ve never had to work with a web hosting company that made it so difficult for me to use both a domain I bought and a domain I already own.

GoDaddy is one of the web hosts that makes their DNS addresses easily accessible so you can copy and paste it at your domain registrar. Check out my website setup guide. HostGator, for example, will tell you how to set up your DNS settings in your welcome email.

1 and 1 describe the 8-step process in their help section. This will be helpful if you are looking for simple DNS settings for your hosting account. It is only a 2-step process to transfer domain registrations to them.

Second, even basic things that should work don’t. Because of how they manage sessions, I kept getting Form Submission Failed errors repeatedly.

Third, 1&1 tends to make it easy for super-technical features to be found and difficult for non-tech-users to find the best options. They have shifted their market to developers and agencies, which is fine. It’s odd, however, that they haven’t fully committed. While some technical settings are hidden, DIY helper tools are prominent.

Working with 1&1 is just as frustrating as working with other hosts. Their backend is different from other hosting companies.

It’s much prettier than it was before IONOS. It is still annoying. This theme is also evident in the rest of my 1&1 hosting reviews.

Confusing Backend

The backend setup of 1&1 hosting is a key component to the user experience. You will need to understand that your hosting account is basically server storage and the bandwidth required to connect to it. It’s similar to your computer in that you can’t interact with the server unless it has an operating system such as Windows or OSX on a Mac.

cPanel is the industry standard operating system. It is open-source which means that no one owns it, but any company can modify it for their own purposes (sort of like Android). Although it is not very attractive, the base installation of cPanel works well. This is the backend I recommend for most hosts, such as Hosting Hub, InMotion and Bluehost.

1&1 Hosting doesn’t use cPanel. They use their own backend setup. It would be great – and even preferable – if they used it in order to make navigation easier and prettier for first-timers. They don’t. I find it quite terrible. This is how it looks.

It would be more beneficial for them to have the required options (like Quick Installation, Add Domain or File Directory) rather than technical features that are difficult to use and hidden among many upsells.

It favors people who have a 1&1 domain and a 1&1 web builder. It will be easy if that is what you want to use. It is however difficult to use if your domain is registered elsewhere, such as Namecheap, GoDaddy, or if you are trying to install WordPress.

Although hosting companies using cPanel don’t make setting up a hosting account as simple as creating a Facebook profile or setting up a website , there are many guides that will help you to use it to create your website , or solve any other problems you can think of. 1&1 is a proprietary platform, so you can’t rely on their knowledge or customer service for help. This will often lead to frustration and failure.

Poor Performance

They do much better than most web hosts, as I have explained in the pros and cons of 1&1. They are also better than most major hosting providers, like GoDaddy. But, 1&1 isn’t as fast as some of my recommended web hosts (such Web Hosting Hub , and InMotion ). Here are 1&1’s speed numbers once again…

This is how an website on InMotion Hosting looks –

Slow customer service

As I said in the pros section 1&1 offers phone support. They are responsive and quick so you don’t have to expect too much. They do a good job relative to other web hosts. They still have poor customer service. There are many bad reviews about 1&1 on the internet. However, this is to be expected since they have so many customers.

My experience has shown me that the truth is somewhat simpler. They view customer service as a cost-cutting tool rather than a marketing channel. My experience was good, as I mentioned in the pros section. It could have turned out to be horribly disastrous if I didn’t know what was wrong or what to do.

My representative was an entry-level front-line operator, clearly following a script. Although she was helpful and friendly, her training is not as high as that of the HostGator frontline reps. She tried to replicate the same error that I had (database creation failure) but she was not as skilled as the frontline reps.

He was busy, which was another sign of cost-cutting. I was then asked to be placed on hold. I suggested that she email me the solution. Within minutes, she did. It was perfect. However, I can see a scenario where someone new to web hosting has a problem and is left with an unpleasant experience. In the interest of a complete 1&1 review, I have made 1&1’s customer support a con.


In the future, I will avoid IONOS hosting for my projects. Customers who have 1&1 IONOS products (such as domains and email) and wish to obtain a hosting account for their website are the only ones that they will be able to serve.

Find out more about IONOS 1&1

People who have a limited budget and work on small projects. They will find the 1&1 Package price point to be reasonable ( view it with an additional discount). If not, I would look elsewhere.

For a long-term project or if you’re looking for a great web host, I recommend InMotion Hosting.

HostGator offers shared hosting that is month-to-month. They have great features and a great price. Get a 45% discount on your order

Finally, if you’re still confused, my Buzzfeed-style quiz will help you to sort your problems.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general