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Some of the cheapest web hosting around
Offers monthly billing (nice feature)
Risk-free, 30-day money-back guarantee
Reliable uptime and speed
Friendly 1&1 customer support agents that actually answer the phone
Unintuitive dashboard, filled with ads, does not use Linux cPanel
Not built for beginners
Limited storage options even with top-tier plans
Too many ads and upsells
Missing a lot of server options
We think 1and1 IONOS is an excellent web hosting option for small businesses with low-impact websites. However, their cPanel interface feels antiquated and is not for the faint of heart.
We decided to test 1and1 web hosting service and overall, we think it's a great option. They offer some of cheapest web hosting packages around, and their uptime is impressive. We found their speed to be adequate for small, low-impact websites, but larger and more interactive sites would need additional resources. The biggest downside we encountered was the outdated interface that was littered with ads and upsells. Read on see our full take.
1and1 IONOS offers a complete menu of digital services, including various types of web hosting. We evaluated their shared hosting plans, but they also offer WordPress managed hosting, VPS, cloud hosting, and dedicated servers. All of their plans are tiered with three or more options priced according to resources offered, starting at $4/month.
We feel very comfortable recommending 1and1 IONOS for shared hosting but with a caveat. The lowest tiered plans are only suitable for personal blogs and small business websites because of limitation with storage, bandwidth, databases, and e-mail. For large, interactive sites, we would recommend the cloud or VPS hosting plans.
One small pet peeve of ours is limited storage. We really love plans that include “unlimited” even with the lowest tiers. Unfortunately, 1and1 does not offer unlimited with their plans. They cap their storage at 10GB for the lowest tier shared hosting and 500GB for the highest tier. This limitation exists across the board with all their offerings from VPS and cloud products to WordPress managed hosting.
Unfortunately, 1and1 does not offer unlimited with their plans. They cap their storage at 10GB for the lowest tier shared hosting and 500GB for the highest tier.
1and1 does not quantify its bandwidth resources for each plan. However, they do limit the lowest tier to a single website with their other two plans limited to ten websites and then 50. If you want better performance (aka upgrades for speed RAM and CPU), there's an additional monthly fee. You may have to test your website first to see how it performs before making your decision on any upgrades.
The registration process for signing up with 1and1 IONOS couldn’t be easier. It’s a good idea to have your domain name in mind so you can register it at the time of registration, but it can be done later if you need to wait. They offer one free domain at the time of sign-up, and you only need your name, address, and e-mail to secure an account. You can quickly checkout with a credit card or PayPal. The only thing that left us a bit cold was the onslaught of upsells when we tried to checkout.
Simple is good, and the backend options for managing domains and websites on 1and1 IONOS is just that. There are no frills and not a lot of excitement, but you can quickly and easily transfer in a domain, set one of several domains as your primary domain for a website and switch between multiple sites (on specific plans). You can also install and select SSLs quickly and set up e-mail accounts, all from the simple dashboard.
There is very little in the way of advanced options in the control panel. We were happy to see the SiteLock option for enhanced security though. Other than that, the offerings are pretty basic. There are links to manage and add domains, add and remove websites, set up e-mail, install SSL certificates, and configure other limited hosting settings. The control panel is underwhelming but also slightly tricky to navigate. We found it to be layered and confusing and hard to locate frequently used items.
Although the platform is a standard Linux server, you would never know it. You don’t have access to the standard cPanel tools, and without things like cron jobs, zone editors, subdomains, ModSecurity, metrics, IP blocking and control over scripts, a typical web developer may feel a bit lost. The backend is admittedly sparse, but this may work well for some novice users who just want to get in, create a simple website.
The best feature of 1and1 IONOS hosting is the quick and easy website builder tools.
Our biggest disappointment with 1and1 web hosting was their lack of Linux cPanel. Their own dashboard and control panel is clunky, unintuitive, and downright skimpy. Plus, it has ads on every page, and no matter what you try to do, they want to sell you something extra. This high-pressure sales approach is not appealing. The built-in control panel allows you to manage your databases using phpMyAdmin, configure SFTP and SSH, set your PHP version as well as adjust your performance level (although additional fees may apply).
With 1and1 hosting, you only get a single login account. However, you do have the option of granting access to your account to other 1and1 IONOS account holders. The opportunity to grant access is handy if you have a web developer who uses their hosting services often and is familiar with the system.
The best feature of 1and1 IONOS hosting is the quick and easy website builder tools. They offer a lot of options, including WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, and TYPO3. They also provide their own integrated website builder tool for a plain website or e-commerce platform (but you have to pay extra to use this feature with some plans). Their system also gives you access to some other popular CMS systems and applications.
The only issue we experienced using the one-click button to install WordPress was that everything went fine except that now our CMS system has branding for 1and1 IONOS embedded in it, and they installed plugins we didn’t want. We have only one request for 1and1: Give us back our Linux cPanel.
We trolled many customer service forums, and although some people complained that 1and1 IONOS’ customer support left them wanting more, we found the service reps to be friendly and helpful although not highly skilled technicians.
Another nice feature was the built-in security using SiteLock that is available with one click to keep your site safe from hackers, malware, and viruses. Additionally, if you aren’t ready to pick your domain yet, 1and1 gives you a system domain so you can start building your website and preview it online.
We cannot argue with the fact that 1and1 does offer some of the most inexpensive web hosting around. They frequently run specials with the first month costing only $1. After that, the price goes up to $4, $8, or $14 per month depending on the plan you choose. However, the low price feels like a carrot to lure us in and the constant upsells around every corner were a big off.
1and1 IONOS pits themselves directly against GoDaddy as their best competition. They tout lower prices across the board and challenge GoDaddy’s uptime and speeds. In our experience spanning 15 years, 1and1 does excel over GoDaddy in these areas. GoDaddy has experienced some significant downtimes affecting large and small websites. 1and1 IONOS has a reputation for fantastic uptime with almost no outages, ever. Both services offer one-click installs for many popular CMS systems. However, where GoDaddy excels, is that they now offer the standard Linux cPanel across all their packages, and 1and1 still uses their own custom interface. Additionally, although we choose 1and1 IONOS over GoDaddy for hosting, you can’t beat GoDaddy as the go-to resource for cheap domains and SSLs.
A solid option.
We like 1and1 IONOS for web hosting. Although we don’t like the backend management tools, the speed was great, the customer service was friendly and efficient, and the overall package is a nice deal. The only downsides are the constant in-your-face ads and outdated interface.
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