Businesses in search of feature-rich, reasonably priced hosting should take a look at 1&1 Ionos. The web host offers a wide array of enticing packages, including shared, virtual private server (VPS), WordPress, and dedicated hosting. That said, it’s the company’s cloud hosting plans, robust packages that cater to both small businesses and enterprise-class customers, that make 1&1 Ionos stand out from the pack as an Editors’ Choice pick in the category.
Shared hosting is one of the most popular forms of web hosting, due in no small part to its low cost. With shared hosting, your website splits system resources (and the associated cost) with the many other sites that have also been set up on that same server. Shared hosting isn’t very powerful, but it’s cheap web hosting. Sometimes that’s all you need.
1&1 Ionos offers a standard monthly web hosting charge, but reduces the price if you’re willing to sign up for multi-month or annual packages. 1&1 Ionos lets you choose a one-month plan with any package tier. This pricing method may not have much (if any) impact on large businesses, but a cash-strapped blogger will appreciate 1&1 Ionos’ one-month basic web hosting option. The shared web hosting servers use the Linux operating system.
The entry-level Essential package (starting at $4 per month) includes a free domain name if you purchase a 12-month plan. If you instead opt to renew on a monthly basis, Essential costs $6 per month. You lose out on the free domain with a per-month renewal, but Ionos offers a domain name add-on with private registration for an introductory (one year) $1 fee. The Essential package also offers 10GB of storage, 1 email accounts, and 10 databases, and the ability to handle roughly 50 visitors per minute on a single site.
The next tier is Business, which offers the aforementioned unlimited website, unlimited storage, and 1 email accounts. This tier, which is optimized for 200 visitors per minute, starts at $0.50 per month, but only if you commit to a 12-month plan. Otherwise, Business moves up to $10 per month, and renews at $10 after the introductory $0.50 rate is over. The Expert plan (starting at $8 per month, and jumping to $16 per month after a year) has the same unlimited websites, unlimited storage, and unlimited databases as the Business plan, but with 1 email account, enhanced malware protection, and the ability to handle close to 500 visitors per minute.
Those are good plans for, say, a mom-and-pop shop that just wants to list its inventory. The miserly email account offerings is particularly limiting for larger ventures; Ionos’ shared hosting plans give you only email account to use. HostGator, our Editors’ Choice pick for shared hosting, offers superior shared web hosting packages for a wider user range. Not only does HostGator offer a choice of Linux or Windows servers, but it has unlimited storage, email, and monthly data transfers at each shared hosting tier. That’s impressive.
VPS Web Hosting
VPS hosting is a step up from shared hosting. It’s a more powerful hosting option that sees your site leverage more server power. VPS hosting isn’t quite cheap hosting, but it isn’t overly expensive, either. You’re less likely to notice slowdown because other sites that share the server get a big hit (something that often happens with shared hosting).
1&1 Ionos’ cloud-powered VPS offerings (starting at a wallet-friendly $2 per month for 512MB of RAM, 10GB of SSD storage, and unlimited data transfers) give you the essential tools for building a website that can handle the rigors of the internet better than traditional shared web hosting. You can outfit the Linux- or Windows-based servers with up to 12GB of RAM and 240GB of storage using the company’s top-tier, $35-per-month VPS XXL package. Note that if you go the Windows route, the final price of your package can go up considerably due to licensing fees—$10 per vCore per month.
1&1 Ionos has quality VPS web hosting packages, but Hostwinds, the Editors’ Choice for VPS web hosting, tops it by offering unlimited storage and unlimited domain hosting. Hostwinds also offers Minecraft VPS hosting starting at $8 per month.
Cloud Web Hosting
Cloud hosting is becoming increasingly common. It differs from traditional hosting in that it spreads resources across multiple servers, whereas traditional hosting pulls power from a single server. 1&1 Ionos has wholeheartedly embraced this type of hosting, offering multiple tiers of managed and unmanaged cloud hosting that can be outfitted with the Linux or Windows operating systems.
The plans start at $0.0056 per hour (with a maximum $4 per month charge) for a single-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, 30GB of SSD storage, and unlimited monthly transfers. The offerings max out at $0.44 per hour for a 24-core CPU, 48GB of RAM, 480GB of SSD storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers. There are managed and unmanaged options, as well as customizable plans.
Simply put, 1&1 Ionos’ cloud hosting packages are excellent. So much so, that we originally deemed 1&1 Ionos a co-Editors’ Choice for cloud hosting, and the prices on the low-end have only dropped since then. Here’s the breakdown: If you want enterprise-class cloud hosting, 1&1 Ionos is the way to go. DreamHost, on the other hand, is the co-Editors’ Choice for smaller-scale sites that need a less demanding cloud hosting service.
Dedicated Web Hosting
When it comes to non-cloud hosting, you won’t find anything more powerful than dedicated hosting. This hosting type lets your site leverage a server’s full power, as it exists on the server all by itself. No system-resource sharing here. Serious, mission critical site-runners should consider dedicated hosting as soon as they can afford it.
1&1 Ionos has four Linux-based (Windows as a hidden option) dedicated hosting tiers: A8i, L-16, XL-32, and XL-64. The plans come with either traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid-state drives (SSDs) that alter the price a bit. For example, the SSD-based A8i plan starts at $45 per month (rising to $65 per month after a year) for a 2.4GHz Intel Atom C2750 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 240GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers. The HDD-based equivalent starts at $47 per month, and has a 1,000GB HDD. The most expensive plan, XL-64 ($140 per month), comes with a 20-core Intel Xeon E3-1270 v6 CPU, 64GB of RAM, 800GB SSD, and unlimited monthly data transfers. All of 1&1 Ionos’ dedicated hosting plans include Sitelock malware protection and the RailGun content delivery network (CDN) for faster page loads.
Compare these plans with those of AccuWeb, which has five excellent tiers of configurable, Linux- or Windows-powered dedicated hosting servers. These start at $105-per-month, and include 8GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and 20TB of monthly data transfers. You can outfit AccuWeb’s dedicated servers with up to 512GB of memory, 12TB of storage, and 50TB of monthly data transfers. As a result, AccuWeb Hosting’s dedicated hosting plans reign as the category’s Editors’ Choice pick.
WordPress Web Hosting
WordPress: It’s the world’s most popular content management system, one that has enough flexibility to power a blog or a Fortune 500 company’s website. There are two ways to get WordPress up and running on a 1&1 Ionos server. You can install WordPress on a standard server or you can sign up for managed WordPress. 1&1 Ionos has three Linux-based WordPress packages: Essential ($3 per month for the first year, then $4 per month), Business ($0.50 per month for the first year, then $8 per month), and Pro ($8 per month for the first year, then $16 per month). The plans are of the managed variety, so 1&1 Ionos gives it the white glove treatment in regards to handling backend matters.
Essential offers 25GB of SSD storage, 1 email account, the ability to host a single domain, and and one free URL. Business tosses in 100GB of SSD storage and 100 email accounts. Unlimited, the most feature-packed of the three options, boasts unlimited SSD storage, 10 email accounts, and unlimited WordPress projects. All the plans have automatic malware detection and removal, automatic WordPress updates, a Wildcard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, and a curated list of recommended WordPress themes.
That’s a solid offering, but A2 takes the crown as the PCMag co-Editors’ Choice for WordPress hosting. Available in standard and managed varieties, A2’s top-tier Unlimited plan (starting at $36.98 per month), offers unlimited site hosting, email, and monthly data transfers. It also comes with a free SSL certificate. Likewise, Bluehost is an excellent WordPress host with its special tool that gives your more WordPress customization options.
For more information on the extremely popular content management system, please read How to Get Started With WordPress.
Reseller Web Hosting
If you’re looking to get into the web hosting business, but don’t want to deal with infrastructure matters, reseller hosting is the way to go. Unfortunately, 1&1 lacks reseller plans, so you must look elsewhere for that type of hosting.
PCMag recommends Hostwinds, the Editors’ Choice for reseller hosting. Hostwind’s plans, starting at $3.29 per month, have unlimited email, storage, and data transfers. On offer are dedicated and VPS packages of both the Linux and Windows variety, as well as shared hosting, which is limited to Linux. The servers have the same RAM and storage amounts as those that Hostwinds supplies directly, which is not always the case. Hostwinds also lets you apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it supplies 24/7 tech support, too.
Setting Up Shop
If you’re looking to create and customize a website, Ionos offers MyWebsite, a web building tool with the functionality you’d expect from services like the excellent Duda. MyWebsite uses a more standard layout, with the main toolbar on the left-side rail, as well as drag-and-drop functionality for easy page customization without the need for coding know-how. The Starter package costs $1 monthly with a 12-month package, and renews at $5 per month afterward. This gives you a free domain and email. For a more versatile toolset, you can opt for Plus ($5 per month for 12 months, $10 per month renewal), which gives you multilingual website options, as well as dynamic site functionality with video backgrounds and animations. The Pro tier offers specialized, dynamic content delivery options for your visitors, for $10 per month for 12 months ($15 per month renewal).
If you want to sell products, the 1&1 Ionos e-commerce builder (starting at $1 per month for 12 months) lets you pick one of several layouts and designs. There’s a lot of dragging-and-dropping and adding prefab elements, but there wasn’t much we could manually tweak in our testing. 1&1 Ionos prompts you to (optionally) enter your sales tax ID and whether you want to display items with or without the sales tax included in the price. You can add products, list delivery methods and accepted payment types, and more. There’s also a customer database for keeping track of your customers.
1&1 Ionos also has dozens of apps that can be used to improve your website, including Amazon Deals, Square point-of-sale, and Pricegrabber, though many are only available on the top-tier Online Store Expert ($50 per month) plan.
1&1 Ionos includes a GeoTrust Dedicated SSL Certificate (encrypted website security that protects data exchanges between users and your site) free of charge with its Server, Developer Shared Hosting, and Developer eShop packages. If you don’t have one of those plans, you can purchase a GeoTrust Dedicated SSL Certificate starting at $20 per year, with a full GeoTrust True BusinessID Extended Validation SSL Certificate costing a whopping $200 per year.
A free SSL Wildcard and Site Scan from SiteLock are free features offered by 1&1 Ionos to protect your website from hackers, malware, and unauthorized access. If you opt to display the SiteLock Trust Seal on your website, your visitors will see real-time verification that the site is secure.
Website uptime is a vital element of web hosting. If your site goes down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services. It’s in your best interest to find a reliable web host that can keep your site up and running. Otherwise, customers may go elsewhere—and they might never come back.
To evaluate reliability, we use a website-monitoring tool to track my test site’s uptime over a two-week period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings the test website and sends us an email if it is unable to contact the site for at least one minute. The data reveals that 1&1 Ionos was incredibly stable during our testing. In fact, it didn’t go down once! As a result, you can count on 1&1 Ionos to be a rock-solid foundation for your website.
Good Customer Service
If you have any problems with your hosting plan, or simply have a hosting-related question, you can rest easy knowing that 1&1 Ionos has 24/7 email, web chat, and telephone support. How a company’s customer service department responds to your complaint or query is vital, so we tested 1&1 Ionos’ mettle by placing a call on a weekday morning and evening. We wanted to know the difference—if any—between 1&1 Ionos’ standard web hosting and its WordPress hosting offering. About one minute later, a 1&1 Ionos support person fielded our call. The rep correctly stated that the WordPress hosting lets 1&1 Ionos automatically update WordPress and any installed plug-ins—something that users would otherwise manually handle with 1&1’s standard offering.
Unfortunately, you can only access that support through a phone call or by signing into an Ionos user account. Many competing services have open online support options, either through email or online chat.
1&1 Ionos also has a personal consultant service, which is available to anyone who’s signed up for hosting. The free service connects you to an agent who offers hosting tips and advice. For example, we learned how to use 1&1 Ionos’ web-building software. You can also use the service to learn how to grow your audience by having your business appear on Google Maps. It’s a handy service that more companies should duplicate. The personal consultant is available via web chat, email, or telephone.
1&1 Ionos offers a decent 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can cancel the service at any time. That said, DreamHost leads the pack with an impressive 97-day money-back guarantee.
Is 1&1 Ionos the One?
1&1 Ionos offers feature-packed hosting, particularly in the cloud hosting department, plus excellent uptime, solid customer service options, and a useful website builder. As a result, 1&1 Ionos is a co-Editors’ Choice pick in the cloud hosting category. That said, 1&1 Ionos’ plans have relatively skimpy storage capacities. If you need more room to store files, check out DreamHost, the co-Editors’ Choice for cloud hosting services.
For more on getting started online, read our tips on how to create a website. You might also want to check out our story on how to register a domain name for your website.
Mike Williams also contributed to this review.
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One on One Web Hosting
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