IONOS Review for 2024

Our Verdict

IONOS offers impressively scalable, transparent plans for small businesses and startups

IONOS’ feature-packed and affordable plans impressed us with their scalability and transparency. Whether you’re looking for a Linux or Windows-based hosting service, IONOS can provide you with a variety of choices at competitive rates.

Although we would prefer more storage and email accounts included with plans, we’re confident startups, individuals, and small businesses will struggle to find better value elsewhere.

The provider also offers excellent performance, with near-perfect uptime and unlimited bandwidth, and its robust security features and extra tools, such as its website and online store-building services, make IONOS a strong option in the web hosting sector.

It’s also worth mentioning IONOS has data centers in five countries, reducing the chance of latency or lag issues – and another benefit is the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Fast website load speed
  • Free Wildcard SSL certificates
  • Linux and Windows hosting plans

Cons

  • Only one email provided per hosting plan
  • Customer support could be better
  • Low email account storage

In our IONOS review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the web hosting provider. It’s an exceptional option for beginners, small businesses, and startups, and it offers robust security, solid performance, and a range of hosting plans that won’t break the bank.

Keep reading to learn more about its top features, pricing, and usability, and see how it compares to the best website hosting services.

IONOS Hosting Plans & Pricing

IONOS, formerly 1&1 IONOS, offers shared hosting plans for as little as $4/month with its cheapest plan at the initial rate and its shared hosting Plus plan has an excellent introductory price of just $1/month for the first six months.

Besides shared hosting, you’ll find affordable VPS hosting and WordPress hosting plans. In addition, it offers ASP.NET hosting, dedicated servers, and cloud servers. Given that shared hosting is the best option for most users, we’ll focus on these plans in our IONOS review.

IONOS has four tiers of shared web hosting pricing, with the lowest tier being the Essential plan. Slightly confusingly, the Plus plan is initially the cheapest of these with its introductory offer but is the third highest tier of the four – however, it will be more expensive in the long run.

Plans Price (lowest price) Number of websites Free Domain Free SSL Storage Bandwidth Free email accounts
Web Hosting $1 or $4/mo for 6 months Unlimited / 1 Unlimited / 10GB Unlimited
ASP.NET Hosting $6/mo for 6 months 1 100GB HDD Unlimited
WordPress Hosting $1 or $3/mo for 6 months 1 50GB SSD / 25GB SSD Unlimited ✅ x 5 / 1 accounts
VPS Hosting $2/mo Unlimited 10GB SSD Unlimited ✅ x 2 accounts

Essential Web Hosting – $4/mo for 6 months ($6/mo renewal)

Essential offers everything you need to host a single website, including ten databases, 512MB RAM, 10GB of HDD storage, a free Wildcard SSL certificate, and room for up to 10,000 subdomains – and there’s easy setup for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla! content management systems.

In addition, as an IONOS customer, you’ll get one domain for free for 12 months and a free email account with a 2GB inbox, and up to ten mailing lists. In terms of security, you get daily backups, site scans and DDoS protection, and to top it off, you get 24/7 support.

Starter Web Hosting – $6/mo for 6 months ($8/mo renewal)

Upgrading to the Starter plan comes at a marginal cost but expands your hardware to include 100GB of storage and 50 databases.

Plus Web Hosting – $1/mo for 6 months ($12/mo renewal)

IONOS has one of the best introductory offers we’ve seen this year – a $1 per month subscription for Plus, its second most expensive web hosting plan.

Opting for this plan lets you host an unlimited number of websites and gives you unlimited storage and databases. You also get 6GB of RAM, and the PHP memory limit is doubled to 768MB.

The one drawback is that the $1 per month price only lasts for the first six months of your subscription and then increases to $12 per month.

Ultimate Web Hosting – $10/mo for 6 months ($16/mo renewal)

IONOS’ top-level shared web hosting plan boosts performance further with up to 19GB RAM and an 896MB PHP memory limit, and it unlocks full performance for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla! There’s still only one email account, but you can create up to 100 mailing lists.

What Hosting Types Does IONOS Offer?

IONOS

Whether you want to launch your first blog, business website, or online store, IONOS has you covered. However, understanding what each hosting type does best is crucial before you commit to a subscription. This section of our IONOS review briefly breaks down its hosting plans and their use cases.

Shared Web Hosting

Each IONOS shared hosting plan provides a free Wildcard SSL certificate and a free domain. In addition, you’ll have 10GB, 100GB, or unlimited HDD storage. While shared hosting plans may not offer the best performance for high-traffic websites, they’re ideal for smaller sites and projects.

ASP.NET Hosting – from $6/mo with 6-month plan

  • Business – $6/mo for 6 months ($12/month renewal)
  • Pro – $7/mo for 6 months ($14/month renewal)
  • Expert – $11/mo for 6 months ($22/month renewal)

IONOS offers an excellent solution for users requiring a Windows server environment, and they’re suitable for beginners and seasoned professionals. IONOS offers its cheapest ASP.NET hosting plan for just $6 per month – a surprisingly low price considering the specialized nature of this hosting type.

With the Business plan, you get 100GB of HDD storage, 25 MS SQL databases, a free domain, and a free Wildcard SSL certificate. These specs make it a better choice than the cheapest web hosting plan, but you still only get one email account per subscription.

They support ASP.NET 4.8, .NET 8.0, and MS SQL databases. That makes them ideal for developers and businesses using .NET-based applications and looking for Windows-specific features.

If you need to create more sites, IONOS’ Expert ASP.NET hosting plan provides 500GB of HDD storage and 500 MS SQL databases, and it supports up to 50 websites.

Managed WordPress Hosting – from $1/mo with 6-month plan

  • Start – $3/mo for 6 months ($6/month renewal)
  • Grow – $1/mo for 6 months ($10/month renewal)
  • Boost – $7/mo for 6 months ($15/month renewal)

IONOS offers notable benefits with its WordPress plans by replacing HDD storage with SSDs and adding more email accounts.

In addition, each plan offers a free domain, a free Wildcard SSL certificate, the benefits of managed hosting, additional RAM, and one vCPU. These plans are ideal for bloggers and small-to-medium-sized businesses.

The first WordPress hosting plan, Start, has 9GB of RAM and 25GB of SSD storage, and it lets you create one free email account. However, it lacks a caching plugin, meaning the two higher-tier WordPress hosting plans are better picks for busy websites.

Grow has an introductory price of $1 per month for the first six months. This plan lets you create five email accounts, offers 50GB of SSD storage and 15GB of RAM, and includes a caching plugin and 12 months of Jetpack Backup. Upgrading to Boost gets you 75GB SSD of storage, 20GB of RAM, and ten email addresses.

VPS Hosting – from $2/mo

  • VPS Linux XS (1x vCore, 1GB Ram, 10GB Storage) – $2/month
  • VPS Linux S (2x vCores, 2GB Ram, 80GB Storage) – $3/month for 6 months ($5/month renewal)
  • VPS Linux M (2x vCores, 4GB Ram, 160GB Storage) – $6/month for 6 months ($9/month renewal)

IONOS offers a scalable VPS hosting service with 11 different configurations available, and you can pick between Linux and Windows VPS hosting.

Its cheapest plan is VPS Linux XS, which offers 10GB of NVMe SSD storage, 1GB of RAM, and one vCore. The specs for both Linux and Windows VPS hosting can go up to 640GB of storage, 24GB of RAM, and 12 vCores.

These plans offer speedy NVMe SSD storage, unlimited traffic, and excellent security features. They also include a free Wildcard SSL certificate, firewall management, protection from DDoS attacks, and more.

The flexibility and scalability of these plans make them ideal for tech-savvy users and growing businesses requiring customizable resources for online stores and websites.

Dedicated Server Hosting

IONOS offers AMD Servers, Intel Servers, and Server Storage. With AMD and Intel servers, you can pick between 32 and 256GB of RAM, 1TB to 8TB of HDD storage, and six to 24 processor cores.

These servers provide the most powerful resources for hosting, making them ideal for large enterprises or websites with high traffic. Rates run from $0.0972/hour to $0.5625/hour, depending on your hardware and data center.

IONOS Features

Although one of the cheapest web hosting providers, IONOS offers some impressive features. From its Wildcard SSL certificates to the MyWebsite Design Service and an online store builder, IONOS can help its users establish an online presence without significant prior experience.

Website Design Service

IONOS Website Design Service
IONOS Website Design Service

One thing that sets IONOS apart from its competitors is its Website Design Service, which can save you time and improve your website’s reach on the internet. IONOS offers a team of logo designers, SEO experts, and website builders to design your website, create content, and even provide you with a logo.

The feature comes in three tiers and allows you to pay for up to seven custom-tailored pages on your website, with unlimited website edits and consultations. What we liked the most about this feature is that IONOS’ team of experts will create SEO-optimized content on these pages to attract more visitors.

  • Website Design Service S – $40/month ($199 setup)
  • Website Design Service M – $55/month
  • Website Design Service L – $70/month

Wildcard SSL Certificates

Unlike a basic SSL certificate, a Wildcard SSL certificate will secure more than just your main domain. IONOS gives these certificates to their users for free, and you can use them to secure your main domain and an unlimited number of subdomains.

For example, if you secure an online store with this certificate, you can do the same for its blog page (like shop.example.com or blog.example.com).

Obtaining a separate SSL certificate for each of your subdomains can be costly and time-consuming, so IONOS’ inclusion of Wildcard SSL certificates is extremely useful – particularly when you can have up to 10,000 subdomains.

Besides saving you time and money, they reduce the administrative burdens SSL certificates typically cause, such as lapses in security coverage and human errors.

Online Store Builder

As well as looking into IONOS’ Website Design Service, we conducted an IONOS web builder review on its online shop-building capabilities.

IONOS offers a generous package to help you get your online store up and running, including unlimited edits, maintenance, and updates. You can also add Facebook and Instagram integrations.

As with its website-building service, IONOS can help ensure your new store is visible by optimizing it for search. The Plus plan starts at $1/mo (renewing at $18/mo after six months) and includes 50GB of webspace, analytics, and capacity for 200 pages.

How to Set Up IONOS

Setting up an IONOS account takes just a few minutes and is directly tied to your hosting plan. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set up your first website with IONOS.

  1. Create an IONOS Account

    Head to IONOS and pick a plan that’s right for you and any add-ons you need. Once at the account creation page, fill out the fields with your billing information to create an IONOS account.

    <strong>Create an IONOS Account</strong>
  2. Set Up Your Account

    Now you have an active IONOS account and a hosting plan, you can head into your account’s settings. In your account’s menu, you can configure your payment options, emails, security, and more. To continue with this guide, create your first domain by heading to “Domains and SSL.”

    <strong>Set Up Your Account</strong>
  3. Install CMS

    With your first IONOS domain established, you can head to the “Domains and SSL” tab to manage it. Once there, click “Use Your Domain” in the Status section and then click on the “Get Started” prompt.

    Choose between managed and standard WordPress installation and hit “Install WordPress.” IONOS has a one-click WordPress installer, meaning all that’s left for you is to wait for your website to be ready.

    <strong>Install CMS</strong>

Control Panel

IONOS's custom control panel
IONOS’s custom control panel

IONOS offers a custom-made control panel rather than cPanel, which most web hosting services provide. Beginners will quickly get the hang of it, but advanced users may need some time for adjustment if they’ve been using cPanel for a long time.

That said, the control panel works in a similar way to cPanel. You’ll have access to tools for tracking analytics, setting up marketing campaigns, and managing email accounts.

Although it wasn’t the most intuitive custom panel back when IONOS was known as 1&1 IONOS, the provider has significantly improved its layout and functionality since then.

For example, it has one of the best search bars, which doesn’t just list articles and help pages but also helps you find features, such as IONOS’ WordPress installer and your SSL certificates.

We found the panel to be easy to use, even when compared to other well-designed custom control panels, such as DreamHost’s panel.

IONOS Website Migration

IONOS doesn’t offer free or automatic migration services to help you move your websites from other web hosting providers to IONOS.

However, its customer support team will help you manually migrate WordPress websites to a new server. This process includes several steps and requires some technical knowledge, like using FTP and phpMyAdmin, meaning a beginner may struggle.

You’ll need to back up your database and WordPress data, create a new database, align and upload WordPress data, and import your database to the new server. Because of the complexity of this process, IONOS advises its users to turn to WordPress migration plugins, which can simplify the process by handling some of the steps automatically.

IONOS Performance

During our hands-on testing of its services, packages, and website-building tools, we also monitored IONOS’ performance, and during our assessment, we had no noticeable issues to report.

We found the bandwidth it provides more than adequate for handling high-traffic volumes, and the high-resolution images and videos we posted loaded without any noticeable lag, meaning you’re unlikely to face any performance degradation since IONOS offers unlimited bandwidth with most of its plans.

In addition, IONOS guarantees 99.9% uptime, a standard feature in the web hosting industry. While being one of the best WordPress hosting providers, Bluehost is an outlier and lacks an uptime guarantee. While that doesn’t mean IONOS will never have downtime, it’s far better to have a guarantee to protects you.

We were also impressed with its loading times for the WordPress plans, which use SSD storage. However, its shared hosting plans don’t go beyond HDD storage, and you shouldn’t necessarily expect lightning-fast loading times.

Is IONOS Secure?

IONOS provides a decent lineup of security tools free of charge. However, you’ll have to pay extra if you want additional virus protection or CDN coverage. Here’s what you can expect from IONOS’ security features:

  • SSL Certificates — All plans include a free Wildcard SLL certificate that encrypts data between the web server and browsers, ensuring secure communication and protecting your visitors’ sensitive information.
  • Daily Backups — IONOS will back up your data on a daily basis, ensuring you can recover your website in case of data loss.
  • Malware Scanning — IONOS includes a malware scanner with some plans that automatically blocks malicious files and provides an additional layer of security from malware.
  • ModSecurity Rules — IONOS uses ModSecurity rules to examine each server request and blocking suspicious requests.

While IONOS provides these features free of charge, some additional security functionality is available with upgrades.

To keep your business safe from phishing attacks, you’ll need to invest in IONOS’ premium virus protection for email addresses. In addition, only some more expensive plans offer CDN performance and security enhancements, while the rest require you to purchase it as an add-on.

IONOS Reviews From Customers

The hosting solutions, performance, and security provided by IONOS left a positive impression on us. IONOS reviews left online by long-term users can provide additional insights, however, which is why we’ve explored how customers have rated the web host on sites like Trustpilot.

On Trustpilot, IONOS has an overwhelmingly positive rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with more than 19,000 reviews – of which 70% give the provider the highest rating. Here’s what the reviews say:

IONOS customer reviews on TrustPilot
IONOS customer reviews on Trustpilot

Finding a review that doesn’t praise IONOS’ pricing structure and reliability is tough, and our testing confirms that you’re unlikely to face slowdowns with its services.

Customer review of IONOS on TrustPilot
Users praise IONOS on Trustpilot

Although some reviews suggest IONOS doesn’t offer the best customer support, many users praise their responsiveness. We’ve noticed that users who needed help with website migrations and email accounts had the best experience with IONOS’ customer support teams.

Overall, users described IONOS’ customer support team as knowledgeable and resourceful, but some users warned of lengthy waiting times.

What is IONOS Good For?

IONOS is an affordable and transparent hosting provider, and that hasn’t changed. Its user-friendly control panel, extra features, and affordable pricing make it an excellent pick for startups and small businesses seeking online growth while keeping their overheads manageable.

Although it cuts some corners by only including one email account and limited storage on most of its starter plans, IONOS provides users with free Wildcard SSL certificates, a free domain, and robust security features with nearly all plans.

And unlike many competitors, IONOS offers exceptional value for money with its introductory prices. For example, the WordPress Grow plan costs just $1/month for half a year, allowing you to establish your company’s online presence at minimal expense.

In addition, startups and small businesses can employ IONOS’ team of experts to craft a professional and SEO-friendly website or online store to make the process fast and easy.

IONOS vs. Top Competitors

Although IONOS offers a diverse range of hosting plans and features, knowing what its competition is like is crucial before you commit to a subscription. In this part of our IONOS review, we’ll compare its pricing, features, and other details with some of the best website hosting providers for small businesses.

Provider IONOS GoDaddy Bluehost HostGator
Best for Startups VPS Hosting Bloggers Ecommerce
Starting Price $1 or $4/mo $6.99/mo $1.99/mo $3.75/mo
Domain Free for first year Free Free Free for first year
SSL Free Free Free for first year Free for first year
Storage (from)  Unlimited / 10GB 25GB 10GB SSD 10GB SSD
Monthly Visitors Unlimited Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Automatic Backups Free, daily Free, daily With upgrade Free, daily
Server locations U.S., Europe U.S., Europe, Asia U.S. (services for India, China) U.S., Asia

IONOS vs GoDaddy

IONOS and GoDaddy offer similar services at slightly different price points. Startups, individuals, and small businesses may find IONOS more affordable than GoDaddy, especially if you opt for one of its $1 per month introductory plans.

Both providers include a free domain and SSL certificate with their entry-level plans, but GoDaddy justifies its higher price point by offering more storage.

In terms of performance, both providers offer excellent loading speeds and unlimited bandwidth, but IONOS has slightly better uptime records.

While both providers offer plenty of self-help articles and a substantial knowledge base, we found GoDaddy’s customer support team easier to reach during our GoDaddy review. However, IONOS’ Website Design Service makes it a better pick for beginners and startups looking to start an affordable website with expert help.

IONOS vs Bluehost

Bluehost caters mostly to small businesses and individuals, making it one of the closest competitors to IONOS. Both providers impressed us with their WordPress hosting plans, although we found Bluehost better for individuals and bloggers looking for a cPanel solution.

IONOS, on the other hand, has a custom-made control panel and offers extra features for businesses looking to create WordPress websites.

In addition, while Bluehost users don’t face much downtime, it lacks an uptime guarantee, which IONOS offers. This makes IONOS a better pick for startups and small businesses seeking a service to help them create stable websites that can handle higher traffic volumes.

IONOS vs HostGator

HostGator stands out as a provider that offers excellent storage, bandwidth, and loading speeds with its more expensive plans, making it one of the best enterprise WordPress hosting services today. However, its services can get expensive quickly, and smaller businesses may find IONOS more suitable for their budget.

IONOS offers a free domain with most of its plans and a free Wildcard SSL certificate, while HostGator offers a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. That’s another point in favor of IONOS, as you’d need to spend more money securing subdomains without a Wildcard SSL certificate.

FAQs

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Is IONOS legit? Can IONOS be trusted?

IONOS vs GoDaddy – which is better?

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Ilijia Miljkovac

Ilija Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with 7 years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about everything from cybersecurity to ISPs, ensuring businesses and customers are educated about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not maniacally hacking away at his keyboard, Ilija spends his time either hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.