Since 1988, IONOS has built itself a reputation for providing web hosting services, including 250GB of storage, at a competitive price. Its second-tier ‘Plus’ package comes with an initial offer of £1 a month – one of the cheapest on the market.
- Competitively priced
- Fast website loading
- Unlimited storage for basic plan
- No cloud hosting
- No e-commerce hosting
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IONOS at a glance
IONOS is a popular web hosting and cloud services solutions partner, specialising in serving small and medium-sized businesses. The company, originally named 1&1, was established in 1988 in Europe and launched its US presence in 2003.
In 2020, the company changed its name to IONOS.
For those looking to set up a website on a budget, IONOS is worth considering. The service hosts over 12 million domains, and has contracts with eight million customers around the world. It outdoes almost all website hosts on affordability.
IONOS has a relatively simple pricing system for its plans, compared to some other web hosts:
- Standard: £2 a month for 6 months, then £5 a month
- Plus: £1 a month for 12 months, then £8 a month
- Premium: £7 a month for 6 months, then £14 a month
- Ultimate: £11 a month for 6 months, then £22 a month
Note that 20% VAT will be charged on top of the prices stated.
All of the plans include unmetered bandwidth, ‘1-click’ WordPress installation, a free domain, professional email and 24/7 customer support.
How does website hosting work?
When building a website, you need a place to house it along with your data files. Web hosting is a service that provides the storage and resources you need to make your website visible and accessible on the internet.
A website hosting provider offers storage space on a server or group of servers that is designed explicitly for the purpose of housing websites. Customers pay the provider for their storage space, essentially renting it for their website’s needs.
IONOS offers all types of hosting services, including shared, VPS (virtual private server) and dedicated hosting services.
Shared hosting – which is when your website is hosted on the same server as others – is ideal for startups and small businesses with limited traffic and modest storage needs. Because you’re sharing resources, hosting fees are considerably lower than you’d pay for VPS or dedicated hosting services, which are better options for those with more advanced website hosting needs.
IONOS’ MyWebsite Design Service provides assistance with building a site, for those who do not have the time. This includes help with planning and creating the site, maintaining it once it is up and running, as well as with search engine optimisation (SEO), to help improve its ranking.
Website Design Service S is the cheapest version of the service at £40 a month, with a setup fee of £199. It is designed for small websites and minimal edits. It includes the option of three customised pages a month and one website edit per quarter.
The next level up is Website Design Service M for medium-sized websites and regular edits (one a month). It allows for five customised pages. It costs £55 a month and has a £299 setup fee.
For large websites and unlimited edits, there’s Website Design Service L for £70 a month, with a setup fee of £399. Seven customised pages are included.
RAM, storage and bandwidth
IONOS’ Standard plan comes with 6GB RAM, 640MB PHP memory limit and 100 GB of storage.
Its Plus plan includes 9GB RAM, has a 640MB PHP memory limit and comes with 250 GB of storage.
The Premium plan offers 15GB RAM, 768MB PHP memory limit and 350 GB of storage.
All plans allow unlimited traffic and FTP accounts.
Ease of use
IONOS makes creating and managing your website easy; you can launch a simple website in minutes.
IONOS has its own drag-and-drop website builder that comes with hundreds of customisable design templates. WordPress hosting plans are also available, which allows for more customisation options.
IONOS offers one-click installation for a selection of popular third-party applications.
Each IONOS shared hosting plan comes with one free business email and up to 2GB of email storage.
You can also purchase additional emails for an add-on fee. Email forwarding, webmail 2.0 and anti-phishing and anti-spam measures are included in all plans.
IONOS offers a few marketing features with its plans. SiteAnalytics, Google Sitemaps and multiple mailing lists are included with each shared hosting plan.
Every website hosting plan comes with a free SSL certificate with 256-bit encryption. IONOS server facilities are ISO 27001 certified, and geo-redundant hosting means your data is mirrored in two data centres.
Geo-redundancy ensures that a website remains live even if one server is down for maintenance or an unexpected outage. IONOS also includes malware and DDoS protection with its hosting services.
Elsewhere, IONOS offers fast loading times, unlimited traffic, website security best practices, easy app installation, generous storage, extensive customer support options and business email and marketing functionality.
It’s worth bearing in mind that IONOS’ prices rise after six months or a year, depending on the plan chosen.
How Ionos stacks up (shared hosting)
IONOS offers some of the most affordable introductory offers on the market. Note that its Plus plan works out £30 cheaper than its Standard plan over a 12-month period, at £1 a month.
Customers can opt to pay month-to-month for a plan, at the checkout stage, but this will cost more. The Standard plan is charged at £6 a month, Plus at £9 a month, Premium at £16 a month and Ultimate at £24 a month.
As typical with most web hosts, IONOS offers a 30-day money-back guarantee policy, for customers who are not satisfied with its service, and a 14-day cooling off period.
Is IONOS the right choice?
IONOS may be useful for those who need a web host that is easy to navigate, and offers technical support, for a highly competitive price.
The option to customise a website, may also be useful for those who don’t mind paying the additional fee.
IONOS could also be a good choice if you’re building a relatively simple website, but may not be the best option if you require a great deal of customisation for your website or anticipate building a large, content-heavy site that can support extensive website traffic.
How do I cancel my IONOS contract?
Customers can cancel their contract with IONOS within the initial 14-day cooling off period. That is, within 14 days of selecting the ‘Order’ button on the site, to commence services.
If the cooling off period has passed, customers must request cancellation of their contract at least one working day before their renewal date by telephone or via the control panel on the site. They must leave at least three working days before the renewal date, if requesting cancellation by letter or email.
Has IONOS rebranded?
The company renamed itself IONOS by 1&1 in January 2020. It was first established in 1988 as 1&1. In 2018, it partnered with ProfitBricks’ cloud infrastructure solutions, and rebranded as 1&1 IONOS.
Is IONOS easy to use?
Beginners are likely to find IONOS’ modern interface easy to use. In-depth support is offered in the form of a help center with articles detailing everything from how to configure security options to how to set up an e-commerce storefront.
If human assistance is required, customers can call or email the support team. The range of support on offer allows for customers with ranging technical ability to get their website up and running.
Can I transfer my domain to IONOS?
Yes. IONOS’ technical support team will take customers through the process. It is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
What should I look for in a web hosting service?
Whether a web host is suitable will depend on the needs of the customer and the type of business they are running.
For example, a brand-building service is likely to require different features to an e-commerce website. Still, when comparing web hosts, it can be useful to keep in mind the amount of storage needed, how much traffic is expected on the website, and whether the web host has reliable uptimes – in other words, regularly functions well.
IONOS Pricing and Plans