Pros of 1&1 Web Hosting
Last aside – 1&1 does not have any strong “pros” in my opinion. The really just have areas where they are just sort of fine. Their main pro is their brand and the name they have built up over 26 years. That said, for the purposes of a 1&1 web hosting review, here are the pros of their hosting service
1&1 IONOS Hosting is on the more affordable end of web hosting. They typically offer a very cheap 12 month introductory offer and then increase the price after a year, which even then are on the more affordable end.
Overall, they are right in line with most of their competitors after the 12 month intro deal.
Their pricing tiers are nearly similar to other big brand hosts like HostGator & GoDaddy when you break out the core things you are paying for (space, performance and databases).
One thing that make 1&1 IONOS different is that they place hard caps on all their plans…but they are transparent about it.
1&1 started as a hosting provider but now provide everything under the digital sun. They are one of the largest domain registrars (and typically include 1 year of a new domain free with hosting purchase). All their products are integrated, which is a pro for many people. They provide daily server backups, along with a wide range of available apps to install within their backend (such as WordPress and Joomla).
That said, their feature set is otherwise not particularly notable. Nothing stands out or separates them from every other web host. For the purposes of a pros & cons type 1&1 web hosting review – their features and options get placed in the pros column, since it is fairly competitive – especially if you really value server hosted email, ad credits, or any sort of website builder tool.
The one true job a website hosting server is to deliver your website files as quickly and as reliably as possible every time someone asks for them (by typing in your domain name).
Neither I nor my clients have ever had significant downtime with 1&1. They claim to have independently verified 99.9% uptime. That’s industry standard, so without monitoring tools, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
The one thing I can measure is how quickly 1&1 delivers my files to a browser. There are a lot of variables that go into how fast a website loads, but one of the most important variables is how fast the server responds after the initial request – otherwise known as Time To First Byte (TTFB). Here are results of a speed test that I ran in December 2015.
Here’s the test I ran in October 2018 where they improved some.
The last “pro” that I wanted to mention was their customer service, based on my personal experience. 1&1 has truly notorious customer service if you just go by internet forum threads(and I include customer service as a con later on). That said, my customer experiences with 1&1 have always been positive.
Cons of 1&1 Web Hosting
**Editors note – most of this experience came before the Ionos rebrand. Most of their systems simply have a pretty paint job but remain the same. Hopefully that will change.
The primary con of 1&1 Hosting is primarily user experience. Owning your personal or business hosting account for a website or email should not be difficult. Even though servers do require more technical setup than a Facebook profile – we are well past the 1990s. Even if a hosting account is not super-polished and the pinnacle of design, it should at least be fairly intuitive, and should at the very least work.
Very much related to user experience is 1&1 hosting’s backend setup. If you’re a first-timer with hosting, you’ll need to know that your hosting account is basically server space and the bandwidth to connect to that server. The server is just like you computer in that it’s really tough to interact with it unless you have an “operating system” such as Windows on your PC or OSX on a Mac.
As I explained in the pros of 1&1, they do a lot better than many web hosts. And they do better than many major web hosts, such as GoDaddy. However, compared to some of the web hosts that I recommend (such as HostGator, Web Hosting Hub and InMotion), 1&1 just can’t quite cut it. Here’s 1&1’s speed numbers again…
Like I mentioned in the pros section, 1&1 has phone support, and they are quick to answer, so they do get points if you have low expectations. And they do well on a relative scale vs. many web hosts. But they still don’t do customer service well. The internet is littered with awful complaints about 1&1, however, that is expected to a degree since they are that big of a corporation – with that many customers.
I will be avoiding 1&1 IONOS web hosting in the future for my projects. I think their only real fit is customers who already have products with 1&1 IONOS (such as domains, email, etc) and want to get a hosting account for a website.