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IONOS Hosting Review: Can It Still Perform? [2024]

Caitlin Greyling Caitlin Greyling Web Hosting Expert

IONOS offers pricing and stellar performance that’s hard to beat. IONOS’ range of hosting types and plans makes it ideal for almost everyone – e-commerce stores, creative agencies, corporations, and solopreneurs. However, IONOS isn’t perfect. Despite the steady uptime and useful hosting features, we found some issues with its customer support service.

Overview

An All-Inclusive Host With Some Minor Cons

IONOS landing page
WordPress Hosting and IONOS Cloud are just a few of IONOS’ hosting products and services

IONOS offers various hosting plans to suit everyone’s needs, including shared, dedicated, VPS, and cloud hosting. As such, it caters to a wide range of businesses and projects – from blogs to online storefronts, and from small and medium-sized businesses to enterprises.

Another pro of IONOS’ service is just how well it performs for such a low price. I can attest that IONOS’ uptime and site loading speeds are pretty good, and you can get many months’ worth of IONOS hosting for what other hosts typically charge for a single month – or less. So, what’s not to love?

Well, as with any service, there are always some cons. In the case of IONOS, you’re looking at less-than-impeccable customer support. Also those low discounted initial prices don’t last forever and the regular renewal fees can be quite high. Another issue is the limitation on emails. No matter the cost of the plan, you only get one email account. Additionally, there’s no free site migration so you’ll be doing that heavy lifting on your own.

That said, IONOS still measures up to the competition, ranking highly among the top hosts. Those looking for extra support will also be happy to know IONOS offers website design, as well as custom cloud computing (build-your-own virtual data center) services.

I’ve tested out IONOS’ most popular plan myself. Read my full review to see if this provider is a good fit for you.

4.8

Features

Solid IONOS Hosting Features – Especially on Shared Web Hosting Plans

Screenshot of web hosting features from IONOS' web hosting detail page
You can expect useful features and freebies with IONOS shared hosting plans

IONOS is suitable for beginners and first-time website owners who want a fairly wide range of features for a low starting price – you shouldn’t need to pay for any add-ons when you sign up for a plan. IONOS’ shared hosting plans include useful features, such as CDN integration, daily backups, and plenty of storage.

If you need better performance or additional resources, IONOS has various plan tiers to fit different needs. It also has more powerful types of hosting setups (dedicated, VPS, cloud) that offer better performance. With IONOS, you can change over, upgrade, or downgrade as needed.

Free Domain Name & SSL Certificate

With IONOS’ shared hosting, dedicated servers, Mail Business email hosting, and MyWebsite builder hosting plans, you get a free domain name for a year. This only includes .us, .ca, .com, .net, .org, .info, .me, .biz, and .online domain extensions. Typically, registering one could cost you the same as IONOS’ lowest annual introductory offer, so this feature adds significant value.

Domain privacy is also included, which hides your registration data from public records. Unfortunately, VPS and cloud-based hosting plans – that you’d likely be using to build multiple sites – don’t include free domain names. But IONOS offers fair pricing on domain name registration.

In addition, all IONOS plans come with free DigiCert Wildcard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, which allow you to secure your primary domain name as well as any subdomains you set up – like “subdomain.maindomainname.com.”

Automatic Daily Backups

IONOS Webspace Backup menu.
You can view, recover, and edit backup files on the IONOS Webspace Backup page

The majority of IONOS’ hosting plans (except cloud and VPS hosting) come with free automatic daily backups. In most cases, you don’t need to do anything to set these up either. As soon as there’s a site and data to back up, it will do so automatically. Backups are also kept for 6 days.

You can navigate to the Webspace Backup menu via the search bar in the IONOS dashboard menu to find your backup files. Higher-tier IONOS WordPress hosting plans (both managed and unmanaged) also come with 12 months of free daily Jetpack backups, which is normally a paid add-on when you use the free version of Jetpack.

Agency Partner Program

IONOS Agency Partner Program
You can join the IONOS Agency Partner Program for free with an IONOS account

As an agency, you can sign up for IONOS’ Agency Partner Program for free to get access to various useful perks. Membership includes dashboard access from which to manage all of your client projects – from hosted sites to email accounts.

You’ll also get access to several benefits, including free software trials, product credits, expert support, and a verified listing on the IONOS Agency Partner Network.

IONOS Website Builder & Design Services

As an optional paid extra, you can either enlist IONOS’ design team or use its in-house MyWebsite Now to design your website. MyWebsite Now is an easy-to-use, no-code site builder similar to Wix or WordPress.

MyWebsite Now features responsive, industry-specific website templates, drag-and-drop elements, and thousands of free-to-use stock images. Alternatively, you can answer a few questions and get its AI website builder to generate a unique template tailored to your needs. You’ll also get built-in AI text and image generators to reduce your launch costs and time even further, ensuring you can hit publish ASAP.

IONOS Features at a Glance

Free domain name?  (email, site builder, dedicated, and shared hosting plans only)
Free SSL?  (DigiCert Wildcard SSL)
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Uptime guarantee 99.99%
Data centers US, UK, Germany, France, and Spain
4.8

Ease of use

Anyone Can Launch With IONOS – Choosing a Plan Is the Hardest Part

IONOS account set up process.
IONOS will start setting up your account right after payment is made

Getting started with IONOS doesn’t take long – nor is the process particularly complex. Filling in your details, paying, and setting up a website afterward should only take around 30 minutes or less (depending on your design). You don’t need to be tech-savvy either, as both the IONOS control panel and supported content management system (CMS) platforms are easy to use and navigate.

Creating a New Account With IONOS

The IONOS hosting signup process is a 4-step affair. First, select your hosting type, then head to your cart, fill in your details, and pay. You can pay with PayPal and major cards, including American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

IONOS limits its upsells, except for recommending Domain Guard, rankingCoach, List Local service, and Managed WordPress hosting. None of these suggested add-ons – that come with 30-day free trials – were preselected.

Of course, I only tested the IONOS Plus shared web hosting plan, so the signup process may differ slightly on other plans. For example, selecting a domain from IONOS will add a few extra steps to the process.

However, I experienced a minor issue inputting my street address when asked to add my billing info. The form repeatedly cut off the end of my address and automatically substituted the wrong city name. Only clicking on the Choose another country button (which took me away from the page) mitigated this issue. If I hadn’t discovered this workaround, I wouldn’t have been able to proceed with payment at all.

After paying, IONOS automatically creates your account and guides you through the selection of a CMS or website builder.

Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress

IONOS offers both unmanaged and managed WordPress hosting. Plus, even if you choose another hosting plan – such as the standard IONOS shared web hosting plan – you still get access to a single-click installation of WordPress among other less popular CMSs and builders.

IONOS new website setup menu
Once you log in after payment, you can install WordPress or another CMS or builder listed

When logging into your IONOS dashboard for the first time, you’ll be prompted to get your website set up. I chose a premium shared web hosting plan from IONOS, which allows you to install multiple CMSs, not just WordPress. As such, WordPress wasn’t automatically set up as it may be on a WordPress-specific plan from IONOS.

To install WordPress on my plan, I had to scroll down the list and click Start Now next to WordPress. Conveniently, your free IONOS domain name (included with most plans) is automatically linked to whichever CMS you choose. If you wish to add a third-party domain, you have to do this yourself by using the IONOS setup wizard. Or, you can ask the IONOS support team for help.

IONOS App Center

IONOS App Center
You can install various CMS, builders, and plugins from the IONOS App Center

Aside from WordPress and the paid IONOS MyWebsite builder, you have the choice of other options. You can navigate to all the CMS options in the IONOS App Center. Here you can easily and quickly install TYPO3, Joomla, PrestaShop, Drupal, OpenCart, Contao, and more.

IONOS Dashboard Menu Search Bar

IONOS dashboard search bar menu.
IONOS dashboard tools and Help Center articles can be found using the search bar menu

Navigating the IONOS dashboard is very easy, thanks to its intuitive search bar. Not only does it suggest related tools and settings pages, but it brings up the most relevant Help Center article as well. So you can access the right tools or help in one place in one go without fumbling around an unfamiliar dashboard menu, saving you time and unnecessary stress.

4.8

Performance

Expect Spotless Performance Thanks to IONOS’ Geo-Redundant Servers

IONOS server security features.
IONOS mirrors your site data at various different data centers, minimizing the likelihood of downtime

IONOS-hosted sites outperform in terms of site loading times and uptime. Resilient geo-redundant servers, uninterruptible battery supply, and backup generators help to prevent instances of downtime.

During my tests (read about how we conduct tests here) our IONOS-hosted test site never went down and provided impeccable loading speeds. IONOS actually partners with various data centers in Germany, France, the UK, Spain, and the US. This network ensures its service delivery is almost spotlessly consistent – both locally and globally.

Our IONOS-hosted site typically loaded in under 1 second with a slight increase to 1.2 to 1.6 seconds during peak times, which is really good! Plus, our site had 100% uptime throughout our tests.

GTmetrix

IONOS's GTmetrix test results
IONOS scores an A rating from GTmetrix for loading speed

IONOS scores highly for site loading speeds, as proved by these GTmetrix test results. We can’t really ask for more from the host regarding performance. You’ll also note our IONOS-hosted test site performed consistently across peak and non-peak periods, only deviating by half a second or so.

IONOS-hosted website's GTmetrix page metrics
The IONOS-hosted site’s loading speeds remained fairly consistent during off-peak and peak times.

UptimeRobot

IONOS UptimeRobot test results.
IONOS’ reliable uptime score, thanks to its geo-redundant servers

When monitoring our IONOS-hosted website, UptimeRobot reported no instances of downtime for the full week of tests. Plus, no negative events or incidents. Our site was stable, responsive, and consistently available to visitors throughout the week.

IONOS UptimeRobot test result: incidents and events.
The IONOS-hosted test site didn’t encounter any negative events or incidences.

Sucuri Load Time Tester

You can’t actually select a specific server location for your hosting plan during or after sign-up. However, there’s probably no need to due to IONOS web hosting plans featuring geo-redundant server infrastructure. IONOS has data centers located on both the East and West Coast, so our IONOS website performed particularly well across the USA.

IONOS Sucuri Load Time Tester test results.
IONOS’ geo-redundant servers offer consistent global performance even without using a CDN

Our IONOS site also loaded satisfactorily in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Japan – which is rare. If you need to reach far-flung audiences, you can also activate the Cloudflare CDN to improve global performance. You can do so from the IONOS dashboard, along with adding the optional Railgun caching tool. All in all, IONOS does well even without these additional tools.

4.0

Support

Unfortunately, IONOS’ Support Service Falls Flat

IONOS live chat function – all agents are busy.
Be it Monday evening or Sunday morning, IONOS 24/7 live chat appears to be permanently “temporarily” unavailable

Like many other otherwise respectable hosting providers, IONOS disappoints in the customer support department. Its 24/7 phone support seems to be the only channel that works. It has live chat support, but it’s often unavailable, so I can’t offer up any insights into its quality. When logged into my account dashboard, I also couldn’t access any of the additional mysterious IONOS support channels hinted at.

With the local IONOS phone support lines in various countries, you can get help when you need it. Unfortunately, calling isn’t free – no toll-free lines here.

You’re given a phone PIN when creating your IONOS account. However, things weren’t off to a good start when I did call in, as my PIN wasn’t recognized by the agent.

IONOS email follow up support
IONOS’ agent followed up via email a few minutes after our call

Though friendly, the support agent seemed less than knowledgeable about my query. The call ended up with them finally suggesting they’d defer it to a manager and email me back (my suggestion, or I would have been on hold for a while).

On the plus side, the 24/7 IONOS phone support claim rang true, as the agent picked up 3 minutes after I dialed into the US line very late. For fun, I also decided to test another country’s IONOS support line (a 5-minute wait this time) to see if this line was also routed to the same support center. By the sound of it, yes, it appears to be – with the same issues. Difficulty recognizing my PIN and a lack of technical knowledge again resulted in me paying for extra call minutes.

IONOS personal support consultant setup.
IONOS personal consultant service is handy, ensuring one point of contact

A plus of IONOS support? You do get your own personal IONOS support consultant, but you have to activate this feature via the IONOS dashboard, and our team has found they can often be difficult to contact.

Alternatively, the Help Center is full of FAQs, articles, tutorials, and self-help guides to help you solve basic issues without needing to call in. However, the lack of IONOS ticket or live chat support are both let-downs – especially for the time-strapped or call-avoidant.

4.9

Pricing

Competitively Priced Even at Full-Price Renewal Rates

I recommend the standard IONOS shared web hosting plans (the Plus tier, in particular). They’re priced almost the same as IONOS’ WordPress hosting plans – but with better specs and features. Since they’re still compatible with WordPress anyway (and other popular CMS and website builders), you’re not losing out on anything. If you want an advanced, easy-to-use website builder, you can also try out the IONOS MyWebsite builder plans.

ionos logo

Get a FREE domain + hosting with any IONOS Website Builder annual plan!

This exclusive offer is only available for your first purchase.

84 users used this coupon!

The only downside to IONOS’ amazing deals for new customers is the fact that you’ll eventually have to pay the regular price, which can be significantly more, but still offers good value on the higher-tier plans.

If you happen to be an agency or freelancer, the IONOS Agency Partner hosting plans are ideal. With an Agency Partner Program membership, you get invaluable access to all your sites in one place, as well as special benefits.

Of course, shared hosting may not cut it for all projects – in which case, you’ll probably need cloud, VPS, or dedicated servers, which IONOS also covers. Contrary to assumption, the savings don’t drop off when you ascend to premium IONOS hosting options, either.

In fact, cloud and VPS hosting from IONOS can cost as little as its shared hosting plans. If you opt for HDD storage, IONOS dedicated server plan pricing is also competitive. As IONOS advertises many of its top annual hosting plans at around a 10th of the price for half of the first year, they’re the best value. If you’re dissatisfied with the service for any reason, you can also ask for a refund within your first 30 days.

Though not technically part of its standard hosting plans, IONOS’ Cloud Computing services are well worth a mention. Designed to compete with the likes of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud, these services allow you to build your own virtual cloud data center from scratch. You can trial this service free for 30 days.

A free domain name is included with some hosting plans from IONOS

Comparison

How does IONOS match up to the competition?

KamateraCompareOur Score4.8Compare
Liquid WebCompareOur Score4.8Compare
IONOSCompareOur Score4.7Compare
Tailor Made ServersCompareOur Score2.9Compare

IONOS REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

Overall, IONOS scores highly for features, pricing, and performance – but its customer support lets it down. If this provider can work on improving it (including upskilling agents and introducing more support channels), its service would be nearly perfect.

FAQ

Are IONOS hosting plans good value for money?

Yes. IONOS’ hosting is very affordable, and select shared hosting plans are also generously discounted for the first 6 months. Besides these savings, IONOS’ shared hosting plans include value-for-money extras, such as a free domain name and Wildcard SSLs. Naturally, more powerful options, such as IONOS VPS and dedicated hosting, are pricier and include fewer free extras but are still competitively priced.

Are 1&1 and IONOS affiliated?

Yes. When 1&1 remerged with ProfitBricks in 2018, it rebranded to 1&1 IONOS. Subsequently, it dropped the 1&1, changing its name to IONOS in 2021. IONOS is a subsidiary of United Internet, specializing in hosting products and services.

Where is IONOS based?

IONOS and its parent company, United Internet, are based in Montabaur, Germany. However, IONOS also has US headquarters in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, offering hosting and related services globally via its own name. In the United Internet Group, IONOS mainly focuses on hosting products and cloud infrastructure.

Do IONOS plans include the use of its website builder for free?

No. MyWebsite is an optional add-on you can buy with or without an existing hosting plan. It costs extra but does include many additional perks, such as hosting, a free domain name, and Wildcard SSLs. If you wish to access the AI text generator, full website customization functionalities, and the highest data storage quotas, you’ll need to opt for the more expensive Plus and Pro MyWebsite builder plans.

What types of hosting does IONOS offer?

IONOS’ core shared, email, cloud, ASP.NET, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans are complemented by CMS-specific hosting plans. These options include WordPress (managed and unmanaged), WooCommerce, Magento, Drupal, Joomla, PrestaShop, Shopware, OpenCart, and Jamstack hosting. You can also develop complex sites and apps with the IONOS Cloud Computing service.
Caitlin Greyling Caitlin Greyling
A freelance author, graphic designer, and photographer, Caitlin Greyling writes about web hosting, web builder software, graphic design, tech, and electronics, and has published hundreds of product reviews and comparisons for Website Planet, The Daily Mail, and Durability Matters. Her creative and technical knowledge has been showcased at PictureCorrect, Photutorial, and others. She is currently studying for an NCTJ diploma in journalism. When Caitlin’s not working, she’s exploring nature with her son and dog or relaxing at home with her cat.
1.3
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that’s not a way to deal with customers !

It is no longer possible to log in with these access credentials. If you have cancelled your IONOS contract, the cancellation is now active and your IONOS login has been deleted. what can i say more than , that's not a way to deal with customers !

avatar
Ammar Hashim, Turkey
September 18, 2023
1
Scam Company

Everything looks too good before I bought the product, but after I bought it I saw their real face. The control panel was like a fake site, the links were not working. I could not access the products I bought. It is impossible to reach the support team because those links always come back to the same place. Definitely stay away. I will try to get my money back

avatar
Furkan Baran, Turkey
July 28, 2022
1
customer service ??

A hosting company that should be avoided, it is not possible to get the service you paid for or reach customer service. They don't even give you information about the service they can't provide. On the first registration, an automatic e-mail says wait 48 hours, that's all.

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Celal Kacamakli, Turkey
March 19, 2022
1
The worst customer service I’ve experience in any industry

Just getting a hosting contract transferred has required multiple calls, hours on the phone, and more than a week for what would have been a 10 minute process with GoDaddy. The reps never had the latest notes and I couldn't make any progress even after complying with the additional info they continued to request. I've truly never been more frustrated with a customer service experience and my business has suffered lost advertising revenue with how long this has taken.

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Matthew Ohern, USA
August 19, 2021
1
Cheap, inefficent, and never reliable

Well, Like money? Don't waste it here. 95% of their issues are their routers and then they charge you to fix it. Simple hack around this, just keep re-imaging the server, you'll probably have 30-45 minutes of uptime then. Outside of that, yeah they need tracert, because their firewall will block you, and then you have to pay more for it. Started at 1500 packets, probably will ask for 25,000 tomorrow. I remember when 1 and 1 were decent at best. Pick someone else, I'm just coding, imagine someone who has a business webpage... ouch.

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Anon, USA
May 23, 2021
1
Inexpensive, Reliable, Comprehensive Toolset

I've used 1&1 for over a decade here in the U.S. It's inexpensive, reliable, and offers a very complete range of supporting software. It can be a bit confusing for a beginner to navigate, but that's true of most competitors. I don't know that my website has ever been unavailable. Email access is unavailable maybe once a year. Overall, an excellent record for uptime.

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anonymus, USA
March 15, 2021
4
Had great uptime in the UK

I have various sites with Ionos and manage a few sites for others, some of which are with GoDaddy. I use a central management system for monitoring them and am constantly getting notifications from the GD sites that they are down, and not just for a couple of seconds. I have never had a downtime notification from Ionos during UK day time, occasionally overnight and with pre-warning. Customer service has been great, although I would prefer live chat.

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Gemma, Portugal
July 18, 2020
4
List of countries

The list of countries includes all countries of the world, including all those in our area, with the exception of Croatia (Local name CHrvatska). Why?? Can this be corrected ..I cannot claim a member because I am unable to register my country.

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anonymus, Croatia
March 28, 2020
1
Family sharingMulti User SharingExpert SupportBackupSmart syncPersonal SolutionBusiness SolutionTeams optionsOffline foldersFile history and recovery
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