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20i offers high-performance infrastructure with a beginner-friendly platform. At first glance, this host charges much less than other providers that employ a similar set of powerful tech. But is this simply too good to be true?
20i is a UK-based host known for providing shared hosting, managed WordPress, managed VPS, and reseller hosting. Despite having data centers only in the Midlands, it still has its eye on the international market, with its own CDN and a focus on providing a highly optimized platform at an affordable price.
20i’s WordPress plans in particular drew my attention, as the WordPress software is integrated with its beginner-friendly control panel. I tested this and other features alongside its performance, its support quality, and more to find out whether 20i is really worth your time and money.
20i at a glance:
Free domain name?
Managed hosting features?
Number/location of data centers
2 in the UK
Easy-to-Enable Features That Speed Up and Secure Your Site
20i’s entry-level plan includes most of the basics you need to get started. There’s a free wildcard SSL certificate available that covers your primary domain and any subdomains, along witha free website migration through the support service.
Every plan also includes unlimited email accounts, which may be helpful if you’re running a business. However, these features aren’t what makes this provider unique – the true value of 20i lies in the following:
Flexible Cloud Platform
All of 20i’s plans use cloud technology, allowing you access to scalable performance that’s usually limited to premium hosts. Rather than hosting your site with many others on a single physical server, your site’s resources are split across many different servers.
This means your site will still remain available if any one server fails. Likewise, if another site gets a surge in traffic, resources from the server grid will be allocated to it so that your site doesn’t experience a drop in performance.
Plenty of Powerful Optimizations
20i appears to have invested a ton of resources into competing with other premium hosting services. For example, all accounts include a long list of optimizations, each of which can be configured manually, but my site got a big performance boost just by enabling the “One Click Optimization” preset.
Extensive Security Solution
Without multiple layers of security, you could be an easy target for malware and hackers. Thankfully, 20i provides plenty of robust server security features that’ll protect your account and your hosting space.
Plus, the 20i Website Malware Scanner will automatically scan your site for threats, daily. You may also choose to scan your WordPress files on demand – if anything malicious is detected, you’ll be notified immediately.
Ease of use
A Clean Control Panel That Synergizes Well with WordPress
As 20i runs on cloud infrastructure, and offers a great deal of fine optimization, it may sound daunting for beginners. However, 20i has built its platform to be very user friendly. The following are some examples:
Beginner-Friendly Control Panel
20i has developed its very own control panel called My20i. I’m always a bit skeptical of proprietary control panels as they can be missing important features, but I found this one to be a breath of fresh air.
Every critical feature was easy to find and configure, so a beginner should have no issues with it. As an extra bonus, the control panel is fully optimized for mobile, meaning you can easily manage your hosting account while on the go.
Simple WordPress Management
You are also able to control various aspects of your WordPress site directly from the control panel. This includes updating the WordPress software, plugins and themes, adding new users, and even the ability to perform a full reinstall with a single click.
All of this can be achieved without having to log into the WordPress dashboard. This makes it significantly easier to perform basic day-to-day management tasks.
Shareable Site Staging
20i provides a site staging environment for its managed WordPress plans. This gives you a safe environment to test changes without affecting your live site – you can try a new plugin or theme, or just mess about with the overall design.
You can even share the URL of your staged site with collaborators and friends, who can give you feedback on the changes you’ve made. Then, you can push these changes to the live site in a single click.
Creating a New Account
For the most part, creating my account with 20i was a painless process. I was never pressured to purchase an add-on or a higher-tier plan – 20i simply let me buy the package I wanted without any nonsense. Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and direct debit are all supported.
While there is technically a free domain registration available with 20i, it’s only available for domains which use the .com extension. Strangely, you have to pay a small fee to transfer the domain to 20i, which then nets you a free renewal for a year, earning back the money you just paid. It’s needlessly convoluted, but a small net savings does result.
Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress
I decided to avoid the confusing domain transfer process, simply pointing my domain to 20i’s nameservers. Thankfully, this was very easy – all I had to do was find the nameservers in the DNS Settings section of the control panel.
As a nice touch, 20i provides a temporary testing domain with every hosting package. This allowed me to configure my site and check it for any issues before biting the bullet and pointing my domain name to 20i’s servers.
Installing WordPress also proved to be a breeze. I chose a managed WordPress plan, which installs WordPress using a simple setup wizard. The entire process took under five minutes and required no technical knowledge whatsoever.
Blazing Fast Speed with Great Reliability to Back It Up
As 20i boasts some impressive tech behind the scenes, I was excited to see if it could live up to my high expectations. Before I started, I made sure to upgrade the PHP version of the site – for some reason, new hosting accounts default to PHP 7.0, which is rather antiquated nowadays. Luckily, I was easily able to switch to 7.4 through the control panel.
I performed multiple tests and each one showed fantastic loading times – one test even resulted in a fully-loaded time of less than 0.6s. These kinds of speeds can compete with many premium-priced hosts.
I then made sure to test uptime, as there’s no point in having fast-loading pages if your site isn’t online to deliver them. During four weeks, uptime was a perfect 100%. Although this wasn’t a very long testing period, I’d usually only expect to see this result from a much more expensive host.
However, it wasn’t all good news. 20i only offers a legal uptime guarantee for its VPS plans – every other plan is unprotected. This means you’d be due zero compensation for any amount of downtime. Reliability looked to be good, so this shouldn’t present major problems, but it’s definitely worth keeping this in mind for mission-critical web hosting projects.
A Helpful and Professional On-Site Support Team
The two major avenues of support provided by 20i are live chat and tickets. There’s also a small knowledge base available that can guide you through basic tasks.
What immediately stood out to me about 20i’s support service during testing was the fact that it is provided by a team located on site. Many other hosts will choose to save money by outsourcing support, which often leads to all kinds of headaches. An on-site team has the luxury of immediate contact with engineers, meaning you should get quicker support.
I had mixed feelings about the live chat service. Upon submitting a brief enquiry, I was met with a loading icon for over ten minutes. I didn’t know if I was being connected with an agent, or if the application was experiencing issues.
Just as I was about to give up and try again, I was suddenly connected with a support agent. Thankfully, the agent was a joy to work with. They answered all my questions in detail without simply redirecting me to some vaguely relevant documentation. Responses arrived promptly, and I felt that the agent was fully focused on helping me.
As for the knowledge base, it’s pretty mediocre. It’s rather small and mainly covers the very basics, other than a few advanced guides here and there. Each piece of documentation is easy to follow and contains screenshots to keep you on track, but I’ve definitely seen better.
Low Resource Limits, Unless You Pay a Premium
20i’s WordPress plans initially look great – the cheapest plan is very affordable and doesn’t lack features. However, with only 10GB of storage and 50GB of monthly bandwidth, resources are super-tight.
Upgrading to a better plan will get you more resources, but it’ll cost you several times more. It’s still slightly less expensive than many premium hosts, but these upper-tier plans may be out of reach if you’re on a small budget.
Besides a few minor issues, my experience with 20i was positive. It’s fast, reliable, and beginner-friendly, despite the advanced-level technologybehind the scenes. However, pricing can be a problem – any decent-sized WordPress site with growing traffic will likely require the Professional or Unlimited plan, which sharply increases the price.Budget hosts such as Hostinger and A2 Hosting offer much more in the way of resources at a significantly lower price, making them a better option for a beginner. That said, if you have a bigger budget, 20i is definitely worth considering among other premium hosts like Kinsta and Nexcess.
What sort of money-back guarantee does 20i have?
20i offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with every plan. If you’re not satisfied, you can contact the support team to cancel your hosting account and receive a full refund.
If you have a lightweight WordPress site, 20i could prove to be fantastic value for money as the entry-level plan is very affordable.If you’re looking to save even more cash, check out our coupon page for the latest deals before you make a purchase.
Will WordPress slow my website down?
The WordPress software can have a significant effect on a website’s performance if it isn’t properly optimized. 20i’s cloud infrastructure and comprehensive WordPress optimizations should deliver premium performance for any type of WordPress site.
Ryan is an expert freelance writer who spends much of his spare time tinkering with his site, ensuring that everything is up to his high standard. He loves to test new hosting services and website builders to help users get the best value for their money. When he isn’t writing, you can usually find him playing video games, unless his cat is lying on the keyboard, which is sadly a very common occurrence.
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Free hosting option (not mentioned in review.)
Good Service when I have had questions. There is a free hosting option available with the purchase/transfer of a domain name although not immediately obvious. This does not qualify for support other than issuers relating to the domain name per se - but I have one paid-for account so just switched to that account for the same email problem and solved it for a free account. Free basic SSL certificates as the draw for me.
When transferring discussed with sales that had a reseller account elsewhere but little traffic on most domains (intentional as for amateur choir / local church). No problem when I said I would put all bar one on free accounts until exceed traffic which is unlikely.