1&1 IONOS is the largest web hosting provider in Europe. It offers a long list of web hosting products, from basic website builder plans to professional ecommerce hosting. How does it compare to the best web hosting services for creatives that we’ve evaluated in 2020? In our 1&1 IONOS review, we put it to the test.

1&1 IONOS sells several types of web hosting (Image credit: 1&1 IONOS)

1&1 IONOS review: Plans and pricing

For our purposes, we’ll look at the web hosting plans from 1&1 IONOS that will be most relevant to creatives looking to build a portfolio site, blog, or small online store. 

The MyWebsite plans are the easiest way to get a website off the ground, as they include a website builder for creating sites without touching a line of code. You get one month for free, then it costs $5/month for the basic MyWebsite Now editor, $10/month for the powerful MyWebsite Creator editor, and $25/month for the editor with a built-in online store.

There are three plans for traditional web hosting without this custom site builder. The Essential plan costs $4/month for the first year and $6/month for subsequent years. It includes 10GB of storage, 10 email accounts, and a free domain name for the first year. For bigger projects, you can upgrade to the Business plan ($1/month for the first year, $10/month ongoing), which unlocks unlimited websites and unlimited storage. You also get more CPU and memory resources, so if you have a complex website, it will run quicker. The Expert plan costs $8/month for the first year and $16/month for subsequent years and has even faster processors and more memory resources, but this will be overkill for simple sites.

1&1 IONOS also offers WordPress hosting plans, starting at $3/month per month for the first year and $4/month for subsequent years.

1&1 IONOS review

The web hosting plans from 1&1 IONOS are competitively priced (Image credit: 1&1 IONOS)

1&1 IONOS review: Features

1&1 IONOS has features that suit a wide range of potential users, from website newbies to enterprise-level companies.

MyWebsite Site Builder

1&1 IONOS has its own website builder, called MyWebsite (check out our round up of the best website builders for more). There are two versions: Now and Creator. MyWebsite Now is a basic plug-and-play website editor, but MyWebsite Creator is a solid design tool, with over 430 templates and 100 drag-and-drop widgets to flesh out your site. It’s a great option if you want to build a website quickly without touching a line of code.

1&1 IONOS review

Choose from hundreds of preset designs (Image credit: 1&1 IONOS)

WordPress

If you’d prefer to use an industry-standard content management tool for your website, WordPress is also available. WordPress hosting at 1&1 IONOS is managed, meaning you get automatic updates, pre-installed plugins, an improved setup experience, and better customer support than most web hosts. Starting at $3/month for all this, 1&1 IONOS makes a strong play for the best budget WordPress host around.

1&1 IONOS review

1&1 IONOS offers managed WordPress features usually only found on much more expensive web hosting plans (Image credit: 1&1 IONOS)

WordPress Pro

1&1 IONOS also has a WordPress Pro product that competes with high-end WordPress plans. Starting at $18/month, you get high-performance servers, daily cloud backups, multi-site management, stage testing (try out new features in a test environment first), and smart automated WordPress updates. Your site will be cached in up to 40 locations around the world. This is overkill for small portfolio sites, of course, but it’s good to know that you could expand your website in the future.

1&1 IONOS review

WordPress Pro makes for a faster website (Image credit: 1&1 IONOS)

1&1 IONOS review: Interface and in use

Signing up with 1&1 IONOS is straightforward. Choose your plan, make your payment, and you’ll receive a welcome email with details on your account and how to get started.

On the cheaper web hosting plans, you only get a basic web administration panel. Essential features, like a file manager and phpMyAdmin for database administration, are there, as well as one-click installers for WordPress and around 75 other apps. But if you’re accustomed to using a management console like cPanel, you might find it a bit lacking.

1&1 IONOS review

Sign up for MyWebsite, and you’ll be sent a guide to getting started (Image credit: 1&1 IONOS)

1&1 IONOS review: Support

Because of the range of services on offer, it’s easy to get lost on the 1&1 IONOS website. The control panel has a search function for finding answers to your support queries. This brings you to useful general help documents on how to set up and manage your website. The search can also help you find the exact locations of certain control panel features. Simply searching for topics like “subdomain” or “backup” will return the pages that you need to find.

If you prefer more direct support, 1&1 IONOS has 24/7 telephone and live chat support. In our testing, the live chat support had an average response time of around five minutes and was only really trained to deal with relatively simple technical questions. But considering the price, 1&1 IONOS’s support is quite good.

1&1 IONOS review

1&1 IONOS has an intuitive online support system that’s great for those who like to find answers for themselves (Image credit: 1&1 IONOS)

1&1 IONOS: Should I host my website there?

1&1 IONOS is a compelling choice for portfolio sites and small creative websites. The proprietary website builder is well thought out and feels like a good fit for designers who don’t want to work with website code. Avoid the MyWebsite Now product, though – it’s too basic for most needs.

WordPress hosting at 1&1 IONOS is great too, with cheap managed hosting plans and features that you usually only see on high-end providers. We were less impressed at the VPS and dedicated server plans, but those are overkill for most creative needs, anyway. Overall, 1&1 IONOS should be a top consideration for your next website.

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