1&1 IONOS – is one of the largest hosting providers in Europe, which is headquartered in Germany and works great for small-to-mid businesses. The company currently manages over 8 million customer contracts and powers more than 12 million domains in its local data centers found across the globe, which deliver top notch performance and security.
Founded in 1988, the company quickly developed into the most renowned European hosting provider. They see their mission in providing state-of-the-art technology, airtight data protection and reliable privacy policies. After the merge with ProfitBricks in 2018, 1&1 IONOS has notably boost its performance to come up to the latest digital technologies, thus showing their strong focus on customers and dedication to innovative approach.
The service is powerful, fast and secure – right what most business owners need to establish reliable web presence for their websites. The company offers scalable performance with easy administration and round-the-clock customer support.
1. Pros and Cons
1&1 IONOS sees its mission in providing high quality services. Just like any other hosting provider, the company has its pros and cons that may have serious impact upon users’ decision to select one of the plans the system offers. Let’s find them out right now.
1&1 IONOS Pros:
- Speed. 1&1 IONOS comes with dual platform technology, which makes web servers and storage remain on the same platform. As a result, website visitors will enjoy faster performance and loading speed.
- Scalability. The system will adjust to the growing needs of your website. While your website traffic will grow, such parameters as memory, parallel processing capabilities and RAM will scale up as well.
- HTTP/2 Protocol. The company servers run the HTTP/2 network protocol with header compression for SSL protected traffic. This increases web page load times, contributing to better website performance.
- Security. The system offers DDoS protection, which safeguards your website from fraudulent actions and hacking.
- Automatic Backup Creation. With 1&1 IONOS, your website backup version will be automatically stored on the server for about 6 days. Due to this option, you will be able to recover your files in case of their accidental loss.
- SSL Encryption and SiteLock Protection. Whatever 1&1 IONOS plan you will go for, it will come with free Wildcard SSL certificate and SiteLock malware protection.
Availability of affordable hosting plans.
The benefits listed above definitely make 1&1 IONOS a worthy hosting provider. However, you should realize that the company also has a number of drawbacks you should know about to feel on the safe side. The major demerits of the system are mentioned below.
1&1 IONOS Cons:
- Absence of reseller web hosting services.
- Growth of domain prices after 6/12 months of use.
- Limited processing capabilities for shared hosting.
The demerits are not quite serious, but you should still know what nuances you may potentially encounter, when using the system.
2. Hosting Features
As one of the most reputable hosting providers in Europe, 1&1 IONOS covers an extensive range of users’ needs. The system comes with extensive functionality, tools and apps that make it stand out from the crowd. Have a look at the core 1&1 IONOS features now:
- RailGun CDN. The system has an advanced RailGun Content Delivery Network, which automatically distributes your website to dozens of data servers across the globe. As a result, your website loads fast and smoothly from any point of the world.
- Hosting Manager App. To manage and update your website on the go, you can install 1&1 IONOS Mobile Admin App on your smartphone or tablet. This is quick, easy and effective.
- The Use of Advanced Technologies. The platform is developed on the basis of the latest technological achievements. It offers the latest PHP version with 768 MB memory limit, which ensures the high-end performance rate and contributes to quicker loading of your website.
- Quality Plugins and Add-Ons. Whatever hosting plan you decide to go for, it will come with an extensive selection of plugins and add-ons to boost your website functionality. It’s up to you to choose between the most popular web hosting apps your website might need. These include Joomla, Drupal, TYPO3, Magento, KOKEN, PrestaShop etc. The plugins are provided at no cost and are so easy-to-integrate that even a newbie will cope with that in no time.
- Personal Assistant. The hosting provider offers local team support available 24/7/365 to help the beginners explore the system and choose the right plan. At the same time, you can avail the assistance of a personal consultant ready to provide you with tailored recommendations, tips, online success, tech support and other guidelines for free. Personal assistant is available via chat, direct phone number and email. It’s up to you to choose the most suitable option.
Having merged with ProfitBricks, 1&1 IONOS keeps working on the system development and enhancement of hosting experience of its clients. The company offers an extensive set of features that make the system stand out from the crowd and contribute to the improved system performance.
The use of HTTP/2 network protocols, scalability, dual platform technology, RailGun CDN and quality integrable plugins help boost website loading time from any part of the world and ensure advanced website performance.
The developers of the system keep working on its regular updates, while 24/7 customer support team tries their best effort to fix the problems users occasionally face. The system offers a diversity of hosting plans and a website builder out-of-the-box.
The company also provides integrated tools to boost your online success. These include SEO and marketing tools, local and online visibility settings, professional communication options etc.
Security is one of the features 1&1 IONOS excels at. Each website hosted with the system undoubtedly gets anti-spam protection and a set of special measures to boost the safety of data it contains. The company provides DDoS protection that prevents the unauthorized access of third-party users.
All the plans include one free Wildcard SSL Certificate and SiteLock malware protection for extra security. It is currently available for Pro and Expert plans. The SiteLock tool regularly scans your website pages to protect it from potential bugs, threats and vulnerabilities.
5. Website Builder
1&1 IONOS website builder is positioned as a business service. It is based on the WYSIWYG editor. It’s not a secret that the market abounds in similar solutions. Advanced brands like Wix, uKit, Squarespace etc. are the most popular niche competitors. Can a service created as an addon to the major 1&1 IONOS website builder trends, counterpose anything to them? Let’s discover it!
Ease of Use
For those users, who are familiar with the specifics of using website builders with visual editors, 1&1 IONOS will seem simple and understandable. The interface of the WYSIWYG – editor is standard for services of this type.
There is no desire to praise or criticize it because of its ergonomics as it resembles dozens of similar services. It comes with a common classic structure. The service works great for newbies.
Dashboard ergonomics is mediocre, although, the options’ section structure is quite logical. Let’s describe it in the following way: when using a dashboard, you get a feeling that the elements are not on their places. This does not affect the ease of perception, but it would be nice to change that.
Generally, the dashboard comes with multiple blocks and information, which is useless for a newbie. What’s more, some sections are blank, while others are overloaded.
It’s possible to get used to it in several hours, that’s not a problem. A visual editor does not differ in its style or allure, but it creates pleasant impression due to its functionality and ease of use.
1&1 IONOS contributes to nice working condition – you won’t find any embellishment tricks here, everything is strict and practical.
Feature Set and Flexibility
1&1 IONOS feature set is distributed between a dashboard with its general organizational settings and a working area used to create website pages, that is, a visual editor.
It’s interesting that even before you access the dashboard to register with the system, it will offer you to set up the format, fill out the data and publish a business card for clients. This will be a temporary display window that will be used until you publish the full version of your website.
The options of the editor are on a high level due to the rich set of widgets and useful corresponding tools.
The structure of a stock template can be completely changed – you can add rows and columns to each section, adjusting their positions and sizes as you need. Then you can add any widgets into each block box. This is how a 1&1 IONOS user gets almost full control over website structure. And it’s quite easy to do that – you just need to have taste and understanding of the goal you wish to achieve.
Now, let’s talk about widgets. These are elements, which come with small portions of website functionality. They are added to the pages by dragging into the required sections or boxes.
All the widgets are grouped into 7 categories, including a set of the most widespread elements:
- “Popular”, where the following items are displayed by default: text, image, icon, click to call, map, image slider, photo gallery, button, HTML, contact form, large title (H1). The set of widgets may change during the web design process.
- “Basics”, which offers such elements as text, button, divider, spacer, large and small titles (H1, H3), file, list, columns (from 1 to 4), text and image.
- “Media” with the elements like image, image slider, photo gallery, icon, video, SoundCloud, website translator.
- “Business” that encompasses click to call option, map, OpenTable, Email, contact form, PayPal, restaurant menu, Yelp reviews, business hours, multi location, coupon, online scheduling, payment types, testimonials, Newsletter-tool, Google calendar, LiveChat, TripAdvisor, Localendar.
- “Social”, where you can find Share, Twitter feed, Facebook like, Facebook comments, social icons, RSS feed, Disqus comments, Scribd, Polldaddy, Blogger.
- “Advanced” offering HTML, navigation links, glossary, FAQ.
- “Blog” with all posts, recent posts, search posts.
Considering the names of widgets, you can get a distinct understanding of designing website pages with 1&1 IONOS. For example, it works well for launching restaurant or cafe websites (it comes with a dishes menu), tourist agency websites or those of any other business, which implies the need to book accomodations, make an appointment etc.
Simply stated, the service allows creating versatile types of business websites, which require the options, which are not available in each niche website builder.
The header of a working area comes with a list of website pages a user can switch between during the website editing process, format change icons (desktop or mobile view), access to the support section, website publishing, website code (the full structure of all the web page blocks, designer mode), website preview and useful undo/redo buttons.
The «Pages» section makes it possible to add new pages and pop up windows to the website. Menu inclusion is supported up to the 3rd level. Any page can be duplicated or hidden.
From this section you can also activate a multilanguage functionality of your website. Simply add a new language and you immediately receive translated version of your website. The flag on the top of the site editor shows you which language version is editing now. Very comfortable.
Website access password set up is also supported. SEO settings are standard and include title/description/keywords.
It is also possible to add your own HTML/CSS code to the web page header. You can create popups with different content, including welcome, contact us, promotion or sale, visit us, like us on social network, more info, new store item etc.
It is possible to set up a template for each popup (size, animation, color, font etc.) and the content inside it.
The «Content» section comes with a file storage (images and other file types are stored separately), general business information that can be edited throughout a website (social network profiles, address, telephone etc.), business profile (description of company performance, services etc.). It is also possible to import content from external sources here.
The «Personalize» section has impressed me with a rare opportunity to create rules to match different scenarios. You can also make use of readymade rule templates, such as the first or repeated user visit, special offers, events and holidays, announcements, notifications etc.
For example, you can activate snow falling on your website on New Year Eve, automatic greeting of newbies or redirecting them to a special page on a certain occasion.
Each rule template comes with a preview option.
You can also add the unlimited number of your own rules, forming them out of the combination of several triggers like device, location, time, visits, campaign URL.
In the «Blog» section, you can set up the news feed display at the website. Add new posts, import them via RSS, set up SEO and display format for each material.
A blog has decent look, although, its functionality is somewhat limited and does not come up to the level of specialized platforms: there is no scheduled article publication feature or a search filter option here (all of them are displayed in the Blog Manager in the order of submission to the website).
However, you can set up the detailed design of the blog feed by choosing one of 3 templates, colours, background etc.
Generally, the 1&1 IONOS blog works well for managing your own diary or as an addon for your business website – news, lifehacks, description of product nuances erc.It will be inconvenient to manage a large niche blog.
The «Settings» section conceals lots of versatile parameters that have basic meaning, such as general items like icons (social networks, favicons), website language, information about the domain name and lots of SEO-related aspects, including redirects, HTML code available in the header and meta tags for the entire website.
This is also the place, where you can find backup storage filtered by the date, privacy settings (warning about cookie usage and privacy page) and 404 page customization. The backup\restore feature will be of a great help during thematic promo-campaigns (for example Christmas Eve or Black Friday Sale), when you need to make a thematic design changes. Just backup your website before campaign and restore it after the date. It’s really saves your time.
Working with Website Editor
Let’s describe general principles of using the working area of the WYSIWYG editor now. To start with, it really deserves the attention due to its abundant options.
Any web page comprises sections filled with widgets – this is how website design and structure are formed here.
1. By clicking the «+» button between the neighboring sections, you can add a block with a completed design of various profiles, including intro, features, about, logos, text blocks, team, restaurant, testimonials, contact us, promotion, plans, social, full page, footer.
2. Each category of new sections contains 5-10 variants of content presentation. Their design quality is on the top notch level and there is no need to customize anything on your own.
3. You just have to fill out website pages with these sections in the required order, replacing the demo content with that of your own to get a well-designed modern website.
4. The same concerns ready made templates. You can change any element in them if needed, but it is also possible to publish an appealing website with a template design in one evening, thus saving much time.
5. When clicking any element or block, you will see a layout and available settings. In the left corner, there is always the «ROW» icon, which grants access to the section’s settings:
- add new rows/columns,
- change website design (colour, background, video, dimensions, shades and spacing),
- display animations (8 variants),
- hide on device (mobile, tablet, desktop),
- HTML code editing,
- set as anchor,
- copy or even delete a block.
6. When highlighting images or text, you will see an image selection menu or quite a convenient text editor.
7. There is also detailed statistics, links to useful services and resources. What’s more, you can download an application allowing to manage your website from any mobile device (iOS/Android).
Generally, 1&1 IONOS feature set is powerful and exceeds that of the majority of medium website builders used to create business websites.
By the way, an editor allows adding products and accepting payments, but there is no sense in analyzing the platform as a service to build an online store – eCommerce options are mediocre here and they are even below the average level. The system has a decent blogging engine.
When it comes to working with landing pages, through, the service somewhat lacks several major widgets and an opportunity to manage detailed conversion statistics from the dashboard. 1&1 IONOS excels at its main specialization – business websites. There are no obvious drawbacks in this scenario.
You get around 350 templates subdivided into 9 categories out-of-the-box. It is also possible to choose a blank template to create a theme from scratch.
As far as all designs consist of ready made sections and editor widgets with demo content, it makes sense to create a template on your own granted that you have a distinct understanding of your final goal. This is a surefire way to get individual design.
Template quality is defined by the design of editor elements and the set of colours/images/fonts. It is on a decent level – a website builder is focused on the achievement of an appealing result.
Each template can be viewed in the preview mode. Whatever website you will launch with 1&1 IONOS , it will be responsive. Design customization is powerful here as well – apart from the ways to work with web page structure described above, there is a separate section for global website design settings.
1&1 IONOS developers pursued design unification approach. This allows avoiding the dissonance between the design of identical web page elements.
You can set up the parameters of text, buttons, rows and backgrounds for the entire website by setting general management rules for each new element.
6. Customer Support
1&1 IONOS offers 24/7/365 customer support that is user-friendly and ready to react to any inquiries within the shortest time possible. If you have problems with the choice of the plan, you can also reach the company experts to get a professional piece of advice. Apart from that, there is an informative Help Center, which abounds in articles, instructions and recommendations concerning the products and services of the host.
One of the most distinctive features of the company is an opportunity to get in touch with a personal assistant, who will offer you professional recommendations, tips and other help absolutely for free. You can contact the consultant via the chat, email or phone. There is also the Callback Service, which offers clients to leave their phone numbers to be contacted, when needed.
7. Pricing Policy
The hosting provider offers three pricing plans, all of which come with free domain connection option, Wildcard SSL Certificate and 24/7 support. Each plan additional includes other features, namely:
- Business – for one website or project ($1/month during 12 months, then $8/month) – 100 GB storage, 25 databases, 25 email accounts etc.;
- Pro – for larger web projects ($1/month during 6 months, then $10/month) – 250 GB storage, 100 databases, 100 email accounts, SiteLock malware protection etc.;
- Expert – for multiple large web projects ($1/month during 6 months, then $14/month) – 500 GB storage, 500 databases, 500 email accounts, SiteLock malware protection, RailGun content delivery network etc.
When it comes to selecting the most suitable hosting types, 1&1 IONOS provides the following options:
- Shared Hosting, which comes with three scalable plans with multiple features, extra security measures, 24/7 customer support, free domain name given for 12 months and SSL Encryption.
- VPS hosting that offers an opportunity to choose between four plans and provides unlimited traffic, SSL Certification, enough storage space, RAM, CPU allowances that grow as you upgrade to higher plans.
- WordPress hosting, which provides three available plans, ensures simple website development and specialized customer support.
- Cloud hosting that makes it possible to choose between seven plans, can be upgraded/downgraded depending upon the amount of storage space you need and offers intrusion detection measures as well as security and event management system.
- Dedicated hosting available on 12 servers, which comes with SSL Certification, 24/7 support and various RAM sizes that range between 16 and 192 GB.
The cost of the 1&1 IONOS website builder plans is as follows (including a 6/12-months subscription and separate prolongation of a chosen plan):
- Essential ($1/month during 6 months, then $7/month) – professional templates with pre-designed content, 1 free domain and email account, social media widgets;
- Business ($1/month during 12 months, then $10/month) – professional templates with pre-designed content, 1 free domain and 5 email accounts, social media and business widgets, multilingual tool;
- Pro ($1/month during 6 months, then $20/month) – professional templates with pre-designed content, 1 free domain and 10 email accounts, social media and business widgets, multilingual tool, tailored content, SEO tutorials, email marketing tool.
The Bottom Line
1&1 IONOS is the European’s largest hosting provider, which rightfully deserves to be called one of the best in its niche. It unveils plenty of features, tools and options that matter a lot for users looking for reliable and secure service to host their websites with.
Apart from providing hosting services, the platform also offers extensive website building options. This allows building various types of websites, ranging from small and up to large projects.
The hosting provider comes up to a broad range of budgets, offering several pricing options to choose from. It’s not a problem to switch from one plan to another, if your web hosting needs change while working on your business development.
High-end technologies the host offers ensure advanced security, smooth and exceptional website performance. These features make 1&1 IONOS the best choice for users looking for a safe, scalable and powerful hosting provider.