1&1 Review: More Than Just Hosting But Do You Need The Extra Tools? Find Out Here
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Last Updated on October 1, 2019
1&1 IONOS (also known as 1&1 or 1&1 Hosting) is more than just a web host: they offer domain services, SEO assistance, and custom website designs, plus email and marketing services.
Let’s take a closer look at what this host offers and how they stack up against their competitors.
Headquartered in Germany and founded in 1988, 1&1 IONOS is the largest hosting company in Europe, managing over 8 million customer contracts and 12 million domains.
This hosting provider’s bread-and-butter is one-stop web hosting packages that emphasize reliability and security.
Today, the company owns an extensive network, with 15 facilities located in 9 different countries. The firm employs over 2,000 employees across 40 countries.
In 2018, 1&1 was rebranded as 1&1 IONOS.
Who is 1&1 IONIS For?
1&1 is ideal for beginners who are still in the early stages of launching and developing their website or blog. It’s user-friendly, straightforward, and affordable.
Plus, the scalable nature of many of their plans makes 1&1 an excellent choice for established and experienced site owners and bloggers.
A “One-Stop Shop” For Website Owners
In addition to providing domains, website builders, hosting, and servers, 1&1 also offers marketing and security tools and services.
Having this variety of options all in one place is convenient.
Grow Your Traffic With 1&1’s Marketing Services
Marketing can be especially important for bloggers who are just getting into the game. After all, if you can’t effectively market your blog, then much of your hard work will go to waste.
1&1 offers a variety of SEO options to grow your traffic and create effective Google Ads campaigns. You can also get personal consulting on things like effective email marketing; content strategies; how to expand the products you offer; and how to turn your WordPress site into an e-commerce store.
For local businesses, 1&1’s List Local product can help you distribute your information to your local directories. These directories are critical to getting found online and often overlooked by sole proprietors.
Not the Only Host Offering Marketing Services
If you’ve taken a look at some of 1&1’s competitors, such as Bluehost and GoDaddy, you’ll find that their hosting packages include a fair number of marketing-related benefits as well, such as Google AdWords credits, website design assistance, SEO, social media, and other professional services.
Later in this review, we take compare 1&1 with other “one-stop shop” web hists.
Security is Emphasized
And of course, the importance of web security can’t be overstated. You want to protect not only yourself and your own web presence, but also visitors to your site.
1&1 provides these security technologies:
- SSL certificates
- Norton Security Online
- Advanced DDoS protection
- Automated WordPress core updates
Video: New to the idea of DDoS attacks? Get an easy-to-understand overview.
Affordable WordPress Hosting That Grow With You
WordPress is a highly popular platform on which to start and run a blog, and for good reason: it’s easy to use and very customizable.
If you’re thinking of starting a blog, or are in the process of starting one, you’re probably familiar with WordPress.
1&1 offers managed WordPress hosting that’s easy to use.
What Managed Hosting Gets You
As a customer with a “managed” WordPress hosting plan, you’ll get several benefits:
- Automatic updates to your WordPress core whenever there is a new release (1&1 does not assist with updating your plugins, however)
- Specialized security to protect you from malware and malicious attacks
- Speed- and security-optimized environment for your site using PHP, NGINX, and SSDs (solid-state drives — used for data storage)
- Pre-installation of the most popular WordPress themes
The WordPress hosting plans are shared hosting plans, which are appropriate for smaller blogs.
Need High-End WordPress Hosting?
What is the 1&1 IONOS WordPress Assistant?
1&1 1&1 IONOS offers what it calls the WordPress Wizard (sometimes referred to as the WordPress Assistant), which is a plugin that you can install to your hosting environment.
Once installed, the wizard starts automatically after your first login and will be available to you on your WordPress dashboard.
With this wizard, you will get assistance in setting up your WordPress blog, as well as installing WooCommerce, the most popular and most commonly used WordPress e-commerce plugin.
Get Equipped For E-Commerce
Browse the 1&1 blog for quality guides on promoting your website.
As we mentioned in the section above, the WordPress Assistant will help you get up and running with WordPress and WooCommerce, making it easy for you to launch an online store.
If WooCommerce doesn’t meet your needs, you can certainly use another product to launch your online store, but you will be on your own in terms of installation, setup, configuration, and maintenance.
Video: 1&1’s “one-stop shop” offerings include online accounting software.
Choosing Your WordPress Hosting Plan
The entry-level Essential plan gives you a significant amount of storage, two MySQL databases, 10 email accounts and email addresses, as well as one domain, WordPress support, and extra security.
As your blog grows, you may consider upgrading to one of the more extensive plans (of which there are two). These plans give you the option to increase your storage capacity and take on more than one WordPress project.
Alternative CMS Hosting Options
If you’re using Joomla! or Drupal for your website, 1&1 offers hosting packages that cater to the needs of your site as well.
Other Hosting Options: Shared, Cloud, Dedicated
Currently, 1&1 offers three types of general web hosting:
- Shared Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
Entry-Level Shared Hosting
1&1’s Web Hosting plans are entry-level shared hosting options that are budget-friendly, yet include everything you need to get your blog up and running.
There are three plans from which you can choose, and all come with:
- A free domain name
- A wildcard SSL certificate (which will protect your primary and subdomains).
Furthermore, 1&1 imposes explicit usage limits, unlike many hosts that offer unlimited storage or unlimited bandwidth.
To manage your blog’s hosting environment, you can take advantage of the cPanel provided. It’s not a custom implementation, so if you’ve used cPanel before (and have experience working with FTP accounts and access), you should have no problem with 1&1.
For those who need a bit more, consider the managed Cloud Hosting options. These are more powerful, more flexible, and are akin to what other hosts refer to as VPS hosting.
If you’ve already got WordPress (or some other type of blog) in place and are looking to take it to the next level, you may want to consider moving to cloud hosting.
With Cloud Hosting, 1&1 lets you choose your technology stack by selecting the web server, data center, scripting language, and applications. These are configured to match your usage profile and then installed and managed by the company.
You can adjust CPUs, RAM and storage space as you go, offering your scalability not available with Cloud Hosting plans.
The Enterprise Option: Dedicated Hosting
Finally, there are Dedicated Hosting plans for those who need the entirety of a server dedicated to their blog. You’ll get top-of-the-line performance and security, and to make it easier to manage your hosting environment, Dedicated Hosting options come with a customized control panel.
However, regardless of which hosting type you choose, there are a variety of tools that 1&1 offers that are simply “Click and Build” applications and are included in every hosting plan.
From a website builder to a 30-minute phone consultation, here are some of 1&1’s main features and my assessment of them.
A Website Builder With Pre-Designed Templates
Sometimes, just getting your blog to look the way you want it to is a tedious process. 1&1 IONOS has thousands of website templates to get you started, and the ability to drag-and-drop different features so you can arrange things exactly how you need them.
What Can I Build?
You can create a website, blog, or e-commerce store.
With the builder you can have:
- Online scheduling for appointments and reservations
- Display of opening hours
- Multilanguage button allowing visitors to toggle between translations of your website
- Display of customer reviews
- Embedded maps
Browse Templates By Category
The templates organized by industry, so whether you’re a food blogger, travel blogger, beauty blogger, or just interested in sharing your thoughts with the world, you can design a site that fits your needs.
Integrated Photo Editor
No matter the topic of your blog – food, travel, lifestyle, family, etc. – having good, high-quality photos that display properly is important. And while there are other apps you can use to edit photos, having to edit and re-download between different apps can be a hassle.
Having an integrated photo editor and accompanying support simplifies your workflow, and makes it easier for you to create blog posts that have a professional look.
1&1 Website Builder vs. WordPress
With that said, the 1&1 website builder isn’t the most powerful option around, isn’t the most user-friendly option, and comes with limited drag-and-drop features.
I believe you would be better served using WordPress and one of the thousands of impressive WordPress themes available to customize the appearance of your blog!
Portability and Plugins
WordPress has over 56,000 plugins available to extend the functionality of your website. And a WordPress site is portable between hosts.
Security and Certified Datacenters
When your blog visitors purchase one of your products or sign up for a newsletter, webinar, or other services, they are trusting you to handle their contact and financial information safely and professionally.
All 1&1 products include SSL encryption, which prevents third parties from intercepting personal information entered on your website.
1&1 also provides protection from DDoS attacks, more commonly known as “hacking,” which can cause all sorts of problems for you and your site. 1&1 puts several safeguards in place to protect you and your site.
Crash-Proofing Your Blog
There’s nothing worse than having your site go down and having no idea what to do about it. You don’t need to worry about that with this platform.
A Global Network of Datacenters
1&1 has more than 70,000 servers in seven different datacenters across Europe and the U.S.
These data centers are configured with multiple redundant connections to essential internet hubs. Basically, this means faster loading times for your site. It also means that your site will be able to handle more users at once. To that end, 1&1 guarantees nearly 100% uptime.
Video: Security at 1&1’s global datacenters is certified by a third party. Find out how this benefits customers.
Comprehensive 24/7 Support
Each new customer gets a 30-minute personal consultation by phone.
Get connected with support any time of the day or night with their 24/7 support.
This feature could be essential for travel bloggers who may find themselves in different time zones, or spare time bloggers who might be working on their site late at night or early in the morning.
For those who don’t want to hop on the phone, there’s also a live chat option available on the 1&1 site.
There’s also a Help Center built to address nearly any issue, organized into topics like Domains, Hosting, Servers, and Security.
The Popular Topics section near the top of the Help Center addresses several common problems such as updating account payments and changing a domain’s destination.
1&1’s documentation follows a question-and-answer format is fairly robust.
Video: These website owners discuss how they use 1&1’s services and customer support.
What Makes 1&1 Stand Out?
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to invest hundreds of dollars to get a professional-looking product.
You can get a professional-looking blog, with accompanying 24/7 support services, design elements, security features, a custom domain name, and reliable hosting for far less than the hundreds of dollars a month you may see advertised elsewhere.
Here are some of the other features that make 1&1 stand out from the crowd.
- 1&1’s professional consultants are ready to help you create effective email marketing campaigns; improve your SEO; get your small business found online; convert your WordPress blog into an e-commerce store; and learn the right strategies for reaching your online goals.
- A control panel that allows you to manage accounts, set up domains, edit applications, and personal data, and download useful software from anywhere in the world.
- Marketing tools offered include rankingCoach, a novel SEO coaching tool that includes Google Ads management features; site analytics; Google Sitemaps; $100 in Bing ads credits; an email marketing manager; custom website design; and online bookkeeping software.
- An email account that is matched with your domain name, and includes anti-spam and anti-phishing protections and lots of storage.
Here are a few reasons why 1&1 might not be the best platform for you to host with:
- There are other ways to market yourself than with the 1&1 integrated tools
- If you already have a solid following, then you might not necessarily benefit from some of the marketing features 1&1 boasts
- If you’re already using a service like MailChimp, it might not be worth it to transfer over all of your info.
Storage is limited on some of the basic plans. If you already anticipate needing a lot of storage space, then you will either have to upgrade your plan to a more expensive one or figure out what you can cut.
We Tested 1&1 Performance
We’ve made many mentions to performance throughout this article, but how does 1&1 perform in real-world situations?
To answer this question, we’ve set up monitoring of our 1&1 service, and here is what we found over a six-month period of time:
- The lowest uptime we saw was 99.96%
- In one month, we saw an 100% uptime
- The slowest average monthly response value was 386 milliseconds
- The fastest average monthly response value was 333 milliseconds
- The average monthly response was 363 milliseconds
Is There an Uptime Guarantee?
All in all, 1&1 seems to provide pretty good uptime, in spite of the fact that the company doesn’t offer its users any type of SLA (service level agreement) or uptime guarantee. If performance is a priority for you, 1&1 won’t disappoint you.
Alternatives to 1&1
If 1&1 isn’t quite the host for you, here are some good alternatives that are also user-friendly:
Comparison Table of Digital Marketing Services: 1&1 IONOS vs. Bluehost vs. GoDaddy
If you’re interested in a different host that offers “one-stop shop” services, you may find this comparison helpful.
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Frequently Asked Questions
While we’ve taken a high-level overview of what 1&1 offers, here are some questions we see quite frequently.
Does 1&1 provide a money-back guarantee?
Yes, 1&1 offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on most of its hosting plans. Be sure to review the terms of service on this guarantee though, as it doesn’t apply to certain things like dedicated hosting or most of the cloud hosting plans.
Does 1&1 offer Windows Hosting?
Yes, 1&1 offers Windows web hosting. These plans feature Windows Server 2016 and ship with the latest versions of ASP.NET and the .NET core. You’ll also get use of SQL Server databases.
Does 1&1 offer reseller hosting?
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for reseller hosting, you’ll need to look elsewhere, because this is not a type of hosting the company offers.
Does 1&1 hosting offer a CDN?
Yes, 1&1 uses the Cloudflare RailGun CDN (content delivery network). This CDN combines advanced caching techniques along with a global network of datacenters to speed up delivery of your website, especially to international locations.
1&1 is designed for people who want to grow their blog readership or online business. If you are just looking to post some fun photos and stories online with your family and friends, and don’t particularly care about growing your brand or attracting more readers, then most of the features 1&1 offers wouldn’t be helpful.
Overall, 1&1 IONIS is one of the most popular website hosts in the world, and it’s easy to see why.
There’s enough wiggle room so you can be creative and truly make your blog your own, while the user-friendliness, support services, and pre-designed options make it simple for everyone to use.
It is an especially attractive option for bloggers who are just beginning their journey, although can be useful for more experienced users as well.
Contributing Editor: Sherrie Gossett