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When you’re building your website, perhaps the most important decision to make is what hosting company to choose. Do you want to go with a big name service like GoDaddy? Or do you want to use a smaller, more bespoke web host?
In large part, this decision is going to depend on what you need a website for.
For example, a small business or personal website will generally do best using WordPress hosting, while resellers are going to need their own specialized services.
Regardless of what you’re doing, 1&1 Ionos might seem attractive at first glance. After all, they’re the largest web hosting service in Europe, with more than 8 million domains on their servers.
Despite all that, how good are they really? Let’s take a closer look.
Our Verdict ⚖️
Even though 1&1 Hosting offers decent performance and speed, some of it's plans are severly overpriced.
If you considered it to be an actual premium service, then you'd find yourself puzzled by the lack of features and possibilities that other premium services offer.
1&1 Pros and Cons
Good Speed and Performance ✔️
When compared to the best web hosting services, 1&1 provides excellent load times and low latency. This means that when your customers click on a link, the page will load quickly.
Servers in Europe and North America ✔️
1&1’s servers are located both in Germany and in the US. Wherever your customers are, you can host your site near them, ensuring low latency.
Free Migration and Stage Testing ✔️
1&1 Hosting offers free migration to customers who are switching over from another web host. They also offer free stage testing to ensure that site changes work before they go live.
Free Private Registration ✔️
Most web hosting services charge an extra fee to privatize your registration information, concealing it from public “whois” lookups. 1&1 offers this for free.
Fully Functional Website Builder ✔️
For £3.85 a month, 1&1 offers a website builder that includes a free domain name. It also provides free SSL and Wildcard SSL encryption.
1-Month Contracts ✔️
Most web hosts require you to sign up for a full year of service. 1&1 lets you go month-to-month. If you’re not happy, you won’t get stuck for an entire year.
Overpriced Plans ❌
1&1 charges more for their service than some other web hosting companies. They also limit many standard features to higher-priced plans.
Their WordPress hosting, in particular, is much more expensive than the competition.
Limited Email Support ❌
To get unlimited email addresses, you’ll need to sign up for one of 1&1’s virtual private server (VPS) services. Their basic plans, in particular, don’t provide very many email addresses.
Limited Malware Protection ❌
1&1 does not offer malware protection for their basic plans. They do offer it on their higher-priced tiers, but small websites may suffer.
Limited Uptime Guarantee ❌
1&1’s downtime guarantee does not cover downtime caused by server maintenance on their end. It also doesn’t cover email or FTP outages.
1&1 Hosting Review (UK 🇬🇧)
Now that we’ve gotten a broad overview, it’s time to take a deeper dive. Here’s what 1&1 offers, from their plans and pricing to uptime, server speed, and their special bonus features.
1&1 Hosting Pricing 💰
At first glance, 1&1 looks like it’s very reasonably priced. For instance, their business plans start at £3.08 per month, while WordPress hosting starts as cheap as 77 pence a month. Pretty good, right? Well, yes… And no.
1&1 Hosting Basic Plan
The £3.08 per month plan, for instance, only offers 512 MB of RAM. This would be good enough for a low-traffic blog, but if you’re running an online store, it’s just not going to be sufficient. It also offers only 10 GB of storage.
This isn’t terrible by any means. But it’s not exactly competitive on today’s market, where storage comes cheap. The basic plan also only comes with 10 email addresses. You can get a much better deal with other cheap hosting services, and most mid-priced hosting services offer more email addresses.
1&1 Hosting VPS
Why can’t you set up your own email server with unlimited web addresses? You can, if you sign up for their VPS service.
VPS plans start at £1.54 a month. But once again, you’re looking at minimal service, with 512 MB of RAM. To get a powerful quad-core CPU and 8 GB of RAM, you’ll need to shell out £30 a month.
Again, this isn’t terrible. But the best VPS hosting services offer a lot more.
1&1 Hosting x WordPress
So, how does their WordPress service compare to the competition? As we mentioned, it starts at 77 pennies per month, but that’s just an introductory rate for the first year.
After that, your rates will rise to £6.93 per month. And that’s just the base plan, which offers only 25 GB of storage. To get a dedicated WordPress server with 2 GB of RAM, and your rate will rise to £11.54 a month.
WordPress Hosting Features
The main problem isn’t the pricing. It’s the value.
For example, the base plans don’t include malware protection. 10 years ago, you would expect to pay extra for malware protection. But in today’s market, even the most basic hosting services should include some kind of malware protection.
Just to use a single example, the mid-tier WordPress service is priced at £30.78 per month. In other words, if you’re happy with the storage and performance of the base tier but want antivirus protection, you need to shell out an extra £23.85 per month.
The business plans offer even less value. Malware protection is only included with the top tier of service.
To be fair, we should point out that 1&1 charges on a month-to-month basis, rather than requiring you to sign up for a full year of service. This might explain some of the price disparity between them and some other hosting services.
Fair enough. But why not offer the option for discounted 12-month plans? That would allow you to choose whether you want to pay more for a monthly contract. Unfortunately, 1&1 does not currently offer this option.
1&1 Hosting Uptime 🟢
1&1 offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. As far as it goes, that falls in line with industry standards. No service can guarantee 100% uptime, if only because servers occasionally require maintenance. But we looked a little further, and the guarantee isn’t as good as it seems.
According to 1&1’s terms and conditions, the guarantee does not cover downtime caused by “periodic scheduled maintenance or repairs undertaken by IONOS from time to time”. It also doesn’t cover “outages that do not limit browser access to Your web site (for example, interruptions to your ftp service or e-mail)”.
So if you can’t check your email for an entire day, you’re not getting any credit.
Worse yet, credit only applies to future bills. So if your site goes down and you want to change services, you can forget about getting your credit.
2019 1&1 Hosting Outage 💀
They also have a history of server outages. In 2019, their servers went down for an entire day. During this time period, their customer service lines went unanswered, and their chat assistant was “unavailable”.
To be fair, this might have been a result of getting flooded with customer complaints. But if your business depends on your website, it’s concerning.
That said, the 2019 outage appears to have been a one-time event. Considering the fact that 1&1 has been in business since 1988, that’s actually not bad. Whether or not you want to roll the dice on this is up to you.
1&1 Hosting Speed 💨
Even the best website isn’t much use if it takes forever to load.
These days, people expect near-instant load times. If they click on your business and see a little “loading” wheel, they’re going to hit the back button and move down to the next link in their Google search results.
So, how does 1&1 perform? Pretty well, actually.
1&1 Server Response Times
From both NA and Europe, server response times range between 333 and 358ms. You might see more latency if your server is based in Europe and you’re based in Canada. But provided you choose a server on your continent, you should do just fine.
When it comes to download speeds, 1&1 also performs quite well. Download speed averages about 35 Mbps.
Keep in mind, though, that this is just a measure of speed on 1&1’s end. Depending on your visitors’ internet service, these speeds may vary considerably.
Then again, if your customers have slow internet, they’ll already be used to websites loading slowly, so download speed is a non-concern.
1&1 Hosting Bonus Features ⭐
We’ve talked about the basics. But these days, web hosts are offering a ton of free extras and bonus features to sweeten the pot.
This is great for customers, provided you do your research and find a hosting service that offers what you need. So, what does 1&1 have to offer?
To begin with, they offer free migration. If you’re just starting out and publishing your first website, this doesn’t add any value. But if you’re looking to switch to 1&1 from another host, it’s great value.
After all, you’re already going to give them your money. Why should you have to pay more money just to migrate your site?
Stage Tests 🚧
1&1 also provides free stage testing. In layman’s terms, this means that you can test your website in a virtual environment before publishing it.
You can also test changes before they go live. This ensures that when you actually publish a page, it’s going to work as intended.
Free Domain Name 👀
All of 1&1’s plans include a free domain name for the first year. This isn’t an incredible value by any means. Depending on the exact domain name, you can usually buy one for around £10 to £20 a year.
Then again, money is money, and any savings is a good thing. Registration also includes free private registration. This is a much better value than what you usually get, since even the best domain registrars will charge an extra fee to keep your registration information private.
1&1 Website Builder 🔨
1&1’s website builder includes free SSL and Wildcard SSL. This is a great feature for online shops, since it allows you to operate an online store and keep your customers’ data secure. It also ensures that your customers can send phone numbers, email addresses, and other private information through a secure connection.
On many of their plans, 1&1 offers a DIY search engine optimization (SEO) tool. Powered by Ranking Coach, this tool helps you to improve your website to get it on the coveted “first page” of Google’s search results.
Misc Features 🤩
1&1 also automatically updates your business information in local search directories. There are dozens of these directories, and keeping your information updated can be time consuming.
For example, if you get a new phone number, do you really want to update your information with a bucketload of local directories? What if you forget one? 1&1 makes this process easy and painless.
Some of 1&1’s plans also include Google Ads management. This is a smart tool that helps you write high-impact ads. It helps you optimize for the hottest new keywords, and also to target specific locations for local businesses.
1&1 Hosting FAQ
Where Are 1&1’s Servers Located?
1&1 maintains servers in both the United States and in Europe.
Their primary European data center is located in Germany, where the company was originally founded. Their largest North American data center is located in Lenexa, Kansas, where they maintain over 40,000 servers.
Is 1&1 Safe?
We weren’t able to find any record of intrusions or attacks on 1&1’s servers. As far as security goes on their end, that’s pretty good.
Then again, as we already mentioned, anti-malware protection isn’t available on their basic service tiers.
If you’re looking for a basic plan, you’ll need to implement your own protection software if you want to stay protected.
What Types of Hosting Does 1&1 Offer
1&1 Ionos offers a variety of shared and dedicated hosting options. With shared hosting, your website is hosted on the same server as several other websites. Conversely, with dedicated hosting, your website is stored on its own server. This costs you more money, but it allows you to customize your server settings.
1&1 for Beginners
Their most basic plans are for standard shared web hosting. These plans cost from £3.08 to £10.77 a month depending on how much storage capacity and performance you need.
It’s designed for personal websites, small businesses, and other low-traffic applications. For basic web hosting plans, you need to build your own site from scratch, or pay for 1&1’s website builder.
1&1 Intermediate Hosting
The next shared service is 1&1's quality WordPress hosting, which is priced from £6.93 to £11.54 per month. This service is ideal for bloggers and personal websites, since it allows you to use pre-made WordPress templates.
1&1 Hosting also offers dedicated WordPress servers, which cost from £11.54 to £76.95 per month. These are ideal for agencies or large websites that need a lot of storage and bandwidth.
1&1’s basic dedicated server plans run Windows Server 2019 with ASP.NET and .NET Core 3.1. They’re priced from £6.16 to £10.77 per month. These plans are ideal for websites with dynamic content, such as forms.
They support multiple SQL databases, so you can create, store, and manipulate a lot of different data. Needless to say, these plans require some experience with websites and databases.
1&1 Pro Hosting
Finally, 1&1 offers a VPS plan for configuring your own server. This will allow you to run a Linux-based website for more advanced functions.
The plans are priced from £1.54 to £23.08 per month, depending on what you need. To build your own private server, you’ll need to be experienced or hire a webmaster.
Does 1&1 Come With a Website Builder?
1&1 does not include a free website builder with any of their packages.
That said, they do offer a website builder service for an additional £3.85 fee per month.
If you’re interested in a third-party service, perhaps, we’ve put together a list of the best website builders for UK small businesses.
Does 1&1 Come With a Free Domain?
All 1&1 web hosting plans come with a free domain for the first year. After that, the price of your domain will depend on the exact service you’re subscribed to.
For most plans, it will cost you £15 a year. However, if you subscribe to 1&1’s website builder service, a free domain is included for the life of your contract.
So, is 1&1 a worthwhile hosting service? Let’s start with what they do right. Perhaps their greatest strength is the speed of their service and low latency.
The ability to host your site in either Europe or North America is also a plus, since you can ensure that your site is near your customers. You also get free migration and free private registration, which are both a great added value.
That said, 1&1 just doesn’t provide the same value as other similar web hosts.
Their plans are expensive, and don’t provide basic features you’d expect to receive. For instance, you need to buy a VPS plan just to get unlimited email addresses, and the absence of malware protection makes us leery of their basic plans.
All in all, there are plenty of hosting services that give you more bang for your buck.
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