Full Review: Our Hosting With 1&1 IONOS
Obtaining hosting is one of the first things a fledgling blogger must do before they can set off to becoming an internet superstar. If you are wanting to become that next superstar, and maybe earn some cash blogging on the side, then this review is for you!
Update for 2019: Recently 1&1 was purchased by IONOS and has changed their branding to reflect that. We wanted to come back here and tell you that we haven’t seen any major changes to affect our review. We have gotten the same up-time, our back end email has not changed, and the transition seemed to go very smoothly. Now back to our regularly scheduled review!
We did all the research. We studied site after site. Not only was it confusing and ultimately very time consuming, we also saw that features of all the hosting companies were wildly different.
While the majority of bloggers and influencers recommend Bluehost, we went in our own direction.
For Freedom From 40, we chose to use 1&1 Hosting, which turned out to be a great choice.
The foreseeable future will include 1&1 Hosting and we have created a few sites now using their WP Managed Hosting.
The primary goal of our research, besides cost, was speed. Google looks at speed and it can determine how well your site ranks. Just because we couldn’t afford much, doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a fast hosting solution.
1&1 IONOS really stepped it up here. They offer SSD storage and as long as our site isn’t bogged down with over sized images, we have found the speed to be blazingly quick.
It feels good to see your site load so fast and be ready for viewing.
Even on mobile it seems very fast and smooth.
We did notice the issue I mentioned before about being bogged down with images. There have at times been very large images on our server that will slow down the page loading speed.
Make sure to optimize and keep your image file sizes down.
If you are looking to start your website and speed is your number 1 factor, we think that 1&1 has you covered there.
Ease of Use
Beginners have a major hurdle to jump when starting something as complex as a website. The process is fairly convoluted, with large amounts of new acronyms and even with a fair amount of research, it can be daunting.
A web hosting company should be able to walk a newbie through this process, and get them up and running smoothly.
With the help of WordPress, 1&1 manages to kick ass in this area as well. Everything is laid out nicely and even though there are still a lot of new things to learn, they give you definitions and explanations at every turn.
WordPress alone make starting a blog or website super easy. Not to mention it is absolutely free to use WordPress.
1&1’s control panel is very clean and well organized, allowing you to move through the back end of the hosting platform easily.
If you are well acquainted with starting or running a website, you’ll find everything you need quickly and easily here.
From picking your domain, to writing and publishing your first post, we think 1&1 Hosting is easily on par or better than most.
Find the plan that works for you, 1&1 offers many different plans to get started.
- 1&1 My Website – This is a simple site with drag and drop features for website creation.
- 1&1 Managed WordPress – This is our choice, it allows almost all the features of WordPress, but limits access to code and protects you from hurting your own site.
- 1and1 Store – Drag and drop site management for online stores.
Each of these options also has different levels of hosting:
- Basic – 2.5 GB of RAM and 100GB of storage.
- Unlimited Plus – 6GB of RAM and unlimited storage
- Unlimited Pro – 9GB of RAM and unlimited storage
These options are available in the Shared server packages and are their lowest cost options. No matter how little you spend, you still get a domain name, SSD storage, and an SSL certificate.
Even if you don’t know what those are just yet, they are very important and strong features to have included.
Overall, 1&1 IONOS stands very tall against the competition, that’s why we chose them!
Managed vs Unmanaged
Earlier we told you that we had selected the 1&1 Managed WordPress to get started. This option actually limits your access to the coding and HTML of the website you create.
For Newbs, this is a good thing. WordPress has everything you need to create a great website from the ground up without ever looking at the code.
However, power users will get annoyed with being babysat and having some plug in be limited due to the managed care.
Our solution was to use it Managed and then switch to the non-managed version once we had a level of comfortability.
We actually came into contact with an issue with a theme we purchased and it turns out that the managed WordPress plan limited the themes ability to do certain actions.
One call to Customer Service cleaned up the whole situation. We were very impressed with their Customer Service and didn’t have a long wait to speak to a live human.
Ultimately, if you are a power user, or geek like me, you won’t need the Managed WordPress option.
But if you are new, it is the one we recommend the highest.
Web hosting companies have a very devious plan that almost all of them employ. Super low starting rate and then when it’s time to reup the contract, BOOM! rate increase!
1&1 IONOS Hosting is no different.
Even though this is an industry standard practice, it isn’t a practice that we condone.
On the other hand, we were able to start our blog, with our own domain, for less than $12. You heard that right, fast, easy to use hosting, with the domain name, for $12 for the first year.
I hate to sound excited about a product, but the frugal in me is screaming with joy. The return on investment of a website could be immense, so with such a little out of pocket cost to begin is absolutely wonderful.
If you are even remotely considering starting a blog or website, you have to look at 1&1 IONOS for that reason alone.
We wanted to break down some of the pros and cons for you so that you have an idea what you would be in for.
- Easy to use
- Very fast(with smaller files)
- Very beginner friendly(with WordPress)
- Good Customer Service
- Managed WordPress can be limiting
- Initially setting up SSL was a little unintuitive
- Price will go up after first year
We recommend that you include 1&1 Hosting in any research that you do on starting your own blog.
Blogging is a journey of self discovery, and you don’t want the technical side to get in the way of that. Pick a web hosting company that is fast, inexpensive, and easy to use.
We think 1&1 IONOS is great, but we will come back and update this review if something changes.
If our traffic scales up and our hosting can’t handle the load, we will let you know.
Are you ready for a blogging adventure? Are you thinking of starting an online store? What kind of side hustle do you have in mind?
Please let us know!