Cheap hosting with IONOS
We're finally at the end of my series about cheap web hosting. Today I take a look at IONOS, though I will stress there are many other hosts out there which may meet your needs and be affordable like the hosts I've already covered.
IONOS are a large company, formerly called 1&1 (who I didn't have the best experience with a few years back), and part of the wider United Internet Group set of companies. I've included them here as I use them as part of my job, and have had a positive experience with them this time round.
Where IONOS differ from the other hosts which have been featured is they offer dedicated server hosting. They do have regular website hositng, WordPress hosting, VPS and cloud hosting too, but if you need something more powerful or stand-alone, then you can go for a dedicated server where you are in full control. These start at around £66/month. I'm not going to cover the specs of those here, but it is cheaper than some VPS solutions from other hosts for a lot more resource.
This is another host which lure you in with low initial costs and then increase it in later months or years. Where they set themselves apart is that you only need to commit to the initial term, but you still pay monthly. Their lowest cost hosting starts at £1.20 per month when you sign up for a 12-month term. You pay that £1.20 monthly, and it then renews at £9.60 per month, though their actual entry level one starts at £2.40 per month for the first 12 months, then reverts to £4.80 per month thereafter - this is the one I'll use for comparisons.
As that comes with a free domain for the first year (renews at £12 per year), the 12-month cost is £28.80; 3-year cost at £168; and 5-years cost being £307.20.
For VPS hosting, IONOS have an option for £1.20 per month (including tax). That's not an offer, that's the price - doesn't matter if you sign up for month-by-month, or as 12-month term (okay, a 12-month term means you don't may a £12 setup fee). As such, each 12-month period is £14.40 (plus £12 if you pay monthly); 3 years is £43.20; 5 years being £72. If you want a domain with that VPS, it's £1.20 for the first year, and then £12 per year thereafter.
The resource available for the basic hosting packages differs between general hosting and their WordPress hosting packages. General hosting entry-level gets 100GB storage, 6GB RAM, 1vCPU, 1 email address, an SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth. On the WordPress side, the disk space is much lower, as 25GB (but it does state it's SSD), you get 9GB RAM, 1vCPU, as well as the email address, SSL certificate, and malware scanning.
The VPS offering at the entry level is very similar to the DigitalOcean entry level. It offers 1vCPU, 512MB RAM and 10GB SSD storage. It does come with unmetered trafic, but on a 400Mb/s line.
IONOS are a global company, and therefore can offer 24/7 support. That level of support is offered on all of their plans. Their tooltip on their product pages outlines that you can call them, email them, or use their live chat. That's a comprehensive support coverage for what could be very cheap hosting.
If the support request is outside of the scope of your support agreement, then they will be able to quote for their time to undertake that work if it's possible. The full list of what is included, what is a paid service, and what isn't available is listed on a support page.
Being a global company, IONOS has data centers all around the globe. The option to set the location of the your infrastructure is certainly available within their cloud plartform, but I've not been able to see the option to select where the site gets created during the checkout process. I'm hoping it's based on the domain you use i.e. ionos.co.uk creates your site in the UK, ionos.com picks US, and so on.
IONOS have improved a lot from their days of being 1&1 (probably why they renamed). Their hosting offerings are very competitive, and you can get a lot of resource for a very good price. If you are starting small or looking to grow, then they will be able to grow with you.
I'm disappointed that the locations of the hosting for data soverignty isn't available as part of their checkout process. Also that their checkout process is incredibly long-winded (my work one was set up by an account manager).
Come back next week
That concludes my roundup of cheap hosting at an individual level. Come back on Monday for the wrap-around overview of the hosts I've covered and put the offerings side-by-side.