In this post I’ll share my experience (make a review) with ionos (ex. 1and1) domain registrar. To save your time right from the start: I no longer use this domain registrar, there are better options, at least for me, based on my needs and criteria.
I tested/used the service from June 2015 – to September 2018
- How I came to 1and1 (now ionos)
- Domain registration and renewal
- Technical support and the user interface
- Prices and the business policy
- Conclusion and my personal opinion
1. How I came to 1and1 (now ionos)
It seems like 100 years ago – but in the year 2015, a wise friend convinced me that it’s a good idea to publish my cycling notes on the Internet, i.e. to make my own website. Offering a place on their shared hosting account (types of web hosting explained), so I just needed to register a domain. Of course, when it came to choosing a tool for publishing content, I opted for WordPress (what is WordPress).
The above noted friend Googled and found that cheapest domain registration was with this registrar, costing only 1$ for the first year. OK, I had to first open a foreign currency account for paying over the Internet (my experience with Serbian Banca Intesa, though the other Serbian banks are no better, unfortunately).
2. Domain registration and renewal
Registration went smoothly and in this account, ionos (1and1) is no better, nor worse than most other domain registrars. Explanation: what is a domain and how it is registered.
When I was starting, I had no idea about domain renewal, so for the first three years, I let the domain registration auto-renew. I have heard stories of people having automated domain renewal problems with some other registrars, loosing their domains. But no such horror stories for ionos – which I can confirm from my own experience: they do automated domain renewal reliably. Sending an information email some 30 days before a domain is set to expire, notifying you when they will charge from your Visa for renewal, as well as notifying you once it’s successfully finished. So there is some time to sort things out with your bank, in case of any problems.
Of course, it’s always safer to renew your domain registration well in advance, before it has only one year of registration duration left. Especially if the banks in your country are as bad and unreliable as Serbian banks.
It is only fair to note: when transferring a domain off ionos, you are given clear instructions, so the transfer is fast and efficient. This is very professional from them – kudos.
3. Technical support and the user interface
I didn’t need to use any technical support help from ionos (1and1 then), so nothing to comment on that.
User interface is rather bad and non-intuitive. So bad that this is among my greater “complaints” when it comes to this domain registrar.
4. Prices and the business policy
When it comes to domain registration prices, especially the prices of domain renewal, ionos is among the most expensive registrars. Though they clearly state the renewal price in the domain search/registration menu (unlike Namecheap).
What I don’t like even more are their contract terms. Especially the point 4.2. under Fees. I heard several people complain about this. What’s it about? If you don’t pay for the domain renewal, and you hadn’t cancelled auto renewal in time (think it’s some 15, or 30 days in advance, don’t take my word for it), they will try to charge you for it. And this is fine. What scares me is that, in case the charge can’t be made (no money in your account), not only can your service be cancelled (which is also OK), but your “debt” may be given to a collection agency, that can try to charge both the amount due and a fee for their “services”, using courts if necessary.
Most other domain registrars (and hosting providers) just cancel the unpaid service.
5. Conclusion and my personal opinion
Because of the above noted shortcomings, I would not recommend ionos (former 1and1) as a domain registrar.
I have migrated all of my domains to Namecheap and Porkbun (affiliate links). Never looked back (how to transfer a domain to another domain registrar). My experience with Namecheap and with Porkbun domain registrars.