Ionblade Review: Should You Buy Hosting from Ionblade? (2021)

Ionblade has been around since 2008, so it’s definitely not one of the newest companies, but it’s also not one of the oldest either.

Nonetheless, it’s got an impressive setup, with hundreds of servers across four data centers and thousands of customers.

As always with less famous hosting companies, a big question arises:

Is this a hidden gem? Or a company that is held back from the mainstream by serious flaws?

I tested Ionblade to find out, and I’m going to tell you what I discovered right now.

Let’s start with the good stuff:

Pros of using Ionblade

Pro #1: Great performance

First, look at Ionblade’s uptime guarantee:

99.9% uptime is pretty decent. But, I won’t lie to you, it’s not great. It’s more of an industry bare-minimum.

That’s because, if you look at what 99.9% uptime really means, it’s still quite a bit of downtime:

Ionblade-uptime breakdown

If you’re running a business, 10 minutes of downtime a week and 43 minutes a month is not that good. So it would be nice if the uptime guarantee were higher.

But don’t worry:

The good news here is that 99.9% is the number you’re guaranteed to not go lower than—it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed only 99.9% uptime.

In other words, most of the time, Ionblade’s uptime is much better.

How much better? Well, we actually have hard numbers on that from our test site:

ionblade-uptime-updated

As you can see here, there hasn’t been a dip in uptime so far.

Even better, the response time is pretty good, at a little below 500ms on average.

You can also check out our test site’s uptime details for yourself.

So all in all, Ionblade has pretty great performance—solid uptime and good response times.

Pro #2: Range of hosting options

A simple run-down of the types of hosting that Ionblade offers:

  • Shared web hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Reseller hosting

Seems standard, right? Well, it is standard.

But there are further options within that basic framework.

So for example, you can get shared web hosting that has HDD storage or plans with SSD storage.

You can also get shared plans geared specifically for certain content management systems (CMS). Specifically, for WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

The VPS (or virtual private server) plans include not just a standard VPS option, but VPS for Magento (another CMS) and WooCommerce.

And even the cloud plans include not just standard cloud hosting, but managed cloud options and  “power” cloud options for advanced users.

There are also many available add-ons, like a website builder, SEO tools, etc.

So all things considered, Ionblade has a great range of hosting products that can fulfill a range of customer needs.

Pro #3: Generous standard web hosting plans

I want to make one thing clear right away: this standard web hosting plan uses HDD (hard drive disk) storage.

For most people using shared web hosting, this won’t matter too much. But there is a similar set of plans available that uses SSD (solid state drive) storage. I’ll talk about those later.

For now, let’s take a look at these plans, as they’re the ones most of you will be interested in:

Ionblade-standard web hosting

This price range is generally within the standard for shared web hosting, BUT it is on the higher side.

For example, most of Ionblade’s competitors will offer plans that start a couple bucks lower and end a few dollars lower as well.

However, we can’t fully evaluate the price without knowing what it gets you.

We already know that the price includes good performance. But in terms of features, do Ionblade’s plans stack up?

Yes! Take a look at the storage. Even though it’s HDD, which is a tad outdated, the storage allowance is very generous.

Additionally, you can support up to 3 websites from the very first plan. Most hosting companies only let you host one website with their entry-level plans.

Not to mention, bandwidth isn’t metered and you get unlimited email accounts from the very first tier. 10 databases will also be enough for the vast majority of entry-level users.

And the 2nd and 3rd tiers just make things even better.

On top of that, there are other features that come with ALL the shared hosting plans:

Ionblade-shared features

There’s some overlap with the stuff I already showed you, but there are some other things that are great additions:

For one, PCI compliance is great. PCI compliance basically means the hosting company is certified by the credit card industry as secure for processing payments.

Translated, it means your account is good for handling payments and transactions—even from the first tier—as long as you can set up your shopping cart software.

Additionally, daily backups are an excellent feature that will save you loads of pain if anything happens to your site, or even if you just want to revert some changes you made.

And the last major perk here is the website builder.

Not all hosts provide their own easy website builders, and not everyone likes to use native website builder applications from their hosting company.

However, you can easily install WordPress or another CMS, and it’s a great option for those who want an easier way of setting up and designing a website.

Pro #4: Good customer support

It’s easy to contact representatives, especially via support ticket:

Ionblade-support-ticket

Representatives are responsive and helpful. How responsive?

Reps respond to tickets within an incredible 10-15 minutes. That’s a lot faster than what most companies can offer, and the quality of the responses are still high despite their speed.

You can also contact representatives by phone, or live chat.

Ionblade also provides remote hands (meaning, it allows customers to designate support staff to certain maintenance or IT tasks.

In fact, Ionblade’s customer support is in general ready to help customers out with a range of needs. It’s practically a feature unto itself.

On top of that, there’s a repository of informational material you can look at as needed:

Ionblade-support-knowledgebase

Ionblade’s knowledge base is pretty good. It has hundreds of articles, covering a range of subjects.

It’s clearly organized, with specific categories that have their own subcategories, and a search bar to expedite queries.

The only downside is that sometimes articles can be a bit short—however, even in the instances where articles have been short, it’s been because the answer was simple. For example:

Ionblade-support-knowledge base2

So as far as knowledge bases go, it’s one of the best I’ve seen from a smaller hosting company.

In fact, Ionblade’s customer support in general just punches above its weight.

A lot of smaller hosting companies provide good products, but are limited in how much customer support they can provide compared to bigger companies.

But Ionblade’s customer support is even better than the big companies.

Pro #5: Easy to use

This point is largely a product of both the features I talked about and the customer support.

But it’s also because of Ionblade’s user interface, which is very simple and clean.

For example, while I have some issues with the checkout process (which I’ll talk about later), there’s no denying that it’s cleanly designed and straightforward:

Ionblade-checkout

Plus, you have cPanel included, which is common across many web hosts and makes managing your site easy.

So overall, Ionblade is pretty solid on ease of use.

Cons of using Ionblade

Con #1: SSD hosting is costly

If you remember, the default shared hosting plan has a price range of $5.95 to $18.99 a month. It starts with 100 GB of storage and then becomes unlimited.

Well, that’s great for the price. But, remember:

Those default plans use HDD, or hard drive disk storage. It’s the “traditional” storage method.

SSD is the “new” storage method. It’s more secure and better performing, in short.

Typically, in the hosting world, SSD storage is more expensive.

Nonetheless, most hosting companies nowadays have managed to allow decent amounts of SSD storage to their shared web hosting customers without vastly increasing the price.

However, this isn’t really the case with Ionblade:

While you CAN get shared hosting that uses SSD storage, it costs way more and has a much lower limit:

Ionblade-standard web hosting

Now, to an extent this makes sense for the reasons I told you.

But, it would still be nice to have some more storage for these plans.

Con #2: Generally, on the pricier side

If you’ve read everything up ‘till now, you’ll notice that I don’t disagree with the prices necessarily.

It’s more that people who are putting price at the top of their hosting search priorities should be aware of this.

While it’s not unique to Ionblade to do this, getting the most savings overall means committing to a long period of time. Meanwhile that lowest cost is higher than people seeking budget hosts would want.

So when price is the top concern, the “best price” still means a large upfront payment.

But, at least you have the option of paying for shorter time periods. Many people would prefer to pay monthly, even if it’s more expensive in the long run, if they can’t afford to pay for a longer period out of pocket.

And in the case of HDD web hosting in particular, I think the prices are reasonable though—and in fact, pretty good—when you take into account the features and performance.

Ultimately it’s not that Ionblade is overpriced. It’s just not a budget host, but people seeking budget hosts should be aware of that first.

Con #3: Website and checkout can be unclear

This isn’t a serious flaw with the product you pay for itself. It has more to do with figuring out what Ionblade product you want to buy.

Some information at checkout seems disconnected from the websiteFor example, Ionblade’s website says hosting comes with a free domain.

But when you try to checkout with a shared web hosting plan, and you’re given the option of registering a new domain, it seemingly makes you add it at cost:

Ionblade-register domain

As you proceed, you’re directed to the checkout page for hosting. The domain doesn’t show up, so it might seem like it was included for free after all.

However, it’s simply because the interface is showing you half of your cart. Your full cart contains two items, one of which is the domain that was advertised as free.

Further, the website also says the website builder is included for free. It even says a “pro” version of the website builder is free.

But at checkout, you’re given an optional upgrade for the website builder. Take a look at this:

Ionblade-confusing checkout

Now consider the following:

  • The product details at the top do not include a website builder in the list, so it’s reasonable to think that the website builder you’ve heard about is the one offered at the bottom.
  • The website builder offered is Weebly’s website builder. However, a look at Ionblade’s page dedicated to its own website builder has NO mention of Weebly.
  • The price for Weebly’s website builder add-on does not even align with the price for Ionblade’s add-on website builder.

Confusing, right?

I know what you’re thinking.

“These are just small mistakes. Clearly Ionblade must have a native website builder, separate from Weebly’s, that doesn’t appear at checkout, because it’s included by default.”

While these might seem like small errors, anything unclear related to checkout is more serious.

Also, my last complaint is the most important:

The price of the hosting product itself. Even aside from the domain name and website builder confusion, take a look at the billing cycle prices:

Ionblade-checkout-billing

If you don’t take my word for it, you can do the math…but these prices do not add up with the prices advertised.

Ionblade’s website says the first shared web hosting package is $5.95 a month. But even IF you choose the option that saves you the most money over the long term, the three-year package…

…You’re still paying on average $7.99 a month.

I’m not that bothered by the price itself, but the contradictions and lack of clear information. Customers need to have a clear idea of what exactly they’re paying for.

Con #4: Longer guaranteed migration time

Ionblade’s “about” section says the company will migrate any linux-based hosting account for free within 3-5 business days. They say it’s “usually much faster than that.”

So it’s good that it doesn’t usually take 3-5 days to migrate. But, it’s unfortunate that the shortest time range Ionblade can GUARANTEE is 3-5 days.

That’s because many hosting companies will include a free migration offer, but they’ll guarantee it within 24 hours. Sometimes even shorter.

Now, often these are bigger companies with the resources to do that, so I’m sympathetic here. It’s not a huge issue, but a minor point to consider.

On the bright side, Ionblade’s customer support is arguably more delicate to your site and files when migrating than you can trust larger companies to be. So it’s a natural tradeoff.

Do we recommend Ionblade?

So should you buy Ionblade?

Yep. But there are conditions to it.

The main issues with Ionblade, in a nutshell, come down to price and lack of clear information about what you’re getting, which affects price too.

So when you actually look at the checkout process I showed you, Ionblade is more expensive than it seems at first.

Nonetheless, if you’ve read my criticisms and know what to look out for, Ionblade itself is a fine product!

The uptime is great, and the customer support and features are also pretty good.

I’d only say the price itself is a problem for those who are solely prioritizing how much they pay for a host. But if you’re okay with paying for quality, you’ll definitely get it with Ionblade.

But you don’t need to take my word for it—the best way to find out if Ionblade is for you, is to just try it risk-free!

Ionblade-trial

Happy hosting!

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