Generic web host, WordPress hosting or managed hosting - what do you have to look out for? In our WordPress hosting comparison we have tips on important topics such as WordPress performance, security and support and show you what really matters when it comes to WordPress hosting!
What's the basis for a meaningful comparison of WordPress hosting?
The following providers are included in this comparison:
- STRATO(parent company United Internet)
- 1&1(parent company United Internet)
- DomainFactory(parent company GoDaddy)
- Host Europe(parent company GoDaddy)
We also evaluate these smaller hosting providers:
If you look at typical comparisons of hosting offers, they usually include the following criteria:
- Price ($)
- Number of databases
- Number of e-mail boxes
- Storage space in GB
- PHP memory limit
Of course, these criteria can be wonderfully compared and displayed in a table. Many providers take advantage of this and don't miss the opportunity to reduce the monthly basic fees by initial bait offers and setup fees for automated processes. Offers with 100 GB and 1,000 e-mail accounts and databases are not uncommon.
Most businesses end up at one of two providers
Sadly, the majority of small and medium-sized customers (SMEs) fall for this type of comparison and so their WordPress hosting journey often starts at generic hosts like STRATO or 1&1. As a result, these two brands of the United Internet group host 60 percent of all WordPress websites.
Next in line is the American company GoDaddy with its brands Host Europe, DomainFactory and ManageWP. GoDaddy has an estimated 30 percent market share. The remaining market is shared by smaller providers.
Don't worry about storage space and databases
You only need 50MB to install WordPress. Very often 2GB are sufficient for a WordPress installation. Even larger blogs with some 1,500 articles only need 1.5GB. Only three percent of our customers need more than 5GB of storage space.
WordPress itself has exactly one database! Only in exceptional cases it can happen that an additional database is needed for another application independent of WordPress. And also for the e-mail inboxes applies: Usually one person in the company has no more than two email inboxes.
The number of databases, email accounts and storage space is absolutely sufficient for all the offers we have looked at. You can therefore eliminate these criteria from your comparison.
RAM and PHP memory limit as a useful criterion
Besides the price, the only meaningful criterion in my list above is actually the PHP memory limit. You definitely need a 128MB PHP memory limit. For WooCommerce installations, the PHP memory limit should be 256 MB. This value describes the maximum usable memory per request to the server. The more plugins and the more extensive their memory consumption, the more the PHP memory limit needs to be adjusted upwards. But be careful: simply increasing the value doesn't give your site a clean bill of health and promise stability.
Sensible criteria for comparison
From our point of view, a WordPress hosting comparison should be carried out on the basis of the following aspects:
- Price ($)
- Time saving
Admittedly, some of these criteria can be difficult to grasp. Especially for laypersons who aren't technicians and "only" use WordPress. This is precisely why WordPress host comparisons at best provide a subjective assessment of the performance. Concrete performance measurements are unfortunately hard to come by.
WordPress hosting comparison: Price
How hosting is priced
Of course, price should play a role in choosing a provider. But word has only spread to WordPress professionals about how the prices on the hosting market are calculated in the first place.
The following calculation example makes the universal principle in hosting clear. It only requires the cost of a server, its CPU cores and the number of websites.
Hosting example 1 - Low cost
- Costs for one server per month = €350
- Number of CPU cores on the server = 24
- Websites on the server = 500
- Cost per website: €350 / 500 websites = 70 cents per website
- CPU power per website: 24 cores / 500 websites = 4.8% of a CPU core
Result: The hosting price is favorable. In the hosting market, a margin of 10 percent is targeted. The net price for hosting would therefore be 7 Euros. In order to bring it to 3.50 Euros, 500 more websites would be added to the server.
Hosting example 2 - Double performance
- Costs for one server per month = €350
- Number of CPU cores on the server = 24
- Only half of the websites on the server = 250
- Cost per website: €350 / 250 websites = €1.40 per website
- CPU power per website: 24 cores / 250 websites = 9.6% of a CPU core
Result: The performance per website has doubled, but so have the costs. Conversely, costs can be halved very easily. At the same time, however, the performance is halved!
Hosting example 3 - Unlimited websites
What does our example look like if customers can upload unlimited websites to their hosting? Let's assume that, on average, "only" two websites are operated on one hosting package.
- Costs for one server per month = €350
- Number of CPU cores on the server = 24
- Twice as many websites on the server = 1,000
- Cost per package: €350 / 1000 websites = 35 cents per package
- CPU power per website: 24 cores / 1,000 websites = 2.4% of a CPU core
Result: Each website has only half the CPU power, which was already low.
Hosting example 4 - Maximum performance
- Costs for one server per month = €350
- Number of CPU cores on the server = 24
- Websites on the server = 72
- Cost per package: €350 / 72 websites = €4.90 per package
- CPU power per website: 24 cores / 72 websites = 33% of a CPU core
Result: Each website has almost seven times as much processing power available compared to the low-cost example 1!
"In the end, the performance of a dynamic site depends on how much CPU and RAM it has available."
Few WordPress hosting providers are transparent about pricing and performance
This universal principle is also the reason why Raidboxes is still significantly faster than 1&1, although certain elements, such as NGINX instead of Apache Server, have already been copied.
At Raidboxes you have the guaranteed resources of a CPU core and 2 GB of RAM starting with the Starter plan. Not least because of this, WordPress professionals come to the conclusion that the offer is cheap and fair. Hosting laypeople often don't understand this, because they can't estimate the offered performance.
Praise for ALL-INKL
According to our research, there is only one provider in Germany that communicates this transparently: ALL-INKL. The smallest package starts with 99 other customers on one server - the largest package with 29 other customers.
Since customers can run up to 100 websites on one package, the exact relation between server capacity and websites is nevertheless unclear. Nevertheless, other providers can take an example from this, since the distribution is not mentioned at any other provider. It is not uncommon that even the RAM is completely concealed.
What should my WordPress hosting cost?
Basically, it's impossible to give a general answer to this question. In America, for example, the average price for WordPress hosting is $30 (net) per month. In contrast, Germans are rather price sensitive here.
Exactly for this reason, the general provider motto is: "best to pack loads of websites on one server and offer cheaper hosting." These prices generally start at 3 euros (net).
How can it cost €300 to host one WordPress website?
Now you're asking yourself why some companies pay €300 (net) to host a single WordPress website? This is connected with the business value of a website, for example. A large WooCommerce shop with 100 orders per hour needs maximum power because ten fewer orders per hour can also mean a good €300 less revenue in that time.
Conversely, friends and acquaintances on a private travel blog will forgive it if the photos take almost 10 seconds to load when they are called up. Here, performance plays a rather subordinate role, since it is not accompanied by economic loss.
What is the most important marketing channel worth to a company?
Small and medium-sized businesses should be acutely aware that their website is now the most important marketing channel. Even one customer inquiry less per year due to long loading time can mean a loss of several hundred Euros for you as an entrepreneur.
Skimping on 20 Euros per month for cheaper hosting is almost negligent from an entrepreneurial perspective. Especially if you've already invested at least 2,000 Euros in the development or redesign of your website.
Our pricing recommendation
In our opinion, it's reasonable to expect the following net prices for hosting your WordPress website:
- €5-10 for private websites, depending on your own quality standards
- €15-30 for a standard corporate website or blog
- €15-50 for a small to medium sized WooCommerce shop
- From €50 for a larger website, blog or WooCommerce store
- From €50 for a large multisite website, blog, WooCommerce store
Detailed information for shop owners can be found in our blog article about WooCommerce hosting. All our articles on the topic of WooCommerce can be found here.
This price recommendation isn't only based on processor power but factors in support. More on that later.
With most providers, the price for an "optimized" WordPress offer stops at maximum 20 Euros. If you want more performance, you have to go for a vServer cloud offer or dedicated servers.
WordPress hosting comparison: Performance
As mentioned above, reasons for fast loading times are simple. You're most likely losing sales if your website is too slow. Not only does it give your business a bad first impression, but it's also one of the ranking factors for Google.
Two seconds loading time instead of Google PageSpeed Score
Don't let the Google PageSpeed Insights score drive you crazy. You should only use this score to uncover optimization potential. It is much more important to check and optimize the actual loading time of your website. Basically, you should aim for a loading time of two seconds - less is better, of course.
TTFB as a criterion for comparing performance
For the performance evaluation of the hosting, the so-called Time To First Byte (TTFB) is one of the best evaluation criteria. Here the time is measured in milliseconds from the first request of the user to the first response of the server. Other important factors, such as the programming of the Themes, are left aside for the time being.
Important: The number, quality and size of your plugins can also drive up the TTFB. Therefore, if you run the same website on two servers, the TTFB is meaningful for the server.
The user is interested in the total loading time
Although the TTFB is meaningful for the server, in the end people care very little. They care about when they can act with the website or when they see something from site . In the best case, the content of your website is fully displayed in under a second.
There are two values that are important here:
- Load Time - First View: This shows you the load time of visitors who visit your website for the first time.
- Loading time - Repeat View: This shows you the loading time of visitors who visit your site for the second time.
The values differ significantly because browsers, servers, and plugins can cache your website. The requested sites are then loaded directly from the cache and no longer from the server itself.
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How to compare WordPress hosting performance - the right way!
How to measure loading time correctly
The process is the same for every WordPress hosting provider. Some WordPress host make the migration easier for you, which makes this process a bit simpler.
- Migrate a website yourself with a plugin or manually. We recommend Migrate Guru. There you can move your website with SFTP to any host.
- Measure your current website and take note of the values.
- Migrate your website fully including the domain, which will likely incur longer downtimes.
- Test the new website
- Reverse everything if not satisfied and ask for money back. Fortunately, every provider offers a money-back guarantee.
Since this process is so difficult, no "mass hoster" is afraid to loudly claim their hosting is fast and secure. We are convinced that no claims should count when it comes to performance, but only the real values. Unfortunately, you can only get them by properly measuring and comparing, which is quite time-consuming depending on the number of tested providers.
"The best performance comparison is to try the new provider yourself."
Performance test at Raidboxes
We make this process easier for you with our free migration service and a free, no obligation trial period. If you want to know how much faster your website can become, feel free to contact our support at any time.
You can simply enter the following in our move form: "Please compare performance". Then we will do the rest for you and give you your evaluation after migration .
Our performance comparison from over 250 speed tests
We would not callRaidboxesconfidently the fastest WordPress host in Germany if we hadn't measured it ourselves.
How we compare performance at different WordPress hosting providers
In total, we did a before and after comparison on over 250 moves last year, exactly as described above. For the comparison, we used the Document Complete time of the First View.
The results show what you can expect from a migration to a specialized WordPress host.
They cover a cross section of the following elements:
- Different plans
- Different websites
- Different number of migrations per provider
Another approach would be to install different website types on all provider sites, in different price packages and measure them at several times, which would be very complex. You can find a very detailed performance test of various WordPress host(including Raidboxes) in the WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmark by Review Signal.
WordPress hosting performance comparison - Website speed tests
|Tested web hosters with WordPress offer||Number of performance measurements||Average performance improvement||Highest performance improvement||Lowest performance improvement|
The results explained
100% performance improvement = halving the loading time at Raidboxes
For a website that previously took ten seconds to load before migration and only five after, the improvement in terms of speed is 100 percent. The results from the larger hosts are the most telling as this is where the number of compared migrations is highest.
In addition, minimum and maximum values are also indicated in the illustration. What the values here make clear is that a performance improvement always has to do with the website itself. For certain websites, a server change is helpful, but there may also be cases where the performance improvement is rather small.
Often, the TTFB is then three times as good, but the better server still does not affect the overall speed as much. In such a case, it only helps to take care of the website optimization. That the cause of the performance problem is a slow server, you have then at least excluded. Therefore, the statement remains:
The best way to compare performance is to test a new provider yourself
Cast studies of happy customers
Fortunately, in the age of social media, more and more providers who can keep their promises are gaining acceptance. Here are a few examples of customers who have made and published a performance comparison for their moves. Many happy customers recommend Raidboxes out of conviction and take part in our affiliate programme to receive commissions for their recommendations.
- STRATO vs. Raidboxes: 4 seconds faster and pagespeed of 100
- ALL-INKL vs. Raidboxes: Twice as fast
- WP Engine vs. Raidboxes: Equally fast at half the price
- united-domains vs. Raidboxes: Twice as fast, despite already optimized site
- Raidboxes under 500 milliseconds: 500 ms for complex landing page content
The following providers have also seen performance improvements with at least a doubling of load time recently: Host Europe, DomainFactory, Siteground, 1&1 and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
As the WP Engine example shows, the performance is very similar for WordPress specialists in comparison. As Michelle from HootProof describes it nicely, you can focus on other comparison features here.
WordPress hosting comparison - Ongoing optimization
The Internet is extremely fast-moving. New technologies are constantly being developed, some of which drastically speed up the internet. In recent years, technical advances such as PHP 8, HTTP2, Brotli or GZIP compression or newer processors have expanded the possibilities for performance optimization.
Often these technologies are accompanied by a 10 to 30 percent improvement in performance, sometimes even a doubling of performance!
1.5 years of technological advances between providers
It's important to have a provider who evaluates all technologies and integrates them into its systems to benefit from technological developments for the future. Basically, at some point these technological innovations will prevail across the entire market. The question is whether the provider is proactive or a latecomer and this can constitute a lag of up to 1.5 years.
In our comparison of the different providers, it is noticeable that 1&1, Timme Hosting and Host Europe are the only providers that rely on the faster NGINX server. Brotli compression in particular has not yet been explicitly adopted by any provider.
"World's first!" - SSD hard drives
The best example of this is SSD hard disks. These have become standard and have been used atRaidboxessince the very beginning. Today, there are still numerous providers who promote this as an innovation.
WordPress hosting comparison: Time saving
This criterion is also not listed in any hosting comparison. Strictly speaking, it is even less measurable than the "performance" criterion. The situation is quite simple:
What an hour saved in the management of a WordPress website means for...
- 1 hour more free time to spend, for example, with your family or on hobbies
- 1 extra hour gained to take care of your actual business
Less busy companies:
- 1 hour of time corresponds to a saving of at least €30 in direct labor costs
Well-utilized service companies:
- 1 hour of time usually corresponds to at least €60 hourly wage which you can't bill
At Raidboxes we have some customers who host over 150 websites with us and thus even save themselves a system administrator for €5,000 per month.
The aspect of time is often forgotten when selecting a hosting provider. In many cases, it's only included if you've paid for "time expenditure" in the previous year. This time expenditure is glaringly apparent when you work as a web designer or developer with a root server and need to perform system updates. Managed hosting and its related features can offer considerable relief here.
Hosting comparison - Features that save time
The points listed below are examples of hosting features that can save you time in managing your website. The time estimate depends on the experience level of the respective user. Inexperienced users might need to try three plugins depending on the use case, test them for a while and switch them up until the solution really is one hundred percent reliable and efficient.
Website migration: 45 mins - 6 hours
If you're planning to move from one host to another, this is the initial time expenditure you can expect. For web designers and agencies, copying and importing into a development environment is often standard.
Estimated time savings: Very few providers carry this amount of time. Depending on the site, it can take as little as three quarters of an hour for known relocation processes. However, it is also not uncommon for a migration to take six hours in the case of technical problems.
Backups: 30 mins - 4 hours per website
This feature may as well be under security, as it is one of the most important features here. One thing is clear - no WordPress website should be hosted without backups. This can be done via the hosting provider or via a plugin. The advantages of a backup system at host we explain here.
Important: A backup should not only back up the database, but the complete website! At the same time, it is important that the backups can be restored via the user interface itself.
While three quarters of the providers state they create backups, it remains unclear how long these are kept for and how they can be restored. At Mittwald, for example, this is subject to a charge of €50.
Estimated time savings: The number of hours saved depends on whether users know and can set up backup systems and whether problems occur over time.
Integrated caching: 30 mins - 4 hours per website
This feature is essential when it comes to optimizing the loading speed of your website. If you don't use caching, you may miss out on halving the loading time. There's a huge range of different plugins to choose from for this. Depending on the plugin, however, they may need to be purchased and maintained.
That's WordPress specialists already have their cache integrated. There's no need to install and configure plugins anymore. All parameters are already adapted to WordPress or WooCommerce and are continuously maintained and reconfigured.
Estimated time savings: The number of hours saved depends on whether users know and can set up caching systems and whether problems occur over time.
Managed WordPress security updates: 1 - 4 hours per website per year
WordPress releases security updates at very regular intervals. A distinction is made between minor and major updates.
Minor updates are "small updates" that are nevertheless critically important because they often close security gaps or fix small bugs. Such an update would include a version jump from, for example, 5.3.1 to 5.3.2.
The major updates can cause more problems under certain circumstances. Here Plugin manufacturers must adapt their Plugins quite and test these at least with the new version. This means for example a version jump from WordPress 5.5. to WordPress 5.6.
That's why we recommend waiting a while before implementing major updates. Often, shortly after a major version jump, the next minor update is released, for example 5.6.1. This minor update then already contains a fix for a security vulnerability that occurred with the major release.
Estimated time savings: Performing security updates is a must. While minor releases can be done quickly, possibly four times a year, major releases require more attention and time. These occur about once or twice a year.
Managed plugin updates: 2 - 8 hours per website and year
One of the most common security vulnerabilities when working with WordPress is using plugins that haven't been updated. Any WordPress website may have anything from five to 120 plugins installed. An estimated average from thousands of websites is 25 plugins. What is true for the security updates of WordPress itself is also relevant for plugins. Through updates, developers often close frequently occurring security gaps and continuously improve their product.
Not every plugin update closes a security gap. Generally speaking, however, plugins should be kept up to date. One way to do it is as follows:
- Check plugins for updates
- Create a backup
- Update plugins
- Check website
- Restore backup in case of issues
In our Fully Managed plan this happens fully automatically for all 55,000 plugins, provided that a licence code is stored. Basically, an integrated plugin administration, where all plugins can be updated with two clicks, saves a lot of time. Especially if backups have already been made automatically every night.
Estimated time savings: For those who want to take the risk of malware, they do not update their Plugins and do not have to spend time. For everyone else, it depends on the type of Plugins and the number of Plugins .
Staging for plugin and theme changes: 30 minutes to 3 hours per action
Anyone who seriously uses their website for their marketing purposes or business activities makes changes more often than not. This can be the new landing page tool, a new event plugin or the replacement of a slider plugin. In order not to jeopardize the live website and not to present a faulty slider to visitors, changes should first be tested in a development environment.
To do this, you copy the website to another hosting, make your changes and then try to transfer the changes to the main page without complications. Since this is a quite complex process, there is no getting around the use of special plugins. WordPress hosting specialists offer a staging environment in this context.
Estimated time savings: This depends on how intensively you work with your website. The time savings can amount to a good three hours with a significantly lower risk of destroying something during the livesite.
SSL setup: 25 minutes - 3 hours per website
To say it in advance: Domain validated SSL certificates should not cost anything anymore today! With the Let's Encrypt initiative, global players like Google have rightly proclaimed the age of the encrypted Internet.
Meanwhile, Google Chrome not only marks websites using SSL as green with "Secure", but now takes the next step of marking websites that don't use SSL as "Not Secure"
SSL should therefore not only be included free of charge in the hosting, but should also be able to be set up quickly. With WordPress, not only does SSL have to be installed on the server, but also the internal forwarding and a search and replace on the website have to be carried out in order to actually set up SSL fully. With Raidboxes, this can be done completely automatically with one click.
Estimated time savings: Professionals can set up SSL within 20 minutes, since they know the process practically by heart. For beginners, it can certainly take three hours on their own until SSL is finally implemented on the website.
WordPress hosting comparison: Security
Of course, every provider propagates to be secure. But WordPress security is not just about rolling out the latest system updates for the server. This should be a matter of course in this day and age. It's about knowing the software itself practically by heart and preventing malware intrusion on WordPress itself. Here are some security features presented below:
Security with 1-click installations
WordPress itself now makes sure that users assign strong passwords. This is absolutely necessary. Too simple passwords are a very negligent security breach. Even if the password area is protected by IP blocking, attackers can break into the website with passwords that are too simple.
These are the two things you should look out for in the providers' 1-click installations:
- Is the latest WordPress version always installed automatically?
- Is using a secure password enforced?
The latter significantly reduced the malware rate when it became apparent that our users were choosing too simple passwords.
Security in the login area
The login area of WordPress is in principle sensitive. Attackers know that they can try to log in via "your-domain.com/wp-admin". This is not done manually, but via so-called brute force attacks, which automatically try different passwords.
Therefore it is important that the login area is protected by default. At Raidboxes you can easily set the number of login attempts yourself with the "RB Login Protector". This prevents attackers from trying passwords hundreds of times. This in combination with a strong password leads to almost 100% security of the login area.
XML-RPC interface security
The XML-RPC is an interface that allows you to control your WordPress website remotely. It is therefore often used by hackers and bots as a gateway. At Raidboxes, this interface is now blocked by default. However, it can also be unblocked again with a single click. In any case, protecting the interface prevents intrusion via this route.
Protected WP-Config file
If a hacker does gain access to your website, he can do the most damage in the WP-Config file. This is the basic configuration of your WordPress website. By default, this file is write-protected. Additional entries or changing the table prefix can be done via the Raidboxes Dashboard itself. This makes it almost impossible for an attacker to completely cripple your website.
Fast or automated plugin updates
Another security vulnerability is not up-to-date plugins. Ideally, the hosting provider updates the plugins automatically or at least provides (as described in the point time saving) a possibility to easily update all plugins within two minutes.
The backup system is absolutely central to any security effort. The first step in the case of malware is to import a backup. Here it is important to have backups that not only cover the last three days, but at best you can also go back 30 days.
Help with malware
Important: If you use all of the measures discussed above, you will have a very high level of protection for your WordPress website. If the website still catches malware, it's important to have it removed professionally. Even established tools such as Sucuri or SiteLock sometimes reach their limits here. Ideally, your host offers a service to remove the malware without leaving any residue.
WordPress hosting comparison: Support
Last but not least, we take a look at the WordPress hosting support. Here, too, we find that as a user it is often difficult to evaluate this in advance. One possibility is, of course, that you look at reviews from customers in advance - for example on Trusted Shops. As with the previous sub-areas of hosting, however, the following also applies here: it is best to test the support yourself! Because the needs and requirements of customer support can vary greatly depending on expertise or user group. Therefore, we recommend providers who allow you to test the hosting, including all features and support, free of charge.
Response times under 10 minutes & high availability
In fact, the Raidboxes customer support is one of the main reasons why we are so often recommended. Internally, we have set a maximum response time of 10 minutes for a support request. This is our standard, which we have maintained since the beginning, constantly evaluate via our support tool and always follow up on. There will be no bulky support tickets with long response times, because we have successfully relied on live support since the very beginning!
"We believe support should always be accessible, direct, and personal. This kind of support allows us to see first-hand where we need to start in order to improve our product further."
Technical expertise in support
In at least 80 percent of cases where a website is not accessible, the problem lies with a WordPress plugin and not with the server. It can be disastrous if the support team have no WordPress experience, aren't familiar with the appropriate tools (e.g. WP debug mode) and, in the worst case, don't even know how to deactivate a faulty plugin. In such cases, the website may be unavailable for days on end even though the server is working the entire time.
With hosters that specialize in WordPress, you can be sure that WordPress expertise is present and a website can also be considered at the WordPress code level.
Support has its price
Even if a company only pays its support staff minimum wage, which may well be the case, the total cost including all social security contributions is at least 15 Euros per hour. A web developer with WordPress experience costs the company at least 35 Euros per hour.
Let's take, for example, a WordPress hosting plans that costs 3 Euros per month and an annual price of 36 Euros. The cheapest support person may therefore spend a maximum of two hours per customer, the expensive support person a maximum of one hour per year. In this case, however, the entire annual profit would be lost and the customers would be unprofitable.
It makes sense here that all customer requests are reduced to a minimum. This is one reason for our monthly price recommendation of €9 (net) per website. Prices below this automatically mean the quality of the support as well as the quality of the product itself suffer.
We hope our WordPress hosting comparison has given you food for thought and that you're now in a better position to evaluate WordPress hosting offers yourself.
ALL-INKL, when it comes to price: If you really want to go for the price and do a lot yourself, we recommend ALL-INKL They are the only provider who shows transparency on an important performance criterion instead of making big talk. This in combination with a good phone support, should be rewarded.
Specialized hosting - for when quality and time are important
I hope we were able to show you that specialized WordPress hosts (e.g. Raidboxes) offer clear advantages when it comes to optimizing performance, time and security. Of course, they are more expensive than the standard providers. In return, you save a lot of time and can invest more work in your business instead of in the maintenance and administration of your websites.
A Comment on "WordPress Hosting Comparison 2023: What do our 250+ website speed tests show?"
Danke für deinen Hinweis! Wir können leider nicht alle Anbieter berücksichtigen, aber vielleicht ja beim nächsten Update.