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IONOS Website Builder Review: Is It Worth the Cost in 2024?

Andrés Gánem Andrés Gánem Website Development Expert

MyWebsite Now from IONOS is a dead-simple site builder with very low prices. If you want to get a website up and running very quickly, it could be just right. It also has a nifty e-commerce feature in case you’re starting an online store.

Just be aware that the English version is not available in all countries. If you’re in the right region, it’s worth a glance!

Overview

IONOS Website Builder at a Glance

💯Free PlanNo
💲Starting Price$1.00
📄Number of Templates20+
🔌Apps/IntegrationsYes
🛒E-commerce ToolsYes
Shared Reseller Dedicated Cloud WordPress

Should You Use the IONOS Website Builder?

IONOS Website Homepage
IONOS allows you to create professional-looking websites with ease

IONOS prides itself on offering a complete suite of solutions for professionals looking to establish an online presence. Its collection includes shared, VPS, and dedicated web hosting, business email hosting, e-commerce services, and of course, a website builder.

Seamless integration with IONOS’ existing ecosystem, affordable pricing, and simple design make it an attractive option. But can it hold its own against the top user-friendly web builders?

After weeks of testing and research, I can say that the IONOS website builder offers an easy-to-use and budget-friendly option for business websites. That said, it won’t give you in-depth control over your website’s look and functionality. Also, its plans are a little pricier now than they used to be. It’s not an outrageous increase, but IONOS’ extreme affordability was one of its greatest selling points.

So, is IONOS still worth looking into for your website, or should you look elsewhere? Keep reading to find out.

4.0

Templates

The Options Are Limited But Good

The good news is that the templates look attractive and work well. They’re clean, modern, and mobile-friendly. But you don’t have many to choose from.

IONOS’ MyWebsite Now plan (its standard website builder) offers no more than 25 templates (one per industry: ie. Photography, Restaurant, or Fashion). The templates themselves look sleek and professional. The design is clear and well-organized, and each option includes just the right number of elements for a site to look professional. While 25 is still a pretty low number compared to other website builders, I can’t blame IONOS too much for its “quality over quantity” approach.

ionos'-somewhat-small-template-library
IONOS’ selection of templates is small but emphasizes quality.

Design and Customization

Though the site editor is somewhat limited, it still gives you enough tools to adapt any template to your unique professional needs. It’s also a remarkable tool if you’re in a hurry. Thanks to its point-and-click editor, you could have a professional website ready in just a few minutes.

Instead of opting for full drag-and-drop control like other builders, IONOS lets you edit your site by adding pre-designed sections based on functionality. You can then choose from a handful of different styles for each section.

While this approach is less than ideal if you’re looking to design a fully customized website, it can be just what you need if you don’t have much design experience and you’re looking to get your site up and running ASAP.

ionos'-mywebsite-now-site-builder
The MyWebsite Now site builder is limited in options but very easy to learn.

The content blocks you can use include an about section, article blocks, galleries, a contact form, and various headers.

the-content-block-library
There’s a reasonable selection of content blocks to choose from.

Each section is reasonably customizable, providing several predefined and sometimes overlapping “zones” where you can drop your text and images.

You can quickly alter the look of your whole site with options to change the default colors, typefaces, and spacing of elements. Unfortunately, the typeface/font selection is extremely limited. See the options below? Yeah, that’s it.

ionos'-somewhat-small-typeface-selection
There aren’t a lot of typefaces to choose from, sadly.

Other notes: You will lose any content you’ve added to the site if you change templates after the initial setup. The site builder also doesn’t support multi-language sites or right-to-left (RTL) languages like Hebrew or Arabic.

All-in-all, IONOS won’t be the best builder if you want complete control over your website’s look or if you want to implement advanced functionality like custom CSS support. But it’s a decent option if you want to create a good-looking, professional site with minimal effort.

4.5

Features

IONOS Has a Ton Of Features… On Top of the Site Builder

IONOS offers full integration with a wide variety of intuitive and powerful e-commerce solutions for your website. Although somewhat pricey, IONOS’ e-commerce features are worth it if you’re serious about your e-commerce business. The online store integrations include light inventory management, sizing options, tax and shipping settings, and ways to show related products on your product pages. You also get functions for discounts, coupons, and abandoned cart emails.

So here’s the trouble with this review: IONOS, as a web hosting company, has features galore, but many aren’t relevant to the site builder. Even so, I went hunting and found three interesting features to showcase.

First up, you should know that all plans come with a free domain for one year, and that’s awesome. Sites built with IONOS are also GDPR compliant, and you get basic security features like SSL.

Seriously, don’t hang around any service that doesn’t provide SSL. That’s just dumb nowadays.

Now, on to the interesting stuff.

There’s an Online Store

Okay, so you have to pay a little extra for the Online Store Starter plan, but it’s one of the cheapest e-commerce-enabled site builder plans I have ever seen. Seriously, the price is that good.

It’s no Shopify, but the online store comes with light inventory management, sizing options, tax and shipping settings, and ways to show related products on your product pages. You also get functions for discounts, coupons, and abandoned cart emails.

Whether you’re selling digital or physical goods, this shop can handle it.

the-ionos-online-store-management-ui
The store management interface is simple but packed with features.

You can also sell your products via Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, eBay, and Amazon. Plus, if you’re selling items face to face, it integrates with Square’s point-of-sale system.

You can run the store via a mobile app for iOS and Android and accept payments via PayPal, Square, Stripe, or other local options.

Lastly, you have some control over how your store pages look, and the user interface (UI) integrates nicely with the templates available.

the-online-store-in-the-mywebsite-now-editor
You can customize how your store looks – a little.

Email

Every site comes with free email. That’s “[email protected],” and it works with any domain you purchase from IONOS or connect from elsewhere. Yes, you can use domains bought from a third party, which is much more than other builders usually offer.

RankingCoach Integration

RankingCoach is an app designed to help you set up your site’s SEO, rank higher, and learn a bit about SEO in the process. So no, you don’t get an actual coach, but RankingCoach appears to have support for IONOS’ services built into it.

It’s usually advised to get an actual SEO expert to help you out, but these automated tools are becoming better and better. Plus, SEO experts who know what they’re doing are a lot more expensive than this (paid) add-on.

Powerful AI Integrations for Effortless Website Building

If you ever find yourself needing a little bit of extra help designing your website and populating it with content, IONOS offers an extensive selection of AI tools for you to use. All you need to do is input information about your business and goals, and IONOS can generate specialized content exclusively for you.

IONOS AI Features
Use AI to help you effortlessly streamline the building process

IONOS offers AI tools from the beginning by giving you access to an AI design assistant to help you create and organize your site. If you need to add extra content, you also get access to an AI text generator that writes effective copy for you. There’s even an AI image generator that takes your site’s design sensibilities into account.

4.3

Ease of use

I Have No Complaints, But It Won’t WOW You

Okay, the actual MyWebsite Now site builder is very easy to learn. If you’ve ever used a site builder before, the learning curve is downright trivial. I have no problems there.

However, I feel like the IONOS website could be better organized. I had to ask for help to find several things. It’s by no means terrible, but there’s no clear path “forward” for any particular task. And clicking around to find what you want involves even more trial and error than I’m accustomed to.

Still, IONOS provides a few handy quality-of-life features that make managing your site easier.

There’s a Variety of Extra Tools

These tools are all outside the site builder and can be used to help you spruce up your website:

  • Website checker – For performance, optimization, and basic security testing.
  • SEO analysis – It’s not the full RankingCoach app, but it can help you get started with SEO.
  • WHOIS domains lookup – Find out who owns any given domain name… unless they have WHOIS protection.
  • Logo generator – Create and edit simple logos for free. Helpful if you don’t have a logo design budget, though I’d recommend going for a cheap logo on Fiverr if you can.

The purpose of these free tools is to motivate people to enroll in the service. Additionally, they can help you identify issues with your site and manage certain quick and straightforward tasks.

A Hefty Knowledgebase With Tutorials, Tips, and Tricks

If you like to do your own research before asking for help, look no further than the IONOS knowledgebase, which contains most of the basics you’ll need to know.

Like I said before, I still had to ask about some things, and not everything in the knowledge base is up to date. For example, I found more than one reference to analytics features that I could never find. It turns out they’re not available at the moment.

the-ionos-knowledge-base
You can learn the basics of the site builder from the knowledgebase.

Legal Page Outlines

Dear God, get a lawyer to do your legal stuff. Okay? Okay.

That being said, every MyWebsite Now website comes with some legal policy pages pre-generated. The actual policies are not written for you, but each page has a general outline of what should be included. If you’ve never written a data or privacy policy, for example, this will help you understand what is expected.

a-pre-generated-legal-page-outline
IONOS includes outlines for site policy pages.
4.5

Support

You Might Want to Use the Phone

So, I had an okay time with support for the most part. Responses were prompt (I managed to reach a person in under 5 minutes every time), service is available 24/7, and the support agents certainly did their best to be helpful. The score for this section is only as high as it is because the agents clearly put in the effort. 

But the agents just didn’t always know what they needed to know. You know?

In this case, I don’t hold the support agents responsible. I simply think that IONOS didn’t adequately provide them with all the necessary information. It’s an issue with IONOS as a whole, not with any individual.

Live Chat

First up, I asked if there was a way I could use the Mexican IONOS site in English. The American support agent didn’t even know there was a Mexican website until I told them!

The short answer to my question is no, of course. You may recall, I went over that little mess back up in the Features section.

my-first-chat-with-ionos-support
The agent didn’t actually know IONOS had a Mexican site.

Next, I asked how to use the analytics feature that the marketing mentioned. It appears it’s not accessible at the moment, or at least not to me. The agent suggested the SEO checker as a substitute, which didn’t help me at all… but it’s the nearest option to the service.

Like I said: they tried to help.

my-second-chat-with-ionos-support
All in all, this could have gone better.

My last complaint: the text in the live chat windows is TINY. Seriously, view the screenshots above at full size. Last I checked, I had 20/20 vision, and I still got a headache trying to read some of this stuff.

Phone

My experience on the phone was far better. You can call the team directly or request a callback, so you can go and do other things. Since I don’t live in the US, I couldn’t test the callback feature myself.

I asked if MyWebsite Now could handle RTL language and multilingual sites. It cannot.

The support agent had to ask a supervisor for the information I needed. Again, I’m not blaming the agent – she was great and got me an answer. I just think IONOS needs to provide the support agents more information. The info they might need to know.

4.9

Pricing

IONOS really offers two different website builders in one, depending on how much you pay for your plan. Though IONOS is pretty affordable across the board, you should consider that the advertised pricing is somewhat misleading. IONOS offers a discounted price on all of its plans for the first six months, which is the advertised price. If you want to use the IONOS website builder for more than half a year, though, you’ll need to start paying the actual price of each plan.

“Starter” (the version I tested for this review) offers a basic editor with simple point-and-click functionalities, besides a well-rounded set of tools for most professional sites. It comes at $6.00 per month and costs about half during the discounted period.

If you’re looking for something more advanced, the “Plus” plan offers more templates, creative control, and functionality. It might seem like the cheapest plan at first since its advertised price is no more than $1. But after the first six months, it’ll set you back $1.00 per month. That’s still quite affordable, in my opinion, but a bit more transparency would be nice.

There’s also the “Pro” plan, which offers the same functionality as Plus but includes a higher selection of SEO tools to help you get your website noticed online at an extra cost.

For any of the previous, if you want to include e-commerce functionalities to your site, it will cost you extra after that six-month window. E-commerce starter comes in at $6.00 per month, and e-commerce plus at $1.00.

Though IONOS has no free plan, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its products. That means that besides the discounted price for the first six months, you could test any one of IONOS’ plans for a month risk-free.

Comparison

How does IONOS Website Builder match up to the competition?

WixCompareOur Score4.9Compare
SquarespaceCompareOur Score4.8Compare
IONOS Website BuilderCompareOur Score4.6Compare
SimpleSiteCompareOur Score2.5Compare

IONOS Website Builder REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

The IONOS website builder is good enough as a dead-simple site builder with very low prices. While its template library is limited, it serves a purpose if you want to get a basic site online quickly. You’ll get many helpful features, such as pre-set content blocks, legal page outlines, SEO help, and an optional e-commerce feature.

Keep in mind, however, that IONOS’ offering varies from country to country, and the support experience is somewhat underwhelming. I also wish the website was a little easier to use too.

If you’re operating on a low budget and looking to create a professional-looking site for your business, IONOS is definitely worth looking into.

FAQ

Is IONOS a good website builder?

Your experience with IONOS will largely depend on the plan you select. The starter plan offers a straightforward, easy-to-use builder, while the Plus plan provides more advanced design tools and greater control over your site’s functionality. It’s a solid choice if you want a quick, budget-friendly way to build a business website.

How many websites can you host on IONOS?

You can host multiple websites on IONOS, but each requires separate payment – a common practice in the industry. However, the number of pages you can host on a single site depends on your chosen plan.

Which IONOS plan should I choose?

Your choice should align with your specific needs. The Starter plan is affordable and easy to use but offers limited customization tools. For more creative control and storage, the Plus plan is better. Remember that IONOS is primarily designed for professional business websites.

What is the best website builder in 2024?

If you’re a beginner, you might prefer a user-friendly platform, though it may lack advanced features. Other builders offer more customization but have a steeper learning curve. For instance, IONOS excels for straightforward business sites but may limit creative freedom. For more options, check out our expertly curated list of the best website builders in 2024.
Andrés Gánem Andrés Gánem
Andrés writes about a variety of topics aimed at helping business owners and merchants grow and manage their ventures. These topics include (but are not limited to) website building, web hosting, project management software, and credit card processing. Andrés has 3+ years of experience as a writer and content creator. He’s also worked as a project manager, website designer, and social media manager for a variety of science communication groups.
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Very very poor treatment of a loyal customer

Very very poor treatment of a loyal customer, I have been with 1and1 for over 12 years and have had over 50 domain names with them and a have had their most expensive hosting package with them. I have spent thousands of pounds with this hosting company over the years, even though I could have got a better price elsewhere, but I stayed with them. Everything turned sour when their systems made a mess up off everything and 1and1 tried to blame me for it. I had 10 domain names which were coming up for renewal and I did not want them renewed as I no longer had any need for them, the 1and1 control panel wasn’t working at the time so I phoned 1and1 support, after waiting 25 mins to get through to someone, I did I explained to them months before the renewal date that I no longer wish to renew these domain names, but the control panel isn’t working, the person over the phone said that’s no problem sir I can take care of that for you, which domain names would you like to set to expire, I gave him the list of the domain names, he told me that’s all sorted for you sir, there’s nothing else you need to do, and these domain names won’t renew. To my surprise couple of months later I find out I have been billed for these domain names that I clearly said I did not want renewing. I got on the phone to them straight away sent them numerous emails wanting explanation as to why they have charged me for those domain names I did not want renewing and they were not having any of it, they kept on saying the domain name has been renewed and cant be refunded back, you need to make the payment. I refused to pay for those domain names I did not want, I have phone records of my long discussion I have been having with them regarding my domain name. They left me with no option but to refuse to pay for my monthly hosting package, I made my position clear they needed to minus the domain name charges which I have been billed incorrectly for and re invoice me again which has the correct amount I was happy to pay for what I owe, they were not having any of it. I then get letters and phone calls from debt collection agencies after money that I owe, which really got me upset, angry and frustrated. To this day it is still not resolved, they are not admitting their mistake they made, all this over a few domain names, I have spent over £18k with this hosting company over 12 years and this is how they treat a loyal customer. They have locked my account so I can’t access of my details and now deleted all my work I have had with them that I built up over 12 years. I have luckily got back ups of all my work, but lost 3 months worth of valuable data from my site. I have now started migrating my business to inmoitionhosting and I have been with them for 2 month now and I am really impressed with the level of support from the team there, customer service is fantastic, and the hosting package is really fast and it is perfectly suited to run the X-CART shopping cart which I host there, really good price point. If anyone from 1and1 ionos team is reading this message, you should be ashamed of yourselves, I normally don’t do things like this, I was so upset about the whole situation that I had to put thing is writing of my experience with 1and1 Ionos.

avatar
waheed, Great Britain
June 10, 2019
1
1and1 is a terrible company to do business with

The amount of time wasted dealing with incompetent service reps is uncredible! No one should get involved with 1and1 and anyone who is doing business with them should switch before they cause a major failure in services. Reps have minimal training and have problems communicating. Supervisors har difficult to connect with.

avatar
Bob, USA
April 30, 2019
1
1&1 Used to be the go to place . . . . No More

1&1 has gone through a recent upheaval and 'everything' has changed. 1&1 has been purchased and whoever purchased it has changed everything that 1&1 stood for. 1&1 used to be awesome, but no more. Entry prices are still decent, however their prices for existing customers has skyrocketed, and customer service is horrible. While you WILL speak to 'someone', that someone will ALWAYS place you on hold to contact the person who will make the decision that needs to be done. NO ONE at 1&1 Stay Away.

avatar
[email protected], USA
November 28, 2018
1
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