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IONOS builder review 2024


IONOS MyWebsite Now is a beginner-friendly website builder with excellent website analytics. Its competitor tracking feature is very beneficial for emerging websites, however, it offers limited customization options.

IONOS is good for small businesses and blogs. More demanding users, on the other hand, will find it insufficient. I've tested its AI capabilities, SEO tools, and app integrations, and with the help of our research team, carried out speed and stress tests.

By the end of this IONOS website builder review, you'll know whether it suits your needs or should you look for a better option.

⭐ Rating:
4.4
🥇 Overall rank:#5 out of #24
💵 Price:From $1/month
🪄 Ease of use:Easy to use
🎨 Templates:Only 28 templates
🏢 Business features:Site analytics, SEO tools, and competitor tracking
👨‍💻 24/7 live support:Yes
🔥 Coupons:-

IONOS web builder pros and cons

IONOS web builder: is it good for you?

IONOS website creator is an excellent choice for website-building newcomers looking for an affordable tool. I found the onboarding particularly easy, whether using AI assistance or manually selecting templates. Simultaneously, it has elaborate site analytics and SEO optimization features suitable for growing businesses and personal blogs.

However, IONOS has limited capabilities when it comes to customization making other website builders such as Wix, Hostinger, and SITE123 a much better choice for those looking for in-depth personalization.

Here's a rundown of its capabilities:

  • Ease of use. IONOS web builder is effortless to learn for everyone. Like its competitors, it will ask several questions to identify website requirements. You will get 4 results to choose from. Alternatively, you can select a template and arrange the site structure manually, although I found the latter option too restricted.
  • Features. Competitor tracking is what really sets IONOS apart and will lead your website to growth. The rankingCoach and built-in analytics features provide insights to help improve your website’s search engine ranking.
  • eCommerce. IONOS lets you build an online shop with social buy buttons, email and social media marketing, and a few integrations like Mollie payments, but that's about it. Its lack of website customization results in ordinary e-shops that hardly stand out from the others.
  • Pricing. For the first six months, you can get an IONOS site builder for as low as $1.00/ month. This is the lowest I've seen in the industry; however, the price of maintaining a small e-shop is just slightly lower than Shopify's, which offers way more benefits and a 3-day free trial.

How easy is IONOS website builder?

I found creating websites with IONOS particularly easy. In this case, fewer features result in an easier setup process, which is preferable for personal blogs, small business websites, and web-building learners. If you're looking for a tool with more creative freedom and features, visit our best website builders list.

To give you a better view, I created a website and cooperated with our research team for a deeper IONOS MyWebsite Now web builder test, and these were the results:

  • IONOS website setup. Currently, there are two options: use AI assistance or manually select the templates. Unfortunately, the website creator tools on the IONOS platform do not allow creating them from scratch. Also, you cannot start from an empty screen.
  • IONOS builder features. I found site analytics the most valuable benefit. On the other hand, it also offers some cybersecurity and privacy features and handles stress tests very well. The most significant setbacks are the severely limited Starter plan and lack of creative freedom.

Getting started with IONOS web builder

Once you register to IONOS MyWebsite Now builder, you will be taken straight to the website creation. It will allow you to use AI or to build a website from a template.

IONOS builder AI assistance

Creating with IONOS AI is pretty straightforward – it will ask you several questions about your business and then use this information to help you design your website. This is standard for most website builders, and I found the process similar to Wix, although slightly more narrow.

IONOS builder AI questions

Then, you can start customizing your website by changing the font and color palette. This is where the IONOS site builder should put more effort in, as it offers limited customization options.

IONOS builder color palette

Once you're done with questions, you will get 4 website options to choose from. If you don’t like any of them, you can ask the AI to recreate them. At this point, you can add some more personalization, like shape themes, and see the result. Here's what I got.

IONOS builder edit template

Website creation from a template is just as straightforward. However, website-building professionals and IONOS Starter plan users should pay close attention because there are two significant setbacks when it comes to customization.

IONOS website builder will prompt you to select a template out of 28 available.

IONOS builder templates

Once again, you get to choose shape themes and color palettes and add some information about your business. However, there’s no option to start from an empty screen and manually drag-and-drop elements into their places. I find this would give users much more creative freedom.

Furthermore, the Starter plan does not let you rearrange the elements to your liking. This option is unlocked starting from the Plus plan, but IONOS competitors like Hostinger or the renowned Shopify let you do this irrespective of the chosen plan.

Overall, creating IONOS websites is fast and easy, but limited. Creators seeking more elaborate customization options will soon hit a brick wall that is hard to overcome.

IONOS web builder features

Easy website setup is definitely one of IONOS' strongest points, but it is also often found in other top-notch website builders such as Wix or Hostinger. Comprehensive feature analysis is what really answers the question of whether IONOS is a good website builder, so let's get to it.

Site analytics

Once your website is up and running, you can start using IONOS analytics tools to see your visitor and session numbers, their system details, average sessions, page impressions, and bounce rate.

IONOS can take 24 hours to aggregate the information. However, even after 2 weeks, I struggled to get my report on the cheapest plan.

IONOS builder analytics

The Pro plan, though, had no issues providing me with analytics after 24 hours. It might have been a bug, but it’s something to keep in mind either way.

SEO

Regarding SEO, IONOS provides fair value for its price. Its Starter plan offers the basics like changing headings, writing SEO descriptions, and image alt texts. More expensive plans offer AI assistance to generate SEO-friendly text. I found it too rigid, but it can be a useful tool to generate keyword-rich text to work upon.

IONOS builder website structure

The IONOS Pro plan includes rankingCoach, which is also available as a stand-alone tool. It reveals SEO gaps in your website and identifies broken links, the quality of your headline and page descriptions, and social media following. Although it's beneficial for SEO optimization, it will hardly replace popular tools like Ahrefs or Semrush.

Security and privacy

IONOS provides a wildcard SSL certificate on all plans to protect your website and its subdomains. A standard website address is www.yourwebsite.com. Meanwhile, a subdomain is shop.yourwebsite.com. Instead of getting a separate SSL certificate for each subdomain, IONOS lets you protect all of them simultaneously, which makes setting up a website much more accessible.

Additionally, the IONOS web builder implements an automatic cookie notice to ensure GDPR compliance.

On the other hand, it lacks crucial features like DDoS protection and automatic backups. Although you can maintain small websites without it, it will become a problem once you start to scale.

eCommerce features

Most eCommerce features sit behind a paywall meaning you won’t be able to set up an e-store without investing more money.

For example, if you’re interested in email marketing, you'll have to purchase it separately. There are four plans to send up to 2,500 emails per month on the most affordable one and up to 60,000 per month on the most expensive one.

Some of the IONOS free eCommerce features include the BookingPress App and Website Translator.

IONOS builder apps

I found the booking app especially user-friendly. Simply input your company information and you’re good to go.

IONOS builder BookingPress

Lastly, there are several more useful integrations, although they are not listed on their website. Thanks to our research team's tests, I can confirm that IONOS works well with these integrations:

  • Post Affiliate Pro for affiliate program management
  • Webflow for website building and hosting
  • Smartarget to improve user engagement
  • Winzip SafeShare for secure filer sharing
  • MailRoute for email protection
  • Mollie to streamline online payments
  • RightHandMan for SEO optimization

Competitor tracking

You can activate competitor tracking for free, but you must connect to a domain first. This is a handy tool for businesses of any size and various personal projects, as it lets you track up to 5 competitors. You can inspect their keyword strategy to drive more traffic to your website and improve visibility on Google. Simultaneously, you can monitor competitor ads and get alerts on their social media activity.

Performance, speed, and uptime tests

Testing the website load and stress tests was slightly challenging because IONOS does not allow the creation of an empty website, which is required for an in-depth comparison. With the research team, we agreed to test a fully built one and then remove as many elements as possible, which resulted in an empty template.

We tested the three core metrics:

  • TTFB (Time to First Byte) measures web server responsiveness time upon receiving the HTTP request
  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) shows how fast the main content of the website is loaded
  • And the fully loaded time that reveals how fast all content is displayed

Here are the numbers your website should strive for for the best user comfort and Google ranking.

TTFBUp to 200ms
LCPUp to 2.5 seconds
Fully loaded timeUp to 3 seconds

Now, let's see how well the IONOS website creator performed with a fully built site.

CountrySan Antonio, TXLondon, UKMumbai, India
TTFB527 ms156 ms1.1 s
LCP1.2 s0.5 s2.1 s
Fully Loaded Time2.4 s692 ms4.1 s

As you can see, some metrics fall outside of the recommended measurements. Although IONOS is also a website hosting company (you can read more in our IONOS by 1&1 review), the TTFB was too high testing from San Antonio, US, and Mumbai, India, which was over 5 times outside the norm.

On the other hand, the LCP was well within recommendations, irrespective of the location. The site fully loaded very well testing from London but fell behind by 1.1 seconds from Mumbai. Now, let's look at the empty site testing results.

CountrySan Antonio, TXLondon, UKMumbai, India
TTFB533 ms128 ms552 ms
LCP1.2 s0.4 s1.5 s
Fully Loaded Time2.3 s555 ms3.2 s

The results are quite similar, which indicates the limits of IONOS servers. Furthermore, our fully built website does not have content-heavy elements, so the performance can slow down even more the heavier your website gets.

Although these results are sufficient to host smaller websites and personal blogs, you can compare them to Hostinger's test results, which show that the fully built site loads in 1.1 seconds on that platform.

The stress test results improved significantly. In this case, the website hosting experience reflects an excellent outcome.

IONOS builder performance overview

We launched 50 virtual visitors to see how well IONOS performed under a heavier load. As seen in the image above, once it reached 50 visitors, its performance remained stable for the whole duration. To summarize, your website might take a bit longer to load, but it will remain stable while attracting more visitors.

Pricing

First things first, the IONOS website builder does not have a free trial or a free version. However, its Plus plan, which is the happy medium of the three available, costs $1.00 per month for the first six months. In other words, it's incredibly close to what I would consider a risk-free trial.

IONOS has Starter, Plus, and Pro plans, each of which can be upgraded to include the features required for the online store.

The Starter plan costs $1.00/month and increases to $12/month afterward with a 1-year subscription.

This plan offers 10GB of storage, up to 10 websites, 1 free domain for 1 year, a professional email with 2 GB storage space, a wildcard SSL certificate, and over 17.000 royalty-free images. Additionally, you can use AI web builder and image generator, competitor tracking, social media integration, and image optimization.

The Plus plan also starts at $1.00/month for the first 6 months and increases to $18/month after that. In addition to Starter features, it lets you manually rearrange elements, even though other website builders allow you to do this in their cheapest plans. The Plus plan expands storage to 50GB and email to 12GB, supports up to 200 websites, unlocks an AI text generator and improver, and includes an online booking tool and AI SEO optimization.

The Pro plan costs $17.00/month for the first 6 months, then $30/month or more if you want eCommerce features. It adds unlimited storage, unlimited websites, 50GB of email storage, advanced SiteAnalytics Plus, and the rankingCoach feature.

Final thoughts

IONOS is a decent website builder and a good choice for blogs and small businesses looking for affordability and ease of use. I was impressed with its competitor tracking feature, however, I wanted more from its speed test, which fell outside of the recommended limits.

The Started plan is too limited, and this platform does not offer DDoS protection or automatic backups. IONOS handled the stress test very well, and the wildcard SSL certificate is a valuable benefit.

Overall, you have to take the good with the bad regarding IONOS, but the benefits are sound.

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