IONOS is a German IaaS platform that lets you build, host, and run your e-commerce shop. It also offers easy integration with WooCommerce, Magento, PrestaShop, Shopware, and OpenCart e-commerce plug-ins. Since you can build an online storefront using its templates and drag-and-drop editor, IONOS is a great option for newbies with no coding experience.
Check out this list of the best e-commerce website builders for more information.
|IONOS standout features|
|Best for||E-commerce business owners who prefer managed services or lack coding skills|
|Promotion||No free trial|
What Are The Pros and Cons of IONOS?
IONOS is not a fully dedicated e-commerce platform. It provides other services, including domains, hosting, website building, and more. So it’s crucial to understand how it stacks up on its e-commerce performance.
I did a detailed study of IONOS to understand what works and does not. Here’s a brief overview of it all.
Pros of IONOS
- Excellent support: IONOS spares no effort to give its users the support they need to get started and continue selling uninterrupted. Apart from 24/7 phone and live chat support, you also get a dedicated personal consultant to help you with your queries. And IONOS it’s available on all pricing plans.
- Easy to use: Choose from professional-looking themes and customize them as much as you want using the drag-and-drop editor. IONOS makes building a website easy, even for beginners.
- IONOS app: Stay on track with your business always with the IONOS mobile app and take your e-store with you wherever you go. You can add products, review orders, update payments, and do so much more. It’s versatile and offers a single point of access to your business. The app is available for Android and iOS.
- Low initial pricing: The starter plan comes at only $1 per month for the first year. That doesn’t mean you compromise on selling features. You can still access multichannel selling and several other features to grow your business. The plan renews at $12 per month after the first year and still continues to be one of the least expensive available.
- Social selling: Turn your social media profile into an online store by adding a “social buy” button. I found it effortless and efficient. Your customers can use multiple payment and shipping options on their purchases. You have the freedom to sell even without a store.
Cons of IONOS
- No free trial: While IONOS may have cheap pricing plans, I was surprised to see it doesn’t offer a free trial. You will have to add your payment details to be able to use the platform. You’ll have to claim the money-back guarantee if you’re dissatisfied.
- SEO: Every online store needs stellar backend SEO (search engine optimization) to perform its best. However, IONOS does not offer the SEO support you need with its lower-priced plans. I’ve hardly ever come across e-commerce website builders that are so stingy with SEO features.
- Site migration: Much like Bluehost, IONOS does not offer free site migration. Given that both are web hosting providers and e-commerce website builders, this is disappointing.
- Page-loading speed: Despite having an average of 99.7% uptime, IONOS’ page loading speed is average, clocking at 713 milliseconds. However, of late, the load time has been even slower.
IONOS may be the best e-commerce platform for: Small businesses with a limited budget that want to scale up and sell globally.
|Price||$1 per month (first year)|
Renews at $12 per month
|$5 per month (first 6 months)|
Renews at $20 per month
|$25 per month (first 6 months)|
Renews at $35 per month
|$35 per month (first 6 months)|
Renews at $50 per month
|Best for||Selling 500 non-digital products and services||Selling 5,000 non-digital products and services||Selling 10,000 physical and digital products and services||Selling 1 million physical and digital products plus B2B selling|
|Basic features||Everything in the starter plan plus:||Everything in the plus plan plus:||Everything in the pro plan plus:|
|Sales support||Same as starter plan||Same as starter plan||Same as starter plan|
|Order management||Product-level inventory||Product-level inventory||Same as the pro plan|
|Reporting||Google Analytics||Google Analytics||Google Analytics||Google Analytics|
|Marketing||Same as the starter plan||Same as the starter plan plus:||Same as the pro plan plus:|
|Shipping||Shipping wizard (FedEx, UPS, In-store pick up, and more)||Same as the starter plan||Everything in the starter plan plus:||Same as the pro plan|
|Security||Same as starter plan||Same as starter plan||Same as starter plan|
|Point of sale (POS)||NA||NA||Easy POS app||Easy POS app|
Square POS app
|Tax calculations||NA||NA||Automatically calculated at checkout||Automatically calculated at checkout|
Online store builder
IONOS offers an easy drag-and-drop editor called MyWebsite Creator for users who lack coding knowledge or are new to online store creation. Using this editor, you can launch your store in as little as three steps. However, I would advise spending more time to customize your website to accurately represent your business.
MyWebsite Creator lets you select templates, color palettes, images, and other customizations. The website builder will produce templates and images in sync with your chosen subject. But you don’t have to go with these auto-generated suggestions.
You can pick any templates, images, features or apps to build your online storefront. The editor is intuitive, clutter-free to look at, and easy to use. I loved how seamless the user experience was.
Even non-coders can somewhat customize their e-commerce stores. I wasn’t able to make hardcore changes; that feature is not available with the basic plan. But if you wish, you can edit/modify the HTML/CSS code for a custom website on the pro plan and above.
After testing the MyWebsite Creator, I found it does deliver on its promise of getting fancy websites quickly up and running.
Two other features of the website builder also stood out to me::
- Business card: While your website is under construction, IONOS creates a “business card” with the name of your store, physical address, and contact information. So, your visitors will get to know you even before you go live. I love the amount of exposure and visibility IONOS gives a brand. To my knowledge, no other popular e-commerce platform offers this feature.
- Personalization: You can create unique experiences for different types of customers with this function. For example, returning customers can enjoy discounts, while first-time visitors can use a referral bonus. This kind of targeted marketing is highly effective in boosting conversations.
I’m impressed with how resourceful and instinctive IONOS’s MyWebsite Creator is.
Shop integration via Connectastore
Another handy feature that IONOS provides to its e-commerce sellers is shop integration. So if you have an existing website and want to start selling on it, you can simply integrate your shop to get started.
This feature reminds me of Ecwid. Just like the e-commerce plug-in, IONOS’s Connectastore feature lets you turn any website into an online storefront. Highly impressive, if you ask me. And you can use this feature free for the first month.
You can also sell anywhere between 5,000 to an unlimited number of products depending on the pricing plan you choose. Your integrated store can be multilingual, multichannel, and as effortless as a store you build from scratch.
Social buy button
We are in the age of social selling, and there’s no denying it helps your business grow. The social buy button is IONOS’s way of acknowledging the impact of social selling in growing a business.
The purpose is precisely what you think it is: It lets you start selling from your social media page. Your customers can still enjoy IONOS’ shipping wizard and multiple payment options.
The only drawback I found is that you cannot sell more than 10 products. Given that you can control everything from a central dashboard via a mobile app, the social buy button does seem like a good addition.
It’s also priced at just $3 per month, which makes it good for small businesses with a very limited budget. It’s a useful feature to have in your e-commerce store builder arsenal.
IONOS’s shipping wizard lets you choose from a number of popular courier services, and compare real-time shipping rates. These include FedEx, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Canada Post, and others. Your customers can also opt for in-store pickup.
Because there are multiple options, you can choose the provider that suits your budget. However, you will not be able to get real-time tracking details on the starter and the plus plans.
IONOS does not charge any transaction fee on its pricing plans. While that’s a plus, you still need to handle the charges from your chosen payment provider. You can simply go to Settings>Payments and choose a payment method that works for you.
The payment methods offered by IONOS include:
- PayPal, BillSAFE, and others
- Direct debit
- Direct debit by fax
- Fixed price
- Exemption limit (not applicable to all)
You can easily integrate PayPal or Stripe or go for a third-party payment provider. IONOS also lets you accept payment through all major credit and debit cards.
COD and checks are some of the manual payment methods you can also accept.
IONOS’ payment processing options meet accepted industry standards.
The IONOS app for Android and Apple is essentially a digital store manager. You can add products, check your inventory, update your order status, and more using the app.
The app lets you keep tabs on your business from anywhere in the world.
If you have an IONOS website, definitely download the app. It’ll make life easier for you. While many e-commerce platforms come with such apps, IONOS’ offering is efficient and has a pleasing user interface.
SEO plays a crucial role in the success of any e-commerce business and I’m not sure why IONOS falls short here. I experienced only average support from IONOS where SEO is concerned. You get very little SEO support if you’re using the starter or the pro plan.
Sure, you can edit the site title and shop description. You can even add keywords to make your shop SEO friendly, but that’s about it.
The page and product URLs are autogenerated by IONOS, so you cannot edit them for better SEO performance. You’ll need to turn to third-party apps for help. Even then, IONOS does not have many app integrations, which hampers effectiveness.
The only positive thing I could find was the one-click “lazy loading” function, which helps improve page load speed.
IONOS’ SEO support needs significant improvement to compete with some of the top providers. There’s no valid reason to be this frugal with your SEO capabilities, especially when one of your core functions is to help create e-commerce stores.
IONOS offers a MyDefender plan that acts as an added layer of data protection. MyDefender plans start at $1 per month and can be upgraded as needed. MyDefender can protect your website against ransomware attacks. It performs regular scans and backs up all data for safekeeping.
While the service does cost extra, worth it since compromising the safety of your website can not only cripple your business but also potentially put your customers’ data at risk.
Contacting IONOS’ customer support is easy. Here’s how you can get in touch with them:
- Phone: Dial (484) 254-5555 from your IONOS-registered telephone number. You will need a temporary PIN and your customer ID to connect with tech support. In case your call goes unanswered, you can expect a callback within 24 to 48 hours. The helpline is not toll-free. You will incur charges depending on your location, carrier plan, and other factors.
- Online support: IONOS also gives you the option to file an online ticket. You will get step-by-step instructions to resolve it. But if you still have problems, IONOS will connect you to an expert who will address them.
- Help center: The help center has guides that address every possible query you could have. You can download these guides as a PDF or print them for quick reference whenever you need them. The downloadable PDF is one handy feature unique to IONOS, and I love it. It makes life more convenient for users.
- Social media handles: You can also get help from the content that IONOS posts on its social media channels, including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Personal consultant: The best IONOS feature is you get a personal consultant for every account you create. Your dedicated support personnel can provide one-on-one guidance for any problem you encounter on the platform. However, you need to complete a few steps before you can start using the service.
Although IONOS support is always available and prompt most of the time, delays happen. I’ve had queries that were immediately resolved, and others where I waited a considerable time for a callback.
That’s why I did not score it 5 stars. If IONOS can ensure a consistent turnaround time for query resolution and support, it’d be one of the best in the business.
Compare IONOS Alternatives
With its versatile e-commerce solutions, inexpensive pricing plans, and excellent support team, IONOS has established itself as a reliable website builder. But so have other platforms. I have compared IONOS with its immediate and most popular competitors, so you can better understand which one suits you best.
Frequently Asked Questions About IONOS Website Builder
How reliable is IONOS?
Is IONOS a drag-and-drop editor?
Is it easy to build a website using IONOS?
Is IONOS a hosting company?
How many websites can you host on IONOS?
Is IONOS secure?
Is IONOS good for SEO?
Is IONOS email encrypted?
How do I cancel my IONOS subscription?
You can cancel your IONOS subscription at any time by following these steps:
- Log in to your account
- Click on the “My Account” section
- Go to the “Contracts and Subscription” and hit “Display”
- Now select the subscription that you want to discontinue
- Click on “Show Cancellation Options” and turn off the auto-renewal settings
How long does the IONOS website builder take to create a new site?
Can I sell B2B and B2C products using the same IONOS website?
How I Rated IONOS
After hours of research and firsthand experience using IONOS, I compared everything it offers to other popularly used e-commerce platforms. Creating an e-commerce store is not IONOS’ core function or only compatibility.
I must say that IONOS’s e-commerce capabilities are quite impressive, and it scores well on several accounts.
It has excellent pricing plans for small businesses, especially for initial usage. Then there is the intuitive and easy-to-use website editor. It’s truly one of the most responsive available. And don’t forget IONOS’ tech support and personal consultants are available with every plan.
While it can do better in terms of its SEO capabilities and app integrations, I definitely recommend IONOS to any small business that wants to grow into e-commerce.