Skip to content

Ionos vs GoDaddy: Which Registrar Is Better for Your Domain?

The domain registrar you choose will determine how much you’re spending, how secure your domain is, and more. In this guide to Ionos vs GoDaddy, we’ll break down these registrar options to help you choose the best one for your website.

📚 We’ll compare the following aspects of these two companies:

If you don’t have time to read the full article, check out the summary below to discover the winner of the GoDaddy vs Ionos debate.

Ionos vs GoDaddy: At a glance 💡

Here’s an overview of the winner within each category:

  • Domain extensions available: GoDaddy
  • Interface/user experience: Tie
  • Cost: Ionos
  • Add-ons and additional products: Tie

Overall, the companies are pretty evenly matched. This means you can choose based on your needs. We recommend you select GoDaddy if you want an obscure domain extension. On the other hand, if your main goal is to save money and you’re sticking with a common domain extension (or happy to accept any extension), we recommend you choose Ionos.

Ionos vs GoDaddy: Domain extensions available 🛰️

The domain extension, also referred to as the top-level domain or TLD, is what comes after your domain name. The most popular option is .com, but there are many .com alternatives you can use to make your website stand out.

You can’t buy every TLD from every registrar, though. This makes it important to look at the domain extensions offered by any registrar you’re considering.

We’ll look at the TLDs offered by Ionos first, then explore the options provided by GoDaddy.


The exact number of domain extensions offered by Ionos isn’t easy to find, but a quick search shows that there are numerous options available:

Ionos domain extensions.

The list includes the popular domain extensions you’re probably familiar with like .net and .org, plus more niche extensions like .online. You can even buy newer extensions like .ai here, which is notable since these extensions aren’t currently available on all registrars.


A quick look at the GoDaddy gTLD page shows that this registrar has 537 TLDs available, plus 11 more coming soon. You can scroll through a full list of these and filter the list to focus on a specific industry or type of TLD (like ccTLDs):

GoDaddy gTLD page.

The list includes common domain extensions like .com and .net, plus numerous specialized TLDs like .ai, .online, and .store.

🏆 The verdict: GoDaddy

GoDaddy wins this part of the Ionos vs GoDaddy competition because it’s easy to see the full list of available TLDs and search for TLDs you’re interested in. However, you can find many extensions on Ionos, so if you’re interested in using Ionos for other reasons it’s worth checking to see if they have the extension you want.

Ionos vs GoDaddy: Interface/user experience 🖱️


The process of buying your first domain through Ionos is highly involved.

To start, you’ll need to go to the Ionos domains page and search for the domain you want. Ionos will then show you if the domain is available and provide a list of alternate TLDs you can buy with the same domain name. You can add as many variations of the domain to your cart as you want:

IONOS domain search options.

When you click Add to cart, you’ll be given an immediate upsell for either Domain Guard or three additional services that we’ll get to in just a moment. The order of the upsells is most likely controlled by an A/B algorithm, but expect to see both.

In terms of Domain Guard, this isn’t the basic domain protection that protects your personal information – that’s included with every Ionos domain by default. Instead, Domain Guard offers more advanced features like two-factor authentication and DNSSEC protection:

Ionos domain upsell for Domain Guard.

This is a nice add-on with a significant introductory deal, but the upsell feels rather pushy, especially since there’s no immediately visible Go to cart link. To move forward you’ll need to either click the Cart link at the top of the page or click Continue at the very bottom of the page.

Clicking Continue leads you to another upsell, this time for three different services:

  • Email
  • Web hosting
  • MyWebsite, which provides web hosting plus responsive website templates and an image library
IONOS additional services upsell.

Again, you might see these offered to you before the Domain Guard upsell, depending on where in the Ionos algorithm you land.

As for the services themselves, they are great, but if you just want to park a domain for future use, this upsell is annoying.

Once you’ve clicked Domain only, you’ll be directed to your cart. Here you’ll find alternate iterations of the same upsells:

IONOS domain checkout page with upsell.

After making it through all of these upsells you’ll finally be able to start the process of paying for your domain. You can do this via PayPal or credit card. If you use PayPal, your PayPal account information will automatically become your Ionos account information. If you use a credit card, you’ll need to fill in some basic information to create an Ionos account:

Ionos account creation.

After all of this, you’ll finally be able to fill in your credit card information and approve the purchase.

All in all, the steps for buying a domain from Ionos are quite simple, but there are far more of them than there need to be due to the relentless upsells.

Now let’s see how GoDaddy fares in this part of the Ionos vs GoDaddy debate.


Registering a domain with GoDaddy is simple and fast. When you search for a domain name from the home page, you’ll get immediate results about whether or not your domain is available. You’ll also see a box with a recommended alternative, such as instead of, plus a list of TLDs available for the domain you want.

GoDaddy domain search.

At this point you can click Make It Yours to claim your chosen domain.

This will trigger an upsell slider window where GoDaddy will offer you various starter bundle packs:

GoDaddy upsell slider window.

You can browse through them or just click No Thanks, and then click on either Continue or Looks Good, Keep Going, both of which will take you straight to yet another upsell attempt. Except this time it won’t be just a slider window, but an entire dedicated upsell page:

GoDaddy upsell page.

The tricky part of this page is that Full Domain Protection is automatically selected. The No Domain Protection option is also worded in a misleading way, as GoDaddy includes domain privacy with all domain purchases. So if you want regular domain privacy, you’ll have it regardless of what you choose, and if you don’t want to pay for extras, be sure to check off No Domain Protection.

Once you’ve selected your add-ons (or chosen not to accept them), you’ll be able to Continue to Cart. You’ll find another attempt to sell you add-ons on this page:

GoDaddy domain purchase cart.

Be careful with this one, because it’s designed somewhat misleadingly.

For example, you have the $0.00 item in there so you assume that there is no cost – and there isn’t initially – but if you read the text underneath, it says you get to try premium features for seven days at no cost. So the price is $0.00, but other than the website builder, the other features are only free for that initial week.

If you don’t care to try those things (or don’t want to deal with having to figure out how to cancel them after 7 days), then just tap the trash can emoji to remove it from your cart.

The final step before payment is to choose an account option. You can log in with Facebook or Google, or create a new account for GoDaddy using a non-Google email address. All you need to create an account with GoDaddy is a username, email address, and password, making this registration process easier than the Ionos account creation.

GoDaddy account creation.

Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be able to enter your credit card information and complete your purchase.

All in all, registering a domain with GoDaddy is quite simple. However, you’ll have to pay close attention to avoid buying services you don’t want or agreeing to free trials that you don’t care for.

🏆 The verdict: Tie

The GoDaddy registration process is arguably slightly easier. There are fewer pages to traverse and you don’t need to fill in as much information to create an account. The ability to connect with Facebook or Google is also quite convenient.

However, these advantages are outweighed by the fact that you have to actively choose not to add advanced domain protection, rather than choosing to add it. The Ionos upsell for Domain Guard is also clearer than GoDaddy’s language of Domain Protection and No Domain Protection, as Domain Guard is obviously a separate product from domain privacy.

Ionos vs GoDaddy: Cost 💳


Here’s a quick roundup of what various TLDs cost on Ionos:

  • .com – $1 for the first year, $17 per year upon renewal
  • .co – $40 per year, every year
  • .org – $3 for the first year, $20 per year upon renewal
  • .net – $5 for the first year, $20 per year upon renewal
  • .ai – $55 for the first year, $110 per year upon renewal


Now let’s take a look at what those same TLDs cost on GoDaddy:

  • .com – $0.01 for the first year with a three year term, $21.99 per year after the first year
  • .co – $0.01 for the first year with a two year term, $39.99 per year after the first year
  • .org – $9.99 for the first year, $22.99 per year after the first year
  • .net – $14.99 for the first year with a two year term, $24.99 per year after the first year
  • .ai – $59.99 for the first year with a two year term, $139.99 per year after the first year

🏆 The winner: Ionos

Most TLDs are more affordable both in the first year and upon renewal if you purchase them from Ionos. The savings are even more notable when you consider that most of GoDaddy’s introductory offers require you to sign up for multiple years, with the second and/or third year being billed at full price.

There are a couple of TLDs that are more affordable with GoDaddy in the first year: .com and .co. However, both of these extensions have higher renewal prices on GoDaddy and require you to sign up for multi-year terms to get the introductory pricing. That means you’ll end up paying more for them in the long run.

The only way you’ll actually save money by going through GoDaddy is if you want to use the proprietary website builder. This is free, whereas Ionos only offers website building tools through separate hosting plans. However, as you can imagine, a free website builder isn’t meant to be used for any kind of serious website. For anything beyond a just-for-fun project, you’d need to upgrade to a paid plan anyway, so this isn’t really a GoDaddy strong point.

Ionos vs GoDaddy: Add-ons and additional products 🛍️


All domains purchased from Ionos come with SSL certification, domain privacy, and an email account with 2GB service. If you want further protection you can purchase Domain Guard for $1 (renews at $15 per year), which offers:

  • Two-factor authentication
  • DNSSEC protection
  • Automatic application to any additional domains you purchase

You can also purchase various types of web hosting from Ionos:

  • Web hosting, which lets you make a website using a CMS like WordPress.
  • Website builder hosting, which gives you access to an AI-powered website creator and numerous site templates.
  • VPS hosting, which lets you choose your data center location from five different countries, supports unlimited traffic, and offers 24/7 expert support.

And these are just the main hosting options. Ionos offers others, and also has advanced office software, a website design service, and more.


Every GoDaddy domain comes with basic domain privacy and access to the website builder.

However, as mentioned earlier, the free website builder is fairly limited. You’d need to upgrade to at least the entry-level paid version, to build a decent, functional website. That plan starts at $9.99 per month.

You can also purchase advanced domain protection (two-factor authentication, hacking protection) for $9.99 ($12.99 per year upon renewal).

In addition, there’s a Microsoft 365 email plan for $2.99 per month, which is charged $35.88 up front for the first year and renews at $95.88 on your active mailboxes.

Beyond the above, GoDaddy offers a huge range of web hosting options: shared hosting, WordPress hosting, ecommerce hosting, and more. You can also get email hosting and office software, SEO services, and email marketing services to fully manage your business with GoDaddy.

🏆 The winner: Tie

Both Ionos and GoDaddy offer a variety of solutions for email, web hosting, office management, and more. There are, however, two key differences to note:

  • Ionos services are more affordable. Full pricing details are outside of the scope of this article, but as a general rule, Ionos services will cost you less, especially after the introductory offers end.
  • GoDaddy offers more marketing services, including a logo maker, digital marketing suite, and marketing consultants.

In short, the winner of this category for you will depend on what you want/need for your business.

Ionos vs GoDaddy: The verdict 📢

So, what’s the winner of the GoDaddy vs Ionos debate? Well, let’s start by looking at the winner of each category:

  • Domain extensions available: GoDaddy
  • Interface/user experience: Tie
  • Cost: Ionos
  • Add-ons and additional products: Tie

In short, both companies are excellent. So, for you, the winner of the Ionos vs GoDaddy debate will depend on your needs:

  • Choose GoDaddy if you want an obscure TLD. You should also choose GoDaddy if you want access to advanced marketing services and/or a fairly affordable simple website builder.
  • Choose Ionos if you want to save money and you’re not planning to use an obscure TLD. Ionos is an especially good choice if you want to save on additional services like web hosting.

Not satisfied with either of these options? Check out our list of the best domain registrars to learn about other options.