This hosting provider is mostly meant for the small businesses as a great starting option, usually for those on a tight budget. They offer hosting for multiple sites and unlimited bandwidth you can use.
It is no wonder why after 10 years in the business, iPage is now one of the top ranking web hosting providers. It is owned by Endurance International Group (EIG), a 20 years old company that manages some of the biggest web hosting sites on the market (BlueHost, HostGator, SiteBuilder, etc.). They hold over 2 million domain names on the World Wide Web, which is no small task.
iPage has two well-placed data centers that can offer good and stable bandwidth capacity and a broad reach. Their operations are powered by Eco-Friendly wind energy sources to help protect the environment.
iPage Plans & pricing
iPage might be one of the cheapest hosting providers currently on the market, with its $1.99 a month for the first term of usage. Their main and only plan, as their website states, is an Essential all-in-one plan for $10.95 (36-months term), $11.95 (24-month term) or $12.95 (12-month term).
One thing that can be complicated about purchasing one of the plans is not checking the region you are buying from. There are four ones (USA, UK, Canada and Australia), and each one has different prices and rules. After you pick your package, there are a few extras like malware scanner and Secure Sockets Layer. Both of those costs extra, but also offers additional protection.
Since its release, iPage used shared hosting, but since 2013 they added VPS (Virtual Private Servers) to their offers with three packages: Basic ($19.99/mo.), Business ($47.99/mo.) and Optimum ($79.99/mo.). With any of these packages you are getting your money’s worth, since they are aimed for companies and sites with higher traffic.
Unlike most of the other hosts that have VPS, iPage does something refreshing and does not charge extra for going above a certain bandwidth set limit. Unfortunately you cannot change the OS on which you can run your VPS and you are stuck with CentOS 6.x. iPage also provides dedicated servers, but if you need one, you will have to wait for one or two days for it to be set-up.
iPage Features & Value
When starting with iPage, experienced users will notice the lack of cPanel, which has been replaced by a vDeck hosting control panel. It looks similar to widely used cPanel, but lacks in certain features and add-ons. The interface is clean and understandable, so even a hosting novice won’t have a problem learning the ropes.
As mentioned before, iPage offers a great deal of features to help you create and manage your websites. Some of the core features are unlimited and include: domain names, amount of traffic and data flows, storage space for your sites data, and mySQL databases with a very easy to use phpMyAdmin interface.
By unlimited of course, like with any other hosting provider, it means that you will be getting enough CPU and RAM power for normal site usage. If you go over that limit, you will first get an email asking you to reduce the resources in use or they will suspend your hosting account after 48 hours. Exceeding that limit is hard and would take a lot of data not related to the web page uploaded to their servers.
For creating your own website, you can use iPage’s drag and drop Website Builder with an easy-to-use setup wizard and a lot of themes and templates. Downside to this option is that the Website Builder offers only the essential functions. On the other hand, there are optional WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal CMS’s that can be integrated. Each of these has their own themes and templates.
If you are planning on opening a web store, iPage has got you covered with the option for a free online store with PayPal integration and a number of shopping cart software like AgoraCart, OSCommerce, PrestaShop, etc. There is also a helping hand with the marketing of your websites in the form of the Google AdWords offer ($100 AdWords Voucher), Yellowpages listings and an access to handy marketing guides. Everything you need to let the world (or better yet World Wide Web) know about your new online business.
There are three distinct Linux based server options (Basic, Business and Optimum) for the VPS and the difference between them are noticeable performance upgrades. Basic one offers 40GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and 1TB of monthly data transfers. Business plan has 90GB of storage, 4GB of RAM and 3TB of monthly data transfers. The Optimum plan is the strongest with 120GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and 4TB of monthly data transfers.
These packages are fairly balanced considering the price-to-performance ratio. Biggest downside to their VPS is the inability to choose between the Windows- and the Linux- based servers.
The three packages for dedicated servers are a good option for advanced users. Starting price of $149 per month is a cheap way to configure your server with up to 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage and 15TB of monthly data transfers.
Even though iPage is a cheap option, it includes a secure FTP manager, custom error pages and website backup software. It uses a security system that is common with the big hosting services and will protect your domain 24/7 from any virus or malware trying to get to your precious data.
If your plan has it enabled, SiteLock security will not just scan and find malware, but will also remove it. For a small fee, you can add the daily backup of your site and the ability to revert to an older version in case of a breach or a not-so-rare human error.
For that extra layer of security, there is a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption which can be of great use with any web store. It will keep all valuable information like credit cards and user passwords safely guarded from prying eyes. There is an email protection tool for those pesky spam messages that you will want to ignore and delete.
Let’s talk about some of the noticeable down sides of the iPage. First one is their below average uptime of around 99,84%. It is not the worst thing in the world, especially considering the really low monthly fees.
Second is that the page loading times are around 48% slower than average, so the sites with a huge amount of traffic can suffer because of it.
Third and not the least is the end of you first term, as it can be tricky if you are not paying attention to the fine print. After the term ends, the promotional price jumps up a bit and you lose the low price factor from the equation.
To get the most of the promotional period is to go with the 3 year term and breathe easily for the time being. One of the more annoying things about iPage is a lot of free trials for a variety of add-ons like Google Webmaster Tools, Free YP.com Listing, Email Brain Small Business and so on. Some of these are not free after the trial period and will charge you for the usage.
Customer Support at iPage.com
On the iPage website there is an extensive online knowledge base and video tutorials that can help you if you are new to the site. Like with any web hosting, customer support is one of the bigger points when deciding which one to choose. Every problem becomes a minor one if the person on the other side knows what he/she is doing.
Usually, providers with low costs offer little-to-no support, but iPage avoids that with their email, live chat and phone (toll free if you are from the US or the UK) support. People who work in customer support know what they are talking about and try their best to give you a helping hand, especially when using a VPS.
If you are not satisfied with the service iPage provides, they offer a 30-day money-back policy. If you want to keep the domain you made while you were subscribed, there is a $15 fee for transferring it to another web host.
iPage Pros & Cons
I hope that the above iPage review gave you a good impression about this company. However you should know that they are not perfect. There are many benefits of choosing iPage, but you should know that there are some pitfalls as well. So here are the major pros and cons on iPage.com:
- Cheap packages that offer a great deal of functions;
- Free domain registration and unlimited domain names;
- A lot of disk space and MySQL databases;
- Easy and clean user interface;
- Capable support team;
- Safe security options.
- Lower average Uptime;
- Slower loading time;
- Payment for keeping your domain name if changing a host;
- No cPanel;
- Big price change with renewal;
- Offering of unnecessary software.
The Conclusion on iPage
If you are just starting a business and need a cheap and simple solution, iPage is a great option for you. For its price it has some flaws, but also a lot more nicely implemented ideas that can ease your life.
Ordering process is user friendly and the interface is suited for novice and advanced customers alike. After the first term it gets a bit expensive and switching your domain to another host provider cost extra so that is something to be mindful of. All and all, iPage is a neat hosting provider with some potential.