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iPage is a lesser known but equally competitive hosting company. They place an emphasis on free features, such as their marketing and security suites, which are targeted toward business websites rather than personal ones. Paired with the “Anytime Money-Back Guarantee”, new customers have nothing to lose when trying them out.
- Business-centric features
- Affordable hosting packages
- Completely free features
- 24/7 support by email, chat, and phone
- Anytime Money-Back Guarantee
- Automatic daily backups
- Potentially slow shared hosting
- Full payment due upfront for 12 to 36 months
Hosting Package: (Rating: 8/10)
All of iPage’s hosting packages are loaded with extras and, in general, worth the asking price. The potential downsides are that customers can’t access their iPage websites with SSH or SFTP. In addition, the host lacks a staging area. Considering iPage’s focus on businesses, we personally believe they should offer more one-click installs related to ecommerce, besides the standard shopping carts.
They currently offer shared hosting plans as well as WordPress hosting plans – starting at about $1.99 per month. They are generous with their “freebies” such as a free domain registration, free security suite, free website building tools and even a free online store. Most of their hosting is designed for beginners and they do offer one-click installations for some apps like photo galleries, blogs and a few other necessary applications.
They don't have as many plans as the competition, which may make them too simple for developers or those that need more robust hosting options.
Overall, iPage offers dedicated hosting, shared hosting, WordPress hosting and VPS plans.
Features: (Rating: 8/10)
iPage has a good deal of features, including things like unlimited storage, scalable bandwidth, unlimited domains per account, unlimited MySQL databases, etc. They also give you a free domain registration for the first year. With the package, you get a website builder, mobile optimized website, one-click installation for WordPress and hundreds of templates. You will also get marketing credits, including $100 Google AdWords offer and a $100 Bing/Yahoo search credit.
Security: (Rating: 10/10)
Operating on redundant gigabit and fiber optic connections with diverse backbones, iPage is that unusually prepared kid on the first day of class. The company also has two guarded data centers on multiple networks to ensure customers have minimal service interruptions. They have both a UPS power backup and diesel generator in case the power goes out. On top of that, their servers are backed up daily.
WordPress: (Rating: 9/10)
iPage does offer WordPress hosting and they come in two different plans: Standard and WP Expert. They also have specialty curated themes, pre-installed plugins, customized control panels, unlimited storage, enhanced security and WordPress specific support. Each plan comes with a free domain, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, 24/7 WordPress support and free search engine marketing credits.
While they do have great features, they are not as robust as other companies offering WordPress hosting.
Ease of Use: (Rating: 6/10)
With stellar customer support and a fairly straightforward website, iPage is simple to use. However, their tutorials are lacking. Some help categories have one topic each and only cover the sheer basics of hosting a website.
Most users say they are pleased with the number of features iPage offers, but complain about the slowness of their websites when using shared hosting.
Reliability: (Rating: 7/10)
Websites on iPage will be hosted in one of two data centers both located in Boston. Across these facilities they use state-of-the-art technology and security protocols along with geo-redundancy measures. Customer data is mirrored across clustered servers to prevent downtime. They do not offer any uptime guarantees – something most companies offer these days. Without a guarantee, customers will have no options for recourse if their site goes down. There is also no Service Level Agreement (SLA) with iPage.
Help and Support: (Rating: 10/10)
iPage is one of those rare companies that offers 24/7 support by all three of the standard methods: phone, chat, and email. Most hosting companies have each method, of course, but in general, the phone and/or chat system is down during the night. In addition, while it’s normal to have wait times of 10 minutes or more, iPage claims their phone calls are answered in about 1 minute. If talking to people isn’t your thing, this web hosting company also has step-by-step tutorials to setup and use an iPage account.
Essential Plan: Unlimited hosting space, data transfer, and domains with marketing tools and SiteLock. Starting at $1.99/month.
WordPress Starter Plan: Customized control panel, pre-installed themes and plugins with standard support. Starting at $3.75/month.
WordPress Essential Plan: Comes with everything in the WordPress plan plus “super speed”, “enhanced security”, and support by WordPress experts. Starting at $6.95/month.
VPS Plan: One core, 1GB RAM, 40GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth. Starting at $19.99/month.
Dedicated Plan: Two cores, 4GB RAM, 500GB storage, and 5TB bandwidth. Starting at $119.99/month.
All iPage plans come with the basic tools and features offered in the Essential Plan. For example, every plan can take advantage of ad credits to Facebook, Google, and Yahoo!/Bing. Prices are based on 24 month plans.
Starting Monthly Price: $1.99
# of Domains: 1 to Unlimited
Money Back Guarantee: Limited
Disk Space: Unlimited
# of MySQL Databases: Unlimited
Data Backups: Daily
Unique IP Address
# of Email Addresses: 5 - Unlimited
Email Storage: 500 MB or 10,000 messages per
1-Click App Installs
Custom Cron Jobs
Dedicated SSL Certificate
Shared SSL Certificates
Help and Support
Who is This Host Best Suited For?
iPage has a lot of great features, but with their fair use limitations on “unlimited” plans and their lack of hosting options, they are more suited for small businesses, blogs and startups that don't need vigorous hosting plans. After awhile, most companies and websites will find they grow out of iPage's capabilities and will need to transfer their site to another host. If you are looking for a budget-friendly host, iPage is certainly a good one for introductory rates, but later they jump up to a high per month price.
What we Like About iPage
Business-Centric Features: iPage is one of the cheapest business-centric hosting companies we’ve seen so far. Aside from hundreds of dollars in ad credits, they give customers a free Yellow Page listing, toll-free phone number, and website authentication seal. The only potential downside is that some of these freebies are US-only, although iPage is an international host.
Affordable Hosting Packages: For $40, customers get a hosting plan with unlimited disk space, bandwidth/data transfer, domains and MySQL databases for two years. For $30, customers get the same deal for 12 months ($2.50/month). It’s rare to find a host with so few data, domain, and MySQL restrictions at this price.
Completely Free Features: Some hosting companies offer a plethora of features, but few of them are free. Fortunately, iPage’s features are actual features rather than optional add-ons for an additional price. Like any web host, they try to upsell customers as they sign up (automated site backup for $1.08/month or a malware scanner for $1.66/month, for example). However, they also have genuinely helpful and free features, such as their SiteBuilder and marketing tools.
24/7 Support by Email, Chat, and Phone: Customers can strike up conversation with a real person at any time. The company says their average wait times over the phone are about sixty seconds. We personally tested their chat service and found that chat representatives take about 20-30 seconds to focus on the conversation. Of course, tickets via email are quite a bit slower to get a response.
Anytime Money-Back Guarantee: Customers can get a full refund within 30 days. After 30 days, iPage refunds any unused months. Their guarantee is “no questions asked.” All refunds exclude a $15 domain registration fee, if the customer registered a domain through iPage. Refunds don’t include add-on services, like SEO services or WordPress optimization.
Automatic Daily Backups: For an annual fee, iPage customers can have their host automatically back up their website. If something goes wrong, they can select individual files to store. Daily backups are saved for several days.
What we Don't Like about iPage
Potentially Slow Shared Hosting: Shared hosting at iPage has an iffy reputation. Many people complain that it is slow and unsuitable for use as an ecommerce host. We can’t say for sure whether this issue is truly iPage’s fault or the fault of poorly designed websites.
Full Payment Due Upfront: Customers must pay at least 12 months in advance. For a deep discount, iPage offers 36 month plans. Fortunately, this host is cheap enough that paying for a couple years shouldn’t break the bank, and every unused penny is refundable.
iPage is a competitive web hosting company that prides itself in offering affordable hosting packages with robust features. They take security seriously as well as customer satisfaction, which is why they offer their "Anytime Money-Back Guarantee".