Founded in 1998, iPage Hosting is a company owned by Endurance International Group as of 2010, a brand which owns another popular series of web hosting companies such as: HostGator, Arvixe, HostYourSite.com, FastDomain etc. iPage Hosting has offices in six locations worldwide and claim to happily serve a whopping 1 million websites between two U.S. data centers.
The company has had a lot of praise in the last few years owing to their very quality-oriented and ethical way of doing business, but they are at the same time notoriously and paradoxically known for being largely inconsistent.
In order to create a fair review not based on mere speculation, we decided to invest a few bucks into getting started a WordPress website on their “Essential” shared hosting plan in July 2016. In order to remain consistent throughout this time, we’ve been running constant performance tests. Here’s what we’ve found so far.
Advantages of Creating and Hosting with iPage
Qality for Pennies
The first noticeable thing you’re going to see when opting for iPage’s services is the inherent cheapness of their shared hosting plans. Not only is it cheap to host a site with them, but you’re also getting a lot of quality in return. Specifically, iPage Hosting comes in at only $1.99 per month, which is probably the cheapest hosting plan available on the market. In order to take advantage of this rock-bottom price, you must buy 12-month worth of hosting, else the price is going to increase a little bit. It shouldn’t bother you if you’re serious about committing to creating and maintaining a website, which is usually a project that goes on for years, not months.
Good Customer Support
While their customer support is “good”, it is definitely not “great”. However, given the cost of the service itself, you actually receive the best bang for your buck. When I pretended to have a problem that needed immediate attention and resolution, the folks at iPage responded to my inquiry within 48 hours. When I contacted them via live chat, it took them 20 minutes to connect me. It is a decent time span, that’s for sure, but it seemed that they treated my problem with absolute indifference, failing to offer me an insightful solution to it.
FREE Website Security with SiteLock
SiteLock is, simply put, the counterpart of your average computer antivirus, only that it is specially designed to cater to websites. According to independent research conducted by iPage and Security Lock in 2014, more than 12% of iPage’s shared hosting subscribers’ websites were infested with malware, so as of recently, SiteLock have partnered up with iPage to provide website owners an efficient and uncostly way of keeping their databases from getting malware. To further secure your website, they’ll use a firewall to help prevent any potential security leaks. Additionally, you’ll have daily database backups. If something happens to your website (God forbid!), you will be able to revert to a previous version and get your website up and running again probably better than ever.
Third Party Application Support and Integration
IPage offer unbeatable third party app integration for the most renowned ones in the world: Google Apps, PayPal etc. If you’re planning to launch a medium-sized e-Commerce store, you’ll find that the integration will take care of the biggest issue when creating the same store with other web hosting providers. You are also bound to receive extra marketing credits for Google Adwords, Yahoo! and Bing.
Relatively-Decent Pricing and Honesty
While they are also making use of a common marketing trick other EIG brands are often caught with, iPage is slightly different, meaning that you do not have to buy 3-year worth of hosting to benefit from a 75% price reduction, but rather, only 1 mere year of hosting. Do expect the price to increase a lot when the promotional offer ends though.
Cons of Creating and Hosting with iPage Hosting
As with any other web hosting company out there, iPage have a pretty annoying array of disadvantages. Here’s what we have so far:
Less Than 98% Uptime Over the Last Few Months
IPage’s pricing is indeed probably the least expensive on the market, but it is very important to bear in mind that they do not excel at keeping your site up whatsoever. Ever since July, we’ve been noticing constant irregularities. July had an average 99% uptime, August had a disappointing 98% uptime and September 97.9%. These are actually disastrous results, as it means that my site was down for a total of a few hours in-between. As a result, I do not vouch for their up-time performance at all. For uptime, we recommend inMotion Hosting as they have almost 100% uptime every month.
Page Loading Times Are Tremendously Slow
Specifically, third party software has revealed that the website I’m hosting with iPage loads 30% slower than your average web hosting provider’s does. Sorry, but this is a borderline stupid result, and I should have probably chosen a harsher term for the lack of swiftness. Recently, Google have implemented among its website ranking algorithms site speed as a decisive ranking factor, so it is not a simple vanity metric. If your website loading speeds suck, your rankings will suck as well. There’s no way around that. Not only does it affect rankings, but your bounce rate will experience huge spikes as well as a direct result of the lack of consistency.
Renewal Is Expensive
iPage is transparent about their promotional pricing, which is great. However, when renewal time comes by, you’re in to pay a whopping $8.99 per month, which is a very discrepant price, considering the initial $1.99 offer. If you cannot afford paying this much after 12 months of cheap hosting services, we recommend you do not subscribe to them in the first place – you’ll end up burning a huge hole in your pocket.
Misleading Domain Name Policy
When you subscribe to a plan of theirs for the agreed-upon $1.99 per month for 12 months, they’ll also throw in a free domain name in the package with a 30-day money back guarantee. Neat, right?
Except, if you do end up asking for your money back, they’ll deduct a $15 fee – which means you’ll end up receiving a lot less than you previously paid for. This is because they are actually buying that domain name themselves on your behalf, so if you ask for your money back, they are losing money, so it’s pretty fair, yet still a disadvantage.
Lack of cPanel or DirectAdmin
CPanel and DirectAdmin are the easiest control panels to use and manage in this industry, yet iPage won’t allow you to use them at all . Instead, they’ll force you to stick to using the obsolete vDeck control pane, which is not ideal.
Ipage’s Shared Hosting Plans
When it comes to the shared hosting plans themselves, iPage offer three main options:
- Standard Shared Hosting – it’s the one we’ve been technically talking about our whole review. It costs $1.99 per month with their famous promotional offer which can turn out to actually cost a little over $9 per month on renewal. Whether that is worthy of your budget and doesn’t cross any ethical boundaries of yours, it’s up to you to decide.
- WP Starter – this is a fully WordPress-based shared hosting plan which starts at only $3.75 per month. It comes packed with a fully custom control panel, important plugin installations and handpicked themes
- WP Essential – this is also a WordPress-based shared hosting plan that comes at $6.95 per month. On top of the WP Starter features, it comes packed with SSD-based infrastructure to boost site performance, unmetered disk space and malware protection etc.
iPage Review: Personal Opinion
If I had a very limited budget, I would choose iPage only for their 12-month promotional offer. If I did however have a bit more to invest, I’d probably look elsewhere, as the monthly uptime and page loading time are absolutely ridiculous and definitely need improvements. It might not be justifiable for only $1.99, but when you are forced to pay $8.99 after the promotional offer expires, well, it just isn’t that worth anymore.
Do I recommend it?
Absolutely! The price is a no-brainer, and if a few hours of downtime won’t bother you whatsoever, then iPage is as straightforward a pick as it gets. Go for it, and good luck!