iPage is one of the most popular inexpensive web host company that offers shared, virtual and dedicated hosting plans. The company was established in 1998, and today hosts over one million websites on their two datacenter, which are located in Boston, MA. Offering a variety of hosting plans, iPage is a great choice for newbies, small website owners and growing businesses.
Probably this is the best way to describe iPage in three sentences, and probably you can find similar information all over the web, because most web hosting review sites will give you a general view on the hosting companies they list.
Well, this ipage review will be a bit different: I will give you a complete and honest review and will also tell my personal experience with the company. Who would know better what is going on, than a customer who is using iPage since 2010? That customer would be me.
Why am I writing this iPage review? You can find ton of information about iPage, there are complains there are hate messages, there are people who love their service, and there are customers like me, who are hosting their website with iPage for a very long time and never talked about their experience. I’m writing this ipage review to help webmasters to decide it iPage is good or not for they need.
Certainly, Ipage is not for everyone, and I will not say this is the best hosting company ever, and you should sing up right away, because you are losing their promotional offer, indeed, iPage is not the best, it has some issues and in some cases can cause frustration among their clients, but why does this happen? I will tell you a bit later; now let’s see what features are included with the Essential Plan.
Main Features of iPage’s Essential Plan
- Easy website, domain, email and file management thanks to the vDeck control panel
- Easy to use website builder with a large number of free templates
- Affordable and reliable service backed by a great 24/7 available support team
- Risk free hosting service with 30 day money back guarantee
- Ability to host multiple website on same shared hosting account
- Ability to add multiple email addresses and create multiple MySQL databases
- Ability to expand to VPS or Dedicated hosting if needed
Now that you know what the main advantages of iPage are, I suggest digging deeper and analyze the company from a closer point of view. In the following I will explain every feature that is offered in the Essential Plan, will discuss the most common questions regarding this plan, will go through the other plans features, and will also share my personal experience along this process.
Unlimited hosting with iPage – Is this real?
Let’s make it clear, there is nothing in this world that is unlimited; web hosting can’t be unlimited. The fact that iPage offers unlimited space, bandwidth and email accounts, does not mean that you can host all the websites in the world on your shared hosting plan for only $2.25 per month. The concept of unlimited hosting is that the “normal” user is not limited to a strict number, so basically you are allowed to add-on as many websites as you want, create as many email addresses as you need, and use as much bandwidth as you need, all these under some rules. These rules are not very severe, only 0.05% of the users will fall into excessive server usage. If you conduct a normal business activity, without ever exceeding the server resources that are allocated to your account, there is no problem. If it may happen that your website has a huge traffic growth overnight (for example if your business gets on TV or on a very popular newspaper), you can have issues with your hosting account, but don’t worry, your account will not be closed. You will be notified and will have to make the necessary adjustments to stabilize your account.
So in theory the plan is unlimited, but technically has some limitations to it. This “unlimited” package is mostly for marketing, and because the current trends in the hosting industry is to offer these types of plans. If you are planning to build a simple blog or a business website and exchanging couple of emails a day, you will have no problems.
Is iPage as easy to use as they advertise it?
I consider myself a geek and a very techie person, who can figure out things really quickly, so for me it was extremely easy to figure out how to use their control panel and how to get started with the site builder; but you don’t have to be a geek nor have to have any prior experience with web sites or web hosting. The vDeck control panel is browser based software that allows you to do certain things on your hosting account, without the need to know programming. The control panel is very well organized, categorized, and designed; for every task you want to execute, there is a nice icon to use. With only couple of clicks you can easily add your existing domain, upload files, start creating your site with the site-builder, add email accounts, and so on; here is a screenshot of the vDeck control panel:
How simple is to build your website with iPage?
Actually, it is simpler to create and customize your website than you can think of. With the Weebly Drag and Drop Builder, you can start working on your website right after you login for the first time to your hosting account. You will need to look for the Weebly icon, in the control panel interface, click on it, add your domain name you want to use for the website and start creating you page.
The website building process is also extremely simple and very exciting. The interface of the tool allows you to choose a design (there are hundreds of free templates available for different purposes), drag the elements you want to use (you can add text, images, galleries, slideshow, social icons, etc.), create multiple pages (about us, contact page), test the design on mobile view, and when you are ready just hit the publish button. After few seconds of processing, your website will be online and visible to everyone. Here is a screenshot of the drag-and-drop site builder interface:
Here is a video as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKtxZ1Lhfts
I already have a website; can I transfer it to iPage?
If you have been hosting with another company, or you have already created an HTML website and want to upload it to your iPage account, you can do it. If your website does not use database, the process of uploading it to iPage is very simple. You have two options: you can set up an FTP account and use an FTP client like FileZilla to upload the files, or you can use the File Manager tool, which does not require any third party software, you can directly upload your files trough the control panel to the desired folder.
Building an e-commerce website with iPage
At iPage, there are lots of options to build an online store and start selling products online. For instance you can choose premium software such as Ecwid Online Store or ShopSite that can be activated from the control panel. These will cost you extra, around $5 per month on top of the standard hosting cost. If you don’t want to spend extra for a premium e-commerce store, you can use the SimpleScript application to install and configure a free online shopping script such as PrestShop, osCommerce, CubeCart, ZenCart, AgoraCart, OpenCart or other. If you are familiar with WordPress or Joomla, you can use these to build an ecommerce website. As you can see, there are plenty of options, is only up to you which software you choose to build you online e-commerce store.
Building a WordPress blog/website with iPage
WordPress is one of the most popular, open source blogging platforms, used by millions of websites. With wordpress you can not only create a blog, but you can also create almost any type of website. As I mentioned before, you can build even an online store by adding the WooCommerce or other plugin to the WordPress core. With the help of the SimpleScripts tool you can automatically install WordPress within couple of seconds with only few clicks.
I have been running 3 wordpress sites on my iPage account in the last 3 years and I had one single problem. Due to an outdated plugin, my WordPress website got hacked and was sending out spam. I got a notification from iPage about this issue with all the details and files that were compromised and I was able to remediate the situation right away. Please keep in mind that if you are running open source software on your hosting account, you have to keep the software and plugins up to date, otherwise your site can be compromised.
Those who are strictly using WordPress and want a more advanced and powerful package, the can choose from the two WordPress optimized hosting plans: WP Starter and WP Essentioal. These plans pricing differ from the standard hosting package, but they offer higher security and better performance for WordPress sites.
Building a Joomla website with iPage
When I first got into iPage, I was using Joomla, so my first website was built with this software. Joomla is a great open source content management system, that is almost as popular as WordPress, is very flexible and can be used for almost any type of website. It can be used to build an online store, company presentation, educational, non-profit website or even an online community site. Compared to WordPress, Joomla is using more server resources and by installing too many extensions, you can see significant decrease in performance. This is the reason why I transferred all my website from Joomla to WrodPress.
Building a Drupal website with iPage
Drupal is not as popular as Joomla or WordPress, but still there are lots of websites using it (governmental, non-profit, popular news sites). If you are a developer and you are into Drupal, probably iPage is not the hosing provider you need. Due to its server configuration, there are some cases when Drupal will not work with your iPage hosting account and you will be forced to change hosting provider. Personally I never used Drupal, but a friend of mine had issues setting up his website with this software.
iPage BBB Rating (Better Business Bureau)
Have you been searching for iPage.com on BBB.org to find out what is their rating? I guess you haven’t find them. That is because, iPage.com is not listed on BBB, but their umbrella company, The Endurance International Group, Inc. This company owns iPage and other big hosting providers such as FatCow, BlueHost, HostGator and others. EIG has been accredited business since 1999 and has received A+ rating.
Free marketing credits and free domain name
If you don’t have a domain already, you can benefit of the free domain option. During the signup process you can choose a domain to register and this will automatically be added to you hosting account. The marketing credits however are not automatically added to you plan, after you sign up, you will have to claim these credits. You can get up to $200 voucher on Google Adwords and Yahoo/Bing search ads, however you will have to spend a certain amount of money to be eligible to receive the credits.
30 day money back guarantee – how does it work?
Most users do not read iPage’s policy carefully when they sign up. When you decide to cancel your account within the first 30 days, for whatever reason (you are not satisfied with their service or support or the plan is just not right for your needs) you will get a refund. The 30 day money back guarantee applies to the hosting plan. If you have chosen to register a free domain, the price of the domain will be deducted. Also keep in mind that other services such as website protection or backup services or other non-hosting services are not subject of refund. If you cancel your account, you will not lose the domain, you transfer it to other registrar or you can point it to other hosting account.
What are the services you really need?
When you sign up for the Essential Plan, at the checkout page, there are some services that are selected by default. For instance the Advanced Site Protection (which will scan your website daily to protect you from malware and viruses) and a Backup service (that will perform automatic daily backups) is what iPage recommends. In my opinion these services are useless, so make sure you deselect these, and only buy the hosting plan.
Please keep in mind that the renewal rates differ from the promotional price, so to get the maximum discount, I recommend choosing the 3 years hosting plan.
Payment options your can use to purchase iPage hosting
To purchase an iPage web hosting plan, you can use two payment methods. As on most of the websites you can use your credit card, or if you prefer, you can use PayPal.
Server technology, performance and uptime
Ipage has a very good hosting infrastructure and uses the latest hardware and software technologies to ensure the best performance.
The company does not have an official uptime guarantee, but I’m monitoring my website with UptimeRobot for more than one year and the average uptime for a 30 days period is 99.98% for this particular hosting account I have with iPage.
Is iPage’s support helpful?
In my opinion, without a good service and support a company could never get to host over one million websites on their servers. Ipage offer multiple support options. You can get support via phone, email (using ticket system), live chat, or via the knowledge base, where you can find lots of articles and video tutorials on how to use your hosting plan.
During these 5 years I have been with iPage, I had to seek for support couple of times, and usually the response time on both live chat and email was pretty fast. The worst case was when I had to wait about 30 minutes for an email response which was an issue that urgently had to be fixed. Finally they did their job, but it was a very frustrating 30 minutes period.
What others are saying about Ipage?
Lately, while searching online, I found many iPage reviews and also found couple iPage complains. I was very interested to see, what the most common problems are that iPage customers are dealing with.
For instance on the CNET forums I found a thread, where people are comparing iPage to Godaddy and most of users vote for iPage to be a better choice. There are however some users who claims that iPage is not very good for an eCommerce website, because it is not possible to add a dedicated IP to the Essential Plan, that is required to had a non-shared SSL certificate for your online shop
On some hosting review sites I found that iPage is listed in the top 10 web hosting providers and usually is ranked in the top 3 positions. Other hosting sites are not even listing the company on their website, or if they write a review about iPage, it is usually going in a passive or negative tonality.
If you are dealing with customers on a global level, it is very hard to properly of take care of all complains. There will always be a small amount of people who are not happy with the service you provide. Ipage provides web hosting service for millions of websites, and the vast majority of its customers are very happy with their service.
If you do an in-depth research comparing the top 5 hosting companies, that are similar in their customer’s count and number of hosted websites, it is impossible to not find a negative review about them. There will always be customers who will complain, and here I’m not referring only to web hosting service, but to other services as well.
You will certainly not know the truth, until you try out iPage yourself. If the features that are offered by iPage are similar to your website needs, there is no doubt about that you will like iPage.
iPage renewal coupon and discount code
Unfortunately, iPage does not offer any renewal discount codes and you cannot get a lower price when renewing your account. As I mentioned before, it worth purchasing an account for a 3 years period to benefit the most from the introduction discount. There is however a workaround, if you still want to stay with the company but can’t afford their renewal rates. Time-to-time, iPage offers huge discounts if you purchase another hosting account. If your account is due to be renewed soon, you should definitely benefit of their offer and get a second account. After getting a new hosting account at a promotional price, you can then move your website to this account. Please check their terms and conditions to be sure if their second account promotion allows you to cancel you first one.
Final thoughts on iPage Hosting Provider
The bottom line is, that iPage is a great hosting company with a very good initial price and feature rich shared plan. From my tests and research resulted that the Essential Plan provides the best performance with websites built with their premium website building tool but it also runs very smoothly with WordPress. So if you want a small blog or a simple, professional and cost effective solution to build a website, iPage is the way to go.