iPage Review 2015
Regular Price: $9.99
www.ipage.com is a popular web hosting company owned by EIG and is recommended for small business owners and individuals. iPage is an affordable web host perfect for those starting off on a tight budget. While not the fastest web host, iPage provides decent hosting speeds at a super low introductory price with and all the features you’ll need to launch your own website. iPage is also easy to use and is a great choice for beginners who are new to web hosting. All in all, iPage is a great bargain for those looking to buy something that is affordable, user friendly, and dependable.
Why choose iPage:
- One of the cheapest choices with an abundance of included features
- Offers the best value for hosting a website
- Uses vDeck, a simple and easy-to-use control panel
- Ideal for small business owners or individuals on a budget
- Uses MOJO Marketplace for a variety of plugins, templates, & tools
- Customer support via telephone, live chat, & email
- Advanced VPS and Dedicated hosting plans for future growth
- Easy integration of Google Apps for Work
What are the disadvantages:
- Expensive renewal rates
- Weebly website builder is pointless and its proprietary nature makes conversion to other CMSes, like WordPress, very difficult
- Often promotes addons & additional services
- Slower performance & more outages than other web hosts
- Transferring sites from a cPanel web host to iPage can be difficult
- If you’re a blogger, you won’t get an RSS feed and the process of making an archive of old blog posts is manual vs. automatic with WordPress
The bottom line:
iPage is a good choice for users who prefer vDeck and entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to build their own website. They have a variety of free site builders, but we would recommend using them with WordPress.
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iPage – An In-Depth Review
iPage was originally founded in 1998 by Thomas Gorny – CEO of Unitedweb and Nextiva. Thomas had a vision to create an affordable web host. In 2009, iPage was acquired by EIG, which began restructuring and improving the company. Today, iPage hosts over 2 million websites in 150 different countries with its main office headquartered in Burlington, MA. John Shea is the current CEO for iPage and is continuing the iPage core mission to provide affordable web hosting for business, personal, social, and non-profit websites. iPage is BBB accredited under the Endurance International Group, Inc. with an A+ rating.
Hosting Plans & Features – Which One is Right for Me?
iPage offers a variety of web hosting plans suitable for almost every site. The Essential shared plan (the one advertised on their homepage) is by far their most popular, but they also offer several VPS and dedicated hosting plans as well. We really like their shared and basic VPS hosting plans and feel like they offer the best value for customers. All of their plans come with a variety of features and include over $500 of added extras. Here’s a quick overview of all their web hosting plans:
|Available Plan||Price||Recommended For:|
|Essential||$1.99/mo||Cheap hosting great for SMBs & individuals to launch a new site|
|WP Starter||$3.75/mo||Recommended for users who want to host WordPress sites|
|WP Essential||$6.95/mo||Better performance for users with larger WordPress sites|
|Basic||$24.99||Basic VPS plan for users who need basic VPS hosting|
|Business||$47.99||Enhanced performance VPS plan|
|Optimum||$79.99||Maximum performance VPS for users who need serious VPS hosting power|
|Startup||$119.99||Basic dedicated server for users who want to take their hosting to the next level|
|Professional||$151.99||Enhanced performance for a dedicated server|
|Enterprise||$191.99||iPage’s highest level dedicated servers for very large sites|
As we previously mentioned, their Essential plan is the most popular choice for iPage customers and most will signup with this plan. This is because the plan is very affordably priced with numerous features, making it a very attractive choice for customers. It is a great bargain for basic sites that need shared hosting. However, we’d strongly recommend the WP plans if you are planning to host a WordPress site. These plans are a worth the upgrade, although the essential plan will work fine with WordPress too. The WP plans do give a noticeable speed boost and may be a good investment for a small business site.
Their VPS hosting plans are for growing sites with dynamic content or ecommerce capabilities that need even higher performance and flexibility. The dedicated hosting plans are for even larger websites that need high security, optimal performance, and rapid response times. If you purchase a VPS or dedicated plan, you’ll also receive exclusive access to premium customer support which offers faster, better assistance to customers. We’ve found their basic VPS plan very affordable and a great choice to upgrade too if you need it. Although any VPS hosting service does cost significantly more than a shared account, the iPage Basic plan is very reasonably priced. Its a solid choice. One notable downside though is that you’ll be upgrading your hosting account from vDeck to cPanel, which may cause some delays in your transfer. The iPage support team can help you with this and will get the site transferred over for you.
WP Starter & WP Essential – Is iPage Good for WordPress?
iPage does offer 2 exclusive plans geared specifically for hosting WordPress sites. They are WP Starter & WP Essential. We highly recommend either plan for customers who are planning on hosting a WordPress site. While iPage’s standard shared plan does support WordPress, you’ll get much better performance from the WP plans. And we mean noticeably better! WP Essential offers exceptional WordPress shared hosting and is a great choice for small businesses that need professional results. If you purchase a WP plan, you’ll have access to a customized control panel geared specifically for WordPress. Below is a screenshot for a WP Essential plan:
Installing WordPress on a WP plan is also much easier and is less confusing for beginners (although WordPress is not that difficult to install either way). They have a simple, easy-to-use wizard that walks you through the install process. After you install a fresh WordPress site on your account, iPage will fully optimize it with properly configured caching, pre-installed plugins for enhanced performance/security, and also throw in several premium themes for free. Ultimately if you want WordPress, the WP plans are the best way to go.
Account Management – Tools, Features, & Control Panels
Managing your account with iPage is simple. You’ll first login to the iPage Account Management Panel (AMP) to get started (they’ll email you your login info after you signup). Their AMP is pretty straight forward and they have a handy video walk-through for beginners who need help. All the tools you’ll need to access within the AMP are neatly organized and grouped into sections, making them easy to find. Overall, the AMP is easier to use than many others.
Review of the Control Panel
iPage uses the vDeck control panel for their shared hosting plans. For VPS & dedicated plans, they use cPanel. If you’ve never hosted a site before, vDeck may seem a bit more simpler and a better choice for you. For other users, it boils down to personal preference. All in all, the control panel is easy to use and neatly displays all the tools you’d expect from a web hosting account.
Servers, Network, & Performance
All iPage hosted websites are served from the East coast. They are housed inside two data centers (with 2400 sqft of combined space) both located in the Boston, MA area. Both data centers are equally equipped with the same network architecture and equipment. iPage uses a pooled server architecture which is fully redundant and runs on N+1 power (both A/C and D/C).
In terms of actual performance, we’ve found that iPage hosted sites do score a bit lower than average, primarily with their Essential plan. Site speed is still decent, but definitely not the fastest. Their essential plan is very affordable, but lacks speed – it’s a trade off you’ll need to consider. Their hosting speeds are faster for visitors on the east coast and a bit slower for those on the west coast due to high latency and distance. Generally speaking, they offer decent hosting speeds for small websites at a very affordable price. We continually test and monitor the performance of iPage with Pingdom site monitoring tools to get a more technical measure of performance data. While this data may not be fully 100% representative of all the websites hosted on iPage (note that we tested shared hosting plans, not VPS or dedicated), this should give us a general idea. The results below are dynamically pulled from Pingdom:
Hosting Type Tested: Shared
Hosting Plan: Essential
Date Tested: Last 30 days
Description: Performance stats of the last 30 days from our iPage test account.
FAQs About iPage
Here are some frequently asked questions you may have about iPage:
You can order a web hosting plan from iPage by visiting their website, www.ipage.com. Click the “Sign Up Now” button to start the sign up process. You can choose a free domain name (new customers get a 1 year free domain registration), or if you already have a domain name, you can use your existing one. Next, enter your billing and payment info. Select the length of your hosting plan (1 year, 2 year, or 3 year) and check/uncheck any extra services listed below that. If you are not sure whether you would like to add any of the extra services, remember you can always add these on later at any time.
iPage accepts all major credit cards and PayPal.
You can cancel your account at any time. Simply call their billing department or send a cancellation email.
Disadvantages Explained – Things iPage Could Improve
As with any web host, there are some things that could be improved. We’ve discussed many of the pros for iPage, but here’s a further explanation of the cons:
Expensive renewal rates – This one of their biggest cons. Customers purchase an amazingly cheap hosting plan from them and get slapped in the face when it comes time for renewal. We get it – the cheap introductory rate is a marketing ploy to acquire customers. But the renewal fee is much higher than the initial rate – so beware. However that being said, the low introductory rate is an amazing price. We recommend taking full advantage of it by purchasing the 3 year term so you have quite a bit of time to enjoy that great introductory price. Just remember that eventually, you’ll need to pay the regular rate eventually.
Weebly website builder – Weebly is a great visual website builder, especially for beginners. iPage partnered with Weebly to allow easy integration and access to iPage customers – which is sort of pointless. This service is not free (unless you want limited features) and iPage customers will likely need to upgrade to Weebly’s premium plan. Users might as well just skip iPage and register for an account at Weebly instead.
Frequently promoted addons & services – iPage is a business and we get that they want you to buy more of their services, but frequently trying to upsell products can get a bit annoying. Some of their services may be useful and others not so much (such as the Weebly site builder for example). Others like professional web design, Facebook page creation, and search engine optimization services, may be more useful. Either way, frequently promoting extra services can be annoying for those that don’t want anything else.
Average hosting speeds – From our testing and experience with iPage, sites could load faster and have less downtime.
Website Migration from cPanel – If you already have a website hosted with another web hosting company, transferring to iPage may be a bit of an inconvenience. iPage uses vDeck which often complicates the transfer procedure from a cPanel host. You can’t just import your cPanel backup into vDeck. Transfers are possible, but you may need to call tech support and spend some extra time with the transfer. All in all, its a bit of an inconvenience, but still doable.
Did you know? iPage hosts over 1 million small business websites world-wide!
Recently Added iPage Features & Updates
- Google Apps for Work Integration – iPage has partnered with Google to provide customers with a seamless integration of Google Apps for Work. This means customers can professionally use Google services like gmail, hangouts, calendar, drive, and more, all at their domain name. Note: This service costs an extra $5/mo.
- VPS & dedicated hosting plans – iPage now offers 3 new VPS and 3 new dedicated hosting plans as a way for their customers to get better performance. Existing customers can now upgrade instead of transfer when they’ve outgrown a shared hosting account.
- 2 New WordPress Hosting plans – iPage has seen the growing need for a hosting plan better equipped for WordPress. They now offer 2 plans called WP Starter & WP Essential, geared exclusively for WordPress websites.
Conclusion – To Host or Not to Host?
As we reach the conclusion of our iPage review, we sincerely hope that it helped you decide whether or not you should host your site with them. Every site is different and you’ll need to determine if this web host best suits your needs. For further information about iPage, visit their website at www.ipage.com. If you found this review helpful, please like and share it!
Let Us Know Your Thoughts
We love hearing from actual iPage customers! If you have any positive or negative experience, please feel free to share it with us. You can email us your honest feedback about them at