iPage 2018 Cheapest Hosting Review

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iPage 2018

iPage started in 1998 and steadily grew to become one of the top hosting companies. Today it powers over 1 million websites, and it is a well-known brand in WordPress hosting. They also offer a range of bonuses and freebies on signup, worth more than $500, and their service is backed with a 24/7 online support and 30 day money-back guarantee.

iPage is a US-based company, having customers all over the world, and they claim having over one and a half million active domains on their system and hosting over one million websites in their datacenters.

affiliate_linkThe company started to provide different solutions to online business such as web hosting, domain registrations, marketing services.

Initially, the company found to serve domain registrations but later in 2009, it started web hosting services for WordPress CMS based websites and now the company known to be the Best Cheap Web Hosting provider with premium features and gives reliable hosting experience.

1What’s Good About iPage?

Affordable Starting Price: with the current promotional price, $1.99/month deal, iPage is the cheapest shared hosting provider that offers the possibility to host as many websites you want on the same account.

Easy Website Builder: this is a very useful tool, especially for beginners, who want to get their website going right after the signup. In theory, you can set up a website in 10 minutes with this tool.

Money Back Guarantee: unhappy with their service, want to change host, want to close website, the reason does not matter, you can ask for refund. *Please note that iPage no longer offer anytime money back, they changed their refund policy and now you can get a refund within 30 days. This is still a good period of time to test their services.

Instant Account Activation: after registration and successful payment, customer will receive an email with all the details that are required to access the newly purchased hosting account. No holding or phone activation is required.

Server Upgrade Options: if you are running a small business or online shop, you expect to get more and more traffic to your website. Shared hosting is great for small sites with low traffic, but if you need more server resources, you can always upgrade to one of iPage’s VPS or dedicated plans.

2In-depth Review of iPage.com Web Hosting

Above we have shown you some history and broadly covered the good and bad sides of hosting your site with iPage. Now we will analyze in-depth every aspect of the company, and will help you to decide if iPage is the right choice for your hosting needs.

3iPage Hosting Plans

The iPage Essential Plan is basically an “unlimited” all-in-one shared hosting package that comes with a wider range of features, tool and bonuses. Each account is allowed to create unlimited MySQL databases and add-on as many domains they like. iPage says that this plan includes unlimited space and bandwidth, under normal website operation. In their terms of service they do not specify the exact amount, but they do not allow certain type of behavior on these accounts such as file sharing service and other operations that consume high bandwidth and server resources.

The shared plan includes the Weebly drag-and-drop site builder tool, the starter version allowing you to create a webpage with up to six pages. To sell products online, you can use ShopSite which is a popular eCommerce platform that integrates with all major payment processors. It is also possible to install your favorite CMS or blog using their one-click installer tool. Click here to see all the available scripts.

Although the company does not advertise as heavily the virtual and dedicated server, you should know that they offer the possibility to their clients to upgrade their shared hosting account when necessary. The VPS and dedicated plans are available with monthly payment subscriptions as well.

4iPage Uptime / Downtime

iPage do not claim neither do no not offer any uptime guarantee. Because we were curious about their up-time, we have monitored 3 websites (two wordpress and one php website with up to 50 visitors a day) over 30 days and the result the iPage’s uptime was fabulous: 99,99% as the screenshot shows:

Please do not take this as a guarantee; this is only our test results.

The websites that are hosted at iPage are clustered over two data-centers, which are located in Boston, MA, USA. They use world-class technology and monitoring the network 24×7 to ensure that no service disruption occurs. iPage is prepared for an eventual power outage running UPS power backups along with a diesel backup generation system to make sure that websites are always up and running. Severs are backed up daily using NetApp Snapshot.

We wanted to show you a quick uptime status update on our iPage.com test website. As the following screenshot shows, there was a 4 minutes downtime at the end of November, 2017, but since then, there was no outage for our test website, resulting in 100% uptime in the last 30 days. The average response time is around 550ms, which is a great result.

iPage Uptime – January 2018

Just to give you a most recent update on our test results about iPage.com’s uptime, here is a screenshot take from UptimeRobot:

ipage uptime 2017 december

iPage Uptime – November 2017

The uptime status on our iPage hosted website was published one year ago. So we decided it is time to update it. In November 2017, there was a minimal outage, resulting in 99.99% uptime for a 30 day period, which is less than 5 minutes in a month. The average response time was around 650 ms. On high traffic spikes, the response time can increase, but it comes back to normal very quickly. These results are still very good for a low budget shared hosting plan. Nothing to worry about.

ipage uptime stats 2016 november

iPage Uptime – November 2016

The uptime for the monitored website hosted at iPage in November 2016 is 99.99% while the average response time was 1023 ms. The response time is still above industry average, but acceptable for a shared account.

5iPage Online Support

The company offers 24/7 online support via phone, chat and emails. They claim that on average calls are answered in about a minute.

Some ipage reviews sites claim that the online support is bad, most of them complain about the live chat, others are saying that the support team is great and they were able to get answers via phone in just couple if minutes. Searching the web, you will find a lot of different opinion about the quality and professionalism of the company’s support. It is a fact, that each customer is different and we all have different needs and thresholds. We also communicate in different ways and may approach a problem from a different angle and some time we misunderstand each other.

I had the chance to test Ipage support with a real problem and contacted all three support lines. Via the live chat I was not able to solve anything, the support specialist advised me to contact the technical department via email. Meanwhile I also called their phone support and tried to explain what my problem is; they were very professional and helped me right away. Because my problem was solved, they also closed the email ticket I sent earlier. So if you have a technical issue, you better send an email or call and avoid the live chat.

I did not found any information on their public site about the premium support option, but you should know that beside the free support there is a possibility to get benefit of a faster premium support at an additional cost.

Their knowledge base is a collection of articles, tutorials and videos that will help beginners to get started with their website. They cover the wide range of topics from how to use the control panel to WordPress and Joomla tutorials. It is a very good source of information for users who are new to web hosting and site building. This section of the website it is available for public users, so you can check it out before singup.

6iPage Control Panel

iPage use a custom-built control panel for their account management, called vDeck. If you are switching from a cPanel host to iPage, you should know that this does not differ much from the well know cPanel. It includes all the features you will need from creating your email account through to install scripts to manage your billings. This is a browser-based control panel that can be accessed right from iPage’s website using the login information that you receive on singup.

iPage has been re-branded in 2017; they got a new logo a new website design and the control panel has also been updated. Here is the screenshot of the new control panel:

ipage control panel 2017

This is a screenshot from the old control panel of our iPage test account.

ipage vdeck control panel

Screenshot: iPage vDeck Control Panel

The most popular tools are included at the top in the “My Favorite” section, where you can access your domains, emails, quickly install WordPress or other scripts with SimpleScripts or access the Weebly site builder.

VPS and Dedicated hosting plans offered by iPage include cPanel, full root access and fully managed support.

7iPage WordPress Hosting

 

While WordPress is the most popular open source CMS used for building websites, you most likely already heard about it. If you are looking to create your website using WordPress, probably you want to know if iPage is a good host to choose. The short answer is: Yes! iPage is good for WordPress sites.

The Essential plan is good enough for a standard WordPress site. We have been monitoring multiple WordPress sites that are hosted with iPage, and we got really good results in terms of uptime and performance. All these test sites are hosted on the Essential plan.

The installation of WordPress is straight forward. After accessing your iPage control panel, click on the WordPress icon, and follow the next few steps. In just a few clicks, you can setup WordPress to your website. No need to work with code or database, just follow the instructions provided on the installation page.

The WordPress optimized plans offered by iPage gives you an extra comfort. For instance, if you purchase the WP Essential plan, you will get WordPress installed to your website automatically. They also install handpicked plugins (Yoast SEO plugin, Ninja Forms, Google Analytics and others) to make your website more functional.

WP Essential also includes an extra layer of security, which detects and removes malware from your website. The benefit of using iPage’s WordPress plans is to save time and add extra security and functionality to your website. In case you have any questions or issues, you can contact the expert WordPress support.

8Create eCommerce Website with iPage

Starting an online shop these days is very easy. With iPage you can setup an online store quickly. The company provides a handful of tools for creating a professional eCommerce website for your business both open source and premium.

You can choose from a wide range of open source eCommerce software such as PrestaShop, OpenCart, AgoraCart, CubeCart, ZenCart, osCommerce and others. These can be installed to your website for free via the MojoMarketplace one-click installer service. You can also choose to build your online shop using WordPress or Joomla. For these two you will need to install additional plugins (WooCommerce, WP EasyCart, WP Simple PayPal Shopping Cart, etc.) and extensions (VirtueMart, HikaShop, Eshop, j2Store, Quick2Cart, PhocaCart, etc. ) to get the eCommerce functionality.

Ecwid Online Sotre is a premium online store building tool, which is very easy to use, and comes with all the necessary features that an eCommerce website needs. It can be integrated with WordPress, Joomla, Weebly and other software. The Basic Ecwid plan allows adding up to 20 products and will cost less than $5 per month. Of course there are options to upgrade and sell as many products you like.

If you are only selling few items on your website, and decide to pay extra for a premium online store builder, Ecwid Online Store might be the best choice and best value for your money.

However, if you choose an open source eCommerce software, it would be wise to go straight away for a VPS plan, or try out the shared plan first and upgrade it as needed. For better security, you might also want to consider adding an SSL certificate to your online store. SSL is only available on VPS or dedicated plans or Ecwid Premium and Unlimited plan.

What if you want to use WordPress and WooCommerce for building your shop? You can certainly use WooCommerce at iPage, however we recommend at least a VPS plan for this plugin to run at a good performance.

9iPage Pricing & Renewal Cost

While iPage doesn’t have varying plans it does have different pricing tiers based on the length of your initial commitment. If you choose a three-year term, for example, you will pay $2 per month. After your initial period is over, you pay $8 per month as the regular price.

If you choose the two-year plan, the price is $2.50 per month, and then $9 per month after the two years are up. The three-year plan is $3 per month, and then you’ll pay as much as $10 per month for the rest of your time with iPage. It’s a strange pricing system designed to encourage you to sign-up for three years to get iPage’s best regular price.

The WordPress hosting packages have two levels. The first is $3.75 per month for the introductory period with a regular price of $7.50 after that. The higher tier WP Essential plan is $7 per month for the initial period with a regular price of $10.50.

For VPS packages, iPage starts at an introductory price of $20 (regular $25) and goes up to $80 per month (regular $100). Dedicated hosting, meanwhile starts at $120 and goes all the way up to $240.

10Customize Your iPage Hosting Plan

When signing up with iPage, besides web hosting, you will have the option to select from couple of additional services. Some of them can be really good, while other might not needed. Let’s see which optional services you should purchase from iPage.

Domain Privacy: in our opinion this is a must if you register a domain with iPage. This service will hide your public domain information such as name, address and email from spammers, hackers and all unwanted eyes.

Website Security: this service promises to protect your website from viruses, hackers and malware by scanning it daily. If you are concerned about any of these, you might consider purchasing this service.

Site Backup & Restore: this service will automatically backup your website on a daily basis. In our opinion this worth purchasing, but to be extra safe, please keep a backup of current version of your website on a local device.

WordPress Optimization: you should only purchase this service, if you are planning to build your website with WordPress and need expert WP support. Please note that on optimized WordPress plans you are allowed to install only approved plugins and themes.

SSL Certificate: in our opinion this is a must for any type of website, not because you want to secure and protect sensitive visitor information and protect your website from phishing, but it is also a ranking factor in Google.

G Suite: this is a great business solution offered by Google enabling you to create professional company email, share calendars, create video conferences and store big files online. If you work online and you are in touch with lots of people, this product is a must to manage your work and time.

11iPage Money Back Guarantee

A full refund is granted within 30 days after signup; the refund does exclude the domain name (if you registered one with them) and add-ons that are offered to you on singup.

Before I started creating this ipage hosting review, I also did an online research to see what customers are complaining about. I found that half of complains were on the company’s money back policy. To understand how ipage’s money back works, please read their policy here.

12iPage Bonuses and Extras

There are few extras that are pretty basic and should be part of a standard hosting package such as spam protection and scans for malware, also the 24/7 support, however the marketing credits offered on Google, Facebook and Bing ad-networks which worth over $200 could be a good boost for initial website advertising.

13iPage Pros & Cons

There are many advantages choosing iPage as a hosting provider, but you should know that there are also disadvantages. Bellow you can find the top pros and cons of iPage hosting.

Pros

  • Affordable Pricing: iPage’s shared hosting plan is very affordable, if you sign up for a longer period
  • Beginner Friendly: their control panel, called vDeck is intuitive, easy to use and feature-rich
  • Scalable: if you need more resources than the shared plan can offer, you can upgrade to a higher tier hosting plan fast and easy
  • Reliable: although they do not have any guarantee on uptime, our tests have proved their reliability

Cons

  • Upsells: iPage offers lots of paid extra features, which you might not need or at other hosting providers are included for free
  • No Windows Hosting: iPage offers only Linux hosting
  • No cPanel: iPage uses vDeck control panel, which is similar in functionality to cPanel, but with less features
  • High Renewal: although iPage has lowered their renewal cost significantly, it is still high compared to introduction price

14Conclusion: Is iPage Right for You?

If pricing for the first three years is what matters to you, then iPage is an excellent choice. There’s simply no comparison to that $2 per month price point from the web hosts we’ve seen. After that initial offering, the prices are more typical and can actually be higher if you go with a shorter first-time commitment.

Overall, iPage offers great value at its initial price offerings for shared hosting, and is definitely worth a look for those who are just starting out with a new website.

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