iPage Expert Hosting Review:
iPage feature prominently in our list of the cheapest web hosts thanks in no small part to their ideal combination of simplicity and exceptional value for money, making them the ideal solution for hosting websites on a budget. On top of that you get over £300 in advertising, marketing tools, WordPress installation and a website builder included!
We’ve ranked iPage our number one choice for these reasons. Once you’ve disabled the extras you just can’t beat there web hosting rates!
Continuing with the theme of keeping things simple, iPage offer just a few options when it comes to choosing a hosting package. Whilst this may seem fairly restrictive, it actually works in your favour as a user. Unlike other hosting companies, you’re not faced with a series of complicated plans, all offering slightly different features or upgraded allocations.
Instead, you pay for the basic plan that suits your needs, and get everything included for the same price, including, in most cases, unlimited bandwidth and storage space. If you do need extra features that aren’t automatically included in your plan, you can pay for those separately when you go through the check-out process, though more of that later.
The iPage Essential Plan
As the name suggests, the Essential Plan comes with everything most website owners will need to launch their site.
This includes a free website builder with the flexibility to create up to six pages for your website. Though the number of templates and themes might not necessarily rival those offered by dedicated site building platforms, the ones that are available are well designed and make a good starting point for building your own website without the need for any knowledge of HTML.
Among the other bundled-in features (of which there’s a lot), of particular note is the handy one-click installation of many popular platforms.
Integrated support for Content Management Systems such as Joomla, Drupal and Magento, along with blogging platform WordPress, phpBB forums, photo galleries, and more, all make the Essential Plan just as good for the web-savvy as it is for newcomers.
More Essentials features
If you’re planning to start your own online store, the basic Essentials Plan has you covered with a free tools to start an online store, complete with your choice of shopping cart and Paypal integration.
Taking care of the communications side of things, you can create unlimited email addresses at your own domain name, and manage messages to those addresses via either via webmail or through the additional bonus of unlimited POP/IMAP email accounts
Beyond that, you’ll also have access to 1GB of cloud storage space with JustCloud, site stats and visitor traffic reports and unlimited use of MySQL databases.
Though it is entirely possible to run a WordPress-based website perfectly well on the Essential Plan, iPage promises greater speed and security for your site with a plan solely for WordPress users.
The introductory offer is $0.50c more than the Essential Plan, which offers a whole lot more in terms of features and still comes with the same unlimited bandwidth and storage space allocations, though their WordPress plan does promise an infrastructure ideal for WordPress.
Whilst this certainly sounds impressive, we’d hope iPage provide the same dedication to speed, security and support across all their packages, so unless you have a specific reason for choosing WordPress-specific hosting, we say the Essential Plan should still serve you pretty well, whilst actually working out that little bit cheaper.
Dedicated and VPS hosting plans
Though Dedicated and Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting are two separate plans, we’ve put them together here for the simple reason that, whilst most of iPage’s services cater for novice users, these particular plans are, by design, for those with more expertise and experience under their belt.
For business users or those managing large, popular websites that bring in scores of visitors, iPage’s dedicated and VPS plans come in basic, business and optimum sizes, all at prices on a par with their competitors.
As with all good hosts, there’s also the opportunity to expand your hosting plan as your website grows, so you can start small and only pay for things like additional bandwidth when you really need them.
Having chosen one of the above packages, you’ll next be taken to the registration page where you can select your a domain name that comes free for one year (you’re looking at around $15 after that).
From there, it’s time to enter your payment info and start looking at those additional tools and features that iPage wants to include in your plan.
The first of these, and one that’s easily overlooked if you’re not careful, is domain privacy, which prevents services such as Who.Is from making the information you used to register your site publically available. Coming in at $9.99 per month, this might be a good idea for personal sites, or if you’re running a business from home, though if you’re registering with company details which you’d be publicising anyway, you might want to uncheck this box and save yourself some money.
Beyond that, few of these add-ons do very little that you can’t already do cheaper -or even for free- with other services.
With Google Apps for example, the free version is more than sufficient for most small businesses, whilst even if you could benefit from paying for the premium versions, you might as well treat yourself to a 30-day free trial first, direct from Google themselves.
WordPress optimization is well covered by any number of free plugins, and mobile optimisation is taken care of by any number of responsive website design templates that fit with your CMS or WordPress platform.
As illustrated above, iPage only makes two of these extras -Site Protection and Automated Backups- selected by default. We recommend unticking the first one and keeping the second. If this web host didn’t provide sufficient security in the first place, we wouldn’t be talking about them here, so you can safely remove that from your cart. Automated backups on the other hand are a good idea, especially if something goes wrong and you need to get your site back online quickly.
Ease of use
Again, iPage web hosting works best for those who need a cheap, simple solution to starting a website by making their whole operation manageable from a single user interface known as vDeck. The video above gives a good overview of what to expect when you first log into your account, and how to get started.
From vDeck, you can do everything from upload new files, install a WordPress blog and take advantage of free marketing tools like Google Adwords credits and helpful guides to help you really give your new online presence a boost.
It’s worth noting however, that if you’re not based in the US, the only free marketing tools you’ll receive are those marketing guides. For whatever reason, users in the rest of the world don’t receive the usual free advertising credits as standard.
Customer support plays a vital role in choosing the best hosting provider for your new website, and iPage certainly hold their own by providing round-the-clock support via email, live chat and telephone.
In the latter, they’re especially helpful by providing a freephone number, and promising to answer calls within an average of one minute.
There’s also a vast online help centre at your disposal, with tutorials, guides and a helpdesk system for technical issues.
Money back guarantees
With some of the cheapest prices for web hosting available, iPage absolutely offers great value for money, though don’t worry if things don’t quite work out for you, you can always get your money back.
During the first 30 days, you’ll get the full cost of your hosting plan refunded. After that, the company’s Anytime Money Back Guarantee ensures that you’ll receive a refund for the remainder of your payment term.
The only thing they won’t refund is the cost of your domain name, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it means you get to keep the domain for yourself and take it to another hosting provider if you choose to.
Pros of iPage Hosting
iPage hosting reviews indicate that customers tend to stick with iPage for years rather than months. This is a very good sign. The range of hosting packages from shared hosting and WordPress hosting, to VPS and dedicated hosting allows customers to increase hosting plan capacity as their own web site grows in visitor traffic. Green hosting is rare to see in the power-intensive web hosting world. Wind power harnessed energy is used throughout their server data centres. This has a considerable feel good factor. Very affordable initial pricing. In terms of performance it’s up here with the very best and also offers superb up time of 99.99% unlike many other web hosting companies!
Cons of iPage Hosting
There is always a risk that a shared host will add too many sites to a single under-powered server, so anyone accepting a cheap shared hosting plan needs to be aware of this. A monitoring site like Site24x7 can regularly check whether a site is still live or has gone down. Notification can be via email or SMS text message. Prices rise steeply following the initial contract period, as they do when opting for short contract periods with iPage.
As cheap web hosting goes, few better meet the needs of small businesses and novice site owners quite like iPage. Their simple platform, clear information and affordability makes them a sound choice for those who need to promote their site online as quickly and easily as possible.
If you’re looking for hosting for a larger website, or perhaps one that requires more complex features, you may encounter some performance issues whilst using this particular host, making other companies a more viable option, though for everyone else, iPage definitely gets the job done.
What others say:
“I’ve been using iPage for years to manage several different websites for my business, and as long as they continue to offer the best value for money compared to other hosts, I’ll continue to do so.”
Stacy Kamencik – Entrepreneur
“I manage lots of different websites on behalf of my clients and always recommend they host with iPage. The range of features and products they offer is second to none, and means I can create a wide variety of sites for all kinds of businesses.”
Rochelle Asa – Web Designer
“As a freelancer with no previous web design experience, I needed a way to create an online portfolio that wasn’t too confusing or time-consuming. Using iPage’s free tools, I was able to do just that. Highly recommended.”
David Greenberg – Freelance photographer