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chris wagner

Chris Wagner

“We have been a paying customer for iPage hosting since August 2018.

We are monitoring iPages’s shared hosting servers for Uptime and Performance through our website hostingpill-ip.website.
 
This review of iPage hosting is based on actual testing done on their servers.”

This iPage Hosting Review was revised and updated on June 19 2019.
 
I LOVE underdogs so much that I’m going to tell you all about one of the most UNDERRATED web hosts around.

Although, some might disagree with me on whether this company is an underdog.

iPage is one of those hosts that the ordinary person might not know about, but which is pretty reputable to those in the hosting world.

It’s a veteran in the hosting world, being founded in 1998.

And what’s even more impressive?

It’s one of the bigger hosts around, supporting over a MILLION websites.

But despite its popularity, I don’t hear much said about iPage in the hosting world.

And you know what?

I know why that is.

I still think iPage is an underrated host worthy of many peoples’ consideration. But first, let’s take a look at one of the most important things:

Uptime

Uptime—and by extension, performance—is an essential factor you need to take into account if you’re a prospective customer.

I think uptime might be one of the reasons why iPage isn’t more discussed.

Check this out:

ipage uptime

Here’s the average Uptime:
ipage-uptime-2019

  • May 2019: 99.69%
  • Apr 2019: 99.33%
  • Mar 2019: 100%
  • Feb 2019: 100%
  • Jan 2019: 99.97%

ipage-uptime-2018

  • Dec 2018: 100%
  • Nov 2018: 99.98%
  • Oct 2018: 99.99%
  • Sep 2018: 99.46%
  • Aug 2018: 99.92%

Here’s the average Response Time:

  • May 2019: 2,877 ms
  • Apr 2019: 2,781 ms
  • Mar 2019: 1,129 ms
  • Feb 2019: 1,404 ms
  • Jan 2019: 1,668 ms
  • Dec 2018: 916 ms
  • Nov 2018: 1,021 ms
  • Oct 2018: 949 ms
  • Sep 2018: 829 ms
  • Aug 2018: 943 ms

iPage hosting Uptime Score: Detailed data you can see here.

These are mixed results, so let’s break them down:

Out of 8 months of testing, only 4 had 99.99% uptime or above, and only 3 had 100% uptime. So half the months had LESS than 99.99%.

Of those, we dropped BELOW what I consider standard: 99.95%.

I know all the 9’s make these numbers look high. But…

THIS is what August’s 99.92% uptime meant:

It was DOWN for 34 MINUTES.

And if you’re selling stuff, or just getting hit with increased amounts of traffic, that can be deadly.

Of course, not everyone’s going to find uptime equally important. And that month was an exception, not a rule.

So the uptime might not be so bad, right?

Uh-oh. There’s one more problem:

The response times. These are WAY higher than what I consider a good speed.

And, they’ve only gotten WORSE since 2019 began.

So this is my overall take:

The uptime is overall decent, but not good enough to be considered very reliable, and the response times are poor.

Luckily for iPage, uptime is important, but not the ONLY important thing:

Ease of Use

Ease of use is of varying importance to everyone, but one thing’s for sure: hosts need to have at least some level of usability, and usually the more, the better.

Even highly advanced users stand to benefit from a user-interface that saves them time. And beginners, of course, need an interface that makes it easy for them to do whatever work needs to be done.

So how does iPage stack up?

It’s fine. Actually, iPage is one of the easiest hosts to use.

This is partly because there’s something UNIQUE about iPage’s controls:

ipage control panel

There’s NO cPanel.

Instead, iPage has its own control panel, shown above. If you’ve seen a cPanel anywhere, you know that this is pretty close in format and style.

Except, iPage has an EDGE over cPanel because of this:

ipage control panelWhenever you navigate around your panel, the tabs at the top contain all the tools in the “control panel home.”

Because of this, you essentially always have the control panel’s options even when navigating around it.

I personally really like this format.

Hosts that use their own panels instead of cPanel run a risk of being difficult:

People who are used to cPanel may be annoyed by having to get used to a new format, and some hosts can fail to make the panel intuitive.

But iPage does a great job of keeping things simple AND effective.

This means that total beginners should be able to figure things out without too much trouble, and intermediate users shouldn’t have trouble adjusting.

Adjusting your account is similarly easy, and done from a drop-down menu:

ipage account toolbarSo overall, iPage is great on ease of use. BUT, I have a problem with it:

Sometimes it feels like there’s not enough stuff.

I’ll grant that cPanels can be full of junk or useless items, and thus look more full than they are—but iPage sometimes feels like it’s lacking more advanced user settings.

Still, that’s all pretty minor, and could just be subjective to me. Consider this a warning to those who like to have their screens filled with options.

All things considered, iPage is really easy to use. It combines user-friendliness without sacrificing user control too much.

So in my opinion, both beginners and advanced users can use iPage easily AND effectively.

But there’s something else that’s gonna make a world of difference, even if iPage IS easy to use:

Pricing and Features

Yep. This is what y’all have been waiting for—the price tags, and what you get for them.

I’ll tell you right off the bat that iPage’s strengths lie in this section. But let me start with shared hosting, because iPage is SUPER unique in this area.

This is a RELIEF:

ipage shared hosting priceIt’s simple. There’s just ONE product, so you’re not dealing with a tiered system that increases price as well as features and storage capacities.

Though of course:

ipage shared hosting pricesLike most hosts, the low price iPage advertises is NOT ONLY just for the first term, but the first term of a 2 or 3-year commitment.

So that sucks. But here’s the thing:

Even IF you chose to commit for only one year, you’d still be getting a relatively affordable hosting plan. $2.99 is still lower than most competitors’ first term prices.

So relatively speaking, iPage is definitely offering one of most affordable shared web hosting packages around.

But doesn’t this mean iPage is going to sacrifice a lot of features and resources?

Well, have a look at this:

ipage shared hosting featuresThe answer would appear to be “no.”

When iPage says this is a one-size-fits-all plan, it wasn’t a joke.

So any shared web hosting plan with iPage will have basically high-tier features, meaning unlimited: domains, MySQL databases, disk space, and unmetered bandwidth.

These are impressive ESPECIALLY at iPage’s prices, but throwing in all the ecommerce software, a free website builder, one-click installers for WordPress and support for most other CMSs…that’s KILLER.

Now obviously, it’s not perfect:

For example, some of you may not have heard of those shopping carts. Plus, it doesn’t look like there are a ton of add-ons boosting performance.

But the thing is, all of it WORKS just fine.

So yes, it’s not AS advanced as some of the most premium shared hosting available with other hosts, but it’s STILL pretty powerful.

This makes it a great option for anyone who’s not limited to the highest quality shared tiers around.

People on a budget will find this has some of the best features and resources for lower-than-average prices, and those with intermediate needs will find the features they were looking for, for much lower prices than usual.

So iPage’s shared hosting is overall really good as far as what you get for the price is concerned. But what else does iPage offer?

Well, this, for starters:

ipage wordpress pricesNow, as far as WordPress hosting goes, the prices are pretty normal. I’d be more concerned here with features: it’s essentially unrestricted on paper as far as resources go.

But as far as extra features go, it’s not super standout. Other hosts popular for WordPress hosting have better features, or are easier to use, or have better performance.

It’s not that iPage is a bad option for WordPress. It really just depends on what you prioritize, and if iPage meets those priorities better than its competitors.

But GENERALLY, I don’t think iPage’s WordPress hosting is special.

But of course, iPage isn’t done selling hosting from just those two:

ipage vps pricesiPage’s virtual private server (VPS) hosting prices are pretty standard.

I don’t like seeing renewals higher than initial purchase prices on hosting larger than shared hosting, BUT: those renewal prices aren’t that high.

So in total, both for the first year and in the longer run, you’re not really looking at a relatively pricey plan.

As far as resources go, things are pretty standard. You start with 1 core, 1GB of RAM, and 40GB of disk space plus 1TB of bandwidth.

You can scale that up to 4 cores, 8GB of bandwidth, and 4TB of bandwidth, all of which are pretty good.

But it’s NOT perfect:

Unlikely some competing plans, you can’t go past 2 IP addresses. Plus, I kind of think the storage could be a little higher to make these a GREAT deal, at least for the higher tiers.

But the TRUTH is, these are fair assortments of resources that stay competitive, generally speaking.

Aside from the IP addresses, the major problem is that some of these plans won’t go big enough for some users:

People who are looking for more resource-intensive VPS plans, with more RAM and storage, will probably need to go somewhere else.

AND, these plans only come with Linux servers—so people who want Windows options will also have to check out somewhere else.

These downsides really only will matter to people looking for super resource-intensive VPS hosting.

But if you just need something higher than shared hosting, iPage’s VPS plans have good prices INCLUDING decent renewal prices and a pretty good allocation of resources.

So all things considered, these are good VPS plans.

Of course, that doesn’t mean people in need of more resources need to worry:

ipage dedicated hostingThese dedicated servers pick up where the VPS plans left off.

The prices are certainly reasonable—in fact, probably on the lower side for the first term, with the renewal prices being closer to standard.

Some parts of these plans are GREAT:

You start with 5TB of bandwidth and end with 15TB for the last tier, plus you can have 500GB or 1000GB of disk space. Not to mention the IP addresses.

Granted, some people will need more storage, but practically speaking, I’m sure these plans are high-powered enough for most people in need of a dedicated server.

But other stuff is kind of unfortunate:

You start with 2 cores but you can’t go past 4. 4 cores is a good number, make no mistake, BUT it’s not competitive with the 8+ cores some rivals offer for higher-end dedicated servers.

The RAM is decent, but the cap of 16GB is more of a mid-tier amount compared to some other hosts, which might offer 32GB or even 64GB on the high end.

Now, taking everything together, iPage’s dedicated hosting plans are overall good. But some people will need to find plans somewhere else:

Mostly, these would be people who need higher-end servers with a lot more resources. iPage won’t be able to provide the resources with its existing plans.

Plus: you can get servers with other companies that offer not only more resources, but better prices (relative to what you get).

Now, suppose you need your own server but you don’t need the most premium option around:

iPage’s plans are fine.

And if you already have an iPage account, it would make sense to simply upgrade to one of iPage’s dedicated servers.

Let’s put everything together:

iPage’s shared hosting plans are definitely the crown-jewel.

The WordPress and dedicated hosting plans are good, but not exceptional. The VPS plans are a bit better, as they’re an affordable way of scaling up

But what really stands out to be is the shared hosting, because it’s so well-resourced and well-featured AND has GREAT prices.

But, important as features and pricing are, there’s still more we need to see iPage do:

Customer Support

Everyone will probably have to deal with customer support at some point. Websites may fail to properly document the specifics about your plan, and technical difficulties crop up.

So customer support is definitely an essential, no matter how advanced you are.

iPage’s customer support is overall pretty good, though it can be skimpy at times. Something I really like about it is how EASY the support is to use.

iPage’s knowledge base is easily accessible from the “help” button in the control panel.

Once you get there, it’s really easy:

ipage knowledge baseEach category will usually have some subcategories and then articles under those.

Here’s the thing about the articles themselves:

They’re too short, a bit skimpy on the info. Sometimes this is good, because they get straight to the point without wasting your time. Other times, it feels lacking.

But OVERALL, the knowledge base is pretty solid.

Right above the knowledge base are options for contacting customer support.

ipage contact supportIn my experience phone support has been pretty solid. It’s not the best phone support I’ve ever dealt with, but I don’t have any bad remarks either.

Live chat is also pretty decent.

Once you actually talk to someone on live chat, it’s usually pretty straightforward:

ipage chat ipage chat It didn’t take very long for a representative to answer my question, though it was admittedly simple.

Most of my interactions with live chat have been roughly like this. No (or minimal) upselling, speedy responses, and quick answers.

Overall, iPage doesn’t really have a whole lot of other customer support, compared to some other companies.

Some companies have a ton of stuff on paper, in addition to their knowledge bases. But in reality, this frequently amounts to a lot of fluff that looks good but isn’t practically useful.

It’s true iPage lacks email support, which is kind of basic.

So here’s my HOLISTIC take on iPage’s customer support:

iPage is a bit simple, but still useful. While it’s true lacking email/ticket support is unfortunate, at least the other options work well.

And while the knowledge base is essentially the only on-site resource with information, and isn’t hugely in-depth, it’s really well-organized and straightforward.

In conclusion, not the best, but still pretty good.

Security

Of course, there’s something else to talk about, more fundamental than customer support:

Good security that prevents most problems.

Well, I’ve got some bad news in this area.

What POSSIBLE problem could I find with iPage now?!

Unfortunately, iPage is owned by Endurance International Group, a conglomerate that owns a lot of other hosting companies—including HostGator and Bluehost.

Here’s why that matters:

utahBecause EIG crammed a bunch of subsidiary hosts’ servers into a single facility, a failure in one data center brought down four major providers.

This included Bluehost and HostGator.

So iPage was clean from this EIG failure, but it still might be a bit suspect to cost-cutting measures from the conglomerate company.

Of course, iPage does this stuff:

ipage sitelockAnd it’s good iPage has some affordable website security tools, but aside from what they SELL you for your end of things, you need to trust THEM and their end of things.

So, check this out:

ipage shared securityGranted, it’s not the Pentagon’s security, but it’s still pretty up to date. And, this is just for the SHARED hosting accounts.

And of course, things get increasingly secure as you get more and more space dedicated just for you.

The key bits for us are that things are up to date, and placed between two data centers—two isn’t the biggest number, but it’s much better than one.

So all in all, what’s the security take?

It’s good. Not top-notch, but good, and perhaps better than some of iPage’s sister companies owned by EIG.

Let’s keep this positive note going:

Pros

These are iPage’s strong points:

  • One of the BEST shared hosting plans around, with low prices and a lot of features and resources.
  • All other plans are on the affordable side, and decent in terms of quality. So overall iPage is a good budget host.
  • Customer support is overall decent. The nice thing is the simplicity and efficiency of the help portal.
  • iPage is pretty easy to use, and in fact I think it has one of the most efficient customer portals/control panels around.
  • Performance is overall good (but probably not good enough for everyone).

Cons

Leading off that last note, here’s where iPage falls short:

  • While the uptime will be okay for some, it’s probably too risky for anyone who needs consistently strong uptime. Plus, the response times are consistently way higher than normal.
  • Although the existing iPage plans are decent, there aren’t many options for those in need of top-tier VPS or dedicated products. Specifically, those who need the latest servers and/or the highest amounts of RAM or storage should probably look elsewhere.
  • There is no email or ticket support, only live chat and phone support. Additionally, there are no further resources on the site beyond the knowledge base, which isn’t the most detailed (although it’s overall okay).
  • iPage doesn’t have cPanel on most of its hosting plans. I think this is fine, because the iPage control panel works just as well, but any staunch cPanel fans might find this an issue.

Conclusion: Do I Recommend iPage?

Okay, let’s get to the GOOD stuff. Do I recommend iPage?

Well…this is who iPage ISN’T best for:

People who need top-tier dedicated or VPS hosting plans, and people who need consistently great uptime (99.99% or 100%).

iPage’s existing plans are fine, don’t get me wrong. The problem isn’t so much with what iPage offers, as it is what iPage DOESN’T offer.

I expect most people searching for dedicated servers or VPS options will find iPage’s specifications and resource allowances to be pretty decent for the price. BUT, those who need more premium options will need to go elsewhere.

But on the flip side:

iPage is a GREAT option for lower-cost hosting.

The VPS, dedicated server, and WordPress options are all pretty good, with relatively decent features and resources per prices.

But what REALLY stands out is iPage’s shared hosting.

This is the CROWN JEWEL of iPage’s hosting lineup. It’s affordably priced, even compared to first-tier shared options on many of iPage’s bigger rivals.

But even better, the one shared plan has basically everything you can get in a shared hosting plan. This means that people who just need basic hosting will get it for a decent price plus more.

And people who want higher-quality shared hosting with lots of features will ALSO get it, for a bargain price.

BUT, there is that big PROBLEM I mentioned:

The performance.

Unfortunately, my tests of iPage revealed shoddy results. A couple months had below-standard uptime and the response times were ALWAYS too high.

Because of that, I wouldn’t recommend iPage to anyone who needs a reliable 99.99% uptime (or more) every month. This INCLUDES people who just want shared hosting.

But for people who don’t need perfect uptime, and who need an affordable, yet capable, hosting plan: iPage is one of the best options around.

If you’re not sure:

ipage money back…Then just try it for a month, and see if you like it!

Happy hosting!

FAQ

The money-back guarantee covers the hosting, so if you want to keep the domain you registered for “free,” you’ll need to pay. But this is common practice and completely fair.

ipage refund domain

This is a little tricky, especially because different hosts do different things on their websites.

Some hosts will have a section on their sites titled “WordPress,” which sounds like it refers to WordPress hosting plans BUT ACTUALLY is simply a more detailed description of the WordPress capabilities of SHARED plans.

Other hosts actually offer both normal shared hosting plans AND WordPress hosting plans.

iPage falls into this second category.

In short, iPage’s WordPress plans are still being hosted on a shared server. So it’s still essentially shared hosting. However, these plans are specifically made for easy WordPress set-up and use.

If you feel confident in your ability (and TIME!) to install, configure, and manage WordPress, then the normal web hosting plan is probably a better deal.

But if you don’t mind spending a little extra for an easier time, the WordPress plans may be for you.

Those who aren’t super familiar with hosting can get quickly confused by looking at a few different hosts. Some hosts will talk about something called “cPanel,” while others will say “control panel.”

In short, cPanel IS a control panel, but it’s a specific type of control panel. It’s enormously popular and MOST popular web hosts have cPanel for MOST of their hosting plans.

Every now and then, when you get a host—in this case, iPage—that says they have a “control panel,” it just means some other type of control panel.

Pretty easy, right?

Yep. Usually the hosts design these control panels, but sometimes they simply choose from alternative options.

Generally, it CAN be confusing if your host doesn’t use cPanel, as cPanel is really easy to use AND is super common.

BUT, in the case if iPage, the control panel is JUST as easy as cPanel. In fact, it’s extremely similar in a number of ways, so I doubt this would matter to most customers unless you REALLY love cPanel.

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