Asking the question “iPage or eHost?” is a bit like asking someone to choose between a croissant and a bagel. A lot of it comes down to your particular situation. What do you prefer? What goes with the rest of your purchase or meal? But it’s a choice either way you go.
Both iPage and eHost are:
- hosting companies owned by Endurance International Group (a large hosting service corporation that also owns the Bluehost brand).
- pretty established, well-known brands in the hosting world (though both have been relaunched w/ new branding recently).
- focused on customers looking for an affordable hosting company,
- providers of shared Linux hosting with a similar menu of services.
But even with those things in common, they are still different brands with different advantages & disadvantages (one reason Endurance maintains both companies instead of merging them). I reviewed iPage in full here and reviewed eHost in full here.
In this comparison between iPage vs. eHost, I’ll try to break down the differences that I’ve found in seven different areas ranging from pricing structure to customer service and market focus so you can decide which is the best fit for your project.
Let’s dive into iPage vs. eHost review…
Disclosure – I receive customer referral fees from companies mentioned on this website. All opinion and data are based on my experiences as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Like I mentioned before, eHost and iPage both offer very similar products/services revolving around shared Linux hosting. Linux is the “kind” of hosting that will run the most popular web-based apps like WordPress, Joomla, etc – and the kind of hosting that most small businesses will need to power their website.
It’s notoriously difficult to compare pricing plans and structures among hosting companies. Some companies put caps on some things and not others. Then there are companies that offer “unlimited” everything. It ends up feeling like you’ve got to compare apples to oranges.
Fortunately, iPage and eHost have pretty comparable options. They also focus on budget hosting offerings, so there is very little escalation in their plan offerings. You can check out iPage’s hosting plans here and eHost’s hosting plan here.
eHost makes it incredibly easy by offering a single plan with unlimited everything, plus a couple of great bonus features (which I’ll mention later on). They end up being very affordable both short and long term. Plus they have a super aggressive short term discount program with frequent specials (and the prices can be locked in for years).
Ehost’s offers basically go like this: $5.98/mo for 3 yrs, $7.98/mo for 2 yrs, $9.98/mo for 1 yr and $13.98/mo for monthly term – all subject to deep discounting.
iPage has several options, but they primarily market their Essential Plan, which is almost identical to eHost’s plan (unlimited everything + some bonuses). It starts at $11.95/mo for 2 years and $12.95/mo for 1 year, but they offer deep discounts pretty consistently (like, sometimes down to $1.99/mo). They don’t offer any monthly pricing though.
There is one caveat about pricing for both iPage and eHost. As discount hosting providers, they’re going to want to make money in other ways. One of those ways is via upsells.
Upsells are not good or bad. They just are something to be aware of. If you are the type of person that can ignore upsells – then you’ll get cheap pricing from both. But if you hate upsells – then be aware. Here’s an example from iPage’s checkout flow –
But it’s not just iPage. Here’s eHost –
Just something to be aware of w/ a discount host.
Because there are so many different add-ons and extras that hosting companies often tag on, it can be hard to draw an accurate comparison. To even out the playing board, I like to break down hosting features into a “core feature set” and a “bonus features set.”
The core feature set includes the 3 D’s: Domains, Disk Space, and Databases/email.
- Domains are how many distinct web properties you can connect to your account.
- Disk space is how many files you can store on your account.
- Databases/email is how many software instances you can install to help manage those files (ie, one install of WordPress requires one database on your server).
Generally speaking, hosting companies put a cap on one or all of these categories according to their price range.
But eHost and iPage both offer unlimited everything. It seems too good to be true, right? Just keep in mind that even when you’ve got “unlimited” disk space, the hosting company will have certain abuse & file-sharing policies in place. After all, a shared hosting plan means exactly that – you are sharing the disk space with other people. There will be some sort of limit. Their version of “unlimited” is that they will not pre-emptively cap your use if you are using it in a predictable manner.
They are both basically even on those counts.
So let’s take a look at some of the bonus features. eHost offers one-click installs for WordPress, Drupal, etc along with unlimited access to email tools, FTP, and MySQL. They don’t leave out any of the basics and have decent memory allocation. You’ll also get ad credits and a free domain name for a year.
iPage has all the basics you’ll need – including auto installs for things like WordPress. They do use custom scripts, which are confusing and cluttered compared to the standard scripts. They also offer unlimited access to email tools, ad credits, and a domain name. Their memory allocation isn’t as good as eHost though.
Here’s iPage’s server information –
If you anticipate needing to move to a dedicated server or VPS hosting, iPage is the better choice between the two – but I’d recommend choosing a better VPS provider altogether.
The primary job of your website extends far beyond storing files online and delivering them to your website visitors. You also want your website to do this quickly. It might sound like an elementary assumption – but there are actually a lot of factors that go into website speed. And many times it’s not just the host that causes the slowdown.
That said, the speed of your server makes a huge difference. But unfortunately, there isn’t a great way for non-network engineers to gauge server speed between hosts. So, I use something called TTFB (Time to First Byte) for my reviews to measure performance. Basically, we measure how quickly the server sends the first byte of data after it receives the request from the browser.
Here is eHost’s typical performance (screenshot from 2016) –
It’s not as bad as some big brands but isn’t awesome either. It will work fine for a small website with regular traffic. But it won’t be a good idea for a project that targets mostly mobile users or has a ton of imagery.
And here is iPage’s performance test –
iPage does about the same as eHost – not amazing, but not absolutely terrible. It’s really too close to call between the two on this point, so let’s look at some other factors.
Usability & Onboarding
“Onboarding” is how you move a new customer to an active customer. For hosting companies, this can be a challenge. Their service is technical by nature. But a good hosting company will help you get started quickly.
The good part is that both iPage and eHost use cPanel for their server backend. It’s an industry standard and makes website setup straightforward (though slightly daunting). They both have fairly simple – though basic account backends. Here’s a screenshot of iPage’s account backend.
Here’s eHost’s backend. It’s simpler & cleaner but still has a few things missing.
eHost does a good job with new account emails and a decently clean path to installation.
iPage though has a serious problem with “customizing” their quick install software. They argue that it simplifies common setups like WordPress. But, in my opinion, just clutters it with awful upsells and non-ideal plugins from their parent company.
eHost does this with their quick install – but not to iPage’s degree. It’s arguably simple to deactivate and remove any unwanted software, but I think that shows a bit of upsell bias from iPage.
On usability, eHost is a better company.
Customer service can be another tricky feature to compare because it’s hard to get a clear picture without a whole bunch of anecdotes. You never know if you just happened to speak with the company’s top customer service agent and had a great experience – or if the guy was having a terrible day and got frustrated with your question.
The best way that I’ve found to measure customer service is to look at the support channels they offer (accessibility) and the DIY/self-help options they have. These two factors are generally solid indicators of the company’s culture and attitude toward customer service. Do they see it as a cost, an investment, or an upsell opportunity?
Both eHost and iPage do pretty ok in this category.
eHost offers support across every channel – 24/7 email, 24/7 chat support, phone support, support tickets, and a knowledgebase. On top of that, each account is assigned to a customer service rep. They might not have as much expertise as some independent companies like InMotion or SiteGround, but I would consider their customer service accessible.
iPage also has 24/7 support across email, support tickets, chat, and phone – but they lack a DIY/self-help support option like a decent knowledgebase. So anyone looking for a short, quick solution is forced to submit a ticket to customer service. They definitely aren’t “bad” at customer service, but it is something to consider.
All that said – they are both discount hosting companies. Usually in these cases, you will get what you pay for. eHost has marginally more accessible support. But – they both fit customers who have a more DIY streak and/or prize price over support.
Both eHost & iPage are owned by the same company – but that isn’t necessarily a good thing (or a bad thing). In the past, Endurance International has been known to sort of put some of their brands on the shelf for a period of time (see Arvixe or justHost). And honestly, that’s one of the drawbacks of choosing a larger company. They have more resources to invest in brands that are doing well (like Bluehost), but they also can cut investment on brands that simply aren’t generating a return.
EIG markets both iPage and eHost toward the entry-level and budget-conscious – which means that they are both bare-bones discount solutions. If that’s where you are, perfect. But it is something to keep in mind if you envision major growth.
In the past year, iPage has received a slight redesign, but their services have remained unchanged. eHost, however, has received a good bit of new design & development attention. And ever since Bluehost restructured their pricing, eHost has been their “go-to” unlimited, single price brand.
Here are a couple other random factors to keep in mind:
If you prefer using Yahoo for ads, eHost offers free credits toward Yahoo and Bing. If you prefer, Google ads, iPage offers the same amount of credits for Google and Bing.
They both offer a 30-day money back guarantee
For better or for worse, they are both owned by a big company. If you’d rather join up with a smaller, independent company, you could look at InMotion (review), SiteGround (review), or Web Hosting Hub (review).
iPage vs. EHost Conclusion
If you want discount shared hosting for your project, the check for iPage’s current discount here.
And, if you are more confused than ever, you might find this quiz for Affordable WordPress Hosting useful.