iPage Hosting is a hosting company targeting the entry-level and budget-conscious end of the market. They’re one of Endurance International’s (a large hosting brand holding company) brands, along with Bluehost, HostGator and others.
They’ve been around in some form since 1998, but only recently repositioned themselves as a pure-play hosting company. They specialize in Linux shared hosting (ie, the type of hosting used by most companies who run their site with software like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc), but also offer VPS and Dedicated server plans for higher traffic websites.
After their sister company, Bluehost, changed their pricing, I had a few readers asking what I thought of them. So while shopping for a new budget host for a side project, I decided to sign up and give them a try.
Here’s my iPage Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer.
Disclosure – I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this website. All opinion and data are based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of iPage
There are a lot of iPage hosting reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. Like I mention in all my hosting reviews, there is no such thing as a “best” web host. It’s all about the right fit for your project based on your goals, budget, experience & expertise. Here are the pros (advantages) for considering iPage.
Plan & Feature Simplicity
One of the biggest frustrations in the hosting industry is the confusing pricing plans. Company plans rarely match plan-for-plan so it’s hard to make direct comparisons.
Some companies cap the number of websites on the lower end, others add a bunch of bonuses to their high-end pricing. The middle (aka “Best Value!!!”) is usually a mix meant to get you to make a decision.
iPage’s biggest pro is their simplicity. They have one shared hosting plan. It provides unlimited access to what I call the 3 “D’s” that make up the core of what you are buying. They allow unlimited Domains (ie, the number of websites you can have on your account); unlimited Databases (the number of software installs to run your websites on your account); and Disk Space (ie, the amount you can store on your servers).
iPage also provides unlimited email addresses and a free one-year domain with their plans.
Aside – from a technical perspective, all “unlimited” accounts do have abuse & file sharing policies. Since the servers are shared among several customers, iPage has to prevent any single person from interfering with other customers’ websites.
Second Aside – iPage does offer a separate set of “WordPress Plans.” The confusing thing about that option is that their Essential plan can run WordPress. I’ll cover this item more in the Cons section, but basically, their WordPress hosting page is just an upsell – it’s nothing particularly special.
*If you are shopping for WordPress specifically – be sure to read my Web Hosting vs. WordPress Hosting, Explained post.
Either way, iPage has a single plan with all their primary features. It’s simple to judge and simple to compare.
Most hosting companies have standard pricing that they discount based on how long you sign up for. And most hosting companies also provide a discount for the first year.
iPage is generally no different. Their Go plan runs $9.99 per month, and you can renew at a slightly lower $7.99 per month rate if you sign for 3 years.
However, iPage does do 1 pricing tactic differently. They offer deep discounts – often down to $1.99 per month (though this can vary some). You can usually find that promo through this link.
And, iPage lets you sign up at that introductory rate for up to 3 years. You can get 3 years of unlimited web hosting for less than $80. That is very good. Very few hosts, even in the budget end of the market, discount that deeply for that long.
There are a couple of catches that I’ll mention in the cons section, but the deep discounting for a long period of time with unlimited features is a great value.
Like I’ve mentioned in other hosting reviews, declaring that a company provides amazing or horrible customer service to every single customer is impossible. It’s hard to know as a single customer if you are dealing with the one amazing or the one horrible employee or if it’s the general culture of a company.
I have limited experience with customer service reps at iPage, but I did find 2 customer service indicators – 1 pro and 1 con at iPage.
The pro of iPage’s support is that they are available 24/7 across all support channels – email, tickets, chat, and phone. They make all their support channels easy to find and simple to use.
For a budget market shared hosting company, that range of support channels is useful and a good way to stand out.
That said the giant asterisk is the budget shared hosting company – while iPage might have good support on the surface, they are not selling service. They are selling price. I would not anticipate sustained, high levels of support like you might find at companies like InMotion or SiteGround.
Cons of iPage
Like any web host, iPage has disadvantages. There are plenty of iPage complaints to be found online. Plenty are valid, and some are simply anecdotal. Here are the cons that I found while using iPage for hosting.
Like I mentioned in the pros – iPage has a really good discount offer, especially since you can lock it in for up to 3 years. If price is your only real consideration, it’s worth it to sign up for the full 3 years, even if you aren’t sure your project will last that long.
However, there are 2 disadvantages for iPage’s long-term pricing.
First, the renewal pricing is alright, but it’s nothing stellar. You can get better renewal pricing at HostGator. And you can get a much better product for a slightly higher renewal price at either Web Hosting Hub or even InMotion Hosting.
Second, if you aren’t sure how long your project will last, iPage does not allow for monthly pricing. That’s also something you can get at HostGator.
So overall, their discounted rate is great, but long-term their pricing is also a disadvantage.
It also directly relates to the next disadvantage of iPage – upsells everywhere.
Upsells are not unique to the hosting industry. They are a common and often helpful way to provide more services to customers while also making the company more money.
However, there’s also a line where upsells stop being useful and start becoming exasperating and confusing.
iPage definitely crosses that line. They even go beyond GoDaddy’s infamous upsells. From iPage’s initial sign up all the way through to your account to the backend of your website, there is upsell after upsell. And so many are super-sneaky. They get automatically added to your cart.
They even upsell premium WordPress plugins directly in your WordPress install.
Some offers are interesting, but most are not. They’re just re-worded benefits that are technically already included in your account (or they are things that really should be included in your plan, like automatic backups).
iPage even has an entire “WordPress Plans” page dedicated to upselling features that aren’t really features. Their Essential plan can run WordPress, but they’ve come up with additional “features” to upsell to WordPress users. Learn more about Web Hosting vs. WordPress Hosting here.
The WP Essential plan has a couple real features such as SSD servers, but is mostly just fluff (ie, making the Control Panel more “visible” and pre-installing free plugins for your WordPress install). It’s nothing like the truly custom WordPress features that companies like SiteGround or WP Engine provide.
Either way, you don’t have to sign up for any of the upsells, but it is a disadvantage for choosing iPage.
In addition to hosting your website files, a good hosting server will also deliver those files as quickly as possible every time a visitor goes to your domain name address.
There are a lot of variables that go into how fast your website is. You can have the fastest server in the world and still have an incredibly slow website due to issues on your end. But either way, you want to have a hosting server that is fast so that you can work on your side of the equation.
iPage uses a data center in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA and only throttles memory allocated to my server by a bit.
But here’s how their data center performed with my website when I first set it up –
Again, there is a lot that goes into website speed, but the simplest way to judge your web host is with Time To First Byte (TTFB). That measures how quickly the server delivers the first byte of information after a browser sends a request.
iPage is not horrible, but it’s also not very good either. For comparison, here’s how HostGator’s Houston data center performs (note that this is with a bigger website, so there’s a slower overall load time) –
So iPage is not the best performer, but it’s fine if you just have a small website with a few visitors.
Knowledgebase & Self-Help Support
One of the customer service culture indicators that I like to look at is a company’s Knowledgebase and self-help section. If a company has an extensive investment in those resources and has staff actively monitoring the comments, it’s usually a good indication of customer service.
iPage has neither. They have a knowledgebase, but it does not compare well with other companies. They also do not have any staff interaction within the knowledgebase which forces customers looking for a short, quick solution to submit a ticket to customer service.
When you start a hosting account, you’ll have a hosting server backend or dashboard to log into to install software (such as WordPress), reset account information and set up your account. Most companies use software called cPanel. It’s simple and straightforward. Some companies will make it pretty but stick to the same software The other huge benefit of cPanel is that since it’s so commonplace, it’s usually easy to find solutions to problems.
iPage does not use cPanel. They have a custom backend built on software called vDeck. It’s fine, but confusing at the same time. It’s definitely dated compared to cleaned up cPanel-based backends that you’ll find with hosts like Bluehost or InMotion.
Additionally, while iPage offers auto-installs for common software like WordPress, Joomla, etc – they use custom scripts for those instead of the more common Softaculous or Fantastico. And their custom script is much more cluttered and confusing than other hosts.
Aside – you can always manually install that software. But auto-install apps make the process faster and less daunting.
While iPage’s backend is functional and fine, it’s a disadvantage compared to other hosting companies.
Out of the most well-known web hosts that I’ve used as a customer or consultant, here’s how iPage compares directly to each. Or skip to the conclusion.
GoDaddy is the industry brand name, even though they are primarily a domain registrar, not a hosting company. They’re much improved as a web host since 2013, but their only real selling point (like iPage) is their deeply discounted introductory pricing. And on that point – iPage competes head-on with them – and provides more features. Between GoDaddy and iPage, I would choose iPage, unless you had a specific reason to choose GoDaddy (ie, you already use them and are satisfied with them).
iPage vs. HostGator
iPage and HostGator are different brands owned by the same parent company (like Coke and Sprite). They are also pretty direct competitors. However, there are a few key differences. HostGator operates out of Endurance’s Houston and Utah data centers. Based on my (anecdotal) testing, HostGator gets better performance (see above).
If pricing is your only consideration, iPage wins between them with their 3-year introductory pricing (if that deal is in place). However, HostGator has cheaper long-term pricing and deep introductory prices. They also have fewer upsells and cleaner backend for installing apps like WordPress. Most site owners would like HostGator better. I run most personal projects on HostGator.
Like HostGator, Bluehost is another iPage sister brand. Behind GoDaddy, they are one of the biggest brands in hosting. They used to (pre-2015) have a very similar pricing setup to iPage but with a cleaner backend and better support. However, they’ve changed up their plans and moved “upmarket.” On pricing and basic features, iPage is a better choice. However, Bluehost runs out of the Utah data center in addition to other geographic data centers for local markets (ie, Bluehost India). Bluehost is good if you’re looking for higher quality and better options.
iPage vs. Siteground
SiteGround is one of the fastest growing independent hosting providers. They operate out of Bulgaria with regional datacenters. This comparison is simple. If you want lots of features at a very cheap price, iPage is for you. If you can pay a bit more, SiteGround is a much, much better company. They have a more intuitive industry standard backend and better support. They offer a deep first year price on their plans here.
iPage vs. InMotion
InMotion Hosting is one of the largest and fastest growing hosting providers. They offer the full-spectrum of hosting services. This website uses a VPS server from InMotion. They’re more expensive than iPage’s pricing specials, but offer a much better product on every consideration. InMotion also has a brand called Web Hosting Hub that offers entry-level shared hosting plans. They are even more competitive with iPage on price, but provide a much better product. Check out Web Hosting Hub here (review here) and InMotion here (review here).
Conclusion & Next Steps
Overall, I found iPage hosting to be ok for what they are. If you have a small website, they’ll do just fine. Their deep discounts on plans that you can lock in for 3 years is their main selling point.
If that pricing sells you (and you don’t mind the upsells everywhere), go sign up with iPage here.
If you are looking for an affordable shared hosting company with almost as intro pricing, better long term pricing and a much better product, then go check out InMotion Hosting here. You can also check out HostGator here if you want the option to pay monthly.