iPage Hosting is an established hosting company targeting the entry-level and budget-conscious end of the market. They’re one of Newfold Digital’s (a large hosting brand holding company) brands, along with Bluehost and HostGator.
iPage Review Takeaways
What is iPage?
iPage is one of the oldest and most established providers of affordable hosting service on the Internet.
Is iPage Legit?
Yes, iPage is legit. They are a large, established hosting company on their own, but they are also a subsidiary of Endurance International, which is one of the largest web service corporations on the Internet.
iPage started in 1998 and has consistently grown into one of largest and most popular hosting brands. iPage has positioned themselves as a simple, straightforward, affordable hosting provider.
iPage is legit. They aren’t a fly-by-night hosting company.
What Is iPage Used for?
iPage is used to host websites and web applications. They have a specific marketing focus on affordable websites – and providing free website software bundled with hosting. There is one main iPage hosting plan, but they offer a full suite of website products ranging from domain names to hosting to email to even web design.
There are a lot of iPage reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s totally fine but I take a different approach, looking at both the advantages and disadvantages of a host.
However, like I’ve stated in all my hosting reviews, finding a good web hosting provider is about finding the right fit based on your goals & resources. Here’s my pros & cons and overview of iPage’s products as an iPage customer.
Pros / Benefits of iPage Hosting
There are a lot of iPage hosting reviews online – usually 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 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 its 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 MySQL Databases (the number of software installs to run your websites on your account); and unlimited Disk Space (ie, unlimited storage space on your servers).
iPage also provides unlimited email addresses, a free domain, unlimited bandwidth, and free SSL certificate 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 its 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.
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 discount that deeply for that long, even in the budget end of the market.
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.
Customer Support Channels
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. They also have a pretty good money-back guarantee.
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 part – 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.
iPage Hosting Complaints / Cons
Like any web host, iPage has disadvantages. There are plenty of iPage complaints to be found online. Plenty of them are valid, and some are simply anecdotal. Here are the cons that I found while using iPage for hosting.
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 many are super-sneaky…like, so sneaky that they get automatically added to your cart without your knowledge.
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 of real features such as SSD servers, but its 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 or InMotion 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.
They have pretty solid uptime and good bandwidth. 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.
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 a 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.
iPage Hosting Plans & Packages
HostGator has a wide spectrum of hosting plans. Here’s a brief overview of each.
Web (i.e., Shared) hosting is the bread and butter of the website hosting world. They consist of individual accounts on a Linux server. They can run WordPress or any application on a LAMP Stack. It’s a cost-effective and reliable way to run most websites. Learn more about Shared Hosting in this guide. iPage has a single plan called Go Plan (formerly iPage Essential).
Even though WordPress can run on shared hosting, many hosting companies have WordPress hosting plans due to customer demand and the hardware demands of WordPress. Many hosting companies offer “WordPress hosting” that is *exactly* the same as their shared hosting plans.
iPage does have a WordPress Hosting plan. But it’s basically just their shared hosting plan with pre-installed plugins. See their plans here.
VPS hosting is a great way to get a specific allocation of server resources, without having to lease an entire server. Even though your website lives on the same server as other sites, you have total control over a set amount of resources. Learn more about VPS hosting in this guide. iPage has several very competitively priced VPS plans.
Dedicated Hosting is where you basically lease an entire server. It’s the best way to have maximum control and performance. iPage has a range of competitive dedicated hosting products.
iPage Website Builder
Hosted website builders have a lock-in, but self-hosted website builders do not. iPage provides a self-hosted template-driven website builder. It’s comes with the purchase of a hosting plan and has much of the ease of use and functionality of a hosted website builder. Check out iPage’s builder here.
Is iPage Worth It?
Overall, I found iPage hosting to be good 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. You can also check out HostGator here if you want the option to pay monthly.