I am managing a lot of client web sites as webmaster, and that makes it possible for me to have an overview of the current hosting market. Naturally, I don’t want to sign up for each and every hosting offer out there. Even with a discount like this!
I have a lot of my own web projects running as well. Although with all the unlimited hosting offers I don’t really need new hosting, I like to try new things every once in a while. iPage is one of the five web hosts I personally hold an account with. Long story short, I have tested iPage.com and summarized my findings in this review.
What is iPage?
iPage is one of the most popular budget web hosting companies offering domain registrations, shared, VPS and dedicated hosting services. The company was founded in 1998 in Boston, MA and their platform is hosting over one million websites.
Before we go any further, some people people don’t like iPage because it doesn’t have cPanel. If cPanel is a must for you then you have to look elsewhere. cPanel hosting costs a lot more because there is a licencing fee incurred. Anyway, my review coincides with most iPage user reviews. I have reffered many happy customers regardless of what some people say.
When it comes to experience and history in the web hosting industry, it’s hard to find a better company than iPage. That’s why I have refferred at least a dozen clients to them.
I’ve personally launched a couple websites utilizing iPage and found it not only to be responsive and lightweight, but also a powerhouse that allows for incredible amounts of traffic and more advanced applications.
Better Business Bureau A+ Rating
You won’t find iPage on BBB, only their umbrella company Endurance International Group. It is the holding company of several web hosts including FatCow.
Being accredited at BBB means the business will make steps to handle customer complaints professionally. It’d be kind of an insurance policy for the customers. That said, I would prefer to do my research before buying, and not having to fill out complaint forms. So you are at the right place here.
30 Day Money-Back Guarantee
It’s always comforting to hear that there is a 30 day money back guarantee. Some web hosts play trickery and will not give your money back in full. Not iPage.
If you are not satisfied for any reason, you can get your money back in full. No questions asked.
Powered by Renewable Energy
It’s a good thing to know that iPage buys enough Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) to offset energy use by 200%. That’s the equivalent to planting 244 acres of trees.
Here is how RECs work. They basically certificates proving that even though you buy your electricity from the grid, the portion you use is made from renewable sources. Otherwise there is no way to tell where the energy originally is coming from through the grid.
100% Uptime in the Last 30 Days
You can see the uptime chart below. For 30 days 100% is a great score! The level they aim at is 99.99%. I remember a downtime about two months ago. That lasted for one minute.
Let’s look into the uptime in detail. At the time of writing this review, iPage had 100% uptime for the last 24 hours, 7 days and thirty days as well. It’s a great score if you ask me. My WordPress installation loads fast enough as usual, no issues in this area.
That’s just a snapshot though. Consistently one of the best web hosts, iPage has developed quite the following in business and personal circles as one of the go to web hosting companies.
The iPage Support
The customer service team was always quick to answer any and all questions, and when there was a minor hiccup with the service (completely my own fault) their techs were on hand to give me the kind of step by step instruction that had me back up and better than ever. Here’s a quick rundown of my experiences with iPage.
Just like with other web hosts, chat support will look into your issue. However with anything complicated, you will have to wait for email support to take care of it.
Based on my experience, second line support does its job usually within 24 hours. In case of server outages, you won’t have to wait that long though.
24×7 Uptime Monitoring
Support is cool, but what’s even cooler is not having to contact support the first place. That’s why network uptime is monitored 24/7. If anything goes bad, support can react immediately.
iPage Feature List
- $100 Adwords Voucher! Start advertizing your website instantly! You get $100 Adwords Voucher, $50 Yahoo & Bing Search Credit, $50 Facebook Ad Credit and Free Yellowpages Business Listing.
- Free Shopsite! Award winning ShopSite is one of the easiest-to-use shopping cart softwares for small to medium-sized businesses.
- WordPress: 1-Click WordPress installation and compatible servers.
- Secure your Site with Sitelock – You can find and fix malware issues and keep your site free of errors with Sitelock.
Pretty standard stuff here for most of the top website hosts, but it’s still a very robust feature set. iPage.com offers unlimited space and MySQL databases (great news for people working with applications or CMS programs that need the ability to communicate with MySQL), and the unlimited features keep rolling with the ability to host unlimited domains with unlimited bandwidth all from the same account.
For anyone who’s looking to host more than a single website or managing a business that deals with website hosting, this is fantastic news that will really save some bucks.
Easy on the Wallet
Have you checked recently the hosting prices? In my estimates, a hosting package goes anywhere from $3 to $50 a month on average. Now for a limited time, you can get your website up and running for a measly $1.99/month. That’s a no brainer even if you are on an extremely low budget.
I usually recommend my clints to go with the most basic hosting plan they can find. My reasoning behind this is that if it’s a new project, after one year you will know if you should stick with the project or drop it.
If it proves to be a dead-end, at least you didn’t loose much money. If it’s a success, you can decide whether you need an upgrade or not.
I know this might sound harsh, but this is reality. I had projects that proved to be failures, but then some of them had great success. So it’s always good to give your ideas a shot.
Reliability and Uptimes
This is mission critical – without solid reliability and uptimes you could offer the coolest feature set at a fantastic rate, but if people can’t actually get to your website because it’s down all the time or the servers are crashing, you’re going to be in a big pile of trouble.
Like all other hosts sometimes hardware fails or there is an unforeseen problem that needs to be addressed, but for the most part iPage has a solid uptime record and history. As I said, iPage is among the five hosting companies I have a long term hosting account with.
Awesome Control Panel
Let’s get real – not every business owner has the time to dedicate to learning all about how web hosting and online technologies work and integrate. Most people are looking for a quick and dirty solution to getting a fantastic website up and running, making sales and making money – and if you fall into that camp, then you are going to love this little feature from iPage.com.
Here I’m going to walk you through the control panel items.
Under the FTP management panel you can check your FTP details, create, edit and delete FTP users. You can set the default directory location too.
FileManager is jut a simple little tool used to do the same stuff you can do via FTP, but without a client. That’s basically uploading and downloading files. You can create new files from scratch and edit existing ones as you like.
The Free 1 GB Cloud Storage item is just a free offer for all iPage customers for JustCloud. It’s a service by EIG (owner of iPage and a bunch of other companies). I think they want to build something like DropBox. I didn’t try it yet, as I have all my storage needs covered. I might give it a try and post a review here in the future.
The Mojo Marketplace is what the 1-Click Installer is called at iPage. That’s a simplification, because Mojo has more than that. It’s a marketplace connected to the 1-Click Installer. There is a lot of free stuff up there, like themes, plugins, graphics & logos, and all kinds of add-ons. The installer is quite simple, but if you need any help setting something up, Mojo also provides many services in this area.
The one called My Installs (SimpleScripts) is in fact the same thing as the Mojo market. It just shows you what is already installed on your account.
MySQL is an easy way to tap into the power of Structured Query Language. Mojo fully handles creating databases when you use it to install your scripts. But if you are a power user, you can simply edit any field in the database.
I have not tried Shopsite, because I like open-source stuff better. There are numerous open-source alternatives with the same set of features. What speaks for Shopsite is that it’s integrated into iPage. That means that if you have any issue with your shop, support is there for you. The disadvantage? It’s not free and it locks you into your iPage contract. You cannot move your shop to another host, at least not as easily as with an open-source solution.
Visitor Statistics is the old-style statistics all web hosts have. You can choose between Webalizer and AWStats. They are useful if you want to see raw data. It’s completely useless when you want insight into conversion funnels, bounce rates, and the type of statistics that helps a webmaster to craft a better website. For that, you can use Google Analytics, or the open-source alternative Piwik.
Website Creator by CM4All and Weebly Drag and Drop Builder are quite similar. They let you set up simple but cool websites without any technical knowledge. I would personally go for WordPress (because it’s so cool, yeah), but that needs some maintenance and you don’t get support (you do from the community).
A Couple Words about Security
I have already mentioned SiteLock. Well, that’s not all you should be concerned of. If you have a e-commerce web site with customer data, then you will probably value 24 hours on-site guards with closed-circuit television.
For the Real Geeks
Now let’s take a look at some of the geeky stuff. iPage has multiple Gigabit and fiberoptic connections of diverse backbones. This ensures more than enough bandwidth for your web site in a redundant way.
They have two strategically placed data centers. These are AT&T’s, Global Crossing and Cable & Wireless’ OC48 / OC192 Global IP backbones. This and peering arrangements ensure a broad internet reach, bandwidth capacity and performance.
The front-end network consists of redundant routers. Site data is parsed by load balancers and then is managed by high quality servers split into application pools like Web, FTP, SQL, Mail etc. Here is a nice overview of that:
Not cPanel, but Close Enough
They offer a killer control panel that takes all of the difficulty of running and administrating a website or fleet of websites completely out of the game. You’ll be able to do almost everything the most highly trained IT professionals can do, right out of the box without having to learn any of the commands or language.
When you could do this with a very, very cheap price tag (right now 83% Off), it’s easy to see why iPage is such a well recommended web host.