iPage has been around since 1995 (based on domain WhoIs records) but didn’t gain recognition until it underwent a company relaunch back in October 2009. Founded by Thomas Gurney in Burlington, Massachusetts, the company has since gained traction for being a hosting provider that caters to those with a limited budget.
I was given the opportunity to be one of the first few to test out iPage’s services during their soft relaunch period, which at the time, was known for being the Best Budget Hosting service for bloggers and smaller websites.
However, that was then, this is now. And in 2018, is iPage still considered the Best Budget Hosting available today? Let’s find out.
About iPage, the company
- Headquarter: Burlington, Massachusetts, U.S. (unverified)
- Established: 1998; major revamp in 2009.
- Services: Shared, VPS, dedicated hosting
The iPage brand is owned by Endurance International Group (EIG), a NASDAQ-listed company that owns some of the biggest names in hosting industry, including BlueHost and Hostgator. At time of writing, EIG claims that their cloud-based platform is serving approximately 5.5 million subscribers globally.
- Ultra cheap cost for both long and short terms: 200 – 300% cheaper than peers
- Free one year domain for all new customers
- Newbie-friendly: Easy to start
- Flexibility to grow: Upgrade to VPS later
- Live chat support quality meets expectation
- Good billing practice
iPage Hosting Plans & Pricing
Compare iPage Hosting
Pros of iPage hosting
1. Ultra cheap price tag – 200 – 300% cheaper than peers
After testing and using more than 50 web hosting services, I realized something very important: Most of the budget shared hosting providers actually offer more or less the same features in their hosting plans: “unlimited” addon domain, one-click app installer, basic webmail service, and average technical support.
These features are basic but sufficient for most small websites.
In this case – since you are getting the same thing, it’s better that you just go with the cheapest deal.
And this is why iPage is awesome for newbies who want to start at minimum cost.
Compare iPage Price with Other Hosting Brands
|Web Hosting||Signup Price||vs. iPage||Control Panel||Free Domain?|
|A2 Hosting||$4.90/mo||150% Higher||cPanel|
|IX Web Hosting||$3.95/mo||98% Higher||Custom|
iPage long-term cost – still the cheapest!
But Jerry, iPage jacks up their price during renewal, no?
Yes – iPage’s introductory prices for the first term of service only and automatically renew at the regular rate.
Shared hosting plans renew at $7.99, $8.99, and $9.99 per month for 36-, 24-, and a 12-month term.
But as this is what most budget hosting companies are doing – iPage’s price is still one of the lowest in long run (see table).
|Web Hosting||Signup||Renewal||Domain Cost||Hosting Cost
|iPage||$1.99/mo||$8.99/mo||$15 x 4||$347.40|
|A2 Hosting *||$4.90/mo||$9.99/mo||$15 x 5||$491.16|
|WebHostingHub||$4.99/mo||$12.99/mo||$15 x 4||$548.16|
|Arvixe||$7.00/mo||$7.00/mo||$15 x 4||$480.00|
|HostMonster||$4.95/mo||$15.99/mo||$15 x 4||$691.96|
|IX Web Hosting||$3.95/mo||$7.95/mo||$15 x 4||$393.00|
|GreenGeeks||$3.95/mo||$9.95/mo||$15 x 4||$441.00|
|HostPapa *||$3.95/mo||$12.99/mo||$15 x 5||$528.00|
** Note : Total 5 year hosting cost = (36 x Signup) + (24 x Renewal) + Domain Cost
* Note : No free first-year domain for Hostpapa and A2 Hosting.
2. Free one-year domain for all new customers
One of the great things about iPage is that they offer a free one-year domain name when you sign up with any of their plans. This is great if you want to reduce some costs when you’re creating your website or blog. Given that domain registrations can be costly, being able to register a domain name for free is absolutely a steal!
When signing up for a plan, you’ll be taken to a page where you’ll face the option to add-on your free domain name registration.
Just put your domain name of choice under the search bar and if it’s available, you can go ahead and claim it.
* Click image to enlarge.
3. Newbie-friendly: Smooth on-boarding process
Setting up an account for a new web host can be a hassle. Thankfully, iPage’s overall onboarding process is very newbie-friendly.
I should know because I’ve purchased their plans twice and used it both times (once for creating test accounts, the other for a friend who was starting a website). In both cases, I was able to set up my account immediately after making my payment.
This goes to show how smooth the entire process was with iPage as everything, from the ordering process to the on-boarding process, was designed to be simple and idiot-proof for the customers.
* Click image to enlarge.
4. Flexibility to grow: Upgrade to VPS later
If you signup to iPage shared hosting, chances are you will upgrade to their VPS plan in future.
This is where Dylan Harty, iPage VPS hosting user, kicks in. I first knew Dylan when he emailed to point out some mistakes I made on this page. After some discussion, I decided to add his feedback on iPage VPS to this review. Dylan is not affiliated to iPage in any way. I do, however, paid for his effort in writing this helpful review.
iPage VPS Hosting Review
This section is a little long. In summary, here are the pros & cons of iPage VPS (according to Dylan):
What Dylan likes:
- Very affordable
- 24-7 VPS/dedicated server support line.
- Very helpful support team able to use SSH.
- Good support ticketing system
- Competitive server hardware
- No restrictions like shared hosting
- No overcharge for bandwidth
- Ability to run a source server
- The odd support hiccup
- Downtime for DDOS attacks and such
- Some servers have a soft boot on initial registration
- Dedicated servers take 12-48 hours to set-up
- Preinstall of CentOS 6.4-6.5 only
5. Live chat support quality meets expectation
Back in 2017, I went and tested iPage’s live chat support team and compared them to the service quality of 27 other companies. The good news is that they performed well in the test and managed to meet my expectations.
The live chat was quick to respond, often times replying within minutes, and all of my questions and issues were answered and solved by a professional. All in all, my experience with the live chat support team was quite good.
6. Good and honest billing practice
Paying for a web host service is never a fun process and most of the time, hosting companies tend to add to the headaches instead of making it easier. iPage, on the other hand, practices an honest billing process and encourages their users to check the Billing Central to receive their latest statement. Plus, cancelling an iPage account is as simple as contacting their support team via live chat.
For new users, they get a 30-day money back guarantee for any iPage plan that they subscribe to. Basically, if you decided to cancel your account within that period, then you’ll get a full refund with no questions asked. It should be noted that the refund does not apply to add-on services such as purchasing a domain name.
Cons of iPage
1. Mix results in server speed test, rated C at Bitcatcha
I ran a number of speed tests on iPage, namely with Bitcatcha and WebpageTest. The Time-to-first-byte (TTFB, the measurement of server speed) on WebpageTest came out at 354ms. This was especially impressive considering that it’s a budget host that starts at $1.99/mo.
Unfortunately, The results with Bitcatcha were less than impressive as they tend to range within the B+ to C rating. While performance on U.S. servers was still quite impressive, iPage was noticeably slower in different parts of the world. Hosting services such as Interserver, Fast Comet, and InMotion Hosting manages to churn out better results (at a slightly higher cost) in terms speed.
iPage Speed Test Results at WebpageTest.org
iPage Speed Test Results at Bitcatcha
2. Prices jump to $8.99/mo when renewal
While iPage offers one of the cheapest hosting plans around, their renewal plans are unfortunately much more expensive. if you’re a blogger or a website owner on a budget, seeing the price go up when you renew your plan is not a good feeling.
With shared hosting plans, you will have to pay either $7.99, $8.99, or $9.99 per month for plans that are 36, 24, or 12-month terms respectively.
Of course, the practice of increasing the renewal fee is common among budget hosting companies, so you need to be aware of that before signing up with them.
3. Base plan covers basic features only
Since iPage Essential Plan is targeted towards website beginners and newbies, they offer only the essential features at minimum price.
Now, the plan is comprehensive enough that you can build and host a pretty good website with it. But the downside is that the features are very basic.
No SFTP, no custom cron job, no auto backup
There is no SFTP, no CDN, limited server resources, no custom cron job, no auto backup. Even iPage’s built-in website builder allows you to build only six pages (more about this later).
The whole setup, apparently, is meant for hobby blog or small business who want a simple site online.
You can, however, purchase and add in advance features when ordering.
Image on your right shows additional features you can buy from iPage during order.
Website Builder to build 6 pages only
iPage Site Builder is easy to use and good for newbies. However, the downside is that it limits you to create only 6-pages for a website.
As good as a website builder can be, having only 6 pages to work with is not good.
If you want a workaround for the page limit, I suggest building your website using a CMS such as Joomla or WordPress.
All you have to do is just install WordPress using the 1-click installer under the iPage control panel and you can start creating as many pages as you want with it.
4. Unlimited hosting limited by other constraints
Yes, iPage allows you to host unlimited addon domain at your hosting account; but it’s only “unlimited” if you are not exceeding the CPU resources allocated to your account. If you exceed a certain level of CPU usage (which it normally won’t), iPage will have your hosting account suspended.
It is clearly written in iPage TOS that the company’s hosting is only “unlimited” under normal usage.
Though iPage is not the only one in this practice – every unlimited hosting provider limit users’ server usage.
5. No free site migration for first-time customers
Transfering your site from an old host to iPage?
You’re going to have to migrate it yourself as iPage does not offer free site migration when you sign up for their hosting plans. iPage uses vDeck for its platform so if you’re using a different platform, say a cPanel, then you’re going to have quite the headache migrating all that data.
Given that other web host often include a free site migration service, for iPage to not offer one as well seems like a missed opportunity. If you’re going to do the migration process yourself, my guide on how to transfer a site might be helpful in this situation.
6. Users can only host their sites in the United States
iPage data centers are located mainly in the United States, which means you don’t get many choices on where to host your website. In fact, you can only choose to host your site in the U.S. This can be quite troublesome if you’re located outside of the U.S.
If your target audience is in a specific region outside of the U.S., say United Kingdom or India, then you might suffer performance drops when it comes to speed and server resources. You can alleviate some of that issue by using caching plugins to improve loading speed for users.
7. Not so helpful Help Documents
The purpose of Help Documents is to assist you with issues that you might face with using a web host.
Unfortunately, with iPage, there’s barely any useful guide or tips that can actually be of use to you, let alone help you troubleshoot your problems.
iPage Hosting Plans & Pricing
Shared hosting plan
|Storage / Data Transfer||Unlimited|
|Email Spam Filter||Customizable|
* For more details on iPage’s Essential Plan, please refer to table on your right.
VPS hosting plans and details
|RAM||1 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Disk Space||40 GB||90 GB||120 GB|
|Bandwidth||1 TB||3 TB||4 TB|
Compare iPage Hosting
iPage vs GoDaddy (Price & Features)
Despite being a budget hosting provider, iPage offers quite an array of features that are useful for a person who’s just starting out on their blog or website. When you compare it to GoDaddy, iPage etches out as the better choice.
The reason being, not only do they offer similar features to GoDaddy, they are much cheaper in terms of their hosting plans.
|Plan in Review||Essestial||Economy|
|WordPress & Joomla|
|Virus & Spam Protection|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Signup Price (36-mo subscription)||$1.99/mo||$4.99/mo|
iPage vs BlueHost (Price & Features)
Although both companies are under Endurance International Group (EIG), it’s hard to compare iPage to Bluehost as they cover different features and run on different pricing strategies.
iPage Essential Plans are very basic and suitable for users with multiple low traffic sites. BlueHost, on the other hand, includes more features in their shared hosting plans to cater the needs of advanced users. You can learn more about BlueHost in this review.
|Plan in Review||Essestial||Plus|
|Virus & Spam Protection|
|Signup Price (36-mo subscription)||$1.99/mo||$5.45/mo|
Quick Recap & Verdict: Should You Host at iPage?
- Mix results in server speed test, rated C at Bitcatcha
- Prices jump to $8.99/mo when renewal
- Limited website builder features (only 6 pages)
- Unlimited hosting limited by other constraints
- No free site migration for first-time customers
- Users can only host their sites in United States
- Not so helpful Help Documents
Given that there are both pros and cons; negative and positive reviews on iPage; should you still go with the hosting company?
The decision is yours to make.
iPage is certainly not the best web host you can get in market,
- iPage scored 51 in our 80-point review checklist (WHSR rating: 3.5-star, revised Feb 2018).
- Their original shared hosting plan offers very basic features.
- Company’s technical support seems poor based on many negative users feedback found online.
Recommendation: iPage hosting is for…
But, they are one of the cheapest hosts! iPage is recommended for,
- For newbies and bargain hunters, iPage’s ultra-low price tag is hard to be ignored.
- iPage is reliable (uptime constantly >99.95%), extremely cheap ($70+ for first three years), and easy to start (smooth signup process)
- There are very few web hosts that can provide the same bargain.
- Other similar hosting brands under EIG (iPage management): BlueHost and Hostgator.
- Other similar budget hosting plans that we recommend: InMotion Hosting, Interserver, Fast Comet.
Order iPage at Special Price $1.99/mo
(P/S: We use affiliate links in this review. If you purchase via our link, it will credit WHSR as your referrer. This is how I keep this site alive for more than 9 years and publish more data-driven hosting reviews like this one. Your support is highly appreciated. Buying via my link doesn’t cost you more – in fact, I can guarantee that you’ll get the lowest possible price for iPage hosting. )