iPage Web Hosting – Review 2021 – PCMag AU

It’s been three years since we last tested iPage, and within that timeframe, the web hosting service has improved in some areas and stagnated in others. iPage offers many attractive features, including a new website builder, outstanding customer service, strong uptime, and low-cost, shared hosting that relies on a single plan with “unlimited” perks in several key areas. A few flaws remain that make iPage fall short of DreamHost, HostGator, Hostwinds, and other Editors’ Choice picks, but it’s still a rock-solid web host that’s easy on the pockets.

Shared Hosting Plans

Shared hosting, if you’re unfamiliar with the category, is a type of web hosting that sees multiple sites living on a single server. In this roommate situation, sites share the server resources, so a large traffic surge on Site X can, unfortunately, negatively impact Site Y’s performance. Shared hosting is a good option if you’re looking for cheap hosting; if you want more server resources devoted to your site, you need to go the VPS or dedicated hosting routes. More on those in a bit.

Unlike HostGator, our Editors’ Choice pick for shared web hosting services, iPage doesn’t offer month-to-month billing options for shared packages. You’re locked into annual subscriptions, coming in one-, two-, or three-year plans. Thankfully, the company tosses deep discounts your way the longer you prepay. 

iPage has a single, Linux-based, shared hosting plan beginning at $2.99 per month for the one-year option. The price drops to $1.99 per month if you choose the three-year plan. That’s a great price, and the single plan’s simplicity means you don’t need to do much research before getting started. iPage’s shared hosting features unlimited disk space, monthly data transfers, and email addresses, so it has the chops to grow along with your business.

HostGator’s entry-level Hatchling plan costs $2.75 per month for unlimited storage, monthly data transfers, and email addresses. Unfortunately, HostGator requires a three-year commitment to reach that price, as a one-year plan is $3.95 per month and the month-to-month cost is $10.95 per month. That makes iPage particularly attractive, especially if you’re looking for a cost-friendly web hosting service. 

One option that HostGator offers that iPage does not is the choice of either Linux- or Windows-based servers. The Windows server plan costs a bit more ($4.76 per month for three years), but it’s a valuable choice if you plan to build a site built on an ASP.NET framework.

iPage VPS hosting plans

VPS Hosting Plans

iPage also has virtual private server (VPS) hosting. If you want a server with more horsepower than what shared hosting offers, check out VPS hosting. This hosting class sees multiple sites living on a server, though far fewer in number than what you’ll find on a shared hosting server. You’ll pay more for a VPS server, but you get more server power in return. If you expect high traffic volumes, or have specific compliance requirements that prevent you from using shared servers, it’s a good options to consider.

The Linux-based servers have three tiers: Basic, Business, and Optimum. Basic (starting at $24.99 per month) has just 1GB of RAM, 40GB of storage, and 1TB of monthly data transfers. Business (starting at $59.49 per month) offers 4GB of RAM, 90GB of storage, and 3TB of monthly data transfers. The Optimum plan (starting at $99.99 per month) has 8GB of RAM, 120GB of storage, and 4TB of monthly data transfers.

iPage’s VPS plans are good, but Hostwinds, our Editors’ Choice pick, continues its reign. Its top-tier VPS plan includes 6GB of RAM, 750GB of disk space, 9TB of monthly data transfers, and a choice of either Linux- or Windows-based servers.

Dedicated Hosting Plans

Dedicated hosting is the tier you need when you operate a site that demands lots of system resources. With dedicated hosting, your site exists on a server all by itself, thus leveraging all of the server’s power. This is the hardware you need to power a site designed to handle millions of visitors per year.

iPage’s three, Linux-based dedicated server hosting plans aren’t radically different from what BlueHost offers. The Startup server comes with 4GB of RAM, 500GB of storage, 5TB of monthly data transfers, three IP addresses, and a free domain name, all for $149 per month. Next up is the $194-per-month Professional plan that includes 8GB of RAM, 1TB of disk space, 10TB of monthly data transfers, and four IP addresses. The high-end Enterprise server plan costs $239 per month, and ups the RAM to 16GB, the monthly data transfers to 15TB, and the IP addresses to five.

Those are solid numbers, but Hostwinds, our Editors’ Choice pick for dedicated web hosting, is a superior choice, thanks to the ability to outfit servers with up to 12TB of HDD storage, 64GB of RAM, and unlimited monthly data transfers. You also get a choice of Windows and various Linux operating systems.

WordPress Hosting Plans

You’ve likely heard of WordPress, the service that powers more than 30 percent of all websites. It’s easy to see why; WordPress is easy to use, and has rich WordPress theme and WordPress plug-in ecosystems that let you tweak the content management system as you see fit.

iPage offers Linux-based WordPress hosting like many of its competitors, starting at $7.49 per month for the WP Starter plan and $10.49 per month for the WP Essential plan. The two are similar in that they both offer a domain name and unlimited storage, email, and monthly data transfers, but WP Essential builds on that with enhanced security and the ability to operate unlimited websites. iPage lacks a managed WordPress hosting option, which would give your site additional, white-glove support.

If you’re looking for amazing WordPress variety, check out A2. The Editors’ Choice pick for WordPress hosting has plans starting at $10.99 per month that include unlimited email, unlimited monthly data transfers, and 100GB of fast, SSD-based storage. Unlike iPage, A2 also offers managed WordPress (starting at $16.99 per month).  

If you’re new to WordPress, take a few minutes to get up to speed with our piece on how to get started with WordPress hosting.

Reseller Hosting Plans

Reseller hosting, which is also known as “white label hosting,” refers to the business of creating your own web hosting business from tools and services you resell from larger hosting companies. If you’re looking to get into the web hosting business, but you don’t want to deal with infrastructure matters, check out iPage’s reseller hosting packages. Unfortunately, unlike most other web hosting services, iPage doesn’t list its reseller specs on its homepage—you must call a customer service agent to glean more information.

We recommended Hostwind’s reseller packages. Starting at $8.99 per month for unlimited email, storage, and data transfers, Hostwinds’ plans offer dedicated and VPS reseller packages of both the Linux and Windows varieties. It has shared, reseller hosting, too, but it’s limited to the Linux operating system. Hostwinds also lets you apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it supplies 24/7 tech support.

WordPress hosting options

Building a Website

Most people will likely stick with the basic drag-and-drop site builder, which happens to be Weebly, one of our top choices for website builders. You can upgrade to the premium version or just use the basic one; Weebly’s drag-and-drop functionality lets you quickly build an attractive page complete with slideshows, contact forms, social media links, maps, and photo galleries.

iPage has its own website builder that’s included in every standard plan. Like Wix, this simply named Web Builder tasks you with answering questions that causes the intelligent builder to spin up a site. The AI-powered website builder selects a template and initial images for your site, so you don’t have to hunt for templates and photos. Web Builder creates responsive websites that work well on desktop or mobile. In addition, Web Builder lets you create up to six, free webpages, and includes a free image library and SEO tools.

There are paid options, too. The builder’s business tier ($6.99 per month) lets you build unlimited pages and enjoy improved analytics options. The e-commerce plan ($12.99 per month) lets you sell products online, manage inventory, and integrate PayPal options.

E-Commerce Options

Although it took a few minutes to activate in testing, setting up an iPage online store was a fairly easy affair. iPage uses ShopSite as its other e-commerce choice. The store creation wizard walked us through a multistep page-development process, helped us define products, and assisted in setting up payment options. The wizard is old fashioned, but the templates are attractive and modern. 

Note that when you enter ShopSite, you leave iPage and its control panel. We would’ve preferred tighter integration, in this regard. If you don’t want to use ShopSite, you can visit the Mojo Marketplace and download other e-commerce platforms, such as osCommerce and ZenCart.

Security Features

iPage safeguards your email with malware monitoring, and supports the DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authentication technology for added security.

iPage also has several other security options. For example, there’s SiteLock, a security app with three tiers: Essentials, Prevent, and Prevent Plus. Essentials ($3.99 per month, billed annually) offers daily malware scans, blacklist monitoring, and automated bot attacks blocking. Prevent ($14.99 per month) adds database scanning and faster response times. The top-end Prevent Plus ($24.99 per month) has continuous malware scans and PCI compliance scanning.

Additionally, iPage offers Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates starting at $39.99 per year. These encrypt the data transferred between a user’s PC and the website they’re visting, making them essential purchases if you want to sell products. There are also higher tiers that feature protection for multiple subdomains and e-commerce.

iPage SSL options

Strong Uptime

Website uptime is one of the most important aspects of a hosting service. If your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to access your products or services. You do not want that. Fortunately, iPage proved extremely dependable in our testing.

We used a website monitoring tool to track our iPage-hosted test site’s uptime over a two-week period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings our website and sends us an alert if it is unable to contact the site for at least one minute. The testing data revealed that iPage’s uptime is rock solid, just going down for one brief period during the 14-day test period.

Customer Service

iPage offers both 24/7 telephone support and an online web chat—we tested both help methods. We dialed into the telephone tech support on a weekday morning to ask the difference between using WP Starter and WP Essential WordPress hosting. The customer service representative quickly responded, and gave us a concise rundown of the differences. Likewise, our online web chat experience was a fairly straightforward, helpful affair. We waited less than a minute on a weekday afternoon before an iPage support rep fielded our question regarding online shopping cart options.

iPage promises a 30-day money back guarantee, and returns your unused fees when you cancel. That’s a sweet deal, one that we wish more web hosts would adopt.

Good, Straightforward Web Hosting

iPage has a lot going for it, including quality plans, robust uptime, and a knowledgeable customer support team, though the lack of monthly subscription plans and cloud- and Windows-based hosting options knock it down a few notches. DreamHost, HostGator, Hostwinds, and our other Editors’ Choice picks offer more well-rounded hosting plans.

If you’re looking for cloud hosting, DreamHost is a fantastic option. Likewise, HostGator is a recommended web host that offers month-to-month plans and excellent dedicated servers. Finally, Hostwinds’ reseller and VPS plans are terrific options for small or large businesses. iPage, however, is an extremely cost-friendly hosting option that you should check out if you’re on a tight budget.

For more on getting started online, read our tips on how to create a website. You should also check out our story on how to register a domain name for your website.