iPage Review 2017
Is iPage a good web host? Read our full iPage review with pros & cons, complaints, recommended use, FAQs, coupons, & more.
|Data center location #1:||Boston, MA|
|Data center location #2:||Boston, MA|
A Quick Overview:
www.ipage.com is a popular web hosting company owned by EIG that is recommended for both small business owners and independent web publishers. They offer a super low introductory price on new sign-ups, which makes them a perfect choice for anyone starting off on a tight budget. iPage provides a combination of developer resources and performance optimization enhancements with their retail accounts, including scalable bandwidth and 24/7 site monitoring which helps to make sure that client websites stay online. They also provide managed WordPress hosting with a custom control panel, developer sandbox, pre-installed plugins, and free themes for the CMS. iPage maintains generally good page load speeds on their hosted websites. Account plans include all the software scripts required to launch and scale a new domain. iPage is easy to use and a great choice for beginners who are new to web hosting. Overall, iPage is a great bargain for those looking to buy a web hosting plan that is affordable, user friendly, and dependable for website development requirements.
Why choose iPage:
- One of the cheapest choices with an abundance of included features
- Offers the best value for hosting a website
- Uses vDeck, a simple and easy-to-use control panel
- Ideal for anyone on a budget looking for web hosting
- Uses MOJO Marketplace for a variety of plugins, templates, & tools
- Customer support via telephone, live chat, & email
- Advanced VPS and Dedicated hosting plans for future growth
- Easy integration of Google Apps for Work
- 2 affordable & reliable managed WordPress hosting plans
What are the disadvantages:
- Expensive renewal rates after your initial term expires
- Weebly website builder is pointless and its proprietary nature makes conversion to other CMSes, like WordPress, very difficult
- Often promotes add-ons & additional services
- Slower performance & more outages than other web hosts (only for their Essential shared plan)
- Transferring sites from a cPanel webhost to iPage’s vDeck can be frustrating
The bottom line:
iPage is a good choice for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to build their own website. Users who prefer cPanel will not find much functional difference in the installed vDeck platform. iPage has a variety of free website builders available, but we would recommend using them with WordPress or other open source CMS scripts. The integration of professional web design, site marketing, and technical support services into the platform is part of a growing trend in the web hosting industry. However, at $249 p/month with a minimum 6 months commitment, most site owners will still prefer independent web development solutions. With web hosting plans starting at $1.99 per month and an abundance of add-on developer tools, iPage represents great value for web publishers and small ecommerce sites. With a commitment to platform innovation and by continuing to offer new upgrade features to their web hosting accounts, iPage looks to continue strong customer growth in the future.
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iPage was originally founded in 1998 by Thomas Gorny – CEO of Unitedweb and Nextiva. Thomas had a vision to create an affordable web host that would outperform other large, established companies in the competitive technology sector. In 2009, iPage was acquired by EIG, which began a restructuring process to further improve the company. Today, iPage hosts over 2 million websites in 150 different countries with its main office headquartered in Burlington, MA. John Shea is the current CEO for iPage and is continuing the iPage core mission to provide affordable web hosting for business, personal, social, and non-profit websites. iPage is BBB accredited under the Endurance International Group, Inc. with an A+ rating. The company now offers web design, SEO, marketing, and domain services as well as their core web hosting plans.
iPage offers a variety of hosting services suitable for almost every site’s web development requirements. The Essential shared plan (the one advertised on their homepage) is by far their most popular, but they also offer several VPS and dedicated hosting plans as well. Following industry trends, iPage has recently launched two managed WordPress hosting services: WP Starter & WP Essential. We really like their Essential hosting plan and Basic VPS platform, where in our opinion they offer the best value for customers overall in the sector at $1.99 per month for shared hosting or $19.99 for the VPS. All of the iPage hosting plans come with a free domain for the first year ($15 renewal fee) and a variety of add-on features which include over $300 in promotional bonuses. Here’s a detailed overview of all their web hosting plans:
Overview of the iPage Shared Hosting Plans
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|WP Starter||$3.75/mo||$10.49/mo||View Details|
|WP Essential||$6.95/mo||$17.95/mo||View Details|
As we previously mentioned, the Essential plan is the most popular choice for iPage customers and most site owners will sign up for this plan. The Essential plan is very affordably priced with numerous add-on features, while supporting unlimited websites, disk space, MySQL databases, and bandwidth. The addition of free site back-up and security features, as well as an abundance of developer tools, makes it a very attractive choice for customers. The Essential plan is a great bargain for basic sites that need shared hosting and is also good for multi-domain portfolio management. However, we’d strongly recommend the WP plans if you are planning to host a WordPress site. These plans are a worth the upgrade, although the Essential plan will work fine with WordPress too. The WP plans do give a noticeable speed boost and may be a good investment for a small business or ecommerce site.
Shared Hosting – Essential: Free domain registration + Unlimited domains, disk space, email accounts, & MySQL databases
The Essential plan is optimized for efficient web publishing, with a great selection of tools available for launching ecommerce scripts, CMS sites, blogs, forums, photo galleries, and other websites through “1-click” installation wizards. The platform also includes a variety of helpful analytic software for monitoring website traffic and performance.
Shared Hosting – WP Starter: Free domain registration + Unlimited hosting plan, WordPress control panel, plugins & themes
One of the features of the iPage managed WordPress hosting services not found on many other hosting plans is the ability to create a synchronized developer sandbox subdomain to make changes to themes and plugin configurations offline, then publish to the production site with a single click. The managed WordPress hosting accounts also come with a custom control panel and a number of free themes for the CMS.
Shared Hosting – WP Essential: Free domain, unlimited hosting, WordPress package, expert support, enhanced security, & “super speed”
The main difference between the iPage WP Starter and WP Essential accounts is access to expert-level platform specialists for problem solving in development and server optimization on the advanced account that boosts page load speeds. iPage also offers enhanced security features on the WP Essential plan. In general, it seems like it would be better to have these features available on both of the managed WordPress accounts under a single site vs. multi-site hosting upgrade framework, but with unlimited sites and databases on both accounts, site owners are basically forced to pay double for the optimized speed environment.
Other notable features that are standard on iPage shared and managed WordPress hosting services are a browser-based File Manager utility, sFTP support, FFmpeg, Mime types, and Perl support through installed server extensions. The platform also offers integrated site traffic statistics, domain analytics, resource usage monitoring, and error reports, as well as automated back-up services for website files. Social marketers and SEO specialists will appreciate the free $200 in Google AdSense and Bing Ads credits, as well as a complimentary listing of each website at Yellowpages.com. Every shared hosting plan also comes with 24/7/365 technical support through phone, email, issue tickets, and browser-based chat.
WP Starter & WP Essential – Is iPage Good for WordPress?
After extensive testing of the two exclusive plans geared specifically for hosting WordPress sites offered by iPage, the WP Starter & WP Essential accounts, we highly recommend either plan for customers who are planning on hosting a WordPress CMS site. While iPage’s standard shared plan does also support WordPress installations, you’ll get much better performance from the WP plans. And we mean noticeably better! WP Essential offers exceptional WordPress page load speeds and is a great choice for small businesses that need professional results. Also, if you purchase a WP plan, you’ll have access to a customized control panel geared specifically for managing your WordPress sites. Below is a screenshot of the control panel for the WP Essential plan:
Installing WordPress on a WP plan is also much easier and is less confusing for beginners (although WordPress is not that difficult to install either way). They have a simple, easy-to-use wizard that walks you through the install process. After you install a fresh WordPress site on your account, iPage will fully optimize it with properly configured caching, pre-installed plugins for enhanced performance/security, and also throw in several premium themes for free. Ultimately if you want to run an optimized WordPress site on a budget, the WP plans at iPage provide an excellent service in the middle-range between shared hosting and VPS upgrades, comparable to a managed cloud system but lacking the ability to scale beyond a single server instance in traffic spikes. These plans are especially recommended for businesses using WordPress for ecommerce.
Overview of the iPage VPS Hosting Plans
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The VPS hosting plans at iPage are for growing sites with dynamic content or ecommerce capabilities that need even higher performance and flexibility than shared hosting accounts provide. If you purchase a VPS plan, you’ll also receive exclusive access to premium customer support which offers faster, better assistance to customers. We’ve found their basic VPS plan very affordable and a great choice to upgrade to if you need more processing power for a CMS site. Although any VPS hosting service does cost significantly more than a shared account, the iPage Basic plan is very reasonably priced compared to competitors. It’s a solid choice also with around 3 to 5 times the dedicated CPU & RAM resources you can expect on most shared hosting plans. One notable downside though is that you’ll be upgrading your hosting account from vDeck to cPanel, which may cause some delays in your transfer. The iPage support team can help you with this and will get the site transferred over for you quickly in order to complete the transaction.
VPS Hosting – Basic: 1 Core, 1GB RAM, 40GB Storage, 1TB Bandwidth
One of the main benefits of the iPage VPS plans are the full package of web developer tools pre-installed through server extensions running on CentOS 6.4 available on all accounts. These include: CGI, PHP, Perl, Ruby On Rails, Python, SSI, JSP, Cron, FrontPage, Curl, GD 2, Image Magick, & FFmpeg. iPage will also manage the security updates on the server, so you don’t need to worry about systems administration issues on this VPS plan.
VPS Hosting – Business: 2 Cores, 4GB RAM, 90GB Storage, 3TB Bandwidth
Site owners looking for more power and high traffic web or mobile apps can sign up for the iPage Business VPS plan with around 12 to 15 times the allocated server resources available on a comparable shared hosting plan. These accounts should be able to support around 250 to 300 simultaneous users, making them also ideal for multi-domain portfolio management. Database-driven websites will perform extremely well for most applications under normal traffic requirements with this plan.
VPS Hosting – Optimum: 4 Cores, 8GB RAM, 120GB Storage, 4TB Bandwidth
The highest performance VPS plan offered by iPage is the Optimum account, which should support about 500 simultaneous user connections per minute under max-level specifications. With a quad-core CPU for multi-threaded processing and 25 times the RAM found on most shared accounts, multi-site hosting and high-traffic web or mobile applications can run under a managed cPanel / CentOS environment with all of the developer tools required for successful website management under demanding performance conditions.
The iPage VPS platform runs on Openstack/KVM technology using a managed approach with CentOS 6.4 installed as the base operating system. The servers have solid state drives deployed in SAN arrays for best performance speeds. Upgrades to more RAM, CPU cores, or storage space is seamless through their VPS management & administration panel. A free domain and all of the promotional extras on their shared accounts are included in every VPS plan.
Overview of the iPage Dedicated Server Hosting Plans
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The dedicated hosting plans at iPage are for larger websites that need increased security, optimal performance, and rapid response times under high traffic conditions. If you purchase a dedicated server plan, you’ll also receive exclusive access to expert technical support agents at their data center who can assist with configuring and provisioning the server environment for custom development needs. All of the dedicated server packages at iPage are deployed under a managed framework running CentOS 6.4, cPanel, and WHM for server management. This means that site owners will not require a dedicated systems administrator to set up and configure the server environment, machines deploy instantly at sign-up, and iPage technicians will take care of all of the platform security updates, including patches for installed extensions. This can save money, but also limits the choice of options for using other Linux or Windows operating systems on the server.
Dedicated Server Hosting – Startup: Intel Xeon E3-1220LV2 3.5 GHZ (2 Cores), 4GB RAM, 500GB Storage, 5TB Bandwidth, 3 Dedicated IP addresses
The Intel Xeon E3 1220LV2 CPU is a low end chip produced in 2012 and considered “end of life” by the manufacturer. While iPage advertises the speed at 3.5 GHZ, the original specifications are 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz is the max speed operating under “Turbo” mode over-clocking. This is a dual-core chip with some of the lowest benchmark scores in the Xeon server range. Since most server technology turns over every 3 years, you probably would not want to get locked into a long-term contract on a 5 year old server with better options available in the price range.
Dedicated Server Hosting – Professional: Intel Xeon E3-1265LV2 3.2 GHZ (4 Cores), 8GB RAM, 1TB Storage, 10TB Bandwidth, 4 Dedicated IP addresses
Intel Xeon E3-1265LV2 3.2 GHZ is another “end of life” chip from 2012 that iPage advertises at its over-clocked speed vs. the native 2.5 GHz specs. Despite being 4 years old, the processor does perform quite well in benchmark tests. The problem is that though 8 and 12 core chips are now being launched in the Xeon server platform, servers made with the newer CPUs will probably cost 4 to 5 times more than these older models. Also, the CPU and configuration is more than adequate to power all but the most heavily trafficked websites. In general, this server plan provides about 25 times the power of a shared hosting account, so it can be put to use in multi-site domain portfolio management or single app support very favorably. We would not advise locking into a long-term contract on this account, however.
Dedicated Server Hosting – Enterprise: Intel Xeon E3-1230V2 3.7 GHZ (4 Cores), 16GB RAM, 1TB Storage, 15TB Bandwidth, 5 Dedicated IP addresses
The Intel Xeon E3-1230V2 3.7 GHZ is also a quad-core CPU that performs very well in benchmark tests but is still considered “end of life” (2012 manufacture) in the marketplace. iPage charges $2.50 per month ($30 per year) for each dedicated IP address, so this cost also factors into the plan positively or negatively depending on how many sites require web encryption. In general, this server plan provides around 50 times the power of a shared hosting account at only 15 to 18 times the cost, so it is a relatively good price. Developers can hope to optimize performance for approximately 1000 simultaneous users under max specifications.
In summary, iPage offers dedicated server plans based on older CPU models in an effort to reduce prices and take advantage of cost savings. Because of this, you can rent a dedicated server at the cost of a VPS account at other hosts with iPage. However, since they use a managed approach with CentOS 6.4 pre-installed and running cPanel/WHM, there is not the full advantages of custom server environment configuration that many systems administrators look for in a service plan. Nevertheless, these dedicated server plans do provide everything required for custom website and mobile app development, as well as the ability to host a portfolio of domains effectively. Some users may find the low cost attractive enough to sign-up for a long term account, but we would not recommend them due to the fact that the Intel CPU architecture is more than four years old.
Managing your account with iPage is simple. You’ll first login to the iPage Account Management Panel (AMP) to get started (they’ll email you your login info after you signup). Their AMP is pretty straight forward and they have a handy video walk-through for beginners who need help. All the tools you’ll need to access within the AMP are neatly organized and grouped into sections, making them easy to find. Overall, the AMP is easier to use than many others.
Review of the Control Panel
iPage uses the vDeck control panel for their shared hosting plans. For VPS & dedicated plans, they use cPanel. If you’ve never hosted a site before, vDeck may seem a bit more simpler and a better choice for you. For other users, it boils down to personal preference. All in all, the control panel is easy to use and neatly displays all the tools you’d expect from a web hosting account. iPage provides the option to use FTP, sFTP, or a browser-based File Manager for uploads in web development. iPage does not provide SSH access on shared hosting accounts, so developers using Git for version control have no choice but to upgrade to a VPS or dedicated account with the cPanel configuration.
Servers: iPage uses a pooled server environment in their data centers. This means that rather than having web hosting accounts linked to a specific hardware unit, the first server available will be used to process each data request, leading to faster page load times. This is accomplished by using load balancers which separate the web server activity from FTP and email requests. iPage uses mirrored data copies of each client’s website to eliminate dependence on a single server instance for better reliability in case of a computer crash or power outage. In this system, a website is hosted by network storage and server clusters in arrays that are used for the preferential processing of data requests. Ultimately, iPage reports that this leads to better performance, faster page load speeds, more efficient use of company resources, and a greater reliability in services.
Network: All iPage hosted websites are served from the East coast. They are housed inside two data centers (with 2400 sqft of combined space) both located in the Boston, MA area. Both data centers are equally equipped with the same network architecture and equipment. iPage’s server architecture runs on N+1 power (both A/C and D/C) with multiple high speed, fiber optic bandwidth providers. In terms of actual performance, we’ve found that iPage hosted sites do score a bit lower than average, primarily with their Essential plan. Site speed is still decent, but definitely not the fastest. Their Essential plan is very affordable, but lacks speed – it’s a trade off you’ll need to consider. Their hosting speeds are faster for visitors on the East coast and a bit slower for those on the West coast due to high latency and distance. In general, they offer decent hosting speeds for small websites at a very affordable price.
Performance: We continually test and monitor the performance of iPage with Pingdom site monitoring tools to get a more technical measure of performance data. The results below are dynamically pulled from Pingdom:
Hosting Type Tested: Shared
Hosting Plan: Essential
Location Tested: North America
Description: Performance stats of the last 30 days from our iPage test account.
NOTE ABOUT TEST STATS: Keep in mind the above data is not fully representative of all the websites hosted on iPage. There are too many factors that influence performance stats – including the specific server the site is hosted on, the web hosting plan chosen, the optimization of the actual website, scheduled maintenance, geolocation, etc. Our tests are performed on low-end shared hosting accounts for each web host reviewed to showcase the most modest performance stats.
Helpful FAQs About iPage
Here are some frequently asked questions you may have about iPage:
You can order a web hosting plan from iPage by visiting their website, www.ipage.com. Click the “Sign Up Now” button to start the sign up process. You can choose a free domain name (new customers get a 1 year free domain registration), or if you already have a domain name, you can use your existing one. Next, enter your billing and payment info. Select the length of your hosting plan (1 year, 2 year, or 3 year) and check/uncheck any extra services listed below that. If you are not sure whether you would like to add any of the extra services, remember you can always add these on later at any time.
iPage accepts all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, & Discover) as well as PayPal.
You can cancel your account at any time. Simply call their billing department or send a cancellation email.
Disadvantages Explained – Things iPage Could Improve
As with any web host, there are some things that could be improved. We’ve discussed many of the pros for iPage, but here’s a further explanation of the cons:
Expensive Renewal Rates: This one of their biggest cons. Customers purchase an amazingly cheap hosting plan from them and get slapped in the face when it comes time for renewal. We get it – the cheap introductory rate is a marketing ploy to acquire customers. But the renewal fee is around 6 times higher than the initial rate for the Essential plan – so beware. However that being said, the low introductory rate is an amazing price. We recommend taking full advantage of it by purchasing the 3 year term so you have quite a bit of time to enjoy that great introductory price. Just remember that eventually, you’ll need to pay the regular rate on an annual basis to stay with the company.
Weebly Website Builder: iPage partnered with Weebly to allow easy integration and access for their customers. Weebly is a great website builder, especially for beginners. However, Weebly is a separate service with no need for an iPage account. Furthermore, iPage does not offer the Weebly service for free (unless you want limited features which are not recommended) and iPage customers will likely need to upgrade to Weebly’s premium plan. Users might as well just skip iPage completely and register for an account at Weebly instead.
Frequently Promoted Addons & Services: iPage is a business and we get that they want you to buy more of their services, but frequently trying to up-sell products can be a bit annoying. Some of their services may be useful and others not so much (i.e., the Weebly site builder). Others like professional web design, Facebook page creation, and search engine optimization services may be more useful. Either way, frequently promoting extra services can be annoying for those that don’t want anything else.
Average Hosting Speeds: From our testing and experience with iPage, sites could load faster and have less downtime. With iPage, it is necessary to pay for the upgrade to their premium accounts in order to get faster page load speeds. Business sites on shared hosting plans could potentially lose traffic and customers because of this problem.
Lack of Transparency on Server Architecture: iPage does not release the full information about the hardware used in their pooled server resources and data center operations. This is true for both shared and VPS plans. Since they offer older servers on their dedicated plans and other companies with state-of-the-art hardware advertise their specifications prominently, it causes some suspicion and makes accurate benchmarking in systems evaluation more difficult.
Website Migration from cPanel: If you already have a website hosted with another web hosting company, transferring to iPage may be a bit of an inconvenience. iPage uses vDeck which often complicates the transfer procedure from a cPanel host. You can’t just import your cPanel backup into vDeck. Transfers are possible, but you may need to call tech support and spend some extra time with the transfer. All in all, it’s a bit of an inconvenience, but still doable.
DID YOU KNOW? iPage hosts over 1 million small business websites world-wide!
Additional Features Worth Mentioning
iPage follows what is a growing trend in the web hosting industry to add web design, SEO, marketing, and technical support services to clients at fixed rates. They have two plans available to reserve the services of a “Web Concierge,” who is advertised as a “go-to” person for solving site problems, server configuration issues, account maintenance, and personal training. These services are offered at $49.95 and $99.95 per month depending on the amount of time involved. They also offer professional web design and marketing services as add-on features for client accounts. Their “full services” platform is based around Weebly Pro and social marketing at $249 per month. Most site owners will be looking for professional WordPress and Drupal developers or custom PHP coders and CSS specialists for theme design with probably more options available through a freelance marketplace.
Google Apps for Work Integration: iPage has partnered with Google to provide customers with a seamless integration of Google Apps for Work. This means customers can professionally use Google services like gMail, Hangouts, Calendar, Drive, and more with their registered domain name. Note: This service costs an extra $5/month.
VPS & Dedicated Hosting Plans: iPage now offers 3 new VPS and 3 new dedicated hosting plans as a way for their customers to get better performance. Existing customers can now upgrade instead of transfer when they’ve outgrown a shared hosting account.
New WordPress Hosting Plans: iPage has seen the growing need for a hosting plan better equipped for WordPress sites. They now offer 2 new plans called WP Starter & WP Essential, geared exclusively for WordPress hosting and custom web development requirements.
Impress.ly Website Builder: iPage now offers integration of the Impress.ly site building tool that creates responsive, “mobile first” websites from user data. This is available in a free trial with rebilling at $5.95 per month for a standard site and $10.95 per month for an ecommerce site.
Conclusion – To Host or Not to Host?
As we reach the conclusion of our iPage review, we sincerely hope that it helped you decide whether or not you should host your site with them. Every site is different and you’ll need to determine if this web host best suits your needs. For further information about iPage, visit their website at www.ipage.com. If you found this review helpful, please like and share it!
Let Us Know Your Thoughts
Have you used iPage before? Have any positive or negative experience you’d like to share with us? Email us your honest feedback at