iPage Hosting Review

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Originally founded in 1998 in Boston, iPage hosts over a million websites in their two data centers. The hosting company’s main target is budget-conscious people and those who have just ventured into the e-commerce arena. iPage Hosting is owned by the Endurance International Group, a hosting conglomerate that also owns over 80 companies that include Constant Contact and HostGator among others.

iPage Hosting’s services include unlimited email accounts, unlimited bandwidth and storage space, unlimited domain names, free domain name registration and has some of the best pricing across the industry. They offer 24/7 customer support and offer free marketing tools such as Google AdWords bonus credit, SiteLock website security and more.

Help and Customer Support

As always, it is difficult to judge a web host’s help and support, because it changes from customer t0 customer and the time of the day. It is also hard to judge by a one-off experience whether the particular employee is having a bad day or if it is the company policy.

Knowledge Base

To start with iPage’s help section is quite detailed and has a search function that actually works and is always accessible. I typed “DNS” and was presented with over 100 articles to choose from. I typed “FTP” and the search came back with over 27 articles, most of them being highly relevant.

Before you even use the search feature, move your mouse over to the many sections that include email, domain, account, files, security, partnership programs and many more. Each section is choc-a-block with articles that are exhaustive and some of them even have video, to help you understand better. That said, some of the articles listed there are in need of updating, as they contain information on previous versions of their control panel that has undergone changes since the time that article was written.

Live Chat

One of the best features of this is that you can use the live chat even before you become a member. And like a lot of chat systems where the waiting period can be anything from 1 to 3 minutes, the connection is instant and you are greeted by a support executive, who is quick to respond and polite. Moreover, the answers sound personalized and not from a script, which is great.

The chat itself opens up very quickly. Very surprisingly, there was no upselling during the entire chat session and the agent was actually willing to answer if there were any further questions. Similarly, the ticket system/email have a quick turnaround time and there is not much of a lag. Overall, it is fair to say that for their budget-friendly services, having so many support channels is commendable.

Pricing

As of now, iPage is offering 75% off on hosting and are offering free domain registration. This seems like a standard discount that most hosting companies offer for the first year. The special introductory offer costs $1.99 a month and offers several exciting features such as SSL certificates, thousands of templates, email, 24/7 support, drag and drop site builder and domain transfer, all for free.

Once you have selected the introductory offer, you will be taken to select your domain name, where you will be asked to select your term length. By default, a 3-year plan is already selected for you. The three offers that are available are for a single year that costs $2.99 per month for 12 months — a total of $35.88. The second option, for 24 months (2 years) costs about $2.49 per month, totalling about $59.36.

The third and the most lucrative offer, as mentioned above, is the 3-year plan and offers savings of 75%, at $1.99 per month and would cost $71.64 for that period. This is a great option since it allows you free hosting for 3 years.

The downside here is that the prices are not exactly monthly (we only listed it here to demonstrate the breakdown). So, in case you don’t plan to hang around with iPage for 3 years, you are at a disadvantage. Also, remember that you will have to pay the renewal price once your account has run its course (for 12, 24 and 36 months).

User Friendliness

Signing up on iPage is quite easy and uncomplicated, but a word of caution here — while you are being signed up, the path is littered with many upsells that you most likely will not need if you are just starting up. Another thing that iPage has done differently is the absence of cPanel, which most companies use because of its user friendliness.

iPage uses a custom version of vDeck, which is used by a smattering of new web hosting companies for its customizability and a streamlined interface. What vDeck has is Google Webmaster tools that help you manage other features such as AdWords and offers a single-click solution to install Joomla or WordPress, which makes the entire process faster.

The dashboard is easy to understand and navigate and you can quickly find what you are looking for. You can check your email or web statistics and conduct other administrative tasks. Still, if you are familiar with cPanel, getting used to this new interface might take a bit, because compared with that, it is a bit cluttered.

Website Security

With malware that collects private information, damages or disables computer systems and affects your website load times always around these days, security is of utmost importance.

SiteLock

Keeping that in mind, iPage has partnered with SiteLock, a cloud-based security tool that scans and detects any vulnerabilities. SiteLock also fixes any such problems that it finds on your website and helps prevent your website from becoming blacklisted. While it automatically removing malware, it also speeds up your page loading process.

If it finds any vulnerabilities, SiteLock alerts you via email and your control panel. Though, this is a paid service and is available in many plans.

Comodo SSL

SSL certificates are important for protecting your data and that of your visitors when they come visiting. With the presence of SSL certificates, your visitors have surety that your website is safe and increases their confidence in your product and boosts website traffic. iPage provides free SSL for domains registered under its name and can be enabled from the iPage control panel. The paid version of Comodo SSL is backed by a warranty from $10,000 to $1.75 million to protect your customers and you.

Domain Security Email

Whenever you buy a new domain from iPage, you will receive a verification email. You will also receive emails whenever your first or last name or email information is changed or the domain has been transferred to a new registrar.

You would need to verify this email within 15 days. If you do not verify, your domain is suspended until you verify it.

Cons of iPage

  • High Renew Cost: As we saw earlier, iPage offers and delivers low-cost promotional pricing for 1 to 3 years. The prices are consistent and that is great. What is not, is that when you decide to renew, the price goes up considerably. From an introductory $2.99 per month, it goes up to $9.99 per month. This is nearly 4 times the cost of the original plan!
  • Annoying Upselling: If anyone thought GoDaddy was the ‘Big Daddy’ of upselling, they were wrong, because iPage surpasses everyone in this category. While some of the offers they make are interesting, most are not. For example, when you are checking out, not how they include additional features (not free) that you never selected (domain privacy $9.99, website security $19.95, website backup basic $35.98), while all you did was click the $1.99 button! Though you are not required to select any of those, this is a definite downside.
  • Hosting Speeds Are Average: A lot of iPage users have experienced slow speeds and downtimes. A lot of other web hosting service providers provide an uptime guarantee, but iPage does not. To get faster page speeds, you will have to pay for premium accounts. It is quite well-known that slow loading websites have a negative impact on SEO which could result in less visibility and lower rankings. Also, iPage does not provide SSD storage yet, like other sellers.
  • Migration from cPanel: It would be very inconvenient for you if you have a website that is already being hosted by another service. This is because unlike a majority of web hosting services who use cPanel, iPage uses vDeck and that complicates things. Simply importing the cPanel backup into vDeck is not possible. Though that is not to say it is impossible; you need to call tech support who will sort it out for you.

Conclusion

If you are on a tight budget, you will find iPage very budget friendly. Their most attractive feature is the offered discounted price for three straight years and you should go for it if that works for you. Also, even though it does not use cPanel, the user interface is easy to understand even for a novice, besides, their online chat service is quite reliable. iPage is great if you have a personal website that has limited operations and you don’t mind it running a bit slow.

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