Since its founding in 1998, iPage has expanded to host more than a million websites in its two data centers in the United States.
We bought a basic plan from iPage and evaluated the web host for 24 months. During that time, we experienced an average uptime of 99.96%, which is higher than the industry average. Page loading times were reasonable at a median of 746 ms.
One of the highlights of iPage is its single shared hosting plan that starts at just $1.99 per month when you sign up for three years. Or you can opt for one of the two WordPress plans with additional features such as automatic malware removal and SiteLock, among others.
All the default plans give you unlimited disk space and bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and a domain name for free for one year.
With that quick overview in mind, what else did we discover over our two years of testing iPage and crunching the numbers? We’ve divided our findings into the pros and cons.
Pros of iPage Hosting
Likely the first thing you will notice about iPage is just how affordable it can be if you sign up for three years. You will also get friendly customer support, above-average uptime, and access to the various features, open-source apps, and tools that you most likely want.
1. Very Competitive Pricing
Many web hosts have competitive pricing, but iPage takes this a step further. As mentioned earlier, iPage can cost as little as $1.99 per month. Not only is the price low, but it also has very good value. After all, the web host only has a single shared hosting plan, so it is unlikely to push upgrades on you.
As always, there are two catches. The first is that you will have to pay for a full three years at registration to pay this low price. Additionally, once those three years are up, the rate goes up to $7.99 per month.
The pricing is even competitive for shorter terms, with a rate of $2.99 per month if you pay for one year and $2.49 per month if you pay for two. Both of these renew at $9.99 per month. All of those initial rates are among the most affordable we have seen.
2. Plans Are Nearly All-inclusive
Not only are the iPage plans affordable, but they include nearly everything you could want or need. This includes a year of free domain registration, which saves you about $15 from the start.
The basic account also includes a free SSL certificate and email address. That email address features your domain’s branding and includes virus checking, spam filters, autoresponders, email forwarding, and POP3/IMAP accounts to incorporate Outlook.
You also get unlimited disk space, unlimited MySQL databases, and scalable bandwidth that is mostly unmetered.
There is even a website builder with drag-and-drop functionality, so it is easy to use. It features hundreds of templates along with six pages.
3. Numerous Third-party Applications
Most people who run a website make use of numerous applications from third-parties. To supplement the other features in all plans, iPage has numerous open-source apps that you can install with ease. Some of the blogging software and content management systems include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, b2evolution, and PixelPost. Photo galleries include ZenPhoto and Gallery2, among others, and you also get SMF forums, phpBB, and Gbook.
For e-commerce sites, some of the apps that you will find useful include OSCommerce, TomatoCart, Zen Cart, PrestaShop, OpenCart, and AgoraCart. There is even PayPal integration for added convenience.
4. Strong Uptime – 99.96%
To make all the features of iPage worthwhile, you need to be able to count on your website being online, so people can visit it. Because of that, uptime is such an important factor when choosing your web host, and it is one of the areas in which iPage does very well.
Not only does uptime give you good insights into how useful the web host is, but it is also easy to compare since you can just look at raw figures. In our 24 months of testing, iPage had an average uptime of 99.96%, which is a competitive figure being above the industry average. In fact, iPage is good enough to be one of our top hosts in terms of uptime.
It is worth noting that despite the strong average uptime during the 24 months, iPage did struggle some months, with lower figures that brought down its overall average. Less-than-average months include February, June, July, December, and January. These were balanced out by months like September and November with 100% uptime. The following shows each month’s average uptime:
- February 2019 – 99.92%
- March 2019 – 99.95%
- April 2019 – 99.99%
- May 2019 – 99.95%
- June 2019 – 99.90%
- July 2019 – 99.90%
- August 2019 – 99.96%
- September 2019 – 100%
- October 2019 – 99.97%
- November 2019 – 100%
- December 2019 – 99.87%
- January 2020 – 99.88%
5. Reasonable Loading Time – 746 ms
The loading times for iPage hosting averaged out to 746 ms in the past 24 months. This is a reasonably good figure for web hosts since it means that your site should load in less than a second, assuming you set it up properly.
Remember that faster page speeds lead to higher conversion rates since you will be reducing your bounce rate.
To put that 746 ms average page loading time in the past 24 months into context, here are the monthly averages for loading times over 12 months:
- February 2019 – 723 ms
- March 2019 – 743 ms
- April 2019 – 732 ms
- May 2019 – 790 ms
- June 2019 – 715 ms
- July 2019 – 691 ms
- August 2019 – 680 ms
- September 2019 – 676 ms
- October 2019 – 664 ms
- November 2019 – 691 ms
- December 2019 – 701 ms
- January 2020 – 713 ms
6. Money-back Guarantee
The money-back-guarantee from iPage is refreshing as the policy lasts for 30 days and has no questions asked. You just have to let iPage know that you are not satisfied, and you get your refund.
You should be aware of the standard exceptions to this. You typically cannot get a refund on additional services or domain names. You also have to pay a $15 fee to account for the free domain name that you received with your plan.
While you may not like paying this $15 fee, it means that you still own the domain name for the rest of the year. This lets you easily move it somewhere else.
7. Highly Rated Customer Support
Clients and our testing team agree that the customer support from iPage is prompt and useful. You can take advantage of the ticketing system or use the online help desk. You will notice plenty of tutorials to help you resolve your issue in many cases.
You can also take advantage of live chat and phone support. When we used the live chat in the late afternoon, we connected with an agent instantly. We got extremely friendly responses, although some delays that made us think the agent had to double-check some facts before responding.
Even with a very slight delay in answering some questions, this was an overall positive experience. After all, we prefer a short delay over incorrect information.
Disadvantages of iPage Hosting
We already covered that iPage has low fees, good customer support, and good uptime and loading speeds.
However, no web host is perfect across all categories, and the following are some of the weak points for iPage.
1. You Will Likely Pay for Extra Services
While iPage has industry-leading low fees for its plans, this is not without caveats. You get a free domain for a year, along with free email and a free SSL certificate. However, there are some extra fees that you may find yourself paying, depending on the features you plan to add and use.
We already mentioned that your monthly rate would go up at renewal. That being said, even the renewal rate of $7.99 is reasonably competitive. It is when you add in other features that the cost can rise quickly.
One of the ways in which iPage maintains low prices is by not including extra features like enhanced security or backups. So, if you want those features, you will need to pay extra.
SiteLock support helps prevent hackers from getting to your site and scans for malware. The most basic of the SiteLock plans on iPage starts at $1.99 per month and lasts 36 months. If you want more security, there is also a plan that is $24.99 a month, which you get billed for as $899.64 for three years.
Backups are useful for maintaining records of past versions of your website or helping you if your page gets hacked. You can get a basic backup service for three years for $1.14 per month or a total of $40.78, which includes one website, daily backups, and a database. If you need unlimited websites and databases with five backups daily, you will pay $2.09 monthly or $75.35 in total.
2. Paid Site Migrations
Speaking of extra fees, if you opt for iPage, you should be prepared to pay for your site migration. Many of the web hosts we reviewed offer at least one site migration for free, if not more.
This is a particularly important feature, especially for those who are less technically inclined.
With iPage, you will need to pay $150 as a one-time fee for a single site migration. This is one of the more expensive migrations, as some that charge for this service will give you multiple migrations for that price.
3. “Unlimited” Is Not Unlimited
We already touched on how the pricing from iPage is not quite as good as it seems at first, and there is more to this. You will notice that most features included in the plan for shared hosting are described as “unlimited.”
In our experience, iPage’s definition of “unlimited” is not truly unlimited. The bright side is that you will not have to pay overages if you use too many resources.
Even so, you need to be aware of the resource limits ahead of time. iPage reserves its right to close accounts with too many large databases or files as they affect other users on the server.
One more piece of good news in this respect is that smaller sites should be fine. Bigger sites, however, may want to consider other options.
4. No cPanel Available
Most of the web hosts we reviewed rely on cPanel as their dashboard, making this the industry standard and the one that most people are familiar with.
The alternative from iPage is called vDeck, but it is not as feature-filled. Beginners are unlikely to notice any deficiency as they will not have any base knowledge of cPanel to compare it to. Only advanced users are likely to miss features.
If you have the experience, you may be bummed that you have to learn a new platform, especially if you prefer cPanel.
5. Not Green
Although this is a small point, it is worth mentioning that iPage used to be green, but that is no longer the case. Previously, the company used 100% wind power and was a partner in the EPA Green program. Since December 2018, it seems that iPage stopped these green efforts.
iPage Hosting Plans and Pricing
There is just one shared hosting plan available from iPage. Two WordPress plans supplement this.
The shared hosting plan costs $1.99 per month when you sign up for three years. It gives you unlimited bandwidth, MySQL databases, and disk space. You also get a free email address, free SSL certificate, and a year of a free domain.
This plan is $3.75 a month. It includes unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, and a year of a free domain name. The WP Starter plan also offers pre-installed plugins and themes, and a customized control panel.
This plan builds on the WP Starter plan with WordPress expert support, SiteLock professional security, and automatic malware removal.
Our Recommendation for iPage
Overall, we recommend iPage but caution you to also look at other options.
iPage stands out with its low price and great reliability in terms of uptime and speed. However, customer support is slightly slow. You will also have to pay extra for some features that competitors include in their plans.
The bottom line is that you will likely be satisfied with iPage, but you may want to compare it to other budget-friendly web hosting plans.