iPage was founded in 1998 and hosts over a million websites across two data centers in the US.
Their uptime was above average at 99.97% over the past few 16 months, while their page loading times were slightly below (787 ms). The single shared hosting plan is among the cheapest we’ve reviewed at $1.99/mo for three years. Otherwise, they also have two WordPress-based plans for a few extra features like SiteLock and automatic malware removal.
Default plans come with unlimited bandwidth and disk space, a free domain name for the first year, and even a free SSL certificate.
We’ve spent the last few years closely monitoring their performance, and crunching the numbers to provide this unbiased review.
So how do they stack up against more stable, faster, or cheaper options out there? Let’s find out.
General Info & Hosting Overview
|OVERALL RANK:||Rated #8 out of 32 web hosts|
|SPEED:||787ms (December 2017 to March 2019 average)|
|UPTIME:||99.97% (December 2017 to March 2019 average)|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat|
|APPS:||WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart and More|
|FEATURES:||Scalable bandwidth and unlimited storage, free SSL, free domain 1st year|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared and WordPress Hosting|
|SITE TRANSFER:||$150 per site migration|
|PRICING:||Starting at $1.99/mo (renews at $7.99/mo)|
Pros of using iPage Hosting
iPage is extremely inexpensive when you sign up for the first three years. Their uptime is above average and customer support is friendly. And they have access to just about every tool or open source app that you could want.
Here’s a complete rundown on all of the positive things we liked about them:
1. Cheap, Inexpensive Hosting
iPage has consistently been one of the cheapest web hosts we’ve reviewed over the past few years.
And it seems like every so often, they find a way to discount the starting price even further.
Currently, iPage starts at $1.99/month. The value, as you’ll see in a minute, is good, too. They only have one shared hosting plan, so nothing is ‘held back’ to try and force you to upgrade.
The only catch is that you’ll have to pay for three full years upfront to get that $1.99/month price point.
Otherwise, the regular (read: “renewal”) rate is $7.99/month.
If you’re only paying for a single year, the introductory pricing is $2.99/month (with the renewal at $9.99/month). While if you’re paying for two years, instead of three, it’s $2.49/month (or $9.99 renewal).
Either way, this is good enough to make all of their initial plans among the best value-per-dollar we’ve seen.
2. Lots of Third-Party Applications
As mentioned, iPage’s ‘core’ offering is solid. Here’s a brief rundown of everything you get for that $1.99/month (times three years).
All hosting plans come with a free domain registration for the first year. This saves you another ~$15/year right off the top.
But you’ll also get a free email address and SSL certificate, too. Each email account is branded for your domain, includes email forwarding, autoresponders, spam filters, virus checking, and even POP3/IMAP accounts so you can set everything up with Outlook.
This plan comes with unlimited disk space, ‘scalable’ bandwidth (meaning mostly unmetered), and unlimited MySQL databases. Not too shabby.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop website builder? iPage has one that comes with six pages and hundreds of templates.
iPage also has tons of popular open source apps ready to install as well. That includes content managemeny systems and blogging software like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PixelPost, and b2evolution. Gallery2 and ZenPhoto photo galleries. Plus, Gbook, phpBB, and SMF forums.
If you’re looking for fully-fledged ecommerce stores, iPage also has these. AgoraCart, OpenCart, OSCommerce, PrestaShop, Zen Cart, and TomatoCart are all included. They even can help you with PayPal integration to accept money online if you’re a first-time webmaster.
3. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
iPage has a no-questions-asked 30-day refund policy. Simply let them know that you’re not happy within the first month and they’ll happily give your hosting money back.
Like other hosts, however, domain names and additional services are usually not refundable.
iPage gives you a free domain name for the first year. So if you ask for a refund, a $15 fee to cover the cost of the domain name will be deducted. The good news is that you will still own the domain name and can move it or ‘point’ the domain to another hosting company somewhere else.
4. Strong Uptime of 99.97%
iPage has a lot of features to like. However, none of them are really worth anything unless your site is reliably online, ready to help visitors.
That’s why one of our favorite performance tests is to track each host’s uptime performance over a long period, like 16 months, to rule out any one-time problems. Then, we can objectively compare these uptime results against each other to show you exactly how one host is better than another — no bias included.
Thankfully, iPage has delivered a 99.97% uptime average over this time period. That’s well above industry average, and good enough to comfortably place it in the top bracket of hosts we’ve reviewed.
There were only three months that struggled and brought down this average, too. Otherwise, that average could have been even higher.
Last 16-month average uptime:
- March 2019 average uptime: 99.95%
- February 2019 average uptime: 99.92%
- January 2019 average uptime: 99.96%
- December 2018 average uptime: 100%
- November 2018 average uptime: 99.90%
- October 2018 average uptime: 99.99%
- September 2018 average uptime: 100%
- August 2018 average uptime: 99.90%
- July 2018 average uptime: 100%
- June 2018 average uptime: 99.98%
- May 2018 average uptime: 100%
- April 2018 average uptime: 100%
- March 2018 average uptime: 99.98%
- February 2018 average uptime: 99.97%
- January 2018 average uptime: 99.98%
- December 2017 average uptime: 100%
The other bit of good news is that iPage claims to offer 24/7 uptime monitoring. That means their support team will immediately be notified if a site goes down so they can try to get it back online ASAP — without you even doing anything.
5. Friendly Customer Support
iPage offers customer support through an online help desk and ticketing system. They offer tutorials if you want to try and fix the issue quickly by yourself. Otherwise, they also offer phone and chat support.
We tested their chat support, logging on in the late afternoon, and Parvathy joined instantly.
She was extremely friendly, but a little slow. It seemed like she needed to research answers to some of the rapid-fire questions we sent over.
But that is better than completely making something up or giving me the wrong answer (which we’ve also experienced). So we’re still calling it a positive experience at the end of the day.
Cons of using iPage Hosting
iPage’s pricing is virtually unbeatable. Their customer support is pretty good too!
Unfortunately, their other performance statistics don’t fare as well. Let’s take a look:
1. Loading Time Could be Better (787 ms)
Over the last 16 months, iPage’s loading times have been slightly above average at 787 ms.
That puts them just a shade under a full second in page speed.
While that’s definitely not the worst we’ve seen, the problem is that you can’t really do anything to ‘speed up’ your host. Anything you do on top of this site, like adding images or thousands of pages, will only slow your site down further.
And Google themselves have studies that show a correlation between fast page speeds and higher conversion rates. Lower page speeds, then, have the opposite effect: lower conversion rates and revenue.
Last 16-month average load time:
2. Lots of Extra Fees for Additional Services
It’s true that iPage’s core offering is solid. You basically get unlimited storage and bandwidth, plus access to dozens of different popular apps.
You also get a free domain for the first year, SSL certificate, and email.
The first additional fee that pops up is the renewal rate down the road. A renewal rate of $7.99/month isn’t terrible to be honest. We’ve seen others well over $10+/month.
However, it’s when you combine this with a few other additional fees that your pricing starts to snowball.
Some of the premium hosts we’ve reviewed will still throw in features on top of this for things like extra security or backups. iPage keeps their main plan cheap by not including these, and instead having you pay more for them if you want them.
This à la carte pricing is perfect for people who don’t want all that extra stuff. But it’s not for those who hate being nickle and dimed.
So here is a list of the different add-on fees.
iPage offers SiteLock support on their plans to help scan for malware and prevent your site from being hacked. Pricing starts at an additional $1.94/month for 36 months for the basic automated offering. They also have more comprehensive plans that increase in price to $38.75/mo (billed at $1,394.97 for the three years).
Backups can be either daily or several times a day. These are useful to simply keep a record of past versions of your site when changes are made. Or, if your site was ever hacked, you can roll back previous ‘clean’ versions.
The basic backup service is $1.14/month for three years ($40.78) for one website, database, and daily backups. The bigger plan, for unlimited websites, databases, and up to five backups each day, is priced at $2.09/mo (or $75.35).
Then, there’s also the migration cost…
3. No Free Site Migrations
Most of the 30 web hosts we’ve reviewed will most an existing site to their servers for free. This is especially nice if you’re not technical and don’t want to bother wasting time trying to figure out how to move site files, re-point your domain, and more.
iPage, however, does not offer any free site migrations. Instead, they will only move a site for a $150 one-time fee. That’s on the high side, to be honest. Bluehost, in comparison, will charge you $150 but they’ll move up to five sites for that one price.
4. No cPanel (vDeck)
Most web hosts use cPanel as a dashboard of sorts. It’s usually the industry standard, and if you use it in one place, you’ll know exactly where everything is when you log into it in another.
iPage doesn’t use cPanel, going instead with an alternative called vDeck.
For beginners, this isn’t always that big of a deal. It might not be quite as robust as cPanel. But it’s usually more of an issue for people who’re used to working on the same uniform platform and being forced to learn something new or waste time trying to access stuff they’ve mastered in another place.
So not a huge deal if you haven’t used either. However, it could be an issue if you’re a cPanel devotee.
5. It’s Not Really “Unlimited” (Better for Smaller Sites)
Most of the features listed on iPage’s shared hosting plan are “unlimited.”
Of course, nothing is truly “unlimited” in this world. The same holds true here, too.
But first, some good news:
There are no ‘overage’ fees for using a lot of resources like disk space, assuming you’re using the same correctly within their terms.
However, there are a few resource limits to keep in mind. Accounts with tons of files (they use an inode count measurement over 200,000) or large databases (1000+ tables or over 3GB total MySQL/PostgreSQL or 2GB MySQL/PostgreSQL usage) aren’t a great fit. Basically, they can start to affect other users on the same servers and so iPage reserves the right to shut your account down.
Now, we’re assuming they’d give you some kind of heads up before just shutting down your site. But their terms do state that they can do so “without notice.” So just keep that in mind.
Most users with smaller sites have nothing to worry about. If your site starts to get really big, you might need to start looking for other hosting alternatives like managed hosting, VPS, or dedicated servers.
6. No Longer Green
This last con is pretty minor, but still worth mentioning if you’re worried about the environmental impact of the companies you do business with.
When we first reviewed iPage, they ran on 100% wind power and were even partners with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green program.
Some hosts aren’t running 100% on renewable energy, but choose to help offset the carbon footprint of their servers. So we went back to re-confirm this by visiting their Green Certificated page and… it no longer exists.
Thankfully, Wikipedia was already on the trail, confirming that “as of December 2018, the page has been removed and does not exist anymore, and iPage does not appear in the EPA list of green power partners.” So if true, we’re assuming that they could be switching back to help offset costs.
Many people reading this might not care at all, but some might.
iPage Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
Here’s a quick overview of the hosting plans offered by iPage:
Shared Hosting: iPage just has the single shared hosting plan that starts at $1.99/month for three years. It comes with unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and MySQL databases. You also get a domain name the first year for free, plus an SSL certificate and email address.
WordPress Hosting: They have two main WordPress hosting plans:
- WP Starter: This plan costs $3.75 per month. It comes with a free domain name for a year, unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, customized control panel, and pre-installed themes and plugins.
- WP Essential: This plan costs $6.95 per month. It includes everything in the Starter option, plus WordPress expert support, automatic malware removal, and SiteLock professional security.
- Free domain? Yes.
- Ease of Signup: Fairly easy sign-up process.
- Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: Accounts with an inode count measurement over 200,000, over 1000+ database tables or more than 3GB total MySQL/PostgreSQL / 2GB MySQL/PostgreSQL usage might be terminated with zero notice.
- Upsells: Lots of upsells.
- Account Activation: Quick activation.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: Easy-to-use vDeck control Panel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Easy installation of popular apps and CMSs via their control panel.
Do We Recommend iPage?
Yes, we recommend iPage. But there might be better options available.
There’s a lot to like about iPage. You can get a good uptime (read: solid reliability) at a very cheap cost.
However, there were a few mixed performances, too. Customer support was helpful, however, also a little slow. The core plans have good features but don’t come with the most ‘extra’ options (most cost extra).
Any experience with iPage Hosting? Please leave us your iPage review (positive or negative) – as long as it’s transparent and authentic!