iPage ranks among the top players of the web hosting industry and serves more than one million customers worldwide. They often come up with huge discount offers during which their shared hosting plan goes down to as low as $1.89 a month. Their hosting mainly focuses on 3 areas: helping you build your website, taking care of your email hosting and providing a highly secure hosting environment. Apart from shared hosting, they also offer Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated servers.
Business roots of iPage traces back to 1998 but they relaunched their web hosting services in the year 2009. The company is headquartered in Burlington, MA. They have 2 data centers, both in Boston, MA.
iPage is a 200% green web hosting company. Whatever amount of grid energy is used by their servers and data centers, they buy renewable energy certificates for double that amount. Thus the website you host with iPage becomes a green website and you are eligible to display the iPage Green Badge to let your visitors know about it.
iPage also offers other related services like domain name registration, website management, email hosting, ecommerce services, and search engine optimization.
iPage Shared Hosting Plans
iPage offers two types of shared hosting plans: Essential hosting plan and WordPress hosting Plan.
Essential Hosting Plan: This is an unlimited hosting plan that comes with unlimited server space and uncapped monthly bandwidth. It also allows you to host any number of domains you want to. Regular price of this plan is $8.99 per month but the special offer going on most of the times gets you this for below $2 a month. It also includes a free domain name registration and 1 GB of free cloud storage.
WordPress Hosting Plan: Though you can host a WordPress blog or website in the essential hosting plan as well, this WordPress specific hosting comes with preinstalled themes and plugins and gives a better hosting experience. They have 2 WP hosting plans: WP Starter and WP Essential.
WP Starter is priced at $3.75 per month whereas WP Essential is priced at $6.95 per month. The Essential plan provides superior speed, enhanced security and expert support.
Common Features of iPage Shared Hosting
As already mentioned, iPage strives to provide better features related to web designing, email hosting and online security.
Web Designing: For the most basic design, you’ve got free drag and drop site builder included in the plan that can be used to design up to 6 web pages without any charges. They also have template based site builder and various other wizards to help you set up a blog, photo gallery, CMS, forums, etc. If you are an advanced level user, you can use software such as Dreamweaver and Expressions or even code on your own using HTML. You also have the flexibility to redirect URLs and design custom error pages.
iPage hosting supports MIME types, PERL, Server Side Includes, and automatic website backup among others. It also supports various multimedia features like flash, Macromedia Shockwave, Real audio and video, MIDI file, etc.
If you are planning to start an ecommerce website or sell online, you can set up a free online store with PayPal integration. You can make use of shared SSL, and the choices of shopping carts include the starter versions of ShopSite, osCommerce and AgoraCart. And to get started with your marketing campaign, you also get:
- Detailed marketing guides
- Free listing in Yellow Pages
- Free toll free number for U.S.
- $100 of Google Adwords credit
- $50 of Yahoo/Bing Search advertising credit
- $50 of Facebook advertising credit
Email Hosting: For a professional looking email address, you may want to create email IDs from your domain; something like email@example.com. iPage hosting allows you to create unlimited email IDs like this. You can use WebMail, POP3 or IMAP to check and manage your emails. They also support email forwarding and auto responders. On the security front, the email is powered with customizable spam filters and virus checking software.
Online Security: iPage places special emphasis on ensuring that your website is safe from intrusions and security threats. Though they don’t prefer to divulge much of their security details, some of the offered features include secure data centers, pooled resources, firewalls, daily scanning for spam and malware, encryption and database lockdowns. Their network operations center constantly scans the network for any security breaches and patches up the issues as soon as they come up.
SiteLock security suite is included free of cost in your hosting account. Thus you become eligible to get your domain verified in order to prove that it is legitimate and not part of any phishing scam. Once your domain passes this verification, you can put up a security badge on your website so that your visitors get to know that your site is safe to browse.
Managing Your iPage Hosting Account
iPage website is not much transparent about the control panel they offer with their shared hosting account. Though their VPS and dedicated server hosting plans have a clear mention of cPanel that the plans come with, when it comes to shared hosting, the plan just says ‘web hosting control panel’. But the good news is there is nothing to worry about it. Though you don’t get the popular cPanel, their vDeck powered control panel is equally good and user friendly. Its clutter free tabbed interface puts you in complete control of your hosting account. You can manage your site, emails, domains, billing, etc. all from within your control panel.
Their WordPress hosting control panel too is powered by vDeck but is further enhanced to give you quick access to frequently used WordPress tools.
Performance and Reliability
iPage uses advanced technology for their data centers, network, servers and other infrastructure. The server hosting your website will be housed in their world class data centers in Boston, MA along with thousands of other servers.
Network and Data Centers: Their data centers combined together occupy a total area of 2,400 sq ft. Both the data centers are under 24×7 security and run on N+1 redundant power (A/C as well as D/C). The UPS systems and backup generator sets ensure that there is no abrupt power cut in the facility under any circumstances whatsoever. They have gigabit and fiber optic connections from multiple backbone providers. The front end network uses redundant Cisco routers and BGP4 protocol to connect to multiple providers throughout the world.
Pooled Server Environment: iPage uses high power Dell servers that are clustered together with other identical machines. Your website is hosted over not just a single physical machine but over a network of machines that are load balanced. Whenever the primary machine crashes, another machine takes over seamlessly so that there is no downtime. To avoid data loss due to disk failure, the servers are also backed up on other storage units which automatically create mirror copy of your data.
The main advantage of pooled servers is that any server in the network can access your files. When a request to serve a web page occurs, the first server that is available will serve it, thus making your site load faster without any interruption.
As per most customer reviews available over the internet, iPage has a good uptime history of 99.9% but they don’t offer any formal uptime guarantee in their hosting agreement.
iPage has 24×7 American phone support to help you with any technical or sales related query that you may have. The phone agents are quite knowledgeable and their response is to the point; they, along with other support staff, undergo a rigorous QA test. Average wait time for phone calls is about 1 minute. In addition to phone support, they also offer support through online chat, email and the ticket system.
Their online help center comprises extensive knowledge base, tutorials and user guides. Chances are that you will find answers to most of your queries here itself without having to contact any support staff.
They are also known to make welcome calls to new customers wherein they walk you through the setup process and tell you about the various tools and resources available at your disposal.
Satisfaction and Warranties
iPage makes all efforts to keep their customers happy. Their efficient customer support department and the welcome call initiative are an indication of this. If at any point of time you don’t feel that you should continue with them, you can take advantage of their anytime money back guarantee. Within the first 30 days you are eligible to get the full refund of your hosting fees, and any time after that you will get a pro rata refund for the remainder of your hosting term.
The Flip Side
Going by the customer reviews on various review sites, there are some customers who have problem with their performance. And it’s a fact that their performance leaves much to be desired if you compare it with that of other costly competitors. But then if you realize the price you are paying and keep your expectations realistic, their services are not that bad either.
Ridiculously cheap services from a time tested web host. Suitable mainly for individuals and modest startups.