iPage Review 2016
If you’re looking at web hosting packages, you are likely to run across iPage as an option. You may be tempted by their low prices but unwilling to commit until you know more about who they are and what you’re getting. It can be difficult to determine from a company’s front page what services they offer and to what extent.
History of iPage
The domain iPage.com has been around for over a decade, but it was relaunched in 2009 under the control of the Endurance International Group (EIG). EIG has more than 15 years of experience in the web hosting industry and they control over 2 million domain names. They also own other web hosting companies for other types of customers including (but not limited to) BlueHost, HostMonster, Dot5 Hosting, and VPS Link.
What this means for you is that the company you’re looking to purchase services from is managed by a company with a long history of providing this service, which tends to mean they’ve provided quality service and have access to the types of tools you need to get your site running quickly.
Here’s a comprehensive rundown of what types of services iPage provides to see if it’s right for you or your company.
Many web hosting plans include similar options, which has driven down the price considerably for web hosting and hosts now offer bulk discounts and comprehensive options for an affordable rate.
- Differing Plan Lengths – iPage offers 12 month, 24 month, and 36 month plans for their locked-in price that’s on special right now ($1.99 a month), and has been for a while.
- First Domain Free – In order to get you started quickly, iPage offers a domain free with the purchase of a contract with their services.
- Competitive Pricing on Extra Domains – Extra domains on iPage cost $14.99 per year.
- Private Domain Registry – Private domains on iPage cost $9.99 per year, which is also competitive.
- Addon Domains – Unlimited.
- Data Transfer – Unlimited.
- Storage Capacity – Unlimited.
- Control Panel – vDeck, which is easy to use if you’re new to it.
- FTP Account – Unlimited.
- SFTP Support – Available.
- Shared and VPS Hosting – 2 types of hosting to suit your personal or small business needs, competitively priced.
- Unlimited Email Accounts – Create as many email accounts as you need for all your purposes.
- Unlimited MySQL databases – perfect for a large site build.
Types of Hosting
The lowest tier of hosting packages currently costs $1.99 per month, but there are other options available if you’d like to upgrade your plan or if you need to start with more resources and space.
A VPS, or Virtual Private Server, works distinctly differently than a shared server. While they both store the sites of multiple customers on a single server, the similarities diverge from there. Shared hosting forces all clients on the same server to share server resources like RAM and bandwidth. If you are sharing a server with several clients who get a lot of traffic, or one client who is getting a heavy amount of traffic, this can cause the “bad neighbor” problem, wherein they are hogging all the resources and bandwidth, forcing your site to load slowly or the server to crash.
This problem is eliminated in a VPS, because each section is specifically allotted its own resources…its own RAM, its own bandwidth, etc. This eliminates the “bad neighbor” problem and your site won’t potentially suffer thanks to the traffic of another, larger site you aren’t even affiliated with taking them up. VPSs also offer increased flexibility because the configuration of your server is separate from the configuration of the software on your server doesn’t entirely affect the other websites on the server. You have more ability to install software and applications, get root access, and configure certain settings to better meet your personal or business goals on your site.
A VPS costs more than shared hosting, but it’s worth the money if your site gets a sizeable amount of traffic or if you start dealing with issues of server downtime, where your site won’t load because the server is crashed.
The smallest plan from iPage for a VPS costs about $20 a month, and the highest tier is $80 a month. If you find your business doing better, you might find you need more space and resources, and a VPS makes scaling up easy.
VPS Hosting Plans
For those looking for complete control of their server environment and its security, or custom hardware and software builds with few restrictions, dedicated hosting is always an option as well. It’s the most expensive option, but iPage’s dedicated servers, like their VPSs, include cloud based flexibility so that if something happens with the hardware in your server, your site will stay up while the issue is being fixed.Dedicated server plans are for people who are getting 100k hits a month or more or are having issues with lack of ability to fully customize their website build, and on iPage they run anywhere from $120 a month to $192 a month. Most people won’t need the biggest plan, which includes 4 cores, 16GB of RAM, 1,000GB of storage, and 15TB of bandwidth as its resources.
Dedicated Hosting Plans
Setting Up Quickly
If you already own a domain that you would like transferred over to manage it on iPage, they make it really easy to move your ownership, with a checklist of things you’ll need to do and step-by-step instructions. Beginners can start the process to transfer their website in as little as 15 minutes. All that’s left is the time it takes to transfer it, which can take a few days. Have no fear, though. If you don’t purchase a domain name through iPage, you can still get started customizing your site build while you wait.
Several free options are available if you don’t know how to build a site to help you build a professional looking site without having to learn a lot of code, if any at all.
- Weebly Website Builder – Build up to 6 pages in a website with this easy drag-and-drop builder. Very simple to use.
- Website Creator by CM4all – a slightly more sophisticated site builder that allows more control, but takes a bit more patience and clicking around.
- Impress.ly Website Builder – for building mobile websites. Has rave reviews.
- goMobi Site Builder – another option for building mobile websites.
- WordPress – The Content Management System of choice for advanced beginners and beyond, WordPress is well-supported with tons of plug-ins and themes to suit every need. If you don’t feel like purchasing a theme through iPage, you don’t have to. You can install any free or separately-purchased theme you like. WordPress is well known as blogging software, but many individuals and companies start their entire site on a WordPress build. Might require some coding in order to tweak some settings or optimize your site for the web.
- MOJO Marketplace – has other one-click install options for building websites for beginners and beyond as well as purchasable options for further customization.
Another option if you’re looking for further customization and other tools is the MOJO Marketplace, linked right from their control panel. While plenty of its options come with a fee, some of them are available free to iPage users and are easy to install with a few clicks.
Some of the perks you get for signing up with iHost are credits with both Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Current benefits are $100 on each platform. You also get a free Yellow Pages listing and access to online marketing guides to assist you in fully monetizing your website for maximizing ROI. They also have site analytics to help you see how much traffic you’re getting, how people are finding your site, where your traffic is coming from, and other useful data that will help you make sure that your site is accessible and friendly to the most users.
There are also free tools to help you if you’re creating an online store on your website:
- Free Online Store – you already get one. Just access it.
- Paypal Integration – the most common online payment method.
- 1-click Installation – very easy set-up.
- AgoraCart Shopping Cart – to help you manage listings, shipping options and costs, Search Engine Optimization, and more. Works with templates and resizes images automatically.
- Ecwid Online Store – easy and popular online shopping cart system for WordPress users.
- PaymentSphere – easily manage incoming payments to get paid quickly.
- Malware Scanning – protect your website and your customers from attempts to steal information and compromise your reputation.
- Highly Secure Data Center – harder for hackers to get into your website directly or indirectly.
- Network Scanning – They work proactively to prevent and eliminate problems before you have to step in, increasing your site’s stability.
- SiteLock – cloud-based, comprehensive website security solutions to protect your business and website. Particularly useful for WordPress users.
Ease of Use
Overall, iPage is extremely user friendly. Built from the ground up to help even pure beginners to get a site up and running quickly, they not only have simple-to-use tools, but they also have informative help sections scattered throughout the site, an online Knowledgebase, and video tutorials, as well as online help and dedicated support 24/7.
The site also has a very comprehensive tutorial system fully integrated throughout the site with a New User Guide and search features. It can help you through even complicated procedures such as transferring domains, scripting, security, and accessing your server to transfer files.
If you need even more help they have a full customer support section with popularly asked questions and top categories easily accessible, as well as a live chat. They also offer tiered “Web Concierge” plans that offer support in several categories:
- Advice and Guidance on web goals – Basic Program offers email assistance. Premium program offers phone or email assistance.
- Routine Account maintenance – Both programs offer assistance for email account setup, installation of applications with Simple Scripts, database creation, and modification of DNS for domains. Premium program offers email and phone assistance.
- Technical Support – Basic Program offers email technical support assistance of tools available, including SSL Certificate installation and SiteLock, Google Custom Search and RatePoint Site seals. Premium program offers email and phone assistance.
- Montly entitlements – Basic program offers unlimited emails, and messages are answered in the order received. Premium program offers up to 3 hours of phone time each month with additional hours available for purchase.
The plans are on a monthly rate so if you only need one month of assistance to set up your account, you can take advantage of this service.
They also offer the “Knowledgebase” which gives you information on your account and how to access certain features, which is separate from the other places on-site you can find help and support. There are User Guides in the Knowledgebase that will walk you step-by-step through the process of managing many aspects of your website, email, and other parts of your account.
Under “Design resources” there is more information including infographics, ebooks, and responsive templates to help you completely harness the power of iPage and put all possible tools to work for you in areas from web design and development to social media to logos and marketing and more.
Mojo Marketplace also has plenty of free tools and applications for:
- Guestbooks – allow visitors to let you know what they think or sign that they were there.
- Forums – allow people to set up an account and communicate with people with similar interests through several bulletin board applications including phpBB, the ubiquitous open source forum software with easy set-up.
- Mailing lists – create and manage mailing lists with several programs. Perfect not only for notifying friends, family, customers, and others of sales or site updates, but also useful for performance and marketing campaign testing.
- Forms and Surveys – easily get feedback from users or customers on what parts of your site, product, or marketing campaign they like or hear how you can do better.
- eCommerce – plenty of tools to help you easily harness your website’s potential. Handle listing items, shipping, different payment options, search engine optimization, and more.
- Client management – if your business requires managing clients, you can easily do that through the applications provided through MOJO Marketplace. You can even import and export current client data to streamline the process.
- Photo galleries – Thrill family, friends, customers and more with photo galleries about your vacation, products, or services.
- Project management – take it professional with free project management software options from MOJO Marketplace
- Social Networking – Manage your social networking sites including posting, analytics, and more all from one convenient place. Also included free with your subscription.
- Statistics, Utilities, and Support – not sure how to use some of the features listed in the previous categories? There is help available in the support section that focuses specifically on the feature you’re attempting to install or use.
- Wikis – plenty of sites still use wikis and wiki software to allow community members to compile and publish data on any number of topics.
These applications and more are available with your subscription to iPage, and some of them allow you to import your current build of their products for seamless integration and site transfer. They also have cheaper access to small business tools to help you maximize your ROI.
Other services are offered in iPage’s marketplace, including Google Apps for Work, which offers professional Gmail services at your domain and other google services like storage, video conferencing, shared calendars, and more.
They also offer professional Search Engine Optimization services including content production, back-linking, monthly reports, and more for competitive rates. Many people who build websites aren’t SEO specialists. It’s a related but different field that has plenty to offer even small businesses who are looking for a boost in customers or their rankings across the popular search engines.
The marketpace also offers site backup and restore for extra security to make sure that all the hard work you put into your website doesn’t get lost in a glitch or a software update.
In the highly competitive internet market for personal and small business consumers, you can see that iPage ranks comparably to competitors. They even list competitor sites, rates, and plans on their website which you can confirm to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
If you are in the market for a personal or small business website, iPage has you covered for nearly every aspect of website building and management for every skill level. If you’re in charge of purchasing web hosting for larger corporation, their plans are also competitively priced with a quality array of options to get you started, and their online help and customer service options will make sure your web hosting project is handled smoothly and professionally, whether you’re building a new website, transferring a current site, or don’t even know where to begin. They’ve been in this business for over a decade, and it shows.