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Sunday, October 2nd
iPage, originally founded in 1998, has over 1 million websites on its platform. It is a very entry-level hosting company that offers everything you need to get online. They include a free domain for a year, an SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support, and 99.9% uptime. Plus, they provide easy WordPress installation, eCommerce features, unlimited email addresses, search engine ad credits, analytics, and unlimited domains you can host.
Low Availability Through Too Few Data Centers
iPage has only two data centers. This is rather sparse compared to other hosting companies offering the same services and is too thin for today's demanding global visitor traffic considerations. You will want to look at a hosting company that has at least three - and preferably more - data centers worldwide to help geographically distribute traffic for your website visitors. This results in faster page load times for users.
Another EIG Company With Trouble
As with most hosting companies owned by Endurance Group International (EIG), iPage is affordable. In fact, if you're looking for a cheap hosting solution, iPage is probably the lowest price you'll pay. They have consistently come in at $1.99 per month for many years now. But understand that this is an introductory price and be prepared to pay for 36 months to get that low price. After your initial term is up, your cost will jump up to $7.99 per month paid over that same 36-month term.
If you're not happy within the first 30 days of using iPage, you can get your money back on everything but the add-on services. Be aware that the refund also doesn't include the non-refundable $15 domain fee if you registered one through iPage. But that also ensures that you can take your domain elsewhere after you cash in on the money-back guarantee.
Customers Are Divided On iPage's Value
The cost-to-value tradeoff is pretty dismal here, according to the many angry customers iPage is disappointing on the regular. Every hosting company has some troubles that result in some negative reviews. However, the sign of a healthy hosting company is the majority of reviews are positive. Therefore, it is not encouraging to find that the reviews of iPage's services, from shared hosting to the website builder to WordPress hosting, are evenly split between happy and outraged.
A sampling of the latest complaints about iPage included references to site outages, ignored or rejected requests for refunds, problems with the web page builder, issues attaching files to emails through the email service, malware, and slow response times from support representatives.
iPage hosting costs
iPage offers the following web hosting plans:
Not Able to Communicate Its Value
We tried to find more reasons why someone would want to buy an iPage hosting plan by clicking on the "Why iPage?" link found on the money-back guarantee page, but we were met with a "404 not found" error message. This didn't bode well for a service that is already struggling to communicate its value through the noise (or is it signal?) of so many conflicting positive and negative reviews. The one positive: the speed with which iPage serves its own home page was actually ok at 483 milliseconds for the first byte of data.
Avoid This Web Hosting Service
It may be that iPage is intending to improve its standing among its peers, but, for the time being, we are going to warn people to stay away from iPage. It's almost a guarantee that you'll be let down, sooner (with poor performance and lack of customer support) or later (with drastic increases in pricing over introductory rates).
Having a website is a necessity for anyone who wants to communicate with a regional, national, or global audience. Whether it's a website for brand awareness, eCommerce, media, services, writing, or a hobby, every site needs to be hosted somewhere. Since the web began, thousands of hosting companies have arisen, flourished, and disappeared. How do you know which companies available today will be around as long as you plan to have your website online? And, how do you know what features to look for?
For starters, be aware of your budget and what hosting companies charge. Don't be lured in by apparently low-priced plans without first reading the fine print. Many companies attract website owners with seemingly impossibly low fees only to jack up the rate at the time the hosting plan is renewed. Some offer a single rate regardless of the billing period. Others offer discounts based on whether you pay monthly, yearly or multiple years in advance. Yet others offer more advanced capabilities depending on the size and needs of your website and audience.
When considering features, make a list of what you really need, what would be good to have, and what isn't very necessary. For example, do you need a plethora of themes to choose from in a do-it-yourself direction, or would you rather have a web designer create a custom design for you? Do you need a high-availability, supercharged dedicated server or just a bit of space on a shared server? Do you plan to develop your own code or do you need a professional developer for that? If you don't have a domain, will the host sell you one? If you do have a domain, how hard is it for the host to transfer it and also migrate your existing site? If you need email, eCommerce, advertising, and search engine optimization (SEO), be sure to list those as well.
Something people almost never think about is security and performance. Most like to assume that all hosts are secure and provide fast page load speeds. But that isn't always the case! This is especially a problem when a host charges very low prices for marginally capable plans. Those services are not likely to be secure or fast. Beware of shared hosting, which means your site is among hundreds or even thousands of others housed on the same server. In a shared server, when someone else's site is compromised or has a problem, it puts your site at risk.
Finally, look at a hosting company's reputation. This is not just about how many years they have in business. It's a combination of longevity, how they treat customers, how many complaints are logged, and how many of those complaints are directly answered by a representative of the company. Ask other website owners, web designers, and developers if they like or dislike a hosting company you're considering. Most of them will be able to share good and bad stories about any hosting company.
When evaluating your list and narrowing down your choices, consider these factors:
TopConsumerReviews.com has created a list of the most popular or prominent website hosting providers to guide you in your research. We hope this information makes it easier for you to choose the best web host for your business that will make your website engaging, performant, affordable, and secure.
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