“iPage is still a solid choice. They offer excellent performance and it also happens to be the cheapest that we’ve tested so far.”
What is iPage?
iPage was founded back in 1998 and since then they’ve helped push over a million websites to the internet. They also pride themselves on the 24/7 top level customer support that they offer to their customers and now are rated as a fantastic choice for beginners.
Packages & Pricing
One of the recommended hosting packages on iPage that we wanted to try was the WordPress tailored hosting. We heard it had some pretty well received reviews, so we wanted to try it ourselves and here’s what we found.
While this is normally £8.95 a month, iPage now offer the same deal at a jaw dropping £1.50 a month.
What’s included with that? We found out.
- Unlimited disk space
- You get unlimited domains
- You can register your domain name for free
- You can have unlimited free email accounts
- Free unlimited MySQL databases as well
Many web hosting companies offer a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with their services, however, what most people don’t realise is that there is a lot of small print within the terms and conditions which means you don’t actually get your money back.
What we like about iPage is that they are 100% honest; if you really don’t enjoy your experience, their money-back guarantee is actually guaranteed; no hassle and no questions.
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We were quite impressed with the control panels and behind the scenes of iPage. We could find everything and navigate our way through the backend of iPage easily. If we wanted to install something, it was installed with the click of a button and easily found via the search function on the customized control panel.
iPage’s control panel is very intuitive, which is something we like to see, as beginners can often get lost and dumbfounded when trying to use a web hosting control panel. The control panel is available on all plans, so you won’t have to pay through the roof to get a good user experience.
Site owners will have access to their websites’ user and visitor statistics at a simple glance, including site traffic and reporting tools. There are two options to choose from; Webalizer and AWStats. These tools are great if you’re interested in the raw data of your website, which is especially useful for eCommerce websites – all in all, we can’t fault it.
For WordPress users, if you don’t want to have to log into WordPress every time to manage every little aspect, consider making use of the control panel that’s customized for you and the options you use most with WordPress. We were highly impressed with the backend of iPage.
Performance & Uptime
In order to test iPage’s performance and uptime, we signed up to an iPage pricing plan and created a dummy website on WordPress to obtain some real and tangible results. We monitored the uptime of our website on a minute-by-minute basis and here is what we found.
Research has proven that a large percentage of website users will abandon a website or a webpage within 3-5 seconds if it hasn’t loaded, so we felt the need to test out our own website that we created to check out the scores on the doors.
Our website loaded in 1.59 seconds, with a performance rating of 83/100. We hadn’t performed any optimisation to our website at all, so considering all we did was install WordPress and add some content, we’d say that was very good news!
Uptime (24 hours)
Over the space of a day, we only received 1 minute of downtime, resulting in an uptime of 99.72% – now, we realise this isn’t perfect score, but considering the outage we encountered was only for 1 minute, we don’t feel there’s much to grumble about.
After a slightly disappointing uptime of 99.72% (where our test websites with other hosts were 100%) we wanted to see how iPage performed over a weekly basis. We experienced another outage lasting 1 minute, however, over the space of a week, this caused our uptime to increase to 99.97% which is most definitely an improvement!
We’ll continue to monitor our test website with iPage to see how the results fair over the next 30 days.
Another important factor to consider is how quickly your website ‘speaks’ to the server, and responds in order to display your website to the world. Again, we used Pingdom to monitor our website’s response time and here’s what we experienced.
An average response time of 1.43 seconds across multiple European servers; that’s well below the recommended 3-5 seconds before we start to experience a loss in traffic, but slightly slower than other hosts we’ve tested.
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Tools & Options
Themes – The themes for WordPress hosting were handpicked for a reason. The themes you’re given here have been tested to be responsive, easy on the eyes and user friendly. We really liked quite a lot of the themes that we tried out and some of them we use to this day on our other sites. They had a different them for every kind of niche you can possibly imagine.
Plugins – Whether it’s from adding functionality or speeding up your site, the plugins we tested that came with iPage WordPress hosting were impressive and drastically improved the speed of our sites. Everything from creating a cache of the site to improving how scripting loads, your site speed will be improved.
You’ll have access to a control panel of tools and functions that you use most when you’re on your WordPress site.
There are so many tools and options on iPage, it would take too much room to list them all here. We’ll go over some of the core features.
- A FTP manager and file manager built in
- Secure access to your FTP
- Customizable error pages
Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, domain names and MySQL databases. “Great!” I hear you say, everything is unlimited. What we really thought was worth focusing on here was the unlimited SQL databases iPage’s hosting plans offer.
We know that a lot of the terminology used in the world of web hosting can sound like mumbo jumbo, but this essentially means that you can host a single website, or multiple websites. Having the ability to do this ‘all under one roof’ is a feature that many web hosts overlook, but not iPage, once again, they think of everything, and their customers always come first in their decisions.
- Access to vDeck control panel
- Network monitoring that never sleeps
- Website analytics
Design and Build
- You get Weebly access to build a site up to 6 pages
- A site builder that will optimize your site for mobile (this is vital and important)
- A WordPress installer that can be used at the touch of a button
- Hundreds of different themes and templates for your choosing
iPage’s eCommerce options for an online shop are pretty decent considering the low price tag. You’ll have access to a free online store, so if you want to integrate this into your already built website, it’s easy to do, and includes the following features:
- PayPal integration
- Choice of shopping carts, including AgoraCart, and ShopSite
- Shared SSL licence
That’s a small sample size of all the features and tools they offer to even the cheapest shared hosting package. The WordPress hosting package gets even more functionality, which is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in this industry.
With most hosting companies, you have to pay extra for every single feature you want and this a yearly recurring charge. iPage is just giving all this functionality away for free.
iPage’s Mojo Marketplace contains all of your 1-click installs, which includes the likes of WordPress, Joomla, but also themes, templates, plugins, and even images and logos – how great is that? iPage make it simple to utilise their features in order to create a new website, or enhance your existing website to it’s best potential.
Being one of the leaders in web hosting since 1998 comes a responsibility to provide the best support possible for their customers. We wanted to put them to the test and present them with a wide variety of problems.
First, we noticed that they have an extensive knowledge base to help people who would like to try and solve their own problems.
The next thing we noticed is that they split up the help into different sections including website, domain, email and a portal for your support tickets.
It’s simple to search for an answer too, if you’re not entirely sure which category to choose. Simply start writing your question and iPage’s intuitive support system will list related articles, and allow you to view more results.
All of the different sections have the most common issues listed for your convenience and our issues were definitely listed there but we wanted to test out the actual live support.
We tested the live chat system at 7:00 PM GMT, during what we would consider to be a busy period to see how quickly we could speak to someone, and how their knowledge held up. Within 3 seconds we were connected to an agent who was friendly, helpful, and knew their stuff!
As well as live chat, iPage also offer a support center, telephone support, and a ticket system. Needless to say, we were impressed with the level of support we got and haven’t had to ever contact them for any real issues.
iPage’s web hosting drives a hard bargain. Their customer support was very impressive, responding to us within a matter of seconds during their peak period. Their tools and features are also very noteworthy, considering prices start from the cost of a cappuccino!
Performance wise, iPage were very good, but not outstanding compared to the likes of SiteGround and BlueHost. We will keep monitoring our website with iPage as their uptime could be pushed a little further in our eyes.
iPage’s web hosting features really impressed us. Whether you’re looking to host a small website with a blog, or sell products in your eCommerce store, iPage can offer something for everyone. They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee for anyone not satisfied (you will be).
iPage are certainly a top contender in our top 10 list, however, SiteGround will still remain a firm favourite. Why? Not only is their customer service out of this world, their performance really does tip the scales in my opinion. If you want to read more about why SiteGround is my number 1 choice, take a look here.
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