Ah, here we are again with another in-depth web host analysis! Taking yet another look at an industry leading hosting provider with a big name and a whole load of features. Today’s offering is the ever-present iPage, a site we’ve been tracking for some time now, and have really been waiting to dive into. As such, we’re going to skip the lengthy introductions and instead simply crack open the nut where it sits. So if you’ve been wondering how good iPage really is when compared to other industry competitors, wait no more! Jump on down below the break to see our full review of iPage, including its feature sets, performance, and iPage user ratings.
Who is iPage?
When it comes to cheap web hosting, few names get chucked around quite as much as iPage does. The company has long been an industry leader when it comes to feature-rich, low-budget, and customer-service studded hosting experiences. The company has been pushing boundaries for more than a decade now, providing a unique focus on the consumer and their needs.
As stated on the company’s about page, iPage knows “… web hosting and the typical hosting customer, which means we know there is NO typical hosting customer. That’s why iPage offers a great deal of flexibility, without overcomplicating things.” It’s a brilliant summary of the services and tone offered by the company, as their main goal is first and foremost to get the average Internet user online without much fuss, and with the best possible set of tools to ensure the success of their site. We noticed a few important areas in which iPage really set an example for the market, and it’s there that we’d like to start the review.
First and foremost, iPage offers an unparalleled focus on the eMail side of web hosting. With all of the sites we’ve hosted over the years, we’ve never been more focused on any one aspect than we are with our eMail. It’s the lifeblood of our business, a fact iPage well understands. According to the company’s website, they perform thorough and studied tests of the eMail performance within their infrastructure, ensuring that each and every piece of mail arrives intact the moment it’s been transmitted. We can’t speak highly enough about this, as there’s nothing worse than losing a client’s necessary complaints to the Gods of Lost eMail.
Additionally, iPage also appears to offer quite the focus on security, including active and daily malware scans designed to protect your data. This also includes spam scanning of your email, and domain verification to prevent fraud. All in all, they appear to know what they’re doing when it comes to initial customer peace of mind.
On another note, iPage is one of the few hosting providers to have fully jumped onto the green hosting bandwagon. Their energy output is matched and exceeded by a rate of 200%. Additionally, the company also makes it easy for eCommerce users who sign with one of their hosting plans to advance and market their own green campaign. In essence, the company has proven its own eco-minded focus, and is now eager to share that focus with its users.
The Marketplace and Packages
However, all of this is paper-based speculation. Sure, iPage could say just about anything they want to get customers! So what sort of concrete packages does the hosting provider offer those who are willing to give them a test-drive? It’s a valid question, and one we’ll dive into right here, right now.
In a manner similar to other user-friendly web hosting providers like FatCow, iPage has decided to simplify the process of choosing and acquiring features by segregating the various utilities available to a Marketplace. This market houses all of the additional options one can purchase to compliment or otherwise enhance the basic shared hosting experience. There’s an entire host of by-payment options, including site backup and restoration, as well as an entire bevy of free options too. In the latter category, you’ll find a $75 Google AdWords voucher alongside a top-notch site builder. However, the real meat and potatoes of the marketplace begins with the specific hosting packages offered by iPage. The first of which just happens to be:
The Personal Website
Nine times out of ten, it seems the average user looking to get a place on the Web is in fact just that: The average user. Someone who wants to own a personal blog or other Internet enclave to which they can live out their Net-enabled dreams. iPage understands this desire to a T, and as such, has compiled an incredible list of features to help the user get their data online. This includes the simple creation of eye-catching HMTL eMail newsletters to spread the word about the personal site, as well as the intuitive creation of eMail lists. There’s also the option to track the success of your Internet campaign by way of included analytical tools.
If you’re looking to start up a blog, iPage makes that easy, as well! They offer full support for popular softwares like Drupal and WordPress, allowing you to more simply create a place for your thoughts and favorites on the Web. To top it all off, you’ll also get site backups and restores in one, handy tool. This features costs an additional $13 a year, but at that price, it’s still quite the bargain for peace of mind.
The Business Website
Earlier, we said nine times out of ten those looking to get onto the Web are interested in a personal website. And though we tend to think that’s true, we’d be willing to say another 50% are looking to found an Internet-based business—don’t ask us about the math, it was never our strong suit! However, no matter the idea behind the need, iPage offers just as good a business package as it does a consumer-based, personal one. Let’s hit-up the details below.
First and foremost, if you’re looking to create an eCommerce or other such business site on the Web for the first time, you’re likely feeling a bit put-out where the design of your content is concerned. iPage understands the desire for ready-made content that’s custom-tailored to your needs, and as such, is offering a full suite of design and marketing tools. These run on a sliding scale basis, and are capable of covering just about any design need you may have. Don’t want to hire an expensive firm to take care of your site creation? Just use iPage, the same company that’s also willing to host and manage your media.
As with the personal hosting plans, iPage also makes it easy for the business consumer to create, manage, and propagate eMail campaigns and marketing lists. This means you can easily reach your consumers where they are with special offers and promotional tools, as needed. For the same $13 mentioned earlier, you can also add daily site backup and restore to your account, forever securing the uptime and presence of your Website on the Internet.
Lastly, iPage offers a full bevy of tools and utilities aimed at the eCommerce user, wether or not they’re already using a business website account. For those not in the now, eCommerce simply means “online shopping cart,” or any other utility designed to help consumers sell and move products on the Web.
iPage makes this complicated process simpler by first and foremost offering an entire suite of comprehensive tools. This starts with the easy addition of credit card payments through iPayment, and also includes a free shopping cart utility. Both of these streamline the process of creating an online store to the umpteenth degree, and as with the other two packages, site restore and backups are only $13 a year away. All in all, the iPage Marketplace appears to offer just about everything one could need to get a website up and running.
Additional Products and Services
However, iPage doesn’t stop providing there! The company offers an whole host of other products and services to help you create the best possible web hosting experience. It’s one heck of a long list, and in the interest of time, we’ll do our best to keep things brief. So for the quick run-through, jump on down beyond the colon:
Domain Services: iPage will register your domain, protect it with domain privacy utilities, or even transfer an old domain left at another provider. They also offer full support for subdomains, should you need to create a few under your main heading. And when it’s time to renew your lease, iPage will handle this automatically.
eMail Services: In addition to the offers we’ve already covered, iPage will also provide you with full Microsoft Exchange support, should you desire it. There’s also mobile services support, in case you’re looking to take your Microsoft emailing experience on the go. You can also access your accounts with PoP.
eCommerce Services: Looking to secure your site, raking in the hesitant customers with the sheer force of your site’s guarantee? No problem! iPage offers both QuickSSL Premium and Extended Validation SSL to handle your certification needs.
Scripting and Site Add-Ons: Need more storage further down the road? No problem! iPage allows you to upgrade your bandwidth and disc space and any point in time, without hassle.
Marketing Services: This is a big one, so stick with us. As we’ve already mentioned, iPage will handle the design and marketing of your website, should you wish to not tackle these things yourself. However, the provider will also search engine optimize your site, whether they’ve created or not. Additionally, they’ll give you $75 USD in Google AdWord’s credit, submit your site to local searches, provide you with a fair amount of Yahoo search credits, and help you get your venue up on YellowPages. They even offer content distribution options for those needing to expand into other markets in a hurry.
The Hosting Plans Themselves
Just to recap, so far we’ve looked at a few of the ways in which iPage is prepared to get you online quickly through the use of various packages and services. These have all been pretty cool, but if you’ve been in the business long, we’re willing to bet you’re somewhat anxious to hear about the actual plans themselves. We understand your pain, Cowboy, and we have no intention of keeping you at bay any longer. To see the full specs and run-through on iPage’s hosting plans, check below just beyond the break.
Personal Shared Hosting
Believe it or not, iPage actually offers quite a few unique hosting plans. Again, their model tends to look a bit more like FatCow’s, allowing users to pick the basic plan that meets their needs, and then add services on top of that. And the most basic of plans is of course the iPage Essential Plan, or personal shared hosting option. How low is the price on this bad boy? Unbelievably low if you ask us! For only $3.50 a month, you can enjoy all of the features iPage is offering and then some. What are those features? you might be asking.
Well, to kick things off, iPage will give you unlimited disc space, transfer and bandwidth, domains, and even MySQL databases just for signing up. That’s not that big of a deal though, as it seems like every shared hosting provider and their grandmother is providing unmetered accounts these days. So what else is here?
With each shared personal hosting account, you’ll also get a free drag-and-drop site builder, literally hundreds of site templates, a personalized domain name for free, and even a blogging set-up wizard to get your solipsistic Web journal live quicker. As we’ve said already, you’ll also benefit from a whole load of Google AdWords credits, as well as free listing on local search sites. eMail accounts are pretty full too, offering unlimited emails listed as firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll also enjoy email forwarding, auto responders, customizable spam filters, and virus checking. And again, we feel we should mention that by signing with iPage, you’ll be getting all of this at less than the single cost of a Starbucks latte per month—it’s almost too good to be true.
Blogging Hosting Plan
Do you feel like you’re just not quite ready for the full commitment of a dedicated site? Do you not care about additional features like marketing campaigns, email lists, or even drag-and-drop site builders? If so, iPage is ready to hit you with a plan of your own. The company doesn’t just offer personal hosting, but blogging-based hosting as well. The best way to think about this is package is as a streamlined edition of the plan we previously mentioned. At only $25 a year, you’ll get a free domain name, your choice of popular blogging softwares, a full load of photo gallery software, and even 10 eMail accounts to communicate with the world. You’ll also get a few extras, such as enhanced security utilities, a SubmitNet listing for SEO purposes, and of course, support for blogging tools like WordPress and Drupal. All in all, $25 a year is a brilliant way to get online with a blog without ponying up the money for an expensive and dedicated hosting plan.
But what if you want to do just the opposite? What if you’ve been running websites for a while now, and are completely ready to bite the bullet and jump into the game yourself? If you’ve been considering becoming a web hosting reseller, iPage is ready to help you do so. In fact, iPage offers simply one of the best packages we’ve seen in terms of reselling value anywhere. And at $49.95 a year, it’s really quite the bargain, too.
iPage has dubbed their reseller program the WholesalePlus Program, and we have to admit that wholesale is the best way to think about it. each account comes with a robust suite of marketing and management tools, giving you the maximum amount of control over the chunk of server you’re leasing. You’ll also get full access to iPage’s technical support to help iron out those issues that creep up, as well as one of the industry’s most powerful reseller consoles. Add to this a private name server, as well as a 30-day money back guarantee, and you’re looking at a very solid reseller hosting experience—especially where price is concerned.
The Customer Support
Last on the list, we’ll be exploring the customer service experience offered by the company. If you’ve ever had your website hosted before, you’re likely familiar with the fact that things just inevitably break. We have never had a truly flawless shared hosting experience, and we don’t expect to, either. As such, there’s really almost nothing quite as important as a company’s technical assistance and support. So what’s iPage packing under the hood?
First and foremost, you’re more than welcome to reach an iPage representative at any time, whether you choose to do so through traditional telephone lines, or by way of live chat. The company is around 24/7, and promises to respond quickly and efficiently to any requests. If you’d like to talk about sales, feel free to go ahead and give them a call now: Their number is 877-472-4399. Want to ask for support for your existing iPage account? Call 877-472-4399.
However, the support iPage offers isn’t just limited to human interaction. The company also boasts one of the largest and most comprehensive community-driven resources we’ve ever seen. First and foremost, you can check the knowledge base for any common problems you may encounter during your hosting experience. Secondly, there’s general website help and domain help to pick through, as well as help on email. All of these offer robust and detailed articles either explaining common mistakes, or providing immediate ways to troubleshoot and fix your site’s errors.
The iPage Help center is located at http://www.ipage.com/support/.
The Final Word
So there you have it! We’ve looked at all of the features, all of the plans, all of the services, and even at some of the technical support offered by iPage. However, we have yet to talk about the final word: The customer reviews and roundups. According to the company’s testimonials page, iPage appears to be cleaning up across the board. Their technical support has been lauded as some of the best in the business, while users also appear to enjoy the stellar service. iPage has also received a lot of attention for its green initiative. As such, we’re willing to call iPage a solid looking host, and perhaps a company worth looking into for your next shared hosting experience.
However, we can never be sure. Taking a look at some of our iPage customer reviews, it appears iPage may have some serious problems to work out. It appears the unlimited plan may not be quite as limitless as so many of our readers had hoped, while technical support runs the gambit from being applauded right down to being blamed as perhaps the worst in the industry. We’re also seeing reports that the company has had troubles processing payments, accidentally charging their customers incorrectly: An aspect that’s an heavy dealbreaker for us.
All in all, just be safe with your web hosting decision, consider some of the other heavyweight contenders we tend to favor, like Web Hosting Hub, InMotion Hosting or FatCow. All of them offer similar benefits, prices, and features, and though they tend to have their detractors too, we’ve got solid experience with them. However, if you do decide to sign with iPage, let us know how the experience goes here! Tell us if you love them, hate them, or just haven’t got an opinion yet. We’ll, of course, be willing to share your pain or joy with others.
More information: http://www.ipage.com.
Read our iPage customer reviews.