iPage Hosting Review

 
iPage is the beginner version of web hosting for the Endurance Group International. They’re a niche hosting site targeting beginner website owners (small businesses and individuals) whose primary objective is to get online, fast. Fully wind powered for the past four years, they offer a streamlined and stripped back hosting service, taking out all the complicated factors for novices. They make getting online easier than ever.

Prices starting at $2.25/Month

Shared hosting

As part of their effort to make hosting less confusing, iPage has stripped back their shared hosting to just one plan – the Essential Plan.

The Essential Plan starts at $6.99 per month on a 36 month contract, up to $8.99 per month on a 12 month contract. There’s a first month discount so you only pay $1.99 at the start. As part of their effort to streamline their services to make it even easier, they’ve made all their core features unlimited. This includes:

  • Storage space
  • Bandwidth
  • Domains
  • MySQL databases
  • POP3/IMAP email addresses and accounts

Naturally, unlimited doesn’t actually mean ‘unlimited’. It means that for 99.95% of users, the limit is so high that there’s never going to be a problem. But, should you reach said limit (it’s not clear what it is) then iPage will first warn you and then slow down (throttle) your server. Basically, it’s their way to ensure that people don’t abuse their shared plans and start reseller hosting or using them as cloud storage. But if you’re just hosting a website like the plan is designed for, there shouldn’t be any problems.

Their Essentials Plan also includes a whole bunch of website-starter tools and add-ons, like:

  • 1 year domain registration
  • Drag and drop website builder (Weebly and CM4all)
  • FTP manager, URL redirects, and customer error pages
  • CMSs (Joomla, Drupal, Mambo, and e107)
  • Blogs (WordPress, PixelPost, and b2evolution)
  • Photo galleries ((Gallery2, Coppermine, ZenPhoto)
  • Forums (Gbook, phpBB, SMF)
  • Shopping cart options (ShopSite Shopping Cart , osCommerce Shopping Cart, and AgoraCart Shopping Cart)
  • Shared SSL
  • vDeck control panel
  • Online marketing tools, like guides, $200 in ad credits, and being listed on some directory websites

The goal of the Essentials Plan is clear – make it really easy to get people online and hosting, fast.

iPage also offers a WordPress optimization package, which starts at $8.49 per month for 24 months, increasing to $10.49 per month for a month to month contract. Your first month is discounted to $3.75.

Basically, for your extra cash you get the Essentials plans plus a better control panel, lots of pre-installed themes and plugins, SiteLocker security, and most importantly less accounts per server (so more CPU resources).

There’s also an enhanced WordPress plan called (confusingly) the WordPress Essentials plan. It starts at $10.49 per month for 36 months with a one off first month discount of $3.54 (so you pay $6.95). In addition to everything in the WordPress starter package, you also get SSD storage, better security, and personalized support.

VPS and dedicated hosting

It’s a little odd the iPage, a beginner-focused hosting company, has VPS and more surprisingly dedicated hosting at all. That said, their VPS and dedicated hosting options do follow the iPage ethos of making these hosting resources readily available to those looking for fast solutions.

Their VPS packages are all fully managed and include:

  • cPanel access
  • A range of pre-installed scripts like CGI and Perl, SSI, JSP, PHP, Cron, Curl, and FrontPage
  • Web mail, Spam assassin, and other email tools
  • AWstats, error logs, Urchin 5

Their VPS plans start at $24.99 per month (first month $19.99 after discount) for one core, 1GB RAM, 40GB mirrored SAN storage, and 1TB bandwidth. Their top tier plan is $99.99 per month ($79.99 for the first month) and gets you 4 CPU cores, 8GB RAM, 120GB storage, and 4TB bandwidth.

iPage’s server management is a little more hands on than a lot of other companies as well. They’ll cover your hardware failures and network problems of course, but they also help with your custom MySQL and Apache configurations, email and DNS problems, will help you with SimpleScript installs, Google Apps, and site load issues as you go.

iPage’s dedicated solutions are basically the same with an identical offering, but with different prices:

  • $149.99 per month (first month is $119.99) for dual cores, 4GB RAM, 500GB storage, and 5TB bandwidth
  • $189.99 per month (first month is $151.99) for quad cores, 8GB RAM, 1000GB storage, and 10TB bandwidth
  • $239.99 per month (first month is $191.99) for quad cores, 16GB RAM, 1000GB storage, and 15TB bandwidth

Perl

iPage uses Perl 5.8.8, like most of their competitors (A2 Hosting is one of the only ones who use an improved version, 5.10). 5.8.8 is absolutely current enough to make literally all of the CPAN library usable. People can use Perl for anything they want via vDeck, including mod_perl, mod_cgi, and mod_fastcgi.

One limitation of iPage is their knowledgebase support. Since they’re focused on beginner webmasters, their knowledgebase tends to skew towards quick-answer questions to common problems. The result is a limitation in how much detailed Perl support there is, in favour of basic web hosting questions and general digital advice for small businesses.

Technical details

  • Perl 5.8.8
  • SSI
  • Dell sever infrastructure
  • vDeck control panel
  • 30 day money-back guarantee
  • Common languages like PHP, Ruby, (plus Rails framework), and Python
  • LAMP host running CentOS 6.4, Apache, MySQL and PHP (phpMyAdmin)
  • Cron jobs

Conclusion

For people hosting their first website, then iPage is a great bet. They’re easy to understand and skew everything from their services to their knowledgebase towards the entry market. Plus, their additional resources for first time small businesses online are a huge asset if you’re in that niche. However, for developers who want more control (especially at the VPS or dedicated server level) then iPage just isn’t set up for that. You’ll likely be happier at a more dev-friendly company like Arvixe or A2 Hosting.

Prices starting at $2.25/Month

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