iPage Hosting Review

 
Fast and easy. That’s the iPage way. Representing the ‘get it done so I can move on to something else’ end of the spectrum for Endurance International Group, they have simple pricing structures and are generally more hands on in their support. If you’re looking for an entry level host who’s going to help you get started quickly and easily, then iPage is a great choice.

Prices starting at $2.25/Month

Shared hosting

To keep it simple, iPage only has one hosting pricing plan for their shared hosting – the Essential plan. On sale for $2.25 for the first month  and then $8.99 every month after for a 12 month contract, along with a 30 day money back guarantee, they lower the barrier of entry as much as possible to encourage people to take a chance. But at the end of the day, the Essential plan is a pretty standard shared hosting plan.

The Essential plan gets you scalable storage space and bandwidth, so your site will simply grow with you, unlimited domains, and unlimited MySQL databases.

Oh course, like all hosts, ‘scalable’ and ‘unlimited’ are misnomers that actually mean that if you keep your usage within reasonable bounds for the plan that you’re on, then you won’t be warned about over usage and eventually cut off.  That said, reasonable bounds are extremely generous for most users.

In addition to the core functionalities of a server, the Essential plan comes with a number of very useful add-ons for those who want to get going quickly. These include:

  • 1GB cloud storage
  • Drag and drop website builder and a templated website builder
  • Blog and photo gallery setup wizards
  • Digital marketing credits for Google AdWords and Yahoo! and Bing
  • Yellow pages listing
  • Unlimited email accounts

The essential plan also includes ample ecommerce options, including Shop Site, osCommerce, Angora Shopping Cart, and shared SSL.

The iPage shared servers are run on Debian Lenny 5.0.

iPage also has a WordPress blog package, which is essentially their hosting package but with WordPress, some plugins, and some themes automatically installed as well.

VPS and dedicated hosting

iPage also offers cloud VPS solutions and dedicated hosting for those who a shared environment simply isn’t going to cut it. Their VPS offering is divided into three plans, each one getting you more CPU power, more RAM, more storage, and more bandwidth. In addition, every single VPS account gets:

  • Free domain name
  • Free marketing credits
  • Unlimited domains, subdomains, MySQL databases, and FTP accounts
  • A variety of pre-installed scripts, covering the major programming languages
  • cPanel features

iPage runs their VPS servers on CentOS 6.4. However, despite having root access users are not allowed to use an alternative Linux distribution. The least expensive VPS package starts at $24.99 per month full price and goes up to $99.99.

Dedicated hosting

iPage offers dedicated hosting on their Dell servers, which run on the Intel Xeon E3 3.5GHz CPU processor. Their least expensive plans is $149.99 per month and comes with 4GB RAM, 500GB storage, 5TB bandwidth and 3 IP addresses. More expensive plans cap at $239.99 per month, and use 3.7GHz processors, 16GB RAM, 1000GB storage, and 15TB bandwidth. Again they come with the common languages pre-installed and ready to go, and again, despite having root access, you are locked into using CentOS 6.4.

Both their VPS and dedicated hosting are run with cPanel.

Linux

iPage takes quite a different approach to their software than most other hosting companies. For their shared servers, they run Debian Lenny 5.0 on a UNIX platform, as opposed to the more standardized LAMP setup used by Bluehost, Web Hosting Hub, and SiteGround, among others. However, this is only for their shared server option. For their VPS and dedicated solutions, they offer servers with CentOS 6.4, and this in fact cannot actually be changed (despite having root access).

While it’s a little unusual that iPage uses Debian rather than CentOS, it will have no detrimental impact on your hosting experience. Debian, like CentOS, focuses on stability over the latest and greatest, and like CentOS updates less frequently and with more caution. However, Debian has more packages in its repository, like Debian Lenny 5.0 used by iPage. Also, while Debian leans towards CentOS, it is in fact a little more current and has more frequent and better managed upgrades.

Technical details

  • MySQL databases with phpMyAdmin
  • PERL, SSI and website backup scripts supported
  • UPS Power Backup
  • POP3/IMAP Email Accounts

Conclusion

For those who want an out-of-the box solution and don’t see them changing anytime soon, the iPage is a great way to get moving quickly. However, their lack of developmental flexibility and somewhat irregular setup are sure to cause problems if you want more of a hand is designing your ideal server space, especially if you’re going for VPS or a dedicated server. All in all, iPage excels at shared hosting. It should stick to what it knows.

Prices starting at $2.25/Month

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