The webhost iPage has garnered a great deal of attention because of their “best overall value” package that costs as little as $3.50 per month. Although intrigued, most webmasters are concerned with webhosts that are this inexpensive, or in other words, likely too good to be true. But if legitimate, this opportunity is one that’s too good to pass up. Therefore, I decided to give it a go with the knowledge that in the worst-case scenario, I’d only be out $4.50. That was something I could live with, and it was worth that much just to be able to provide an accurate assessment of a webhost that so many people were interested in and had questions concerning.
Value for Money
Although most iPage marketing focuses on the super-low rate of $3.50 per month, it’s important to note that that rate requires a 3-year (36 months @ $3.50 = $126.00) commitment. While that’s exceptional value for the money, it’s simply too much of a commitment for most first-timers. The good news is that the month-by-month rate is only $4.50 (at time of review), so if you try it and like, $130.50 for 37 months is still an incredible deal. iPage also offers a $4.25 per month rate with a 1-year commitment, but if you’re willing to do a year, you might as well do three. iPage also provides an anytime money-back guarantee that lets you opt out of any commitment, which I’ll talk more about in the Performance & Reliability section.
The nicest aspect of iPage’s pricing structure is that there are no hidden costs. For $4.50 (or $4.25 or $3.50), you get a free domain, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage space, unlimited email accounts, databases, a security suite, built-in site-building tools, an online store and even free advertising credits for both Yahoo! and Facebook. Better yet, iPage is green and 100% powered by wind energy. There are, however, some extras available, such as domain privacy at $8.99/year, automated backup at $12.95/year and a wide range of directory and traffic services offered at various rates.
Performance & Reliability
In order to be a great deal, iPage has to deliver top-notch performance and uptime. After all, webmasters would prefer to pay a little more for that confidence and peace of mind. Going into this process, a red flag was that iPage did not actively promote their uptime. But upon further investigation, I found that they’ve maintained an excellent 99.96% uptime over the last six years, and I did not experience any problems at all during the assessment period. Most importantly, they offer an anytime money-back guarantee. If you opt out in the first 30 days, they refund 100%, and if you opt out after that, they prorate the refund. That puts the 3-year commitment in a completely new light.
Another aspect that sets iPage apart from many hosts is that they include 24/7 customer support in their basic package. But how good is that support? Well, in order to put it to the test, I contacted them via the on-site chat system, and I was pleasantly surprised when the system connected me to a support agent almost immediately. To gauge the support, I asked them where their servers were located, what the limitations on email attachments were and what options I had if I wanted to edit the .htaccess file. The response time and thoroughness was impressive on each question, and the agent even explained concisely how I could use the .htaccess editor built directly into the iPage control panel.
• Live Chat
• Support Console (advanced live chat that requires login)
• Feedback System
• Support Ticket System
• Email (on-site form)
Getting in contact with iPage won't be a problem...
Ease of use
The control panel at iPage looks a little bit different than what I’m used to – but in a good way. I think it’s even cleaner and easier to use than many of the other control panels. It simply looks more up to date.
All the important things are here and this one’s good for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to web hosting or if you’ve working as a webmaster for 10 years.
• Value: iPage is a phenomenally cost-efficient webhost with no hidden fees.
• Extras: iPage offers a wide range of extras that are quite rare at this price point.
• Support: iPage gives you plenty of around-the-clock customer support options.
Important to know
• iPage has limited upgrade options, which is important if you plan to outgrow the current plan.
iPage is a near-perfect webhost for small to medium-sized
websites that don’t plan to grow much beyond that point.
If your website fits the bill, then you’re not going to
find many hosts that are more cost-efficient or provide
customer service that is as comprehensive and as available
as the iPage team is. iPage does go the extra mile, which is
unusual for a host this inexpensive.One suggestion: Although iPage does allow you to opt out of
the 3-year contract, doing so involves a process. The
process is fair, but we’d avoid it if need be, and
instead, opt for the $4.50 first month for trial purposes.