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We don’t recommend iPage. They are part of EIG however their performance, relative to other web hosts, is slow. We also had issues setting our account up.
Average uptime for all hosts in January 2018 (to date) is 99.80% while average response time for all web hosts in January 2018 (to date) is 1,254ms.
iPage’s entry-level hosting package – the ‘go plan’ – is advertised at a cost of $1.99 per month however you can only qualify for that rate if you’re willing to pay 36 months in advance. Despite advertising monthly costs you can’t actually pay iPage monthly for their ‘go’ shared hosting account.
The price is $2.99 per month if you want to pay 12 months (the shortest term you can select) in advance (total cost of $35.88).
There’s more information about renewals below, however at the end of you term they will charge you $119.88 for another 12 months of service. Your subscription will renew automatically (however you can disable automatic renewal in your admin panel).
It took us 4 days to setup our iPage hosting account. For some reason they weren’t able to point our A record to the correct IP address (at least we think that was the issue; we asked but they never responded).
We engaged in 3 chat sessions (and subsequently a few conversations by email), during which they asserted it was a nameserver propagation issue (despite the nameservers appearing in the WHOIS record and the website still being unavailable 72 hours after the nameservers were changed).
During the 3 conversations we had with iPage we had to explain at length what the issue was, and everything the previous chat representative had tried (this would have been a lot easier if we could have submitted a ticket but unfortunately we couldn’t find a ticketing platform – that’s because they don’t have one).
All in all, this wasted about 3 hours of our time. Suddenly, $35.88 per year isn’t looking so cheap.
While their support representatives are responsive – to an extent – they lacked the ability to resolve what should be a basic problem.
NOTE: we should be clear that the following restrictions aren’t specific to iPage, they are enforced by most web hosts.
iPage offers ‘scalable’ bandwidth.
Bandwidth usage is monitored and, according to their terms of service, they reserve the right to suspend a user’s account if the user violates section 15ai, which stipulates iPage expressly reserves the right to review each user’s account for ‘excessive usage’ of ‘CPU, bandwidth, disk space and other resources’.
They also have options in their admin panel to purchase additional bandwidth at a cost eg $5 for 5GB per month. Their admin panel lists a ‘bandwidth limit’ on their $35.88 per year account of 100000.00GB, which is almost equal to 100TB per month (which also seems like an ‘arbitrary limit’ to us – see below).
However, this leaves us with a nagging question: as iPage offers its shared hosting customers 100TB of data transfer, why do they only offer their far more lucrative VPS customers, at most, 4TB of data transfer (they refer to it as ‘bandwidth’) for $79.99 per month?
Our chat operative, after going away to check, told us that 100TB is the limit set for all shared hosting accounts on that server. Yet, our admin panel explicitly states “your account’s bandwidth usage is as follows:”.
Colour us confused.
iPage stipulates again and again in their terms of service that they don’t set ‘arbitrary limits’ on resources.
Their terms of service continue by then – according to their own words – arbitrarily giving us arbitrary limits, including 200,000 inodes for disk space (an inode is meta data for a file, 1 inode broadly equals 1 file) or MySQL databases in excess of 1,000 tables or 3GB total size.
Of particular interest is section 15aiii, where they stipulate: “…iPage [does not] charge additional fees based on the increased use of bandwidth, as long as User’s use of the Services complies with this Agreement”
What are we complying with? We don’t know.
I think we’re complying with the notion there should no ‘excessive usage’ of CPU, bandwidth or disk space. What is excessive usage? It’s whatever iPage says it is, except they don’t tell us until it happens/
In short, like with most hosting companies, you’re buying a service you don’t know the limitations of. To be clear, we have no problem with hosting companies setting limitations. In fact we like it – nothing is ‘unlimited’ or infinitely ‘scalable’ and we all know that.
However, we do have an issue recommending services which prohibit ‘excessive usage’ while marketing their services using ‘excessive’ terminology like ‘unlimited’.
The 30 day money back guarantee is fairly standard (with a few exceptions). The main exception is you’re only entitled to take advantage of the guarantee if you never hosted with iPage before and if you’ve paid by credit card or PayPal. Also, as is the case with most hosts, any other services are not included in the guarantee.
According to their TOS, if you’ve taken on their ‘free domain’ offer then the retail price of the domain (set by iPage as $15 excl. taxes) will be deducted from any refund you’re given ‘if you’d like to keep your domain’ (which suggests you don’t have to keep your domain but we find that unlikely).
Your account will renew automatically and it will renew at the far more expensive charge (currently $9.99 per month) and for the same term (total cost of $119.88). iPage will attempt to make this charge up to 15 days before your term expires.
You can switch off automatic renewal by clicking on your name in the top-right corner of your admin panel and selecting the option ‘account renewal’. iPage will also send you an email no more than 30 days before the expiration of your term to remind you a payment is due (unless you’ve switched off automatic renewal).
They claim to backup customer’s web files and databases but there’s no mention of this on their website (we had a conversation with their live chat operators).
Their operators assert they hold backups on web files going back 14 days and backups on databases going back 3 days and as soon as they put this on their website or in their user agreement we’ll be happy to mention it on this website.
They offer a premium backup and restore option for $16.99 per year (which is perhaps why they don’t mention anything about backups).
Like FatCow, iPage has gone rogue on us and decided to opt for something which isn’t cPanel – they offer vDeck.
We thought it may make a pleasant change from looking at so many cPanel installations but, in reality, it’s got most of what you’d expect from cPanel.
We initially thought we were lacking some basic features however not everything on offer is display on the homepage of the control panel (click additional tools in the main navigation).
iPage also offers hotlink protection and IP address blocking as well as the ability to configure caching (we quite like this, you can set how often you’d like the server to configure certain filetypes).
iPage, like Just Host, Hostgator and Bluehost, is an EIG brand and thus doesn’t offer ticketing support.
As far as we’re concerned, that immediately signals a desire to compromise on customer service; in a lot of instances, ticketing is an essential component (particularly if you don’t want to be compelled to wait on live chat for upwards of 20-30 minutes, or if you have an issue that takes multiple conversations to resolve).
We’ve documented a lot of our support issues with iPage above. We’ve tested their live chat 4 times and while it can be responsive we’ve been compelled to wait for anywhere between 2-6 minutes between responses (meaning an entire conversation can take 30 minutes+).
To their credit, they did provide us with a credit on our hosting account for the issues caused; however, when they got back to us by email they didn’t tell us what the problem was (we responded to their email however they never got back to us).
All in all, we aren’t impressed and we don’t recommend iPage if you place an onus on good customer service.