Pros / iPage's website builder integrates with several programs, making the software more versatile with eCommerce tools, content management systems, blogs and forums.
Cons / You have to pay the service if you want it to perform daily backups.
Verdict / If you already know your way around website builders, then iPage's control features offer great flexibility; however, it may be intimidating for those who are not already familiar with building websites.
iPage stands out among domain hosting services with its unlimited web hosting package and numerous website-building tools. While the service requires you to pay a monthly fee for some features that other services include for free, like backing up your website, we found that this domain host offers a good selection of features for an affordable price.
We reviewed iPage's Essential hosting plan, which is the company's only shared web hosting plan that includes domain hosting services. When you sign up for the plan, you can select a new domain name to register your site for free for one year; after the first year, you must pay the yearly renewal fee to continue using the domain name. You can set up email addresses using your domain name along with features that filter incoming mail using the address for spam or viruses.
iPage offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth with its domain hosting package. As with the other services in our domain hosting review, this actually means bandwidth within the company's average usage rates. You can read more about those rates in the company's terms of service. iPage also features unlimited domains, subdomains, email accounts and MySQL databases. With all of these features, the domain host has the flexibility to grow as your business does.
You can select the domain privacy add-on when you initially sign up for an additional yearly fee. This feature conceals your domain registration info, which is generally available to the public and easily found through online searches. The information includes your name, email address, mailing address and phone number.
iPage offers add-on features that you can select when signing up with this domain hosting service. Some come preselected on the sign-up form, so you need to double-check that you are paying for only the features you want before you commit. You purchase a year's worth of each additional feature upfront when you initially sign up with the service, and the company bills you yearly for the features after that.
One feature that you have to pay extra for is automatic site backup, which runs daily to create backups of your site in case you need to restore a previous site version or information in an emergency. Although you may never need site backup, the best domain hosting services often offer this feature at no charge, and it gives you peace of mind that you won't have to rebuild your website.
iPage integrates with several applications, most notably WordPress. You can use the one-click install to use the WordPress interface to create your website, or you can use other popular content management systems like Drupal and Joomla. The site builder also integrates with popular blog platforms, photo galleries, forums and eCommerce programs. If you plan on selling products on your website, you can install AgoraCart, OpenCart, OsCommerce or PrestaShop and accept payments through PayPal.
iPage's website-building interface includes many advanced features, such as an FTP manager and customizable pages, so you can have full control over how your website looks. These features are a great benefit to those who know how to use them. However, they may be confusing if you are not already familiar with how to manage a website and want something different from what the template-based and drag-and-drop building features offer.
You have access to several support resources, including an online knowledgebase with information to help troubleshoot common issues or walk you through features. The knowledgebase includes information on how to manage and build your website using the iPage features as well as apps like WordPress. You can contact the technical support team by phone, email or live chat. We found the representatives were quick to respond to our inquiries and offered helpful responses.
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iPage's cheap domain hosting plan offers a variety of add-on features that you must purchase for an additional yearly cost, including automatic backup and tools to help you convert your site into a mobile version. While you have to pay a small monthly subscription fee for these features, this web host is stacked with useful features to help you make a successful website. With both basic and advanced website-building tools, iPage is a good domain hosting service for small businesses.