PROS / This website hosting service integrates with multiple shopping carts and supports several content management systems.
CONS / The service charges a small fee to back up your website on a daily basis.
VERDICT / iPage offers a comprehensive set of features for building a website, blog or eCommerce site. Its plan lacks some security features, but the unlimited hosting package and control panel tools make it a good option.
iPage web hosting offers an inexpensive startup plan. The feature set is the same regardless of which plan you use and includes a drag-and-drop website builder, eCommerce tools, ad credit, and strong security features. While not the best website hosting company, it's still an excellent service worth considering.
iPage offers the strong security features you'd expect from the best web hosting services. It backs up your sites at least daily so that, if you lose a page from hacking, a virus or human error, you can revert to the last saved version. However, you must pay a small monthly fee for this feature. In the case of a complete loss of your site and its data, iPage offers free restoration of your site to the last backed-up version. You can also see the raw access logs to get an idea of who is visiting your site.
If you are using your website for eCommerce, the shared secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption is a big help. This ensures your site has at least bank-level encryption so customers can confidently input their credit card and other information.
This hosting service also protects your email. In addition to virus scanners, it allows you to customize your spam filters via both the webmail panel and the control panel.
The one thing this website host lacks is a shared shell. This lets you access other computers through the website. While a useful feature, it's not vital for most businesses.
Control Panel Tools
The vDeck control panel seems limited and less user-friendly than the industry-standard cPanel, but there are many options for building your website. iPage has its own website builder, with customizable templates and a drag-and-drop interface, or you can use a third-party platform like WordPress or Drupal. In addition, it offers multiple blog platforms, photo gallery integrations and open-source forums. In case you prefer to build your site offline, it has secure FTP transfer.
If you need to build an eCommerce site, iPage offers a free online store, or you can integrate with several popular shopping cart programs. It also integrates with PayPal for easy payment processing. This website company offers $200 in advertising credits to use on Google AdWords ($100) and Bing ($100).
You can get a free domain name, although if you cancel the account, you will pay a $15 fee. The web host also provides free domain name transfer.
Help & Support
The corporation that owns iPage outsources its support staff and shares that team between a dozen other web hosts, some of which are on our lineup. We took an average of the wait times for the live support and found it to be 12 minutes for initial contact, followed by an average of three minutes between responses. This isn't great, but it's not the worst time we encountered.
The web hosting service gives you access to a comprehensive knowledgebase and user guides that cover a multitude of topics. Aside from account management, you can learn how to build your website using some of the most popular content management systems, including Joomla and WordPress. You can also learn how to submit your website to Google manually, how to set up your website to accept credit cards for online payments and how to market your website.
There are some video tutorials as well. The only resource the iPage website lacks are user forums, which are useful for getting advice and ideas from other users, but are generally for those with more programming experience.
The features of iPage are comprehensive, including integrations with multiple shopping cart programs, and the plan offers unlimited disk space, pages and emails. However, if you are looking for an extremely cheap plan, services that offer more than one plan might be a better option.