Review of Features

Below you will find a detailed feature-by-feature comparison of my reviews for both of these companies. Based on my experience, I strongly recommend HostMetro over iPage, but please take a look for yourself:

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PRICEHostMetro offers relatively inexpensive hosting. While they are not the absolute cheapest, they are below the average. With our HostMetro Coupon you will be able to get the best deal possible. The best part about the HostMetro pricing is that they do not increase renewal prices. Part of their Metro Max Guarantee is a price lock guarantee, ensuring that loyal customers get rewarded instead of being hammered with high renewal rates. Out of all the web hosting companies I have reviewed I have yet to see another offer anything like this.

$1.89/month for hosting, holy cow! That’s great! Sure, it’s great for now if you don’t plan on renewing. But look a little bit deeper and you’ll find out how they can offer web hosting at such a cheap price.

1 Year Term: $9.49/mo (billed $113.88)
2 Year Term: $8.49/mo (billed $203.76)
3 Year Term: $7.49/mo (billed $269.64)

These are the renewal rates for iPage accounts. Yes, that is a 402% increase. Only recently did they start disclosing this on their home page by adding a link at the bottom redirecting you to their renewal rates. I can only assume it is because enough customers started complaining about the renewal rates without prior knowledge. This gives them the ability to say “sorry, you’re out of luck, it’s right there on our home page. Too bad you didn’t see that note way down at the bottom.”

Their “any time” money back guarantee is a pretty good gimmick too. Yes, they offer you the ability to get your money back at any time. Let’s just review their terms about this any time refund.

b. This Agreement may be terminated or cancelled;
i. at anytime by either party (including by You, if you receive notice of an amendment to this Agreement) by giving the other party thirty (30) days prior written notice, provided that we may charge You a minimum $35.00 charge as an early cancellation fee.

A $35 early cancellation fee? Really? Time for some math. Say you sign up for a 2 year account, which totals $45.36. After 6 months of hosting you decide you want to cancel, which entitles you to a $34.02 prorated refund. By that logic you owe them $0.98 to cancel your account? Some guarantee that is.
FEATURESOf course, a low price means nothing if there aren’t any features to go along with it. HostMetro does not skimp on features, and they are pretty transparent about what they offer. One of the biggest marketing gimmicks in web hosting today is the idea of “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth. There is no such thing as unlimited resources. I don’t know who started it, but it was made up to make customers think they can do whatever they want, which simply isn’t the case. HostMetro offers “Max” hosting space and bandwidth, meaning that they do have initial limits for each (10gb disk space, 100gb bandwidth/month) but if you need more you contact them and they can increase these. The initial limits are big enough that 95% of customers won’t have an issue (my test account took up less than 1gb of total disk space).

They also provide a free domain name, the ability to host unlimited domain names, unlimited email accounts, two free website builders, $100 in Google AdWords credit, and more. The list of features that HostMetro includes is impressive. I can’t think of anything a customer would need that they do not offer.
iPage does offer pretty good features. They are on par with the other shared hosting companies as far as the “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth offer, free domain name, free site builder, etc. The problem I have is the way they try to show these as extra value added to your account that you’re getting for free. They claim that these features add up to $500 in added value to your account. How are they making money on all this?

1. Their “$50 value” design suite means nothing. It just throws out words like “blog” and “photo gallery” like those somehow cost extra money to use. Last time I checked WordPress is free so that makes no sense.

2. Their SiteLock $100 value. Yes, you do get a SiteLock security seal. Guess what? SiteLock is also owned by EIG, the same company that owns iPage, so it’s no cost to them to add this to your account.

3. Their Marketing suite of $300. Google, Yahoo, and Facebook all give out thousands of coupons for web hosts to use for free so that they can generate more revenue. This costs the web host absolutely nothing.

4. Their “$50 support suite” is something that you should expect for free from any web host you choose. I don’t understand how they get the idea that this should be a $50 value.

Yes, the features they offer are pretty good. They actually have a lot to offer as far as a shared hosting account goes. But iPage tries to market it as if they are giving you all these things at a cost to them when in reality it’s nothing that any other host doesn’t offer. There isn’t anything special about iPage’s feature list.
RELIABILITYAs explained earlier, HostMetro has new, top of the line servers for all of their customers. This is one of the biggest positives of being a newer host in the industry. There is no outdated technology for you to worry about. All of their servers are RAID protected as well to ensure that there is no data loss.

HostMetro also provides automated weekly backups as a safeguard for your account. If you get hacked, accidentally delete a file or folder, or make a huge mistake on your website they will be able to restore your previous files. In the event you need more frequent backups of your account they also offer a free backup tool within cPanel that can be used at any time.

HostMetro also uses industry leading technologies CloudFlare and CloudLinux to ensure the highest stability and reliability of their servers. I did not enable CloudFlare on my account because I wanted to be sure that I was not running cached versions of my website from a CloudFlare server (for the sake of this review only), however I always recommend enabling CloudFlare when it is an option. It is a free way of increasing your website speed and security.

After a 6 month test my website has been up for a total of %99.958 of the time, which puts them in the top 3 of all the hosts I have tested. This is an extraordinary number for a shared web host, especially one so afordable. I was thoroughly impressed with the speed and reliability of their servers.
This is quite possibly iPage’s biggest draw back. Sure, they can market however they want to try and get customers. My opinion about how they operate might not be shared with the rest of you. But the biggest issue with their $1.89/month pricing is that they have to fill their servers more than other hosts to make up for the price difference. While my uptime is fine enough, 99.3%, the speed at which my test site loaded was not acceptable.

The problem with packing servers as full as possible is that more customers are sharing the same resources. Think of it as a highway. If there are only a few cars sharing the road then they aren’t slowing each other down. However, put thousands of cars on the same road and you get traffic jams. The same concept applies with shared servers. If you put too many people in the same place then they are all going to slow each other down.

Uptime is only one aspect of reliability. What good is having a website be up if it takes ages to load?
TECH SUPPORTHaving been a support representative for several hosting companies over the course of about 4 years I know what questions to ask that annoy employees. I’ve been there. When you contact support you should fully expect them to be able to help you with your questions. What I look for most in a good support team is if they make me feel like I am bothering them with my questions. Some support representatives for other companies made me feel like I should know these things already, almost as if I was an annoyance to them. HostMetro does not have this problem. They were always friendly and courteous when I called or started a live chat. They were able to help me in a quick, concise manner, as well.Like I’ve said a couple of times already, iPage is owned by EIG, who owns over 50 other web hosting companies. iPage shares support representatives with other brands of EIG, so when you try connecting to a live chat you have to explain what brand you host with, wait for them to pull up the system for that host, and then get started. This also means that support reps really only have a general knowledge of things since they have to support so many different companies, all with different features.

The other problem I have is that the support is outsourced. I’m not going to argue about whether outsourcing is good or bad. That argument is pointless here. I do expect to be able to have a coherent, competent conversation with someone if I am asking questions about a service that I am paying for. While some of the techs are decent enough, I had multiple instances where I was fighting through broken English to get answers to questions. For a beginner I can imagine this would be too frustrating to put up with.
CONCLUSIONHostMetro’s price, coupled with their reliability and customer service makes them my #1 web host for personal websites. They do everything you should expect from a great web host, and they do it better than the rest.Yes, this review is largely based on my opinion on how iPage operates as a company (other than the reliability issues which are based on testing). I’m sure plenty of people think it’s not as big of a deal as I do. I just hate seeing a company like that get so much business when they are so indifferent to their service and treating their customers with respect. I would suggest choosing a different company to host your website. This review may have caught you off guard because of how often you see iPage at #1 on other review websites. This is because iPage pays out a lot of money to these sites to keep them at the top spot. You can read more about that on my How Affiliate Programs Work page.

Key Differences

These are some choice differences between these two hosts. Note that this is not a complete list of features offered by both companies, but rather the most useful and popular features requested by clients for their websites.

Introductory Rate$2.95$1.99
Renewal Rate$2.95$11.95
Hidden Feesnoyes
Email Accountsunlimited1