WEBHOSTINGPAD VS. iPAGE
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 WebHostingPad over iPage, but please take a look for yourself:
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|PRICE||Yes, I’ve been going on about price in this review already, but it is a point of emphasis here. In my experience working with several other hosting companies, I have learned a lot about how hosts can afford to offer such cheap hosting and still offer a good (or even great) service. WebHostingPad does this in two main ways. The first is that they don’t offer outrageous commissions to affiliates who promote their products. I won’t go into too much depth about this here, but if you’re interested in how that works you can read my article on How Affiliate Programs Work.
The second way WebHostingPad saves money for their customers is by offering their basic shared hosting plan as an a la carte type option. Many other hosting companies will offer a bunch of additional features and market them as great tools, thus justifying the higher price. The fact is that most of these additional features won’t be used by 80% of the customers. They are useless to the majority of people who own small personal websites. Instead of adding these on and increasing prices, they offer them as additional features that each customer can pay for individually should they decide that they need the service. In my opinion, this is a much more efficient and cost effective offer.
|$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.
|FEATURES||As explained above, you aren’t going to get all of the additional features you may get from other hosts, but this won’t take away from your ability to run your website. WebHostingPad offers the same features as most every other shared web host including unlimited disk space and bandwidth, a free domain name, 30 day money back guarantee, free website builder, and so on.
WebHostingPad also provides additional features at a cost like SSL certificates, SSH access, an advanced security scan, and more, but these are more suited for advanced web developers and business website owners. These tools are not going to be used by the vast majority of beginner and novice website owners, so why pay for them? They are an optional extra if you decide you need them at a later date, but this is how they save their customers from high prices.
|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.
|RELIABILITY||You might expect your performance to be lacking because of how inexpensive WebHostingPad is, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. WebHostingPad’s servers are stable and reliable. After a 7 month test my website had a total up time of 99.942%, which is above their 99.9% guarantee. Server response time is fast and my websites loaded quicker than on competitors servers.
This is just a guess, but my assumption as to why the server speed was quicker than other hosting companies is due to the lack of the additional features on every account. Having these features running in the background on every account on a server causes more resources to be used on the back end, which in turn leaves less of those resources to be used on website functionality. Again, just a guess, but it makes sense to me.
|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 SUPPORT||WebHostingPad’s support team is generally knowledgeable and able to help quickly with easier questions that most beginners would face when starting a new account. The one gripe I have (which is the case with most hosting companies, not just WebHostingPad) is that only level 1 support is available over the phone or through live chat. If you have an issue that needs to be escalated to a higher department then you must submit a ticket. I will say that the response times of the tickets was quick, usually within 1 hour. In any case, the WebHostingPad support staff was able to resolve issues promptly and efficiently.||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.
|CONCLUSION||WebHostingPad is a great choice for beginners. It is cheap, easy to use, and reliable. You won’t get some of the features that other hosts include, but these features are not useful for customers who are new to web hosting. It is a great starting point for a new customer and it will get you familiar with how to run a website without being too overbearing.||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.|
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||$1.99 / mo||$1.99 / mo|
|Renewal Rate||$3.49 / mo||$11.95 / mo|