iPage is a popular and affordable option for hosting your website, but before you sign up for a hosting plan with iPage, we’ve got a few alternatives for you to consider first.
Maybe you’re looking for something more reliable, higher performance, better value? If you’ve never had hosting before, we’ve got some good recommendations for you. If you’re currently an iPage customer and you’re just wondering what else is out there, you’re also in the right place.
The iPage hosting company was founded over two decades ago, in 1998. They’re among the least expensive shared hosting companies out there, which is okay for sites that aren’t mission-critical and can handle some downtime here and there, if you aren’t doing anything too important with your site then this is one way to save some money. However, if you want really solid hosting, you may want to look at some options that are just a step up from iPage.
For more important websites, we’ve got some iPage alternatives that are in the same ballpark, slightly more expensive, but that also offer a better experience for both yourself as the person creating the website, and for the people who are visiting your website.
Even a slight increase in load times can lead to a large percentage of potential visitors who decide to leave before your site has finished loading. Ultra-budget hosts like iPage can get the job done in the most basic sense of the word, but we want to help you find a hosting company that’s going to be a lot more reliable, faster, and all-around better, without having to spend a lot more.
After we take a look at what iPage has to offer, we’ll be looking at three alternatives that are quite similar, and one more that is an entirely different type of hosting platform altogether that you may want to consider. We’ll cover all of that in a lot more detail…
iPage Hosting Packages
Their speciality is shared, managed webhosting with plans starting at just $1.99 per month. That’s lower than any of the alternatives we’re featuring today, but it is a classic case of getting what you pay for. The extra couple of bucks per month make a big difference in regards to the quality if service you’ll get from other hosts, but none the less, let’s give iPage their fair shake…
One thing that stands out about iPage is that they have a one size fits all approach to hosting. The price depends on how long you sign up for, but everyone gets the same server. While this definitely simplifies the process, it doesn’t take into account websites that need extra performance, or extra resources, since all sites are put in the same category. If you have a website for your business, and it’s your livelihood, you’re going to want much higher-end hosting than what you get for $2 per month from iPage, and iPage simply doesn’t offer that, making it a non-starter for any website that needs more than the absolute bare minimum.
Another issue is the fine print on their page that mentions pricing, it says “These prices are subject to change and reflect pricing for most plans purchased in US dollars. You may always check Billing Central to get an up-to-date statement of the current amount being billed to User for Services. It is the sole responsibility of all users to periodically review this information in Billing Central.”
This means they can change their price whenever they want, and it’s your fault if you’re not checking often enough to notice an increase. That doesn’t seem very friendly to their customers, if you’re going to start charging more you should definitely let someone know beforehand and not blame them for not checking your pricing game often enough. Also, take note that their renewal prices are higher than the introductory prices. Because of that, it’s usually a good idea to lock in a longer time frame for your first order.
Anyways, fine prints aside, we’re not overly impressed with iPage’s one-size-fits-all approach to hosting, it really only makes sense for the lowest tier of website, any better site than that would want to be with a better hosting package.
Why are some hosts cheaper than others?
Sometimes, there are amazing prices and promotions out there, we see them all the time in the world of hosting – but sometimes, a company is so inexpensive that it starts to raise red flags. There are certain fixed costs when it comes to running a webhost, and there are certain corners that cheaper brands will cut. Usually, it means they don’t have as good of a support staff in place, either they’re understaffed or the host saves money by outsourcing and not training their support team thoroughly. Another way to save money as a host is to use older hardware, which isn’t always as stable or reliable.
Finally, another way that very cheap hosts will cut corners is by overselling their servers. They put way too many websites onto each server. It means they make more money without having to spend as much on hardware, but it also means that performance suffers. Things go wrong more often, and when they do, there aren’t as many support staff members around to help you – you could end up waiting a long time.
That’s why we definitely encourage you to find good deals on hosting, and we’re not saying you need to spend a small fortune for hosting your website, but you should avoid the absolute cheapest options in many cases.
Here’s the 3 Best iPage Alternatives for 2018:
The first three companies we’re looking at all offer shared hosting, the same style of hosting as iPage, however the difference is that we’ve seen better performance with them. They cost a little bit more, but it’s well worth it. There are different ways to approach hosting, for example offering unlimited vs limited resources, and we’ll explain all of the important details below to help you choose the best option for your needs.
Another plus is that the first three companies we’re about to look at all offer a variety of other types of hosting too, so that when your site starts to become more popular, you can easily upgrade to meet the demands of a growing audience. With iPage, however, they don’t have any better packages for you to upgrade to, so you would be stuck having to switch to a new hose. Moving to a new host can be a bit of a pain, but a lot of hosting companies offer free migrations, so that’s something else to keep in mind.
But first, we’re going to look at an option that’s a bit different. With the other iPage alternatives, they’re offing the same type of service, a shared server where you can install whatever you want… you can use their proprietary site builders, you can use software like Dreamweaver, you can use WordPress, whatever you want. With this next option, however, things work differently…
Wix is a platform for hosting and building your website where they take care of everything for you. You just sign up, start designing your site, and that’s it. While they do offer a free plan, if you decide to go with Wix it’s definitely worth paying to upgrade from the free plan because of the necessary features you’ll unlock.
The pros of a platform like Wix is that they make it so easy, their servers are reliable, expertly managed, and great for beginners.
The downside is that you don’t have nearly as much control over your server. With something like Bluehost, Siteground, or even iPage, you have a lot more control to change and customize things as you wish.
This means Wix is more beginner friendly, but it also means the platform is not as good for people who are more experienced. Also, you’re locked into their platform. For more simple websites, it’s not a bad option, but if you’re making an online magazine or something along those lines, you’ll want to stick with WordPress and one of the following hosting companies.
Bluehost is a similar platform to iPage, except we’ve found them to be better across the board. You pay a little bit more for Bluehost as opposed to iPage, but it’s worth the money. They’re actually owned by the same company, but iPage is one of their lower-tier brands, whereas Bluehost is one of their flagship hosting brands.
Bluehost offers unlimited hosting plans, like iPage, but Bluehost does something that iPage doesn’t do, and that is to offer you various tiers of hosting. With iPage, everyone gets the lowest tier, but with Bluehost, people who need better hosting have that option. Beyond that, when you outgrow shared hosting altogether, it’s easy to upgrade to something more substantial with Bluehost.
As with all unlimited hosting plans, there is actually an invisible limit, put in place to ensure that a few power-users aren’t hogging all of the resources because they refuse to upgrade to a server that would suit them better. It’s a marketing buzzword in the hosting world, and while it’s not truly unlimited, for all intents and purposes it may as well be, because it’s rare for any typical users to ever hit that limit.
Siteground is another alternative to iPage that we recommend very strongly. We find their services to be faster, their support staff to be easier to get a hold, and overall it just feels like your website is in better hands.
With Siteground, you’re not getting an unlimited hosting plan. They take a different approach, which is to give you specific limits rather than invisible limits. It probabally does them a disservice when certain potential customers are shopping around and they see one company offering unlimited, and Siteground with limits, and they assume the unlimited is a better deal but that’s not always the case.
The advantage to having limits in place, and knowing exactly what they are, is it helps Siteground better budget for how many servers they’ll need to install, and to ensure they always have enough resources to go around without a small handful of users using the majority of the shared pool.
Final Thoughts & What to do Next
We’re confidant that any of these three iPage alternatives will suit you better than an account at iPage, for all of the reasons we’ve outlined. That doesn’t mean that iPage is terrible, especially if you go into it with the knowledge that you’re dealing with a budget brand.
It’s suitable for some people, who have minimal needs and requirements from their website, but we still advise you to go with one of the other options outlined on this page for a much better experience overall.
It’s a better experience in the short-term becasue its a lot easier to get your site up and running, and it’s a better experience in the long-term because you won’t have to deal with all of the numerous issues that arise from lower-quality hosting.
If you’re ready to start building your website, choose one of these hosting companies, go through their sign-up process, and get to work! If it’s your first time, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is than you expected, and you’ll be impressed with the support these brands offer to help you reach your website goals.
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