iPage is no doubt the cheapest web hosting in the industry all the while being pretty reliable and up to the industry standards. The problem is that cheap things usually don’t turn out to be that good. So, should you spend your money on this we hosting is the question that I’m going to answer today.
I have previously reviewed iPage’s shared hosting solutions [Link to the review] which are very easy on the pockets and for that price, live up to expectations.
Not to be confused with Managed WordPress hosting
The very first thing to realize is that you shouldn’t compare this with the “Managed WordPress Hosting” that some other companies like Kinsta and Media Temple offer. There’s a difference between a WordPress optimized hosting and a Managed WordPress Hosting.
Just for an example, I’ll take up Kinsta. Kinsta offers their services starting at ~$100 per month whereas the WP Starter plan on iPage is a meagre $3.25 a month. Yes! You heard it right. Managed WordPress hosting providers will give dedicated resources to your website. Basically, you’ll have a fixed RAM, processor power and a dedicated IP address. None of this is provided by iPage, it’s just not feasible for them.
Why go for the iPage WordPress hosting?
Even after lacking the numerous features that Manged WordPress hosting provides, there’s an abundance of reasons to go for iPage’s WordPress hosting plan.
NOTE : A very honest opinion. Do not go for the WP Starter plan, it’s pretty much just a regular shared hosting. So, as a professional advice, I would suggest you to go with either the regular shared hosting @ $2 per month or go for the WP Essential hosting @ $6.95 per month.
Here’s why you should be going for the iPage WordPress hosting (WP Essential preferably) rather than their shared hosting:
Advanced CDN integration
With the iPage WordPress hosting solutions, you get cloudflare CDN integration directly into your VDesk (iPage’s custom CPanel alternative) which will definitely speed up your website’s static resources.
CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) are basically globally distributed servers. These servers serve parts of your website from the nearest server to the user. The loading speed difference can be noticed when there are a great number of people on your website. Even after the huge traffic, your website loads within seconds.
If you’re technically savvy, this won’t be a very big deal for you, but if you’re new to the WordPress platform, a few pre-configured themes and plugins go a long way. After buying any one of the WP Starter or WP Essential plan, you will get a one-click WordPress install. The one click install is pretty self explanatory. As soon as you’re logged in to your WordPress website, you’ll notice that there are a few themes already installed for all purposes. There are themes for business landing pages, for WooCommerce and for blogs.
iPage WordPress hosting comes with Jetpack pre-installed. They’ve configured their servers for better compatibility with a few plugins like Jetpack, Akismet and BuddyPress. They also have W3 Cache pre-installed which is one of the most downloaded and best Caching plugin for WordPress
Server level Caching
Server level caching works by caching your resources directly at the server level. This way instead of just caching the static resources, your server even caches frequent sql queries. This increases the loading speed of website my more than 2x. At the very same time, server level caching reduces the load on your server too, meaning more visitors without slow loading speeds.
Expert WordPress Support
You’ll be provided better support than the rather sub-par support staff provided to the shared hosting customers. The “normal” support staff are only able to help you with regular hosting problems. They also provide support for WordPress problems but that usually takes a tad longer. If you have a WordPress website, it is much better that the support staff knows their way around WordPress too.
Yes, all the features stated above are important, but at the end of the day, if the iPage WordPress hosting turns out to be slow or has a bad uptime, it’s not worth it right? That’s why, I’ll provide you with some stats.
DISCLAIMER : I’ve been using the WP Essential for just the past 4 months (Written : April 7, 2017). I’ve used their shared hosting for a client for a much longer period earlier. Therefore the data I will provide will be that from the past 4 months only.
No issues faced here. iPage promises a 99.99% uptime and it gave me:
- December 2016 : 99.98%
- Jan 2017 : 99.99%
- Feb 2017 : 100%
- March 2017 : 99.99%
This approximates to a total of 99.99% uptime which is pretty decent considering that I’m just spending $2 on this web hosting! The good thing here is that my website was never down for more than 5 minutes. The .01% which equals to 25 minutes a month was in intervals of 5 minutes or 2 min spread throughout the month instead of one big outage.
TTFB is Time Till First Byte. When someone types in your url in their address bar, their browser sends a request to your server. Now, your server responds with your website. The TTFB is a very important parameter to judge web servers. Here are the results:
- US/Canada : 105ms
- Europe : 182ms
- Asia-Pacific : 159ms
- Australia : 187ms
These are again very competitive TTFBs. In fact they are much better than many other much higher priced ones too. Anyways, once you integrate CDN into your website, TTFB won’t matter in your overall website speed.
Other great features
$100 Google Adwords and $100 Bing Search credits :Won’t help if you don’t have any advertising budget, but for someone with a mediocre budget, the $100 really help.
Unlimited Websites and Unlimited Disk Space & Scalable Bandwidth : You can host as many WordPress websites as you may like on that web server. There is no limit to that.
Custom Panel : Instead of using the industry standard cPanel, iPage uses VDesk which is much easier for beginners to use.
I highly suggest you to buy the iPage WordPress hosting if you are definite that a WordPress website is what you need. At the same time, I’ll suggest you to abstain from the WP Starter. If you have the budget, go with WP Essential; if not go with the normal shared hosting rather than wasting your money on the WP Starter hosting.
P.S : Buy hosting <<—– BIG scary affiliate link! Yes, that’s an affiliate link which means you buying a plan using this and other links will help me buy a box of cookies
P.P.S : I love Cookies (and cake) [and all other sweet things 😛 ]