iPage is a well-known web hosting company owned by Endurance International Group (EIG). EIG owns brands like Bluehost, HostGator, FatCow, and many more. Since iPage is EIG-owned, I knew what to expect but I decided to try them anyway just for the heck of it. This iPage review in three words: absolutely awful experience.
Slow and Overloaded Servers
Their servers are slow and overloaded. Period. I have a simple WordPress blog with nothing but posts and a few images here and there. That blog hosted on iPage has a horrendous load time. What’s worse is, more often than not, it times out.
Pingdom result of an optimized WordPress blog hosted on iPage’s servers:
Yup, 4 seconds to load a page that’s just 400 kilobytes in size.
To illustrate how bad that load time is, here’s Review Hell’s Pingdom result. Tested from the same Pingdom server (New York) and the page size is almost the same. In fact, Review Hell’s page size is around 100 kilobytes larger.
748ms. The site on iPage is five times slower than this site even though its size is 100kB less.
Apologies if I didn’t compare two identical sites hosted on different servers. I couldn’t download a backup of the site from my iPage account because their servers are plagued with so many issues. I couldn’t finish my download because of frequent timeouts. I’m not very patient when it comes to these things so I gave up after five tries.
Moving on… This has been the case everyday for that WordPress site. Up to now, it’s slow and there are times when it won’t even load at all. I already complained to iPage about the poor performance and you know what they told me?
Not the exact words but this is pretty much what they said: “Install a caching plugin and upgrade to a VPS.”
Wow… Seriously? The blog gets less than 50 page views a day, the homepage (most visited page) is less than 1MB, and I have 4 active plugins. I know for a fact that my site isn’t the one hogging up resources so why should I be the one upgrading to a VPS? Find the culprit, ask them to upgrade or suspend them. Or better yet, maybe you should stop cramming thousands and thousands of customers on one server!
Definitely not my website on iPage. Alright sorry for the bad joke, but trust me — iPage is much worse than my joke.
Last month, my website was down for 6 straight days. Yes, you read that right. Six long days. I contacted support about this but they never got back to me with a concrete explanation and solution.
By the end of October, I checked the site’s uptime report. 80.91% uptime. I was speechless. This is way below the industry standard and I’d be fuming and raging if I were hosting a mission critical site on iPage.
Very Unprofessional and Useless Support
“iPage specializes in customer satisfaction.” What a load of BS. Seriously.
Their support reps, especially the people over at live chat, are very inexperienced. I feel they’re mostly sales people who were forced to take on tasks of real support technicians. iPage advertises 24/7 support via live chat but the live chat reps only know how to do ONE thing — create support tickets for their customers, which I could easily do by myself.
I know very well that live chat support can be inefficient when it comes to technical stuff, but it’s a whole different matter if you hop on to live chat, ask about a rather simple issue, wait for a couple minutes, then when the “technician” finally gets back to you they’d simply say they’ve submitted a ticket for you.
Support tickets take a lot of time to get resolved, and that’s if they even ever get resolved. I doubt the support reps even read the tickets (which were created by their colleagues in some cases). They always reply with canned responses and they ignore specific details/questions that you post. One of the things I hate the most is when people waste my time, and so far that’s mostly what iPage support has done.
Proprietary Control Panel That’s Ugly
As if the server performance and support issues weren’t enough.
iPage uses an ugly control panel called vDeck. Click the link if you want to see screenshots. vDeck is EIG’s proprietary control panel and a lot of their brands use it. I’m not really sure why they can’t/don’t want to switch to cPanel. vDeck can be kind of confusing and it’s restricted (compared to cPanel) in many ways.
Tl;dr – iPage’s control panel sucks so that’s yet another reason to stay away from them.
Designed to Lure You In!
When you first visit iPage’s website, you’ll see a big discounted price on their homepage and a bunch of “limited time offer” freebies.
Believe it or not, they’ve been offering these so-called limited freebies for years now. Furthermore, most other hosts offer these things too, meaning they’re not unique to iPage. My point? These freebies shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
Another thing you should note is the cheap price on their homepage isn’t their regular price. It’s hella cheap for the first year but when it’s time for you to renew, you’ll have to pay $8.99 per month (this is for their cheapest plan). This is more expensive than quality hosts who can give you a much better service for less money.
Upsells, Upsells Everywhere!
I don’t even want to talk much about this. Go to their sign up page and first thing you’ll notice is they’ve automatically checked a bunch of paid add-ons for you. Screenshot (if the image is too small, click on it to view the full size image in a new window):
Website Essentials…not really. Most of these are unnecessary. Some are provided for FREE by other web hosts.
This is what happens when you try to leave the order page:
Too bad, iPage. You can’t fool me. I’d rather you keep your awful service to yourself. Which reminds me… My iPage account is due for renewal in December. I am cancelling my account with them and I hope they won’t charge my card for another year even after cancelling. I don’t know, I just have a weird feeling they’re gonna do that. Fingers crossed…
iPage is one host that I will never recommend, not even to an enemy.
Their servers are slow and are obviously overloaded, although their techs vehemently deny that fact. Uptime has been as low as 80.91% for me and that’s way below the industry standard. Support is virtually non-existent as with many other EIG brands. Slow ticket response times, canned replies, and a generally unprofessional attitude. If you experience performance issues with your site, they will just ask you to upgrade without even assessing the situation. On top of that, they have shady marketing practices. They try to milk customers for as much money as possible, and this makes them an even worse company in my opinion.
If you’re living a perfect life and would like to experience having all sorts of problems, sign up for an iPage account. I can almost guarantee that you’ll experience a different issue everyday.