The internet is a great place to share your passions while connecting with people across the globe. As Canadians, we know that one hobby that bonds us together is the immaculate sport of ice hockey. Whether you root for the Canadians or the Canucks, the web is a great place for spreading your team pride.
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But how can you go about doing that? Creating a blog is the simple answer, although getting one up and running can be a challenge depending on your level of technical knowledge. With a cloud hosting provider, you can launch your blog to a public audience without having to worry about maintaining a server or monitoring its performance.
With cloud providers, the question becomes which one to choose. We here at HostingCanada are proud to provide this set of reviews to help you make this important decision.
The company iPage got its start back in 1998 and now offers a range of services to Canadian customers through two global data centers. Read on to learn whether your new blog should be living on iPage’s cloud environment.
Our Analytical Approach
If you’re new to blogging or internet publishing, all of the information about cloud providers can be overwhelming, and many of the companies will look very similar at face value. That’s where HostingCanada comes into play!
Our reviews provide a clear summary of how each cloud company stacks up against the competition. In the case of iPage, we’ll evaluate its metrics, performance, and price packages. All of our analysis is based on through testing and can be counted on when making your hosting decision.
Keep in mind that readers of your blog may be located all across the country and even around the globe. Ice hockey is an international sport after all! HostingCanada has you covered there, as we’ve performed our test in several major Canadian cities in order to provide an accurate picture of how iPage performs statistically.
Below is a point-by-point explanation of the different topics we’ll focus on during this review of iPage’s cloud services:
- An in-depth look at iPage’s hosting performance from several Canadian locations to compare against other companies.
- A deep dive into iPage’s pricing setup and subscription programs to help you understand exactly what you are paying for with their services.
- A summary of how iPage stacks up against their cloud competition and whether we recommend you consider hosting your new blog with them.
Why Our Opinion Matters
Cloud hosting is a competitive business, and hosting providers like iPage obviously need to make money in order to stay profitable. But that’s bad news for you, because it means they have an incentive to hike up their fees or add surprises to your monthly bills. At HostingCanada, we strive to uncover all of the secrets of the industry and give you clear recommendations for whom to trust with your website data.
Our staff has been building and launching websites for over a decade, which makes us experts when it comes to the world of online hosting. In order to accurately compare different hosting providers like iPage, we migrate a number of websites to different data centers and measure how they perform. That helps us stay objective and provide you with cross-comparative analysis.
You can trust that HostingCanada has put in the time and resources to find you the right web host for your next project.
The Hard Science
The easiest way to understand how iPage’s cloud services actually perform is to look at the raw data. We’ve run a series of tests over a period of months with iPage’s servers to evaluate their speed and reliability. See below for the results we obtained from Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg testing locations. All of which are great hockey cities, I might add!
- Uptime – 97.6%
- Average Loadtime – 1,912Ms
- Uptime – 97.9%
- Average Loadtime – 2,012Ms
- Uptime – 97.5%
- Average Loadtime – 2,182Ms
- Uptime – 98.09%
- Average Loadtime – 1,658Ms
So what do these numbers actually mean? Well, first it’s important to understand the terminology. When we talk about update on HostingCanada, it refers to a measure of how consistent the hosting provider’s services are. The statistic is presented as a percentage to indicate the overall time that the hosting provider is online and functioning normally.
For example, iPage has performed with 97.6% uptime from Montreal testing locations. This means that in all of the data we’ve collected in our testing, iPage services were unable for only 2.4% percent of time for Montreal users. The math equates to around 210 hours of downtime over the course of a year.
When gauging uptime performance, even a fraction of a percentage point can make a significant difference to your website’s availability. At HostingCandada, we consider uptime metrics of over 98% to be strong, with anything below that classified as poor. The very best hosting companies guarantee 99% uptime or else will refund you some of your payments if that expectation is not met.
Now in switching gears to loadtimes, our focus shifts from overall availability to actual speed measurements. The numbers compiled by HostingCanada are an average over months of testing with iPage’s platform with various browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Times provided above are measured in milliseconds and cover the length of a full request and response to a cloud web server.
Keep in mind that your website’s end users may seem some variation in response times due to a variety of factors, including local network speed, browser behavior, and server traffic. Overall, iPage’s loadtime speeds measured rather mediocre against other common providers available in Canada.
Loadtimes that average at 2,000 milliseconds or less are considered to be high performance, as it means the end user will face very little delay when loading the webpage. Hosting providers with slower response times are risky to use, because your readers and customer may get annoyed with the delays and choose to browse other sites instead.
So as we described above, iPage’s testing results were overall rather lackluster. So the question becomes, are their rates and fees low enough to still make them an intriguing choice for hosting your blog?
Understanding web host prices can be a tricky endeavor. Most companies will display very low rates on their main homepage in order to convince you to sign up for an account. Then once you start putting together a hosting package, you’ll find lots of unexpected fees and add-on costs.
Unlike many other hosting providers, iPage chooses to reduce confusion and only offer one basic introductory package. This helps to keep things clear to new customers, but you shouldn’t automatically assume that it makes iPage the cheapest or most affordable solution. See the graphic below for how iPage presents its pricing information.
From their website, iPage will often offer a special introductory rate in order to lure new customers to their platform. A nice thing about their pricing structure is that you can lock in this rate for an extended time period, even up to 3 years, during your initial registration. Just be warned that once your introductory period comes to an end, iPage will automatically renew your subscription at their normal, higher payment rate.
The process for setting up a new iPage account is rather simple. Once you confirm how long of a subscription you want to lock in, iPage prompts you to select a domain name to link to your account. You can search and claim for any available domain name, though very few .com ones will come up in your search results, and the fees for domain registration are automatically covered.
At a glance, iPage represents one of the cheapest hosting options for Canadian customers. However, the fact that they offer only one basic hosting plan can be limited for some people. If you want to expand your blogging enterprise into multiple domain names, it will require extra fees and become cost ineffective.
In addition to the free domain name registration, iPage provides a long list of extra features that they offer to all customers. See below for a graphic that highlights some of these.
These extra features are the spot where iPage takes a big hit in our rankings. Many are not free and actually will add significant increases to your monthly bill. If you are considering hosting a blog with iPage, you will want to look at each feature option very closely.
An SSL certificate, which makes all communication between servers and users encrypted, is often provided free of charge with other hosting providers. But with iPage, it will cost you an extra $19.99 per month! That’s outrageous when compared with their standard hosting fees.
During registration, iPage will also automatically add a privacy fee to your bill of $9.99 per year. They claim this will keep all of your domain hosting information private and help to keep spammers away. In reality, the fee is unnecessary and makes iPage an expensive option.
Before completing your account setup with iPage, the company will also push a WordPress subscription program on you. It costs $36.00 per year and adds another unnecessary item to your bill. There are plenty of better WordPress solutions on the market today, so don’t be tricked by iPage’s games.
Customer Service, Please Help!
On their website, iPage makes little mention of their customer support approach, and that is a bad indication for new customers, especially those looking to launch their first blog without much technical experience.
The iPage help site points to a knowledge base with a lot of vague information that will not solve many common questions or problems that customers face. They also provide a toll-free phone number and a live chat option, but HostingCanada found both to be rather mediocre.
It’s also worth noting that iPage does not guarantee any specific level of uptime or load speeds from a service point of view. That means your results could vary and you may end up paying lots of money for slower, less reliable service from iPage.
What are the Alternatives?
We’ve covered the good and bad aspects of iPage in this review, and now it’s time to take a step back and see how it stacks up against its cloud competition. The truth is, when you’re looking for an affordable provider for your blog and want it to be fast and reliable, you can do better than what iPage offers.
SiteGround is our top recommendation for people looking to launch a new website on the cloud. As you can see from the metrics below, SiteGround has proven to offer better reliability and faster connection speeds than any of our tests with iPage.
SiteGround also offers affordable pricing with their different tiers of plans, which provide more options than iPage. Importantly, SiteGround also includes a free basic SSL certificate for all customers, regardless of their plan.
Contracts with web hosting providers can often be locked in for a period of many months or even years. If your website is currently hosted elsewhere, you should find out what kind of commitment you have signed up for and what transition options are available. With SiteGround, you can migrate an existing web project onto their platform with minimal interruptions. Then you can go ahead and enjoy the best hosting experience on the cloud.
Summing It Up
With iPage, account registration is quite easy and simple, but that’s one of the only advantages it has going for it. We strongly recommend SiteGround for people looking to host a new blog, given its superior pricing and performance.