iPage Review: Your Questions Answered

iPage is my #1 pick for budget web hosting. In this review, I’ll share the good, the bad, and hopefully answer all your questions about this web host.
Bryan KimBryan Kim

Hi, Bryan here and welcome to Hosting Review Box!

I sign up with web hosting companies and test them out.

I’ve been continuously testing iPage’s hosting service for over 2 years. Because I’m a customer, and I can share with you the benefits and drawbacks in this iPage review.

First, I have a quick question for you…

Bryan Kim, chief editor of HostingReviewBox.comDo you want to get your website up quickly and easily?

This affordable approach is saving people hundreds of dollars a year in unnecessary web hosting costs.

If you’re starting a new website, you don’t need to pay for expensive hosting. Some people are upset when they learn their site is only using 10% of the resources they pay $50 per month for.

That’s why the crack team of developers and system administrators over at iPage created their own solution. It’s a hosting platform that is easy to use and even a newbie can get a new website started in under 10 minutes.

Many users are saying that they were able to create a professional, well-designed website in an afternoon using iPage’s site building tool or 1-Click blog setup.

The people behind iPage want to get as many websites as possible running on their hosting platform, and last I heard, they’re nearly giving away their most popular plan for 80% off until June 30th. You can grab your hosting account by clicking here if the limited-time offer is still available.

HRBox Chief Systems Administrator Alex Mihailov says,

“Their strategy is pretty simple. Give people a quality web hosting platform at an affordable price. Once they use it, their good experience will reinforce their decision. They’ll tell their friends, they’ll choose to stay with iPage, and the company will continue to see viral growth.”

Alex continues,

“It’s really a no-brainer – people love their Wordpress hosting and site builder. The control panel is easy to use, it works fast and because they’ve been able to optimize the infrastructure, they’re able to offer hosting for a very affordable and attractive price point. So they’re saving people hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year in unnecessary hosting costs. Once people use it, the product promotes itself. That’s the beauty of creating a product that helps millions of people make great websites.”

So are the expensive VPS and dedicated hosting companies conspiring to trick new webmasters into buying more hosting than they need? I can’t confirm or deny that – but I can confirm that before you shell out your cash on a high-end server, you should definitely check out iPage and give it a try.

Important: Unless your website will somehow instantly be receiving thousands of visitors per day, an affordable hosting platform can run your site just as well as a high-end dedicated server costing $100 or more per month. If your website is new, it doesn’t require a lot of resources.

Now that my little PSA is out of the way, let’s continue reviewing iPage:

Don’t Sign Up For iPage Without Seeing This…

If you’re like me, you want to know…

  • Does iPage give you great value for money?
  • Yes, they’re affordable – so are they reliable?
  • Does iPage make it EASY for you to make a website without restrictions?
  • If you need help, do they have top-notch customer support?

I am writing this review of iPage primarily for people who are looking to host their blogs, small business websites, or ecommerce stores/online shops. I like iPage the most for their shared hosting plans (even though they have VPS and dedicated upgrade options available).

So who is this company, and who do they serve best?

iPageiPage was established in 1998, and today they host over 1 million websites. Their customers include everything from blogs to online stores, business sites, personal and nonprofit websites.

If you are building your first website, iPage is probably a great choice for you. However, I’ll leave it to you to decide after you have seen my review today.

Here’s a summary of what you can expect from iPage:


PROS:
  • Reliable, affordable hosting with
  • Free Domain for first year ($14.95/year after that)
  • $500 Free Advertising Credits
  • Anytime Money-Back Guarantee
  • Higher level hosting services (VPS, Dedicated) are available if you desire.

CONS:
  • Chat support can only submit tickets for you. They’re not really helpful. I recommend you contact iPage support by phone or email (support page here).
  • You will see several upsells during sign up. I only recommend the automated backup. With that said, nobody shoves more upsells in your face than GoDaddy, so I can tolerate it.


Their hosting plan gives you an easy, affordable way to get your website online. And by “easy” I mean anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter if you just bought your first computer or if you’re a web geek – you can do it yourself.

approvedRecommended for you: Even if you’re not sure which web hosting provider you’ll end up with, grab an iPage account while they’re still offering the 80% OFF discount, backed by their 30-day full money-back guarantee + anytime pro-rated money-back guarantee. That gives you 30 days to try iPage risk-free. Fire up their 1-Click WordPress website installer or their easy drag-and-drop Weebly site builder and see for yourself how easy it is to get your website up and looking great.

I’m told the promotion ends on June 30th, so grab it while you still can.

See Plans and Pricing
you can start your site in 10 minutes

So what makes iPage a wise choice for your website?

4_easy web builder_smalliPage gives you an easy website builder. All you have to do is point-and-click, and everything will go smoothly.

5_free domain_smalliPage hooks you up with a free domain name for 1 year (yoursite.com/.org/etc – saves you $15!), so you don’t have to go grab one, and it renews for $14.95/year after that.

6_us tech support_smalliPage has tech support in the USA instead of India. You can reach them at [email protected] or by submitting a support ticket from within your account.

7_unlimited creativity_smallEasy to use for beginners, yet flexible for advanced users. They provide you with the tools you need to get started easily, and you can use anything you want to build your website.

8_ads_smallThey give you $500 in free traffic to your website. It’s basically cash you can redeem at Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, etc.; and get FREE advertising.


So compared to other hosting providers, iPage is probably a wise choice if…

  • You are a startup and need to launch your business website;
  • you want to start a blog;
  • your brand needs a website;
  • you need a place to show off your portfolio; or
  • even if you’ve never made a website before in your life!

So if you need a shop…. or a blog….or ANY type of website, read my Chapsticked lips:

“iPage is a wise choice that gives you the most bang for the least bucks”.

You will get a website that WORKS. No experience necessary.

Is this right up your alley, my fellow web entrepreneur?

Here’s What To Do Next

1Click here to open iPage.com in a new tab. This will take you to the $1.99/mo sale on the iPage website.

2Click “SIGN UP NOW” and choose your domain name.

3Fill out your payment information.**TIP** The only upgrades you need are the Site Security and Automatic Backup to protect your site’s files from hackers and data loss. Leave everything else UNCHECKED. Ka-ching! Savin’ you money.

4Click the “CHECKOUT” button. Within 3-5 minutes, you will receive a confirmation email from iPage with your login and password, plus step-by-step guide to setting up your new website.

… and the result for you? You can get your website up TODAY and actually have fun doing it. 🙂

Hopefully the sale is still running – visit the iPage website here for the $1.99/mo sale.

Wishing you success,

Bryan “Kimbab” Kim

P.S. If you’re having second thoughts about paying money to get your website online, iPage offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee. If for ANY REASON at all, you don’t like iPage, just send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “refund” and the money will be promptly returned to your account.

P.P.S. There’s also a lifetime guarantee, so let’s say you get iPage for 2 years. If you decide after 8 months that you don’t want it anymore, just send that email in and get a refund for the remainder of months you didn’t use yet. So basically, it’s NO RISK. See plans and pricing or explore more features using the button below.

Frequently Asked Questions About iPage

Each week, I receive 15-30 questions about iPage. Askers range from newbie to expert. It’s been said that for every 1 person who asks a question, 100 others want to ask but don’t. So, I sincerely hope you gain value from my efforts in compiling these questions and answers below. If you need to ask a question, please leave a comment on this page.

Now, let’s move on to the FAQs below…

What If I’m Completely New To Making Websites?

If you are completely new to web design, iPage has you covered.

Thanks to an integration with Mojo Marketplace, you have thousands of pre-made templates to choose from, which will save you the hassle of figuring out what pages to add where and how to set them up. iPage is also designed so you can start a site using WordPress or Weebly with one click.

Below are examples of pre-made templates.

MojoMarketplace_themes

What if you already have a website and you are just looking for a new host? iPage has made it easy for you to upload your already-made site onto their servers. The only thing you need is the files and you are good to go.

They make building your website fun, exciting, and easy. When you are ready to launch, all you have to do is click a button and your website will be live in minutes.

If you think this sounds like a good fit, you might be wondering how much it all costs. Well, iPage only offers one plan to all their customers. While this may not sound ideal, this plan actually covers everything you need to for a successful website.

Check out the video below on how to get started for their Drag and Drop Site Builder

For the special price of $1.99 a month (more on that later) you get:

  • Free Domain For 1 Year. Renews at $14.95/year.
  • Host Unlimited Domains
  • Host Unlimited Websites On One Account
  • 1-Click Wordpress Installer Sets Up Your Website Quickly And Easily.
  • Start An Online Store And Take Payments (Paypal and Credit Card)
  • Choose From Thousands Of Professional Website Templates

So far, I’ve shown you why iPage is a great choice to host your website or websites. I’ve also chosen iPage as my #1 budget host since 2014, and they keep that spot even now in 2016. However, it doesn’t matter what I think about iPage. What matters is that their services match your needs.

How Does iPage’s $1.99/month Pricing Work?

You’ve probably checked out some other hosting providers and seen them advertise similar low monthly prices. Then if you actually go to sign up, you have to pay for a year of hosting up front if you want that price. In fact, most web hosting providers don’t offer month-to-month payment. There are a few exceptions like HostGator and eHost who do offer month-to-month payment option with no contract. At any hosting provider, you’ll get a big discount if you pay for at least 1 year up front.

iPage_$1.99

How Does The 30-Day Money Back Guarantee Work?

What if you sign up for iPage and don’t like it for any reason? Thankfully, iPage has a 30-day money back guarantee. So if you cancel within the first 30 days, you get a refund within 3-5 business days.

Does iPage Have An Anytime Money-Back Guarantee?30-Day_Money_Back_Guarantee

Yes. For example: What if you want to cancel and get a refund after 30 days have passed? iPage will also refund you for the number of months you have not used yet. For example, if you bought 12 months up front, and cancelled in month 3, you would get a prorated refund for around 9 months worth of service.

Can I Make An Online Store With iPage?

Yes. For online stores, I prefer WordPress, and I highly recommend you use it. Unlike Shopify, it’s free, and you can customize it to work exactly how you want, without having to pay any extra fees.

WordPress uses a free plugin called WooCommerce. This plugin turns your WordPress website into an online shop. It gives you the flexibility to do anything you can imagine, including all the best practices for digital marketing in 2016 like sales tracking, split-testing to improve sales, adding upsells and cross-sells, remarketing and much more.

Want to get started today? Check out this list of the top FREE WooCommerce-enabled WordPress Themes, fresh for 2016.

iPage_WordPress_Essential

Can I Make A Great Website For My Business on iPage?

Yes. Again, I highly recommend WordPress to create your website.

Is Customer Support Responsive And Helpful?

What if you encounter a problem with your website? If you want to talk directly with the best support staff, email [email protected] or call them at 877-472-4399.

They also offer Live Chat support, but I don’t recommend you use it. Here’s why…

Generally speaking, at all affordable/budget web hosting companies, the Live Chat staff are basically ticket submitters who don’t have the authority or the skills to solve problems for you. So they’ll get information about your problem and submit a ticket on your behalf… So, if you ever need support, definitely use the email and phone options instead. It’s just reality when dealing with any hosting company in the budget space.

Help Center

Reviews From Around The Web

YouTuber John Carlstrom gave the technical support staff a glowing review. He claims technical support has gotten back to all of his tickets within minutes and were able to get the problems solved just as fast. But when you consider the fact iPage now hosts over a million websites around the world, not everyone is going to have the same experience. Some customers have complained about waiting on the phone for over twenty minutes before finally reaching a person and the same goes for the live chats. When you are trying to host a successful website, any downtime your site faces could be critical, so waiting 20 minutes just to explain the issue is a really huge concern.

Is “Unlimited” Really Unlimited?iPage_unlimited

This is another classic budget hosting company quirk. Even though they claim unlimited to offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth, there is no such thing as unlimited. Just like with other hosting providers, using too many resources will get you a warning from iPage. However, this is a sound policy because most websites will never reach that limit.

Would I Recommend iPage To My Mom Or Grandma?

Overall, iPage offers a quality hosting service at an competitive price. So would I recommend it to someone I care about very much? Well, yes, and no.

  • iPage is NOT for you if you are an experienced web marketer looking for blazing performance and scalability, then you’d probably be better served looking at Dedicated Server hosting in the $100/month range or higher. iPage does offer dedicated servers which I reviewed here, however there are many companies who specialize in such hosting.
  • iPage IS definitely for you if you are starting your first website, or you just want to get a new project online while being smart about how much you spend.

Compare iPage vs The Competition

Now that we have looked at iPage on its own, let’s see how their plan features compare to other top budget hosting providers:

Features iPage Bluehost Hostgator eHost InMotion Hosting Fatcow
Sign-up Price 1.99/mo 3.95 - 14.95 3.95 - 5.95/mo 2.75/mo 3.49 - 7.49/mo 5.00/mo
Renewal Price 10.00/mo 7.99 - 23.99 8.95 - 10.00/mo 14.00/mo 7.99 - 15.00/mo 8.50/mo
One-Click Installs (i.e. Wordpress)
Money-Back Guarantee 30 Days 30 Days 45 Days 30 Days 90 Days 30 Days
99% Uptime Guarantee
Free Data Backup
“Unlimited” Bandwidth With Premium Accounts With Premium Accounts

iPage vs BlueHost

Starting at $3.95 a month, BlueHost offers three different plans for three great prices. Naturally, the more you are willing to pay, the more perks you get for your website. For example, the Basic plan only allows 50GB of space for your website whereas the Plus and Pro plans both have “unlimited” space.

Like iPage, Bluehost doesn’t offer a monthly payment plan. But they do have three different options when choosing your payment plan. You can pay up to three years upfront, which is pretty great.

iPage vs HostGator

HostGator offers three plans ranging in price from $3.95 a month to $5.95 (for your first year, mind you) or $76.56 a month for a dedicated server. Like Bluehost, the perks included in your plan are going to vary based on how much you are willing to pay.

Hostgator also does not offer a monthly payment plan and there have been complaints about the service not warning it customers about the renewal payment until they have already been charged.

iPage vs eHost

Starting at $2.75 a month, eHost only offers one plan to its users. However, that one plan has all you need to start building a great website. Like many other hosting websites, eHost does not offer a monthly payment plan.

iPage vs InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting is one of the best hosting providers in the world, based on reviews. Like the two websites above, they offer three different plans for a low cost. However, for their VPS and Dedicated Server plans, they actually offer a monthly payment plan that sets it apart from their competition.

iPage vs FatCow

Like iPage, FatCow offers one plan for a starting rate of $1.99 a month and a regular rate of $12.95 a month. You have four payment plans to choose from ranging from $155.40 for one year and $394.20 for a three-year term.

Fatcow also offers a monthly payment plan, which sets it apart from a majority of hosting websites.

Each hosting website is going to have its flaws, so you have to do your research before you make your decision. iPage does offer great services to its customers, which makes it a solid option for those just starting out. However, now that they have so many websites on their servers, they may not be able to keep their initial promises in regards to technical support and how well your site runs. This article only scratches the surface on the hosting servers the Internet has to offer, so before you sign up for iPage look into those other options because you may find a better route for your needs.

Hosting ServiceFeaturesTrendScore Get Started
  • Free Domain Registration
  • Unlimited Email Addresses
  • $500 Free Advertising Credits
  • Anytime Money-Back Guarantee
  • Free Domain For Life
  • 45-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • $200 Free Advertising Credits
  • Excellent Customer Support

$5.50 $2.75

  • Industry-leading tech support
  • Plans to grow with you
  • Great for Wordpress
  • Super-reliable infrastructure

3.95

  • Designed for small businesses
  • 90 Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • SSD Speed Boost
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • Multiple Plans To Fit Your Needs
  • 25% With HOSTINGPLAN Coupon
  • Great Customer Service
  • cPanel Control Panel

8.76

  • Free Domain
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • 99.9% UpTime Guarantee
  • Unlimited Mailboxes
  • Offers both Linux and Windows hosting
  • One of the most feature-filled hosts

$3.20 $4.00

I strive to make Hosting Review Box a home to the best, most trusted, and most in-depth web host reviews you’ll ever find online. If you’ve landed on this site, chances are you’re looking for a web hosting provider for your website or blog. Well, stick with me for a bit because you’ve come to the perfect place!

I am a web developer and designer, and an online entrepreneur, as well. With years of experience and expertise in the field, I have had the privilege of testing out the services of various web hosting companies. I make it a point to share my personal experience with these web hosts through comprehensive web host reviews. Why? So you don’t have to waste your time (and money!) on the wrong hosting choice! After reading my reviews, all you need to do is visit the web hosting provider that speaks to you the most, and then sign up and make the purchase! Simple, right?

But first things first – why do I need a web host, anyway? Why is it important to choose the best web hosting for my business? What factors do I need to look for in a web host? How do I even begin to decide if a web host is good?

If you’ve asked yourself these questions, then Hosting Review Box is your ultimate answer. Start right, and start NOW, by reading the following important web hosting guidelines:

Why Choosing the Right Web Hosting Provider is Crucial for Your Business

right-web-hostingNowadays, smart business owners are taking their business to the Web by using websites or blogs to engage with their clients and reach potential customers. But while most of them see the importance of creating high-quality content, some tend to neglect the value of choosing a good web hosting provider. In my experience, a lot of businesses (particularly the small ones) end up making the wrong choice in web hosting because they don’t properly evaluate their needs.

As a business owner, generating income is a top priority. You can’t just put web hosting aside because it does have a negative impact on your income. Choosing the right web hosting provider is crucial and if you fail to evaluate your needs, a lot of bad things can happen to your business!

Loss of income

What’s the whole point of running a website if it’s always offline? Potential customers won’t be able to visit your site and view your posts, or learn more about your products and/or services. Worse still, if you’re running an eCommerce site, you’ll lose potential sales and income. You could even lose your existing clients to the competition. Yikes!

Low SEO ranking

down-arrow

Content marketing is essential for business growth. It helps your website rank high in search results, which in turn makes it easy for customers to find you. However, a website that’s down repeatedly and for lengthy periods of time will have a negative effect on your search engine ranking. Apart from downtime, a slow website can also have an adverse effect on your ranking.

Vulnerable to security and malware attacks

There may not be a perfect solution for keeping your website 100% secure, but a reliable web host provider can back up your data to an external location and make it easy to restore in case your website gets hacked. A good web host also has a team of IT experts who are ready to assist you 24/7 with technical support, as well as security issues and maintenance.

Your business will depend on your choice of web hosting provider so if you want to maximize profits, make sure to do your homework!

Know the Difference: Types of Web Hosting Plans

webhostingIf you want to check out all the web hosting companies out there, you probably need more than just a day. There are literally thousands out there, and their services aim to connect your website to the Internet. It’s good to have a lot of options but if you’re serious about generating revenue through a website, then you know how precious time is and you don’t want to waste it by looking up each and every web host!

Like most things, choosing the right web host for your business can be tricky. But you can narrow down your choices if you carefully evaluate your needs. Why not start by understanding the major types of web hosting? This way, you can determine your budget, the kind of service your site needs, and the features offered by the web host. What’s more, you can avoid creating unnecessary hurdles to your site’s success!

As you begin searching for the right web hosting plan, you will encounter several different types, including the following:

Free Hosting

Free hosting is ideal for those who want to build a simple website or blog for fun. Typically, a website that’s built on free hosting has slow connection speed, frequent downtime, and plenty of annoying banners that automatically get added to the site. Some web hosting companies require you to buy a domain name in order to get free web hosting services from them, while other companies offer a free sub-domain under them, like yourdomain.nameofwebhost.com. The problem with these companies is that a lot of them don’t allow you to transfer these free sub-domains to a different web host.

Shared Hosting

With shared web hosting, you and other website owners get to share a single server, including the physical server and the software applications that come with it. The greatest advantage of shared hosting is that it’s the most economical way of hosting a site because the overall cost is shared between you and other website owners. It’s ideal for small business owners who are not expecting high traffic to their website. The biggest disadvantage, however, is that the resources are limited like disk space, monthly traffic, email accounts, databases, etc. You are also restricted from installing modules and programs. So if you’re expecting a lot of traffic, disk space, email capabilities, etc., you better look elsewhere because shared hosting is not for you.

Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated web hosting, you have an entire web server to yourself. This means you get better and faster website performance, and you won’t be sharing the server’s resources with other website owners. This is the ideal solution for large-scale businesses that are expecting high traffic to their website, require a lot of system resources, and need a higher level of security. But because you are not sharing the server with anyone else, this means that you will be responsible for the entire operation cost.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

VPS hosting is a virtualized server that’s just like a dedicated server, except that you’re within a shared hosting environment. Technically, it’s both shared and dedicated web hosting. With VPS hosting, you get to have your own operating system (OS), which means you have all the server applications to yourself. This also means that you can customize them to suit your needs. You can also install server applications at any time, even though you’re technically sharing a server with other VPS servers. But unlike shared hosting, you have dedicated amounts of disk space since no one else is on your server.

VPS hosting is optimal for those who have high traffic to their website or need to set up a server in a specific way. But if you’re just getting started with your site and you don’t want to invest on a full dedicated server, then VPS hosting is best suited for you.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting is a special type of web hosting that lies between individual plans and dedicated server arrangements. This allows the user to set up multiple individual hosting plans within a single web hosting account. The price for reseller hosting ranges from $10 to $20 per month. It’s suitable for business owners who are expecting to run several smaller websites.

HostGator is an example of a web hosting company that offers affordable reseller hosting to their clients.

All of these web hosting account types are similar in terms of providing you with a server to run your website on. The difference lies in how they are set up, as well as the features and the level of customization that you can have with each one.

Selecting the Best Web Hosting Provider for Your Needs

Helpful_tips_imageWhether you’re preparing to move your website or blog to a new host or launching a brand-new site, choosing a web host can be tough. While it’s tempting to sign up for a free web host, there are many other factors you need to keep in mind. Soon, you’ll come to realize that a paid web host is much more beneficial in the long run.

But with all these web hosting providers promising to have 99.9% uptime, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, and 24/7 customer support, how can you even cut your way through the jargon and be able to make an informed decision?

Here are important factors you need to remember:

Know your web hosting needs

If you don’t know what you need, you will never get the right web host. It’s a lot like going into battle without knowing what you’re fighting for. So set aside the top 5 list of web hosts for a while and think thoroughly on your own hosting needs.

If you’re planning to build a site to test your web development skills or purely for fun, you can probably get away with free hosting. But if you want to create a full-blown website for your online business, you should definitely go for a paid hosting plan. Ask yourself the following basic questions:

  • What kind of website or blog are you planning to build?
  • Do you require special software and applications (i.e. PHP, MySQL)?
  • How big or small is the expected amount of web traffic volume?

Answering these questions can help you determine what you need to look for in a web hosting provider. Make sure you have a plan with your website and try to assess what will happen for the next 12 months or so.

For those who are new to building a website, the general rule of thumb is to always start small with a reliable shared hosting package. It’s affordable, easy to maintain, and just enough for most new websites. And when it’s time to expand, you can easily upgrade to dedicated or VPS hosting.

The price should not be your only consideration

I was a little hesitant to add this to the list, but it’s an important factor for most people. While pricing is always a factor, know that it should be the last thing you need to consider when it comes to selecting a web host. As with anything, you will get what you pay for, but it’s not necessarily true that the most costly hosts are the best. Some web hosts that offer free or extremely cheap services will often have far more drawbacks than they’re worth.

Check for the renewal prices

dreamhost-shared-web-hosting-price_image

Web hosting deals, especially with shared hosting, are usually offering very cheap introductory prices but later charge higher renewal prices.

You might be surprised but it’s actually an industry norm.

If you have a habit of switching hosts every two years or so, you won’t be able to avoid these costly renewal prices.

Generally, a price tag of $10/month or less is okay, but some of us might have a lower tolerance. Make sure to read a company’s Terms of Service before making any purchase to avoid any unpleasant surprise.

Go for a web host that offers a money-back guarantee

money-back-guaranteeNot satisfied with a web host’s services? You might want to cancel your subscription and switch to a different host. But the question is, does the company have a refund policy where you can get your money back in full? Do they have any cancellation charges?

Most web hosting companies these days offer money-back guarantee, which is good so customers don’t have to lose a lot of cash when things go wrong. However, there are some companies that charge extremely high cancellation fees when their clients cancel their subscription during the trial period. If this is the case, you should avoid them like the plague!

On the other hand, some companies provide anytime money-back guarantee, where you can ask for a prorated refund even after the trial period. Sounds good, right?

Pick a host that has an excellent uptime record

If you’re running an eCommerce site (or any kind of website for that matter), you need to ensure maximum uptime. After all, a fully-performing website that’s up and running most of the time can help maximize profits. While no web hosting provider can guarantee 100% uptime, a reliable one can offer at least 99% uptime on average.

Top-notch customer support that’s available 24/7 is a must

12039610_745867595542467_2711531591501966943_nThe World Wide Web never sleeps, so you need to look for a web hosting provider that offers around-the-clock technical support. Hosting companies may claim they offer 24/7 support, but this doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive prompt, knowledgeable service.

Before you commit to a long-term contract, make sure to test the response of a hosting company’s customer support staff. Send them an email at midnight or during the weekends and find out how long they take to respond. Do not accept a host that doesn’t have staff working on weekends or on holidays. Who knows, you might encounter a technical issue at the most inconvenient of times. Also, check to see if their staff are technically competent. You can’t possibly go for a host that’s run by a bunch of phonies who only know how to sell and not fix problems.

Check the operating system (OS) the server is using

For those who are setting up a website for the first time, the OS may be irrelevant. The industry standard is Linux, but if you’re planning to run your business using custom tools that are written with Microsoft.NET, you will want to use a Windows-based server for greater compatibility. Windows servers, however, can be less secure than Linux servers.

Go for a host with useful eCommerce features and security tools

safeIf you have an online shop, then you probably need to process business transactions on your website. You might need a number of things like a shopping cart software, PayPal integration, etc. If so, then it’s important that you choose a web host with just the right eCommerce features for your online shop to succeed. One-click shopping cart software installation, SSL certification, and a dedicated IP are some of the things you need to look for in a web host.

You also need to confirm that your host offers sufficient security tools to protect your website. This is especially important if you’re running an eCommerce site because you’ll be storing private customer and user information.

Confirm that a host does regular website backups

There are times when a website crashes. It could be that a hacker attacked your site, your data got corrupted or was deleted, or your web server encountered a hard disk failure. It’s a complete nightmare, and it could happen to you without warning!

With that said, you need a web hosting provider that performs regular site backups to ensure that all your data are stored at an external location and can be recovered to bring your site back after a data loss event. A host that allows you to perform automatic backups is a huge plus. Performing regular backups is a must because it reduces the amount of lost data and speeds up the overall recovery process.

Pick a host that has a user-friendly control panel

cpanelAn easy-to-use and functional control panel is a VERY important factor in choosing a web host. Essentially, a control panel allows you to manage various aspects of your hosting account yourself. At the very least, it should let you do things like add, delete, edit, and manage email addresses and passwords.

It doesn’t matter if it’s vDeck, cPanel or any other third-party control panel, as long as they’re user-friendly and come with all the necessary features and functions to create and manage a website. Without a proper control panel, you’ll be left at the mercy of the customer support staff. You don’t want to go through technical support each time you want to perform server changes like changing passwords, do you? These basic tasks can be done by any website owner and is performed time and time again, and it would be a great hassle if you had to wait for someone else to do it for you.

Don’t pay too much attention on the disk space and bandwidth capacity

If you check out all the web hosting packages offered by companies, you’ll notice that almost all of them promise “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth when in reality, the word “unlimited” is nothing more than just a marketing gimmick!

These days, disk space and bandwidth don’t really matter. Why? Because you can now easily store your files on several web applications and services. You can store images on Flickr; your videos on YouTube or Vimeo, and large data files on DropBox. In other words, you don’t have to worry too much about your hosting storage or bandwidth.

Our Top Five Budget/Affordable Web Hosting Providers

Now that you know what factors you need to consider when looking for a web host, it’s time to choose the right web hosting service. Here’s my top five budget hosting recommendations. Make sure to click the links below to read my in-depth reviews of some of the biggest and most trusted names in the industry.

Note: For the latest rankings, be sure to check our hosting reviews section.

iPage
iPage has been in business for more than 10 years and they’re dedicated to offering the best value hosting packages in the market. They host more than a million websites, and their clients go to great lengths to leave testimonials on how great their services are.

Besides premium web hosting features and services, iPage also offer a wide range of useful freebies to help you get your site up and running quickly. Combined with great customer support via email, phone and live chat, iPage are tough to beat!

iPage

Free Domain Registration, Unlimited Email Addresses, $500 Free Advertising Credits, Anytime Moneyback Guarantee

$1.99/mo

eHost
$2.75/month – Shared Hosting

With over a million websites under their wings, eHost closes in at second place. eHost is best known for using everybody’s favorite control panel, cPanel, which is extremely user-friendly. What’s more, their website builder is simply amazing, so you can easily create a professional-looking website in just minutes. Their website builder is second to none and if you already have an existing website, they’ll even let you create micro-websites for FREE!

Just like iPage, eHost offers excellent value for money with their affordable yet feature-rich shared hosting plan. For everything you get at a very low price, eHost is a fantastic choice.

Free Domain For Life, 45-Day Money Back Guarantee, $200 Free Advertising Credits, Excellent Customer Support

$5.50 $2.75

BlueHost
$3.95/month – Shared Hosting Plan

Gracing the third spot is BlueHost, a web hosting company that’s known for providing better hosting experience. BlueHost have become one of the largest companies to provide cloud-based web solutions. Besides shared hosting, they also offer dedicated and VPS hosting. They are doing so well that more and more website owners are turning to them. They are also one of the very few companies that are recommended by WordPress.

With more than 2 million websites worldwide, BlueHost is a top contender and one you couldn’t afford to miss when choosing the right web host.

InMotion Hosting
$4.89/month – Business Hosting

With over a decade of experience in the web hosting industry, InMotion Hosting are confident that you’ll be satisfied with their services – so much so that they offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

They also offer an unmatched 90-day money-back guarantee, and a solid reputation for providing some of the best services for shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting. Backed with stellar customer support, you can be sure that you’re in safe and reliable hands with InMotion Hosting.

Arvixe
$4/month – Personal Class

Last but definitely not the least is Arvixe, which is one of the fastest growing web hosting companies in the world. They mainly focus on providing businesses and web developers with the best hosting features and maximum flexibility, at very affordable costs. No matter what project you’re working on, rest assured that Arvixe will help you succeed with their technical expertise.

Arvixe has all the major requirements you’re looking for in a web host, including a choice of Linux- and Windows-based servers and a whole plethora of eCommerce tools. The ease of use also make it a tough competition in the market, and makes it an ideal choice for those who are new to the web hosting scene.

Side by Side Comparison

Here at Hosting Review Box, I’m going to make it even easier for you to compare web hosting services based on several different criteria. This guide will help you make that final decision by showing you how to compare apples to apples.

Understand what these top 5 web hosting providers mean by what they say, and decide which of them suits your needs the most.

iPage eHost BlueHost InMotion Arvixe
Know for Novice users; Shared hosting plan; low-cost web hosting Low-cost web hosting; shared hosting plan; managed WordPress hosting Low-cost web hosting Advanced users Novice users; VPS hosting
Money-Back Guarantee Anytime Money-Back Guarantee (Prorated) Anytime Money-Back Guarantee (Prorated) Anytime Money-Back Guarantee (Prorated) 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Shared Hosting
Dedicated Hosting
VPS Hosting VPS Hosting
Reseller Hosting
WordPress Hosting
Linux-Based Servers
Windows-Based Servers
Unlimited Disk Space and Bandwidth with All Hosting Plans
Control Panel vDeck cPanel cPanel cPanel cPanel
24/7 Customer Support

Just because these web hosting companies look good in the feature list doesn’t necessarily mean they are. That’s why you need to read my in-depth reviews in the reviews section to see which of these hosts will truly meet your needs and which ones are difficult to deal with. It’s inevitable that you’ll run into problems so you need to pay attention to reviews to get a better picture of what actual customers like me have experienced with customer service.

Hosting Review Box is your top destination for comprehensive and reliable web hosting guides and reviews!

It’s critical that you choose a web hosting provider carefully. It’s like a life line for your business. Remember that choosing a web host isn’t all about the pricing. Seriously, it’s not worth the hassle if your website goes down. It’s just a complete waste of precious time and money! So do your homework, evaluate your needs, and determine which web hosting features are important for your site.

And if you still can’t decide on which web host to go with, don’t forget to head over to the reviews section and pick one that suits you the best. Trust me, you don’t need hundreds of different choices to make the right call. All you need is a reliable source (like me!) to tell you which web host to go with, and which ones to ignore. You can’t find any other website that’s built on real usage experience than Hosting Review Box.

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