Hosting your website doesn’t need to be an expensive endeavor. Actually, it should be a reasonably priced one that provides with a fair amount of features and quality standards. When choosing a web hosting service, many website owners are able to narrow it down to two services. In this particular post, we’ll be looking at the wonders of iPage and Bluehost so you can determine which service allows you to create the professional, well-designed, and reliable website of your choice.
Which web host is best for your website type?
There are many places to start in a comparison, but we’re going to begin with the purpose of your webpage. iPage and Bluehost both offer numerous capabilities, but each hosting service is essentially designed for different purposes.
iPage is Designed for…
- Small Business Websites
- eCommerce Stores
Bluehost is Designed for…
- Small Businesses
- Individual websites
One of the main differences between iPage and Bluehost in terms of website type is that iPage is able to offer you many more eCommerce capabilities. Whether you’re designing small or large eCommerce store, iPage provides you with functional features and most importantly, with a high-quality SiteLock security suite for free. With this security feature you’ll be able ensure that your site and your users are protected through every transaction.
Standard Features of Each Service
Moving more into the nitty-gritty, below is a side-by-side comparison of both iPage’s and Bluehost’s features. Some of the more important features will be explained further in more detail.
|Shared and VPS hosting capabilities||VPS hosting capabilities|
|Linux Based Servers||Linux Based Servers|
|Easy-to-use Drag and Drop Site Builder||Drag and Drop Site Builder|
|Custom vDeck Panel||cPanel (world standard)|
|Unlimited Professional Email Addresses||Up to 100 emails with the basic plan|
|Free Weebly Site Builder||Site Builder Available|
|$100 Free Adwords credit||$100 Free Adwords credit|
|$175 Free Facebook ads credit||$100 Fee Facebook Ads credit|
|Directory listing available ($$, unnecessary)||Directory listings not available|
|Free Domain Name Registration (first year)||Unlimited Domain Hosting|
When determining whether or not you’re dealing with a reliable service, it is always important to review the infrastructure, how established the hosting service is, uptime, and gigabit connections.
How Reliable is iPage?
When you choose iPage, you can expect excellent reliability standards. iPage currently has millions of active domains running on their servers. The hosting service is currently has two data centers located in the Boston, MA area. These data centers include thousands of servers and have numerous petabytes of storage. Each datacenter is equipped with 24/7 security, N+1 power, and a pooled server environment. In order to ensure that you are receiving iPage’s 99.9% level of uptime, the data centers are run on multiple racks.
…and what about BlueHost?
Similar to iPage, Bluehost also sports a 99.9% level of uptime. This uptime standard is brought to you by Bluehost’s Linux kernel and self-managed data centers. The hosting service’s data centers also include 4 separate physical fiber lines that run into the data center through IP transit providers. Also similar to iPage, Bluehost also monitors the data center 24/7, ensuring that users are getting the most reliable level of service necessary to keep their websites up and running without interruption.
As with any web hosting service, you want to be sure that you’re getting the highest level of speed available. The faster your website runs, the more satisfied your web visitors are going to be. Below is what you can expect in terms of both iPage and Bluehost.
BlueHost Speed Rating
Between iPage and Bluehost, BlueHost is a bit faster. With BlueHost, you can expect pages to load in under 1.5 seconds. As iPage is right below the 1.5 second mark, it currently stands as one of the fastest web hosting services on the web. iPage isn’t far behind though, as both services use state of the art servers in reliable datacenters across the USA.
iPage Speed Rating
In terms of site speed, iPage is also pretty impressive. Our tests showed that iPage has an average server response time of 1.78 seconds. The average download speeds are 3.8 Mbps, while the current upload speeds are 2.3 Mbps. These types of speeds are the average, which is to say that sometimes, they may be better and other times they may be worse but in general, you’ll find them to be at these levels.
Security is extremely important, especially if you plan on running a website with eCommerce capabilities or an online business. Between both iPage and Bluehost, it seems that iPage is able to provide you with the optimal capabilities to run your site when it comes to security features.
One of the greatest features of iPage is that it comes with what is known as SiteLock security. This feature comes free, regardless of which package you purchase with iPage. Sitelock provides you daily scans for malware and spam, the data center is fully secure, and you can even add the SiteLock certificate to your website so that your webpage’s users feel secure with every transaction.
In addition to SiteLock, you also get an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate keeps your website’s sensitive data under locks. You’ll also gain a seal of trust in the address bar for your site, so users know that they are dealing with a verified-secure website.
Unlike iPage, Bluehost has three different types of security features – but that doesn’t necessarily make those security features better than SiteLock and SSL. Bluehost’s security features are mainly designed to target span. You’ll receive anti-spam tools, Apache Spam Assasin, and Spam Experts. Also unlike iPage, Bluehost comes with SSH (see secure shell) access so website administrators can get to configuration files in a secure manner.
Technical support is a feature that you absolutely can’t skimp on. No matter what hosting service you choose, you want to make sure that you’re picking one that has optimal technical support because even the most web-savvy individuals hit roadblocks.
Support at iPage
iPage has a strong technical support system. With iPage, you’re able to tap into its 24/7 support by phone, chat, and email.
Here’s the problem, though… iPage’s live chat support are basically ticket submitters. They are not hosting experts, and cannot help you directly. So we feel the live chat support is generally a waste of time. BlueHost and eHost offer much better live chat support experiences, with real support people in both billing and technical support who can help you out.
The trick to getting good support at iPage is to contact them by phone or email/ticket submission. That gets you in touch with an actual engineer or billing administrator who can solve your issue. iPage offers a feature-rich entry-level web hosting service with valuable free add-ons, while their prices are among the most affordable in the hosting industry. So it may be unrealistic to expect the same level of support from iPage vs other companies who charge more than double what iPage charges.
When choosing a web hosting service, cost is something you should look at after you’ve seen all the features and qualities. Now that we’re down to the last leg, below is the cost comparison between iPage and Bluehost. You’ll find that iPage does offer you the better deal, regardless of what type of website you plan on running or the kind of package you plan on buying.
iPage – On Sale for $1.99/month
One standard package = less hassle
With iPage’s standard package, you’re getting beginner ready tools to design your site, marketing and advertising credits, 1-click installation, email accounts, world-class technology, and 1GB of Free cloud storage from JustCloud.
With that said, iPage does have additional hosting services available, ranging from upgraded shared hosting to VPS and even Dedicated servers. So if you ever decide to upgrade to high end, high performance hosting, you won’t have to move your site to another web host unless you want to.
BlueHost – Lowest Price $3.49/month
With Bluehost, you’re already paying much more for service. Bluehost offers three different types of hosting, all at a different price. Bluehost’s shared hosting package is the lowest price that you see above. The three other services include WordPress, VPS, and Dediated Hosting. At the highest price, which is Dedicated Hosting, you’re paying $74.95/month.
Money Back Guarantee
Finally, there is the money-back guarantee (hopefully), if you aren’t happy with your service.
With iPage, you’re getting a 30 day money-back guarantee when you cancel within 30 days. On the other hand, if you wait beyond those 30 days to cancel your service, you’re going to get the next 30 or 60 days of your monies worth back. So either way, you’re covered.
Similar to iPage, Bluehost offers you a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you cancel after 30 days, the refund is prorated.
Conclusion – Who Wins?
iPage and Bluehost are similar in many respects. For example, you’ll find the money-back guarantee, the uptime, and technical support systems to be pretty similar. Where the two hosting services differ are in other areas, ones that are more significant.
At the bottom line, iPage is for people who are just getting started online, or who want the most affordable option. So iPage offers you better pricing than BlueHost. However, BlueHost offers you similar features, and I personally feel that cPanel is a better control panel than vDeck. In addition, BlueHost is also typically faster hosting service, which means your visitors are getting slightly better speeds when accessing your site. The only downside of BlueHost is that it’s less affordable than iPage.