$3.50? $4.50? $2.95? $1.68? Which is the most current offer?
While I like to keep my website as updated as possible, iPage is simply making it impossible. They are changing their offer almost everyday. I have seen $3.50, $4.50, $2.95, $1.68, $1 and now $2.25. Trust me, there will be more coming. The one below shows $1.68.
So the best thing you can do is simply to check on their homepage on the most current offer. Don't just relying on what I have posted here because they might have changed the pricing again while I am sleeping.
Now the important stuffs:-
1. You need to go into the order page to confirm the price. You may happily see a $3.50 offer but when you go into the order page, you will find out you can only get that price for 36-month term. You need to pay higher for shorter terms.
2. Sometimes you will see ridiculous low pricing of $1.00. Checking the order page and you will notice that you can only sign up for a maximum of 12 months. You cannot lock in for longer period and you will need to renew at the regular price of $9.49/month after that. Promo price is always for the first payment term only and regular price will follow after that. Take note.
3. Forget about the count-down of how many seconds or minutes left. Once this offer is over, another similar one will come. They are different but you will always get an offer. There is no need to hurry. Everyday is "offer day".
iPage is FatCow!
iPage is actually FatCow and FatCow is actually iPage! They are different brands but they are the same company. They offer very similar product but with slightly different pricing. While most of the time iPage is cheaper, once a while (usually in the weekends) FatCow will be selling even cheaper! That's why it is important for you to check out FatCow pricing before your purchase.
First of all, iPage has nothing to do with your fancy iPod or iPhone. They are totally unrelated. Don't host with them just because they have an "iP" in front. :)
There are so many things that can happen to a business in a decade. Many go burst. Only a few will rise above all and become stronger. iPage is one of the good example of a hosting company that can rise above all and become stronger for more than 10 years in business, longer than BlueHost, longer than LunarPages, longer than this website (8 years). Their ability to survive the dot com bubble and the economy crisis tells us a lot about them.
What's in it for you?
The most exciting feature right now is the price. The $4.50 promotional price is applicable even for the 12 month contract. This is almost equivalent to 50% discount to their original price and those offer by the close competitors.
Let's look at some of the features/highlights:
Unlimited hosting usually refer to unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth and most importantly unlimited websites. Why unlimited websites are important? Because domain names are cheap nowadays and most of us can get a few of them easily. We will need the ability host multiple websites in one account to save on hosting fee. You do not want to choose a traditional 1 domain per account type of hosting so you don't need to pay for a new hosting account every time you need to host another domain/website, which can be very costly.
However, no tree grows to the sky! Read and understand what is your limitation in my article unlimited hosting is not unlimited.
They are also offering unlimited databases. There are web hosts that will give you unlimited disk space and bandwidth but limit the number of databases you can have. This will be a ripped off because many free scripts that we are using today (including all those that you will be installing through their automated script installer) require a database. These scripts include blogging scripts, forum scripts, picture gallery scripts, etc. A limit of 10 database means you can only install a maximum of 10 scripts. So what is the use of having unlimited disk space and bandwidth or even unlimited websites if you can only install a few scripts?
You can also create unlimited email accounts and related services such as email forwarders, email auto-responders, etc. You can check your mail online through their free web based platfrom (2 choices: AtMail or SquirrelMail) or you can use software such as Outlook Express or the free Mozilla Thunderbird (which I used). Both IMAP and POP emails are supported.
Web Builder + Free Scripts Installer
iPage provides a free web builder. But unfortunately I am not a fan of web builder. This is something of the past that may be useful 5 years ago. No matter how good a web builder is, the most you can do is to create a beautiful "brochure" type of website with a few information pages and maybe a contact form. It is beautiful because you can choose a lot of cool templates but it will still be a simple brochure site. It geek terms, it will be a static site instead of dynamic site.
What you need is not a web builder but the FREE opensource scripts such as WordPress or Drupal to build your website. There are many of them serving different purposes. You can do almost anything such as blogging (WordPress...), building a forum (SMF, phpBB...) or making a picture gallery (Gallery2, ZenPhoto...).
They are all free but you will have to download and install them manually. Or you can take advantage of iPage auto-installer to install these scripts painlessly for you. They are just a few clicks away. That's why I said it is very important to have unlimited databases so you can make full use of these scripts.
iPage script installer is known as InstallCentral. The currently available scripts are listed below.
Content Management System (CMS):
Joomla, Drupal, Mambo, e107
Blogs: WordPress, PixelPost, b2evolution
Picture Galleries: Coppermine, Gallery2, ZenPhoto
Forum: GBook, phpBB, SMF
Shopping Cart: osCommerce, AgoraCart, ZenCart
Others: Gregarius, MediaWiki, SugarCRM, X7Chat, WebCalendar, Moodle, OpenRealty...
Those that are marked with red all some of the most popular scripts used by other webmasters. You may want to start playing with them after you have your hosting account setup, especially WordPress.
Free Domain Name
When you sign up with them, you can get a free domain name. A new domain name will cost around $10 in the market so this is really a good deal.
Free Marketing Credits
iPage has partnered with many third parties to provide extra benefits to their clients. These include a $50 credit for Google Adwords, $25 credit for Yahoo Marketing, $50 credit for Facebook advertising, etc. You will also be given a lot of free-trial membership on many services such as RatePoint newsletter manager.
However, the credits are usually available only to new clients. For example, if you already have an existing Adwords account, you cannot redeem the credit and add it to your account. Only those who sign up for a new Adwords account can redeem it and must do so within the first 15 days after the Adwords account is created.
The same applies to Facebook credits where you will not be eligible if you have advertised in Facebook before.
Anytime Money Back Guarantee
This is the most important feature of all. If you are unhappy anytime during your service period, you can cancel it and ask for a refund. If you cancel your account in the first 30 days, you will get a full refund. If you do it after the first 30 days, you will get a pro-rated refund.
However, if you have registered a free domain name while you sign up, you will have to pay $15 for it. This is because domain name cannot be "unregistered" and once it is registered, it will be yours until it expires. So even if you cancel your hosting, you still own your domain name until it expires. You can then choose a new hosting provider you like and still maintain the ownership of your domain name.
Please also note that most add-ons are usually not refundable! It is my advice that you do not sign up for any of the add-ons before you fully understand what they are. This is especially true when you are signing up for a new account! Be careful when you see all those add-ons listed in the order form. You can always purchase them later, why rush?
Great Customer Support
There are basically 3 ways to contact support - email/ticket system, online chat or toll-free phone (US/Canada only). International customers can still dial their paid phone for support. Customer service is very responsive no matter which method you use.
I prefer the online chat if I am looking for a quick solution that they can provide (such as asking the URL to access webmail or the port for the SMTP mail). If I have bigger issues, I will use the email/ticket system instead because it will be tracked and contains all the history and follow ups of the messages online. I almost never use the telephone support as it is not effective when dealing with technical issues (do you want to hear those phases like "Please give me a moment Sir" and "Thank you for waiting Sir" ?). They do claimed to pick up your phone within 2 minutes on average. But I don't know how long you will need to stay on hold to resolve an issue. Use the email/ticket system instead.
vDeck Control Panel
vDeck is so far the only control panel that can compete with CPanel. Actually, I would say it is a clone of CPanel. vDeck was developed by copying all the features in CPanel. Almost everything you an do in CPanel can be done in vDeck. The newest version of vDeck is vDeck 4 which is used in all iPage servers right now.
vDeck has integrated "Google Webmaster Tools" into their control panel. This means you can easily access it within your control panel. Google Webmaster Tools are provided by Google, the search engine giant! They provide you with precious information about your website related to your search engine rankings in Google. You can even inform Google many important information regarding your website such as you desired root domain (with www or without www) and your primary country target (US? Mexico? Singapore?). The tool will also inform you if your website is being hacked or infested by malicious software so you can take actions and restore/remove them.
All other features in the control panel include managing of emails (create new, forwarders, responders, webmail, spam protector...), managing of domains (register, transfer, add-ons, forwarding...), managing databases, auto-script installer known as InstallCentral, billing manager, etc.
PHP and MySQL
They support both PHP4 and PHP5 on the same server so you don't need to worry which version to choose at the beginning. You can choose your preference in the control panel (yes, in vDeck) anytime you want. You should always choose PHP5 unless you know what you are doing.
MySQL 5 is being used. The current version is 5.0.83. MySQL is fully compatible with MySQL 4. Since import and export of MySQL databases are done using standard SQL format (Structured Query Language), you can easily import and export from MySQL 4 and 5 without any problems. So you can easily migrate any existing MySQL 4 database to MySQL 5.
The "Free Suite" Bullshit
The so called "limited time only" and "unheard of value" can be safely ignored because they are always free all the time. They are always bundled with all standard hosting package. So the "suite" is more a marketing tactic which the only purpose is to add to your confusion. The only real suite is the marketing suite where you can get marketing credits. But as stated earlier, those credits come with terms and conditions and most of us will not be eligible for it. So it may just be another "bullshit" as well.
This might be confusing to most people. Green energy refers to reusable and environment friendly energy such as wind powered energy, as oppose to non renewable energy generated from fuel and coal.
However, they are not really using green energy directly. Because you can't isolate between green energy and non-green energy. All energy are generated from different sources and feed into the electricity grid which is then supplied to everyone (including your house). So everyone would have use some green energy and some non-green energy.
So how can iPage calls themselves green hosting? This is done by buying REC (Renewable Energy Credits). Money raised from REC are used to generate green electricity which will be fed into the grid. If they are using X amount of electricity, they will need to purchase at least X amount of REC so they are contributing X amount of green energy back into the electricity gird.
Saving the earth. Protecting the future of our children by giving them a good place to grow up and live. This can now be done indirectly by hosting at a Green web host such as iPage.
You can pay with all major credit cards or PayPal.
Instant Account Activation
All new accounts are created instantly after payment is received. So you don't need to wait for "approval" before you can start using your account. Instant account activation allows you to start logging in to your control panel immediately after your sign up process. You can also upload your files immediately. No time is wasted on waiting.
I hope you did read my review from the top instead of "jumping to the conclusion". The current promotional price will change again very soon to another "promotional" price so I don't think you need to rush for the sign up.
Also, my website is hosted by HostGator. It is more expensive but I believe it is worth every penny you pay for it! Fantastic customer support, bigger limit on "unlimited hosting", CPanel control panel and more! Make sure you also read my BlueHost and HostGator review.
Actually my iPage review doesn't end here. I have written even more about
them in my FatCow review because they are
the same company!