iPage vs Bluehost was a tough review for me to write. I currently use both hosting companies, and they are my top 2 picks for overall value in the hosting world. Although it was difficult, in this review I put the debate to rest once and for all. If you are debating Bluehost vs iPage, iPage vs Bluehost, etc., then this review is for you.
Winner: Bluehost. Bluehost has more longevity in the hosting arena.
Pricing and Plans
Bluehost starts its shared hosting plans at $4.95 per month, and for your money you get unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, unlimited file transfer, unlimited email, 99% uptime…they even give you your own personal web presence coach, for free. host Features
iPage’s plans start at just $1.99 per month, sometimes even less if they are running a special. For that you get unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, 24×7 customer service, marketing credits for google, and an anytime money back guarantee.
If you are interested in seeing the details of the pricing plans, you can check out iPage here and Bluehost here.
However, my winner is: iPage with $1.99 per month hosting for the initial term of 1-3 years.
Bluehost vs iPage – User Friendliness
Bluehost and iPage both use cPanel. This is an important aspect of web hosting especially if you are already used to using a cPanel.
In theory, the cPanel is important. But in practice, when you are working on your website, you spend about 95% of your time dealing with WordPress and less than 5% with the cPanel. Both control panels are quite similar in that they allow you to access the WordPress Dashboard, which is extremely user friendly. Additionally, both companies allow you to easily access premier drop and drag builder Weebly explained in this video on iPage’s website: Drag & Drop Site Builder by iPage
Winner: Tie. Both allow you to harness the power of WordPress, Weebly, and other sitebuilders.
Customer Service and Support
Over the years, I’ve had to rely on either company for help by phone or by chat.
There have been situations where I required speedy answers and my livechat experience with Bluehost has been fantastic. They have literally never let me down. One time, I had 3 separate customer service and technical support professionals working on my problem.
I have to say, with iPage, there have been a couple of times where I felt brushed off by the customer service professional, as if they were trying to get rid of me. The last time I called, I had to wait 20 minutes to get through to a support technician. Additionally, with iPage’s basic package, they will not troubleshoot any WordPress problems you have! For that, you must upgrade to WP essential, which costs more anway.
Bluehost, on the other hand, provides 24 x 7 support via email, live chat, and telephone for WordPress, Hosting, anything. They even give you a free Web Presence Coach. This means you can have a professional web design coach look over your website and give you advice about design, SEO, or whatever else you need. Bluehost is also the number one Hosting company reccomended by WordPress itself:
Speed and Performance
Both iPage and Bluehost offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee and I have yet to experience an outage with either ipage or Bluehost. However, Bluehost blows iPage away when it comes to speed. To prove this, here is a screenshot of Google’s PageSpeed Insites test on this site, which is powered by Bluehost. Focus on the server response times. The Bluehost-run site’s response time is .58 seconds, and the iPage-run site is 1.4 seconds!
The important part to note is the .58 seconds server response time. Remember that figure as we take a look at the PageSpeed results from a site of mine run with iPage’s servers:
Although 1.4 seconds to .58 may not seem like a lot of time, in the tech world this is huge. Those are critical seconds when we try to optimize a site for search engines. Or when people are waiting for your page to load before deciding to look at someone else’s website.
Winner: Bluehost. Performance is rock solid, and much faster than iPage.
Bluehost vs iPage Debate – Bottom Line
To bring this review to a close, it should be clear who the better value is: Bluehost. They are superior in almost every way to iPage. They have faster servers, better customer service, and if that weren’t enough, WordPress even endorses them as the best host for running WordPress sites. iPage is not a bad company, to be fair. The fact that you can start up with them for under $50 per year is pretty cool.
But if you are starting a website you intend on being serious about for many years to come (and you should), Bluehost is a company you can plan to stick with for the forseeable future. With iPage, it could be easy to become frustrated and either upgrade to one of their premium programs (which cost more money) or switch over to an alternative provider like Bluehost anyway.
Bluehost. They’ll give you the best overall value for your money.
(Sidenote: If you do feel that $5 per month is a little steep though, iPage is a good economical option to get you started. When I signed up, I payed just $47 for a years worth of hosting and got my site up and running pretty quickly. If you are not concerned about the speed of your site loading perhaps if you are just looking to rank organically for search terms–iPage is a fine company to work with.)
Whatever you decide, good luck! Feel free to share this review if you found it useful. Happy hosting!