Every day, new businesses take the plunge into cyberspace. They do it because that is where the money is going. If you want to stay ahead of the pack, you have to get in the race as early as possible. To have the best possible chances for success, you need a web hosting service like iPage. This web host is our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner for their comprehensive and inexpensive starter package. The basic package includes unlimited bandwidth and disk space, which gives your business room to grow. It includes unlimited domain email accounts, which ensures your company a serious, professional appearance. You even get access to various shopping cart applications and other marketing tools to drive traffic to your site and move capital with ease. This web hosting service is perfect for beginner and intermediate-level users.
Everything about this hosting plan is unlimited. That's good, because you never know how much you are going to need. Take the unlimited MySQL databases for example – as your business expands, you don't want to find yourself in need of a new database without a place to host it. Other services may limit the number of databases available to you, but iPage gives you the freedom you require. The same goes for disk space, bandwidth and email accounts. It doesn't matter how much your headcount or traffic increase – this web hosting service will always have you covered.
Unlimited webmail is all very fine, but it doesn't count for much unless the email interface is up to par. Fortunately, this web hosting service includes a powerful email interface. You can email and forward documents, set up automatic responses and even filter out spam. Best of all, this email service performs virus scans on all incoming documents before they even reach your inbox, thus minimizing chances of infecting your computer.
More than any other aspect of their service, we really enjoyed using iPage’s site creation tools. Included in the hosting package, iPage allows you to choose between three easy-to-use site builders, which can help you build a basic webpage or more complex site with multiple pages. iPage also has blog and photo gallery setup wizards, and it supports numerous content management systems, blogs, photo galleries and forum plugins such as Joomla, WordPress, Gallery2 and Gbook. We would like to see the web hosting service add more programming languages to their repertoire because currently it only supports Perl and Server Side Includes (SSI). If you want to add multimedia files to your website, you will enjoy the fact iPage supports Macromedia Shockwave, Midi File, Flash, and Real Audio and Video.
You can access an FTP account manager, add unlimited FTP accounts and enjoy the benefits of anonymous FTP security. This protection includes support for .htaccess to control user access to directories with sensitive information.
iPage provides enough marketing tools to drive sustainable traffic to your website right out the gate. As is the case with many other web hosting services, iPage includes Google AdWords, Yahoo/Bing Sponsored Search and Facebook Advertising credits in their plan. Such credits are beneficial because they allow you to purchase ad space on those high-profile sites to drive traffic directly to your site. iPage also allows you to access online marketing guides and use Google Webmaster Tools to manage your website. A free Yellowpages.com listing and 60-day membership for RatePoint’s Newsletter Manager round out their set of serviceable marketing tools.
iPage provides access and error logs in addition to monitors that allow you to see how much bandwidth and disk space you have used. Disappointingly, though, this web hosting provider does not have a statistical analysis program. This would be convenient because it would allow you to see your site traffic and gauge your site’s overall performance based on those statistics.
iPage web hosting is a pleasure to work with. Right from the control panel, you will find that the user interface is logical, seamless and easy to navigate. The service is packed with considerations large and small that improve the overall user experience. If necessary, you can tailor the features page under the control panel to fit the needs of each individual user. That's great news for beginners and veterans alike – if you are a beginner, you can view a condensed set of basic, easy-to-use features. For experienced users, every feature category has a "Features for Geeks" button, which opens an extended list of advanced features to match for your skill level. This functionality makes the service accessible to more intermediate users and not just a narrow subset of beginners.
iPage web hosting has an extensive online help center and ticketing system; users can search the knowledgebase for answers to their questions and use the ticketing system if they fail to find the explicit help they need in the knowledgebase. The service also provides useful step-by-step tutorials on how to fully take advantage of the service features. The tutorials are both informative and easy to understand, making them a highly beneficial resource.
For direct technical support, you can contact the web hosting service directly via phone, chat or email 24/7. We placed a few calls to the company and were happy to find we only had to wait a minute or two for an available customer service rep. Furthermore, the representatives were friendly and informative, with a clear understanding of the company’s plans and subsequent capabilities. Upon further research, we found out each of the customer service representatives must undergo an extensive quality assurance process. This extra investment shows.
With the exception of additional marketing tools and supported programming languages, there is little that iPage could do to improve its already excellent offerings. A hosting package that offers true unlimited features and an interface that is as easy to navigate as it is to understand, iPage is an outstanding provider that is certainly a top contender among web hosting services.
In addition to unlimited bandwidth, disk space and emails, this web service offers basic shopping cart tools, marketing tools and around-the-clock support.
The service lacks some advanced features, such as custom cron jobs and a script library.
This flexible and well-rounded web service is perfect for beginner and intermediate users.