There are so many hosting services on the market these days that settling for one can seem almost impossible. That’s definitely how I felt when I was launching my website, and exploring all the possibilities took quite a bit of time. Luckily, you won’t have to try everything, since I already did. You don’t have to believe me, there are countless iPage reviews on the internet. Today we’ll take a look at one service I gave a spin, called iPage. It’s a pretty fully featured hosting service that’s got a lot to offer users, including some features other hosting services can’t quite promise. But that’s enough talking – let’s step through iPage’s features one by one.
One of the most important features of any web host is the amount of disk space you get when you sign up with them. iPage is pretty cool, because it offers users unlimited disk space. Or so says iPage, at least. Disk space isn’t truly unlimited with iPage in an absolute sense, since iPage can place limits on your website’s disk space allowance if they deem your usage to be excessive. So even though what’s advertised as “unlimited” really isn’t anything of the sort, it might as well be. It’s extremely rare for users to go overboard with storage, and the only ones who do are the people hosting huge numbers of large multimedia files (lossless audio and high-quality video) or running file-sharing operations. iPage is primarily geared towards small businesses and individuals hosting smaller websites, so neither of these oprations is really appropriate for the services they offer. If you’re not interested in either, though, you shouldn’t run into any real limits with disk space.
iPage advertises its bandwidth allowance as unlimited, but it’s really treated the same way disk space is. 99.95% of users don’t exceed bandwidth, and the 0.05% who do are usually file-sharing or storing huge multimedia files on their servers. Practically speaking, you’re not likely to run into any bandwidth problems with iPage unless you have insane amounts of traffic and have to transfer huge files to your users. For most standard website functions (e.g., transferring webpage information to users or purchase data from a customer’s shopping cart) should pose no problem at all with bandwidth. I had none for the entire time I tested iPage, so I’ll give them full points for uptime and data transfer allowance – they did very well on this count.
Web Design Aids
iPage also offers users a number of web design features. These include a drag and drop site builder that’s free for the first six pages, a template-based site builder, a free personalized domain name for a year, a blog setup wizard, and a custom site-wide search engine run by Google.
That’s a lot of features, but iPage isn’t as strong as some other hosting services in this regard. Drag and drop site builders aren’t that powerful, and having access to one for only six pages doesn’t do users with complex visions much good. Template-based design is a little more powerful, but is still not a huge step up, and is offered by just about every reasonable hosting service out there. A custom search engine is a nice feature, however, and a personalized domain name is definitely required for anyone looking for reasonable exposure.
iPage offers a free online store, shopping cart, and PayPal integration. For anyone who knows anything about webstores, this should seem to be a powerful combination – and it is. In fact, this is just about everything any webstore needs, and nothing less. Setting up a store, shopping cart, and PayPal integration manually can be tedious and complex, so it’s great that users don’t have to go through the nitty-gritty database and programing details themselves if they have iPage service. I didn’t host a store, so I didn’t get to test drive these features, but the fact that they’re there earns iPage full preliminary points when it comes to webshop establishment. Learn more about these features at Webnickel.
One nice thing about iPage that a lot of other hosting services don’t offer is a wealth of free marketing features. These include free access to online marketing guides and aids, credit for Yahoo, Bing, and Google advertisements, ree Yellow Pages listing, a free toll-free phone number in the US, and Google webmaster tools. This looks like a lot of stuff, and it is. Anyone with a site that needs to be advertised would definitely benefit from these tools, and I had a great experience boosting traffic rates exploiting them.
All in All
All in All, iPage is a good hosting service that has just about everything a small business or individual website could ask for. Unlimited email accounts, free marketing help, and practically unlimited bandwidth and disk space make for a good deal. Anyone with a large website and huge amount of data should definitely look elsewhere, but for simple, consistent service for individuals and smaller blogs, iPage is a great start.