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Summary: iPage vs Bluehost
Choosing a web hosting provider is never an easy task, especially if you’re part of the group of completely clueless people in search of a better service. Since there are dozens of options to choose from, you may find yourself second-guessing your choice every time you set your sights on a particular company.
But fret not because we’ve already taken one for the team and have compiled all you need to know in a single page.
Battle of Two Old School Hosts
We’ve have compared a range of web hosting companies this time, the spotlight is on iPage vs Bluehost. Bluehost dates back to 1996 while iPage made its entry into the web hosting industry in 1998. Both veteran companies offer just about every hosting service out there from shared, to VPS, to dedicated plans.
There are significant differences in pricing depending on the hosting plan in question, and iPage appears to be more economical than Bluehost. That said, however, you have to look deeper beyond pricing in order to make an informed choice.
What We Compare Web Hosts On
The following review will compare the reliability, customer support, security, scalability, and extra features of iPage and Bluehost so that you can make the right choice for your needs.
Here below is a tl;dr summary version of our of iPage and Bluehost head-to-head comparison.
So what happens if a host goes down? This is a common worry and rightfully so. Significant downtime can cause the following issues for you as an online business owner, should you disregard the issue:
Loss of traffic – visitors who are unable to visit your site may not come back again
Loss of trust – having a faulty website is certainly not a great first impression
Amateur-ish impression – well, essentially loss of trust, but being labeled as an amateur is a huge setback
Loss of revenue – fewer visitors + less conversion = less revenue
Wasted time – unless you have an alert host, you will waste time trying to resolve the issue with them
Wasted funds – need to get your developer involved? You’ve just spent a week’s marketing budget
Ranking setback – while short downtime doesn’t, long downtime hurts your ranking in search engines
Further extra costs – if your ranking is affected, you’ll have to spend some cash on SEO to regain position
Competition excels – if you’re unavailable, your visitors will find a competitor as they want the product
Vulnerability – hackers, and cybercriminals love a sign of vulnerability
It’s similar to a strategy game, one weak factor of your web host can affect your whole standing in the game.
iPage’s uptime guarantee is 99.9% and it applies to ALL plans, whereas some companies restrict what plans are covered. The site doesn’t have information on what, if any, credits you’ll receive if they don’t meet this commitment.
iPage’s uptime and response time statistics via Pingdom. (Image courtesy of Pingdom)
They have a fantastic record when it comes to uptime. Only once in 11 years as the level been listed as “poor” at a figure of 90%. Most months have zero or very little downtime.
Like iPage, Bluehost also offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee but no mention about any available credits to compensate if they don’t meet their goal.
However, you can cancel your account for poor performance or for any other reason, regardless of what it is, and you won’t incur any fees. You’ll receive a pro-rata rebate for the unused part of the plan.
What Security Measures and Backup Protocols Are In Place?
Security measures involve dozens of factors, but let’s cover a few of the key things you want your host to look out for. In order to have good all-round security, you’re looking at the following specificities to be in place:
Antivirus and Malware Scanning
What happens if not in place?
Overwhelming website traffic received to overload resources
Infected accounts, leading to fraud or worse
Content of your website can be lost or damaged
Lack of brand trust and security
A decent firewall should do some of the work, although other measures can be put in place by your host
To detect malware or viruses of any sort by constant scanning, ideally removal thereafter
A secure FTP will ensure your content and site data is safe, moreover accesible
Puts you in the league of trusted websites, along with well-protected data
So based on some of these factors, how does iPage and Bluehost fare?
iPage runs daily spam and malware scans. If you want daily backups, there’s a small fee incurred but generally, it’s worth it for added security although doing your own backups is always recommended anyway.
They can back up your site to your computer at no charge.
iPage Backup and Encryption
All machines have identical backup machines that activate if the main machine fails for any reason. Units are also backed up to other units that are mirrored copies of your site in case of a failure anywhere within the system. An uninterrupted power supply helps protect the integrity of all data.
iPage has the strongest encryption software available, database lockdowns and firewalls. They also have expert staff onsite 24/7/365 and everything is monitored 24/7/365 so problems can be fixed immediately. iPage uses the SiteLock security suite that adds extra layers of security to protect all customers at no additional cost.
Bluehost does backups sometimes but there’s no set schedule and they won’t accept any responsibility for problems that occur as a result of not doing backups. You must do your own daily backups to prevent any problems occurring and to protect your own data.
Video above: Bluehost offers numerous video tutorials including this one on how to backup or restore your website.
Power Supply and Processing Power of Bluehost
Bluehost has an uninterrupted power supply, backup diesel generators, dual quad-core processors for maximum speed, 24/7 monitoring of the network and a whole lot of other features.
As with iPage, Bluehost also uses SiteLock’s range of security protocols for extra protection and for regular virus and malware scans
What Happens If You Want to Upgrade to a Better Plan Mid-Contract?
Say you started with iPage or Bluehost on a decent shared plan, with enough resources to power a small business. Recently you’ve experienced a significant traffic spike and want to – no, need to upgrade to a VPS plan as a bare minimum.
Who’s your best option out of the two?
iPage doesn’t list what happens if you wish to upgrade your plan but most companies only charge the difference between the current plan and the upgraded plan cost.
In other words, your best bet is to get in touch to double check, alternatively trust that the only charge is the difference in price, which is usually the case.
There aren’t any lock-in contracts so upgrading is simple. You’re only billed for the difference in the price between your current plan and the new one you have chosen.
Similarly to iPage, there aren’t any additional administration costs listed.
How Long Is The Free Trial and Money-Back Guarantee?
Another underlooked feature of web hosting selection. Should you not like the service you are provided with, are you eligible to leave without loss of funds? Yes, you are.
The industry standard money-back guarantee is 30 days, although terms and conditions are wise to scan, should you be relying on this.
A 30-day, no questions asked, money-back guarantee on your hosting fee is what iPage offers. You will incur a fee to keep your domain name. This will cover admin fees and enables iPage to transfer your name or point it elsewhere.
You also get an “anytime” money-back guarantee. If you want to cancel your contract after the first 30 days, you’ll receive a pro-rata refund for your hosting fee. You will still have to pay for your domain.
Bluehost also offers the 30-day money-back guarantee on hosting. There aren’t any fixed contract periods so your refund will only be for the portion of your hosting fee that hasn’t been used yet.
There are no refunds for domain names, admin fees or anything else.
What Support Options are Available and What Hours?
Both of these hosts are well kitted out in terms of support options, which is no surprise from seasoned contenders as such. Having a good support team is absolutely priceless, as it can often resolve most of the other issues we’ve covered on this page.
Furthermore, you can take into account the host’s community size, so you can turn to peer-to-peer help on forums.
iPage provides 24/7/365 support via phone, email and live chat. They also have a handy user guide you can read and learn from. Their comprehensive database of knowledge has hundreds of relevant articles to help guide you as an iPage customer.
Live support request with iPage – response under 1 minute.
If you want premium support, you do incur a small fee but you get faster attention when you need it.
With Bluehost, you’ll have 24/7/365 access to their support network via phone, emails and live chat. Their knowledgebase has a LOT of answers to your questions, as does the collection of articles and tutorials.
Join the members’ forum and ask questions and receive replies from staff and other members from around the world.
Does the company offer free advertising, a free domain name, free migration of sites from other hosts or a free website builder?
Some useful extras great web hosts usually provide in forms of advanced offers are:
PHP performance boosters
Large selection of databases
Premium SSL provided
Unlimited data transfers
Full access to sub-domain features
SSH – secure shell access
Variety of specialization options, such as e-commerce
Unlimited automatic backups (regularly)
Unlimited e-mail accounts
Selection of control panels
Alongside these features, we really looked at financial extras in forms of rewards with iPage and Bluehost.
100% wind power pays for all iPage’s energy needs so you can be happy you’re also doing your bit for the environment.
You get a free domain for the first term of your contract.
Advertising credits are available to you. $100 for Yahoo/Bing and $100 for Google AdWords. Your site will be listed in yellowpages.com.
Free Website Builder with Templates
iPage has a free website builder and hundreds of templates and themes.
As for migrating sites from other companies to iPage, there’s a distinct lack of information on that subject on their site and in the knowledge base itself. If they do as other sites do, they’ll do it for free but if you wish to use this hosting company, ask that question for yourself.
Bluehost is keen for people to migrate sites from different hosting companies because they charge $149.99 to do it, unlike most companies that don’t charge anything.
Your domain name is free. $150 of advertising credits are available for use with Yahoo/Bing or Google.
A free site builder will enable you to create the best possible site you can.