Have you just started a small business and are in search of your first web hosting provider? Or are you not satisfied with the web host you are using now and need a change for the better? An internet presence is vital for conducting business in every sector imaginable in this day and age, and neglecting it costs more than you can imagine.
This is why you need a stable and reliable web hosting firm, which ensures that your eCommerce website is always up and running for your current and potential customers. The market offers thousands of options to choose from, which all sound great to the untrained eye, but which one is the best?
If you are a beginner in the field, you will hear many new terms such as VPS, SSL, dedicated or shared hosting, uptime, control panel, and some others. We tried to explain them in our article, but if needed, read a bit more so that you understand our statements completely.
What should a person who never launched a website look for? A great web host would offer a money-back guarantee (30 days, at least) so that any beginner has the time to reconsider and switch to another host if not satisfied enough. Another valuable feature for newcomers would be the presence of more support options such as phone, email, and live chat – that way, someone will surely help you in time of need.
If you are still confused, do not worry; in this article, we will save you a lot of time for research and give you only the essential data. Our team of experts has narrowed down the possible choices to two of the most popular web hosting companies – Bluehost and iPage.
We have conducted a deep-dive review and will try to give you directions on which one of the two to choose from. So sit back and check our findings as in the end, you will have an opinion for yourself.
Bluehost vs. iPage – Overview
Both Bluehost and iPage are part of the Endurance international group, which is another testament to their services’ quality. Founded in 1996 by Matt Heaton, Bluehost is a well-favored hosting service, which is also recommended by WordPress.org.
Bluehost is among the largest hosting providers on a global scale and is the home of millions of websites all around the globe. Bluehost is renowned for the wide gamma of web hosting plans they offer, but also for the reasonably affordable price they ask for. Bluehost is a massive company with more than 750 employees, operating and supporting in-house servers that spread around 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2).
iPage was launched in 1998 in Tempe, Arizona, by Tomas Gorny. Through its two US data centers, iPage powers more than one million websites all around the globe. iPage offers economical solutions provides various types of plans with modern features, which do not compromise on server quality or site speed. Some interesting information is that while iPage was founded as a full web service provider, it re-launched in 2009 as a hosting provider.
Bluehost vs iPage – Speed and Uptime
When conducting business through a website, or even when using it as a marketing aid, you need to think about your site pages’ load time. Nowadays, an everyday user does not have time to spend waiting for a web page to load. As a matter of fact, as the statistics show, if a site needs more than three seconds to load, around 53% of your mobile users would switch to another source of information on services.
Every two-second delay more would boost the bounce rates up to 87%, which would destroy all other improvements you did on your site. This is why all website owners should take the speed on their set very seriously and invest in improving it above all.
On the other hand, Uptime is the availability of the site for your potential and current users. To gain interest and purchases, your site has to be online and running, so you should be looking for an uptime guarantee when browsing web hosting companies. This is why our iPage vs Bluehost comparison starts with these essential criteria.
As part of this test, we created a test WordPress site on both iPage and Bluehost to evaluate their performance via tools like Bitcatcha and Pingdom. We used the same WordPress theme, content, and images because we want everything to be equal. Both iPage and Bluehost were very fast regarding load speed, but the Bluehost WordPress site was faster.
As part of this inspection, we wanted to see how both web hosting companies would react to a sudden rush of traffic.
Every web salesperson would love such a surge, and your WordPress hosting should be able to handle it. This time we used the tool Load Impact to send 100 test visitors to our WordPress sites and evaluated how they cope with the requests.
Bluehost was stable, despite the increasing number of visitors, and its server responded in under a second in both the United States and in international locations. This serves as a guarantee that Bluehost will handle well, even in very tough situations.
iPage started to slow down right after the 50th request. Fortunately for iPage, load time remained the same in the 50-100 request diapason. Its server responded in less than a second, everywhere else except Japan. This means that if you target users from Japan, it is probably better to go with Bluehost, which is the winner in these criteria.
Bluehost vs iPage – Ease of Use
Another important factor when selecting a web hosting service is the ease of use of its control panel, and our iPage vs Bluehost evaluation cannot neglect it. After all, not all of us are technically savvy types; some prefer a more straightforward manner.
Bluehost offers a version of the world-famous cPanel to all of its users. cPanel is the most used dashboard for hosted website management. It allows admins, resellers, and end-user website owners to administer the website and server through a standard web browser user interface. The cPanel provided by Bluehost comes with a customized dashboard, which makes setting up a site with Bluehost even more comfortable than expected.
iPage does not come with cPanel but provides a version of the vDeck control panel. iPage offers a one-click WordPress installer just like Bluehost. However, they also provide a drag and drop website builder, which can be used with iPage hosting plans. This will come in very handy for people who prefer simple site builder solutions rather than appointing a developer.
What distinguishes Bluehost and iPage in this category is the presence of cPanel. We know that many people are accustomed to it and are unwilling to change it for anything else. Switching to vDeck for iPage will not work simultaneously and will require some time.
In our unbiased opinion, Bluehost is the winner here, as cPanel is a platform known to many people out there and will definitely be an attractive force for many decision-makers.
Bluehost vs iPage – Features
Next, in our comparison between iPage and Bluehost, we will go through their hosting plans’ features. Both companies provide a wide selection of hosting services that should satisfy any need. You will be able to find WordPress, shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans, all in different pricing ranges.
If we observe the Bluehost hosting plans, we can see that they offer:
Bluehost WordPress hosting
The shared WordPress hosting plan grants automatic WordPress installation and updates. It adds a free domain name for 1 year, a free SSL certificate for all variations. If you get the Plus WordPress plan, you get unlimited parked domains and subdomains, unlimited websites, and unmetered SSD disk space. The Choice Plus WordPress hosting plan adds a CodeGuard basic backup to all mentioned before.
Bluehost Shared hosting
Bluehost offers four shared hosting options. They include a free domain name for 1 year, free CDN, free SSL certificate, and 24/7 customer support. While the Basic shared hosting plan is good for 1 website and provides 50 GB SSD disk space, the Plus plan already has unlimited websites and SSD storage. The Choice plus upgrades the features with free domain privacy and free automated backup for 1 year. The Pro plan complements the features with free automated backup forever and free dedicated IP.
Bluehost VPS hosting
For those who have not heard the term, VPS hosting stands for virtual private servers. VPS gives users increased performance, better control, and scalability. VPS options by Bluehost are partitioned into three categories. The Standard plan gives you two cores, 30 GB SSD disk space, 2 GB RAM, 1 TB bandwidth, and 1 IP address. The Enhanced plan upgrades the features with 60 GB of storage, 4 GB ram, 2 TB bandwidth, and 2 IP addresses. The Ultimate hosting plan provides four cores, 120 GB of storage, 8 GB ram, and 3 TB bandwidth on top of the previous features.
Bluehost Dedicated hosting
Bluehost offers dedicated hosting for the best website performance. All variations come with quad-core processors and different GHz.
The Standard shared hosting plan comes with 500 GB storage, 4 GB RAM, 5 TB bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses.
The Enhanced doubles the storage, RAM, and bandwidth and adds one more IP address.
The top tier Premium hosting plan doubles the RAM and provides 15 TH bandwidth and 5 IP addresses.
Let us move to the features that iPage offers with their hosting plans:
iPage Web Hosting Plan
The most popular plan from iPage is the shared Hosting, which includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. Here we have only one Go Plan, which includes unlimited websites and storage, a free SSL certificate, domain for a year, standard email address, and a free site builder.
iPage Website builder
iPage offers AI-powered website builders combined with the other hosting plans and allows everybody to design a fully mobile-responsive site with customizable layouts. You can select a site builder hosting in three variations.
The Starter option allows you to build six pages for free and includes more than 550k available images, pre-built sections and layouts, SEO tools, and 24/7 customer support.
The Business variation allows you to build unlimited pages, revision history, and analytics integration.
At the same time, the eCommerce one enables you to sell products, offer coupon codes and promotions, and management of inventory and tracking.
iPage WordPress Hosting
And of course, as all modern web hosts, iPage provides a WordPress Hosting solution. The WP Starter plan is valid for one website with pre-installed themes and plugins; it includes a free SSL certificate, a free domain name for a year, unlimited bandwidth and storage.
The more popular WP Essential plan still comes with a free SSL certificate and free domain name, unlimited bandwidth, disk space, and 24/7 WordPress customer support and adds SiteLock professional security.
The result of this category was pretty close. Both Bluehost and iPage deliver excellent hosting services. They provide fascinating features such as drag and drop WordPress website builders, unlimited bandwidth, a free domain name, and a 30-day money-back guarantee – it all depends on what is more important for your specific use case. Still, according to how we weigh the features on each hosting plan option, we have to say that iPage wins this category.
Bluehost vs iPage – Support and Documentation
For the technically savvy people working with the control panel or building a website would cause no difficulty at all. Happily, we live in times when even newcomers can launch and maintain a website with the help of the trusty documentation and, if needed, the customer support team. We cannot determine which one among iPage and Bluehost is better without comparing their support options.
Bluehost offers support via phone, email, and live chat for all its hosting plans. Be informed that, due to the challenges caused by the pandemic, Bluehost has temporarily reduced its phone support hours to 8 am-9 pm EST, but live chat is still running 24/7.
When you have a more complex problem, you can leave a ticket to their support team, which could be considered as the modern email way of support. The ticketing system is divided into five main topics, following the people that have to handle the request: affiliates, billing, sales, tech support, and verification. Be sure to check the helpdesk search first, as your question might have been already asked and could have a written answer.
Bluehost has also shared its rich knowledge base full of articles, guides, how-tos, instructions, and FAQs. Everybody interested can browse through this vast area of resources, and the chance of finding the right answer to a question is very high. Here you can choose between six main categories: account, control panel, domains, email, FAQ, and WordPress. After you choose the main category, you will see a list of valuable links to popular questions.
If we look at how iPage can help you with your technical or non-technical problems, we see 24/7 phone and chat support options. It all depends on whether you prefer to speak directly to a customer support agent or feel more comfortable with the live chat option.
iPage has also gathered a rich set of documentation articles. The documents are partitioned into 15 main topics so that a user could search for a specific subject. These are account, advanced hosting, CGI and scripting, database, domains, email, files, glance, partnership programs, policies, professional services, security, video tutorials, website builder, and websites.
Once you are in the main topic, you will be presented with a list of more fine-grained categories that could filter out the questions even further. When on the main screen of the documentation, there is also an option to search in all categories if you are unsure where your question would belong.
The iPage – Bluehost parallel has never been closer. If we open the chat support option of both hosting companies, we see the identical user interface, where the only difference is in the name: “Bluehost support” and “iPage support.”
Of course, the reason for this is that the Endurance international group owns both web hosts, and they have decided that there is no point in customizing their live chat feature as long as they provide quality service. For this and other reasons, we call the iPage – Bluehost support and documentation category a tie.
Bluehost vs iPage – Pricing
Whenever evaluating web hosts, you should also check their pricing plans…unless you are Jeff Bezos, of course. For the rest of us that live on a certain monthly budget, it is vital to get the most out of our buck with a specific hosting plan. When a hosting plan is more expensive, you should expect everything, but it is essential to see what features are included in the more economical ranges.
For this section of our iPage – Bluehost evaluation, we will compare the cheapest versions of their hosting plans. We should mention that both web hosting companies are somewhat in the more affordable segment than other web hosts, e.g., WP Engine.
If we look at what iPage offers, we see that the cheapest WordPress plan – WP Starter has a price of $3.75 per month, while the starter website builder comes free with hosting.
And when we talk about a web host with the lowest price, the shared web hosting plan from iPage starts at the unbelievable $1.99 per month.
Switching to their VPS and dedicated server plans offered by iPage, we see that they are no longer that cheap.
The dedicated hosting price starts at €119.99 a month, while the VPS starts at €19.99 a month.
When checking the Bluehost website, we see that the price of the basic WordPress plan is $3.95 per month, which is 20 cents more than iPage. The shared hosting service by Bluehost’s starts at $3.95, which is somewhat expensive compared to the $1.99 price by iPage.
However, the dedicated and VPS hosting plans by Bluehost are more affordable, rated at €68.11 a month for dedicated, and €17.02 per month for VPS. We should also mention the money-back guarantee (30 days) offered in some web hosting plans by Bluehost, as this a perfect solution for a test
Every beginner would think that iPage is the better option because you can launch a website for so cheap (even if we look at the WordPress numbers). However, we believe we should compare the more complex web hosting solutions, where Bluehost is cheaper. Every newcomer could go with the lower price of iPage, but serious web hosting enthusiasts should prefer Bluehost.
Recap: Bluehost vs iPage
So, we are at the end of our disputed iPage vs Bluehost duel. Whenever such a comparison occurs, it is imperative to be completely unbiased so that you do not deceive the public. This is why we went through a lot of tests evaluating the features of both iPage and Bluehost and provided concrete numbers that everybody can check themselves. We just made it easier because everything necessary is in one document.
Both hosting companies are good choices, and we can see how close they were in terms of features, control panel usability, uptime guarantee, hosting plans, the presence of a free domain name, and price. In this Bluehost – iPage contrasting, it all depends on what are your specific needs and which hosting service tick the most boxes from your wish list.
Nevertheless, our opinion is that Bluehost is the better web host for all your website needs.
First of all, if you plan to manage a WordPress site, then Bluehost should be your pick, as WordPress.org officially recommends it.
Bluehost provides a broader selection of web hosting plans and has a managed WordPress plan for everybody that wants the best performance out of their WordPress website. In addition, Bluehost has the reputation of constantly upgrading their infrastructure, thus always providing the best possible experience a user could want.