• Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
$6.95/month+
  • 90%

  • Ease of use
    Editor: 95%
  • Functionality
    Editor: 95%
  • Price
    Editor: 95%
  • Support & documentation
    Editor: 95%

When it comes to web hosting companies they are a dime a dozen.

And almost all of them promise a lot of bang for your buck and claim they are great for hosting WordPress based websites.

However, a lot of them also fall short on their promises and inevitably run into issues sooner or later.

iPage claims to offer the WordPress experience you have been waiting for.

Their WP Essential Plan looks and sounds awesome, especially when you keep in mind some other specialized WordPress hosts out there who tend to get a bit pricey.

But the question is, how good is it? And will it give you the hosting experience you deserve?

Important note: Unsure of which web host to choose? Click here to check out our list of recommended hosting companies (plus 5 bonus tips for choosing the perfect web host).

iPage WP Essential Plan review

iPage WP Essential Plan includes everything you need to launch your blog with ease and confidence.

It is designed to get you going quickly and to give you the boost you need to make sure your site is running fast. Not only that but they care of the security for you by teaming up with SiteLock, making sure all the vulnerabilities are removed as soon as they are found.

In short, it comes with:

      • Core hosting plan
      • Pre- installed selection of themes and plugins
      • Customized control panel
      • Super speed
      • Enhanced security
      • Personalized support

Your customized control panel

When you log in to your control panel, you are greeted with this:

Control Panel

Even though I am use to working with CPanel and know my way around it pretty well, I have to admit I was impressed by the simplicity and ease of use. Everything you need is along the top panel, and the links to their knowledge base are to the right of the top panel. Installing WordPress is actually even shorter than WordPress’s own famous five minute installation.

I had to fill out my email, name and password field and that was it. The installation was on its way and done in matter of minutes.

WordPress single sign on

One nifty little thing to note is that after logging into your customized control panel, all you have to do is click ‘launch WordPress’ and you will be taken straight to your dashboard. That’s the beauty of one of the plugins that comes pre-installed with iPage WP Essential Plan.

The plugin is EIG SSO and it enables customers of Endurance International Group brands (FatCow, iPage, IPOWER, and others) to sign on to their WordPress installations without needing to remember an additional username and password.

The Sandbox

As a WordPress designer, I often spend time with my head stuck in the code behind the scenes.

Whether it’s a small change I am making for myself or a client, or something bigger, I always have a local copy of WordPress installed on my computer to be able to make changes without annoying potential visitors before I’m ready to have the changes live. I have to admit that sometimes it can get slightly annoying to simulate the actual website I am working on.

This is where the Sandbox comes in. With it, you are able to recreate an exact copy of your blog and make all the necessary changes, experiment with code, and test different plugins and themes to your heart’s content – without affecting your actual blog.

Once you are ready to go ahead with the changes, all you have to do is log into your control panel and click on ‘publish’ to make the changes live on your actual blog.

Enhanced security through Sitelock (malware scanning/firewall/CDN)

Every account that signs up for their WP Essentials Plan comes with enhanced security features. Knowing your WordPress installation is safe from potential hackers, and vulnerability exploits definitely gives you a peace of mind and with iPage you are promised just that.

In addition to scanning your site for vulnerabilities each day, WP Essential automatically removes any potential threats it may find, paired with a firewall that adds the finishing touch and defends against annoying issues like comment spam.

Other features/benefits

Unlike other hosts, iPage comes with some themes pre-installed. Most of those themes are the best ones available from the official repository, but they also partnered with Mojo Themes and offer some sleek looking premium themes that you can purchase straight from your dashboard.

I mentioned that certain plugins come pre-installed as well. EIG-SSO is one of them. Other notable plugins include JetPack, W3 Total Cache, MOJO MarketPlace, and finally Akismet.

Performance

One of the things iPage promises is speed. They also combined CDN service with their hosting plans which should guarantee your site loading times to be fast.

load Impact Speed Test

Website speed test

As you can see from the tests ran using LoadImpact and Pingdom Tools, our WordPress installation indeed loads super fast.

The installation was WordPress out of the box, with default theme and plugins, although this also meant no caching plugin.

There was only one spike in traffic that went over a second, but for the most part, loading times stayed well under a second. I’d say that’s rather impressive.

This shows that iPage’s WP Essentials plan is capable of handling traffic without breaking down as soon as simultaneous visitors access your website.

Adding more plugins will increase loading times somewhat but loading times are good as it stands. Setting up a caching plugin and other optimization tweaks will ensure loading times are kept under control.

Pricing

When it comes to prices, WordPress hosting solutions can get a little pricey. iPage’s current offer is $6.95 per month for your initial hosting term with them.

After that initial term has finished, renewal of your hosting with them can go up all the way to $12.49. Considering everything that is included in the package, I would dare say they are one of the more affordable solutions when it comes to hosting designed for WordPress.

It’s worth mentioning that while it says unlimited bandwidth/usage, it’s not. It is however, enough for most smaller sites. There’s some more details in their terms of service.

Final verdict

Overall, I would say iPage definitely delivers what it promises to do. After considering the pros and cons, I can wholeheartedly recommend iPage to anyone looking to get a reliable solution for their WordPress hosting needs.

Click here for more details on iPage’s WP Essential plan.

Pros

  • Easy to use control panel
  • Very simple WordPress installation
  • Lots of features included specifically for WordPress hosting
  • Fast loading times
  • Responsive customer support

Cons

  • Renewal of hosting plans can get a little pricey but still offers plenty of features for a lower price than other WordPress exclusive hosts

Summary: iPage’s WP Essential plan offers everything you need to launch your blog with ease and confidence. Value for money and performance is impressive, especially with SiteLock security and a CDN included. Get the hassle free hosting experience you deserve.

$6.95/month+
RatingRated 4.5 stars

Posted by Ana Lynn Amelio

Ana Lynn Amelio is a WordPress designer and freelance blogger. When she isn't busy running her own small business Ley Design she can be found reading, enjoying Italian food, and helping her kids go through not-so-secret cookie stash. Follow her on Twitter or say hi on Google+