We maintain test accounts at both BlueHost and iPage to help us compare features, performance, reliability, support and overall value. In this comparison, BlueHost is our winner, but it was a tough decision! Both offer very similar features, reliability and performance at affordable prices that are hard to beat.
iPage offers similar features to BlueHost, at slightly more affordable pricing. However, they lag behind BlueHost a bit in 5 essential areas:
- BlueHost now uses PHP7 with FastCGI, which runs WordPress sites 200% faster than PHP 5.6. All accounts also include a free domain name plus free CDN and caching to make your site even faster for your visitors.
- BlueHost now walks you through just a few super-easy steps after you sign up, so you can set up your website with WordPress in just a few minutes.
- BlueHost has more/better training resources to help customers succeed in DIY website setup and marketing
- BlueHost offers many plans, including hosting specially optimized for WordPress websites. iPage does offer a WordPress plan, but it’s really just their basic hosting with WordPress pre-installed for you, at a higher price than the regular plan.
- BlueHost gives you cPanel, the industry standard control panel loved worldwide. iPage gives you their own vDeck control panel, which is a bit restricted in terms of features, has a slightly less intuitive interface, and is definitely more catered toward people who are brand-new to websites and hosting. I much prefer and recommend you use a host offering cPanel.
So is there any reason you might choose iPage? Sure! iPage gives you price vs value is hard to beat at just $1.99/month. Plus you get…
- FREE domain name
- Great packages for first-timers
- 24/7 US-based support
- 3 site builders to get your site up without programming
- LIMITED TIME SALE: +75% OFF
If budget is your main concern, and you don’t care so much about speed, I recommend iPage.
If you feel it’s worth paying just a bit more for better hosting platform, I recommend BlueHost.
Lastly, if you are going to make a website with WordPress, I recommend BlueHost.
Below, we’ve listed pricing for the basic hosting plans at both iPage and BlueHost.
We also compared the main features of both hosts to help you decide:
|Free Domain Name||Free (1 year)||Free (1 year)|
|Wordpress||1-Click Wordpress Installs. No Wordpress optimized hosting available.||1-Click Wordpress Installs + Wordpress optimized hosting plans available.|
|Unlimited Sites On 1 Account||Yes (note: one free domain per account)||Yes (note: one free domain per account)|
|Performance||PHP 5.6 with no ability to tweak for extra performance||Faster. PHP7 with FastCGI, CDN and caching|
|Money-back guarantee||30 Days||30 Days|
|Any Discounts?||$1.99/mo discount link||$2.95/mo exclusive discount link|
Which web host is best for your website type?
There are many places to start in a comparison, but we’re going to begin with the purpose of your webpage. iPage and Bluehost both offer numerous capabilities, but each hosting service is essentially designed for different purposes.
iPage is designed to host…
- Blogs and Small Business Websites with minimal performance demands. It’s really more of an entry level/cheap/budget hosting service.
Bluehost is designed to host…
- WordPress and other blog platforms
- Discussion Forums/Online Communities
- Personal sites (portfolios, wedding sites, resumes and more)
- Small Businesses
- Online stores (eCommerce)
Aside from offering the higher performance shared hosting than iPage, BlueHost also offers best-in-class WordPress-optimized, VPS, Dedicated and Cloud hosting options.
Standard Features of Each Service
Moving more into the nitty-gritty, below is a side-by-side comparison of both iPage’s and Bluehost’s features. Some of the more important features will be explained further in more detail.
|Shared and VPS hosting capabilities||VPS hosting capabilities|
|Linux Based Servers||Linux Based Servers|
|Drag and Drop Site Builder||Drag and Drop Site Builder|
|Custom vDeck Panel||cPanel (world standard)|
|Unlimited Professional Email Addresses||Up to 100 email addresses with the basic plan|
|Weebly Site Builder||WordPress website builder with easy setup walkthrough|
|$100 Free Adwords credit||$100 Free Adwords credit|
|$175 Free Facebook ads credit||$100 Free Facebook Ads credit|
|No performance optimizations||High performance out of the box with PHP7+FastCGI, CDN and caching.|
|Free Domain Name Registration (first year)||Free Domain Name Registration (first year)|
When determining whether or not you’re dealing with a reliable service, it is always important to review the infrastructure, how established the hosting service is, uptime, and gigabit connections.
How Reliable is iPage?
When you choose iPage, you can expect excellent reliability standards. iPage currently has millions of active domains running on their servers. The hosting service is currently has two data centers located in the Boston, MA area. These data centers include thousands of servers and have numerous petabytes of storage. Each datacenter is equipped with 24/7 security, N+1 power, and a pooled server environment. In order to ensure that you are receiving iPage’s 99.9% level of uptime, the data centers are run on multiple racks.
…and what about BlueHost?
Similar to iPage, Bluehost also sports a 99.9% level of uptime. This uptime standard is brought to you by Bluehost’s Linux kernel and self-managed data centers. The hosting service’s data centers also include 4 separate physical fiber lines that run into the data center through IP transit providers. Also similar to iPage, Bluehost also monitors the data center 24/7, ensuring that users are getting the most reliable level of service necessary to keep their websites up and running without interruption.
As with any web hosting service, you want to be sure that you’re getting the highest level of speed available. The faster your website runs, the more satisfied your web visitors are going to be. Below is what you can expect in terms of both iPage and Bluehost.
BlueHost Speed Rating
Between iPage and Bluehost, BlueHost is noticeably faster. With BlueHost, you can expect pages to load in under 2 seconds. As iPage is right below the 3 second mark, the lack of performance optimization does show. iPage may be catching up soon though, since they just need to update software on their servers. Both services use state of the art servers in reliable datacenters across the USA.
Both BlueHost and iPage offer domain privacy, SpamExperts, SiteLock and CodeGuard, as they’ve partnered with these companies to offer these added-value security services.
- SpamExperts helps block spam from your firstname.lastname@example.org email addresses.
- SiteLock secures your site to build trust and enable safer browsing for your visitors. Useful to increase conversion rate to sales if you are selling services, digital or physical products.
- CodeGuard protects your site from the constant automated scans and attacks that are run across the web 24/7. It guards your website code from malware, protecting your business and your visitors.
Technical support is a feature that you absolutely can’t skimp on. No matter what hosting service you choose, you want to make sure that you’re picking one that has optimal technical support because even the most web-savvy individuals hit roadblocks.
Support at iPage
iPage has a strong technical support system. With iPage, you’re able to tap into its 24/7 support by phone, chat, and email.
Here’s the problem, though… iPage’s live chat support are basically ticket submitters. They are not hosting experts, and cannot help you directly. So we feel the live chat support is generally a waste of time. BlueHost and eHost offer much better live chat support experiences, with real support people in both billing and technical support who can help you out.
The trick to getting good support at iPage is to contact them by phone or email/ticket submission. That gets you in touch with an actual engineer or billing administrator who can solve your issue. iPage offers a feature-rich entry-level web hosting service with valuable free add-ons, while their prices are among the most affordable in the hosting industry. So it may be unrealistic to expect the same level of support from iPage vs other companies who charge more than double what iPage charges.
When choosing a web hosting service, cost is something you should look at after you’ve seen all the features and qualities. Now that we’re down to the last leg, below is the cost comparison between iPage and Bluehost. You’ll find that iPage does offer you the better deal, regardless of what type of website you plan on running or the kind of package you plan on buying.
iPage – Use this link to get it for only $1.99/month
One standard package = less hassle
With iPage’s standard package, you’re getting beginner ready tools to design your site, marketing and advertising credits, 1-click installation, email accounts, world-class technology, and 1GB of Free cloud storage from JustCloud.
With that said, iPage does have additional hosting services available, ranging from upgraded shared hosting to VPS and even Dedicated servers. So if you ever decide to upgrade to high end, high performance hosting, you won’t have to move your site to another web host unless you want to.
BlueHost – Use this link to activate our exclusive $2.95/month pricing (normally $7.99/month)
Bluehost’s most affordable hosting was recently upgraded in 2018, and we love how easy it is to make a website with WordPress on BlueHost now. They have a walkthrough that gets you set up automatically in just a few steps. Even better, all accounts now default to PHP7, which runs WordPress’ database queries 200% faster than PHP 5.6. BlueHost accounts also include one free domain name, free CDN (content delivery network) and caching to speed up your site for visitors. Best of all, it’s all optimized and working great out of the box. Highly recommended!
Money Back Guarantee
Finally, there is the money-back guarantee (hopefully), if you aren’t happy with your service.
With iPage, you’re getting a 30 day money-back guarantee when you cancel within 30 days. On the other hand, if you wait beyond those 30 days to cancel your service, you’re going to get the next 30 or 60 days of your monies worth back. So either way, you’re covered.
Similar to iPage, Bluehost offers you a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you cancel after 30 days, the refund is prorated.
Conclusion – Who Wins?
iPage and Bluehost are similar in many respects. For example, you’ll find the money-back guarantee, the uptime, and technical support systems to be pretty similar. Where the two hosting services differ are in other areas, ones that are more significant.
At the bottom line, iPage is for people who are just getting started online, or who want the most affordable option. So iPage offers you better pricing than BlueHost. However, BlueHost offers you similar features, and I personally feel that cPanel is a much better control panel than vDeck.
In addition, BlueHost is also now significantly faster than iPage due to the using PHP7 with FastCGI, CDN and caching, so your site will load much faster for your visitors. The only downside of BlueHost is that it’s slightly less affordable than iPage.
Winner: I recommend BlueHost.