iPage WP Starter Plan vs WP Essential Plan

If you are searching for a web host that offers a solid WordPress hosting plan at affordable rates, iPage is a great place to start.

Their WP Starter plan is among the most affordable in the industry, while still providing solid value through high quality features and a customized control panel.

  • Product
  • Specification

Good For: Beginners who want a simple experience while still having access to all the features Wordpress users love.

$10.49 $3.75

Wordpress Themes

Curated list of popular themes, plus access to Wordpress theme library, and of course, ability to use any other theme you have, for example one you buy from Mojo marketplace or ThemeForest.net

Pre-installed Plugins

From the extra momentum of W3 Total Cache to the all-in-one social powerhouse Jetpack, you'll have the coolest extras available.

Custom Control Panel

The custom WP Starter Control Panel is designed for convenience. You can quickly and easily access the Wordpress tools you use the most.

Unlimited Disk Space and Bandwidth

We all know that unlimited never really means unlimited. However, 99% of users do not come close to using excessive resources. The only way you'd end up using "too much" is if you were operating a YouTube competitor, or a file-sharing service. If those aren't what you do, you needn't worry.

Domain Registration

Free for the first year. Then if you want to keep it, it's $14.95 per year. Not the cheapest domain registration fee out there, but not bad. It's still in the low-end range of domain pricing from various providers.

The Starter plan is one of two WordPress hosting plans that iPage offers. While it does lack in website speed and customer support when it comes to the Enhanced plan, the Starter plan offers plenty of features to help you get started.

Let’s take a look at some of the main questions that users may have when deciding if iPage’s Starter plan is a solid choice:

What is the Pricing Structure for the Starter Plan?

As has been mentioned, iPage’s WP Starter plan is among the most affordable in the industry.

Currently, iPage is offering this plan for a first month fee of only $3.75. From there, you have the option of choosing to be billed monthly or to commit to a 12-month or 24-month term.

The recurring monthly fee is $10.49/month. Users that commit to a 12-month term will be paying $9.49/month. For 24-month commitment, you will be paying $8.49/month. You should be aware that committing to a 12-month or 24-month plan will mean that you will be billed annually and not monthly.

Does iPage Use cPanel for the Starter Plan?

No. iPage has actually created their own customized control panel iPage is offering this plan for a first month fee of only $3.75..

While it is not much different than cPanel, it may take a little bit to get used to if you’ve only used cPanel in the past. If you’re new to managing websites, it will be easy get started with.

How Many Different WordPress Themes are Available?

Because it’s WordPress, you have access to thousands of free theme from the WordPress theme library. Plus, you may find a theme you love in iPage’s Mojo Marketplace, which contains thousands of both free and paid themes. It’s really just a matter of browsing through themes and picking one you feel is just right.

What Type of Customer Support is Provided With the Starter Plan?

The WP Starter plan features only standard customer support. This means that you will have to go through the normal avenues of 24/7 live chat, email, and phone support to get assistance.

The WP Essential Plan, on the other hand, does include premium support where you are able to speak directly to WordPress experts.

Are There Any Pre-Installed Plugins?

Yes. The pre-installed plugins are one of the main features that iPage advertises for their WordPress plans. Some of the more popular plugins that you will have immediate access to include W3 Total Cache and JetPack. If you are unfamiliar with JetPack, it is basically a tool designed to help you increase traffic to your site through more efficient and effective distribution of content.

Do You Receive a Free Domain With Your Plan?

Yes. iPage provides you with a free domain for both of the WordPress hosting plans that they offer. You should be aware, however, that if you choose to cancel your account you will not be able to keep the domain unless you intend to pay for it.

Does the Starter Plan Include SiteLock?

No. Unfortunately you will have to purchase the Essential plan in order to receive the enhanced security benefits provided by SiteLock.

This is one of the major disadvantages of the Starter plan as the security is not considered to be viable for a business website.

What Uptime and Speed Can I Expect With the Starter Plan?

This is another area where the WP Starter plan may not be up to most website owner’s standards. While iPage does not advertise any type of uptime guarantee for this option, I found several complaints from users on popular review sites about its lack of reliability.

There also seems to be an issue with speed, especially when sudden traffic spikes occur. If speed and uptime are things that you are concerned about, your best option for WordPress hosting is probably going to be the Essential plan. With it, you get SSD-based infrastructure that is much faster and much more reliable than what the Starter plan offers.

The Final Word

In all honesty, iPage’s WP Starter plan is exactly what it says it is – a ‘starter’ plan.

While you will have a difficult time finding something else that is more affordable than this plan, the features included with it are certainly not going to blow you away.

As has been mentioned, the fact that you can easily upgrade to the Essential plan means that taking advantage of the low priced Starter plan may be a solid option for beginners only.

Do not, however, expect to be able to consistently grow or scale your website through this plan.

Advanced users, on the other hand, will more than likely be disappointed by what the Starter plan has to offer. I recommend advanced users look into WP Essential plan or even VPS or Dedicated Plans.

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