Researching iPage.com

I’ve been seeing these commercials and banner ads for iPage.com, which boasts over a million customers and is offering web hosting service for less than $2.00 per month. As someone who is marginally familiar with the costs involved with web hosting, my curiosity was piqued, so I decided to take a peek under their hood and compare what they’re advertising to what they’re legally obligated.

Ever hear the expression, “Too good to be true?”

iPage.com boasts over one million customers, but only a little over 510,000 domains are registered with them. So there are two customers per domain name? Maybe they meant historically.
It looks like the company has changed hands more than a few times. And apparently, the site completely disappeared from the Internet in 2008. One would hope it doesn’t disappear again.

Their user agreement says:

iPage does not maintain backup copies of User Web sites or e-mail. iPage cannot guarantee that the contents of a Web site will never be deleted or corrupted, or that a backup of a Web site will always be available.

Or, you can pay $1.00 per month for backups. It’s either that, or you’re screwed, should something go amiss. But that never happens to you, right?

Their advertising says:

Build a mobile-friendly site quickly and easily

Did we mention we’re gonna charge you $3 a month for that ‘convenience’?

Their advertising says:

Advanced Site Protection and Performance Accelerator

So you’re telling me that if I don’t pay you an additional $1.25 per month, you’re going to put my account on a slow, unprotected server?

Their advertising says:

Drive Traffic to Your Site. Only $9.95/year

Now this one really pissed me off. First, dreamsubmit.net is free. Second, Google Webmaster Tools is free. Third, Bing Webmaster Tools is free.

Their advertising says:

If you’re not satisfied with iPage, we’ll give you your money back. No questions asked, no time limits. Cancel at any time, and we’ll issue you a refund for the remainder of your current payment term.

But their user agreement says:

We may charge You a minimum $35.00 charge as an early cancellation fee. [That’s about half of a two-year contract.]
Refunds made for a thirty (30) day money-back guarantee will not include domain registration fees or setup fees, nor will they include any fees for additional services that are purchased in the first thirty (30) days. [If you bought backup services, they ain’t refunding you nothin’]

Their advertising says:

Unlimited Disk Space & Bandwidth

But their user agreement says:

iPage will monitor User’s use of bandwidth, disk usage and other resources. iPage, in its sole discretion, shall have the right to take any corrective action if User’s utilization of bandwidth, disk usage or other resources exceeds the Agreed Usage

If I agree to unlimited, how can I exceed that?

Here’s just the funny:
Access to Online Marketing Guides.
You mean like Google?

$100 Google AdWords Offer
If you buy GAW service first. But that doesn’t stop them from counting it in their freebie package.

Most of the rest of the stuff they offer is service that you can get standard at any other hosting company. But if you take the iPage.com offer, you’re locked in for at least 24 months, with no guarantee that your data will be there when you wake up. And when you add in other essentials, you pay closer to $3.60. And guess what? The day after this deal ends, they’re going to charge you $9.49 per month, which frankly is obscene.

The have a page called “Do Your Homework”. I did.

Caveat emptor.

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