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iPage.com… Biggest isn’t always the Best for hosting

Pair.com and Bluehost.com

I am a longtime user of Pair.com for web hosting for my clients. The service has been outstanding, but it is a little pricier than the hosting farms like Bluehost.com and iPage.com. The problem with Pair.com for me is that it does not play well with WordPress. Updating plugins or adding plugins to an existing WP site shuts down access to the browser on the site. It is so much trouble that I won’t put a new WP site on Pair because it slows down my workflow to the point where I lose money.

Bluehost is recommended by WordPress.org as a WP compatible site, and it is. It works seamlessly with WP installs. It is also cost-effective for hosting. Bluehost allows you to host virtually unlimited websites for a single fee, but that low-cost can come at a price: slowdowns on a shared server. When I added my latest client, Isaiah 61 Ministry, to Bluehost, I immediately noticed a slow down on the server. It turns out another user on this shared server was either hogging the server’s bandwidth or had caused some other trouble.  Bluehost was quick to fix it and their tech support has been very good, but I read some recent reviews about their use of a proprietary software that “throttles” down high demand sites. If someone on a shared server is hogging the bandwidth, it could cause all websites hosted on that server to slow down as well. Also, their claim to unlimited bandwidth or file limits turns out not to be quite true.

iPage.com

So, it was with interest that I read both of the problems with Bluehost and the newly recommended replacement called iPage.com on a web-hosting review site. And so for  my next client, IGOTASTI.com, I recommended he use iPage for his account. While this is only day 5, I must say at this point I cannot recommend their services to anyone.  First of all, tech support is slow to respond. When you have mission critical stuff and you are new user, to have to pay for expedited service to fix their basic server related problems is not my idea of being  a low cost provider.  I can only give a litany of issues we’ve experienced so far with iPage.

  1. The first day of the install, the home page came up as a template, but my VirusBarrier kicked in and said the page was a possible virus threat. This was the default page set up by iPage, not by us. In fact, after installing WordPress for the first time, our home page could not be seen. It took a day to get that virus page fixed and I suspect they had a security breech on their shared server.
  2. The control panel offers a WordPress auto install, but for some reason, it installed 2 nested versions of WP into the website and it locked us out of editing and logins.
  3. It failed to uninstall the WP using the uninstall button.  I had to manually delete the existing installs via ftp. And I then had to reinstall a fresh copy of WP, but all our work was lost.
  4. There have been incredible slowdowns with errors like “Failure to connect to the Database” and blank pages.
  5. I think I’ve traced the problem to dropped packets between their hosting DNS and the actual shared server. Using a TraceRoute, I see many **** asterisks when attempting to see the site.
  6. These slow connections with their DNS have caused slow updates, failed logins, and all sorts of frustrations for my client. And I feel partly responsible for recommending it, so I’ve done a lot of work gratis (aka losing money), trying to remedy the problem with iPage tech support.  I’ve pointed out the traceroute problems and the dns problems and it has been almost 24 hours with no response.

Now, I recently read that the review sites also receive kickbacks of $$$ for everyone who registers through their links, so the impartiality of these reviewers is now suspect to me.  I recently went on WordPress.org forums and some of the long-timers there have recommended A Small Orange, whose prices seem reasonable and whose reputation seems intact. They are a much smaller outfit than Bluehost or iPage, so their service might be a lot better.

Their prices are similar to Pair.com’s, since you pay for the storage and bandwidth for all your hosted clients under your account. But I would say their 2 major advantages (untried by me at this time) are the ability to allow sub-accounts (clients) to have their own access to their own websites through CPanel or Fantastico;  and they are supposedly very friendly with WordPress.   So, for now, I’m in a holding pattern. I’ll let you know if things improve for my client on iPage….

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2 comments on “iPage.com… Biggest isn’t always the Best for hosting

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