What makes a good e-commerce hosting platform
It’s one thing to list a hosting platform as an e-commerce-friendly one, but it’s another to actually provide some e-commerce-optimized features. Here’s what we’re going to look for with iPage:
- PCI compliance. Necessary for processing credit card data of your customers. You cannot do this without a PCI-compliant server.
- Dedicated IP and an SSL certificate. Those two authenticate your store on the web. Having an SSL certificate ensures your customers that they’re in a safe place.
- Uptime. You don’t want your online store to go down and thus cost you money due to lost sales. Your web host should guarantee good uptime.
- Good server specs. Web server’s performance depends on the hardware that’s in the server. What you want is good and fast RAM, and fast and optimized hard drives.
- Data center location. You want a server that’s near your audience’s geographical location.
- Good security mechanisms and policies. Security is crucially important for an online store. The more security mechanisms your e-commerce web host offers, the better.
iPage e-commerce hosting review: in a nutshell
The hosting plans at iPage are certainly very affordable and seem to offer good-enough parameters, but that depends on the specific plan you select. Here are the options:
- Standard shared hosting. This hosting package is the cheapest on the market right now – at $1.99 /month. For that price, it doesn’t limit the disk space you get to use, or the bandwidth your online store is allowed to consume. You also get to hook up unlimited domains and launch unlimited MySQL databases. When it comes to the e-commerce aspect, iPage gives you built-in PayPal integration (for online payments), and the possibility to build your store on either ShopSite, osCommerce, or AgoraCart.
- WordPress hosting. This package might be interesting to you if you intend to run your online store on top of WooCommerce. There are two sub-plans available here: WP Starter and WP Essential. The latter, although just slightly more expensive ($6.95 / month), gives you a server environment optimized for speed (SSD hard drives), and enhanced security features, plus expert support.
- VPS servers. Probably the best choice for e-commerce stores, due to the possibility to adjust your server resources as your operation expands and your traffic grows over time. VPS also offers better performance right out the gate than standard shared hosting setups. The only downside is that VPS e-commerce hosting is a bit more expensive than the standard plans. Those VPS hosting options start at $19.99 / month.
Features in iPage e-commerce hosting
Here’s what you get with iPage hosting for e-commerce:
- One dedicated IP address included with VPS-Basic, and two with VPS-Business and VPS-Optimium. Not available for shared hosting.
- 40-120GB of disk space on VPS plans, plus 1-8GB of RAM.
- VPS servers run on 1-core CPUs for VPS-Basic, and up to 4-core CPUs on VPS-Optimum.
- 24×7 phone, chat and email support on all plans.
- Two data centers available in the US, located on AT&T’s, global crossing and cable & wireless’ OC48 / OC192 global IP backbones.
- Enhanced Security Suite included. UPS power backup, plus a backup generator.
Who’s iPage e-commerce hosting best suited for?
Although iPage offers really affordable plans in their shared hosting department, I wouldn’t actually advise you to use them for any e-commerce purposes.
For that, you’re way better off with their VPS plans. Albeit more expensive, they give you better security and better performance overall.
iPage says that their hosting plans are ready to work with e-commerce platforms such as ShopSite, osCommerce, or AgoraCart, so if any of them sound appealing to you, you might consider working with iPage.
Alternatively, if you want to use WooCommerce as the base of your online store, you can sign up for one of the more affordable WordPress hosting plans (at $6.95 / month), and begin to run your store there. Just keep in mind that you might reach a ceiling at some point once your store begins expanding more rapidly and your requirements grow.
In the end, I’d recommend iPage hosting for e-commerce only to store owners who are just starting out and have in the range of $20-$50 to spend on hosting per month.
For that range, two of iPage’s VPS hosting plans are available – VPS-Basic and VPS-Business.
If you want to use other e-commerce platforms, such as Magento or OpenCart, you’re probably better off taking your business elsewhere – like SiteGround (read our review here).
iPage e-commerce hosting review: pricing
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a handful of hosting plans available with iPage. The main ones that are worth mentioning:
|Hosting Plan Type
||$1.99 / month
||$3.75 / month
||$19.99 / month
||$47.99 / month
||$79.99 / month
||$6.95 / month
Also, what’s particularly important here, especially for e-commerce stores, is that you don’t get any private SSL certificate as part of these plans. You need to get that separately. The prices start at $31.99 / year for a basic certificate, but the one recommended for e-commerce is $269.99 / year, so not exactly cheap. (Getting the SSL also gives you PCI compliance.)
At the end of the day, if you want to think about running a serious e-commerce online store on iPage hosting, you’ll need to select at least the VPS-Basic plan. The shared hosting plans, although tempting, aren’t going to be able to provide you with all the security and performance that your online store requires.
If you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, check out our review for SiteGround e-commerce hosting.
How to set up iPage e-commerce hosting
The iPage hosting solutions surely deliver a range of interesting tools to make the setup process of your site easier.
Right out the gate, you get 1-click installers for blogs (WordPress + WooCommerce), and other software (including the aforementioned e-commerce platforms). You also get marketing tools and advertising credits ($100 for both Google AdWords and Bing Ads).
On top of that, the support is available 24×7, so you can reach out with whatever setup-related issue you might have, plus there’s a knowledge base available online (everything documented with screenshots and in-depth instructions).
Review conclusion – is iPage e-commerce hosting the right host for your e-commerce store?
Pros of iPage e-commerce hosting
The cheapest shared hosting plan on the market.
24×7 phone, chat and email support on all plans.
Up to 4-core CPUs on VPS plans, plus up to 8GB of RAM.
Dedicated IPs included with the VPS plans.
SSD drives for the higher-tier WordPress hosting.
Cons of iPage e-commerce hosting
Expensive SSL certificates that are not included out the gate.
Data centers only in the US.
No explicit e-commerce-specific features.