iPage vs Bluehost - Two of the Most Popular Web Hosting Companies

Choosing a hosting company that can serve your needs for the long-term is not easy and usually takes some time. Luckily, high competition between hosting companies has driven the prices down while increasing the quality of service (most of the time)  and the number of additional benefits that come along. Although the competition in the web hosting space is very high, there are a few companies that are more popular than others. By far the most popular amongst our visitors are iPage and Bluehost, both offering various hosting services, from shared hosting up to dedicated servers.


In fact, iPage and Bluehost are sister companies – they are both owned by Endurance International Group. Bluehost, established in 1996, began its operation as a free web hosting service under the brand of 0catch.com. It was changed into Bluehost in 2003 when it started offering paid hosting services. In the beginning, the focus was on shared hosting, then in 2013 the company introduced VPS and Dedicated hosting. Shortly before that, in 2010, it was acquired by its current owner. iPage, on the other hand, started as a full web service provider, only to change its offer and focus on web hosting in 2009. It boasts of offering 100% green web hosting – this means that servers, data centers, and even offices are all powered by wind energy.


iPage vs. Bluehost – Is there any Significant Difference?


The main difference that is noticeable, especially for budget customers, is a slight variety in pricing with Bluehost being a little bit more expensive. The primary focus of iPage is its affordable shared hosting package, followed by WordPress hosting for beginners and for those who don’t require a lot either in terms of traffic or of server technical specifications. It’s suitable for small businesses, which do not require technically complicated websites and time spent on a site is cut down to a minimum. Other potential iPage clients include blogs and small e-commerce stores (mostly due to a great offer of e-commerce add-ons provided by the company).


On the other hand, Bluehost is regarded as a more professional service. Not only is its product offering much broader, but it has a reputation of providing better customer support than iPage and its servers offer better performance. Of course, there’s a cost to that which means one will have to pay more than what iPage asks, though the beginner hosting plans are comparable. Bluehost targets bloggers and business owners of all shapes and sizes, from mom-and-pop blogs up to enterprise customers, who host a lot of websites or whose sites experience massive amounts of traffic.


Bluehost vs. iPage – The Offer in More Detail

As mentioned above, the offerings from iPage are very streamlined. The company offers a very cheap shared hosting plan for a fixed price of $1.99 per month (almost everything that comes in the package is “unlimited”, such as the number of databases or domains, though there usually are certain limitations that should not be exceeded). Additionally, for those who want to speed up their sites and are using WordPress, iPage offers two plans for WordPress hosting, at $3.75 and $6.95 per month; the latter one offers expert support and even more speed. The hosting packages offer many additional tools which will come in handy, especially for beginners.


The variety of hosting options at Bluehost is much broader; the company offers different packages from shared hosting all the way to dedicated hosting. The prices differ from iPage – the standard shared hosting plan starts at $3.95 followed by two other packages at $6.95 and $14.95 respectively. There’s also a Cloud Hosting plan, at $5.95, $8.95 and $15.95, which is a little bit faster and offers more domains and storage than the standard shared hosting plan. For those using WordPress, Bluehost offers much more advanced WordPress hosting plans compared to iPage. There are four of them in total; the most basic one, “blogger”, starts at $24.99 and allows hosting of 5 sites, the last one, “Enterprise” allows 30 websites and eight times the storage and RAM at a price of $169.99 per month.

For even more demanding business customers, there’s a variety of VPS and Dedicated servers available. An unmanaged VPS starts at $29.99 for 2GB RAM and 1TB of bandwidth. The three other plans come at $59.99, $89.99 and $119.99 and offer more CPU cores, storage, RAM and dedicated iPs. The last option, aimed at business customers, are dedicated servers; these are the fastest hosting options and there are three plans to choose from at $149.99, $199.99 and $249.99.


Bluehost vs. iPage – What Else Differs?

Apart from the offers, there are a few other things that differ. For those who value convenience, Bluehost offers cPanel together with its shared hosting package. Since it’s the most popular web hosting backend, this makes Bluehost a good choice even for beginners despite the price. Another advantage of Bluehost is its reliability. Websites hosted with Bluehost are on average faster than those hosted with iPage and technical specifications of Bluehost’s many packages give an opportunity to adjust hosting to one's needs and leave room for your website to grow. Similarly, the customer service reputation is better and more professional. The main disadvantage of Bluehost is that you have to pay extra if you want to host more than one website on the cheapest package. This can raise the cost significantly, especially for beginners who would like to test things and experiment a bit.


The main advantage of iPage is its price. It’s perfect for those who are on a shoestring budget and want something easy in use to experiment with or are looking for a place to host their first website, or more, as it allows you to host unlimited number of domains on the cheapest package which many other hosting companies don’t offer. It also offers one slight advantage not many other hosting providers do – a Green Certificate. Since it’s fully powered with green energy, its carbon footprint is limited to a minimum. This may not sound like a big deal, but there may be certain customers who like and appreciate the fact that you can take the environmental aspect into consideration when choosing a web host.



Final Word – What’s the Best Choice?


It all depends on your needs. If you want to quickly get a website up and running at the bare minimum of cost then iPage offers a compelling package at $1.99. For seasoned customers or those that require more options and performance Bluehost may be just what they need.



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