Back in February 2010, I decided to move my WordPress blog to its own domain. Having never actually used a hosting service before, I asked around then googled “web hosting reviews.” After sifting through both amateur and professional reviews, I came across Web Hosting Geeks dot com.
They listed the top ten web hosting services of 2010. I researched the list, asked around again, and decided on iPage. The company boasted $400 in freebies, an “anytime money back“, and $3.50/mos costs. Moreover, customers seemed more than satisfied with iPage’s hosting service and 24/7 support service. I signed up.
- Feb 9, 2010: I purchased a 2-year plan for $84.
- Feb 12, 2010: Submitted a ticket after receiving 404 and 500 errors. Using the iPage control panel, I deleted my WordPress blog and reinstalled the software only to continue to receive errors and slow page load times.
- Feb 13, 2010: iPage updated my ticket with an inconvenience apology. They noted they were able to navigate through my website without problem. Because of this, they requested a screenshot of my browser, asked me to send the exact URL giving the issue, and solicited the exact steps necessary to replicate the issue. I provided them with all three.
- Feb 15, 2010: iPage responded to my 2/13 update noting they were unable to replicate the issue. Again, I told them I was unable to access the WordPress admin page (wp-login.php). And again, iPage responded, “they were unable to duplicate the issue.” Additionally, they noted that they understood the issue was intermittent, that they were closing the ticket, and that I should reopen the ticket if the issue reoccurred.
- Feb 15, 2010: I responded with an update to the ticket letting iPage know I was still unable to access my admin page and provided them with another screenshot of my browser. iPage responded 12 hours later that they were escalating the issue to a technical specialist. The specialist updated my ticket (18 hours after the initial posting) noting that the issue was intermittent and there was nothing he could do since all was well on his end.
- Feb 16, 2010: I submitted an update to the ticket telling iPage I was, again, unable to access my site. Three hours later, tech support let me know that they were unable to replicate the issue and that all was well with my site. They closed the ticket as “resolved.”
- Mar 27, 2010: My site issues persisted for another month before I finally let loose and submitted another ticket about internal errors and slow page loads. I contacted iPage and let them know I was receiving 404 and 500 errors when accessing my site’s wp-admin.php page. They asked me for login credentials. I denied them administrator access. They asked for a screenshot of the browser and a screenshot of the tracert. I gave them both. Since they were unable to replicate the issue, they closed the ticket as “resolved.”
- Mar 29, 2010: I reopened the ticket noting that I, and several other visitors, were having issues accessing my site (fyi, my site is not visited by millions of people. There should be zero load issues). iPage responded that they were unable to replicate the issue and closed the ticket.
- Apr 6, 2010: I contacted iPage to let them know that my site was once again loading slowly (40 second load time) or not at all (internal 404/500 error). They asked me for a screenshot. I gave it to them. They insisted they were unable to replicate the issue, and again closed the ticket as “resolved”.
- Apr 10, 2010: I opened yet another ticket telling iPage that my site was loading slowly (8-12 seconds). They responded saying they have verified my issue with the website and that it was loading fine and within a reasonable interval of time (most sites load in 10 seconds). After their unfounded factoid, they closed the ticket.
- Apr 10, 2010: I opened a(nother) ticket telling iPage that I was unable to access my site at all. They responded by telling me that http://mudiwa.com was giving them a “Directory has no index file” error and that the problem was my own. Uh, iPage, my site is y2kemo.com. WTF are you talking about?
I’m a patient person (contrary to what you might think). I like to give people a chance. But, when iPage responds to my requests with indifference, closes my tickets without a solution, or updates my issues with a different URL than what I submitted, that tells me they are not paying attention.
In all fairness, iPage has great backend features. Their control panel is awesome. Their $400 in freebies are great. But, their hosting service (i.e. main product) and tech support (i.e. main product’s support) blows.
On Sunday, I spent 45 minutes with their 24/7 live billing department battling the $35 fee (which they caved on and I am being refunded $73). I have had to waste too much of my time (and my site’s visitor’s time) on iPage’s shoddy service. Bloggers, if you’re looking for a hosting service, DO NOT chose iPage. They suck.
Once I noticed that iPage was not going to improve I took a quick Facebook/Twitter survey and my friends and followers returned a unanimous decision to switch to Hostmonster.com. Don’t get me wrong. I trust friends over direct marketing, but I was still skeptical. I returned to Web Hosting Geeks dot com and saw that Hostmonster was ranked eighth (they were also given top hosting awards for PHP and Unix). I did several Web searches. I contacted Hostmonster’s online agents. I spent the next seven hours researching my (potential) hosting service. In the end, I made the switch to Hostmonster.
iPage, you effed me numerous times over and didn’t even give me the courtesy of a reach around. Your service is subpar. Your hosting is inconsistent. Your 24/7 live support is shameful. And, your “anytime money back guarantee” is not what it appears to be (seeing how I had to fight to reverse the $35 cancellation fee). Screw you and the horse you rode in on. I’m going with someone else.
Bloggers, if you are searching for a hosting service that will give you a good cost and great service, do not go with iPage. Go with Hostmonster. UPDATE (9/24/2010): Hostmonster totally bombed out on me. So, forget iPage, and forget Hostmonster. And based on Pit Weston’s experience don’t go with JustHost either. Go with Hostgator or Bluehost. As far as I can tell they don’t suck…yet.
If you’re looking at Hostgator use coupon code WPGatorHosting and get 25% off. If you want BlueHost sign up here. If you have anything to add on iPage, Hostmonster, Hostgator, or Bluehost share it below or send me in an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.