When compared to hosting companies like Hostgator and Godaddy, iPower is relatively less popular but provides competitive services comparable to major hosting giants. Although it provides competitive features in its high end plans, the low end customers often get the short end of the stick. That is why the company has recently faced numerous complaints from its customers and has faced significant challenges. It offers numerous plans tailored for different types of customers and occupies a middle ground between top hosting companies like BlueHost and Dreamhost.
Founded in 2001, the company has over 700,000 customers and has its presence in over four states in the US. The company is controlled by the Endurance International Group and is valued at over a billion dollars.
Here is an in depth review from my experience with the hosting company.
Plans and Features
iPower offers more than 7 plans tailored to fit its customers requirements. The shared hosting plan is itself divided into 3 major sections based on bandwidth usage and resource allocation per application. The monthly cost however, comes down if you opt for a 24 or 36 month plan. Unlike other hosting companies, iPower makes it quite clear about the amount of space and bandwidth it offers in each of its plans. Here are the various plans it offers along with resources and limitations in each of them.
- Starter: Aimed at beginners, this plan is ideal for users who want to host a small static or dynamic website with around a dozen web pages only to maintain a web presence of their business. Priced at $3.99 per month, the plan offers 5GB of online storage space along with 250GB of bandwidth. Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t offer a free domain name and a custom domain name costs around $16.99 per year. Users can host only one domain name and create only one Mysql database. To ease the development process for beginners, the plan offers a website builder that provides an intuitive workspace to build a static website. You cannot run Ecommerce applications on this plan but blogging cms like WordPress can run perfectly.
- Ultimate Pro: This is an ideal plan for intermediate users to host their ecommerce applications and get the most out of their hosting plan. It is also recommended by the hosting company as a best value plan as it offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth but as usual limits the number of disk I/O. It allows ecommerce hosting but limits the number of products to 15 per account. Users get a free domain name 25 MySql databases. Fortunately, it doesn’t set any limits on the number of products you can sell through your content management systems like WordPress, Joomla etc. Unlike the starter plan, the pro plan offers numerous ecommerce integrations like PayPal payment processing, Agora and OsCommerce shopping carts etc.
- Pro Plus: This plan is ideal for all kinds of power users and costs only $11.99 per month. A bit costly as compared to its competitors but it comes with a number of improvements like 3 domain names, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth and all the features included in the Pro plan. It also offers significantly more disk I/O as compared to its previous plans. I bought this plan for my website: Robuzt.com and until now, it has never posed any significant problems.
- Windows Pro: Fortunately for windows fans, iPower offers windows hosting along with a lot of features that normally lack in its competitors. You can host up to 25 domain names and run literally any kind of windows server application. It costs only $6.95 per month and is ideal for type of windows application development.
- WordPress Starter: For the bloggers out there, this is perhaps the best WordPress plan with nearly all basic features to run a powerful WordPress blog that can handle up to a thousand unique visitors each day. The servers are specially optimized for WordPress installations; therefore most of the applications running on the plan show exceptional performance. The plan comes with enhanced cPanel and pre installed themes to assist users in the development process. It costs only $3.95 per month but lacks any specialized security features.
- WordPress Essential: This is an ideal plan for WordPress power users who require a powerful content management setup with all kinds of security features built right into the installation. It comes with a pre installed cache management system that speeds up content delivery and security from potential DDOS attacks. This plan also comes with SSD that further improves WordPress performance as compared to traditional hosting plans.
Like usual web hosting companies, iPower also provides customized VPS and dedication plans to suit user requirements. Their VPS benchmark is best in the industry and is ideal for any large scale application that carries out financial transactions. The company does not support running ecommerce applications on its shared platform and therefore encourages its users to opt VPS plans to run any type of ecommerce or applications that require payment processing on the website.
Performance and Reliability
The performance of iPower has remained average over the years due to the constant addition of high power servers and distribution of data through an array of servers that simultaneously serve web pages to customers. The load balancers also work perfectly to ensure high page speed performance with maximum server uptime. Let’s look at various factors to further determine its effectiveness.
iPower has maintained a constant average page speed of 3.09s for the last 8-9 months while most of its customers have fluctuated towards the upper end of the graph. As you can notice in the page speed statistics below, iPower performs way better than most of its competitors due to its innovative page caching mechanism and relatively lower load on each of its shared servers.
Unlike most hosting companies, iPower has maintained a constant average server uptime of more than 99.96%. Its uptime performance surpasses top hosting companies like Hostgator and BlueHost. Except during periods of server maintenance, iPower makes sure that content is constantly delivered even when their clusters get damaged.
In line with its customer base which is predominantly beginners and small businesses, iPower customer service is geared for those new to site building and management. There’s a knowledgebase, user guide and tutorials on the website to help users resolve basic issues.
They also have the regular customer support channels like online chat, email, and ticketing system. There’s also phone support for local US customers.
iPower has one of the fastest customer response history. In comparison to its competitors, iPower fares much better in its customer service and offers immediate assistance for any kind of query. The below stats show their improvement in comparison to other hosting companies.
Over the years, the popularity of iPower has significantly grown due to their quality service and powerful servers. However, customers at smaller plans have often faced difficulties while setting up their website even after the customer service guides them through the process. iPower is ideal for you if you want to run blogs or other corporate website that don’t attract a lot of ecommerce related sales. As the hosting company does not support heavy ecommerce applications in its shared hosting plans to maintain server health, you can run normal blogs or other types of websites with relative ease. Its plans are also designed to restrict ecommerce applications on the server.
If you’re looking for a service that is relatively secure and available at reasonable prices then iPower is worth a look in.