Disclosure: This site is run by a group of like-minded webmasters, whose mission it is to provide the public with honest web hosting reviews to ensure they meet our expert criteria. We do receive compensation for all the products that we review, which in turn helps us finance our work and provide users with honest reviews. All the products mentioned on our site are tested and evaluated before any reviews are written.

To bring you the most accurate data possible, we tested 10 hosting services to determine their efficiency.

Web Hosting Comparison

Rank Related image Image result for 3 icon 4 5 6 7 8
Regular Price $3.95/mo $25.00/mo $29.00/mo $7.29/mo $2.76/mo $3.95/mo $2.59/mo $1.99/mo
SSD Only Server Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free SSL Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Control Panel cPanel Custom made Custom made cPanel cPanel cPanel Custom made cPanel
Free CDN Caching Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Spam Experts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Malware Removal Yes Yes vYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free Daily Backups Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Instant Chat Response Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Same Renewal Price No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple Server Location 4 19 19 3 2 3 2 2
Let's GoCompareCompareCompareCompareCompareCompareCompare

How We Tested

First, we uploaded a website with each host so to ensure real and accurate data. The domains for each host are as follows:

  • Hostgator: hg-inlinehosting.com
  • Siteground: sg-inlinehosting.com

Uptime

Uptime is one of the most important metrics for website hosting. If your website isn’t up and running 100% of the time.

Speed

We tested speed of a hosting company by measuring web page load time when multiple users are visiting the website at the same time.

Customer Support Team

We interacted with each hosting provider’s customer support team via the live chat. We used made-up scenarios to test:

Testing for Uptime

Uptime is one of the most important metrics for website hosting. If your website isn’t up and running 100% of the time, you could lose visitors and customers.

To test the uptime of each of the hosting services we reviewed, we turned to Pingdom.

Pingdom is known mostly for their free website speed test tool. However, Pingdom’s real power lies in their premium tools.

We used one of these tools, which monitors a website’s uptime using servers from all over the world. If there are issues, the system sends out an alert.

Fact: - In 2016, Amazon was down for 20 minutes, and the loss calculated was $3.75 Million for this outage.

Fact: - On August 16th, 2013, Google.com went down for just about 5 minutes, between 6:52 and 6:57 p.m. EST. This five minute outage caused a 40% drop in global internet traffic, according to tracking by GoSquared.

Fact: - if a site is down frequently for long periods, it can reduce that search engine’s confidence in the site’s value.

Host Name May 2018 June July August September October November
SiteGround 99.99% 100% 99.99% 99.97% 99.95% 99.99% 99.96%
Bluehost 100% 99.96% 99.97% 99.84% 100% 99.97% 100%
DreamHost 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Inmotion 100% 100% 100% 99.98% 100% 100% 99.94%
HostGator 100% 99.99% 99.98% 99.99% 100% 99.96% 100%
WP Engine 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
iPage 100% 99.94% 99.93% 99.3% 99.98% 100% 99.96%

Testing For Speed

A load impact test determines how a site performs when multiple users visit the site at the same time.

Every time a user visits a site, their browser sends a query to the server for each action they perform on your site. The server then responds by sending the necessary files.

When 100 people visit the website at the same time, the server has to respond and send files to everyone at the same time. This can negatively affect website speed.

To test how the servers of each host react to a large number of concurrent visitors, we used the Load Impact App.

We created five user scenarios in the app. A user scenario allows you to mimic a visitor’s actions on a website. Thanks to the app’s advanced tools, these scenarios are realistic.

The test itself involved a simulation of hundreds of “users” visiting the site, using the previously created scenarios. The app measures how the website’s speed and performance is affected.

Mobile Users

64% of smartphone users expect pages to load in less than 4 seconds.

Conversion

1 second delay in the loading of website means a 7% reduction in conversion.

Amazon

A page load slowdown of just 1 second cost Amazon of $1.6 billion in sales each year.

Google

Increasing letancy by 100ms & 400ms reduce daily searches by 0.2% to 0.6% respectively

Public Report of Response Time of Each Host

Host Name 40 Visitor 60 Visitor 80 Visitor 100 Visitor
SiteGround 0.5s 0.5s 0.5s 0.5s
Kinsta 0.15s 0.15s 0.15s 0.2s
Host Gator 0.4s 3 Seconds Unresposive Unresposive
Bluehost 2 Seconds 3 Seconds 1 Seconds 5 Seconds
WP Engine 0.28s 0.28s 0.28s 0.28s
Inmotion 0.35s 0.4s 0.5s 0.5s
DreamHost 0.4s 0.8s 0.5s 0.5s
iPage 1.2s 1.2s 1.2s 1.2s

Testing the Customer Support Team

We interacted with each hosting provider’s customer support team via the live chat. We used made-up scenarios to test:

  • Their response time
  • Their knowledge
  • Their problem-solving efficiency

Now, read on for the results of each test.

Phone Support

Live Chat

Email Ticketing

Forums

Blogs

Skype

Public Report of Support Waiting Time of Each Host

Host Name Live Chat Waiting Time Ticket Waiting Time Phone Waiting Time
SiteGround Instant 10 Minutes 5 Minutes
Bluehost 1 Minutes 24-48 HOURS 10 Minutes
Kinsta Instant No Tickets 5 Minutes
WP Engine Instant 5 Minutes 10 Minutes
HostGator 2 Minutes 24-48 HOURS No data
Inmotion 5 Minutes 4 Minutes 5 Minutes
DreamHost No Chat 1-2 Hours 10 Minutes
iPage 5 Minutes No data No data
01

SiteGround was founded in 2004 by a group of university friends working from their dorm rooms. It is now a leading provider of web hosting with over 400 employees and they host over 500,000 domains, a number that is increasing on a daily basis.

The company claims to be committed to offering a great service and making their customers happy. After testing their service thoroughly, we can confidently say that they do deliver.

Thus, SiteGround delivered the best results of all the web hosting companies we tested in terms of uptime, speed, and support, which is why we ranked it #1.

So, let’s take a closer look at SiteGround’s scores.

Prices, Plans and Features

They offer three plans for shared hosting:

  • Start Up
  • Grow Big
  • Go Geek

Start Up Plan

StartUp is ideal for individuals, freelancers, and small companies. It provides hosting for a single website, 10GB of web space, and is deemed most suitable for around 10,000 unique visits per month.

Some of the basic features on offer include:

  • A free site transfer
  • Round the clock support
  • Free app installs
  • Unmetered traffic
  • A free daily backup
  • SSD storage
  • A 30-day money back guarantee
  • And more...

Grow Big Plan

The GrowBig plan is suited for either a single website with a lot of traffic, or multiple websites that receive an average amount of traffic. Thus, it comes with the option to host multiple sites, 20GB of web space, and is designed to allow approximately 25,000 unique visits per month.

It also offers a series of premium features, including:

  • Priority technical support
  • 30 backup copies
  • Free backup restore.

Go Geek Plan

The GoGeek plan is designed for power users. In other words, it’s a plan that is best suited for sites with very heavy traffic or that require lots of resources, such as average-sized e-commerce websites.

With this plan, your site will be hosted on a server with fewer users in an instance. So, your site won’t be sharing resources with too many other sites, which will help it run more smoothly.

This plan allows hosting of multiple websites, offers 30 GB of web space, and is best suited for approximately 100,000 unique visits per month.

Besides the aforementioned essential and premium features, this plan also offers things like:

  • PCI compliant servers
  • WordPress and Joomla staging
  • One-click GIT Repo creation

Regular Price

$ 3.49
per month

$ 4.99
per month

$ 6.99
per month

Plan Name Start Up Plan Grow Big Go Greek Plan
Visitors Per Month 10000 25000 25000
Domain Allowed 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Web Space 10GB 20GB 30GB
Free SSL Yes Yes Yes
Sub Domains Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Parked Domain Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Free Included Domain No No No
Money Back Guarantee 30 Days 30 Days 30 Days
Email Account Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Control Panel cPanel cPanel cPanel
Server Location London, Chicago and Singapore London, Chicago and Singapore London, Chicago and Singapore
Free CDN Yes Yes Yes
Google Adword Credit No No No
Free Site Backup Yes Yes Yes
Free Backup Restore Yes Yes Yes
Backup On Demand No Yes Yes
Power Backups Yes Yes Yes
Operating System Linux Linux Linux
SSD Storage Yes Yes Yes
Free File Transfer Yes Yes Yes
1 Clicks CMS Installer Yes Yes Yes
SFTP and SSH Yes Yes Yes
24/7 Support Yes Yes Yes
Support Channel Yes Yes Yes
Advanced Priority Support No No Yes
In Built Caching System Static Caching Dynamic Caching Database Query Caching
Staging No Yes Yes

Excellent Uptime

Best Uptime

When testing SiteGround’s uptime, we based our figures on a number of websites that we put up using the various plans the company offers.

When testing uptime, we looked at the performance of a single website (hosted by us) , but also tested all ten websites and averaging the results. (hosted by other web masters)

Thus, for a single test website, the average uptime over a month was 99.97%, which is very high. It only had downtime of 12 minutes spread over 4 outages, which we found impressive.

Monthly Report Uptime

SiteGround-Uptime

The average uptime over all test websites across all plans was 99.99% for a month, with only 3 outages occurring.

Despite there being somewhat more outages over a 3 month period, they were relatively short, ensuring that SiteGround maintained their excellent uptime average of 99.99%.

https://inlinehostblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/phone_support_icon.png

Speed

To test SiteGround’s response time, we conducted a load impact test. We wanted to see how well their servers could handle an increasing load of concurrent visitors. As you can see in the graph, SiteGround’s performance was impressive.

Load Impact

SiteGround-speed

The blue line in the graph indicates the number of visitors we sent at their servers. As you can see, it’s rising steadily as we sent more and more visitors, until we reached 100 in total.

The green line represents the load time of the page, or how long it took the server to respond. Initially, there were a few spikes of increased load times. However, we suspect they weren’t necessarily related to the increased traffic since they took place towards the beginning of the test.

At the time, we hadn’t placed all that much stress on the servers yet. Our suspicion was confirmed when the servers continued to deliver the same excellent response time, even at full load, when it was 515.39ms.

Based on these results, we can conclude that SiteGround’s servers are reliable and powerful enough to manage a high level of concurrent traffic without having a negative impact on your website.

Customer Support

The quality of a company’s customer support depends on a wide range of variables. However, certain factors indicate whether a company’s support policy is customer-centric.

For example, if a company employs knowledgeable people who will do whatever it takes to solve your problem, then you can be certain that no matter what your problem is, you’ll be able to rely on their customer support to help.

When assessing SiteGround’s customer support department, we tested how quickly they were able to help, how knowledgeable they were, and their ability to solve our problem.

We connected with their team via live chat and it only took one minute to get through, which is impressive.

Customer Support

SiteGround support

We asked them to transfer our website, which often poses a problem for many web hosting companies. Of the experiences we’ve had, the one with SiteGround was the smoothest.

The website we wanted transferred is quite large. However, they performed the transfer in less than 24 hours from when we contacted them, despite the fact that it was a weekend. And it was all done for free.

It also doesn’t hurt that they were very courteous and kept us updated throughout the process. We didn’t have to check in regularly to see if the transfer had started or had been completed because they told us.

SiteGround ticket support

Many web hosting companies have communication issues, but SiteGround is definitely not one of those companies.

Conclusion

SiteGround performed admirably in all the tests we subjected this company to, which is why we ranked them #1.

Even their offer is excellent, as they’ve designed it in such a way that they have a plan for anyone’s needs.

So, whether you need a simple plan for a beginner and a single website, or you are looking for something much more advanced for a large e-commerce site, you’ll definitely find what you need from SiteGround.

02

Kinsta is another web hosting company that specializes in WordPress hosting.

The Kinsta team claims that their focus has never been on gaining more market share over the competition or attracting more clients.

Instead, they focus on turning their beliefs into reality, thereby attracting clients who have a similar thought process and are looking for better hosting.

Kinsta was founded in 2013 by experienced WordPress developers who identified a gap in the market. They found that access to reliable hosting for WordPress that utilized state-of-the-art technology focused on security, speed, and stability was not the norm.

Thus, they decided to provide exactly that.

The Kinsta team claims to provide a service that is dependable and fast. With over a decade of experience with WordPress, they know what is necessary to provide excellent hosting for this platform. They also make sure to stay at the forefront of new and cutting-edge technology to provide this great hosting.

So, that’s their story. While they do offer a great service, based on our research and tests, they’re not quite as great as they claim to be. Other hosts delivered better results, which is why we ranked them 2.

Prices, Plans and Features

Kinsta offers 10 plans, with two dedicated to individual and small webmasters, four dedicated to small and medium business clients, and another four designed for large, enterprise clients. They also offer custom plans. 

It should be noted that Kinsta is not cheap, even for a dedicated WordPress host. Thus, their most basic plan, dubbed Starter, costs $30 USD per month, while the Pro plan goes for $60 per month.

Kinsta does offer two months for free if you pay for an entire year, which means the base plan’s cost drops to $25.

The Starter plan offers one WordPress install and is meant for no more than 20,000 monthly visits, while the Pro plan offers two installs for up to 40,000 monthly visits.

All plans come with a free CDN – the size of it changes though. The higher the plan, the more space you will be offered on the CDN.

Furthermore, free migrations are available for all plans except the Starter plan. With the latter, you have to pay for at least a year to receive a free migration. Otherwise, it will cost you $100.

Kinsta does offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all their plans. So, you can check out their service for 30 days and then ask for your money back if you aren’t pleased.

Regular Price

$30
per month

$60
per month

$100
per month

Plan Name Starter Plan Pro Plan Business Plan
Visitors Per Month 20000 40000 60000
Domain Allowed 1 2 5
Web Space 5GB 10GB 15GB
Free SSL Yes Yes Yes
Sub Domains No Unlimited Unlimited
Free Included Domain No No No
Money Back Guarantee 30 Days 30 Days 30 Days
Email Account No No No
Control Panel Custom Custom Custom
Server Location 19 19 19
Free CDN Yes Yes Yes
Free Site Backup Yes Yes Yes
Free Backup Restore Yes Yes Yes
Backup On Demand Yes Yes Yes
Operating System Linux Linux Linux
SSD Storage Yes Yes Yes
Free File Transfer Yes Yes Yes
1 Clicks CMS Installer Yes Yes Yes
SFTP and SSH Yes Yes Yes
24/7 Support Yes Yes Yes
Support Channel Chat Chat Chat
Staging Yes Yes Yes

Excellent Uptime

Hosting companies will advertise amazing uptime because they can’t afford not to. The industry standard is to offer an uptime of 99.99%, though very few companies actually meet that in practice.

Since there are so many that make bold claims they can’t back up, we test their services to see if their marketing matches reality.

Surprisingly, Kinsta surpassed their promises. They had an uptime of 100% with no outages. They also had a great average response time of 489 ms.

Kinsta-Uptime

Kinsta delivered better results than even SiteGround and WPEngine, ranked first and third in our review.

Thus, SiteGround had an uptime of 99.97% with 4 outages at a total of 12 minutes, and an average response time of 671 ms.

WPEngine did slightly better than SiteGround, but still can’t match Kinsta. Thus, they generated an uptime of 99.98% with two outages of 9 minutes in total. They did have a slightly better average response time at 439 ms.

This is interesting to note because WPEngine is also a dedicated WordPress hosting company.

Speed

The load impact test is designed to test a web hosting company’s servers to see how effective they are at handling multiple concurrent requests from a steadily increasing number of visitors. We have to say that Kinsta performed admirably.

We started with one user and steadily increased the number to 50 concurrent visitors, which is what the blue line represents in the graph.

The green line represents the response times of the server as the number of visitors grew.

Kinsta speed

As you can see, Kinsta’s response time remained steady at around 128 ms. There were no spikes or stutters.

So, this company’s servers are more than capable of handling a large number of visitors at the same time without experiencing any degradation in performance.

Customer Support

We then tested Kinsta’s customer support team. We check for speed, knowledge, and efficiency. We focused mainly on the live chat, not only because it’s the system most people use, but also because it’s easiest to measure.

In terms of methods to get in touch with their customer support team, Kinsta only offers live chat and a ticketing system. While both of these proved to have pretty great response times, the lack of phone support can be problematic, especially in emergencies. 

Kinsta-support

However, the live chat response time was excellent. It only took a few minutes to get through to someone. We also had a really fast response on the ticketing system, which was quite impressive. 

The customer support representatives we spoke to were very knowledgeable, which is another point in their favor. They were also extremely efficient and were able to solve our problem quickly. 

Conclusion

When compared to shared hosting, Kinsta’s plans are undoubtedly expensive, though they are a little cheaper than WPEngine. 

However, while both companies have a setup geared towards WordPress-based websites, Kinsta offers better performance. Our conclusion is that the stability, uptime, and speed make the cost of Kinsta’s plans more than worth it.

When you also consider their effective customer support team, then we definitely have to give two thumbs up for Kinsta’s service.

The only reason they aren’t ranked in first position is because they only offer hosting for WordPress, which imposes quite a few limitations. After all, at least 70 percent of websites use other systems.

If you are running a WordPress site, though, and want to rank better and gain more users, then Kinsta is definitely a great option. The speed of your site alone will make your site more attractive to users and search engines alike. 

03

Bluehost is a web hosting provider that offers shared hosting plans, as well as VPS and dedicated hosting. They are currently owned by Endurance International Group.

In conjunction with its sister companies, namely iPage, HostMonster, and FastDomain, it hosts 2 million domains. This makes it one of the 20 biggest web hosting companies.

Bluehost was founded in 1996 by Matt Heaton and has since grown to over 700 employees. They operate their servers in-house in a facilitiy in Provo, Utah, which spans 50,000 square feet.

In 2009, Bluehost introduced CPU throttling, which means that a website gets less access to the CPU when it requires too many server resources at the same time. The result is usually a complete shutdown of the site in question.

In 2010, Heaton sold the company to Endurance International Group, and in 2011, he stepped down as CEO to take a more technical role.

Bluehost is regarded by some to be one of the best web hosting providers on the market. However, according to our tests, the reality is not quite as rosy. For this reason, we ranked Bluehost number 3 in our list, based on their performance in terms of uptime, speed, and customer support.

So, let’s take a closer look at Bluehost’s results.

Average Uptime

As per usual, we conducted uptime tests for one website on one hosting plan, but also multiple websites across multiple plans. This approach allowed us to get a more accurate reading of uptime since testing a single website means testing a single server.

When testing multiple websites, we get a better view of the performance of more than one server, eliminating potentially skewed results with one-off issues a single server could experience.

In our single-site test, Bluehost performed admirably.

In any case, Bluehost’s average uptime was 100% for a single site over a month. They had no downtime whatsoever. The average response time was 453ms, which is not bad either.

Monthly Report Uptime

Bluehost-uptime

Those are brilliant results and if uptime were the only criteria we used to judge web hosts, they’d be first in our list. Unfortunately for Bluehost, it’s not.

Speed Test Results

Like with the other web hosting providers we tested, we conducted a load impact test on Bluehost. So, we started off by sending one visitor and then slowly increased the number until we got to 100 users visiting the site at the same time.

Well, that’s what was supposed to happen. Unfortunately, we didn’t actually make it to 100 because of Bluehost’s very poor performance.

Load Impact

Bluehost-speed

As you can see, the blue line, which represents response time, is a little all over the place after 45-50 visitors. By time we got to 40 visitors, it was having a good response time of 600ms.

At approximately 75 visitors, it was taking well over a minute, and then it just stopped responding altogether. Yes, it looks like we broke the site.

We mentioned earlier that Bluehost introduced CPU throttling. Our first instinct was to think that their servers weren’t capable of handling the load, but then we realized it might actually be their CPU throttling feature kicking in.

A little further research revealed that this is likely the case. The more resources a site requires, the less CPU power it receives, thereby slowing it down. Some clients had their sites shut down completely when traffic spiked due to being featured on TV or in the press.

To be honest, that’s even worse than if it was a technical issue. CPU throttling is not a customer-friendly policy. Instead, it seems more like a way for them to force customers to switch to more expensive plans.

If we look at the other web host providers we reviewed, it makes Bluehost’s policy look even worse. SiteGround had a relatively steady response time all the way to 100 visitors, with an average load time of 515ms.

WP Engine had an amazing average response time of 280ms from 1 visitor to 100, while Inmotion’s results were a little choppier but still offer an excellent response time of 380ms.

Dreamhost’s results were also quite impressive, with a 399ms average response time.

Customer Support

The customer support team is another reason BlueHost ranked 3 in our list. There were very fast and responded instantly.

Bluehost-Support

Then, the team was friendly, however, lacks expertise in solving complex issue. They tend to create ticket for small issue, which takes another 24-48 hours to get a response.

Prices, Plans and Features

Regular Price

$ 3.49
per month

$ 4.99
per month

$ 6.99
per month

Plan Name Basic Plan Plus Plan Choice Plus Plan
Visitors Per Month Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Domains allowed 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Web Space Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Free SSL Yes Yes Yes
Sub Domains 25 Unlimited Unlimited
Parked Domain 5 Unlimited Unlimited
Free Included Domain Yes Yes Yes
Money Back Guarantee 30 30 30
Email Account Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Control Panel cPanel cPanel cPanel
Server Location Not Disclosed Not Disclosed Not Disclosed
Free CDN Yes Yes Yes
Google Adword Credit No No No
Free Site Backup Once a week Once a week Once a week
Free Backup Restore No No No
Backup On Demand No No No
Power Backups No No No
Operating System Linux Linux Linux
SSD Storage Yes Yes Yes
Free File Transfer Yes Yes Yes
1 Clicks CMS Installer Yes Yes Yes
SFTP and SSH Yes Yes Yes
24/7 Support Yes Yes Yes
Support Channel Email, Live chat, Phone Email, Live chat, Phone Email, Live chat, Phone

Conclusion

Bluehost needs to improve the way they do business significantly if they want to even get remotely close to the quality of the services SiteGround, WP Engine or Kinsta.

While they were once a leading web hosting provider with a rich history, they have unfortunately declined significantly over the past few years.

The excellent uptime they offer makes us think it’s not as much a matter of their technical capabilities, but a case of poor business practices. So, if they want to get back to the top, it might be time for them to revise their policies.

04

WP Engine specializes in managed WordPress hosting and claims to be one of the largest WordPress hosting services in the world. They claim that their platform powers approximately five percent of the total internet visit, seeing as WordPress is behind around 29 percent of the Internet, according to W3Techs.

Some feel that this puts WP Engine in a precarious position seeing as their business relies on a platform they don’t own, namely WordPress. However, that is of no importance to us.

Our interest in is how effective their services are, and based on our research and tests, they rank #2 in terms of uptime, speed, and customer support.

It is important to note that WP Engine offers more than just hosting.

They work with enterprises and therefore ensure integration with a wide range of services, including Google Cloud Platform and AWS.

WP Engine also offers strong security, analytics, and a platform that anyone can use, from developers to marketers.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the plans WP Engine offers and how well they performed in our tests.

Prices, Plans and Features

WP Engine offers three structured plans but they also provide custom plans for large businesses and major sites. Their structured plans are Startup, Growth, and Scale and are provided via shared hosting, meaning you will be sharing the server with other sites.

  • Start Up
  • Growth
  • Scale

Start Up Plan

The Startup plan is designed for small websites and blogs, and comes with all the essential features necessary for such an endeavor. This plan is recommended for up to 25,000 visits per month.

Thus, the Startup plan includes the following:

  • Shared hosting for 1 website
  • 3 environments per site
  • 10GB of storage
  • 50GB of bandwidth per month
  • Global CDN for faster load times
  • Page Performance giving you real-time diagnostics on how pages perform as well as advice
  • Transferable sites meaning you can create a site for free and transfer it to a paid account
  • 24/7 chat support

Growth Plan

The Growth Plan is designed for businesses that are expanding, which is why you can host 5 sites using this plan. It’s been designed for up to 100,000 visits per month.

The Growth Plan includes everything the Startup plan offers, with the following differences:

  • Shared hosting for 5 sites
  • 20GB of local storage
  • 200 GB of bandwidth per month
  • Imported SSL certificates, allowing you to get your certificates from your provider of choice
  • 24/7 phone support

Scale Plan

The Scale Plan has been designed for larger businesses and sites, featuring a higher degree of capacity and limits, which is why you can host 15 sites and can receive up to 400,000 visits per month.

The Scale Plan includes everything the Growth and Startup plans offer, but differs in the following points:

  • Shared hosting for 15 sites
  • 30 GB of storage
  • 400 GB of bandwidth per month

WP Engine claims their plans are flexible. In theory, you should be able to get in touch with them if you want to host more sites than the plans offer and create a plan that suits you.

All the plans state that the number of sites hosted is a starting point. We assume that means hosting up to 4 sites will require a modified version of the Startup plan, hosting 6 sites will mean modifying the Growth plan and so on.

They also offer a 60 day money-back guarantee. So, you can test their service for up to 60 days with no risk and get your money back if you aren’t happy.

The company also offers two customizable plans for larger clients, both of which are available via dedicated hosting.

Regular Price

$35
per month

$115
per month

$290
per month

Plan Name Start Up Plan Growth Plan Scale Plan
Visitors Per Month 25,000 100,000 400,000
Domain Allowed 1 5 15
Web Space 10 GB 20 GB 30 GB
Bandwidth 50 GB 200 GB 400 GB
Free SSL Yes Yes Yes
Free Included Domain No No No
Money Back Guarantee 60 Days 60 Days 60 Days
Email Account Yes Yes Yes
Control Panel Custom Custom Custom
Server Location USA, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Taiwan, UK USA, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Taiwan, UK USA, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Taiwan, UK
Free CDN Yes (Max CDN) Yes (Max CDN) Yes (Max CDN)
Free Site Backup Yes Yes Yes
Free Backup Restore Yes Yes Yes
Power Backups Yes Yes Yes
SSD Storage Yes Yes Yes
Free File Transfer Yes Yes Yes
1 Clicks CMS Installer Yes Yes Yes
PHP 7.2 7.2 7.2
24/7 Support Yes Yes Yes
Support Channel Live chat, Phone support, Ticket Live chat, Phone support, Ticket Live chat, Phone support, Ticket

Average Uptime

Though hosts love to make claims of great uptime, they don’t always deliver, which is precisely why we are running our own tests.

We tested WP Engine’s uptime in a number of ways. First, we tested a single site for one month on each plan, and they came in with a very impressive score of 99.98% uptime.

Monthly Report Uptime

WP-Engine-Uptime

Then, we tested multiple sites over a longer period of time, once again using all their plans. Interestingly enough, over shorter time frames, they actually average 100% uptime.

But when we checked the quarterly figures, we were surprised to see this figure drop to 94.72%, which is not good.

They had 14 outages, but that wouldn’t have hurt their score so much if it weren’t for a particular outage that lasted approximately 5 days. When we researched to see if there was any news pertaining to the outage, we couldn’t find anything.

So, we’ll have to assume that it was a problem only with the server hosting our site, otherwise there would have been a lot of complaints.

If we take that one particular outage out of the equation as a one off, WP Engine scores an average of 99.98% uptime across all sites and plans, which is definitely a positive.

Speed

The next step involved testing WP Engine’s servers to see how well they held up to multiple concurrent visits, and we were impressed with the results.

We started with one visit and gradually increased until we got to 100 concurrent visitors. That’s what the blue line on the graph plots.

Load Impact

WP-Engine-speed

The green line shows the server response time. As you can see, it remained relatively steady. In fact, it actually dropped a little when we got to 100 visitors, which is interesting and certainly positive.

The conclusion is that average response time was 280 ms for 100 concurrent visitors, which is truly extraordinary. Thus, WP Engine servers are certainly capable of handling a heavy load of concurrent traffic without affecting the performance of our site.

Customer Support

Next, we tested WP Engine’s customer support. We wanted to see how fast they were, how knowledgeable, and how efficient they were in solving our problem.

We used live chat since that’s the most frequently used method, but also because it’s easier to measure.

We received a response within one minute of contacting them. It’s a relatively average response time, and they could probably do better in that department.

The live chat interface is very attractive, and makes it easy for beginners to connect to their service team, which is a positive.

Customer Support

WP-Engine-support-1
WP-Engine-support-2

As far as our experience with the support team goes, we were pleased. When they did respond, they were knowledgeable and informative. They also solved our problem quickly and were willing to take the time to make sure we were happy.

So, all in all, we are very pleased with WP Engine’s customer support.

Conclusion

WP Engine’s plans are, without a doubt, expensive. In fact, they are more expensive than the majority of shared hosting plans available.

However, their hosting service has been tailored particular for WordPress, and it shows. The site speed alone would make it more than worth it.

So, if you are serious about your website’s performance, and want to establish credibility with your audience, then you certainly won’t go wrong with WP Engine.

The reason we ranked it second is not just because of their scores, but also because they are dedicated to WordPress. That is a limiting consideration since 70 percent of the Internet uses other platforms.

05

Inmotion Hosting was founded in 2001 and has been growing steadily ever since, with more than 300,000 domains making up their client base. They claim to be fast, reliable, yet affordable.

Though they do explain that they aren’t the cheapest, they say it because they offer US-based support, a fast and reliable network, and a transparent server status page. In other words, they can’t be the cheapest because of the quality of services they offer, yet they are still affordable.

Inmotion Hosting is committed to exceeding their customers’ expectations. Now, they might not have completely exceeded all our expectations, but they still did pretty well in our tests, which is why we rank them #3 in our lists.

As you can expect from a web hosting company, they have quite a few different plans available, with a wide range of services and technology available.

Inmotion sponsors some of the most popular open source programs, like WordPress, Joomla, b2evolution, and PrestaShop.

This is a benefit for customers because it implies the company is open-minded enough to ensure they deliver the best solution to their customers, regardless of where that solution comes from.

Now, let’s take a closer look at Inmotion’s performance in each of our tests.

Average Uptime

Like with all of our web hosting tests, we tested a number of websites across all the plans Inmotion’s plans.

As we said, they offer multiple plans, and for more information on what you can get with each one, check the table below.

We also tested these websites over a period of three months, to give us a better idea of average uptime. A longer timeframe allows us to more accurately judge Inmotion’s capabilities.

So, Inmotion’s average results are an uptime of 99.88% over a month for one website, with a downtime of 45 minutes.

Monthly Report Uptime

inmotion-uptime

Now, that’s definitely not as good as the first two hosts in our list, but it’s not bad either. And the downtime was spread out over multiple outages, with most being only a few minutes long.

The reason we tested multiple websites was because with one site, we only get to test one of their servers. And that’s why we get different figures. Just because one server experiences downtime, it doesn’t mean all of them do.

So, across multiple websites, Inmotion’s average uptime for a month was 99.91%, with 15 outages. Some of these outages were shorter than 10 seconds, while others were a few minutes. However, it really wasn’t anything major.

Unfortunately, things change a little when we look at the results for the quarter – or over three months. Our websites experienced 247 outages, showing Inmotion’s actual uptime being 98.6%. Suddenly, that seems a lot less impressive.

Of course, there are likely very valid reasons for all these outages, but we really don’t care. We want our websites to work 99.999% of the time, like they promise.

At least the brevity of the outages indicates that they were resolved quickly, so at least that shows Inmotion really is dedicated to keeping their customers happy. However, we’re still not all that excited about how many of them there were.

Speed

As we did with all our hosting company tests, we conducted a load impact test on a website being hosted by Inmotion to see how well their servers hold up against a large number of concurrent visitors.

As always, we started off with 1 visitors and raised it gradually until we reached 100 “people” trying to access the site at the same time.

In the graphic, the blue line indicates the number of concurrent visitors, and, as you can see, it increases gradually until it falls abruptly when we stopped the test.

Load Impact

Inmotion-hosting-speed

The green line, on the other hand, is the response time of the server. Now, on average, the server’s response time was 380 ms, which is not quite as extraordinary as WP Engine with their average 280 ms, but better than Siteground’s 515.39 ms.

Furthermore, if you compare the three graphs, you can see Inmotion’s response time was choppier than WP Engine and Siteground. The latter two offered a smoother experience.

Regardless, the results of this test indicate that Inmotion’s servers are more than capable of handling a lot of traffic concurrently without negatively affecting our site.

It’s also important to remember that the plans we tested weren’t dedicated plans. On shared hosting, and for the prices Inmotion charges, a 380 ms response time is really good.

Customer Support

We tested Inmotion’s customer support to see if they live up to their motto of always exceeding customer expectations.

So, we checked how efficient and helpful they were by testing their response time, knowledge, and capacity to solve our problems.

Unfortunately, Inmotion really doesn’t live up to their motto and they need to work on their customer support.

It took us 5 minutes to get a response, despite having preauthorized and verified our account before connecting to their live chat system.

Yes, you actually have to preauthorize and verify your account, which takes a few minutes. And then, it takes them 5 minutes to respond. As if that wasn’t enough, they spent another almost 6 minutes asking for further account information.

Customer Support

Inmotion-support-initial
inmtoion-support-final

The staff was definitely friendly, and they were knowledgeable but the time it took for them to respond and to get to talking about our issue was just too long.

Prices, Plans and Features

Regular Price

$6.39
per month

$8.49
per month

$14.71
per month

Plan Name Launch Plan Power Plan Pro Plan
Visitors Per Month Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Domain Allowed 2 6 Unlimited
Web Space Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Free SSL Yes Yes Yes
Sub Domains 25 100 Unlimited
Parked Domain 0 26 Unlimited
Free Included Domain Yes Yes Yes
Money Back Guarantee 90 Days 90 Days 90 Days
Email Account Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Control Panel cPanel cPanel cPanel
Server Location No No No
Free CDN No No No
Free Site Backup Yes Yes Yes
Free Backup Restore Yes Yes Yes
Backup On Demand No No No
Power Backups Yes Yes Yes
Operating System Linux and Unix Linux and Unix Linux and Unix
SSD Storage Yes Yes Yes
Free File Transfer Yes Yes Yes
1 Clicks CMS Installer Yes Yes Yes
SFTP and SSH Yes Yes Yes
24/7 Support Yes Yes Yes
Support Channel Chat / Skype / Phone Chat / Skype / Phone Chat / Skype / Phone

Conclusion

nmotion offers good reliability and performance for websites with high volumes of traffic, which means they can easily handle smaller sites. They’re also willing to take suggestions to improve, indicating that they value their customers.

However, their hosting service has been tailored particular for WordPress, and it shows. The site speed alone would make it more than worth itThe staff are definitely friendly and want to help with anything their customers might need, including building their websites.

However, for them to break into the top 2 in our ranking, they will definitely have to work on improving their uptime, as well as the efficiency of their customer support team.

All in all, though, for the prices Inmotion charges, they are definitely a good option, which is why they came in third in our ranking.

06

HostGator is a highly popular provider of web hosting services, especially for small websites. In fact, if you visit any dedicated forum or blog, at least one person will recommend using HostGator when someone inevitably asks what hosting provider they should use.

Now, there is good reason for this since HostGator does have some very affordable plans, and they used to be among the best providers.

They were also popular because they made it easy for new entrepreneurs and webmasters to get their sites up and running with little fuss.

Unfortunately, as our tests will reveal, they aren’t quite as great at the moment. That isn’t to say they are bad, but they do come in in 4th place.

As you’ll see, though, this is in large part due to their difficulty in handling a large amount of traffic, which is why we still recommend HostGator as an excellent solution for smaller websites.

A Quick Background

HostGator provides shared, VPS, reseller, and dedicated hosting. The company operates out of Houston, though they also have a presence in Austin and India. That’s not where it started though.

The company was founded in 2002 in Boca Raton, Florida, by a Florida Atlantic University student named Brent Oxley. The company grew quickly so that by 2006, they had over 200,000 registered domains.

In 2007, HostGator moved to Houston, Texas, into a new building. In 2008, the company was ranked by Inc Magazine number 21 on their list of fastest growing companies in the United States, and number 1 in the local area.

During the same year, HostGator went green but also started to claim they could provide unlimited hosting. Oxley stated they could back up their offer, and claimed that, at the time, this decision led to a 30% increase in sales.

In 2010, HostGator expanded to Austin, while in 2011, they opened up a branch in India, with an office and data center in Nashik, Maharashtra. In 2012, Oxley sold HostGator to Endurance International Group for $225 million.

Average Uptime

As with all the other web hosting providers, we tested HostGator’s average uptime using a single site, but also multiple sites using their different plans.

For more information on the plans HostGator offers, please check below for all the relevant details.

We also ran our tests for approximately three months, to get a more accurate view of the situation. Anything less than that, and the conclusions we’d reach would be skewed.

Thus, as you can see in the graph, for one site measured over a month, HostGator achieved an uptime of 99.92%. This is quite acceptable, though, as in most cases, it doesn’t match the promises made in their marketing. Our site experienced 13 outages with a total downtime of 31 minutes.

Monthly Report Uptime

Hostgator-uptime

Now, if you look at SiteGround again, which is ranked first in our list, you’ll see that their uptime was 99.97%, and they only had 4 outages with 12 minutes of downtime.

In second place we have WP Engine with an uptime of 99.98% with 2 outages and 9 minutes of downtime. Our third is Inmotion with uptime of 99.88% and a total downtime of 45 minutes.

You might be wondering why Inmotion came in third despite a poorer performance in terms of uptime than HostGator. Well, you’ll see in just a moment why we felt Inmotion deserved third place over HostGator.

The average response time was 524ms, with a maximum response time of 831ms. If we’re classifying HostGator based solely on these response times – for a single visitor – they’d come in second. Only WP Engine achieved better results with an average of 439ms and a max response time of 707ms.

Comparatively, SiteGround’s average was 671ms and their max was 858ms, while Inmotion offered a more sluggish average response time of 808ms and a max of 1.28s.

Next, let’s look at HostGator’s results over multiple websites hosted on their different plans. Thus, for the whole quarter, HostGator’s average uptime was 99.62%, with 80 outages.

Most of the outages lasted only a few minutes except for one that was almost 2 hours long. Then there were days when our sites experienced multiple outages on the same day.

Unfortunately, these results are very weak and an outage that lasts up to 2 hours can have a major impact on any website. It makes them look unprofessional and can damage their reputation with their audience.

We won’t even go into the monetary losses, which can be significant even for a few minutes’ downtime let alone hours of it.

And things don’t look much better even on a slightly shorter timeframe. When we looked at the results of a single month for our sites, the uptime was still only 99.67% with 25 outages.

Things only start looking up when we look at just one week, but the duration is just too short to matter. One good week doesn’t make up for 3 weak months.

Speed Test Results

When we conducted our load impact test on HostGator’s servers, we weren’t impressed with the results.

As before, we sent 100 concurrent visitors, gradually increasing the number from 1 until we got to 100. The number of visits is represented by the blue line in our chart.

Load Impact

HostGator-speed

The green line represents response times, and, as you can see, HostGator didn’t perform that well. The response time was steady until we got to approximately 50 to 60 visitors and then things started going haywire.

HostGator’s servers spiked continuously, slowing down with every additional visitor. Once we got to 100 visitors, the server seemed to just give up and it took 2 minutes for our page to load.

In the digital age, a 2-minute load-time is ridiculous. Users expect pages to load quickly and many find even a few seconds to be too long. No one is going to wait around for 2 minutes.

Thus, our conclusion is that HostGator’s servers do not have the capacity to handle a large number of concurrent requests or visitors.

If we look at the other hosting companies, we’ll see a massive difference.

For example, SiteGround was largely steady. They had a few spikes, but funnily enough, those were at the beginning, when we had only sent a few concurrent visitors.

But things calmed down soon enough and then response times held steady all the way to 100 visits with an average load time of 515ms.

WP Engine’s servers were stable and gave us an extraordinary average response time of 280ms, whether there was one visitor or 100. That is seriously impressive.

Inmotion’s results were a little choppier but their average response time was 380ms, which is definitely more than acceptable.

Despite the slightly weaker performance than the previous two companies, Inmotion’s servers still never had us waiting for 2 minutes for a page to load.

Customer Support Review

When testing HostGator’s customer support department, we evaluated them based on their response speed, knowledge, and their ability to solve our problem.

We used their live chat system and though it only took us one minute to contact them, this result wasn’t consistent.

We discovered the wait time varies based on the time of the day and the day of the week. At times, it took quite a while to get through to their support.

Customer Support

HostGator-support-waiting-time

However, on normal days, the wait was less than a minute.

Unfortunately, while their customer support team is very friendly and willing to help, their knowledge and problem solving skills are only average.

When we compare with SiteGround’s customer support, HostGator comes out looking very poorly indeed.

SiteGround’s response time was consistent at less than a minute every time. They were also very knowledgeable and able to solve a complex problem like a full site transfer easily and quickly. Plus, they also made sure to keep us informed throughout the process.

WP Engine also did very well in terms of customer support. Once again, it only took a minute to get in touch with them, every time.

Their live chat interface is also beautiful and extremely easy to use. And their customer support team is not just friendly, but

Prices, Plans and Features

Plan Name Hatchling Plan Baby Plan Business Plan
Visitors Per Month Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Domain Allowed 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Web Space Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Free SSL Yes Yes Yes
Sub Domains Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Parked Domain No Unlimited Unlimited
Free Included Domain No No No
Money Back Guarantee 45 Days 45 Days 45 Days
Email Account Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Control Panel cPanel cPanel cPanel
Server Location Provo, Utah. Houston, Texas. Provo, Utah. Houston, Texas. Provo, Utah. Houston, Texas.
Free CDN No No No
Free Site Backup Yes Yes Yes
Free Backup Restore No No No
Backup On Demand No No No
Power Backups Yes Yes Yes
Operating System Linux Linux Linux
SSD Storage Yes Yes Yes
Free File Transfer Yes Yes Yes
1 Clicks CMS Installer Yes Yes Yes
SFTP and SSH Yes Yes Yes
24/7 Support Yes Yes Yes
Support Channel

The Conclusion

While HostGator didn’t perform amazingly well, they are still a great web hosting option for anyone who is just starting out with a small scale website. It’s an excellent starter option, especially since they have some outstanding budget plans, making it affordable for anyone to get a site up and running.

However, once your site starts growing and your traffic volume increases, you should probably consider switching to a different provider as you might start experiencing a number of problems.

So, it’s probably a good idea for you to regularly check how your website is performing, especially during times when you see significant spikes in traffic. The last thing you need is to gain a poor reputation for having a slow site.

But, until you get to that point, HostGator will be more than sufficient for your needs.

07

DreamHost is a web hosting provider based in Los Angeles. The company offers many other related services, including domain name registration, public cloud computing, cloud storage and more.

The company was founded in 1996 by four Harvey Mudd College undergrad students, namely Josh Jones, Dallas Bethune, Sage Weil, and Michael Rodriguez. DreamHost started operations in 1997 and since then has grown to a staff of 200 and a customer base of 400,000 with over 1.5 million domains hosted.

DreamHost has a good reputation on the market, so we had expected their performance to be better. Unfortunately, after our tests, we had to rank it in fifth place, and this is in large part due to their customer support, followed by only average results in their uptime figures.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened and why DreamHost only came in fifth.

Average Uptime

DreamHost makes a lot of noise about the great uptime they offer. In fact, they offer a 97-day money back guarantee – one of the longest of any provider – and promise a full refund if they don’t honor their 100% uptime promise. But they take things even further by promising a day of free service for every hour of downtime your site experiences.

Based on these guarantees, we expected to be wowed with their service. It didn’t really work out that way.

As with the other hosts, we tested one site for a month, but also multiple websites across all their plans to get an average figure. The point of the two tests is that with one site, we’re testing a single server, but with multiple sites and different plans, we’re testing more servers, which will give us a more accurate view of the situation.

For the single-site test, the result was 99.76% uptime, with outages amounting to 1 hour and 33 minutes spread out over multiple days.

Monthly Report Uptime

Dreamhost-uptime

Now, we all know that the worst thing that can happen is for your site to be down. You lose the trust of your audience and your customers will start thinking you’re unprofessional.

After all, you should be able to afford to keep your site running at all times. That’s what your audience will think.

Remember, most people don’t really understand how hosting works. All they’ll see is that your site is unavailable.

And since they were multiple outages, anyone who tried to access your site multiple times and had the bad luck of doing so when it was down would not bother again.

When we look at the results of the test for multiple sites across different plans, the situation doesn’t get any better. In fact, it gets worse.

Over a three-month period, DreamHost’s uptime was 99.68%, with 103 outages, one of which lasted almost two hours. That’s a lot of outages and a lot of downtime for any website.

When we drill down a little, we see that for one month, the average uptime was 99.82% with 29 outages. To be honest, though, one relatively decent month is not going to make up for three poor months.

As if to add insult to injury, the final week of our test generated an uptime of 99.63% with 12 outages. Yes, we weren’t impressed.

Average Speed Test Results

DreamHost’s load impact test generated far better results than their uptime. We sent approximately 100 concurrent visitors, testing their servers’ ability to respond to the large number of queries coming in at the same time.

In the graph, the blue line represents the visitors we sent, while the green line represents the response time. As you can see, it started out a little high but dropped as we sent more visitors. So, the average response time was 399ms for 100 concurrent visitors, which is a pretty impressive result.

Load Impact

Dreamhost-speed

Compare their results to SiteGround, which registered an average load time of 515ms, or Inmotion’s 380ms. HostGator shouldn’t even really be mentioned with their terrible 2-minute load time.

WP Engine, of course, beat everyone with their 280ms. Even so, DreamHost’s results are still excellent and comparable to any of the top four companies, especially since the price they charge is in the same range.

Their load time is precisely the reason we ranked them ahead of other hosts, like GoDaddy, A2 Hosting, Image, and Bluehost.

Customer Support

So, this is where DreamHost utterly fails and it’s the main reason they only came in fifth. It’s almost as if they’re stuck back in the dark ages with their customer support because it’s only available by email.

You read that right. They only have email support. There’s no phone support and the live chat option is only for pre-sale enquiries.

We wouldn’t mind so much if it was efficient. But it’s not. It took them a little over an hour to respond to us. When you think email, a response time of an hour isn’t bad, but this is customer support.

Usually, when you turn to customer support, it tends to be an urgent matter that you haven’t found any other solution for. The last thing you want is to wait around for an hour for someone to acknowledge your existence.

The positive side is that once you manage to get through to them, the staff is friendly, knowledgeable and acts quickly to solve your problem.

Customer Support

Dreamhost-support

It should be noted, though, that for an additional fee, you can get callbacks from staff as well as access to the live chat for support, which we don’t feel is the best policy.

Prices, Plans and Features

Regular Price

$ 2.59
per month

$ 5.95
per month

Plan Name Starter Plan Unlimited Plan
Visitors Per Month Unmetered Unmetered
Domains allowed 1 Unmetered
Web Space Unmetered Unmetered
Free SSL Yes Yes
Sub Domains Unlimited Unlimited
Free Included Domain Yes Yes
Money Back Guarantee 97 Days 97 Days
Email Account
Control Panel Custom Custom
Server Location Ashburn, Virginia. Irvine, California Ashburn, Virginia. Irvine, California
Free CDN No No
Free Site Backup No No
Free Backup Restore No No
Backup On Demand No No
Operating System Linux Linux
SSD Storage Yes Yes
Free File Transfer Yes Yes
1 Clicks CMS Installer Yes Yes
SFTP and SSH Yes Yes
24/7 Support Yes Yes
Support Channel

The Lowdown

In conclusion, DreamHost is a solid host with an excellent page load speed, but their reliability is average at best. They really need to work on their uptime issues before too many of their customers start asking for refunds or free service days.

Furthermore, DreamHost definitely needs to invest in their customer support. In this day and age, companies are rushing to improve the customer experience in any way they can, including by providing the best support possible.

DreamHost, on the other hand, seems intent on making it as difficult as possible for customers to get the help they need, when they need it.

So, as previously stated, we ranked DreamHost in fifth place because of their less than stellar uptime and their abysmal customer support system.

08

iPage Hosting is another web hosting provider that belongs to Endurance International Group. The company was originally founded in 1998 by Thomas Gorny, who sold the company to EIG in 2010.

Endurance International Group owns a slew of other web hosting companies, including Bluehost, Just Host, Hostgator, VPSLink, and Hostmonster.

At first, iPage was a provider of complete web services but they narrowed their focus in 2009 and became a web host. Currently, they are one of the least expensive providers of hosting packages, which center mainly on shared hosting.

They also offer dedicated WordPress solutions, which are servers that have been pre-configured to run the CMS.

iPage operates in six locations across the globe and have two data centers in the United States. The company claims to provide hosting to more than 1 million websites.

In terms of ranking, iPage came in seventh in our list. To be honest, when we saw that we were testing yet another Endurance International Group company, our expectations were pretty low. And, as you will see, we were right on the money.

Of what we’ve seen so far, it almost seems as if the moment EIG purchases a company, their service quality plummets. But you don’t have to take our word for it. The results of our tests will speak for themselves.

Average Uptime

Once again, we checked uptime across a single site on a single plan, but also for ten sites across multiple plans. This way, we could test more than one server and ensure the results weren’t skewed because we got lucky.

 

So, for a single site spanning one month, the average iPage uptime was 99.95% with 5 outages totaling 18 minutes. This is definitely a pretty good result, and it’s basically the only reason they made it onto the list.

 

Uptime Report of Ipage

 

Thus, iPage’s uptime is excellent and they are pretty reliable in terms of keeping your site up and running. In fact, they can easily compete with some of the top contenders.

 

Of course, we wanted to make sure this wasn’t a fluke, so we analyzed the results of the multiple-site test.

 

We’re happy to report we were once again impressed. They had an average uptime of 99.27% over a six-month period. During that time, they had just 10 outages.

iPage Uptime Review

 

However, don’t let that figure scare you. All the outages were really short and it’s likely visitors wouldn’t have even noticed the site was down in many of the cases.

 

Some of the outages were as short as 7 or 8 seconds, which most people would likely attribute to an issue with their own ISP before thinking that the site was to blame.

 

Once again, these are excellent results that are on par with the top-ranked hosting providers in our list.

 

Unfortunately, iPage doesn’t seem capable of continuing the trend since their results in the following two tests weren’t nearly as impressive.

 

Speed Test Results

As we’ve explained, the load impact test is designed to test the capacity of a web host’s servers to respond to a lot of concurrent traffic. To that end, we send an ever increasing number of visitors to the site at the same time.

 

In the graph, the blue line represents the number of concurrent users, while the green line represents server response times.

 

iPage server quality test

Now, at first glance, the results look reasonable since the green line is pretty steady. Unfortunately, when you take a closer look, you’ll see the real problem. The response time was consistent but it was 1.2 seconds, which is ridiculously slow compared to the other companies we tested.

 

What’s worse is that we get the same response time for one visitor as we got for 100 visitors. In today’s market, a response time of 1.2 seconds for a single visitor to a website is unacceptable.

 

To an internet user, it’s like forcing them to go back to the days of dial-up, which means you aren’t going to get a lot of people sticking around.

 

So, yes, iPage was pretty consistent and the load time wasn’t terrible, like with HostGator, which hit the 2 minute mark. They didn’t break down completely either, like Bluehost.

 

However, if they want to be able to compete with the likes of SiteGround, WP Engine, and Inmotion, they are going to have to improve response times. Ideally, they need to get it down to around half a second to stand any chance whatsoever. 

 

Customer Support Review

The iPage customer support team didn’t impress us at all. In fact, we got pretty irritated at one point.

 

First of all, it took a while to connect to someone. When a company offers support via live chat, they need to respond quickly. That was not the case with iPage.

 

iPage support waiting time initially

Furthermore, their authentication process took another five minutes, which is even less acceptable.

 

iPage support waiting time initially

 

They compounded the problem with staff that was less than friendly, and their expertise was nowhere near sufficient. Especially not when compared to some of the top-ranking web hosting providers in our list.

 

We asked for help installing WordPress, which should be pretty simple. It definitely shouldn’t have taken them as long as it did to help us.

 

Everything, everywhere is getting faster and more efficient, but with iPage, it felt as if we were slogging through water to try to get anything done with their customer support team.

The Conclusion

iPage isn’t a lost cause. Their uptime is excellent, but everything else needs to be upgraded at least two levels to allow them to compete with other web hosting companies.

 

If they could at least improve the server load capacity and get those response times down to half a second, we might feel better about recommending them.

 

However, as it stands, we feel that they are an average choice for a small website, and that’s mainly because of their attractive promotional offers, rates, and the frequent discounts they offer.

If cost isn’t an issue, though, we heartily suggest you select a webhosting provider closer to the top of our list.