If you're looking for quality web hosting, it is highly likely that your search for the right web host may have brought you down to a point where you have to decide between MyHosting and iPage. However, once you have reached that point, it becomes quite difficult for you to decide as to which of these two web hosting companies can prove to be the right deal for you. On an outward glance, both appear to be quite attractive in terms of the features that they offer, the backend technology being deployed by them, as well as the apparent quality of the customer support services. It is therefore imperative to perform a thorough analysis of these two hosting providers in order to arrive at a logical conclusion. My intention in this article is therefore to guide you concerning the pros and cons of each of these companies so as to help you make a rational decision. In order to ensure that both these companies are compared on an equal footing and that none of these has an unfair competitive advantage over the other, the "Personal Website" plan offered by MyHosting will be compared against the single all-inclusive web hosting plan offered by its competitor iPage. This is because although the promotional price for the "Personal Website" plan is $4.95 per month while the price for the the latter host's all-inclusive plan is $3.5 per month, both these plans renew at the regular price of $7.95 per month.

 

(1) Hosting Platform

iPage clearly states on its website that they deploy a pooled server environment and that the parsing of their client's data is done using load balancing. This ensures that the first available server on the network will handle the request of transferring the data from a client's website which results in lightning speed and consequently very low loading times. Its competitor, on the contrary, uses different terminology. They say that your website will experience superior performance in a fully redundant and secure environment. That is basically the usage of different words only, the underlying concept is the same. As a result, in terms of the hosting platform, neither of these companies is able to outsmart the other one completely.

 

(2) Core Features

If this is the first time you're launching a website, you would probably not have an idea of the fact that the space requirements for a fully functional and thriving website are not too stringent. What this means is that even if a web hosting company offers a few gigabytes of storage, this is going to be more than enough for your personal or small business website. However if a company offers unlimited space, that does not hurt either since it gives you plenty of room to grow without having to worry about purchasing extra disk space in the rare instance that your website consumes the few gigabytes allocated to you. This is exactly the case with both the reviewed web hosts in that they both offer unlimited space. As regards bandwidth, there is once again no restriction imposed by these two companies which gives you the peace of mind that no matter whether your website grows slowly and steadily or it achieves a wildfire success, the data to and from your website will continue to flow.

As regards the number of e-mail accounts available, MyHosting clearly states that there is an upper limit to the number of e-mail accounts that can be used on a single hosting account, which is 10 Basic Exchange E-Mail Mailboxes with 1 GB of storage per mailbox as well as Microsoft Outlook access. Its competitor, on the contrary, gives you unlimited e-mail addresses that you can use at your own domain and consequently takes the lead in this area. Since there is a limit of up to 10 e-mail accounts with the former, so the number of e-mail forwarders and auto responders is also limited. This is not the case with its competitor where you get unlimited forwarders as well as auto responders. Both companies clearly state that there is no upper limit on the number of domains you can host under one account, i.e. you get Unlimited domain hosting. This allows you to operate more than one websites using a single hosting account which can prove to be a real moneysaver. Although there was no mention of the number of parked domains and subdomains by either of these hosting companies, it can easily be concluded that they must also be unlimited keeping in view that there is no limit on the number of hosted domains.

As far as online statistics are concerned, the former host offers AWStats, Webalizer, as well as raw web logs. Although iPage does not make any mention of the online statistics offered, more or less the same would probably have been offered by them as well, since the control panel included by them is the famous CPanel. Both web hosting companies also offer spam protection in order to minimize the number of unsolicited e-mails coming through to your e-mail inboxes. In the area of web design and development, MyHosting states that it offers a Site builder included for free. However no further details are available from their website. Its competitor on the contrary gives further details about their web designing and building tools. You have a choice of two drag-and-drop site builders which are template-based. You also get a Blog Setup Wizard as well as a Photo Gallery Setup Wizard. Finally, password protected directories are also common to both these hosting companies.

To conclude with, in the Core Features category, iPage takes the lead by offering unlimited e-mail addresses along with their associated forwarders and auto responders. Furthermore, it also outperforms its competitor by including superior Web design tools for free.

 

(3) Advanced Features

The major scripting technologies such as cgi-bin, PHP, server-side includes are available with both these web hosting companies. As regards Perl, Python, Ruby on rails etc, there is no such information present on the websites of either of these companies whether these technologies are offered or not. So in case you really need these features, you will have to contact them to find out whether these are available and if yes, does that come at an extra price? FrontPage extensions are not too important these days because of being obsolete, consequently none of these companies once again mentions whether these are available or not. In case you want to customize the page displayed when a visitor tries to access a page on your website that does not exist, you have the option of utilizing customizable error pages offered by both these web hosts.

Databases are a commonplace in today's information technology world and are necessary for creating and maintaining a dynamic website, i.e. a site that displays the results custom tailored to the needs of the user. Even in scenarios where a dynamic website is not needed, using a database can greatly simplify the task of creating, editing, and updating content with the help of a content management system. This is exactly where iPage takes the lead by offering you unlimited MySQL databases in contrast to its competitor that offers a total of only 6 databases. The advantage with MyHosting though is that it also includes 3 PostgreSQL databases along with 3 MySQL databases. However, in view of the fact that a majority of scripts available these days utilize the famous MySQL database, signing up with the former can give you a lot of flexibility and leverage.

One click installs of the major content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal etc are also available with both these web hosting providers. It is well known that the latest Softaculous script installer is superior than the conventional Fantastico script installer. However, there is no indication with either of these hosting companies whether one click installs are provided by Softaculous or Fantastico. Although SSH access is normally provided by a multitude of companies, there is no explicit indication by either of these two competing candidates whether this functionality is present or not. So if you really want this, you will have to contact them to find out. In terms of the available FTP accounts, the former seems to be seriously limited in that it offers only one FTP account. iPage however takes the lead in this area by offering unlimited FTP accounts. There is also no indication whether mailing lists are provided by these two companies are not.

To cut it short, in the advanced features category, iPage takes the lead over its competitor by offering unlimited MySQL databases as well as unlimited FTP accounts.

 

(4) E-Commerce Features

iPage offers a shared SSL certificate and so does its competitor. The name of the SSL certificate included in MyHosting's plan is Vanity SSL Certificate. Since it is also included for free, this must also be a shared SSL certificate. The company also offers you the option of adding three dedicated certificates namely RapidSSL® Certificates, QuickSSL® Certificates, and QuickSSL® Premium Certificates. These SSL certificates are available for $19.95 per year, $119.95 per year, and $199.95 per year respectively. Since it is not possible to add a dedicated SSL certificate without a dedicated IP address, they also gives you the option to add a dedicated IP address for an additional price. How much you are charged for a dedicated IP address is however not mentioned. So in case you need this feature, you will have to contact them to find out. Their competitor, on the contrary, does not offer even an optional dedicated IP address.

As regards the diversity of shopping carts available, once again these two web hosts strongly rival one another. iPage offers three shopping carts namely ShopSite, OSCommerce, and AgoraCart. Its competitor on the contrary offers three different shopping carts. These include the Zen Cart, CubeCart, and Meganto. Although the names are different, there is not much difference in functionality between the carts offered by these two companies. Merchant account support is however not available with both these web hosting companies. There is no PayPal integration offered by MyHosting and this is exactly where its competitor takes the lead.

To conclude with, although the former offers a dedicated IP address along with dedicated SSL certificates, these do not come for free and you will have to pay an extra price in order to get these features. As far as shopping carts are concerned, both web hosts offer more or less the same functionality with the difference in names only. By offering free PayPal integration, iPage therefore outperforms its competitor.

 

(5) Freebies

iPage includes the famous CPanel for free within its web hosting plan. Its competitor also offers their proprietary control panel for free. A free domain name registration is also included by both these web hosting companies. This can be quite a saving since domain names these days cost anywhere between $8-$15 a year. With both these companies, you pay zero setup fees. Daily website backups are also promised by both of them. However these backups are meant for their own internal purposes only. What this means is that in case you need to restore your earlier website data, you will need to send them a request in order to have it serviced. MyHosting however also gives you another option referred to as Website Restore. Available for only $2.45 per month, this handy feature allows you to create a Restore Point of your website. This is analogous to creating an image of your hard drive using a wide variety of cloning software. This image can easily be restored in multiple scenarios, such as when you mess up with your website files or your content management system software malfunctions in a way that cannot be repaired.

In the area of website marketing however, iPage has a lot more to offer than its competitor. The latter offers a total of $50 in advertising credits, half of which are included in the form of a Google Adwords Voucher and the remaining half in the form of Bing and Yahoo! Search Advertising Voucher. The former on the contrary offers a total of $150 in advertising credits, which includes a $75 credit for Google Adwords, $25 credit for Yahoo!/Bing sponsored search, and $50 credit for Facebook advertising. On top of this, you also get a free Yellowpages.com listing. Last but not least, the company also gives you access to online marketing guides for free.

To conclude with, in the Freebies category, iPage takes the lead by including a whole lot more in terms of advertising credits as compared with its competitor. Although its competitor offers an exceptional feature referred to as Website Restore, it necessitates paying extra fees which is definitely an additional burden on your pocket.

 

(6) Data Center Specifications

Like FatCow, the two data centers of iPage are located in the Boston, MA area. The total area of the data centers is 2400 ft.² and they house more than 800 servers and half a petabyte of storage. Furthermore, their front end network consists of two firewalls incorporating IDP technology. They also state that an approximate 5.5 Gb of storage is processed through their servers per second. Its competitor, on the other hand, states that its web servers are housed within Equinix and EarthLink Enterprise data centers located in Toronto, Canada and Rochester, New York USA respectively. They also clearly mention that their network is fully redundant and secure. Further details of their hosting architecture can be found on their "Data Center" page. For either of these two web hosting companies, there was no mention whether their data centers are located in a disaster safe zone certified by FEMA. In terms of the rest of the attributes however, MyHosting appears to be taking the lead because of utilizing superior data centers and network technology.

 

(7) Guarantees

MyHosting offers a 100% uptime guarantee while the one promised by its competitor is a 99.9% uptime guarantee, so outwardly there doesn't seem to be much difference between these two hosting companies. The former host however goes one step further by stating that this guarantee provides you with up to a full-day credit for every one hour of service interruption on their Web hosting and SharePoint Hosting services. Consequently, they appear to be more confident of their service and seem to outperform their competitor in this area as well. As far as a moneyback guarantee is concerned, they only offer a standard 30 days money back guarantee which is the norm adopted by a huge majority of other web hosting companies too. iPage however offers a unique Anytime Moneyback Guarantee that is rarely seen elsewhere. What this means is that you can cancel at any time and get a refund for the remainder of your current payment term. Plus you'll also get a full refund if you cancel within the first 30 days. It should be noted however that the anytime moneyback guarantee offer does not include a refund of any domain registration fees. The company also gives you a free domain name when you sign up for their service initially, however they will deduct a $15 domain registration fee should you decide to avail the anytime moneyback guarantee. They say that they have to do this in order to cover their costs. However you still have the freedom to transfer your domain name or simply point it elsewhere. A price lock guarantee is however not available with either of these hosting companies. So if the hosting costs increase at the time of your renewal, you'll have to pay the prevalent price and not the one that you paid when you signed up with them initially. So in terms of the offered guarantees, iPage appears to be taking the lead once again.

 

(8) Pricing Structure

As already mentioned in the introduction, both web hosts are currently offering a promotional price of $4.95 per month and $3.5 per month respectively. So you can benefit from a total of $17.4 in savings if you sign up with iPage. Apart from the promotional price advertised by its competitor, there was no mention of any discounts available on the plan description page or even during the sign-up. Consequently, I had to contact their customer support in order to find this out. I was told that there are no discounts available since $4.95 is the base price. iPage, on the contrary, clearly mentions on the sign-up page that the price for a one-year sign-up is $3.5, while it is $2.95 for two or three years. Consequently, in terms of available savings, you have a lot more to gain with them as compared to their competitor.

 

(9) Customer Support Channels

Both web hosts offer customer support via telephone, live chat, as well as e-mail support using a contact form on their websites. Furthermore, they claim that the support is offered 24 x 7 which means that no matter what time of the day or night you contact them, you're likely to get a response within minutes. As far as the location of their corporate offices is concerned, MyHosting clearly states on its website their address which is as follows:

 

SoftCom Inc.
Suite 1610
10 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5J 2R8
CANADA

 

Its competitor apparently does not mention the location of its corporate office on its website; so I had to chat with them in order to find out that information. A support representative named "Nigel Atkinson" told me in the live chat that the address can be found in the knowledgebase (ArticleID=1485) and is as follows:

 

iPage
70 Blanchard Rd 
3rd Floor 
Burlington, MA 01803 
USA.

 

The telephone numbers of these two hosts given on their respective websites are 1-877-472-4399 and 1-866-289-5091 respectively. Furthermore, during my chat with the latter, the following contact numbers (toll-free within their regions) were also revealed:

 

MyHosting
US 1-866-289-5091
Canada 1-866-289-5091
Mexico 55-11689643
UK 0-800-680-0676
Australia 1-800-449-670
Germany 0-800-180-1596
South Africa 0-800-980-888
Turkey 0-212-414-2607

 

Both companies claim that they do not outsource customer support but instead have in-house support team to handle support issues. The actual quality of their customer support however can only be ascertained by signing up with them for some time. What I've found from the different reviews websites on the Internet is that the average reviews of MyHosting are 3-star whereas those of its competitor are 4-star. So the latter appears to have on average better reviews as compared with the other contestant. In order to find out the average response time of each hosting company, I contacted them using live chat; the results are as follows:

 

MyHosting
You are now chatting with Mustafa B. (Sales)

Total chat time = 15:30
Mustafa B.: Hello, how can I be of assistance to you?
Author: hi
Author: I want to find out if there are any discounts available if I sign up for a longer-term. 
Author: I mean two three or four years in advance. 
Author: For "Personal Website" plan. 
Mustafa B.: Yes, the discount will automatically be applied to your account.
Author: But I am unable to select a longer billing cycle. 
Author: Could you please let me know how much the discount will be for 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years?
Mustafa B.: Let me check this for shared personal plan. 
Author: ok
Mustafa B.: Sorry for the delay, on it. 
Author: that's alright
Author: are you there?
Mustafa B.: Yes I am
Mustafa B.: no it wont
Mustafa B.: 4.95$ is the base price
Author: ok
Author: thanks
Author: bye for now

 

iPage
You are now chatting with 'Alfred Andrews'

Total chat time = 3:30
Alfred Andrews: Hi, how are you today?
Author: hi
Author: Do you have Perl, Python, and Ruby on rails available?
Alfred Andrews: Perl and Python is supported but Ruby on rails is not supported.
Author: ok
Author: one more thing
Alfred Andrews: Sure.
Author: The control panel that you're offering is CPanel right? Does it have the Fantastico script installer or the Softaculous installer?
Alfred Andrews: No, control panel is not cpanel. We use our own customized control panel.
Alfred Andrews: We provide simplescripts tool using which you can install the application with one clik install which is similar to Fantastico script installer
Author: ok
Author: thanks a lot
Author: that's all I wanted to know
Author: bye for now
Alfred Andrews: You're welcome!

 

As can be seen from the chat transcripts for the two companies, for something as trivial as available discounts for 2, 3, and 4 years, MyHosting customer support representative took more than 15 minutes! On the contrary, their competitor's support representative was quite efficient despite the fact that he was asked two questions, one concerning the available scripting technologies while the other related to the control panel. It can therefore be concluded that in terms of customer support, iPage appears to be taking the lead over the other contestant.

 

(10) Age of the Company

Both web hosts clearly mention the time they have been in business since they were launched initially. The former company's website states that they were launched in 1997, which means that they have been in business for more than 14 years. For iPage, the total time in business is more than 13 years according to their website. So there is little difference between the age of these two companies. A search on whois.domaintools.com reveals that the domain name ipage.com was created on 24th of March 1995, while myhosting.com was created on 23rd of April 1998. So there is a little discrepancy in the case of the former because they say that they have been operating since 1997, however their domain name appears to have been registered a few months later. For the latter however, the domain name was registered much earlier (3 years earlier than the launching year 1998 that they have mentioned on their website). However, despite the discrepancies, both companies appear to have been operating for more or less the same length of time. Consequently, in terms of the age, no company is able to take a clear-cut lead over the other.

 

Conclusion

On the basis of this thorough analysis, it can clearly be seen that iPage outperforms its competitor in seven out of the 10 criteria mentioned above. It is therefore the overall winner between these two contestants, and this coincides with the recommendation of WHL's Editor as well. As compared with their competitor, you have a whole lot more to gain with them and in fact nothing to lose because of their anytime moneyback guarantee. The areas where the company took the lead include Core Features, Advanced Features, E-Commerce Features, Freebies, Guarantees, Pricing Structure, and Customer Support. Its competitor, on the contrary, appears to be winning in the area of Data Center Specifications only. There was a tie between the two companies in the areas of Hosting Platform and Age of the Company. So if MyHosting is the alternative in front of you, make no hesitation and sign up with iPage.

 

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