Choosing the right web host is a tough decision. But if you’ve narrowed it down to Bluehost vs iPage, then you’re already off to a great start – and this is where we come in.
We’ve spent over 230 hours putting all of the top web hosts through our hands-on research process, so we know these providers’ strengths and weaknesses inside and out.
We then measured each hosting provider’s performance across 21 different areas, and condensed our findings into these five most important research categories:
- Disk Space
- Help and Support
Every provider we analyzed – Bluehost and iPage included – has earned a score out of five in each of these categories. These providers also got an overall score, again out of five, which equates to the average of all of its category scores.
To learn more about our research process, you can check out our full explanation here!
We found that Bluehost is the best provider for WordPress websites, while iPage is better for short-term growth. And spoiler alert: Bluehost is the better provider overall. Before we dive into the details, here’s a quick summary of our research findings for each provider:
Now, let’s take a closer look!
Bluehost Pros and Cons
| • Reliable uptime: Bluehost’s uptime guarantee amounts to less than two hours of downtime per year |
• Seamless WordPress integration: Bluehost is officially recommended for WordPress sites
• Free migration service: Bluehost will transfer most WordPress websites to its servers for free
| • Less storage on cheapest plan: Bluehost offers 50 GB of storage on its cheapest plan |
• Limited email accounts: You can create up to five email addresses @ your domain on the cheapest Bluehost plan
• Sales-y checkout process: This can be annoying, but iPage does it too!
iPage Pros and Cons
| • Unlimited storage: iPage includes this even on its cheapest plan |
• Unlimited email accounts: Create unlimited email addresses @ your domain
• Cheapest starting price: $1.99 per month is hard to beat
| • Not as dependable: iPage’s uptime guarantee translates to over five hours of downtime per year |
• Manual migration only: iPage doesn’t offer a website transfer service
• Sales-y checkout process: Again, this is frustrating, but it’s not just iPage!
Both Bluehost and iPage have quick, easy sign up processes. All you have to do is select your plan, choose a domain name (or enter one that you already own), and enter your information.
Just be sure to keep your eyes peeled at checkout, because both Bluehost and iPage will fill your cart with additional purchases that you don’t actually need to buy.
These are all useful tools that you may actually want – SiteLock security provides additional protection from hackers, while backups will help keep your website’s content safe – but they’re not required, so it can be a little frustrating to see them automatically added to your basket.
Unselecting these additional costs is easy, it’s just a matter of remembering to do so!
Choosing a Domain Name
As we mentioned earlier, the first step in each host’s sign up process is choosing a domain name.
We really like that both hosts let you register domain names without the help of a third party domain registrar. This is really convenient, because it means that you can purchase and manage domains through the same dashboard where you’ll manage your website.
Managing Your Site
Once you’re all signed up, you can log into the dashboard, where you’ll be managing your website’s hosting. Bluehost and iPage use different management software, so their dashboards aren’t the same:
- Bluehost uses the cPanel control panel, which is widely used and very reliable
- iPage uses the vDeck control panel, which is more tailored to iPage sites, but a little less modern than cPanel.
See how Bluehost does in our ranking of the best cPanel hosting providers.
Bluehost’s cPanel dashboard has a really clean layout, with a navigation menu on the left side:
From here, you can manage everything from storage space to domain names in just a few clicks.
In the “Home” tab of the navigation menu, you’ll also find a checklist to help you set up your account:
iPage’s vDeck control panel also features a really simple grid layout, which makes it easy to find the different tools you’ll need. It’s categorized into different sections – one for website management, one for email, etc. – to help you stay organized.
Hosting a WordPress Site?
While both Bluehost and iPage are easy to use, Bluehost is the clear winner when it comes to hosting WordPress websites in particular. Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress itself, and it automatically installs the WordPress software as soon as you activate your account.
Managing your WordPress site from the cPanel dashboard is really easy, and Bluehost’s WordPress-specific hosting plans came out on top in our research.
iPage includes unlimited storage on its cheapest plan, while Bluehost’s WordPress features are hard to beat.
Types of Hosting
There are a few different types of web hosting, ranging from shared (the cheapest and least advanced) to dedicated (the priciest and most advanced). Bluehost and iPage both offer the three “main” types of hosting: shared, VPS, and dedicated.
- Shared hosting means your website is hosted on the same server as other sites, and you share resources like storage and bandwidth.
- WordPress hosting is shared hosting, specifically optimized for WordPress websites.
- Cloud hosting is similar to shared hosting, but resources are shared between a network of connected servers, rather than just one. Cloud hosting is very reliable, because the burden of uptime is shared between servers.
- VPS hosting stands for virtual private server hosting, and it’s basically a shared server that mimics the environment of a dedicated server. This means more resources will be allocated to your site, but you won’t be paying the price of a real dedicated server.
- Reseller hosting is a little different from the rest. In this model, you’d purchase server space from Bluehost or iPage, but not to use yourself – you’d actually then rent it out to other people, as a sort of business model.
- Dedicated hosting is the real version of what VPS hosting is mimicking. With dedicated hosting, you get an entire server to yourself – all of its resources are dedicated to your website.
|Bluehost Hosting Types||iPage Hosting Types|
| • Shared – starts at $2.95 per month |
• WordPress – starts at $2.95 per month
• VPS – starts at $18.99 per month
• Dedicated – starts at $79.99 per month
| • Shared – starts at $1.99 per month |
• WordPress – starts at $3.75 per month
• VPS – starts at $19.99 per month
• Reseller – starts at $49.95 per year (paid annually)
• Dedicated – starts at $119.99 per month
iPage offers reseller hosting on an annual payment schedule, while Bluehost doesn’t offer reseller hosting directly. Instead, Bluehost recommends ResellerClub, so if you do decide to go for a reseller plan, you won’t have to worry about choosing a subpar option.
Although reseller hosting isn’t as popular as the other, more hands-on types listed here, it’s still convenient that you can do this directly through iPage if you want to.
It goes without saying that both Bluehost and iPage have you covered as far as the basics go. Both providers include a free domain for your first year, and free SSL certificates on all of their plans.
Beyond the basics, each host goes the extra mile in a different way, so it’s really a case of which additional features you value the most.
|Bluehost’s Standout Features||iPage’s Standout Features|
| • WordPress integration: Bluehost is an officially recommended host by WordPress itself, and its one-click WordPress installation is incredibly easy. |
• Free CDN: Bluehost has partnered with Cloudflare to offer a free Content Delivery Network, or CDN, which helps improve page load speed for visitors around the world. Research indicates that faster website load times lead to higher conversion rates and more time spent on a site.
| • Unlimited storage (within reason): While Bluehost offers unlimited storage on all but its cheapest plan, iPage offers unlimited storage, period. Just note that “unlimited” means the storage allowance is so high that you’re unlikely to ever exceed it – it’s not actually completely uncapped! |
• Unlimited websites: You can host multiple websites within a single iPage account. However, you’ll still have the same amount of server resources regardless of how many websites there are, so you’ll have to budget accordingly!
Both Bluehost and iPage have really cheap prices that don’t skimp on value.
- Bluehost’s introductory prices start at $2.95 per month, and its renewal prices start at $8.99 per month.
- iPage’s introductory prices start at $1.99 per month, and its renewal prices start at $7.99 per month.
Introductory prices are discounts that apply for the first term of your hosting plan, which lasts from one to three years depending on how long you want to sign up for in advance. Renewal prices are the regular rates you’ll be paying after that!
iPage is Cheaper – But Which is Better Value?
It’s still a tie! Both Bluehost and iPage scored an impressive 4.6/5 in the “value for money” category of our research. Some super-cheap hosting providers lack high-quality features, but Bluehost and iPage each come with more tools (like email integrations and scalable bandwidth) than their price tags would suggest.
To give you a sense of the competition, HostGator and InMotion – two top providers – only scored 3.5 and 3.8, respectively (their starting prices are $2.75 per month and $5.99 per month).
What About More Advanced Plans?
At this point, you know that Bluehost and iPage offer cheap prices on their shared plans – but what if you’re considering a more advanced type of hosting?
Their VPS plans are also similarly priced, but Bluehost offers better value for money when it comes to dedicated hosting.
|VPS||Starts at $18.99 per month, renews at $29.99 per month||Starts at $19.99 per month, renews at $24.99 per month|
|Dedicated||Starts at $79.99 per month, renews at $119.99 per month||Starts at $119.99 per month, renews at $149.99 per month|
Bluehost has a better uptime guarantee than iPage. And when it comes to uptime, every little bit matters – a difference of just 00.01% means over an hour more downtime each year.
|Downtime per year (based on uptime guarantee)||~One hour and 45 minutes||~5 hours and 15 minutes|
By “downtime”, we mean the amount of time that your website is unavailable to visitors throughout the year. No host can guarantee 100% uptime, but you want to get as close to that number as possible – especially since 9% of visitors who encounter a down site will not return to that site again.
Bluehost makes its own backups, but they’re not guaranteed. You’re still encouraged to create your own, which you can do from your cPanel dashboard.
iPage’s backup option is also very manual. You have to create a zip archive of your website’s files, then download it to your personal computer – or you can pay $14.99 per year for iPage’s automated Backup & Restore tool.
You’ll know when it’s time to do this, because you’ll get a notification that says something like “an updated version of WordPress is now available.”
Both Bluehost and iPage include basic SSL security on their hosting plans. But if you want to go the extra mile in terms of security, they also have some additional tools.
You’ll find tons of options by browsing the “Marketplace” tab of your Bluehost dashboard:
We would also say that SiteLock security is one of the best tools in the marketplace. You can purchase it for $5.99 per month to get automatic monitoring against hackers and malware.
iPage also offers SiteLock, with basic and advanced security plans ranging from $3.99 to $24.99 per month.
Learn more about the best free SSL hosting providers (spoiler alert: Bluehost is #1).
If you already have a website, and are thinking of switching it to either Bluehost or iPage, this section is for you.
Migrating Websites to Bluehost
Most WordPress websites are eligible for Bluehost’s free migration service after creating a Bluehost account.
There are some exceptions to this, like if your site runs on a very old version of WordPress. But for the most part, up-to-date websites with reasonable file sizes will pass the compatibility check.
If your site doesn’t pass the compatibility check, then you’ll have two options:
- Use Bluehost’s paid transfer service for $149.99
- Manually migrate your site, which is more time-consuming and less beginner-friendly, but definitely doable. For help, we’ve written a nine-step guide on how to transfer website hosting
Migrating Domains to Bluehost
Bluehost will let you transfer domains with the following extensions: com, net, org, us, co, info, and biz.
You’ll just have to initiate the transfer from your Bluehost dashboard!
Migrating Websites to iPage
Unlike Bluehost, iPage doesn’t offer a website transfer service, so you’ll have to do it manually. Like we said earlier, this isn’t too hard, but you’ll need to set aside some time to do it right!
The process involves downloading your website’s files onto your computer, and then uploading them to your new iPage account.
Migrating Domains to iPage
Once again, this is a manual process, but don’t worry – we’ve also written a guide on how to transfer a domain name to a new host.
You have to unlock your domain (this is done through your old registrar) before you can initiate the transfer. Then you can initiate the transfer through your iPage dashboard, which is actually a really quick process.
In the “domains” section of your iPage dashboard, you’ll see an “import domain” button in the upper right corner. Click that, and then select “transfer registrar here.” You’ll then get an email with an authorization code that you’ll need to complete the transfer.
Once you’re done, your domain will be transferred to iPage within five days!
Both Bluehost and iPage offer an impressive set of support options, including 24/7 help over the phone.
What Support Options Are Available?
Both Bluehost and iPage offer all of the best support options out there:
- 24/7 phone support
- 24/7 live chat support
- Searchable knowledge bases
It’s really impressive that both of these providers are available to help you 24/7. Plus, Bluehost also offers email support, which can be a more convenient option if you don’t have time to sit and chat.
We contacted both of these host’s support teams ourselves to see how good the service really is – after all, what good is 24/7 support if the responses are slow or unhelpful?
We found that Bluehost’s live chat responses were both quick and detailed. iPage’s responses were really quick, but often linked out to more information instead of explaining things in a longer message.
At this point, you’ve done the reading and seen how Bluehost and iPage compare in the most important categories. We’ve studied these hosts’ similarities and differences in ease of use, pricing, features, and more.
That’s why we can say with confidence that Bluehost is a better provider than iPage overall.
|Ease of Use||Bluehost|
|Performance and Security||Bluehost|
|Help and Support||Tie|
However, better overall doesn’t always mean better for you. Bluehost and iPage are both top-quality web hosts that excel in different areas.
Who Should Use Bluehost?
- Anyone hosting a WordPress website
- Anyone wanting to save time
- Anyone wanting to switch an existing website to a new host
Who Should Use iPage?
- Anyone wanting a shared plan that will grow with them
- Anyone looking for the cheapest introductory price
- Anyone wanting to try reseller hosting