Today we are doing a little comparison test on iPage and Hostpapa. Which hosting provider is cheapest long-term? What are the hidden fees?
Most web hosting companies today have what may be considered “hidden fees”. These can be related to price adjustments on renewal and hidden cancellation costs.
First of all, when you first sign-up for hosting, prices are always the lowest. If there is a sale on hosting and domain names – that only applies to new customers, and prices go up when it comes time for renewal. This is true of all the hosting companies I have reviewed.
Let’s start with iPage.com. There is no doubt iPage is the cheapest hosting company for short-term, but their prices get pretty normalized when it comes time to renew. HostPapa.com is slightly more per month than iPage when you first sign-up, and however their prices also go up after renewal.
The cheapest option is to always sign up for 3 years initially. This will save you in the long run. If you want a website only for the short term, then iPage is still the cheapest option.
Ok so with this initial comparison, iPage is still a little bit cheaper than HostPapa for the first 3 years of hosting on first sign-up. iPage is $71.64 for the first 3 years, and HostPapa is $142.20. That is IF you sign up for all 3 years up front. What happens after the 3 years, or if you only sign up for 1 year and then want to renew? Well, prices go up again! I was charged $169US ($218 CAD) for an additional year of hosting and domain privacy. HostPapa charges up to $7.99 per month after renewal. $7.99 x 12 months is $95.88. So long term (3 years +) Hostpapa would be cheaper. (at this point anyways, as prices can always change in that long period of time).
HostPapa has a 30 day money back guarantee, however, there is a cancellation fee which can add up to some additional dollars, depending on the products and services which you are cancelling. So the draw back is, there are some hidden fees here.
When your plan does come up for renewal, it’s going to be billed MUCH higher – somewhere between $5.99 – $7.99 each month.
That could be 200% over your original pricing amount, and again you’d be forced to signup for a long-term, three-year deal to avoid the worst pricing increase.
I’ve had several hosting accounts with iPage, and if you have forgotten to turn off auto-renew, you will automatically get charged at renewal time. This can be either good or bad, depending on your plans for the website. It’s never a good thing when a website you are utilizing does down. On the other hand, if you no longer wanted your website and just neglected this, it can get pricey. The great news? iPage is very good with refunds and they stay true to their money back guarantee. I’ve called them more than once now, and they gave me a full hosting refund within a week. They will not refund your domain name however – only the cost of hosting, so keep an eye on that. Luckily, domain names are much cheaper than hosting, so you will not loose much if this get’s missed. iPage will send you many reminder emails before this happens though, so there will be no surprises.
When compared to the price of shared hosting available today, these are still very affordable prices. Many hosting companies and independent web and media companies charge much much more. When you look at services provided and overall cost, these are cheap web hosting companies.