When it comes to web hosting, there are two primary methods that you can use to get your website online. The first is to use consumer-grade sites that will put your page on a server for a low rate and offer limited resources. This works well for most people, as many websites don’t have to have high-end programming or functionality to do their job. If you’re running a blog, for example, you don’t want to pay extra for things like databases and disk space if you don’t need it. On the other side, if you are a developer then you need a lot of different components to make your sites work best for you. Things like dedicated servers, integrated programming, and cloud capabilities are all par for the course for website developers, which is why they will need to search for more comprehensive hosting options. With all of that in mind, we bring you a comparison review of two hosting platforms that are on either side of the spectrum. For consumer hosting, we have iPage, and for developer hosting, we have AWS, which stands for Amazon Web Services. So, one thing to remember is that when we go through and compare these two hosts on things like pricing and features, they are designed for different types of users.
Pricing If you were to compare most consumer hosting websites, you'd see that many of them offer competitive pricing to get you in the door. In this case, iPage has a fantastic introductory price that is affordable to almost anyone. That being said, we generally discourage people from thinking that a lower cost is better, as it’s far more important to see what value you get for your money. As far as Amazon is concerned, you get a lot more features and benefits, which means that you have to pay extra to get them. As such, the base price for both of these hosts is completely different.
- iPage: $1.99 per month (then goes up to $10.99)
- Amazon: varies, but can be as little as $19/month up to several hundred dollars
The Winner: If we are going on price alone, then iPage has the upper hand. However, when looking at AWS, the reason that it’s hard to lock down a price point is that there are so many different options from which you can choose. Even something as simple as hosting a basic web page has multiple service choices, which can inflate the price incredibly quick. Pricing Structure One important distinction between these two services is that they bill in different ways. While iPage offers a per month fee that is based on signing up for a whole year, AWS utilizes a “pay-as-you-go” structure that can be much more cost-effective if you only need temporary hosting. Also, iPage bundles everything into one plan, meaning that you are buying services that you may not need, while AWS charges only for products and programs that you use. In the end, if you know what you’re doing and are strategic about how you pay, then you can get a lot more out of your money from AWS.
The Winner: AWS
Customer Support Whether you’re a novice web designer or a veteran, there will come a time when you have to contact someone to resolve an issue. It could be related to your web page, or it could be something as trivial as a billing question, but regardless it’s imperative that you can get a hold of someone promptly to make sure that your issue gets resolved immediately. So, when comparing different methods of support, we are going to focus on the top four: phone, chat, email, and forums. Before we begin, however, it’s important to note that AWS charges extra for comprehensive support systems, while iPage includes it in your base price. That being said, AWS does have a basic package that is included with your standard hosting system. As such, we are going to compare those support systems rather than the additional options you can find at AWS.
Phone Support As one of the biggest companies in the world, Amazon is always great about answering phones and reducing wait times. If you contact AWS’ support team, you won’t wait more than a few minutes. iPage has a similar setup, but if you call during peak hours, then you might have to be on hold for a bit longer.
The Winner: AWS
Live Chat For those who want immediate results without having to speak to someone, live chat is a fantastic resource at your disposal. Both hosting services offer a chat function, but AWS is somewhat lacking in the basic package. If you upgrade, then you can get personalized help at all hours of the day, but if you stay with the standard system, you may find longer wait times. iPage is much more responsive overall, although they still have some issues during peak hours.
The Winner: iPage Email When looking at email support, the best way to compare the two is to see how long it takes for a response. Both iPage and AWS have a standard ticket system, but AWS seems to get back faster overall. Overall, however, they are about even.
The Winner: a tie Tutorials/Forums If you’re the type of person who wants to learn how to fix a problem yourself, then you will want access to a wealth of information that can assist you in solving common issues without having to talk to anyone. In this regard, iPage has a much better system set up for basic members, giving it an edge over AWS. If you upgrade your support plan with Amazon, however, then you have much broader access to tutorials and forums, so keep that in mind as well.
The Winner: iPage
Speed In today’s modern world, people expect instant results, especially online. While years ago you may have waited minutes for a page to load, these days if it takes longer than 0.001 seconds your audience will bounce before they can even see what’s on your site. As a result, you want to make sure that your host has the best speed and reliability so that you don’t have to worry about your site lagging all of the time. In this case, both AWS and iPage have fast load speeds, but AWS has a bit more discrepancy. In some instances, it can seem to take forever, while other times it’s blazing fast. Unfortunately, consistency is key, which is why iPage has the edge.
The Winner: iPage
Uptime The other thing to look at is whether or not there is a risk of your site going down for any reason. This is known as uptime or downtime, and most hosting services will provide a guarantee that your page will never experience crashes. When comparing these two, iPage doesn’t have the infrastructure that Amazon does, which means that it doesn’t have as reliable of uptime percentages. That being said, the difference is a fraction of a percent, so don’t think that iPage is crashing all of the time compared to AWS.
The Winner: AWS, but by a slight margin Value Now is where we get into the nuts and bolts of each service. As we mentioned before, AWS is built for developers and serious web designers, while iPage is meant for your average consumer who doesn’t know a lot about website building. That being said, iPage does have quite a lot of features to offer, so if you are looking for something a bit easier to navigate while maintaining all of your functionality, then it can be an excellent choice. Here is a brief overview of what each service has to offer. iPage Because there is only one base plan from which to choose, you get all of the best features without having to upgrade. The only thing that you may have to pay more for is bandwidth, but that is dependent on your site traffic and your needs as your online presence grows. iPage makes it super easy for anyone to build a website, as they offer programs to help you get started and create your pages and buttons. Additionally, you can integrate e-commerce functions and market your page through iPage’s system. Overall, they handle most of the heavy lifting for you and offer a simple and easy-to-use platform.
AWS This site's biggest strength is also its biggest weakness. Because there are so many options from which to choose, it can be a daunting task to figure out what all you need, meaning that if you’re new to website building, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. With that in mind, if you are experienced and know what to look for, then AWS makes it easy to customize your plan and create a system that has everything you need. Whether you want dedicated servers, higher bandwidth, or more storage space, AWS has a huge variety of choices for you. This also extends to website programming and building. In short, while iPage does most of the work for you, AWS simply gives you the tools you need to work on your own. See how AWS holds up against other competitors in our DreamHost vs. AWS hosting comparison post.
The Winner: It’s hard to pick a winner here because they are both so different. However, for simplicity’s sake, we have to say that iPage is much more user-friendly while still offering customizable solutions for those who are more experienced. While AWS certainly has a lot more to offer overall, it can be difficult to know what all you need and how you can build a plan from scratch.
Conclusion So, in the end, which service is better? We have to say that performance wise, AWS is the ideal choice, while if convenience and simplicity are more pressing to you, then iPage is a much better option.
To see how iPage matches up against other hosting services be sure to check out our iPage vs. A2 Hosting comparison post.
Last Updated on April 30, 2018 by Jake