iPowerWeb Review

iPowerWeb is one of the largest web host in the industry founder in 1998. They also claimed to be the top 10 largest web host in the industry in terms of number of customers which I think is true, since they are one of the oldest web host out there. When I am making this site in 2002, there are already very big! But iPowerWeb is not recommended! This is because ...

Homepage : http://www.ipowerweb.com
Plan name : Pro Plan
12 month plan : $4.95 $7.95/month
24 month plan : $4.95 $7.95/month
Disk Space : Unlimited
Bandwidth : Unlimited
Websites : Unlimited
Rating : NOT RECOMMENDED!

Around May 2007, Endurance International Group has acquired iPowerWeb after acquiring more than a dozen of other hosts! Technically, because the size of iPowerWeb is so large, they didn't call it an acquisition. They called it a merger instead of an acquisition.

What went wrong is that when they try to merge the infrastructure a few months later, they didn't manage to do it well. Maybe it is because of the size. They are trying to move the servers of existing customers. This resulted in a lot of down time and not functioning websites after the transition. The internet is full of frustrated customers and I receive a lot of complaints at that time. As a consequence, a lot of existing customer has chosen to leave.

It has been nearly 2 years since that incident. Not many has remembered the event. Customer who left left while customers who stay are still staying. And business is still usual at iPowerWeb today. Since it is a one time incident, I think they have been able to rectify the problem since then. Whether you want to choose them depend on whether you are a forgiving person.

Hosting Plans

iPowerWeb offers 3 web hosting plans, Ready Site, Pro Plan and Site & Store. I will only be discussing the Pro Plan since it allows you to host unlimited websites with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Ready Site is a single domain hosting plan with a limit of 5GB of space and 250GB of transfer. I don't think you are interested in 'limited' plans when everyone is giving 'unlimited'.

While unlimited hosting is common nowadays, iPowerWeb is only offering 200MB of disk space and 20GB of bandwidth when I started this directory! It has been upgraded many times since then until they cannot upgrade it anymore and call it "unlimited" today.

iPowerWeb is also promoting the very same plan and products with the brand iPower. Everything is exactly the same - customer support team, telephone numbers, hosting infrastructure ... except that iPower is also providing Windows and VPS hosting solutions to tackle different needs.

Pro Plan vs Site & Store

Plan Name Pro Plan Site & Store
12-Month Price $4.95 $7.95 $14.95
24-Month Price $4.95 $7.95 $13.95
Web Space Unlimited 2,000 GB
MySQL Databases 25 Unlimited
Web Site Creator Standard Version
- Max Web Site Creator Pages 9 Unlimited
- Web Site Creator Design Templates 100 220
ShopSite Shopping Cart Starter Plus
- Product Limit 15 50
- Page Limit 5 25
- Extra features - Yes
Website Backup Software - Yes

The above table shows the comparison between the Pro Plan and Site & Store Plan. You will noticed that there is a big price differences but the extra features in Site & Store don't look promising. However, 25 MySQL databases for the Pro Plan is too little and you should take note of that. I am not very convinced that Web Site Creator is a good web site builder while I also don't think you should use ShopSite as you shoppipng cart software. The reason is simple, both of them are developed by iPowerWeb and can only be used under iPowerWeb hosting platform (including iPower). If you choose to change to another host one day, you won't be able to use them anymore. You don't want to be kept hostage by them!

As common practice, one should use an opensource blogging tool (WordPress, b2evolution...) or a content management system (CMS) such as MODx and Drupal instead of a website creator. One should also pick a free opensource shopping cart instead of one developed by the web host, such as Agora Cart and OS Commerce. All of these can be easily installed via Fantastico scipts library that is included with BlueHost and LunarPages.

Customer Support

1. Email Support - Reply speed is extremely fast. However, issues sometimes need to go back and forth a few times before they are resolved. I think this is because they outsource their customer support. That's why the speed of reply is there, but the quality of reply is not.

2. Knowledge Base - They have compiled a large searchable database of answers to many common questions. Unlike a normal FAQ style help center, you will not need to find the questions and answers by scrolling the screen. You just need to type some simple keywords and the search will return the relevant questions and answers! We have used it to find information on setting up sub-domains and domain pointers. A simple search with the keyword 'domain' returned the answer we needed.

3. Lots of Tutorials - iPowerWeb has prepared over 100 tutorials for their customers, which can be located in the new 'Support Center'. You can find walkthroughs and flash videos on common tasks and various software configurations. The tutorials have been divided into 4 categories - email, file transfer, vDeck control panel and misc. Email tutorials show you how to configure your email software, such as Outlook Express and Eudora. File transfer tutorials show you how to configure and use your FTP clients, such as WS_FTP and CuteFTP. vDeck category has the most tutorials. It will show you how to use all the features in your vDeck control panel. For example, it has tutorials on creating email accounts, managing MySQL database, viewing stats and using the web builder. The misc category contains anything else that does not fit into other categories, including the tutorials on how to change your domain DNS servers.

4. Toll Free Support - Call 888-511-HOST (4678) for free customer support. If you cannot reach the toll free number (outside USA/Canada), call 1-310-314-1608 instead.

5. Live Chat - Introduced in April 2004. To access the live chat, click on the words that read "Questions? 888-511-HOST, Live Chat" below the iPowerWeb logo on the top left corner.

Highlights

 Free Domain Name

If you do not have a domain yet, order their services for one year and you can get a new domain registered for free. If you already own a domain name, you can transfer it to iPowerWeb and have your registration period extended for another year for free.

 vDeck Control Panel

iPowerWeb develops and uses its own control panel software - vDeck. It has been using CPanel for the initial years. Since CPanel is a third party products, all web hosts that chose to use it need to pay the license fee. Thus, iPowerWeb has gone one step further to develope their own custom control panel that mimic the features in CPanel. They are able to do so because they are large web host with strong funding. However, I am still a pro CPanel user.

Order Process

Your account will be set up the same day as long as you provide valid credit card information. Double-check your credit card information! If everything is correct, your account will be set up by one of their staff and you will receive an important email with all of your account information. Keep it safe and do not delete it. :-)

Our Advice

If you encounter any unresolved issues or dissatisfaction with iPowerWeb, we will be happy to assist you. Let us know the details so we can forward your concerns to Joseph Naguit & Ryan Murphy, who are the Quality Assurance Managers of iPowerWeb. Check out others web host reviews by me, especially, BlueHost Review, iPage Review and HostGator Review.

Related:

- Top Web Hosting Chart