If you’ve done much research into standalone landing-page tools recently, then you likely know that there are two major players in the game… InstaPage, and LeadPages.
They both have their merits, and both come with a plethora of useful features. Both are web-based applications that essentially give you the power to design, optimize, and then test your own landing pages.
You obviously want the highest conversion rates possible. But you also want ease of use and simplicity.
Pretty much any digital marketer worth their salt will tell you that you need to use landing pages if you are running paid ads to your website. But which system is the best?
As you know, I’ve been a big WordPress guy from basically day one. And I love building landing pages with WordPress.
But for me, it got to the point where I needed more simplicity. I needed something super intuitive, secure, and fast to build and test.
Let’s get into the LeadpPages vs Instapage differences, break them down, and do a deep-dive on exactly what each of these tools has to offer.
But first, let’s talk about why I decided to look at a new landing page software to begin with.
Why I Had to Find a New Landing Page System
For a very long time, I was 100% reliant on WordPress… and for good reason. My wife’s website has generated like 33 million visits from WordPress, which is amazing.
But ultimately, WordPress is a blogging platform. It is infinitely customizable as a blogging platform… but it does have its own drawbacks.
We were originally using a WordPress plugin to manage not only our sales, but also the delivery of our digital products.
The only problem, though, is that one of the plugins we were using to deliver our MP3s ended up imploding.
And in the end, we came to decide that it was time to upgrade to a few different systems… and our landing pages were an area that we decided to upgrade.
WordPress is an awesome platform. We started our entire business on WordPress blog, with $95 and 40 cents! All we had to do was pay for hosting and a domain, and we ended up making serious money and growing our business to the six-figure mark… all right on WordPress!
But as time goes on, and as we plan to scale our business even more in the future, I am also starting to really value simplicity. So I want to switch out some of the core pieces of my business that could be replaced by different tools… to help things run as smoothly as possible.
These tools are a little bit more expensive, but they are still affordable… even for solopreneurs who are just starting out.
So let’s get into them, starting with LeadPages!
What Is LeadPages?
Leadpages is a landing page building tool that helps small businesses to connect with their audience. They essentially help in turning ‘clicks’ into ‘customers’ by giving you the ability to create high-converting landing pages.
But another big selling point of their products and tools is how simple and easy they are to use.
Over 40,000 small businesses use the LeadPages conversion toolkit to help convert more opt-ins and sales. These same businesses also use it to help showcase their products and support their marketing campaigns.
LeadPages offers a wide range of tools to help you do this… including alert bars, pop-ups, opt-in texts, and more. They also give you insight tools, the ability to perform easy a/b split tests, and real-time conversion tips to help you convert as much traffic as possible.
From a design perspective, LeadPages gives you access to optimized templates designed to suit different needs and goals.
Their pricing system is also easy to understand, which is nice.
And finally, at the end of the day, they also offer fantastic customer service. They call this their ‘secret sauce,’ and give their customers the ability to reach them via phone, email, or chat.
What Is InstaPage?
InstaPage gives you the power to create fully-customizable landing pages intended to increase conversions and ROI.
On their own landing page, they say this about their online toolkit.
“Meet the Advertising Conversion Cloud™, the best end-to-end solution for deploying powerful post-click landing page experiences at scale.”
The name of the game on InstaPage is ‘dedicated landing pages.’ They say that you can grow your average conversion rate from 3.8% to 16% using their tools, which is super-powerful stuff... at least in theory.
InstaPage offers a number of selling points that makes their landing page tool an attractive addition to any affiliate-marketer’s toolkit.
For example… their landing pages are responsive, easy to create, and fast. Their landing page builder is also intuitive, using ‘Instablocks’ to help you choose from selections of pre-designed page-block-templates.
You can find blocks that contain call-to-action forms, testimonial sections, benefit overviews, etc. You can also modify, save, and/or reuse any of these across any pages.
If a/b testing is on your radar (and it should be), then you should know that InstaPage also helps you with this. They give you the ability to take full ownership over the post-click experience on your landing pages with a/b testing and heatmap capabilities.
They even offer an Enterprise Solution for larger, more complex systems.
How Do LeadPages And InstaPage Differ?
Now that we’ve taken a brief look at each service, let’s take a quick look beneath the hood to see exactly what both of these companies are actually offering.
And the three main things that we are going to look at will be pricing, features, and my own personal experiences testing each of them.
Pricing: LeadPages Vs. InstaPage
Pricing is going to play a significant role when choosing any tool or software for your business… so it certainly can’t be overlooked.
But it is also true that spending a little bit of money now can save you a lot of trouble down the road!
So let’s take a look at both of these services, and see what differences exist in their pricing structures.
LeadPages basically offers four different tiers of pricing.
They offer a Start Package at $15 a month, a Standard Package for $25 a month, a Pro Package for $48 a month (this is the one I tested), and an Advanced Package for $199 a month. All of these are billed annually… so you are looking at a bit of an investment for each.
One great thing about all of these LeadPages packages is that they let you get started with a free trial. They each also offer a lot of really awesome benefits.
The Standard Package basically gives you what you would need to support 1 website, while the Pro Package supports up to 3 websites, and the Advanced Package up to 50. That gives you an idea of exactly how much stuff you are actually getting with each level of their services.
InstaPage’s pricing structure takes a bit more ‘work’ to find on their page. But when you get right down to it, you will find two basic plans… a Core plan, and an Enterprise plan.
The Core plan costs $129 a month if you pay by-the-month, or $99 a month if you pay the entire annual amount up-front.
The Enterprise plan is customized for your unique needs, so pricing varies. But if you are running anything less than a large-scale operation, then the Core plan is going to be better-suited to you anyway.
In the FAQ section, they say that 30,000 unique visitors per month is about the limit where you would want to think about upgrading to an Enterprise plan, as that is where the Core plan caps out.
They also offer a 14 day free trial, which includes all of the features you would get with the Core plan, plus 2,500 unique visitors.
The first thing that you are going to notice here is that InstaPage is priced quite a bit higher than LeadPages.
Well, don’t worry. You aren’t the first person to notice this! A little while back, InstaPage increased their prices and left a lot of people wondering if it was worth it.
As it turns out, it really depends on exactly what you’re doing. But I will be sharing my personal views on the differences between LeadPages and InstaPage in just a little bit.
Features: LeadPages Vs. InstaPage
Alright. Let’s go through each of these services and talk about what they are actually giving you, according to their websites, for the monthly rates.
For the record, it doesn’t come as a surprise that both of these services look very similar on paper. But it is also true that you get a different perspective once you test-drive each one for yourself, and we are going to go over that as well.
But first, let’s look at what each one is offering you on-paper.
First of all, you have to understand that InstaPages doesn’t give us a pricing option that competes with the Standard Package offered by LeadPages.
So where affordability is concerned, LeadPages definitely takes the cake. In fact, even the Pro Package on Leadpages is literally half as expensive as the cheapest InstaPage option.
You just can’t ignore that. That is a big pricing difference. And if you are just starting out, that is probably going to play a big role in your decision.
So, with that being said, let’s review what you are getting in the Standard Package from LeadPages.
With the Standard Package, you are getting…
- Support for 1 Website
- Unlimited Landing Pages
- Unlimited Pop-Ups
- Unlimited Alert Bars
- Unlimited Traffic and Leads
- A Free custom domain (with annual purchase)
- Free hosting
- Over 200 landing page templates
- Over 40 standard integrations
- A Facebook and Instagram Ad-Builder
- Weekly group coaching
Obviously you get more features as you level yourself up… but on paper, as a general rule, this is what you are getting from LeadPages for their Standard package.
One really obvious thing that you will likely notice here is that InstaPage Core gives you access to a/b testing, while the LeadPages Standard package doesn’t.
But upon further inspection, you will also notice that the Pro Package of LeadPages actually includes unlimited a/b split testing… which is the main reason for why we went for the Pro version of LeadPages over the Standard version.
Now, let’s compare this to what you get with InstaPage.
Obviously, InstaPage starts out at that $99-a-month mark when you purchase their Core plan annually up-front.
So they are fitting into an interesting price-bracket.
LeadPages gives you a $48/month option, and a $199/month option… but no $99/month option.
So is it just a coincidence that InstaPage’s pricing is starting out here?
It is possible that with their new pricing setup, InstaPage is looking to fill a void in the market that other landing page software companies just aren’t filling… a high quality service in that $100/month bracket where you actually get powerful, effective tools and quality customer service.
So let’s take a look at what you are actually getting with the Core plan. You get…
- A landing page builder
- Advertising and marketing integration
- Sophisticated a/b testing
- Conversion analytics
- Multi-step forms
- Dynamic text replacement
- Branded lead notifications
- Automatic SSL certification
So, as stated before, both of these services are super similar on paper. But in some cases, you may need to move up a package level to get the same tools and features.
The Most Practical Differences Between LeadPages And InstaPage
Before we discuss the practical differences between these two tools, you should understand the background and context that I was coming from as I conducted my own landing-page software research.
Testing LeadPages, InstaPage, And Other Landing Page Software Options
The first attempt/test that was done with a new landing page software was actually done with ClickFunnels.
But this ended pretty quickly… with an error message, a gray screen, and a little message that said to ‘try back again.’
Needless to say, I quickly remembered why I left Clickfunnels years ago.
Several other tools were considered, and some of them were even tested... but LeadPages was the one that stuck.
Well, the biggest answer is probably because it ended up being the simplest option.
Simplicity is becoming more and more important as my business scales and grows. As you increase cashflow and decrease moving parts, you also decrease stress and the problems associated with a complicated business.
Initially, the Pro Package from LeadPages was purchased. This one gives you the ability to run a/b split tests, and it ended up working really well… so well that we ended up sticking with it!
Granted, in my goal to move away from an all-in on WordPress, I’m spending some money on premium-level tools… and LeadPages is actually one of those tools.
That’s an investment of around $50 per month, just for a landing page software application.
But it is worth it to me. Yes, you can still build landing pages on WordPress, and they will cost far less. But at what point do you start to suffer from having everything on the same system?
You will inevitably start running into problems when everything is dependent upon one platform.
Split testing with LeadPages could also not be simpler. It is all right on one dashboard, it is super neat and tidy, it is easy to use, it is intuitive… it just really works well.
Just to clarify, the main organic WordPress website that gets all of our views is still up and running. The main Thrive Leads popup is still operational. None of this has changed.
The only thing we are changing with this landing page software is this… we are using it for front-end landing pages where the paid traffic is being driven. That’s really it.
Ironically, we used to use LeadPages back in the day, when we first started using funnels in 2013. And it worked really well back then. But one thing led to another, and everything ended up migrating to an all-in on WordPress.
So it is interesting that we are now going back in on LeadPages, when it was, in fact, the landing page software that helped us to get started right in the very beginning.
InstaPage Was Not Necessarily Built For Solopreneurs
Let’s take a moment to talk about something that often gets overlooked when people are looking at InstaPage… the fact that InstaPage is not necessarily built for small businesses or entrepreneurs.
Yes, it has plenty of useful features that small-time website developers could look at and get into. But at the end of the day, InstaPage was actually built and developed for established, larger-sized advertising teams.
They provide features like visual collaboration for teams, Global Blocks for mass changes across thousands of pages, built-in heatmaps, sophisticated conversion analytics, etc.
These are mostly features that small-time entrepreneurs and content marketers are not going to be using… especially at first.
But this also fits into why InstaPage is priced at a higher price-point than LeadPages.
Yes, for a small-time entrepreneur, $99/month may actually be a deal-breaker. But if you zoom back out and look at this product from the perspective of a large advertising firm who is looking at building and handling hundreds or thousands of landing pages all at the same time… your perspective on their price point will change quite a bit.
InstaPage truly seems to shine when you get to this larger level, and when professionals with coding experience can be brought in to make full-use of all of its features. And at that point, to be quite honest, $99 per month is small potatoes.
This stands in stark contrast to LeadPages, and the fact that it was actually designed more to help smaller solopreneurs.
LeadPages Actually Seems To Be Designed With Solopreneurs In Mind
LeadPages simply offers a lot of really intuitive features that save time and make the creation of dynamic landing pages a simple process.
Creating a new landing page in LeadPages is as simple as hitting a big blue button at the top-right-hand part of the screen in the LeadPages dashboard.
Right away, they streamline the process by giving you three different options to start with.
- Generate Leads
- Make Sales
- Something Else
From here, you either have the option to fully customize a blank page exactly the way you want it, or you can start with a template that matches what you are trying to do.
If you choose ‘Generate Leads,’ for example, you end up with template option categories like…
- Free Guide
- Free Consultation
- Newsletter or Email Course
- Discount or Coupon Offer
- Webinar or Event
- Contest Entry or Giveaway
This is one of the best things about LeadPages. If you just want to get started and put up some awesome landing pages that look great, you don’t really have to do much other than to go through the basic, simple steps.
But… at the same time, if you want to do something different or fancy, you can also completely customize these pages as well. This adds a lot of value, and makes it even better for solopreneurs who want complete creative control over their landing pages.
Templates are made from individual elements, which are each fully customizable. You can edit the page layouts, add widgets, change the styles, and also add tracking features. You can even drag-and-drop individual elements wherever on the page you want them!
It is just super intuitive. And granted, in the Pro package, they don’t give larger firms quite as many tools as InstaPage gives out. But at the same time, they are cheaper and just better suited all-around to content marketers and affiliate marketers who want total control over their landing pages and a seamless, intuitive interface that just actually works.
Another great thing about LeadPages is that it is automatically optimized visually for both desktop and mobile. You can also buy additional templates if you don’t find the perfect ones for you in the included sets.
The Differences Between LeadPages’ And InstaPage’s Editors
The first and most notable difference that you will likely see between these two tools, second to price, is in the editors themselves.
But at the same time, the builder actually ends up giving you the potential for greater creative power and control over the design and functionality of your landing page.
But at what cost?
At the cost of simplicity.
It is more difficult to use… and there is a great argument to be made for the extra power of the editor not really being worth it unless you fit into a certain, elite group of professional designers who actually have the knowledge, budget, and time to use all of these features and put them to work.
But for anyone who is less tech-savvy, and for anyone valuing ease-of-use over complexity (which is most of us), LeadPages is going to give you all of the creative control you would ever want… and there are very few limits that are going to actually hold anyone back in the vast majority of practical applications.
A Note About Reviews Vs. Trying It For Yourself
One thing that is really important for you to understand about tools like this is that there really is no substitute for trying them out yourself. Both of these services offer free versions. You have the ability to test run both of them, to see which one you will actually like better.
And it is highly recommended that you try out both.
Every situation is a little bit different. So sit down and figure out exactly what feels more comfortable to you.
Build and test-drive a landing page or two with each service, just to see how they work. Get a feel for the tools, and see which one feels more intuitive
You can certainly use reviews to help you decide. But at the end of the day, reviews are really only going to help you so much. You can only learn so much by reading about something.
There comes a point where you really have to try it out for yourself to make the best judgement call.
My Final Opinion Of LeadPages Vs. InstaPage: Which One Is Better?
If you were going to sum up both of these landing page tools in a few sentences, here is how it would probably look.
InstaPage offers more flexibility and control for larger businesses and agencies… at the cost of a higher learning curve, a lack of general intuitiveness in the early stages, and a higher price-point.
LeadPages is built more for the solopreneur. It is cheaper to get started with, easier to use, more intuitive, easier to understand, and makes the process seamless and simple. This comes at the cost of having fewer design element options at more complex stages of the process, and less control over mass numbers of landing pages (hundreds or thousands) all at the same time at the push of a button.
Personally, I have found LeadPages to work really, really well with my process… and for my business, there really isn’t much of a contest between the two. LeadPages is half the price, it gives me the ability to run easy a/b split tests, and it makes designing landing pages super, super easy.
InstaPage also comes with a wide range of benefits. But it is probably better suited to larger, established companies who have likely already used options like LeadPages, but have discovered that they just need more technical control over all elements of the process, and need to be able to manage hundreds or thousands of client landing pages quickly and easily.
Once again, you should try both before making your final choice. But if you are a solo entrepreneur, affiliate marketer, or content marketer who is trying to level-up your landing page game, then LeadPages is going to be really tough to beat.
You can have a page up and running in less than ten minutes with LeadPages… whereas you cannot even access or learn more of the greater strengths of InstaPage in that time. InstaPage is simply more complicated, mostly because it was just built to deal with much larger landing page operations.
If you are like me, and looking for simplicity and ease of use, then LeadPages is going to make you very, very happy.
Hopefully, this review has helped you to decide which one of these tools may work better for you. As you learned, I really like LeadPages. I’ve switched over almost completely to them for my landing pages, and it is going really, really well.
But with that being said, feel free to hit me up in the comments if you have any other feedback to contribute. Have you used either one of them? If so, which one do you prefer, and why?
Let’s keep the conversation alive. And as always, thank you so much for checking in and listening to my thoughts on the matter!
See you in the next one!
Have a comment or a question?