Web hosting is not something that many people think about until they need it, but technology is one of the Internet’s pillars. Without web hosting services, your favorite sites, podcasts, and videos would live in a radically different, and probably uncomfortable, way. If you plan to open a business or expand an existing business, you need a good web host. Hostinger is an option, offering trustworthy and reliable plans that your business can get online in no time. Here is our Hostinger review.
While many hosts are annoyingly vague about their packages’ low-level details, Hostinger tells almost everything in a long comparison table. If you care that the baseline Single Shared Hosting plan only allows one cron job and does not support SSH access, for example, you will find out here.
Choose a plan, click Buy, and you’ll see different subscription options (usually monthly billing along with one-, two- and four-year plans). Usually, these work as you would expect: the price listed on the site is for the longest term, and you pay a little more for shorter subscriptions. The only important point is the monthly plan, which is often so expensive that it isn’t worth considering. The annual Single Shared Hosting plan costs $35.88; for example, the monthly plan is $9.99 plus an initial $4.99 setup fee, $14.98 in total, or a total of $34.96 after just three months.
Cloudflare integration is available for a one-time $9.95 for the life of your account. That’s a little odd – Cloudflare support hosts generally offer it for free – but it doesn’t add much to the total, especially if you sign up for two or four years.
There are plenty of payment options available, including PayPal, credit card, and Bitcoin. We chose PayPal and handed over our virtual money in the usual way. A website link took us to a simple startup wizard, and a welcome email with more details quickly arrived.
Hostinger Review: Creating a website
Hostinger’s setup wizard was opened by asking us if we wanted to register a new domain, move a domain from another company, or use an existing domain but leave it with the current registrar. You can also choose where you want to host your site, convenient: North America, the United Kingdom, or Europe. We chose the ‘existing domain’ option and were assigned Hostinger’s four name servers, and were told to change our DNS settings for the domain. The final step, “Start website,” offered five options to help us create our website.
Installing WordPress brought us to a simple WordPress installation program. All default settings were wisely assigned, and after choosing an admin password, we could set up the system with one click. Auto Installer uses the same automated approach to install over 100 popular apps, including Joomla, PrestaShop, OpenCart, phpBB, and Drupal. We prefer Softaculous, the installer that other hosts often provide, but it is perfectly suited and ensures that your chosen apps are installed at speed.
Zyro Builder is Hostinger’s website builder. This includes all the basics, with about 200 responsive templates, simple drag-and-drop adjustments, and options to embed videos, maps, social media widgets, and simple e-commerce features.
It’s not for advanced users – there is no blogging platform, for example – and the design is more about gently modifying a template than building something new from scratch. But it is capable of creating some quality sites, and there are no annoying restrictions on page numbers or the size of the site to get in your way. (This is very unusual for a free website builder in budget shared hosting).
File Manager opens a browser-based file manager where you can upload your site. This is most useful for small static sites, but you can also manually install more advanced apps, maybe set up custom databases, and edit configuration files.
Hostinger Review: Performance
We complete the review using Uptime.com to monitor our test website from multiple locations worldwide, the response times of logging, and any downtime. Our test site was hosted on Hostinger’s most basic shared hosting plan but still managed a solid 100% uptime record during ten weeks of monitoring.
Uptime.com recorded a response time range of 171ms to 1.73s, averaging 382ms, during the last seven days of testing. Start-up shared hosting plans typically manage 200-400ms with an average peak of 700-800ms, so Hostinger is clearly on the slow side when it comes to response times.
However, page loading time is also essential, so we used the Dotcom Tools’ Website Speed Test to measure our site’s performance from 16 locations in the US and Europe. This time the results were much better at 878ms, putting it in the top 25% of providers.
So it’s a mixed story, but keep in mind that these comparisons are based on each test provider’s cheapest shared hosting plan. Some of those plans cost 5x to 10x the $0.99 you could pay with Hostinger, so we think the company did pretty well on balance.
Hostinger Review: Pricing and plans
Low headlines are a great way to attract attention in the web hosting market, and the Lithuanian-based Hostinger understands this better than most: plans from $0.99 a month? Really? As you’d expect, there are catches:
- There’s support for just one email address, one database, and two subdomains.
- You’re limited to 100GB of bandwidth.
- You only get the $0.99 deal if you sign up for four years (after that, it renews at $2.15).
But there is also good news—easy WordPress installation, a free SSL certificate, LiteSpeed to improve performance. If you are nervous about the extended contract, do the math. Hostinger charges only $47.52 for the first four years, less than a mid-range VPS could cost you elsewhere for a month. Even if you only use it for a few years, you have value for money.
If you have bigger ambitions, moving the shared hosting reach should help. The best value Business plan supports unlimited email accounts, bandwidth, and websites, adds daily backups, and you get 4x the resources. It is priced at a low $3.99 per month for the first four years, $7.95 on renewals. The extended contract is more of an issue as prices rise, but this still looks like a good deal for us, competing well for value with even top names like HostGator.
A 30-day money-back guarantee covers all plans. This has the usual limitations you find with hosting – for example, you don’t get a refund for domain name registrations – but we haven’t noticed any other sneaky clauses that might catch you.
Hostinger Review: WordPress hosting
Hostinger’s WordPress hosting enhances shared plans in several important ways. Even the cheapest Starter Plan supports 100 websites (within 20GB of storage space), gives you 100 email accounts, free SSL and domain, LiteSpeed caching, and weekly backups, all for just $2.49 for the first four years ($119.52 in total), $3.49 on renewals.
Upgrading gives you more storage space, support for 300 sites, and Jetpack Personal or Premium. However, you are still limited in several ways – 100 email accounts, 100 domains, and so on – and if you need to create more than 100 sites, that can be a problem. The higher plans are also significantly more expensive, with an initial $7.45 and $14.95 per month, so it seems to us that the Starter Plan is the highlight of the offer.
Managed WordPress plans from other providers are often more powerful. IONOS’ WordPress Pro offers the ability to create and manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard, and the service automatically updates WordPress and plugins for you. Advanced features include staging support (making significant changes to your WordPress project without affecting the live site) and daily cloud backup.
However, all these features come at a price. IONOS has low prices, but even the most basic single-site plan costs $18 billed per month, about seven times the cost of Hostinger’s Starter WordPress plan (although keep in mind that’s over four years; opt for monthly billing with Hostinger, too, and you’ll pay $11.95). If you’re new to WordPress or working on a small site, start with a simple product like Hostinger’s shared plans. Upgrade to fully managed WordPress later if you think you need it.
Hostinger Review: Servers
More demanding users can try out one of Hostinger’s semi-managed VPS plans. These start with an introductory one vCPU, 1GB RAM, 20GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth setup for an initial $4.95 per month on the annual plan, increasing to $9.05 on renewals. Or a highly capable four vCore, 4GB RAM, 80GB storage, and 4TB bandwidth plan for $23.95 for the first year, rising to $36.35 at renewal.
This is a reasonable price, and especially better than we see from most providers. Hostwinds‘ equivalent four vCore 4TB VPS starts at $44.99, for example, and renews at about $50, significantly more expensive. But Hostinger isn’t done yet. It also has a small Windows hosting range, starting with a four vCore, 2GB RAM, 50GB storage, and 4TB bandwidth plan for $30 a month on the annual plan, $26 over two years (there is no introductory discount, so prices don’t rise at renewal).
If even the most potent VPS is not enough for you, we would typically recommend you to turn to dedicated hosting plans. But in this case, the bad news: Hostinger has none.
Hostinger Review: Customer support
If you have a problem or have a question you want to ask Hostinger customer service, you can reach the crew via web chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I found the staff incredibly friendly and informative, and they answered my test questions with the appropriate links and some feel-good GIFs. Hostinger’s customer service team is the best I’ve come across in the web hosting game and even surpasses GoDaddy’s excellent team. Unfortunately, Hostinger lacks telephone support. If you want to contact a person, it’s webchat.
Hostinger is not a stellar WebHost, nor is it a stinker. The company falls precisely in that middle area where decent web hosting services live. Hostinger’s uptime and customer service sparkle, but the lack of dedicated servers and telephone support make the experience a bit boring. If you’re looking for powerful web hosting, check out the award-winning AccuWeb hosting, which has excellent dedicated hosting plans and Windows servers, as well as telephone support.
Offering good value shared and VPS hosting with some interesting features, Hostinger is worth looking for novice and advanced users.
- Excellent customer service
- Good uptime in testing
- Minecraft servers
- Monthly and annual plans
- Lacks dedicated hosting
- Not every plan has a Windows option.
- Lacks phone support