Hostinger Review – The Cheapest Shared Hosting Provider
Hostinger Pros and Cons:
- Unlimited disk and bandwidth
- Free templates and drag-and-drop website builder
- 27/7 customer support
- Interface not user-friendly
Shared hosting plans starting from as little as $0.99 per month? There must be some sort of catch, right? We were initially worried that cheap prices must mean Hostinger is compromising when it comes to power and performance. Thankfully, while Hostinger’s lack of dedicated hosting might mean it struggles to meet the performance requirements of larger websites and busy digital web agencies, there are still plenty of features here that should satisfy the vast majority of web owners.
If you’re looking for shared hosting or VPS hosting plans that deliver all of the features you’d expect from your hosting provider at a bargain price, you won’t be disappointed with Hostinger. Our web hosting experts spent weeks testing a variety of different sites with Hostinger to give you a full rundown of everything that’s on offer. Read on for our full Hostinger review.
Whether you’re building your website from scratch or planning on migrating an existing website over to Hostinger, you’ll want to make sure that Hostinger has enough features crammed into its control panel to let you customize and scale up your website and hosting requirements until your heart’s content.
Starting with the cheapest shared hosting plan up to Hostinger’s most expensive VPN plan, our web hosting experts have tested everything that Hostinger has to offer to ensure we can provide a full rundown of all the features that are available in our Hostinger review. From usability to performance-enhancing plug-ins and customer support, here’s what you can expect.
Hostinger is one of the most user-friendly hosting providers we’ve used, and beginners won’t have any issues finding their way around it as everything is clearly explained. Hostinger starts by asking new users to choose a plan, which will then prompt you to create an account. There are plenty of payment options available and you can even pay with cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin if you prefer.
Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be guided through Hostinger’s setup wizard, which will ask you whether you want to register a new domain, transfer a domain from another country or use an existing domain but leave it with the registrar. Hostinger will also provide you with a choice of three server locations: North America, the UK, and Europe. After choosing your domain, you’ll then be offered five options to create your website.
This is where Hostinger excels because there’s so much choice available when it comes to creating your website. There’s a straightforward WordPress installer for basic websites while an Auto-Installer uses an automated approach to let you easily install more than 100 popular apps, including OpenCart, phpBB, Drupal, and many more. Hostinger uses Zyro Builder as its website builder, allowing users to drag and drop social media widgets, e-commerce features and customize their websites with hundreds of additional plug-ins.
Unlike other hosting providers, Hostinger doesn’t use the traditional cPanel for site management. Instead, it uses its own version of cPanel called hPanel, which we believe is actually much better suited for beginners, although more experienced webmasters may find it lacking in certain areas, particularly with advanced email features. The basic features still provide plenty of customization options, though, and overall, Hostinger’s hPanel had a fantastic interface that made it easy to make any changes that we needed to our website.
For our Hostinger review, we used Uptime to monitor our two test websites from various locations all over the world. We wanted to make sure that our websites didn’t experience any downtime during our two-week testing period and that they’d continue to load at a reasonable speed when they were flooded with users.
One of our websites was hosted on Hostinger’s $0.99 shared hosting plan and didn’t encounter any issues during our testing. On average, our load times for our main landing page, which we’d populated quite heavily with a variety of different images and copy, took just 1.50 seconds to load. While other hosting providers can in at under a second on average, anything less than two seconds is pretty impressive when you consider how cheap Hostinger’s shared hosting plans are.
In terms of uptime, Hostinger didn’t let us down. We experienced just one minor outage across our extensive testing, which meant that Hostinger still pulled over 99.9% in terms of its uptime commitment, exactly as Hostinger promises.
When we first started researching and testing for our Hostinger review, we were worried that security features might be its downfall. Thankfully, that isn’t the case at all. All of Hostinger’s servers have advanced security modules such as Apache_mod security, Suhosin PHP hardening, PHP open_basedir protection, and many more to guarantee the highest levels of security.
That said, Hostinger does encourage its users to enforce their own high levels of security by ensuring that scripts and any other plug-ins on their website(s) are regularly updated, as out-of-date scripts are easily exploitable by hackers.
Hostinger has you covered with plenty of additional security features thanks to Bitninja, which comes included in all of Hostinger’s plans. Bitninja is an all-in-one protection suite that prevents XXS, DDoS, malware, script injection, brute force, and many other common forms of automated attacks. SpamAssassin is another useful security feature that comes included with Hostinger’s plans, which automatically scans for and removes email spam.
You’ve gotta respect Hostinger for taking security so seriously and adding all of these extra features in many of their base plans, especially when you consider how cheap they are. On top of everything we’ve already mentioned, Hostinger also offers daily and weekly backups in case your website is ever compromised, Cloudflare Protection, and SSL certificates to give your website visitors peace of mind.
Integrations and Add-Ons
While we’ve already mentioned that Hostinger doesn’t use cPanel further up in our Hostinger review, its custom hPanel offers many of the same tools and add-ons that you’ll need to customize and improve your website. hPanel’s powerful one-click installer provides instant access to hundreds of different CMS and all of the basic WordPress plugins that you’ll ever need to make your website run faster and smoother are there too.
Once we’d built our site from scratch, we wanted to see how quickly we’d be able to install some of the most popular plugins such as Yoast SEO, Contact Form 7, Sumo, Updraft, W3 Total Cache, Visual Composer, and Woo Commerce. All of these were easily discoverable through the Hostinger’s hPanel and quickly installed in seconds!
It’s easy to overlook the importance of email tools when you’re running a busy website, but a busy website means your inbox usually ends up taking a hammering too. When you sign up to Hostinger using the tier two plans, you’ll be able to access unlimited emails without any charge, meaning you can access and manage webmail from any of your sites. Email tools all include email forwarding, autoresponders, and SpamAssassin protection.
There are some useful functions you can activate to speed up the performance of your website. One of the first things you do when you make a new website using Hostinger is to activate LiteSpeed’s caching function, also known as LSCache. Once this is activated, it’ll automatically create cached copies of your website to speed up its performance with returning users. You can also optimize your website scripts by using a couple of useful features such as adding expires headers and combining images using CSS sprites
We wondered at what point in our Hostinger review we’d finally hit a negative. Unfortunately, Hostinger’s customer support is pretty lacking, mainly for the amount of time you’ll have to waste sitting around in chat support waiting until someone gets back to you. There’s no way to speak to Hostinger’s customer service agents by using the phone, so live chat or email is the most convenient way of reaching them.
Live-chat is 24/7/365, but our biggest issue was the waiting times while we were actually engaged in chat sessions. Getting connected wasn’t too much of a problem. While we did experience wait times of up to ten minutes on some occasions, we often managed to reach someone within a couple of minutes. But once a conversation gets started, you’ll feel like it never really gets going.
Customer service reps seem to almost disappear once they’ve acknowledged your question and we found that, on average, it took between five to ten minutes to actually get responses to our questions, which made it really hard to keep the conversation flowing.
Thankfully, a lot of the answers you’re probably looking for are covered in Hostinger’s Knowledge Base, which is absolutely fantastic. It’s been built and organized in a way that makes it easy to find the information you’re looking for, and many of the installation processes for CMS are covered in a handy step-by-step guide.
But as other Hosting reviews have pointed out, it can be frustrating to experience website issues knowing there’s no one there at the other end to provide an immediate solution to your problems, especially when there’s no phone support, too.
Types of Hosting
While Hostinger’s main focus is on affordable shared hosting plans, you’ll also find a great choice of cloud hosting plans for larger projects, email hosting plans, and custom WordPress hosting plans too.
If you’re a growing SME looking for VPS hosting to scale, there’s a massive selection of VPS plans on offer that provides way more options than a lot of other hosting providers. For the avid gamers out there, Hostinger is also a fantastic choice for specialist Minecraft servers, with a range of different plans to choose from.
Plans and Pricing
One of the best things about Hostinger is it offers a lot of choices when it comes to plans, with a variety of different features that allow you to jump in at various price points.
The Single Shared Hosting plan is available at the bargain price of $0.99 per month, providing users with one website, one email address, 100GB bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and loads of other features such as LiteSpeed Cache and WordPress acceleration. While 100GB bandwidth might not sound like much, it should be plenty to keep smaller websites with less demand up and running.
For $2.89 per month, you’ll get an unlimited number of websites, email accounts, and bandwidth in the Premium Shared Hosting plan, complete with weekly back-ups. Finally, the Business Shared Hosting plan adds additional features such as 100 subdomains, 4x allocated resources, and daily backups for just $3.99 per month.
Hostinger’s WordPress hosting plans are laid out in a way that any web novice will be able to stand, making it easy to understand what benefits you’re getting for the money you’re paying.
The WordPress Starter plan covers 100 websites and email accounts with unlimited bandwidth and 20GB of disk space for $2.15 per month. The WordPress Premium plan increases the number of websites to 300 and ups your disk space size to 100GB for $7.45 per month, while the WordPress Business plan is an advanced solution for larger businesses, offering 140GB disk space with the inclusion of JetPack Premium.
Cloud hosting is the go-to option for a lot of larger businesses and it’s easy to see why when you look at how your servers are powered. Hostinger offers some of the cheapest cloud hosting plans going, starting with its Cloud Startup plan at $7.45 per month, which offers 100GB SSD storage, 3GB RAM, two CPU cores, and a 1x speed boost. Up from that is the Cloud Professional plan at $14.95 per month, with 140GB SSD storage, 6GB RAM, four CPU cores, and a 2x speed boost. Finally, the Cloud Global plan is for the heavy hosting hitters, offering a massive 200GB SSD storage, 16GB RAM, 8 CPU cores, and a 4x speed boost for $37.00 per month.
We rarely see so much choice with VPS hosting plans, which makes Hostinger a surprisingly great choice for VPS hosting. Because there are so many plans, we’ve laid out each plan with its main features below. All plans include a dedicated IP address and root access with IPV4 and IPV6 support.
1 vCPU ($3.95 per month)
20 GB SSD disk space
1 TB bandwidth
2 vCPU ($8.95 per month)
40 GB SSD disk space
3 vCPU ($12.95 per month)
60GB SSD disk space
4 vCPU ($15.95 per month)
80GB SSD disk space
6 vCPU ($23.95 per month)
120GB SSD disk space
8 vCPU ($29.95 per month)
20GB SSD disk space
Don’t let other Hostinger reviews fool you. Hostinger is a fantastic hosting provider and we were blown away by not just the prices, but also the performance and power of its servers. In addition to being a great choice for anyone that’s working to a strict budget, Hostinger has plenty to offer larger businesses with more demanding hosting requirements.