Low headline prices are a great way to attract attention in the web hosting market, and Lithuania-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 only one email address, one database and two subdomains, you’re limited to 100GB bandwidth, and you only get the $0.99 deal if you sign up for four years (after that, it renews at $2.15.)
But there’s good news, too. Easy WordPress installation; a free SSL certificate; LiteSpeed to boost performance. If you’re nervous about the lengthy contract, do the math. Hostinger asks just $47.52 for the first four years, less than a mid-range VPS might cost you for a month elsewhere. Even if you only use it for a couple of years, you’ll have got decent value for money.
- Want to try Hostinger? Check out the website here
- 12 month plan – US$0.99 per month (US$11.88 total cost)
If you’ve bigger ambitions, moving up the shared hosting range should help. The best value Business plan supports unlimited email accounts, bandwidth and websites, adds daily backups and gets you 4x the resources. It’s priced at a low $3.99 a month over the first four years, $7.95 on renewal. The lengthy contract is more of an issue as prices rise, but this still looks like a good deal to us, competing well for value with even top names like HostGator.
All the plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee. This has the usual restrictions you’ll find with hosting – you won’t get a refund for domain name registrations, for instance – but we didn’t notice any other sneaky clauses which might catch you out.
Hostinger’s WordPress hosting improves on the shared plans in several important ways. Even the cheapest Starter plan supports 100 websites (within 20GB storage), gives you 100 email accounts, free SSL and domain, LiteSpeed caching and weekly backups, all for a tiny $2.49 over the initial four years ($119.52 total), $3.49 when you renew.
Upgrading gets you more storage space, support for 300 sites, and either Jetpack Personal or Premium. You’re still restricted in various ways, though – 100 email accounts, 100 domains and so on – and if you genuinely need to create more than 100 sites, that might be an issue. The higher plans are notably more expensive, too, at an initial $7.45 and $14.95 a month, so it looks to us like the Starter plan is the highlight of the range.
Managed WordPress plans from other providers are often more powerful. IONOS’ WordPress Pro includes enables creating and managing multiple WordPress sites from one dashboard, and the service automatically updates WordPress and plugins for you. Advanced features include staging support (make major changes to your WordPress project without affecting the live site), and there’s daily cloud backup thrown in.
All this power comes at a price, though. IONOS has very low prices, but even its most basic single-site plan costs $18 billed monthly, around seven times the cost of Hostinger’s Starter WordPress plan (though 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 full managed WordPress later, if you feel you need it.
Hostinger business web hosting | 4-years | $4.09 per month
Exclusive to TechRadar readers. This is an incredibly cheap deal. You can get a free domain, 100GB storage, unlimited traffic and a free SSL certificate. This package is perfect if you plan to host just one website and grow it rapidly with plenty of features not usually found at this price level.
More demanding users could try one of Hostinger’s semi-managed VPS plans. These start with a basic 1 vCPU, 1GB RAM, 20GB storage and 1TB bandwidth setup for an initial $4.95 a month on the annual plan, rising to $9.05 on renewal. Or a very capable 4 vCore, 4GB RAM, 80GB storage and 4TB bandwidth plan for $23.95 for the first year, $36.35 on renewal.
This is good value, and notably better than we see from most providers. Hostwinds’ equivalent 4 vCore 4TB VPS starts at $44.99, for instance, and renews at around $50, significantly more expensive.
But Hostinger hasn’t finished yet. It also has a small Windows VPS range, starting with a 4 vCore, 2GB RAM, 50GB storage and 4TB bandwidth plan for $30 a month on the annual plan, $26 over two years (there’s no introductory discount, so prices don’t increase on renewal.)
If even the most powerful VPS isn’t enough for you, we would normally recommend you turn to the dedicated hosting plans. But in this case, bad news: Hostinger doesn’t have any.
While many hosts are annoyingly vague about the low-level details of their packages, Hostinger spells out almost everything in a lengthy comparison table. If you care that the baseline Single Shared Hosting plan only allows one cron job and doesn’t support SSH access, for instance, you’ll discover that here.
Choose a plan, click Buy and you’re presented with various subscription options (usually that’s monthly billing along with one, two- and four-year plans).
Mostly these work as you’d expect: the headline price quoted on the site is for the longest term, and you’ll pay a little more for shorter subscriptions.
The only significant issue is the monthly plan, which is often so expensive that it’s really not worth considering. The annual Single Shared Hosting plan costs a total $35.88, for instance; 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 at a one-off $9.95 for the lifetime of your account. That’s a little odd – Cloudflare-supporting hosts generally offer it for free – but it doesn’t add a lot to the total, especially if you’re signing 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 cash in the usual way. A website link took us to a simple startup wizard and a welcome email quickly arrived with more details.
Creating a site
Hostinger’s setup wizard opened by asking us whether we wanted to register a new domain, transfer a domain from another company, or use an existing domain but leave it with the current registrar.
You’re also able to choose where to host your site, conveniently: North America, the UK or Europe.
We chose the ‘existing domain‘ option and were given Hostinger’s four name servers, and told to update our domain DNS settings.
The final ‘Start website’ step offered five options to help us create our website.
Install WordPress took us to a straightforward WordPress installer. All the default settings were sensibly assigned, and after choosing an admin password we could set the system up with a click.
Auto Installer uses the same automated approach to install more than 100 popular apps, including Joomla, PrestaShop, OpenCart, phpBB and Drupal. We prefer Softaculous, the installer often provided by other hosts, but this one is perfectly adequate and will get your chosen apps installed at speed.
Zyro Builder is Hostinger’s website builder. This covers all the basics, with around 200 responsive templates, easy drag-and-drop customizations, and options to embed videos, maps, social media widgets and simple e-commerce features.
It’s not for advanced users – there’s no blogging platform, for instance – and design is more about mild tweaking of a template than building something new from scratch. But it’s capable of creating some quality sites, and there are no annoying restrictions on page numbers or site size to get in your way. (That’s 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 could also use it to manually install more sophisticated apps, perhaps setting up custom databases and editing configuration files.
Access Manager is an unusual extra tool which allows you to give others access to your Hostinger account, enabling them to work on creating or managing the site with you. You could do something similar by sharing your credentials with others, but this is much safer. Everyone gets their own login, and the people you invite don’t get full access to your account. They’re able to create or edit a website page, for instance, but by default they can’t buy a new product with your stored payment details, or change account details such as your registered email address.
If you don’t want to commit to this right now, you can skip it all and head straight for Hostinger’s well-designed cPanel-like site manager, where you’ll find tools for organizing domains, subdomains, databases, SSH access, emails, FTP accounts and more. There’s a lot of power here, and hosting first-timers might be a little intimidated, but start to explore and it quickly begins to make sense. Even novice users will be finding their way around the key features within a few minutes.
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, even experts, so it’s important for web hosts to have a good support system.
Clicking ‘Help’ on Hostinger’s Control Panel opens the service knowledgebase. This groups content by well-chosen topics (Setup & Install, Account & Billing, Hosting & Website, Privacy & Security, Domains, Emails) and has a search box to help you find whatever you need.
There’s not a lot of content displayed up-front, unfortunately. The various knowledgebase sections have only four or five articles listed, and even these don’t always cover the most common topics. (The highlighted Emails articles have nothing to do with creating or managing email accounts, for instance, and mostly cover setting up email accounts on various device platforms.)
Using Search gets you access to more articles, though, and they proved to be more useful. Searching for ‘permissions’ gave us advice on setting file and folder permissions, as well as referring to specific error messages (‘403 forbidden’). Entering ‘change PHP version’ immediately highlighted the correct cPanel module. The content of these articles is basic, but enough to point users in the right direction.
Hostinger has a big tutorials section with far more detailed articles: ‘How to Make a Website – the all-in-one Guide’, ‘How to Launch a WordPress website’, ‘How to back up your emails’, and more. These seem well-written and genuinely helpful, but, bizarrely, they can’t be located from the knowledgebase search box. Hostinger has a lengthy tutorial titled ’30 WordPress SEO Tips’, for example, but if you type ’30 WordPress SEO Tips’ in the Search box on the Help page, it won’t appear. You must go back to the control panel, click the Tutorials link and search again there.
Even when we reached the tutorials, some very basic searches returned disappointing results. As Hostinger sells Windows VPS hosting you’d expect one or two tutorials on configuring this, right? But when we searched for Windows VPS, the first articles were ‘Securing Ubuntu VPS with Linux Firewall’ and ‘How to List Users on Ubuntu Linux VPS.’
Still, if you can’t find what you need, support is available 24/7/365 via live chat and a ticket-based system. We submitted a query via live chat, and a helpful agent began providing a useful reply within a couple of minutes.
We rounded off the review by using Uptime.com to monitor our test website from multiple locations around the world, logging response times and any downtime.
Our test site was hosted on Hostinger’s most basic shared hosting plan, but still managed a solid 100% uptime record over 10 weeks of monitoring.
Uptime.com recorded a response time range of 171ms to 1.73s, with an average of 382ms, over the last seven days of testing. Starter 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.
Page load times matter too, though, so we used Dotcom Tools’ Website Speed Test to measure our site performance from 16 locations around the US and Europe. This time the results were much better at 878ms, putting it in the top 25% of providers.
A mixed story, then, but keep in mind these are comparisons based on the cheapest shared hosting plan from each test provider. Some of those plans cost 5x to 10x the $0.99 you could pay with Hostinger, so on balance we think the company did reasonably well.
Pros of Using Hostinger
Unlimited or free services don’t mean anything if your site can’t stay online.
Our site with Hostinger had strong uptimes, fast speeds, great support, and more.
1. Mostly Good Uptime 99.95%
Uptime is the most important thing to check out when considering a web host.
Hostinger performs pretty well in this area but does have drops in uptime every few months or so (October, June and May 2019). Overall they perform quite good by keeping their websites up and running.
Last 12-month average uptime:
- January 2020 average uptime: 99.95%
- December 2019 average uptime: 99.98%
- November 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- October 2019 average uptime: 99.65%
- September 2019 average uptime: 100%
- August 2019 average uptime: 100%
- July 2019 average uptime: 100%
- June 2019 average uptime: 99.83%
- May 2019 average uptime: 99.89%
- April 2019 average uptime: 100%
- March 2019 average uptime: 99.94%
- February 2019 average uptime: 100%
2. Fast Load Time – 350ms
Fast page loading times are vital for any website user’s experience with a site.
Have you ever tried to open a web page only to get stuck waiting for the site to load for what seems like ages?
We all have.
Moreover, you probably didn’t stick around for long. If a website takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of people abandon it, according to Neil Patel.
Hostinger boasts servers in the USA, Asia, and Europe (UK). Each is reportedly connected to a 1000 Mbps connection, which ensures that loading times are stable.
How did they fare in our tests?
Hostinger average load time:
3. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Hostinger offers tons of different payment options like Visa, Paypal, Mastercard, Discover, Bitcoin, Maestro, American Express, and JCB.
They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. So you can try them out and get your money back if the performance or experience is sub-par.
Be aware that not all products are refundable, and some products have special refund terms, according to Hostinger’s Refund Policy. We’ll save the details for the cons section below.
4. Multilingual Customer Support
Customer support can either make or break a web host.
If your site is down for some reason and you’re unable to get in touch with a customer support person ASAP, you might lose out on a ton of sales.
Hostinger doesn’t disappoint. The company offers a multilingual customer support team, live chat, and they integrated Intercom as their main support system.
Live chat is only accessible if you’re logged into a Hostinger account, though. (See con #1 for more details.) We’re glad that Hostinger offers live chat, but it would make more sense if they offered it to everyone. Accessing the live chat is extremely easy. Once you’ve logged in there is instantly an icon in the bottom right corner of the page.
We had to wait less than 1 minute for a chat support agent to connect and another minute for the answer, which was amazing. Mindaugas answered our questions quickly and with great use of language.
Hostinger also has a huge knowledge base with articles that are short and comprehensive, and you can find guides, information, and answers to questions by yourself. They also have tutorials (everything from website building to SEO) that include gifs and images on how to do things.
Users can search for articles or choose between three categories in the knowledge base:
5. Free Website Builder and Domain Name
Hostinger includes a free website builder (although the popular website builders are better) in their services with any plan you choose. There are tons of different templates to choose from, too.
Once you’ve chosen a template, you can customize everything on your pages using the Hostinger website builder.
In addition to the website builder, free domain names are also available with Premium and Business web hosting plans, which will save you a bit of money in the long run.
If you need more than one domain, you will have to pay extra. More on that later.
6. Easy to Use Interface
Hostinger offers a modern, easy-to-use interface where you can find everything you need in one location.
That way, you can track logins, update billing information, manage your domains, and monitor emails from your dashboard.
The control panel isn’t a traditional cPanel, but large icons make it simple to find exactly what you need and when you need it.
Some advanced users might miss cPanel, but for beginners who are still finding their way around – this version is great for getting a website up and running.
7. Unlimited Features With Premium and Business Plans
If you sign up for one of the top two Hostinger plans, you’ll gain access to unlimited email accounts for free.
Managing those accounts right from the control panel means that there’s no guesswork about spam filters, usage, and more.
You can set up autoresponders, enable or disable accounts, and forward emails sent to a customer’s domain.
Bandwidth and databases are unlimited for most plans, the exception being the “Single Web Hosting” plan.
With the latter you’ll be limited to 10GB of disk space, 100GB of bandwidth, one MySQL database, and one email account.
8. Industry-Standard Pricing Tricks but Still Affordable
Many web hosting companies promote their prices in a false light. Hostinger is one of them, but they are more transparent about it than many others.
For example, if you want to take advantage of the awesome $0.99 per month deal for Single Shared hosting, you’ll have to commit to Hostinger for 48 months. After those 4 years, your renewal cost will jump up to $2.15/month.
If you’re willing to commit to the same web host for four years, then it’s an incredibly good deal for that amount of time. It could save you quite a lot compared to most other hosts.
A low price usually means some compromises have been made in quality, but in Hostinger’s case, the service they offer is actually quite good compared with most hosting service providers.
Cons of Using Hostinger
There’s a lot to love about Hostinger’s loading speeds, uptime, support quality, and features.
Unfortunately, no perfect web host exists and Hostinger, like other hosts, has some flaws. The trick is figuring out which flaws you can live with and which ones are the deal-breakers.
Here’s an overview of what’s not so perfect about Hostinger:
1. Must Be Logged in to Access Live Chat
Hostinger’s live chat option is only available if you’re logged into a Hostinger account.
That means if you’re not a Hostinger customer but you have questions for example about migrating your site over to them, you can’t chat live with a customer service representative.
To get in touch with Hostinger without being logged in, click the “Contact Us” button at the bottom of their site.
Then, you’ll be taken to a page where you can choose whether you’re looking for support to report abuse or to submit a general inquiry ticket.
To submit a ticket, you’ll have to submit your name, email, and your message.
2. No Traditional cPanel
Most hosting services use a traditional control panel, like cPanel.
Hostinger has created its own control panel – new users might find this easier to use than a traditional control panel. However, if you’re already accustomed to using cPanel, you might not like their dashboard.
Therefore, advanced users might not love this part.
3. Nonstandard Payment Terms
Hostinger’s Refund Policy reveals a few exceptions to their money-back guarantee.
What’s refundable under standard terms:
- Hosting (all plans, except first payment after Free Trial)
- Domain Transfers (.eu transfers are an exception. EURid charges a non-refundable transfer fee. If the transfer fails for any reason, the customer must start over and pay the transfer fee again. .es transfers are also non-refundable.)
- SSL Certificates
What’s not refundable:
Redemption fees, domain name renewals, and privacy protection are not refundable. Most new domain name registrations are only refundable if canceled and processed within four days of registration, not 30 days.
Keep these exceptions in mind before moving forward.
4. Must Pay for Extra Domains
One domain name registration is free for users who opt for the Premium or Business shared hosting plans as well as with all annual Cloud hosting plans.
However, additional domain registrations aren’t free. They’re definitely affordable, though.
Domains with the extensions “.com” and “.net” are under $10 per year, while a “.xyz”, “.online”, “.tech” domains are only $0.99 per year.
A “.asia” extension will cost you the most – $12.99 per year.
If you choose one of their Premium or Business plans, you’ll get unlimited subdomains, but only one free domain name.
You can also renew an expired domain name at no extra cost within 36 days after expiration. After that, the Redemption Grace Period will allow you to still redeem the domain until day 66 for a redemption fee of $53, according to Hostinger’s Expired Registration Recovery Policy.
Hostinger’s starter accounts have some significant limits, but they’ll still work for some, and otherwise its products offer plenty of features and powerful cPanel-like site management for a very fair price.
I Personally Recommended that Hostinger Hosting is best and cheapest range in all hosting companies available in market.This is reallty because my hosting is host by Hostinger .