A great web hosting provider if you're not looking to spend too much, Hostinger is lacking in more advanced features as well as WordPress support. Check out our review to find out if it's the service you need or if you're better off looking elsewhere.
Hostinger is a Lithuanian web host, founded back in 2004 with the goal of providing high-quality, free web hosting. 14 years and 29 million users later, the company has shed the free plan, but has kept a dedication to excellent hosting on the cheap.
In this Hostinger review, we’re going to break down what makes this host so special, from its features to its support. While there isn’t much to the top-end plans, the budget options are quite good. Read on to see how it stacks up against the best web hosting providers.
- Great WordPress plans
- Lots of features
- Daily backups
- Top-notch support
- Expensive cloud & dedicated plans
- Dated control panel
- Slow response time on shared plans
- 100% uptime guarantee
- Extensive knowledgebase
- Dedicated WordPress hosting
- Unlimited email
- Paid phone support
- Paid malware removal tool
- Free domain
- Free SSL certificate
- Website builder
- BitNinja DDoS protection
- Fast response times
- No email or phone support
- Lack of top-end plans
Despite the price tag, Hostinger’s plans come with a surprising amount of features. You get a free SSL certificate, automatic daily backups, BitNinja DDoS protection and a fairly impressive website builder, to boot.
The Zyro builder, as it’s called, is quite impressive. It’s slightly below par when compared to SquareSpace or Wix, but still gives you a nice looking website without needing too much design knowledge. You can see what we came up with below.
You have options for creating an ecommerce site with direct PayPal integration and the virtual cart of your choice, as well as social tools like comments and Google+ badges. The options are impressive, but using the builder is a bit of a chore.
Themes don’t resize automatically to fit mobile devices, text must be spread across multiple different boxes and adding new media elements can be a hassle. However, many website builders have this same learning curve and, while Zyro’s is a bit steeper, it’s not too difficult to get your footing.
If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, the more useful features are automatic daily backups and an included SSL certificate. The former keeps you safe in case a server ever loses any information, and the latter is a must if you accept personal information on your website.
However, you’d probably be better off with a dedicated WordPress solution. Hostinger can get the job done, but there aren’t specific WordPress features to make the endeavor worthwhile. You can check out our list of the best web hosting for WordPress is that’s the path you’re taking.
We took a sharp look at Hostinger’s features, as inexpensive web hosts tend to skimp in one way or another. Still, we couldn’t find anything missing. Between the premium security suite, deep, although clunky, website builder and full SSD storage, Hostinger is a fully featured web host.
|Plan:||Price per month:|
|Single Web Hosting||$2.15|
|Premium Web Hosting||$3.49|
|Business Web Hosting||$7.95|
Hostinger only offers two types of hosting: shared and VPS. Shared hosting is the bulk of its service, masquerading under the “web hosting” moniker. Despite being the same type of hosting, the three different plans show a great amount of value at their respective price points.
Single web hosting has a very fitting name, as the plan targets those who need a single site without too much concern of speed. You get a single website, email address, FTP user and MySQL database, meaning, at most, a single person could run a single site.
It’s a narrow plan, sure, but it’s also very cheap. This is the type of web hosting plan that you should opt for over any free plan. While the tech specs are mostly the same, you gain access to an ad-free website builder, powerful control panel and full, 24/7 support. It compares very well to Bluehost’s most inexpensive plan (read our Bluehost review) but for about a dollar cheaper per month.
The Premium plan shapes up like true shared hosting. The restrictions are lifted, giving you unlimited websites, MySQL databases, email accounts and FTP users. The extra dollar also brings a free domain name for one year.
Business plans don’t see as significant of a jump in features, but a significant jump in price. At almost twice the cost, you’re getting mostly the same as the Premium plan, with the addition of faster speeds and better support. Even so, the Premium option looks like the sweet spot in this lineup.
VPS plans are priced very well, coming in far cheaper than HostGator’s VPS plans (read our HostGator review to learn more about those). You’re getting similar specs, yes, but losing out on quite a bit of disk space. Hostinger preserves costs by providing limited amounts of disk space on each plan which, in this case, is a worthy tradeoff.
Hostinger only provides plans on the cheap end of web hosting, with prices that are comparable to most other providers. However, its configurations show a deeper knowledge of web hosting that saves you money while still providing excellent performance.
Hostinger is a straightforward host, offering only two different varieties of the service. You have the option between shared and VPS hosting, with multiple tiers accompanying each. It’s clear that Hostinger opted to go deep instead of wide, making each plan feel fully realized instead of tacked on.
Shared hosting tells you everything you need to know in the name. Multiple users are put together on the same server, sharing the resources. As the web host has to maintain fewer servers, the cost savings are passed on to you.
There are downsides, though. Speeds and uptime take a hit, with resources ebbing and flowing as other users need them. The more inexpensive plans at Hostinger will often run into this problem. However, the more expensive shared plans combine fewer users with more resources, leading to much more headroom.
We tested a single web hosting plan for a baseline reading of speeds. Tests were ran with Pingdom speed test with four different locations around the world. After running each, the average was a 1.2 second response time.
That number is a bit deceiving, though. Two of the servers tested with were located in the States, both of which returned times under half a second. The two abroad, however, returned times of multiple seconds.
To test the site under load, we used LoadImpact and sent 50 simulated users to the domain over a five minute span. Response times were impressively consistent. Despite a single spike, times remained around 200ms, with 50ms or so of variation in either direction.
On this level, Hostinger compares very well to iPage (read our iPage review). Both showed consistently quick response times for their respective prices, targeted at small businesses who need a website without too much fuss. However, Hostinger’s VPS plans set it apart.
A VPS, or virtual private server, strikes a middle ground between shared and dedicated solutions. You still share a server with other users, but now have a static amount of resources. The fastest shared speeds will still outclass VPS, but you have much more consistency, making the trade worth it.
It’s unfortunate that Hostinger doesn’t offer many different types of hosting, but we can understand why. The multiple different tiers all feel balanced for their respective prices, targeting those looking for inexpensive hosting and delivering wholeheartedly.
The deep as opposed to wide theme continues into the usability of Hostinger. The web host ditches the normal cPanel interface in favor of its own design. The trade leaves an intuitive interface that works great for newcomers to the web hosting world.
Using the control panel is about as simple as web hosting gets. The landing page shows you the number of accounts, domains, VPS servers and SSL certificates, with options to manage or add new ones in any section. It’s similar to DreamHost’s control panel (read our DreamHost review) but has a far more intuitive set up.
It’s cleanly laid out, presenting you a few options for messing around, without overwhelming you with tech jargon. While it doesn’t necessarily present as many options as a cPanel implementation, Hostinger’s hub still has plenty of power.
This is where you’ll find the main form of support, too. A circular icon down in the right corner of the page opens a live chat window. This is fastest way to live chat we’ve encountered at a web host, with a backlog of conversations maintained like text messages.
As with the other areas of Hostinger, the ease of use seems thoroughly thought out. A quick glance at the control panel and it seems like it can’t do much. However, whenever we tried to find a feature, it was exactly where we expected it. Hostinger doesn’t use the same system as every other web host, but, in this case, that’s a good thing.
Plans at Hostinger are pretty inexpensive, so going in with an expectation of excellent security features is a bit unfair. However, even under that unfair assessment, Hostinger provides enough to make this area an easy win.
This starts with Business users, who receive a free SSL certificate for life. SSL, or secure socket layer, is a form of in-transit encryption. Essentially, it protects information while it’s being sent back and forth between the server and the user. While this isn’t an issue if only your site’s content is being transferred, any personal information is at risk, making a certificate essential.
Single and Premium plans do not come with a free certificate, though. While we’d normally dock Hostinger for that, it’s a bit difficult to considering how cheap the plans are. You can still purchase a lifetime certificate for only $9.99.
Every plan also comes fit with BitNinja and SpamAssassin. The latter is a simple spam filter for any email address at your domain. The former, however, is much more interesting.
BitNinja is an all-in-one security solution on any server. It protects against malware, DDoS attacks and brute force attacks across all major protocols. It also uses machine learning, meaning that, if one server has an attack, the software will inform the other servers of the malicious IP.
With how cheap Hostinger is, including BitNinja seems a bit crazy. It’s a great piece of kit, ensuring that your website is protected at all times. That combined with free (or extremely cheap) SSL certificates makes the security portion of Hostinger a major win.
There is, however, a small issue. Hostinger offers no form of domain privacy. You get a free domain name with any purchase, but we’d suggest going with a different registrar to keep your WHOIS information private.
Support is a bit interesting at Hostinger. While there is plenty to like on the DIY end of the spectrum, there isn’t much in the way of personal support. Live chat is available, but email and phone support is nowhere to be seen.
Let’s start with the good, though. Contacting live chat was one of the more pleasant support experiences we’ve had. Even around one o’clock in the morning, we received a reply in under a minute. Furthermore, the support was friendly, asked if there was anything else they could do and pointed me towards some of the tutorials for additional help.
The support is so good, in fact, that we wish there was more of it. Carrying this quality over to phone or email support would make this area an easy win for Hostinger. While live chat can solve many issues, the web hosting world can often be confusing, and providing customers with their preferred method of contact is a necessity.
Despite that, the DIY support is excellent. Articles in the knowledge base are clear, laid out with step-by-step instruction and hi-res screenshots. This attention to detail is a clear indicator of a quality web host.
There are quite a few topics as well. Where Hostinger lacks in personal support, it makes up for with the knowledge base. Each of the six categories run deep with articles, covering even niche issues. A search bar at the top makes it easy to navigate through the pile, too.
Hostinger also has a massive log of tutorials. There are basic topics like setting up WordPress and redirecting a domain, but we were surprised to see much more involved topics covered. One of the recent ones was a 5,500 word piece on writing your own WordPress theme with HTML5.
It doesn’t directly pertain to support, no, but it’s clear that Hostinger is dedicated to equipping its customers with the knowledge to be successful.
The knowledge base solves most issues, live chat is available for any extraneous questions and the tutorials section helps you gain a deeper knowledge of web hosting. If email and phone support were thrown into the equation, this would easily be a home run, but, for now, there remains a slight blemish.
Hostinger doesn’t offer many different services, but the ones it does are thoroughly thought out. The inexpensive price tag is a secondary pro to how many features you’re getting, with excellent speeds and uptime to boot.
It’s undoubtedly one of the best budget hosts we’ve seen. If you’re in the market and don’t have much coin, then it’s best to try out Hostinger. If you need a few more options, though, we understand and recommend you read through our other web hosting reviews.
Make sure to check out our cheap web hosting guide where we give you some pointers on how to save money. Do you plan on signing up for Hostinger? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.