Hostinger Review

Founded in Lithuania in 2004 Hostinger is a small, employee-owned company. But their coverage is indeed global, as they host 29M websites in 178 countries worldwide.

Originally, they offered completely free hosting services. It’s not the case any longer, but they still pride themselves on affordable pricing, still combining powerful features for professional websites.

One of their slogans is actually that they help you “save smart”. But as we’ll see in this review, you could be getting less for your money than you think. Let’s dive in.

Hostinger Pricing

As with all web hosts, be careful about the “door-busting” offer. That’s the insanely low price you’ll see printed in big letters on their landing pages and in ads. With Hostinger, the price you pay after 12 months can shoot up by x10!

Still, here’s what you’ll be choosing from for shared hosting.

Single Premium Business
Websites 1 100 100
FTP Accounts 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Inodes (files allowed) 200,000 400,000 600,000
Storage (SSD) 30 GB 100 GB 200 GB
Bandwidth 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited
RAM 768 MB 1 GB 1.5 GB
MySQL Databases 2 Unlimited Unlimited
Database size 3 GB 3 GB 3 GB
1 Domain registration for free No 1 year 1 year
SSL Certificates Yes Yes Yes
SSH Access No Yes Yes
Backups Weekly Weekly Weekly + Daily
Email accounts 1 100 100
CPU Cores 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core
RAM 256 MB 512 MB 1 GB
First year prices $2.99 a month  $5.99 a month  $6.99 a month
Price at renewal for 1 year-deals $5.99 a month $8.99 a month $10.99 a month
More information www.hostinger.com

Now the key point to note is that the renewal prices vary depending on the length of your initial contract.

For instance, with the Single plan:

  • Pay by the month only: $9.49
  • Pay for 12 months at $2.99, renewal is at $5.99 / month
  • Pay for 24 months at $1.59, renewal is at $3.99  / month
  • Pay for 48 months at $1.39, renewal is $2.99 / month

With Premium, it looks like this:

  • Pay by the month only: $10.29. Renews at $10.29 / month
  • Pay for 12 months at $5.99, renewal is at $8.99 / month
  • Pay for 24 months at $3.99, renewal is at $6.99  / month
  • Pay for 48 months at $2.59, renewal is $4.99 / month

Finally, for Business, this is how much you will pay:

  • Pay by the month only: $15.99. Renews at $15.99 / month
  • Pay for 12 months at $6.99, renewal is at $10.99 / month
  • Pay for 24 months at $4.99, renewal is at $9.99  / month
  • Pay for 48 months at $3.99, renewal is $8.99 / month

Hostinger pland and prices

So, yes, you will see prices advertised for as low as $1.39 a month. They are for a 48 months contract, which is actually crazy low.

What can you expect from each Hostinger plan?

All the plans will come with freebies such as:

  • 1-click app install (for WordPress for instance)
  • Cache manager
  • Weekly backups
  • DNS management
  • 24/7 Support via live chat

There is also a good selection of tools and developer-friendly features on all plans. Technical users might also enjoy that they can control Cloud Linux, a client-side libraries like Curl and Curl SSL, InnoDB for database management, and most importantly GIT integration for version control.

Hostinger Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Easy to use: The Hostinger admin panel is a joy to navigate, with clear menus and well laid-out options.
  • Cheap first term: the first few months of hosting are aggressively priced. Renewal prices can shoot up, depending on the length of your initial contract, but if you buy for, say, 48 months, the prices are insanely low.
  • Generous bandwidth: it’s unlimited on the higher plans, but even 100 GB on the lower tier is enough to welcome thousands of visitors per month.
  • Developer-friendly features: those who like to stay in control of the tech stack behind hosting will find that Hostinger offers a great selection of tools.
  • Speed: When we tested its speed, we got very good results (see more below).

Cons:

  • Uptime: Hostinger’s uptime failed to impress. There will be times when your users won’t be able to access your site.
  • Confusing pricing for renewal: that’s how they get you! The renewal prices vary depending on the length of your initial contracts. Keep an eye on the small print to avoid paying up to 10x your initial monthly rate.
  • Daily backups only in the expensive plan: Sure, you can create manual copies of your site, but only relying on weekly backups is a dangerous game to play.ç
  • Limit number of sites: you’ll be able to host max. 1 site with the Single plan, and up to 100 with Premium and Busniess.

What is Hostinger used for?

If you have a project that only requires a website for limited time (e.g. 4 years), the combination of low first-term prices, features and generous bandwidth could make it a win.

There’s a big caveat though: your website may have some serious downtime. For hobby or side-projects, this may be good enough, though.

When not to use Hostinger hosting?

If your website needs decent performance, I would look elsewhere. If you plan on saving money, the prices shoot up so steeply after 12 months that I would also recommend alternatives like DreamHost or SiteGround which are a bit more expensive but better-performing.

Hostinger specifications

criterion rating comments

Ease of Use

A modern and intuitive panel with well laid-out menus. A few upsells in there, but nothing that damages the great user experience.

Domain Names

The 2 higher plans come with a free domain name the first year, after that you’ll need to pay for around $15-25 yearly.

Email Rating

1 account for the single plan and unlimited for the other tiers. Emails send rate is limited to 200 to 500 per hour depending on the plan you choose, so keep an eye on that for your marketing campaigns.

Databases

The Single Shared Hosting plan is limited to 2 databases, the other packages come with unlimited databases. Databases can, individually, not be larger than 3 GB.

Applications

There is an auto-installer for dozens of apps. Among others: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Zen Cart.

Webspace Limit

30 GB, 100 GB and 200 GB of storage. Each plan also comes with an inode limitation which is similar to the total amount of files you can host. 200,000 inodes for the Single plan, 400,000 for premium and 600,000 for Business.

Monthy Data Transfer Limit

Hostinger doesn’t meter the bandwidth you get.

FTP Accounts and Secure FTP

1 account with the Single plan and unlimited with the other 2 tiers. The top 2 packages allow you to connect via SSH too.

Server Location

Hostinger offers 7 different locations to host your website from. Pick one of the following: UK, US, Brazil, Netherlands, Singapore, Indonesia or Lithuania.

Security Features

Hosting comes with SSL certificates for free. You can use the last version of PHP, and enable 2-factor-authentication (2FA) to offer an extra layer of security. SSH is not available on the entry plan.

There is also Cloudflare nameserver protection, which is supposed to secure data from hacks, and Double RAID, designed to keep several secure copies of your site in case of an outage.

Server Speed

Its speed was impressive when I tested it.

Uptime

Hostinger’s uptime was not great either. This is concerning for serious projects, and the key reason to look at competitors.

Backups

With the Single and Premium plans you will get 1 backup a week, and they keep them for 30 days. When you upgrade to the Business plan the backups are daily. You can download the backups, and even create manual  backups on demand (once a day max.).

CDN

Hostinger pre-integrates with Cloudflare so you can add a CDN easily. The top plan comes with free premium CDN integration.

Server Features

You can use the latest versions of PHP (7.3, 7.4 and 8.0) and MySQL. There is also a caching system built-in. Hostinger comes with a system to integrate version control (via Git) to your account. Other programming languages such as Perl or Ruby aren’t supported with the Hostinger shared plans.

Refunds and Guarantees

There is a 30-day money-back policy, and Hostinger guarantees that your site will be up 99.90% of the time, which may look good but isn’t actually a great uptime ratio (your site can be down almost 44 minutes every month).

Assistance and Support

It’s possible to contact Hostinger via live chat 24/7. At times, I had to wait to get an answer from the support agents.

Overall Rating

3.3/5

The biggest elephant in the room with Hostinger is that its uptime was bad to mediocre at best. It’s a shame. The user experience is excellent, and they offer a decent range of features. As it stands, it’s hard to recommend Hostinger for serious projects – especially considering that the prices after the first year aren’t too attractive either.

Hostinger Backups

Automatic backups are performed on a weekly basis, and kept for 30 days on all plans. For Business users, you also get daily backups on top of that.

Because one save point a week might not be enough for complete peace of mind, I’d look at manual backup options. There is one option to generate the backup, and a couple of things you can restore.

Hostinger review backup menu

It’s a bit confusing at first, but you can quickly learn how to get to the important part, which is creating a ZIP file to download locally.

Hostinger review backup save files

The tutorial I followed actually showed an old version of the backend, but it was well written nonetheless.

Testing Hostinger’s hosting

As mentioned above, Hostinger was disappointing both in terms of uptime and page speed. But how disappointing? Let’s break it down below.

Uptime tests

As you can see from the table below, Hostinger’s uptime was very disappointing, and doesn’t match the 99.95% mark.

This all confirms my suspicions that Hostinger expects a few outages a year, because their service agreement only guarantees 99.90%. And for context, here’s how Hostinger fared compared with other providers:

Excellent Good Ok Bad

 

Provider 2019 Uptime 2020 Uptime 2021 Uptime Starts at
Kinsta No data 100% 100% $25/month
Cloudways No data 100% 100% $10/month
SiteGround 99.98% 99.97% 100% $14.99/month
Namecheap No data No data 100% $2.40/month
WP Engine No data 99.99% 99.99% $25/month
Bluehost 99.98% 99.96% 99.99% $9.99/month
HostGator 99.94% 99.91% 99.99% $8.95/month
A2 Hosting 99.93% 99.99% 99.98% $8.99/month
GreenGeeks No data 99.98% 99.98% $10.95/month
DreamHost 100% 99.99% 99.96% $6.99/month
GoDaddy 99.97% 99.9% 99.96% $8.99/month
InMotion 99.97% 99.73% 99.95% $11.99/month
IONOS – Uptime test 2 months No data No data 99.93% $4/month
Hostinger 99.62% 99.48% 99.92% $5.99/month
iPage 99.66% 98.45% 99.85% $8.99/month

To monitor uptime I use StatusCake, a tool that checks each website every 5 minutes.

Is Hostinger fast?

As you can see in the table below, Hostinger really performed well when we tested its speed against 14 other providers.

Provider GTmetrix Pingdom Webpage test PageSpeed Insights Total
SiteGround 0.71 0.71 1.78 2.94 1.54
GreenGeeks 0.81 1.49 1.79 2.2 1.56
Namecheap 0.99 1.40 1.92 2.08 1.6
Hostinger 0.97 2.07 1.77 1.62 1.61
WP Engine 1 1.99 1.46 2.2 1.65
Cloudways 0.80 1.39 1.89 2.84 1.73
Kinsta 0.78 2.18 2.17 1.98 1.77
DreamHost 1.16 1.72 2.56 1.92 1.84
GoDaddy 1.14 2.27 2.23 2.1 1.94
IONOS 1.21 2.08 1.74 2.78 1.95
A2 Hosting 0.96 1.40 3.78 1.9 2.01
InMotion 2.02 2.86 2.61 3.52 2.75
iPage 1.76 2.82 2.73 3.74 2.76
HostGator 2.4 5.21 1.87 1.65 2.78
Bluehost 1.74 4.5 2.42 2.82 2.87

Results in seconds

As you may know, a slow page speed is bad for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it can be infuriating for users who want to quickly access your site. Secondly, it will also penalize you in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). Google and other search engines like fast loading sites. Hostinger has this one sorted (but not uptime as we saw earlier).

Hostinger and WordPress Hosting

Hostinger also has dedicated WordPress hosting plans, allowing you to build a generous number of websites.

Single WordPress WordPress Starter WordPress Business WordPress Pro
Number of websites 1 100 100 300
Email accounts 1 100 100 100
SSD Storage 30 GB 100 GB 200 GB 200 GB
Bandwidth 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Backups Weekly Weekly Daily Daily
Jetpack plan No Free Free Personal
Renewal yearly price $6.99 $9.99 $14.99 $24.99

All of the plans include an optimised platform for your WordPress site. However, you can also install WordPress on a standard shared hosting plan. It’s very easy to do from your backend.

Hostinger review wordprss install

Scaling with Hostinger

If you need more than a standard shared hosting plan, Hostinger also has Cloud Hosting, VPS Hosting, and even a special plan to host Minecraft servers. I’ll just note the major differences and renewal prices for each below.

Cloud Hosting

All of the plans come with dedicated IP addresses, Cloudflare integration and LiteSpeed Cache.

Business Startup Business Professional Enterprise
Websites 300 300 300
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
SSD Storage 200 GB 250 GB 300 GB
RAM 3 GB 6 GB 12 GB
CPU Cores 2 4 6
12-month price after renewal $23.99 $48.99 $90.99

VPS Hosting

All of the plans come with dedicated IP addresses, full root access, 100 MB/s network, IPV4 and IPV6 support. They are based on OVZ virtualization technology.

VPS1 VPS2 VPS3 VPS4
vCPU Cores 1 2 3 4
RAM 1 GB 2 GB 3 GB 4 GB
SSD Storage 20 GB 40 Gb 60 GB 80 GB
Bandwidth 1 TB 2 TB 3 TB 4 TB
Yearly renewal price a month $9.05 $18.15 $27.25 $36.35

Be aware that there are superior plans that come with more storage and performance in case you need them.

Final Hostinger Review Comments

So is Hostinger worth it? To be honest, it’s a hard hosting provider to recommend for serious projects. Yes, you get insanely low prices with your initial purchase, especially if you lock yourself into a 48-month contract.

And yes, you get excellent user experience and good features, including generous bandwidth and storage. And yes, even good speed.

But the downtime was really on the poor side. Is it worth sacrificing your visitor’s user experience to save a few bucks per month? If you only host a casual website like, say, a portfolio or hobby site, maybe.

But for anything more serious (ecommerce, professional website), I’d look at much better alternatives like SiteGround, DreamHost, or A2 Hosting, or Cloudways if you need cloud hosting.

Hopefully, this Hostinger review has helped you decide if this is a good hosting provider for you, but of course, if you have any question, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it.

> Try Hostinger risk-free for 30 days

FAQ

How are Hostinger’s prices so low?

You’re probably looking at the $1.39 a month plan, which is for a 48-month contract. It still renews at a very reasonable $2.99 per month (for another 48-month contract). If you pay monthly, it shoots up to $9.99 a month.

What do they mean by “unlimited”?

Every hosting provider has a sneaky asterisk next to the “unlimited” claim. In Hostinger’s care, you can have unlimited websites and bandwidth in theory, but the number of files you can host are still limited. These are called inodes, and you get 200,000 – 600,000 depending on your plan.

How can I pay for a Hostinger plan?

Pretty much any way you like. PayPal is supported, and so are major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, Amex etc… They also accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum amongst others.

Can I cancel my account?

Yes, and it’s effortless. Just go to your dashboard and find the Deactivate Button in the “Other” section.

Hostinger review deactivate account

Will I get a refund?

If you’re still within your first 30 days, yes. The 30-day money-back guarantee applies, unless you’ve paid with a cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin…)

If you cancel after that 30-day period, you won’t get anything back.

 

Hostinger review updates:

16 Sep 2021 – General & performance update
17 Nov 2020 – Initial review

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