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Offers great value for money
Has a website builder with rich features
Custom site management panel has plenty of features
No phone support for customer service
There's a learning curve to use the custom panel
You're limited to a single website
Hostinger is a great hosting service that works well for novices and veterans alike. While the custom panel has a bit of a learning curve, it’s just as good as, if not better than cPanel, and the pricing is hard to compete with.
One of the most annoying things about most cheap web hosting services is that they tend to trick you into signing up for service that's so bad you have no choice but to upgrade to their more premium plans. Hostinger, which we found to be a great service, is a true exception to this rule. Even their most affordable plans come with a surprisingly high level of service.
Hostinger has been around since 2004, and in that time has managed to amass a user base of over 29 million. You don’t get that many users by offering terrible service, but we took one of their shared hosting plans for a spin anyway to see how hosting this affordable really performs. Read on to find out our results.
Hostinger offers a traditional tiered selection of shared hosting plans that will look familiar if you've ever checked out shared hosting in the past. Each tier includes more resources and comes with a higher price tag.
Here are the shared hosting options from Hostinger:
Single: This entry-level plan allows you to set up a single website using up to 10 GB of storage, and it allows up to 100 GB of bandwidth use each month. You can get this plan for as little as $0.80 per month if you pay for four years in advance, $1.95 per month if you pay yearly, or $7.99 per month with no commitment.
Premium: The next step up provides a larger share of the shared server resources, allows up to 100 websites, provides 20 GB of storage, and unlimited bandwidth. This plan will set you back $2.15 if you pay for four years in advance, or $11.95 if you pay on a month-to-month basis.
Business: This business-oriented plan gives you an even larger share of system resources, provides 30 GB of storage, and includes a free SSL. It will set you back $3.45 per month if you pay for four years in advance, or $15.95 per month if you pay every month.
In addition to shared hosting, Hostinger also includes options for cloud hosting, VPS hosting, Windows VPS Hosting, and email hosting.
Hostinger runs Cloud Linux on their servers. This is a Linux-based operating system that's designed specifically for hosting, allowing Hostinger's system admins to take fine control over resource use and isolate users on shared hosting servers to prevent one problem account from causing trouble for everyone else.
Cloud Linux accomplishes this by virtualizing user accounts into their own Lightwight Virtual Environment (LVE). If one LVE spikes system resources, only that LVE slows down, preventing your neighbors from tanking your site.
This plan offers 10 GB of disk space on a shared server. This is enough for most basic websites, but you won't be able to host large video or PDF files, and you may struggle if your site goes viral. Note that the storage space accounts for the entire account and will be shared among all your files.
Other plans offer more storage, but Hostinger does not provide any unlimited storage options with their shared hosting plans.
If your needs aren’t too complicated and all you want is to put up a nice page on the internet for everyone to see, this is a great place to start.
With Hostinger's entry-level shared hosting plan, you get a monthly bandwidth allotment of 100 GB. Note that this is shared bandwidth, since you’re on a shared server, which means it may be higher or lower than advertised, depending on how much traffic your neighbors on the server are getting. Their other plans offer unlimited bandwidth, but they are still constrained by the shared hosting infrastructure.
The registration process is fairly straightforward and takes only minutes to complete. With the Single plan, which we tested, they don't include a free domain. That means you’ll have to migrate a domain from another service, or register a new domain and import it, which does add a bit of time. Either way, we found the process to be quite intuitive and painless.
Setting up a new site is easy with the custom panel, and you can easily upload site files and install a CMS as you grow your site. We normally prefer shared hosting plans to provide familiar panels like cPanel and Plesk, just for ease of use, but Hostinger did a pretty good job here. This particular panel is specifically optimized for WordPress, which is nice if you're using WordPress.
Hostinger's proprietary hPanel can be a bit difficult to use at first if you’re used to cPanel, and the learning curve might be annoying. However, we found it to be very intuitive and easy to learn after an initial period of difficulty. It’s also user-friendly, allowing you to use a ton of features that you might not even find on the cPanel.
The advanced options include access to SQL and PHP, one-click application installers for features like Joomla, and plenty of other rich features that make running your website easy and intuitive.
On the Single plan, you are restricted to one user and one domain, so you can’t add any other users. However, on other plans, you should be able to add other users using a few clicks of your mouse. Payment options are also set up intuitively, allowing you to pay using both your credit card and cryptocurrencies.
Hostinger offers a free website builder. You might expect it to be basic, seeing as it’s free, but it’s actually quite impressive. Most hosting services don’t put much thought or effort into their website builders, but Hostinger took their time and it shows. With the templates on their website builder, you can easily build a cool website.
To be sure, the templates won’t necessarily allow you to build some next-generation website, but at least you’ll get something that is both professional and offers much of the same functionality you would get from a custom landing page creator out there.
Phone support is nonexistent on Hostinger’s customer support. Many people would like to talk on the phone with someone when they have an issue, and it certainly feels better and more reassuring than live chat or email. Many hosting services offer phone support, so it's a bit of a let down that Hostinger stumbles in this department.
On that front, Hostinger will admittedly have to take a hit. Another interesting thing is that you must sign up for a Hostinger account before you can talk to the customer support on live chat, which is a little strange considering you’ve probably already signed up for hosting by that point.
Once you're signed up, though, the live chat is open 24/7 and is very reliable, with customer service reps responding to all your queries and helping you out with your issues in record time.
Another great thing about Hostinger that compensates for the lack of phone support is the rich knowledge base. In that knowledge base, you can find nearly all the answers to just about any question you have. Most of the time you should be able to find a solution to your problem without even needing to contact support. You’ll have to rely heavily on the search bar, however, as the knowledge base is organized rather poorly.
Hostinger provides a server uptime guarantee, but it isn't that great. If they fail to meet their 99.9% commitment in any given month, they'll credit you 5% of your monthly bill toward your next bill. There's no provision for a greater refund for higher downtime.
They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, which they sometimes call a free trial on their website, but it’s the same thing. Anytime during the first 30-days of your subscription, you can stop using Hostinger if you don't like it for any reason. And you keep your money.
The most attractive feature of Hostinger is its pricing. You might be wondering how they can manage to provide a price as low as $0.80/month, and still provide high-quality service.
The secret to Hostinger's aggressive pricing is that it's all locked behind massive up-front commitments. To get their best prices, you have to pay for a full four years in advance.
This blow is softened somewhat by the fact that their 48 month pricing is substantially lower than the competition. For their $0.80/month shared hosting plan, you’ll pay just $38.40 for the full term of the contract.
When competitors that often charge as much as $10 or more per month for monthly pricing, you end up getting four years of service from Hostinger for the price of just a few months at a competitor.
BlueHost is Hostinger’s greatest competitor and has a lot of features comparable to those of Hostinger, and each one has strengths and weaknesses. Hostinger is the clear winner on pricing, but Bluehost offers more resources.
Hostinger clearly beats BlueHost when it comes to pricing. BlueHost’s lowest-priced tier costs $2.75 per month on a 36-month contract and increase to $4.95 per month if you prefer a 12-month contract. By comparison, Hostinger’s $0.80 per month, even on a 48-month contract, is less expensive.
BlueHost wins when you look at bandwidth and storage, which is an area where Hostinger skimps a bit. Bluehost provides unmetered bandwidth and storage, while Hostinger caps bandwidth and storage at 100GB and 10GB, respectively. BlueHost also offers 5 free email accounts and gives you a free domain for the first year on their lowest-priced tier.
Overall, BlueHost manages to match Hostinger on many features. However, the one area where Hostinger comes out as the undisputed winner is pricing. If you think your site can survive on limited storage and bandwidth, then you'll save a lot of money with Hostinger.
Hosting is best for individuals and small businesses who want inexpensive hosting.
If you're just starting a website and won't need a lot of bandwidth or storage, and you want to keep your costs low, Hostinger offers a great service with the tools you'll need to get your site up and running.