There are so many web hosting services out there that you can be paralyzed for choice when deciding which one to use.
There’s a lot of buzz around Hostinger web hosting, so we decided to check them out.
In this Hostinger review, we’ll walk you through:
- Why Hostinger is unique
- What are the pros
- What are the cons
- And finally, are they worth it?
Table Of Contents
- Hostinger Review: A Snapshot
- Hostinger Features: What Makes It Appealing?
- Setting Up A WordPress Site On Hostinger
- Hostinger Performance Tests
- Hostinger’s Shared Web Hosting Plans
- Other Hostinger Plans And Pricing
- Hostinger Vs BlueHost
- Frequently Asked Questions
Hostinger Review: A Snapshot
If you’re on a tight budget and looking to get a website up and running with comparatively little upfront investment, Hostinger is a great web hosting company to consider.
You will appreciate the ease of use and simplicity if you’re a beginner. However, if you’re an advanced user, you are left wanting some of the better performance and customer support offered by other hosts.
- General features: Shared and VPS hosting, an easy-to-use website builder, simple setup, and super-budget pricing. If you don’t like the service, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Types of hosting: Hostinger offers multiple types of hosting from general shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, and Minecraft hosting. There’s something for nearly all use cases.
- Load time: We tested Hostinger with a few different tools, and most of them gave promising results. Pingdom showed an average load time of around 500 ms, and the site got an A using GTMetrix.
- Uptime: Hostinger’s uptime is quite reliable. Hostinger themselves guarantee a 99.99% uptime, though tests have shown the number to be around 99.95% to 99.97%. If you head to the support area, you’ll be able to see the status of Hostinger’s system.
- Support Score: Live Chat is not available 24/7, and the support system is designed to take you to the knowledge base first, then open up an email or chat ticket. Web hosting is a fast-paced world, and the lack of 24/7 support your site could be down and you have no-one to help.
- Price Range: Hostinger is incredibly cheap, with plans starting at $1.99 for a 48-month commitment. Advanced plans such as high-performance VPS hosting can go up to $78 per month.
- Disk Space: Hostinger offers 30 GB for the basic plan, 100 GB for the Premium plan, and 200 GB for the Professional plan.
If this is your first-ever website and you’re looking for a cheap hosting solution that will get you online immediately, Hostinger is an excellent place to start.
What makes Hostinger one of the most practical options for beginning affiliate site owners and small business owners? Find out below…
Hostinger Features: What Makes It Appealing?
What makes Hostinger so unique? They’re one of the cheapest web hosting services out there, sure, but how are the ease-of-use, speed, hosting plans, and support team?
Find out below…
Hostinger Is Beginner Friendly
One of the biggest appeals of Hostinger as a web hosting provider is that they’re straightforward to use and beginner-friendly.
After all, if you’re going for cheaper web hosting, you’re probably setting up your very first website and don’t want to drop too much cash on fixed expenses such as hosting.
Once you sign up for Hostinger, you’ll be asked for some basic information about your business and your website. Then, Hostinger will use your answers to personalize the hosting experience for you.
The initial setup is straightforward to understand, and the overall experience is a breeze.
Upon completing these steps, you can opt to use their free website builder to quickly whip up a small business website. The interface is very intuitive, there are plenty of templates to start with and you can easily customize elements to get them the way you want.
Hostinger’s website says that most users are able to get a functional website running in under one hour.
You can also install WordPress or other popular CMS systems like Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and Prestashop, to name a few.
Hpanel Is Easy To Use
Many web hosting providers opt to use Cpanel as the standard control panel for managing your website. Hostinger uses their own solution called Hpanel.
So, what’s the difference?
Cpanel is very robust and full-featured, but the issue with Cpanel is that it can sometimes be overwhelming because of all the myriad menu options.
Hpanel is a simplified, streamlined, and proprietary version of Cpanel. Hpanel has pretty much everything a website owner would need:
- Auto-installing popular CMS systems like WordPress: this is essential to get your website set up with no coding experience
- DNS zone configurations: This allows you to easily update your domain name and name server details
- Managing your email account: in case you’re using Hostinger’s own email, this is where you’ll add/change users
- File managers: useful for troubleshooting and manually backing up your website
- Viewing and modifying MySQL databases: you’ll also need this for advanced editing and backing up your website
Cpanel does have more options, but many new website owners won’t need them. Of course, there may come a time when your site grows to the point that you need a feature Hpanel doesn’t offer, but by then, it may be time to switch to a more robust host anyway!
Hostinger has their own site speed solution called LiteSpeed. LiteSpeed works incredibly well with WordPress and can significantly speed up your website, which is a crucial part of the user experience in modern SEO.
Most importantly, having a fast website can give you an edge over your competitors.
LiteSpeed works by optimizing the way your website’s content is shown to your visitors. When you visit a website, a lot is going on: your browser requests the various components of the website, and the website’s server “serves” those components to be assembled and displayed in the browser.
LiteSpeed streamlines this process as much as possible so there is minimal delay in the way websites are delivered to users’ browsers.
LiteSpeed is enabled in the hosting backend by default for all WordPress websites, so you won’t have to go out of your way to enable it. When you set up a WordPress site with Hostinger’s auto-installer, the front-end plugin will also be installed automatically.
There is one added feature that you should enable which is not enabled by default: the caching feature.
In a nutshell, caching speeds up your website even more by saving copies of your pages on multiple servers instead of requesting a fresh page from the server every time.
Showing a page copy instead of pulling a new one can have a significant effect on load time, especially so for pages that don’t change very often, like about us and services pages.
In a cutthroat industry such as SEO, every possible edge matters, so speeding up your website by even a little bit can help.
LiteSpeed’s cache is called LSCache, and it can be enabled by just flicking the “Automatic Cache” toggle in your hosting account.
Setting Up A WordPress Site On Hostinger
We set up a test site to find out how good Hostinger really is. We tested the whole process:
- Signing up and getting account credentials
- Setting up WordPress
- Deleting the account
Since the main selling point of Hostinger is its cheapest plan (Single Shared Hosting), that’s the one on which we set up the website.
Since we signed up for a single month, we were quite surprised to discover that Hostinger throws on a sneaky $4.99 “setup” fee.
Aside from that, the setup is relatively straightforward.
As soon as the payment went through, the next page to open up was a survey asking us a few questions about what we plan to use Hostinger for and the level of our experience.
Hostinger then asked us about what we wanted to set up:
- WordPress with Woocommerce
- Other CMS(Joomla, Drupal, etc)
- Migrate an existing website
There was also an option for a fully manual installation.
If you select WordPress, Hostinger prompts you to enter an email address and a password for your admin area.
This is followed by letting you select from a few popular themes:
Next, you have to connect a domain. You have the choice to connect an existing domain that you already own or register a new domain through Hostinger.
Since this was the basic plan, no free domain was included with the purchase. If you decide to opt for this plan, you’ll have to buy your own domain name from Hostinger or use your own domain (see the cheapest places to buy a domain here).
Finally, you will get to choose your server location. This is a cool touch, especially if you’re creating a website for a local business.
After 2-3 minutes, your website is ready. The last screen you’re greeted with is to ensure your domain is connected.
You can then head over to hPanel, where you’ll be able to access all the various settings for your site.
Installing SSL was straightforward with a simple one-click setup from the Hpanel dashboard. There’s a large button that start’s the SSL installation process. When you click on it, you’ll be prompted to select which domain to install it on.
Simply select the site, press the “Activate” button, and you’ll be good to go.
SSL is included on all of their hosting plans.
The default WordPresss site that you’ve just created has a few plugins installed from the get-go:
- All-In-One SEO: Worth keeping and can help with your sites SEO
- All-in-One WP Migration: Only needed if you’re migrating an existing WordPress site
- Google Analytics for WordPresss: Worth keeping for easy Analytics integration
- Hostinger: You can remove this one as it doesn’t add much value and will add bloat to your website.
- LiteSpeed Cache: Worth keeping for speed optimization
- OptinMonster: OptinMonster is not a free plugin. It’s kind of a sneaky way to slip in an upsell. If you plan to build an email list, then its worth considering. If not, just remove the plugin.
- Starter Templates: You can remove this one, as there are better themes available such as WP Astra
- WP Forms Lite: Worth keeping to easily set up a contact form
Hostinger Performance Tests
Now that the website is set up, it’s time to test the speed and see how well it did!
The Hostinger test site that we set up was a simple WordPress installation with a medium-sized image on the front page, some text and some typical plugins installed.
Having plugins is an integral part of the testing methodology because they tend to use up a lot of load time. Testing a bare-bones site would not yield the same results as a site with some essential plugins installed.
We kept the basic plugins that were preinstalled on the website
Hostinger’s hPanel has a “Cache Manager” option, so we enabled the default caching system.
There are three main tools you can use to check a website’s performance:
The website was tested with all three, and here are the results for each one:
Testing Hostinger Speeds With PageSpeed Insights
The first test was through Google’s own PageSpeed Insights tool:
Mobile results were good, considering that optimizing for mobile is generally quite challenging.
The site scored yellow for the following:
- First Contentful Paint at 2.9 seconds (ideal is 1.8 seconds or less)
- Speed Index at 4.1 seconds (ideal is 3.4 seconds or less)
- Largest Contentful Paint at 3.0 seconds (ideal is 2.5 seconds or less)
The first contenful paint and largest contentful paint was slow because the background of the area above the fold had a large, unoptimized image.
The speed index was because the website was not optimized, and using plugins to minify css and JS (to name a few things) would improve this score.
Desktop results were much better:
Everything except the speed index was in the green, and the site scored an excellent 97!
Testing Hostinger Speeds With GTMetrix
GTMetrix results were a solid 99% for performance and 95% for structure. The Largest Contentful Paint was 749ms, well under the 2.5 seconds recommended by Google.
Testing Hostinger Speeds With Pingdom
Pingdom tests were also pretty decent, though not as good as PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix.
The load time was very fast at 537 ms, though the site scored a little poorly on compression and HTTP requests. Both of these issues can be fixed with a plugin like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache.
Considering that these results were with a completely unoptimized site and on the cheapest hosting plan, they look promising.
With more optimization, a leaner theme, and compressed images, this site could be a lot faster, even on the cheapest hosting plan.
Like most budget-friendly hosting companies, Hostinger provides a shared hosting plan on all of its basic tiers.
After your site grows beyond a certain level of traffic, you’ll find that shared hosting may not be enough because the server may not be able to provide the bandwidth that your site needs.
In this section, we’ll take a look at the three shared hosting plans Hostinger offers. After that, we’ll cover other types of hosting as well.
Hostinger Single is the cheapest offering from Hostinger. It starts at $1.99 per month for a 48-month commitment. This is the plan that we used for the test website, except we only signed up for a single month.
With Hostinger single, you’ll be able to set up only one website on your hosting plan. In addition, you’ll get 30 GB of SSD storage and 100 GB of bandwidth per month.
There’s no free domain registration, and there are no daily backups, which means you’ll have to set up your own system for backing up your website’s files.
Setting up backups requires a little bit of technical know-how and/or money. You’ll likely need an additional subscription to services or plugins such as UpdraftPlus to complete your backups.
The Single plan is good for you if you’re just planning on dabbling with building a website, and this is your first foray into the world of SEO and content marketing.
This is fine for basic websites, but many WordPress plugins create their own databases, and if you’re using the Single plan, you won’t be able to use those plugins unless and until you upgrade your plan.
Hostinger Premium is the middle-tier hosting plan and goes for $3.49 per month for a 48-month commitment.
With Hosting Premium, your website limit increases from just 1 to 100. This means you can have an entire portfolio of websites hosted and managed from a single account.
This is very useful if you’re starting a second or third website and don’t want to commit to a different hosting plan, at least until the newer site gains traction.
You get 100 GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth and databases.
As you can see, the Premium plan is much better value than the Single plan, which you can very quickly outgrow. Being able to set up more than one site on a single hosting plan means you can start incubating more than one website without needing to buy additional hosting.
Even then, the Premium plan has a limitation of not offering daily backups, so you’re responsible for backing up your website with a third-party plugin (consider using UpDraft Plus)
The highest tier shared hosting plan offered by Hostinger is the Business plan, which goes for $4.99 per month for a 48-month commitment.
The most significant difference between Hostinger Business and Hostinger Premium is that the Business plan offers daily backups and more SSD space.
With daily backups, you don’t have to worry about renegade plugins or hacks, and greater SSD space lets you store a lot more files on your server.
For a typical WordPress website, SSD space is not that big of a deal: even a hefty 500-600 page WordPress site won’t take up that much space unless you’re storing large files on it.
Other Hostinger Plans And Pricing
With the Single, Premium, and Business Shared Hosting plans out of the way, here’s an overview of the other types of hosting plans that Hostinger offers.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, where your site is hosted on a single server with other sites, but the server is split up into multiple virtual machines, each with its own dedicated resources.
A VPS means you’re guaranteed a fixed amount of CPU power, RAM, and other resources, so a traffic surge on another website on the same server will not affect your own site.
To compare, if a website on a shared hosting server was to receive a traffic surge, other websites on the server would likely suffer because they wouldn’t have as many resources.
VPS plans on Hostinger start at $3.95 and go all the way up to $77.99 per month. Each increment gets you more resources.
Cloud Hosting is quite similar to VPS hosting, except that instead of being on a single server, multiple copies of your website are stored on hosting servers in the Hostinger cloud.
You get the same advantages with Cloud hosting plans that you do with VPS hosting plans: namely dedicated resources and nearly 0% downtime, which means your website runs faster and can handle more traffic.
Cloud hosting plans start at $9.99 per month and go up to $69.99 per month.
If you’re into gaming, Hostinger offers Minecraft hosting specifically designed for gaming and setting up a Minecraft server. Minecraft is a wildly popular game, and running your own server gives you full control over the game.
You’ll decide the rules of the game and assign roles to all other users. A server also lets your friends play and join you in your virtual world. Also, running your own Minecraft servers makes modding the game very easy.
Hostinger offers multiple Minecraft hosting plans that start from $6.99 per month and go all the way to $77.99 per month for serious gamers and streamers.
Hostinger also has “Wordpress Hosting,” which is the same as their shared plans but packaged a little differently.
Instead of bombarding you with multiple features and technicalities, the WordPress Hosting sales page shows you plans tailored to different traffic levels from 10,000 visits per month to 200,000 visits per month.
The WordPress Single, Business, and Pro plans have similar features to the Shared Hosting plans. Single is priced at $1.99 per month, Business is for $3.99 per month, and Business is for $6.99 per month. There’s an added Pro plan for $11.59 per month which allows 300 websites and supports up to 200,000 monthly visitors.
Hostinger Vs BlueHost
One of the most popular (and oldest) hosting providers is BlueHost, and many top influencers tend to promote BlueHost thanks to their comparatively lower prices and ridiculously high commission rates.
So how does Hostinger hold up against BlueHost?
As we’ve mentioned multiple times in this Hostinger review, the key value proposition of Hostinger’s web hosting service is the very budget-friendly plans they offer.
Hostinger’s cheapest plan starts at $1.99 per month (though for a 48-month commitment), and BlueHost’s most affordable plan starts at $2.95 per month for a 12-month commitment.
Oddly enough, BlueHost’s prices increase to $4.95 per month for a 36-month commitment!
At the end of the day, you’ll pay around $95 for 48 months of web hosting with Hostinger and $178 for 36 months of web hosting with BlueHost.
Even though BlueHost and Hostinger are similar-tier hosting providers, Hostinger far outperforms BlueHost in nearly every department.
Most people gravitate towards BlueHost do so for WordPress hosting, but Hostinger does better than BlueHost on most performance tests.
In our experience, we’ve seen that Hostinger customer support and Bluehost customer support are about the same in terms of responsiveness and wait times. However, Hostinger has a far more robust knowledge base.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hostinger Really Good?
Hostinger is a good option for people just starting out with a brand new web presence. In addition, the low prices make it an attractive web hosting service for people who want to build their first website.
Does Hostinger Use cPanel?
Hostinger does not use Cpanel. Instead, they use a proprietary control panel called Hpanel, which has most of the necessary features from Cpanel and omits some of the more technical ones.
Is Hostinger Good For Small Businesses?
Hostinger is a good option for small businesses. They’re a cheap and reliable hosting provider that can help you build your first presence on the web. If you want to shop around, check out our preferred hosting providers for small business.
Is Hostinger Better Than Siteground?
Hostinger is not better than Siteground. Siteground has a much better reputation and has better customer support. Siteground’s WordPress hosting has better overall performance, too.
Can I Cancel Hostinger At Any Time?
Yes, you can cancel Hostinger at any time by going into your account dashboard and heading to “Hosting => Manage,” and clicking “Deactivate Account.” Your account will be immediately deleted, but you won’t get a refund unless you cancel within 30 days of signing up.
In conclusion, Hostinger is a good choice if you’re a beginner and are looking for cheap hosting plans. It’s an excellent place to start if you want to save money, but you may find yourself quickly outgrowing them.
Hostinger is really easy to use and the performance is respectable, but the slow customer service and lack of backups on some plans are two glaring flaws.
Many other hosting providers have slightly more expensive-but-scalable plans. If budget is your main concern and you want something that’s hassle-free and quick, and you don’t mind missing out backups, you can sign up for Hostinger below.