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Hostinger

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Overview

Hostinger Web Hosting at a Glance

Global Performance Grade A+
Uptime Guarantee
Free SSL
Hosting Types Shared, WordPress, Cloud, VPS
Basic Plan Features 30GB SSD, 100GB bandwidth, LiteSpeed Cache, weekly backups
Starting Price 103

An Amazing Bargain, or “You Get What You Pay For”?

There’s no doubt that when it comes to web hosting, Hostinger is simply the cheapest option available today, with prices starting at 103 per month. No other company manages to even come close. Most of them offer a basic plan for five times the price.

Thinking that it’s too good to be true? It isn’t. But let me let you in on a little secret right now. To get the best prices, you’ll have to commit to Hostinger for several years.

This would be a smart thing to do – if the service is actually great. Because your visitors couldn’t care less about how much you pay for hosting. They do care about fast loading speeds, and about actually being able to reach your site when they need to.  They also want to know that their personal data is going to be secure and protected.

Can Hostinger offer that? I’ve got my opinions, but I didn’t want to base my review on my opinion alone. You see, as Website Planet is available in many different languages, it just so happens that we have web hosting experts scattered all over the world. This was my golden opportunity to perform a large-scale test, and I decided to do just that.

We had 30 experts sign up to Hostinger and launch a local version of our testing website in 30 different countries. They played around with every available feature, monitored loading speeds and performance, and even bombarded customer support with questions. They compared the results with other popular hosts, like SiteGround and InterServer.

This quick answer to all our questions is that Hostinger performed remarkably well. In some countries, like Russia, it came in at #4. In others, like Israel, Hostinger snatched the #1 place.

Read on for the long answer. I’ve detailed my full personal experience with Hostinger, and I’ll explain exactly how to make the most of what the company offers. To see how Hostinger compares to other services, check out our list of the top web hosts.

Features

Everything a Beginner Needs

With prices being as low as they are, my anxious personality immediately identified two areas where Hostinger might be trying to pull one over on me: features and performance. Sure, I’d love to pay half of what the competitors charge, but I don’t want to get only half of what they provide.

Luckily, that wasn’t the case at all, as Hostinger’s plans include everything I needed to get going, from ample resources to performance-boosting tools.

Three shared hosting plans are available – SinglePremium, and Business. All three work on top of Hostinger’s very own control panel, hPanel, which includes easy auto installations of WordPress and dozens of other content management systems (CMS).

Everything a Beginner Needs

With prices being as low as they are, my anxious personality immediately identified two areas where Hostinger might be trying to pull one over on me: features and performance. Sure, I’d love to pay half of what the competitors charge, but I don’t want to get only half of what they provide.

Luckily, that wasn’t the case at all, as Hostinger’s plans include everything I needed to get going, from ample resources to performance-boosting tools.

Three shared hosting plans are available – SinglePremium, and Business. All three work on top of Hostinger’s very own control panel, hPanel, which includes easy auto installations of WordPress and dozens of other content management systems (CMS).

Easy of Use

Everything Is Well Designed, but You’ll Be Under Constant Attack From Upsell Pop-Ups

Putting it simply, Hostinger’s user experience experts have engineered a fantastic interface and user journey, from signup to using and managing your hosting. Thing is, Hostinger’s business strategy relies on constantly pushing you to upgrade and purchase extras. It’s annoying at best, and confusing at worst.

But still, the plans are clearly laid out, and all Hostinger asks for on signup is your name, an email address, and a password. Hurray for doing away with all the irrelevant information that other hosts are so keen on collecting.

Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress

After purchasing my plan, it was time to connect a domain and install WordPress. I was presented with the option to automatically install WordPress as part of the signup process, but I chose to do it the regular way, using the control panel itself, to check how Hostinger’s tools compare to what other hosts provide.

Now, my domain was actually included for free when I purchased the Single plan, meaning it was already connected to the hosting. Today, for whatever reason, only the advanced plans come with a free domain.

Hostinger account area
Nothing confusing, just a well-thought-out user experience

If you end up getting your domain name from another provider, connecting it is easy. Nameserver information is readily available at the top of your hosting details page, and all you have to do is copy-paste them into your domain panel.

Hostinger domain connection information
Easy-peasy. Got connected in no time.

What about WordPress? I opened the Auto Installer tool, picked WordPress as my CMS of choice, and entered the basic website details. It was even simpler than how Softaculous does things, and my new website was up and running within one minute.

 Hostinger WordPress auto installer
I used the Auto Installer tool and installed WordPress in seconds

Managing Your Hosting with hPanel Is Easy

We’ve covered the process of getting your website online, but from this point on you’ll still use hPanel to make edits and changes to your hosting. Setting up an email account, running manual backups, managing the databases, and more, are all doable through hPanel.

How does it all compare to doing things with cPanel? Well, in my opinion, it’s downright easier. hPanel icons are bigger and better organized, the interface isn’t as cluttered with extra options that you’ll never use, and the integration with Hostinger’s other services (support, purchasing extras, viewing billing) is seamless.

So, can we call it a perfect ease-of-use experience? No, not really. The reason, as I said before, is that oftentimes your workflow will be hurt by upsell pop-ups. Think having to make a critical change to your DNS records, just to be greeted with this:

Copy of Hostinger Review Body
I really hate these pop-ups. Life would be so good without them.

I didn’t “Raise the bar.” I didn’t actually do anything except log in. But Hostinger is keen on pushing plan upgrades, and you’ll have to always be prepared to shut down these attempts, of which there are manyDon’t think for a second that these pop-ups mean that you’ve somehow used up your resources and need to upgrade.

Performance

Hands Down, It’s the Fastest Shared Hosting Service We Tested

Speed and uptime, that’s what I’m looking for. Sadly, shared hosting services tend to falter in these areas, big time. The reason is that as the name implies, you’re sharing resources with many other users and their websites – sometimes up to hundreds of others. It takes a great host to balance everything and avoid a bottleneck situation where everything’s slow and nobody’s happy.

I’m very happy to report that Hostinger not only excelled in the performance tests, but it actually exceeded every other shared host that we tested, including the top-tier SiteGround, FastComet, and InMotion Hosting. The only two hosts that did better, and only by a small margin, were the premium Liquid Web (Nexcess) and Kinsta. By the way, they can cost about 20 times as much as Hostinger.

Just to give you an idea of Hostinger’s abilities, the average loading time of my fully-fledged landing page was a phenomenal 1.56s, and uptime over a few months of testing was upwards of 99.99%, exactly as promised.

I’m going to geek out and explain the testing methodology and the results in detail, but if you don’t need all the technical information, feel free to skip ahead to my experiences with Hostinger’s support. I’ll just say it again – Hostinger’s performance rocked.

My Hostinger test website is hosted on Hostinger’s US data center, located in Asheville, US, but the host also operates data centers in Amsterdam, NL; Singapore; and Lithuania. My website is still up and running, and you’re more than welcome to visit it and independently run any of the tests yourself. It’s a fully working landing page, complete with HD images and text, very much like what your website might look like.

As I do with all hosts I test, I extended Hostinger the opportunity to optimize my website and make it faster. This is something you can (and should) do as well – just ask support for help. The agent advised that I update WordPress and PHP to their latest versions, and install a few common optimization plugins. I implemented the advice, and proceeded with testing.

The testing itself was done using three tools: GTmetrix PRO, the Sucuri Load Time Tester, and Uptime Robot’s Pro plan. The Dallas, TX, GTmetrix server was used to measure speed and optimization scores in the US. Sucuri was used for global performance insights, and Uptime Robot – surprise surprise – for tracking the website’s uptime and availability online in percentages.

GTmetrix

I ran multiple GTmetrix tests over a few months, aggregated the results, and calculated the best, slowest, and average speeds.

Hostinger showed a very promising average loading time of 1.56s. The best recorded time was 1.0s, and the slowest one was 1.9s. Not only is the slowest loading time well below the 3s mark (the point where most of your visitors will probably jump ship), but the average scores prove that Hostinger is as reliable as can be.

Here is the result of one of my tests:

Hostinger - GTmetrix performance results
I sure was surprised to see such fast speeds from Hostinger

You can see that score-wise, we’re getting double Bs. That’s not only completely acceptable, but also one of the highest scores I saw in my tests. The only thing left to do in order to get full scores is to optimize the images further.

Check the following table out to see how Hostinger performed compared to other big names in the industry (it beat them all):

Hostinger SiteGround FastComet InMotion Hosting GoDaddy
Average loading time 1.56s 2.02s 1.848s 1.973s 2.94s
Fastest loading time 1.0s 1.4s 1.1s 0.8s 2.2s
Slowest loading time 1.9s 2.5s 2.8s 5.0s 5.0s

Sucuri Load Time Tester

As with GTmetrix, I ran Sucuri tests multiple times. Sucuri gives you the loading speed results for many global locations, and I calculated the averages of the fastest location (which was unsurprisingly in the US, close to my data center), the slowest location (Bangalore, India – the other side of the world), and the global average.

The average for the fastest location was a whopping 0.177s, while even in good ol’ Bangalore the average was satisfactory – 1.11s. The global average was 0.499s, which earned my website an A global rank.

To be honest? I was stunned by these numbers. A global average of 0.499s is unheard of for a shared host, and all I did to “optimize” my site was install a few plugins. There wasn’t even a CDN (Content Delivery Network) active. That’s LiteSpeed and LSCache for you, ladies and gentlemen. Get it while it’s hot.

Here’s one of these tests for your viewing pleasure:

Hostinger - Sucuri global loading speeds
Even globally, Hostinger scores very highly in loading speeds

Uptime Robot

What good are fast speeds if your website has low availability? No good. Luckily, Hostinger is keeping it tight with almost perfect uptime – 99.997% over the past few months. I’m continuing to track and update the results, but coming just shy of 100% is exactly what I demand from my host.

Hostinger - UptimeRobot uptime
Hostinger is true to its promise, making me a happy user.

Uptime guarantee-wise, the situation is a bit different. There’s supposedly a 99.99% uptime guarantee provided, but Hostinger has a real sketchy legal explanation of when and how you can get your money back. It mostly sounds like “never” to me, and even if you somehow qualify for a money-back (as solely determined by them), it’s a measly 5% of your monthly cost. Oh, and it’s just for store credit. Bah.

Anyways, aside from this guarantee issue, Hostinger really blows it out of the park in the performance test.

Support

Once Great, Now… Requires Patience

As a longtime user of Hostinger, I’ve had the pleasure of testing it again and again… and again. One of my favorite parts of the service used to be the support. There wasn’t (and still isn’t) any phone support available, but wow, was live chat an effective way of getting help.

24/7 service, manned by professionals, and backed by an extensive knowledge base of gargantuan proportions. The only problem? While the agents used to respond instantly, today they take about 40 minutes to get back to you. Sometimes live chat isn’t even available, and you’re transferred to some ticket/email system which I’ve had very little luck with.

I’ll be completely honest with you about what this means: it’s going to be you and the knowledge base. You can’t count on having an hour available to simply wait around, and even when the agents do answer, that’s just the beginning of the process. With 3-4 minute response times in between messages, asking some simple questions can balloon into an entire workday.

When I wanted to contact support before signing up, live chat wasn’t even an option. They made me use email. Why? Why would you do that to anyone? At least when the response came, it was clear that the agent was not only knowledgeable, but also honest about what I could expect:

Hostinger pre-sales email support
After getting over having to use email, I was impressed with the agent

I asked if they would help me with “setting up my site and everything” (question #3). Many hosts will give you the answer you want to hear – yes – and when the time comes, will leave you high and dry. Honesty goes a long way – I respect it much more when a host says “Well, development is kind of on you, man.”

Contacting the agents after signup was a mixed bag. Sometimes they would take “a few hours” to answer:

Hostinger live chat support

And sometimes I would just be redirected to the ticket screen:

Hostinger support - contact form
Nor was being promised live chat and getting tickets

The knowledge base proved to be a much better source of information, as it’s been built and organized in a way that will let you easily cover almost every aspect of your hosting experience. Installing WordPress, for example, has a super easy-to-understand step-by-step tutorial:

Hostinger support - knowledge base
At least the knowledge base is great

I did manage to contact live support and ask them about optimizing my website and making it faster. The response, while not the most detailed one, was enough that my website rose to the top of our speed rankings, as you’ve seen in the Performance section.

So, all in all? It’s not the best support experience. The knowledge is there, but there’s a lot of room for improvement in the availability department. I was most annoyed about the fact that Hostinger’s support used to be one of the best, and it’s a shame to see how things change for the worse. Then again, following the tutorials and manuals should be easy enough, even if you’re just starting out in the hosting world.

Pricing

The Cheapest Long-Term Prices on the Market, by Far

Honestly, folks, this is the reason you’re reading this. When going over the many hosting options available today, Hostinger’s prices stand out. I mean, 103 a month? That’s almost too cheap. What’s the catch?

Simple. Hostinger wants you to sign up for a long period of time, and it’s willing to give you incentives to do so. Four payment periods are available: monthly, yearly, bi-yearly, and quadrennially. That last word means four years, and it’s barely used because almost no other host asks you to sign up for that long.

The good news is that signing up for four years will net you what’s undoubtedly the best price in the market for shared hosting. Other hosts charge a similar price for a yearly plan. Do the math yourself.

What’s the situation when signing up for shorter periods? Well, bi-yearly and yearly plans aren’t expensive, but they’re much more in line with the market average. Monthly plans come with a setup fee and don’t make any financial sense.

Value-wise, as long as an SSL is included (check!), the plans are completely on par with the industry standard. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll have ample time to test the service yourself and see if it’s a good fit.

One thing to notice during the checkout process is that there are a few optional add-on services. Thankfully, none of them come pre-checked. I recommend that you skip them all. You can always add them later at the same price, or “persuade” a support agent to give you a better deal… threats of leaving the service can work wonders here.

Looking for a free domain? Sometimes it’s included in the plans; sometimes it isn’t. The advanced plans usually come with one when signing up for a year or longer. When I signed up, a domain was also included in the basic plan. Now it isn’t – go figure.

As for making payments, in addition to the expected credit card and PayPal options, you’ll also be able to pay with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to host a website anonymously, crypto is the way to do so.

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Expert Score 9.7
Reliability
8.4
Pricing
9.1
User Friendly
8.1
Support
8.1
Features
8.5
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