Hostinger Review - Is Hostinger the best cheap hosting provider?
There is no doubt that when it comes to web hosting, Hostinger is the cheapest option available now, with prices beginning at $0.99 a month. No other host provider manages to come close. The majority of them provide a basic plan for five times the cost.
We know what you are thinking "This is just to good to be true!". Well, in any other case, it could be true, but in our case, it is not. But of course, there is a tinny trick here. In order to get the lowest price, you have to subscribe and prepay for several years.
This would be a smart thing to do -if the hosting service is that great. Keep on mind that your website visitors couldn't care less about your web hosting expenses. But what they do care about is, how fast is the loading speed and that they will load your website when they want to, and that their personal data is stored in secure servers.
Is Hostinger offering that? Well, since we don't want to base our review on our opinion independently, we have invite several web masters and blog owners to use the Hostinger web hosting basic plan for a month for free and what we asked was to give us their feedback's, so we was able to collect more opinions from webmasters and hosting experts located all over the world.
We asked our friends to play with all available features and to monitor the performance and loading rates, and even to bombard the Hostinger Support department with random questions (Yah, Sorry Hostinger!).
The short answer to all your questions is that Hostinger performance was really good. In some countries such as Israel, Hostinger came in at #1 and in others such as Russia, snatched the #3 spot.
Continue reading for the longer answer. We are telling our personal experience with Hostinger. No time for that? We recommend to take a look at our top web hosts list.
All features that a Beginner Needs
With such low prices, we immediately spotted two areas where Hostinger might be trying to cut expenses, performance and features. Of course, anyone would love to pay 1/2 of the competitors prices, but not everyone is willing to get half of the features or performance.
Sure enough, that wasn't the case at all, because Hostinger's hosting plans include everything that a begginer need to launch his website with good resources and performance boosting options.
Hostinger comes with three shared web hosting plans - Single, Premium & Business. All these work's on the Hostinger's Control Panel - hPanel (Yes, they don't provide cPanel which is the Premium panel for years). hpanel, includes WordPress auto installer and lot of other CMS platforms are also suported.
We signed up for the very basic plan (Yes, we are cheap monkeys), which come with just 10GB of storage, 100GB of traffic, just one email account and support for one website.
Of course, that are enough resources to launch a very basic website - like hundred of web pages and more bulk of High Dimension images. Definitely is enough for blog writers who want to showcase their writing skills and creativity.
The second and third plan come with unmetered traffic, no limitation on the email accounts, and unlimited domains. Something extra that is missed with the Basic plan is the SSH access which is mainly used from Linux geeks and less from webmasters. One critical feature that the basic plan is missing is the Automatic backups, meaning that you will have to keep backups manually or of course to opt-in for the backup service as an additional add-on.
Hostinger is providing an user-friendy drag-and-drop website builder named Zyro, but the bad news is that the same isn't available as part of the web hosting plans.
Before we dig deeper into the awesome features of Hostinger, worth mentioning the VPS and Cloud plans, Hostinger is primarly a shared web hosting provider. So, please , don't be the guy who goes to the best local pizza restaurant and asks for pasta. There are hosts that specialize in Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and Cloud Services - CyberHour , Webuzo, CloudHostingHub, VPS.Rocks - and although Hostinger's offerings in the VPS field aren't the worst , there is absolutely no reason to get VPS from Hostinger.
hPanel Has All the Basic Features, but Lacks Some Advanced Ones
As We said before, Hostinger has build its very own Web Control Panel, which basically mean that you won't get your hands over the leader cPanel that you may know already. Now of course you should not develop emotional attachments to web control panels but we have to admit it, cPanel is the best panel and everything else is just a cheap alternative.
But why Hostinger is not offering cPanel? Well, all beggins and ends with with some very boring enterprise drama that happened a while ago, where cPanel decide to change its license pricing policy and now is charging per account instead per installation. For that reasons cheap hosting providers such as Hostinger have come with their own solution or alternatives like DirectAdmin.
The Hostinger's venture in the panel world beggins with hPanel, and you will find it equipped with "almost" all goodies you need. From automatic installtions , DNS zones settings, Email management, MySQL manager , File manager etc. Generally speaking hPanel is quite similar to cPanel.
Ok, we can hear what you are thinking already.. it is different from cPanel, and yes that is true. For example, the one-click installer in cPanel are provided from the best in the industry developing company Softaculous, which also lets you clone your website and configuring your own automatic backup schedule. On the other hand, hPanel installer does very good job at WordPress auto installation but lacks the extra useful features of Softaculous.
The cPanel advanced email features, such as filters, mailing lists, routings are also lacking from hPanel. The question is, does really use these features? Honestly, we don't believe that you knew about their existing on cPanel.
LiteSpeed Web Server for Powerfull Caching and Speed
LiteSpeed is not the physical dedicated server, but the web server engine that Hostinger uses. It is an alternative premium competitor of NGINX and Apache. It ranks as one of the best and fast performing ones, outperforming the Apache engine, that hosts like HostGator and Godaddy are still using.
Don't worry , you don't have to be IT geek to configure it, actually you don't have to do anything at all. Just sit back and watch your WordPress website flying!
SSL Certificates That You May or May Not Be Getting
No matter what anybody is telling you and what you are thinking, you need SSL certificate. Why you need it? Because SSL cerfiticate is required from Google in order to rank your website higher and of course it provides a secure encryption of your visitors data. You don't want to risk your visitors safety and your project to victim of hackers or Google's penalty.
The great news is that Hostinger provides SSL with all web hosting plans. Just before months they was not providing free SSL certificates at all. Hostinger often is playing with its web hosting plans features very often, and we strongly recommend that you penta-check and make sure that SSL certificate is included with your web hosting plan. If SSL isn't included, you can always purchase one from Hostinger or other SSL certificates provider. Still, that shouldn't be the case.
Ease of Use
Everything is Userfriendly, but You will be bombarded with Upsell Pop-Up notifications!
In a nutshell, Hostinger's clients experience experts have build a fantastic UI and Web Wizard, from signup, using up to managing the hosting plan. Of course, this is the Hostinger's golded fish trick and best business strategy, offering cheap plans, and with the help of sneaky marketing tactics is pushing its users to upgrade or purchase additional extras. We have to admit it is really annoying and lack any moral.
The signup is really easy, Hostinger asks for an email address, password and of course your name. Hurray for not asking the irrelevant information that other web hosting providers are collecting (See HostGator).
We had the pleasure of multiple multi-type testing of Hostinger. One of our favorite part used to be the support. There is not any phone technical support, but as most hosting companies they come with live chat and support ticket system.
24/7 technical support and one ritch knowledge base. The problem? Hostinger used to respond almost instantly, but speaking of today they take more than 45min to get back to you. Most of the times live chat isn't even available, and you have to use the ticket system.
We'll be honest with you, it's going to be the knowledge base and you. You really can't count on having an hour or move available to simply wait around for replies, and even when the support do answer to the ticket, that's just the beginning of the adventure. With 4-5 minutes of response time between messages, can balloon into an entire workday.
When I wanted to contact suppot department before the actual signup, live chat wasn't an option still. The question is.. WHY? Why would you do that to your new clients and anyone else? The good part is that the responses from the Hostinger agents are knowledgeable, but also honest about what We could expect.
Installing WordPress and connecting a Domain
After purchasing our plan, we had to connect our domain and install WordPress. In the style of Hostinger, we were presented with the WordPress auto-installer as part of the signup wizard, but We chose to do it with the old and regular way, using the control panel and the file manager and was a great opportunity to test the Hostinger's tools and compare them with other hosting providers.
Since our domain was included for free with the purchase of the Single plan, the domain was already connected to the hosting package. Speaking of today, Hostinger has discontinued the free domain with their basic plan.
Hostinger is the Fastest Shared Hosting Provider We Tested.
Uptime and Speed, that's what most of us are looking for doesn't it?
Sadly, shared web hosting tend to fail in these aspects, bit time. The main reason is that as the name states, you're using shared resources which means that the resources are shared with many other users (hundreds) and their websites. It's up to the hosting provider to balance every dedicated server to avoid a bottleneck situation when everything is really slow and laggy.
We are very happy to say that Hostinger not only perform fast but is also outperforming all hosting providers we tested, including FastComet, SiteGround and InMotion Hosting. The only host that did better was the premium CyberHour.com. But their premium plans come with a premium price (which worth every penny of course).
Just to give you an taste of Hostinger's performance, the average website loading time of our landing page was 1.56s and the uptime for few months of our testing was 99.99% exactly as advertised.
We are going to geek out and explain in details the testing methology and the results we get in details, but if you don't need all that you can freely skip ahead to our experiences with Hostinger's support. We will just repeat our self - Hostinger's performance is awesome for its price!
Our Hostinger testing web site is hosted on the US data center of Hostinger located in Asheville. Of course, Hostinger operates in other datacenters in Amsterdam, Lithuania and Singapore.
As we do with all web hosts we test, We used all Hostinger optimization tools to make our website faster as possible.
By the way, this is something that you should do as well - feel free to ask the Hostinger support if you need help. The Hostinger support agent advised us to update WordPress and to use the latest PHP version, also they asked us to install a few common wordpress optimziation plugins. We implemented the advices and proceeded with our testing.
Our testing was done using these three tools: Sucuri Load Time Tester, GTmetrix PRO and Uptime Robot's Pro plan. We used the closes GTmetrix server which in our case was Dallas, to measure optimization scores and speed in the USA.
Sucuri was used for insights of global performance and of course Uptime Robot for tracking the hosting uptime and availability in percentages of our website.
The best recorded time was 1.0s and the slowest one was 1.9s. Yet below the 3s mark ( The 3s mark is where 80% of your visitors will probably click the BACK button), but the average scores prove that Hostinger is one reliable web hosting provider.
Sucuri Load Time Tester
With GTmetrix, We ran multiple Sucuri tests. Sucuri gives you a report of the loading speed from many global locations. We took the results and calculated the average of the locations with the fastest performance (not surprising a datacenter close to Hostinger datacenter had the best performance), the slower location was India.
The average speed of the fastest locations was 0.177s, while in Bangalore (India) the speed was 1.11s. With global average of 0.499s which earned our website the A global rank.
What is the point of fast loading if your website has low uptime availability? Luckily, with Hostinger we had a perfect uptime of 99.998% over the past months. Of course, we continue tracking the uptime and will update the article if something changes. But honestly, 99.99% uptime is what you should demand from your hosting provider.
Hostinger the cheapest web hosting provider on the market, today!
Honestly, friends, this is the very reason you are reading this Hostinger review. With that many web hosting options available today, when you look over Hostinger's prices, they stand out. We mean $0.99 per month? That's one beer. But what's the catch?
Well, the Hostinger strategy is to make you sign up for an extended period of time, and what better way to fish you? They have four payment subscription terms, monthly, yearly, bi-yearly and of course, quadrennially (aka four years). To be honest, no much hosting providers are asking you to sign up for that long period.
But the best part is that if you go for the four years subscription you will be able to get the best price in the web hosting market. Going with the monthly plans is not a right decision as it comes with setup fee which doesn't make any financial sense.
There is also a money-back guarantee of 30 days, so plenty of time to test the hosting service and decide if fits you good.
Pay attention during the checkout, as there are several optional add-on services which are charged extra. Good that they are unselected by default. We recommend skipping them as you really don't need them, and even if you need them later you can activate them at the same price.
If you are looking for free domain, sometimes it's included in the web hosting plan (we have mention that Hostinger like playing with its plan features). If is not coming with free domain, we recommend using Anonymous.Domains or PrivateDomains.io for your domain registrar.
As for the payment methods, they accept PayPal and the expected credit card option. Bitcoin is another way of payment as well. If for any reason you want to keep your privacy and website anonymous, crypto is the best way to go.