Hostinger is one of the cheapest shared hosting providers on the market today.
They started in 2007 as 000webhost.com, a free web hosting service with no advertising. Then, in 2011, the Hostinger web hosting brand was born.
By May of 2014, Hostinger had already exceeded a user base of ten million people. By January of 2017, the user base had grown to 29 million people.
That’s pretty impressive growth in just over a decade. And the company boasts tons of unlimited and free features. But are all those extra perks truly unlimited and free?
We checked it out for ourselves so you wouldn’t have to, paying for a real, live plan with Hostinger. After that, we set up our own website and began to monitor its performance for more than a year.
Want to know how good (or bad) Hostinger really is? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this web host.
General Info & Hosting Overview
Our Verdict: 5.0
|Speed:||345 ms (February 2020 to January 2021)|
|UPTIME:||99.74% (February 2020 to January 2021)|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat, Knowledge Base, Ticketing|
|APPS:||WordPress, Joomla, PrestaShop, OpenCart, and Drupal|
|FEATURES:||100GB bandwidth, 10GB storage, website builder, 1 email account, Free SSL Security, 30-days money-back guarantee|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, Cloud, and VPS|
|SITE TRANSFER:||Single Free Site Transfer|
|PRICING:||Starting at $0.99/mo (renews at $2.15/mo)|
Pros of Using Hostinger
Unlimited or free services don’t mean anything if your site can’t stay online.
Our site with Hostinger had fast speeds, great support, and more.
Let’s see what else do they excel in.
1. Fast Load Time – 345 ms
Fast page loading times are vital for any website user’s experience with a site.
Have you ever tried to open a web page only to get stuck waiting for the site to load for what seems like ages?
We all have.
Moreover, you probably didn’t stick around for long. If a website takes more than three seconds to load, 30%+ of people abandon it.
Hostinger boasts servers in the USA, Asia, and Europe (UK). Each is reportedly connected to a 1000 Mbps connection, which ensures that loading times are stable.
How did they fare in our tests?
Hostinger delivered an average page loading time of 345 ms over the past 12 months. Even though they have shown slower speeds this year, they’re still faster than most of the other hosts we’ve reviewed.
2. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Hostinger offers tons of different payment options like Visa, Paypal, Mastercard, Discover, Bitcoin, Maestro, American Express, and JCB.
They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. So you can try them out and get your money back if the performance or experience is sub-par.
Be aware that not all products are refundable, and some products have special refund terms, according to Hostinger’s Refund Policy. We’ll save the details for the cons section below.
3. Multilingual Customer Support
Customer support can either make or break a web host.
If your site is down for some reason and you’re unable to get in touch with a customer support person ASAP, you might lose out on a ton of sales.
Hostinger doesn’t disappoint. The company offers a multilingual customer support team, live chat, and they integrated Intercom as their main support system.
Live chat is only accessible if you’re logged into a Hostinger account, though. (See con #1 for more details.) We’re glad that Hostinger offers live chat, but it would make more sense if they offered it to everyone.
Accessing the live chat is extremely easy. Once you’ve logged in there is instantly an icon in the bottom right corner of the page.
We asked some technical questions and got knowledgeable and backed up by links from the customer support rep.
However, it took a while to get the replies (they had an approximate 30 minutes waiting time…).
Hostinger also has a huge knowledge base with articles that are short and comprehensive, and you can find guides, information, and answers to questions by yourself. They also have tutorials (everything from website building to SEO) that include gifs and images on how to do things.
Users can search for articles or choose between three categories in the knowledge base:
4. Free Website Builder and Domain Name
Hostinger includes a free website builder (although the popular website builders are better) in their services with any plan you choose. There are tons of different templates to choose from, too.
Once you’ve chosen a template, you can customize everything on your pages using the Hostinger website builder.
In addition to the website builder, free domain names are also available with Premium and Business web hosting plans, which will save you a bit of money in the long run.
If you need more than one domain, you will have to pay extra. More on that later.
5. Easy to Use Interface
Hostinger offers a modern, easy-to-use interface where you can find everything you need in one location.
That way, you can track logins, update billing information, manage your domains, and monitor emails from your dashboard.
The control panel isn’t a traditional cPanel, but large icons make it simple to find exactly what you need and when you need it.
Some advanced users might miss cPanel, but for beginners who are still finding their way around – this version is great for getting a website up and running.
6. Unlimited Features With Premium and Business Plans
If you sign up for one of the top two Hostinger plans, you’ll gain access to unlimited email accounts for free.
Managing those accounts right from the control panel means that there’s no guesswork about spam filters, usage, and more.
You can set up autoresponders, enable or disable accounts, and forward emails sent to a customer’s domain.
Bandwidth and databases are unlimited for most plans, the exception being the “Single Web Hosting” plan.
With the latter you’ll be limited to 10GB of disk space, 100GB of bandwidth, one MySQL database, and one email account.
7. Industry-Standard Pricing Tricks but Still Affordable
Many web hosting companies promote their prices in a false light. Hostinger is one of them, but they are more transparent about it than many others.
For example, if you want to take advantage of the awesome $0.99 per month deal for Single Shared hosting, you’ll have to commit to Hostinger for 48 months. After those 4 years, your renewal cost will jump up to $2.99/month.
If you’re willing to commit to the same web host for four years, then it’s an incredibly good deal for that amount of time. It could save you quite a lot compared to most other hosts.
A low price usually means some compromises have been made in quality, but in Hostinger’s case, the service they offer is actually quite good compared with most web hosting service providers.
Cons of Using Hostinger
There’s a lot to love about Hostinger’s loading speeds, support quality, and features.
Unfortunately, no perfect web host exists and Hostinger, like other hosts, has some flaws. The trick is figuring out which flaws you can live with and which ones are the deal-breakers.
Here’s an overview of what’s not so perfect about Hostinger.
1. Inconsistent Uptime 99.74% (They Had Three Poor Months of Uptime)
Uptime is the most important thing to check out when considering a web host.
Hostinger delivered an average of 99.74% uptime with almost 23 hours of downtime over the last year. To be honest, then this wasn’t what we expected. In previous years Hostinger has been showing reliable uptime results, so we took a closer look to see what could have caused this below-average uptime.
It seems that Hostinger’s performance has been very reliable for nine months when uptime has been varying between 99.95%-100%. However, in September, November, and December 2020, the uptime was respectively 97.89%, 99.89%, and 99.32%, which affected the overall average.
Last 12-month average uptime:
- January 2021:99.99%
- December 2020: 99.32%
- November 2020: 99.89%
- October 2020: 99.94%
- September 2020: 97.89%
- August 2020: 99.98%
- July 2020: 99.99%
- June 2020: 99.99%
- May 2020: 99.98%
- April 2020: 99.99%
- March 2020: 99.97%
- February 2020: 100%
2. No Traditional cPanel
Most hosting services use a traditional control panel, like cPanel.
Hostinger has created its own control panel – new users might find this easier to use than a traditional control panel. However, if you’re already accustomed to using cPanel, you might not like their dashboard.
Therefore, advanced users might not love this part.
3. Nonstandard Payment Terms
Hostinger’s Refund Policy reveals a few exceptions to their money-back guarantee.
What’s refundable under standard terms:
- Hosting (all plans, except first payment after Free Trial)
- Domain Transfers (.eu transfers are an exception. EURid charges a non-refundable transfer fee. If the transfer fails for any reason, the customer must start over and pay the transfer fee again. .es transfers are also non-refundable.)
- SSL Certificates
What’s not refundable:
Redemption fees, domain name renewals, and privacy protection are not refundable. Most new domain name registrations are only refundable if canceled and processed within four days of registration, not 30 days.
Keep these exceptions in mind before moving forward.
Hostinger Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
Here’s a quick overview of the Hostinger shared hosting plans:
|Single Shared Plan||Premium Shared Plan||Business Shared Plan|
Renews at $2.99/mo
Renews at $4.99/mo
Renews at $8.99/mo
|Other Features||–||• Free Domain
• SSH Access
|• Free Domain
• Free CDN
• Daily Backups
- Domain: No.
- Ease of Signup: Easy.
- Money-Back: 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- Payment Methods: All major credit and debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, CoinPayments.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: Redemption fees, domain name renewals, and privacy protection are not refundable. Most new domain name registrations are only refundable if canceled and processed within four days of registration, not 30 days.
- Upsells: No upsells.
- Account Activation: Quick activation.
- Control Panel and Dashboard: Custom control panel hPanel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): One-click installs for most popular apps.
Do We Recommend Hostinger?
Hostinger provides superb speed. Their uptime has been a little bit inconsistent over the past 12 months, but generally, it has been strong if we exclude the three months where they performed below-average.
The entry-level, Single-Web Hosting plan doesn’t offer many unlimited perks or free features. The Premium, Cloud Hosting, and Business Web Hosting plans have a lot more to offer. Hostinger also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unhappy with their service.
Moreover, in case you need help, then their customer support is responsive, knowledgeable, and friendly.
We couldn’t recommend these plans more.
Have you used Hostinger before? Please consider leaving a review below — good or bad — doesn’t really matter as long it’s helpful to our visitors.