Hetzner Online is a veteran web hosting company and data center operator that’s been in business since 1997. It’s one of the top ten biggest hosting providers in the world and one of the few non-American hosts to hold this position. It offers managed and unmanaged web hosting via servers in Germany and Finland. Hetzner Online serves a large international client base and is a 2019 Intel Technology Platinum Provider. Support is offered in English, Finnish, and German.
Features and Ease of Use
Hetzner presents itself as a stable web hosting provider that offers a wide range of European-based hosting plans to meet the needs of beginning and advanced webmasters.
All shared hosting plans come with a 99.9% network availability guarantee and secure daily backups retained for 14 days.
Symantec SSL certificates are included in every plan. However, domain names must be purchased separately.
Here are a few of the features you get in the shared hosting plans:
- MySQL databases (only with the Level 4 plan and above)
- FTP and FTPS access
- PHP 5/7
- Cron jobs
- Perl and Python support (with higher-tier plans)
- WordPress installer (only with the Level 4 plan and above)
What you’ll notice here is that a lot of the better — and sometimes essential — features are limited to the higher-tier plans. This means that if you’re only going with Hetzner Online’s entry-level plan, you’ll find the service restrictive.
Also unfortunate is the fact that while there’s compatibility with the WordPress and Joomla CMS, the large library of extensions you’ll find elsewhere are missing here. Advanced webmasters can benefit from support for the Perl and Python programming languages, though Ruby and Ruby on Rails aren’t available.
Linux OS managed server plans are also available and come with setup and support options. Their feature lists include the following:
- SSD storage
- PHP 5 and 7 support
- SSH access
- 1 Gbps port speeds
- 24/7 monitoring
- DDoS protection
- Redundant network
- Daily backups
Plans range anywhere from two to six CPU cores. Higher-tier plans also come with 1 Gbit/s guaranteed bandwidth. Unfortunately, no plan offers full root access.
Pricing and Support
The good news is that the absolute prices are very competitive versus what you’ll find elsewhere for Western European servers. Webmasters running high-traffic websites and e-commerce stores with a lot of traffic coming in from the continent will find good value for their money here.
There are four different shared hosting plans. The lowest-tier plan comes with 5GB of disk space, 10GB of traffic, and 128MB of memory and is competitively priced as an entry-level option for beginning webmasters, albeit with fewer features.
However, there are problems with the pricing model as you move up the tiers.
For starters, the price-to-value ratio is good but not great — a tenfold increase in price will get you a 40x increase in disk space and unlimited traffic, but just a 3x increase in memory. But the bigger issue is that the highest-level plan offers 200GB of disk space, but just 384MB of RAM — far less than nearly all advanced webmasters running a website large enough to need all that disk space will require.
There is no money back guarantee on any plan. However, single month plans are available, so you can test the service out with no commitment to continue if you aren’t satisfied. Unfortunately, all plans also come with a one-time setup fee.
Support options are in English, Finnish, and German and are excellent. Knowledgeable technical support from on-site data center technicians is available by phone 24/7, and you’ll get a response to email inquiries within 24 hours.
In addition, there is a large self-help knowledge base that will answer both administrative and technical questions. Hetzner Online claims that live chat is available, but there was no option on its main website, so you may need to login to access it.