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When I first heard about Hostinger’s cheap hosting plans, I thought the prices sounded too good to be true. When a service is that cheap, you usually can’t expect much. I decided to build an actual website and test Hostinger’s performance over a period of three months. I was quite surprised at what I found out.
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 $1.99 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.
The 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.
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.
Three shared hosting plans are available – Single, Premium, 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).
I signed up for the basic plan, which came with 30GB of disk space, 100GB of bandwidth, 1 email account, and support for a single website. It’s enough resources to build a very respectable website – think hundreds of pages and thousands of HD images. Definitely enough to showcase your writing, creativity, products, services, or whatever you’re planning on hosting.
The two advanced plans come with unlimited bandwidth, 100 email accounts, and 100 websites. Some extra perks that you won’t get with the Single plan include SSH access and unlimited databases.
The Single and Premium plans also offer weekly automatic backups. For the low price, this isn’t bad, especially as many more expensive hosts have no backup solution whatsoever. For daily backups, you’d have to purchase the more expensive Business plan.
Hostinger does have a drag-and-drop website builder by the name of Zyro, but it isn’t available as part of the hosting plans.
It’s worth noting that Hostinger also offers a variety of other hosting solutions, including WordPress hosting, reseller hosting, VPS, and cloud hosting.
While Hostinger’s budget shared hosting is definitely its biggest strength, its other solutions are worth considering. For example, Hostinger’s WordPress hosting offers more resources for a cheaper price compared to the shared hosting plans. Additionally, if you’re in need of a premium hosting solution, Hostinger’s VPS are very cheap.
hPanel Has All the Basic Features, but Lacks Some Advanced Ones
As I said before, Hostinger has developed its own proprietary control panel, meaning you won’t be getting to play with the beloved cPanel that you know and love. What’s that? You don’t develop emotional attachments to hosting control panels? Well, you’re the weird one.
Anyways, while cPanel used to be the standard control panel you’d get with most hosts (including Hostinger), things change. Due to some boring enterprise drama that happened a while ago, hosts have been switching panels left and right.
hPanel is Hostinger’s venture into the panel world, and you’ll find it equipped with all the goodies you need. From easy auto installations and DNS zones configurations to email accounts, a file manager, and MySQL databases, it’s all very similar to what cPanel offers.
But… some things are different. For example, auto installations in cPanel are done with Softaculous, which also lets you clone your site, set up a staging version, and even configure a backup schedule. hPanel’s Auto Installer does a great job at auto-installing WordPress, but lacks these useful extras.
Advanced email features, like mailing lists, filters, and routings, are also missing from hPanel. Did I ever actually use them myself when they were available to me? Honestly, never. I’m not sure who does. But that’s hPanel for you – it might not be capable of everything, but it’s definitely enough for most users.
Powerful Caching Thanks to the LiteSpeed Web Server
LiteSpeed isn’t the physical metal server, but the web server technology that Hostinger uses. It consistently ranks as one of the fastest and most reliable web servers, outperforming the older Apache technology that hosts like GoDaddy still use.
You won’t have to do anything to configure it. Just sit back and enjoy the top-notch performance it delivers, especially for WordPress websites.
What you can do, and most certainly should do, is activate LiteSpeed’s caching function, known as LSCache. Sounds too technical? Well, turning on the Automatic Cache option pretty much sums it up. Cached copies of your pages will be created, significantly cutting delivery times to visitors. Static pages, like business pages and portfolios, will benefit from this even more.
A Free SSL Certificate and Security Solution
You need an SSL certificate. No matter what you think, and no matter what anybody might’ve told you – you need an SSL. Why? Because without an SSL certificate to encrypt and secure your visitors’ data, the many evils lurking online will come for it. You’ll not only be risking your project and your visitors’ safety, but you’ll also take a hit on Google’s rankings.
Thankfully, Hostinger provides a free SSL certificate with all plans. Additionally, you’ll be protected from malware and malicious activity by a combination of Imunify360, BitNinja, and an in-house firewall. You also get Cloudflare and Wanguard DDoS protection.
Hostinger Features at a Glance
Free domain name?
✘ (only included in Premium and Business plans)
Managed hosting features?
1 in the US, 3 in Europe, 2 in Asia, 1 in South America
Ease 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.
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.
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.
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:
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 many. Don’t think for a second that these pop-ups mean that you’ve somehow used up your resources and need to upgrade.
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.
My Hostinger test website was hosted at Hostinger’s US data center, located in Asheville, US, but the host also operates data centers in the UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, India, Singapore, and Brazil.
To make things clear, this was a fair test – my website was a fully working landing page, complete with HD images and text, very much what a normal website would 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.
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:
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):
Average loading time
Fastest loading time
Slowest loading time
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:
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.
Uptime guarantee-wise, the situation is a bit different. There’s supposedly a 99.9% 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 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.
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:
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:
And sometimes I would just be redirected to the ticket screen:
The regularly updated 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 very easy-to-understand step-by-step tutorial:
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.
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, $1.99 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.
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, 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.
For the best value, I’d try Hostinger’s Premium Shared Hosting plan. While the base price is slightly higher than Hostinger’s Single plan, you’ll get a free domain for a year – making it your cheapest option for the first year. You’ll also get more resources to grow into and a nice Google Ads credit.
Of course, after renewal, you’ll lose the value of the free domain. Still, this plan will only cost you a couple of dollars extra per month over the Single plan.
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.
Great Price-Performance Ratio
There’s a reason why Hostinger tops our web host rankings – it combines some of the lowest prices on the market with some of the best performance. To top it off, it offers a beginner-friendly control panel and a detailed knowledge base that has all the guidance that someone new to web hosting will need.
But it isn’t perfect. Hostinger’s support team could do with an expansion, as the wait times to get a response to a basic question are much too long – I hope we can see this improve soon, as the actual support itself is good.
Hostinger’s affordable shared hosting plans are worth your time, your money, and your consideration. Performance has been surprisingly great, and while it’s not the most feature-packed offering around, it’s got everything that you really need.
Should you go for it? If you’re building a blog, a business page, a personal project, or a similar small-to-medium website, my answer is a resounding yes.
If you’re looking to build an e-commerce store, or a complex service like an online course portal, you’ll need something a bit more powerful than shared hosting. You can find some great options on our list of the best web hosting services for 2022.
Does Hostinger cost more when you renew?Upon renewal, Hostinger’s plans cost slightly more, as you’re no longer eligible for the new customer discount. But you can still save money by choosing one of its long-term plans.Do I need to pay extra for backups with Hostinger? The Single shared hosting plan features automatic weekly backups. For daily backups, you can pay an extra monthly fee, or opt for the Business shared hosting plan, which includes daily backups for free.Why is Hostinger so cheap?Hostinger has significant discounts for new customers, especially if you purchase a 48-month plan. Its cheapest plan includes all the essentials, but lacks some of the premium extras found in more expensive hosts. For great deals from Hostinger, check out our coupons page. If you’re new to web hosting, I’d also recommend you check out our complete guide to building a website in 2022.How easy is it to transfer a website to another host? Most hosts handle this process for you. For example, Hostinger’s support team will migrate your site for free upon request. Many of the hosts in our list of the best web hosts for 2022 provide similar services.
Ben is an avid web developer who really loves to tinker with code, whether in the back-end or in the front-end. He’s searching for the world’s best website host, but also tries to find time for his other interests – comics, traveling, and home cooking.
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Hostinger is good for small websites
Overall, I think Hostinger is a good company. Prices are affordable for a small website, but they skyrocket when the site starts consuming resources (when you have many visitors to the website). I have been hosting my site on their server since 2017. I had 2 major issues with them, each issue after they upgraded the servers. Last time I gave up hosting the site with them. Basically, now their technical support is almost non-existent, they answer late and the answers have nothing to do with reality. Basically, you have to send the same question several times until you find the one who knows. As usual, you are told that your website is to blame, that there is an enigmatic script that consumes resources. Even if your site has never been modified in recent years. And then they recommend upgrading the site.
Attempted to use for a Minecraft server. UI was confusing and difficult. Help center/support was misleading and confusing. Server stopped working and it lead to a cascade of issues trying to fix it. Customer support refused to refund the remainder of the year I had purchased. I just give up feeling let down and mislead.
Not recommended at all I bought from them hosting for 3 years and it did not suit my needs and they were not willing to give me anything back even though I asked for only partial refund they wanted to give partial refund only to buy their products (which do not suit my needs) just shame they have no humanity
Using from 3 years , not problem till now. Their customer service is so nice and helpful but nowdays , most of them remain busy as their customers are increasing so they generally reply after 1-2 hours but they helped me a lot. Thank you Hostinger. Love your services.
Hostinger has been a good hosting company for my websites, which have their own plan. The hostinger should have phone technical support because the service has been updating for urgent issues. it is very important that we can contact support directly when we need it, especially for urgent situations.
However, thanks for all your help.
Hostinger is untrustworthy. Consider this review when you are looking for a reliable business hosting provider.
Hostinger is a budget hoster with a multitude of operational issues that business owners looking for a reliable partner to host their service should be aware of. We engaged with Hostinger to trial one of their hosting services. Unfortunately Hostinger doesn't offer a trial to evaluate their service like almost all of their competitors do. So you are forced to book a service and pay in advance. As we deemed Hostinger trustworthy and were reassured by their money back guarantee we booked a 12 months contract to trial their services.
In the course of the payment process we ran into a technical payment problem caused by Hostingers implementation of Google's SSO. The payment process was wonky and let to a problem with matching our payment to our account.
Getting our payment registered, matched and thus the service activated with our account took us 7 days and a lot of back and forth with their customer service. Generally speaking their customer service is lacking. You need to be aware, that their ticketing system leads to fast responses, the quality of the support personell is frankly speaking horrible. There are constantly different people involved in a single case/ticket replying with pre written answers to keep you in the loop. Meanwhile your problem is not solved and you are stuck in the wheel to explain the case to the next operator.
This made us question the reliability of Hostinger's customer support and ultimately led us to the decision to terminate our contract and take advantage of their money back guarantee.
That's where things started to get really nasty. Turned out that Hostinger is not interested in actually letting you out of the contract and issueing a refund. The communication strategy of everchanging operators, copy pasta and non factual communication was applied during our whole termination process.
Hostinger tried every way to fore us back into the contract and ignore our termination request. Hostinger's representatives didn't shy away to make up unlawful and mind boggling arguments to not accept the termination request of our company's managing directors.
Be aware when you are looking for a reliable hosting provider. Hostinger is a untrustworthy business partner to avoid.
Hello, Hannes, thank you for taking the time to share the feedback. Our team greatly appreciates all your insights, and we have put all efforts into the prompt resolution of this situation. The refund has already been issued, and it will take up to 7 business days for the money to return to the original payment source you purchased from. We would like to assure you that we take a 30-days money-back guarantee frankly. Meanwhile, in this particular situation, the refund confirmation took longer than expected because the request was made from a different email address than the original order was placed. When it comes to the quality of customer assistance, we have forwarded your insights to our Quality Team to investigate the situation and implement any needed notices or improvements. Our services are built on customers' feedback, and we are eager to keep improving day and night. If you have any further questions, please let us know, we are here to assist you!
Not that great
Difficult to use, hidden costs. Unmanaged VPS. Think twice before joining them. Easy to believe the hype about these folks but in reality, they are only interested in supporting major corporations and don't really see small business users as any sort of priority. Also never give them your payment details as these are retained and they can charge anything as they see fit without your authorization.
Hello, Nick. We are always looking for ways to improve our services, and any given feedback is valid towards that goal. We know that creating your website from scratch requires information on how to do it. That's why we have a help network that includes Youtube Videos, Tutorials and our Customer Success team available 24/7. While our VPS plans are for projects requiring at least a bit of programming language, the user has root access to use the server for their projects the best way possible. We currently have VPS with Cyberpanel included, but if you would like to install another panel, it is totally possible. No one knows your projects better than yourself, so if we think another panel would be a better fit, you have the freedom to install it by yourself. If you need any assistance regarding costs, usage or anything else - please drop us a message, and let's talk it through!
Dear Nick Hostinger can't use your payment details without your permission if you do not want auto payment mode you cant disable the auto-renew. I have working with hostinger for 4 years and on my side there are stable. Even if you make a mistake on your side Hostinger can help you . Be informed that I'm an experimental user and I'm happy .
they advertise 30 day money back guarantee – they have still not refunded
they advertise 30-day money-back guarantee. I tried their service for about 4 hours and did not like their web-based tools for server and hosting management. Consequently, I decided to go with a different hosting company, a "green" company that uses renewable energy. I contacted Hostinger many many times in order to get a refund - they still have not refunded my money. BUYER BEWARE. Since Hostinger is not an American complaint I cannot file a complaint with the US Better Business Bureau. I am now looking to file a complaint against them in the EU.
Dear Michael, thank you for sharing your concerns with us. Please rest assured that it is vital for us to guarantee your satisfaction with our services, including the refunds. We have located your account with us to review the situation and ensure that your questions are answered. It seems that our team has already assisted you; it will take up to 7 business days for the money to return to the original payment source you made the payment from. There is also a refund confirmation email in your mailbox. Thank you for your patience and understanding! Please feel free to contact our team if you have any other questions.
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