HostingRaja is pretty cheap, its page loading times are amazing, and it has tons of plans to choose from. However, the speed and pricing of a web host aren’t everything, and the poor quality of the support drove me crazy.
HostingRaja is based in India and specialises in budget VPS and shared hosting. It has a low price tag and some impressive WordPress features. Nice, but there’s one big catch – you can only use this host if you have an address in India.
If you are based in India, HostingRaja offers generous hosting plans. It’s website can be a bit difficult to use, but it the company offers support in six languages, including English, Tamil, and Hindi.
HostingRaja uses an Indian data centre, which should give good performance for customers in Asia. But other aspects of its service are lacking in quality, and there’s no uptime guarantee, which could be an issue for your website in the long term.
So, is HostingRaja really the number one provider in India, as the homepage claims? Or would you be better off with a budget-friendly international host, like Hostinger? To find out, I signed up for HostingRaja and put it to the test.
I signed up for a plan called Starter, but as of now, it looks like this plan no longer exists on the site. It has (or had) 40GB disk space, 5GB bandwidth, and cPanel.
HostingRaja’s WordPress hosting plans have a ‘loading time guarantee’, but I was disappointed to see that the shared hosting plans don’t. There’s also no free domain, and only ‘low priority support’. And the minimum term is a crazy 5-year contract.
Before you sign up for five years, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re getting – so let’s see what else is included in HostingRaja’s shared hosting plans.
There’s Free SSL
HostingRaja doesn’t make a big deal of this, but free SSL certificates are included, as I discovered here in the cPanel interface. SSL helps to keep your visitors’ browsing private and adds a basic layer of security by encrypting traffic between the browser and the server.
Having SSL can also help with your search engine ranking, so this was a good start. And I was pleased to see that the certificate would auto-renew. That’s one less thing to worry about.
Enter the Site Builder(s)
Even though my plan info specifically said I wasn’t getting a site builder, there are actually two. Along with Site Publisher, which is quite common on cPanel hosts, there’s another site builder called SitePad.
Both of these tools come with some free templates and a drag-and-drop editor. SitePad is just a little more user-friendly and has a wizard to get you started.
Backups are Only Monthly, Unless You DIY
HostingRaja claims to take monthly backups, but that just isn’t enough to offer peace of mind for anyone. I personally wouldn’t rely on them, given that the other plan details have proven to be inaccurate in places.
The good news is that you can create manual backups easily. The manual backup interface is pretty standard for cPanel and allows you to create backups of your files, databases, or email forwarders.
This is not something I would rely on for day-to-day use because it doesn’t allow you to easily restore individual files. But hey, it’s easy to use and comes at no extra charge. You’ll just need enough space on your hard drive to store your backups.
HostingRaja has Softaculous on its cPanel plans, so you can easily install a number of applications, including WordPress.See full list of features
Ease of use
Website Issues and Confusing Plans
As previously mentioned, you’ll need an address in India to sign up for HostingRaja. But before we get to that, let me just vent about a couple of things:
First of all, I had continual problems with my HostingRaja login and had to keep resetting the password to log in.
The content is also inconsistent. The uptime guarantee is reported as 99.9% on the website, but it’s actually 99% if you check the terms of service. And a 99% uptime guarantee is way below the industry standard.
There are other issues too. Some pages on the HostingRaja website have placeholder text instead of proper content. Some of the plans are presented in reverse price order. And some don’t have their own page on the site, so they’re difficult to locate.
We’re not off to a great start, but let’s soldier on a little longer.
Choosing a Domain
Fortunately, this part of the process is easy, and the domain selection here is pretty standard. If you have a domain, use the first form. If you want to buy one, use the second one.
It’s not as graceful as some hosts’ domain selection forms, but it works fine.
The next page is the sign-up form, which is self-explanatory.
You’ll get an email once you’ve paid with your login details, and at that stage, you can move on to installing WordPress.
I used Softaculous for this, so the process was easy. From HostingRaja’s dashboard, all you have to do is navigate to cPanel for the hosting account you want to install WordPress on.
Once you locate Softaculous and find WordPress, you just click Install. After filling out some basic details about your site, you’re good to go.
I set up a real website with HostingRaja so I could test its performance. I have some good news, and some less-good news.
HostingRaja’s speed is darned good. Loading times on a Mumbai test server averaged 1.4 seconds, which is impressive when you consider the data wasn’t compressed very well. Global load times were 2.5 seconds, which is okay. The uptime hit 99.4%, which is not very good.
I used three different tools to test HostingRaja: GTMetrix, the Sucuri Load Time Tester, and UptimeRobot. I’ve now deactivated the hosting account so that the host can’t make any changes that would affect performance, but it was originally live at www.autonomous-shoes-india-c.in.
GTMetrix results were great, with an average fully loaded time of 1.4s. I tested the site nine times at different times of day from the Mumbai test server. Three of the tests came in at 0.8s, which is excellent. One hit 3.6, which dragged the average down.
But eight out of nine were 1.6s or less, which is super-speedy. Overall, this is the fastest Indian host I tested in GTMetrix.
When I test web hosts, one of the first stages in my testing is to write to support and ask if they can help me optimize my page. This way, I can both see the quality of the support and give hosts a chance to do well in their performance tests (even if they don’t know it).
Most hosts managed to compress my 1.4MB homepage to below 1MB. HostingRaja was only able to bring the page size down to around 1.3MB – but still, the larger page size doesn’t seem to have negatively affected the loading time.
As mentioned above, HostingRaja’s WordPress plans have a ‘loading time guarantee’ – something I’ve never seen a web host offer before. The basic shared hosting plans don’t have this feature. So although my results look good, you might want to choose a WordPress plan if you need that reassurance.
Sucuri Load Time Tester
HostingRaja did brilliantly in this test too. My site’s average speed globally was 2.5 seconds. Sucuri measures the fully loaded time for a website from different data centres around the world, so this is a remarkable time to achieve.
Just one caveat, though. The results were not consistent. For example, the Bangalore data centre swung from being the fastest in some tests (0.75s) to the slowest in others (6.7s).
Singapore reported swift loading times of 0.6s and 0.76s. The Toronto data centre reported slow times in quite a few tests, around the 6.4-7.7s mark.
Still, occasional slow speeds didn’t pull the average down too much.
Here’s where things get messy. UptimeRobot measured 99.4% uptime over 30 days.
That’s an average of one hour of downtime each week. If this website was my real business site, I wouldn’t be happy if it was up and down like a yo-yo. This could mean a serious loss of revenue.
HostingRaja has an 99% uptime guarantee. It’s not only much lower than the industry standard of 99.9%, it’s so unambitious that it’s barely even worth mentioning.Check Out HostingRaja Performance
Poor Support Tools and Availability Issues
HostingRaja’s support is available in English, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam. You can contact support via live chat, ticket, or phone. How well does that work?
Well, there two huge problems here that I need to mention before I get into the tests:
There are two separate live chat systems: sales and support. Be sure to use the right one every time.
The ticket system is pointlessly complicated and has no way to retrieve tickets already sent.
Any more problems? Oh yeah – on live chat, I rarely found anyone available to respond.
And when they did respond, they sometimes didn’t provide an answer. I’ve compressed this one into one screen, left to right:
Uh, okay. One more try. This one will be the one. I can feel it.
Um… so I guess that’s a no. My plan included only ‘low priority’ support, but I was still expecting a better response on live chat.
Okay. Maybe they’re introverts and don’t want to talk to people live. It’s understandable. But when it was time to tackle the ticket system, I found this truly horrible login form awaiting me:
This. Is. Crazy. If you’re wondering what this all means, let me summarise. It means: ‘log in using the form on the left’.
After creating a ticket, I had to write down my ticket ID to get back to my query later. But the response time was good, at least. I got a reply to this query in 15 minutes. It’s not the most helpful reply, but at least it’s an answer.
There’s usually one method of contact that works well. But at HostingRaja, support was difficult to access no matter how I tried. I guess I’d use tickets rather than chat if I had to, but this whole experience needs work.
Unfriendly Payment Terms and Long Contracts
HostingRaja is the most expensive Indian host I tested. This doesn’t mean it’s vastly more expensive, but you might save money with a cheaper Indian competitor like HostSoch.
You can pay for your hosting via credit card or bank transfer, but I have issues with the payment terms. First, some plans have a 5-year minimum term, with no free trial, which is absolutely crazy. (Yeah, more crazy. And not the fun kind.)
And second: the 30-day money back guarantee is not a guarantee.
You will only get a refund if you paid with a credit card, and can prove that you had a technical difficulty, and you aren’t on a monthly billing cycle. It’s like trying to prove to your mother that no, it was totally your sister who took the cookie. (It was!)
Check the terms of service carefully, because this could make your hosting plan difficult to wriggle out of if you don’t get good service.
You can’t cancel your HostingRaja plan from the dashboard, so I submitted a ticket.
It’s not the most graceful way to cancel, but it worked fine. They cancelled it; I didn’t have to sue anyone.
HostingRaja achieved excellent loading times, and it has decent package features and ample resources on the shared hosting plans.
The rest of the experience was pretty rough. The website is awful, the support was consistently poor, and it has an uptime guarantee that may as well not exist.
The WordPress features are impressive, though, and it would be interesting to see if the WordPress-specific plans are better. But overall, I really think there are better choices to consider. MilesWebwas almost as fast in testing, and HostSoch offers a better experience overall.
But if you want my top recommendation, go with Hostinger. It scored brilliantly on all our performance tests, and its prices are some of the cheapest on the market.
Based in Melbourne, Jack is a long-time web developer and WordPress enthusiast, always interested not only in how things work, but how he can make them work better. You'll typically find him glued to his computer screen at all hours of the day and night, but he does go outside every once in a while - mainly to play squash or do some surfing (or at least pretend to).