What is Hostinger?
Hosting is a web hosting company. This European company boasts 29 million users worldwide and offers a range of hosting services that include shared hosting, WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, Minecraft hosting, and email hosting.
The company offers a range of interesting features to woo customers. Their services aren’t very costly, which attracts many people on strict budgets.
Is Hostinger a Good Hosting Company? The Verdict
When you go shopping for a hosting service, you will usually come across two options. The first option is cheap pricing but compromised features. The second option is high pricing with world-class and reliable features.
Hostinger has positioned itself somewhere in between. It is cheap enough to attract some attention, but it offers better features compared to cheaper options. The problem is that the features are not very great to make you drool, especially when you start digging their offerings’ nitty-gritty.
So, Hostinger isn’t a bad hosting company. It is not even very good. It is what I will call, ‘Okay.’ There is one thing that bothers me, and that’s the uptime. I will be talking about it soon.
My verdict here is that you can opt for Hostinger to start your website, but if you think of migrating to Hostinger with a large website that gets decent traffic, I will not suggest Hostinger. Rather, opting for SiteGround will be a smarter choice. Even better if you go for cloud hosting providers.
Hostinger Quick Overview
|Perfect for?||Shared & WordPress Hosting (beginner sites only). Email hosting is very reliable.|
|Speed||Hostinger takes an average of 600 ms to load a website. That’s very slow compared to SiteGround or GoDaddy.|
|Uptime||Pretty shaky uptime, which can hurt your website’s image.|
|Great for which platforms?||WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, WooCommerce.|
|Classic features||Plan dependent:|
|Site transfer||Yes! Completely free.|
|Pricing||Starts at 0.99 USD a month (for long-term plans).|
|Refund policy||30-day money-back guarantee. That, however, comes with some restrictions.|
|Support||24/7 chat support available. There is phone support, as well.|
|Ease of use||Very easy to use.|
|cPanel availability||No, they don’t give you cPanel. Hostinger has a proprietary system that is neat and very intuitive. I really loved working with it.|
|Security features||They throw in a free SSL certificate. That’s all! You need to do the rest.|
|Company establishment year||2004|
|The company is owned by||They are an individual company located in Lithuania.|
Hostinger Pricing and Plans
Hostinger offers an interesting pricing structure that attracts people on a tight budget. For shared hosting, they have three plans to offer. Here is a quick table comparing the plans.
|Number of websites||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Storage||10 GB||20 GB||100 GB|
|Database Size||3 GB||3 GB||3 GB|
|RAM||256 MB||512 MB||1 GB|
|Allowed Entry Processes (Triggered by Website) at Once||10||20||30|
|Total Number of Active Processes Allowed at Once||25||40||60|
|First Term Price (4-Year Plan)||0.99 USD a month, paid upfront for 48 months)||2.89 USD a month, paid upfront for 48 months)||3.99 USD a month, paid upfront for 48 months)|
|Renewal Price||2.15 USD a month to be paid for the next for years in advance||3.49 USD a month to be paid for the next for years in advance||7.95 USD a month to be paid for the next for years in advance|
Hostinger Server Uptime
Server uptime refers to the amount to time a server remains online and fully functional. Since your website sits on a server, you will want that server to remain online always so that your visitors can access it anytime they want.
A website that remains online always improves user experience (known as UX). It also reduces the bounce rate. So ideally, your web server should have 100% uptime. That really never happens for the shared hosting services.
Though 100% uptime is not possible, shared hosts should give at least 99.9% uptime, which has become an industry standard. Anything (even a fraction) less than that can lead to an awful user experience.
Even 0.1% downtime means 45 minutes of downtime a month! That’s a lot. Ideally, your shared hosting provider should guarantee 99.99% uptime.
Unfortunately, Hostinger doesn’t perform well in this segment! I didn’t even have to test the downtime. They make it public. You can find the full result here. In case you don’t want to go through the entire result, here is a screenshot:
They do have frequent downtimes, which is a matter of concern. So, before getting attracted to the low prices of Hostinger, I will suggest you take serious note of the downtime issues that riddle the Hostinger servers!
Hostinger Server Speed
Hostinger claims to have SSD storage on their servers. This means that their servers should respond fast to queries made by a web browser.
I have repeatedly said earlier in my other web hosting reviews that your site needs to be fast. Why? There are two reasons. They are:
- Slow-loading sites will lead to higher bounce rates; that is, your website visitors will quickly leave your site. A high bounce rate will hurt your site’s search results.
- Google has switched to mobile-first indexing. It means that Google will see how fast your website is on mobile devices that use a 3G data connection. If your site takes any more than 3 seconds on mobile, Google will push your site down in SERPs (search engine result pages).
So, it is essential to have a fast website. Many factors contribute to the slowdown of a site. One of those factors is slow server response time. Again, a slow server response can be due to at least two factors. They are:
- Your server is located in a far off location from where a visitor is visiting your site. For example, if your site visitor is in Canada, and your server is located in Sri Lanka, data needs to travel long. This will lead to slow response time.
- The server hardware is outdated, and it takes time to respond to browser queries. This can happen if a server is using the traditional HDD storage.
More factors are there like:
- Server stack in use (Nginx, Apache, OpenLiteSpeed, etc.)
- The theme in use.
- Plugins in use.
- Web fonts.
- Third-party codes.
Google analyses the speed using more than 30 parameters. Your site needs to pass in most of them to get a 90+ speed score in Google PageSpeed Insights.
So, I decided to put Hostinger servers to test using Google PageSpeed Insights. Why not GTmetrix or Pingdom?
That’s because Google is always the final word. If Google isn’t happy about your site, you are screwed.
Google PageSpeed Insights Test Results
This time, instead of testing a site that I own, I decided to test my client’s site hosted on a Hostinger shared server. Since I handle the site, I know about its overall configuration.
Here is the site configuration:
- A theme from MyThemeShop.
- 6 plugins, including a caching plugin.
- Cloudfront CDN.
Here is what I found after putting the site to test:
The mobile result:
The desktop result:
What about the server response time? Here is what I found for the mobile test result:
And this is what I found for desktop:
In both cases, the server takes 1.02 seconds to respond. That’s not good!
This one factor is sufficient enough for me to stay away from Hostinger. Add the horror of server downtime, and I am out. It doesn’t matter if Hostinger is offering a low price. I don’t want a slow site or a site that goes offline multiple times in a month.
What you want to do is up to you.
Ease of Use
This is one segment where I have to appreciate Hostinger. No, they will not give you the traditional cPanel. They have a custom control panel that is far more organized and easy to use. It has a clean and intuitive interface.
What I really like about their hosting control panel is the ability to activate or deactivate plugins right from within the control panel. That’s pretty unique and neat! I will say that it helps a lot because if a plugin malfunction prevents you from accessing your WordPress dashboard, you can deactivate it right from the control panel to gain back access to your site’s dashboard.
There is a brilliant tutorial by Hostinger Academy that will give a full demo of the control panel. Here is the YouTube video:
Here is a quick list of some important features of Hostinger shared hosting (note that some features are plan-dependent, which means that you can get some features only for higher-tier plans):
Hostinger offers free SSL using Let’s Encrypt. SSL is an important ranking factor in Google search results. If your site is not secured with SSL certificate and encryption, Google will push down your site in search results.
You can get a domain for free, depending on the plan that you are selecting. However, remember that the domain will remain free only for the first year. You have to pay for the domain starting the second year.
You will have access to webmail. In case you don’t want to use a separate email client like Outlook, Thunderbird, Bluemail, etc., you can always use the webmail and access all your website emails directly from the browser.
Hostinger offers a 1-Click Installer service that will allow you to install famous CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. with a single click.
If you are an advanced user and you want to access your Hostinger account remotely, you can use SSH to do that.
Hostinger allows you to save bandwidth by preventing other websites from linking to data on your website.
Hostinger doesn’t really offer a LiteSpeed server, but they have a caching system based on the LiteSpeed-powered caching system. LiteSpeed WordPress is known for giving a 300% speed boost. However, that requires combining the LiteSpeed server (instead of Nginx or Apache), LiteSpeed Cache, and CDN (that can be either Cloudflare or QUIC.cloud CDN). Hosting offers a caching system that is based on LiteSpeed.
For LiteSpeed Caching to work, you will need the LiteSpeed server, which you will get with Hostinger. However, despite having a LiteSpeed server and LiteSpeed Cache, their server speed is not very acceptable.
Multiple PHP Versions
Many hosting companies are still stuck with PHP 5.x. That’s not good. Hosting offers up to PHP 7.4. That’s the latest, most stable PHP version available so far. It is also the fastest and most secure.
Hostinger Customer Care
The problem with Hostinger’s customer care is that it will be available only for logged in users. This means that you need to have an active account with Hostinger to talk to their customer support.
In case you have general queries, you can send them questions using their contact form. They will get back to you via email. There’s no sales support, as I found in the case of SiteGround.
But once you have an account, you can chat with them directly. They are a bit slow with their response, and that can be annoying at times. For email queries, they typically take up to 4 hours to respond. However, sometimes they are fast enough.
Things I Didn’t Like About Hostinger
Here is a quick list of things that I didn’t like about Hostinger:
- Server uptime is shaky.
- The server speed is not so commendable.
- No chat support for pre-sales queries.
- Low introductory prices are meaningless because you have to commit for a very long period.
- Renewal rates are very high.
- Servers usually give good speed in Europe and America. For the rest of the locations, speed is not up to the mark.
Things I Liked About Hostinger
Here is a quick list of things that I did like about Hostinger:
- They are cheaper compared to other hosting providers.
- Their control panel is one of the finest I have seen.
- They offer free SSL (unlike GoDaddy).
- They also offer a free domain depending on the plan you choose.
- They allow plugin activation/deactivation directly from the control panel.
Do I recommend Hostinger? Yes, I do! If you are on a tight budget and if you are building a new site, Hostinger is a decent choice. Yes, you will have some issues with uptime, but for the speed, you can still make your website work fast depending on things like the theme, plugins, CDN, etc.
However, I will definitely tell you that you should move out of Hostinger when your traffic starts growing or when you start ranking on Google search. Staying with Hostinger then will cost you dearly. Don't forget to check out our SiteGround Hosting Review