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.
1. Mostly Good Uptime 99.95%
Uptime is the most important thing to check out when considering a web host.
Hostinger performs pretty well in this area but does have drops in uptime every few months or so (October, June and May 2019). Overall they perform quite good by keeping their websites up and running.
Last 12-month average uptime:
- January 2020 average uptime: 99.95%
- December 2019 average uptime: 99.98%
- November 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- October 2019 average uptime: 99.65%
- September 2019 average uptime: 100%
- August 2019 average uptime: 100%
- July 2019 average uptime: 100%
- June 2019 average uptime: 99.83%
- May 2019 average uptime: 99.89%
- April 2019 average uptime: 100%
- March 2019 average uptime: 99.94%
- February 2019 average uptime: 100%
2. Fast Load Time – 350ms
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, 40% of people abandon it, according to Neil Patel.
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 average load time:
3. 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.
4. 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 had to wait less than 1 minute for a chat support agent to connect and another minute for the answer, which was amazing. Mindaugas answered our questions quickly and with great use of language.
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:
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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 $2.15/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 hosting service providers.
Cons of Using Hostinger
There’s a lot to love about Hostinger’s loading speeds, uptime, 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. Must Be Logged in to Access Live Chat
Hostinger’s live chat option is only available if you’re logged into a Hostinger account.
That means if you’re not a Hostinger customer but you have questions for example about migrating your site over to them, you can’t chat live with a customer service representative.
To get in touch with Hostinger without being logged in, click the “Contact Us” button at the bottom of their site.
Then, you’ll be taken to a page where you can choose whether you’re looking for support to report abuse or to submit a general inquiry ticket.
To submit a ticket, you’ll have to submit your name, email, and your message.
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.
4. Must Pay for Extra Domains
One domain name registration is free for users who opt for the Premium or Business shared hosting plans as well as with all annual Cloud hosting plans.
However, additional domain registrations aren’t free. They’re definitely affordable, though.
Domains with the extensions “.com” and “.net” are under $10 per year, while a “.xyz”, “.online”, “.tech” domains are only $0.99 per year.
A “.asia” extension will cost you the most – $12.99 per year.
If you choose one of their Premium or Business plans, you’ll get unlimited subdomains, but only one free domain name.
You can also renew an expired domain name at no extra cost within 36 days after expiration. After that, the Redemption Grace Period will allow you to still redeem the domain until day 66 for a redemption fee of $53, according to Hostinger’s Expired Registration Recovery Policy.
Hostinger Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
Here’s a quick overview of the Hostinger plans that are available:
Personal free domains are included in Premium & Business web hosting plans.
Single Shared Hosting: The cheapest available plan. You’ll pay as little as $0.99 per month for 48-months. After that period, it renews at $2.15/month.
With this plan, you’ll get:
- 1 Website
- 10 GB Disk Space
- 100 GB Bandwidth
- 1 MySQL Database
- 1 FTP User
- 1 Email Account
- Easy Website Builder
- Auto Installer
Premium Shared Hosting: This plan is the middle of the line. You’ll pay as little as $2.89 per month for 48 months.
With this plan, you’ll get:
- Unlimited Number of Websites
- Unlimited SSD Disk Space
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- Unlimited FTP Users
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Easy Website Builder
- 3X WordPress Optimized Speed
- Free Domain Name (with annual plan)
Business Web Hosting: This plan is the top of the line. You’ll pay as little as $3.99 per month for 48 months.
With this plan, you’ll get everything from Premium Shared Hosting as well as:
- Daily Backups
- Deluxe Live Support
- 2X Processing Power & Memory
- Free SSL Certificate to secure customer data & increase SEO rankings
Do We Recommend Hostinger?
Hostinger provides superb speed. Their uptime has been a little bit inconsistent over the past 24 months, but on average uptime has been strong.
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.
Customer support is responsive, knowledgeable, and friendly.