Founded in Lithuania in 2004 Hostinger is a small, employee-owned company. But their coverage is indeed global, as they host 29M websites in 39 countries worldwide.
Originally, they offered completely free hosting services. It’s not the case any longer, but they still pride themselves on affordable pricing, still combining powerful features for professional websites.
One of their slogans is actually that they help you “save smart”. But as we’ll see in this review, you could be getting less for your money than you think. Let’s dive in.
As with all web hosts, be careful about the “door-busting” offer. That’s the insanely low price you’ll see printed in big letters on their landing pages and in ads. With Hostinger, the price you pay after 12 months can shoot up by x10!
Still, here’s what you’ll be choosing from for shared hosting.
|Inodes (files allowed)||200,000||400,000||600,000|
|Storage (SSD)||10 GB||20 GB||100 GB|
|RAM||256 MB||512 MB|
|Database size||3 GB||3 GB||3 GB|
|1 Domain registration for free||No||1 year|
|Backups||Weekly||Weekly||Weekly + Daily|
|CPU Cores||1 Core||1 Core||1 Core|
|RAM||256 MB||512 MB||1 GB|
|First-year prices||$2.99 a month||$5.99 a month|
$6.99 a month
|Price at renewal for 1 year-deals||$5.99 a month||$8.99 a month||$10.99 a month|
Now the key point to note is that the renewal prices vary depending on the length of your initial contract.
For instance, with the Single plan:
- Pay by the month only: $9.99
- Pay for 12 months at $2.99, renewal is at $5.99 / month
- Pay for 24 months at $1.59, renewal is at $3.99 / month
- Pay for 48 months at $0.99, renewal is $2.99 / month
With Premium, it looks like this:
- Pay by the month only: $9.59. Renews at $10.99 / month
- Pay for 12 months at $5.99, renewal is at $8.99 / month
- Pay for 24 months at $3.59, renewal is at $6.99 / month
- Pay for 48 months at $1.89, renewal is $4.99 / month
Finally, for Business, this is how much you will pay:
- Pay by the month only: $15.99. Renews at $15.99 / month
- Pay for 12 months at $6.99, renewal is at $10.99 / month
- Pay for 24 months at $4.59, renewal is at $9.99 / month
- Pay for 48 months at $3.89, renewal is $8.99 / month
So, yes, you will see prices advertised for as low as $0.99 a month. They are for a 48 months contract, which is actually crazy low.
What can you expect from each Hostinger plan?
All the plans will come with freebies such as:
- 1-click app install (for WordPress for instance)
- Cache manager
- Weekly backups
- DNS management
- 24/7 Support via live chat
There is also a good selection of tools and developer-friendly features on all plans. Technical users might also enjoy that they can control Cloud Linux, a client-side library like Curl and Curl SSL, InnoDB for database management, and most importantly GIT integration for version control.
Hostinger Pros & Cons
|+ Easy to use: The Hostinger admin panel is a joy to navigate, with clear menus and well laid-out options.|
+ Cheap first term: the first few months of hosting are aggressively priced. Renewal prices can shoot up to x10, depending on the length of your initial contract, but if you buy for, say, 48 months, the prices are insanely low.
+ Generous bandwidth: it’s unlimited on the higher plans, but even 100 GB on the lower tier is enough to welcome thousands of visitors per month.
+ Developer-friendly features: those who like to stay in control of the tech stack behind hosting will find that Hostinger offers a great selection of tools.
|– Page loading speed: Hostinger came second to last in our speed tests, which is worrying for SEO and user experience.|
– Uptime: another bummer, but Hostinger’s uptime also failed to impress. There will be times when your users won’t be able to access your site.
– Confusing pricing for renewal: that’s how they get you! The renewal prices vary depending on the length of your initial contracts. Keep an eye on the small print to avoid paying up to 10x your initial monthly rate.
– Daily backups only in the expensive plan: Sure, you can create manual copies of your site, but only relying on weekly backups is a dangerous game to play.
What is Hostinger used for?
If you have a project that only requires a website for less than a year, the combination of low prices, features and generous bandwidth could make it a win.
There’s a big caveat though: your website won’t have top speeds, and there will be some downtime. For hobby or side-projects, this may be good enough, though.
When not to use Hostinger hosting?
If your website needs decent performance, I would look elsewhere. If you plan on saving money, the prices shoot up so steeply after 12 months that I would also recommend alternatives like DreamHost or SiteGround which are a bit more expensive but top-performing.
|Ease of Use||A modern and intuitive panel with well laid-out menus. A few upsells in there, but nothing that damages the great user experience.|
|Domain Names||The 2 higher plans come with a free domain name the first year, after that you’ll need to pay for around $15-25 yearly.|
|Email Rating||1 account for the single plan and unlimited for the other tiers. Emails send rate is limited to 200 to 500 per hour depending on the plan you choose, so keep an eye on that for your marketing campaigns.|
|Databases||The Single Shared Hosting plan is limited to 2 databases, the other packages come with unlimited databases. Databases can, individually, not be larger than 3 GB.|
|Applications||There is an auto-installer for dozens of apps. Among others: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Zen Cart.|
|Webspace Limit||10 GB, 20 GB and 100 GB of storage. Each plan also comes with an inode limitation which is similar to the total amount of files you can host. 200,000 inodes for the Single plan, 400,000 for premium and 600,000 for Business.|
|Monthy Data Transfer Limit||Hostinger doesn’t meter the bandwidth you get.|
|FTP Accounts and Secure FTP||1 account with the Single plan and unlimited with the other 2 tiers. The top 2 packages allow you to connect via SSH too.|
|Server Location||Hostinger offers 7 different locations to host your website from. Pick one of the following: UK, US, Brazil, Netherlands, Singapore, Indonesia or Lithuania.|
|Security Features||Hosting comes with SSL certificates for free. You can use the last version of PHP, and enable 2-factor-authentication (2FA) to offer an extra layer of security. SSH is not available on the entry plan.|
There is also Cloudflare nameserver protection, which is supposed to secure data from hacks, and Double RAID, designed to keep several secure copies of your site in case of an outage.
|Server Speed||Sadly, Hostinger’s speed was very disappointing when I tested it.|
|Uptime||Hostinger’s uptime was not great either. This is concerning for serious projects, and the key reason to look at competitors.|
|Backups||With the Single and Premium plans you will get 1 backup a week, and they keep them for 30 days. When you upgrade to the Business plan the backups are daily. You can download the backups, and even create manual backups on demand (once a day max.).|
|CDN||Hostinger pre-integrates with Cloudflare so you can add a CDN easily. The top plan comes with free premium CDN integration.|
|Server Features||You can use the latest versions of PHP and MySQL. There is also a caching system built-in. Hostinger comes with a system to integrate version control (via Git) to your account. Other programming languages such as Perl or Ruby aren’t supported with the Hostinger shared plans.|
|Refunds and Guarantees||There is a 30-day money-back policy, and Hostinger guarantees that your site will be up 99.90% of the time, which may look good but isn’t actually a great uptime ratio (your site can be down almost 44 minutes every month).|
|Assistance and Support||It’s possible to contact Hostinger via live chat 24/7. At times, I had to wait to get an answer from the support agents.|
|Overall Rating||The biggest elephant in the room with Hostinger is that speed and uptime were bad to mediocre at best. It’s a shame. The user experience is excellent, and they offer a decent range of features. As it stands, it’s hard to recommend Hostinger for serious projects – especially considering that the prices after the first year aren’t too attractive either.|
Automatic backups are performed on a weekly basis, and kept for 30 days on all plans. For Business users, you also get daily backups on top of that.
Because one save point a week might not be enough for complete peace of mind, I’d look at manual backup options. There is one option to generate the backup, and a couple of things you can restore.
It’s a bit confusing at first, but you can quickly learn how to get to the important part, which is creating a ZIP file to download locally.
The tutorial I followed actually showed an old version of the backend, but it was well written nonetheless.
Testing Hostinger’s hosting
As mentioned above, Hostinger was disappointing both in terms of uptime and page speed. But how disappointing? Let’s break it down below.
As you can see from the screenshot below, out of 10 months, there was only one where I measured no downtime whatsoever. Let’s just say I wasn’t too impressed with the results. July, for instance, dropped to 99.17%, which is distressing.
Is Hostinger fast?
The short answer: not really. The long answer is that we tested a dozen hosts for page speed over a few months, and Hostinger was number 12 out of 13.
So how does being second to last in our test translate in terms of actual loading speed? It’s averaging around 3.63 seconds.
Hostinger and WordPress Hosting
Hostinger also has dedicated WordPress hosting plans, allowing you to build a generous number of websites.
|Single WordPress||WordPress Starter||WordPress Business||WordPress Pro|
|Number of websites||1||100||100||300|
|SSD Storage||10 GB||20 GB||100 GB||120 GB|
|Renewal yearly price||$5.99||$9.99||$10.99||$24.99|
All of the plans include an optimised platform for your WordPress site. However, you can also install WordPress on a standard shared hosting plan. It’s very easy to do from your backend.
Scaling with Hostinger
If you need more than a standard shared hosting plan, Hostinger also has Cloud Hosting, VPS Hosting, and even a special plan to host Minecraft servers. I’ll just note the major differences and renewal prices for each below.
All of the plans come with dedicated IP addresses, Cloudflare integration and LiteSpeed Cache.
|Business Startup||Business Professional||Cloud Global (powered by Google Cloud)|
|SSD Storage||100 GB||140 GB||140 GB|
|RAM||3 GB||6 GB||6 GB|
|12-month price after renewal||$23.99||$48.99||$95|
All of the plans come with dedicated IP addresses, full root access, 100 MB/s network, IPV4 and IPV6 support. They are based on OVZ virtualization technology.
|RAM||1 GB||2 GB||3 GB||4 GB|
|SSD Storage||20 GB||40 GB||60 GB||80 GB|
|Bandwidth||1 TB||2 TB||3 TB||4 TB|
|Yearly renewal price a month||$9.05||$18.15||$27.25||$36.35|
Be aware that there are superior plans that come with more storage and performance in case you need them.
Final Hostinger Review Comments
So is Hostinger worth it? To be honest, it’s a hard hosting provider to recommend. Yes, you get insanely low prices with your initial purchase, especially if you lock yourself into a 48-month contract.
And yes, you get excellent user experience and good features, including generous bandwidth and storage.
But the downtime and page speed were really on the poor side. Is it worth sacrificing your visitor’s user experience to save a few bucks per month? If you only host a casual website like, say, a portfolio or hobby site, maybe.
Hopefully, this Hostinger review has helped you decide if this is a good hosting provider for you, but of course, if you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it.
How are Hostinger’s prices so low?
You’re probably looking at the $0.99 a month plan, which is for a 48-month contract. It still renews at a very reasonable $2.99 per month (for another 48-month contract). If you pay monthly, it shoots up to $9.99 a month.
What do they mean by “unlimited”?
Every hosting provider has a sneaky asterisk next to the “unlimited” claim. In Hostinger’s care, you can have unlimited websites and bandwidth in theory, but the number of files you can host are still limited. These are called inodes, and you get 200,000 – 600,000 depending on your plan.
How can I pay for a Hostinger plan?
Pretty much any way you like. PayPal is supported, and so are major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, Amex etc… They also accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum amongst others.
Can I cancel my account?
Yes, and it’s effortless. Just go to your dashboard and find the Deactivate Button in the “Other” section.
Will I get a refund?
If you’re still within your first 30 days, yes. The 30-day money-back guarantee applies, unless you’ve paid with a cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin…)
If you cancel after that 30-day period, you won’t get anything back.
I hope I answered all your questions about Cloudways in this review. But please, if you do still have some questions, leave a message and I’ll do my best to help you.