“You get what you pay for”, right? If a product is cheap, then there’s no way it can also be good.
Well, it looks like Hostinger aims to change that. A super cheap host still promises to deliver “lightning fast” performance and great web security.
Through over 15 years of its existence, Hostinger has transformed into a company offering premium shared, cloud, and VPS hosting services. Now it has 8 data centers and several hundred employees worldwide, yet the pricing for shared hosting still remains at the bare minimum, starting at $0.80/month.
Let's put this all to test and see how good cheap hosting can really be.
Starting with the good things, Hostinger has great performance, cheap pricing, and premium security. It's also really easy to use and customer support is ready to help at all times.
So here are the details.
1. Excellent performance results
Current uptime: 100.00%
Average response time: 60ms
Last downtime recorded: 1 week ago
Hostinger has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is pretty good for a cheap host and might result in no more than 1 minute of downtime every day.
I've also tested the provider myself for a month. And the long term results are even better than the promises.
During the month I monitored the uptime, it kept a very reputable uptime of 99.97%.
Response times surprised me as well. While regular hosting providers average somewhere at around 400 to 500ms, Hostinger did several times better.
The cheap host balanced out at less than 170ms.
It's actually better than Google's recommended 200ms. In other words, you wouldn't be able to even blink that fast.
The faster the better. Overall user experience is improved by faster response times. But the more tangible result could come from Google itself. The search engine says it will boost your rankings based on the fast server speed.
2. Hostinger pricing
Hostinger pricing starts at just $0.80/month for the Single Shared Hosting plan. For $2.15/month you can purchase the Premium plan. $3.45/month will get you the Business Shared Hosting plan. Each plan includes 24/7/365 support, website builder, and weekly backups.
For those just getting started, Hostinger Single Shared Hosting plan for $0.80/month has almost all you may need. 10GB SSD storage and 100GB bandwidth should be enough for small business websites, portfolios, blogs, etc. You also get 1 email account and 1 MySQL database. Unfortunately, a domain name is not included but you can buy one from Hostinger as prices are really affordable, starting at $0.99/year.
For the larger projects, like business websites or small online stores, the Premium plan for $2.15/month may be better. You get 20GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, email accounts, and 2x processing power and memory. To top it off - you get a free domain name as well.
There's also enough space to scale up and choose the Business Shared Hosting plan for $3.45/month. It will get you all unlimited features from the previous plans, 30GB SSD storage, daily backups, and free SSL.
You can compare all of the features in the table down below:
|Customer Support||24/7 live chat, email||24/7 live chat, email||24/7 live chat, email|
|Free Automated Backups||Weekly||Weekly||Daily|
Hostinger has one thing in common with a lot of other hosts. To get the cheapest pricing, you need to sign up for longer periods. In Hostinger's case, it's at least 48 months. Fortunately, there's always some kind of discount going on or promo codes you can find.
3. Top-notch security features
And Hostinger aims to take care of that.
SSL will ensure visitors don't run away from your site screaming about the data that's not being encrypted. It's the key security feature ensuring your user sensitive information remains safe and private when traveling across different servers.
At the same time, Cloudflare CDN will make sure to keep your uptime 100% or as close to it as possible. It also protects you from DDoS attacks by creating a network of worldwide servers.
All of these features are included in the Business plan for $3.45/month. But you can also add them to any of the plans.
For example, SSL will cost you $11.95 one-time fee. For that, Hostinger will take care of SSL installation in under a minute. And if you've ever tried doing that yourself, you know how painful it can be.
Cloudflare, included in the Business plan, can also be bought separately. You would pay $9.95 for a lifetime subscription and Hostinger promises to take care of every back-end detail, including updates.
4. User-friendly platform
Starting with the set-up process to actually building or migrating a website, Hostinger is easy to use. Once you sign up and confirm your email, all you'll need to do is follow the three-step process of setting up a website.
And if you already host a website elsewhere, Hostinger promises to transfer it for free.
Then you can log in to the Hostinger control panel to manage and customize every detail. The interface is modern, clean and easy to navigate.
From the control panel, you can access usage statistics, set up email accounts, domains, find auto-installers, website builder, databases, file manager, etc.
Everything is illustrated by large icons, so you won't get lost or need any technical skills to actually understand what's going on.
Another user-friendly feature is a website builder. While setting up a website with WordPress may be easy as well, a website builder makes the process much faster. Especially if you don't have a lot of web development skills or time. Here's what I created in under 5 minutes:
5. Great live chat
Hostinger has 24/7 dedicated customer support in 20 languages for over 40 of its locales.
The Customer Success team promises response times to be lower than 2 minutes. Want to see how it went? Here's my experience.
I was connected to the support agent instantly. And he was extremely friendly and well trained to help. He actually tried teaching me how to repair the database I accidentally broke.
But it gets better.
When I indicated that I am not really sure what are those things he's talking about, he just went in and fixed it himself. For a beginner web hosting user, such proactiveness is really great and helpful.
I think I had the site working again in less than 5 minutes after I contacted the support.
To sum up:
Hostinger support is doing a great job. They are pro-active, friendly, and effective. Not to mention fast.
6. One-click installations
Hostinger aims to make website hosting and building process as easy as this complicated work can be. From the control panel, you'll have the access to over 100 software auto-installs. Basically, you'll be able to click on your chosen software, and Hostinger will do the work.
There are auto-install scripts for WordPress, Joomla, PrestaShop, and many others.
Hostinger goes beyond hosting. You can find even more one-click installations in the App Store.
There, you will find apps like G Suite, Cloudflare, VPN, SEO tools, etc. Hostinger promises to introduce even more apps later.
We've reviewed hundreds of hosts and not a single one was perfect.
Hostinger is no exception. Here are some of its problems.
1. No phone support
Of all the things Hostinger has (knowledge base, live chat, email tickets), phone support is not one of them.
It does not seem to be a huge problem but some users might miss the service quite a lot.
So if you prefer phone support, Hostinger may not be the top choice.
Also, the lack of phone support can be a miss for beginners. Think of a stressful situation where something in a website breaks or some data is lost. Calm support agents are usually able to walk users through the needed processes to fix the issue.
Fortunately, live chat support is excellent and they often use gifs and images to illustrate any of the more difficult tasks.
All in all, you won't be left high and dry if anything happens.
2. Custom hosting panel
Hostinger plans do not include the classic cPanel interface. The company installed its own custom control panel (called hPanel) to manage your hosting.
So in theory, some users might miss the good ol' cPanel.
After all, it's the most popular and extremely friendly control panel there is. It has probably every function there is, and there's an extensive tutorial for every step you can find. In other words, the cPanel community is huge.
On the other hand, I wouldn't say Hostinger hosting panel is much worse. Or different, as a matter of fact. Here you can see the differences side by side.
It was created for a reason - the user interface was simplified and illustrated by big icons, yet functionality remained the same.
And, each of the support agents is well-trained to help you use the control panel. So basically, you have an expert team capable of solving any issue related to the custom control panel. While with cPanel, you have to trust the knowledge of unknown people and possibly outdated tutorials.
But if you are not a chatty person, an extensive knowledge base and tutorials are there as well, covering all topics related to the control panel.
3. No unlimited plans
A while ago, Hostinger had unlimited plans - unlimited-unmetered bandwidth, unlimited storage, etc. Basically, a dream come true.
And this feature did look great. Especially with the cheap pricing.
As of a few weeks ago, the plans are gone. Now you get 10-30 GB storage space and 100 GB to unlimited bandwidth depending on your plan. 'That looks so not enough' - was my first thought.
But here's the deal:
With 10 GB of hosting you'd able to have from 5 to 10 big WordPress sites, complete with media libraries and multiple plugins. That's more than enough for most users! And it's available for just $0.80 a month. If you need more, there's a $3.45 plan, which can host up to 30 full-sized websites.
So, the plans are pretty generous. And yes, a lot of other providers actually offer "unlimited" resources to their users.
But how unlimited those unlimited plans actually are? Often, they're just as big as Hostinger's right here.
Just imagine this: if hosting plans were actually unlimited, Jeff Bezos could just buy one hosting plan for $2.15 a month, and move his entire infrastructure to one host, completely bankrupting it.
So yes, all of the hosting providers have their limits. Hostinger just makes them very clear.
Hostinger Review - the Verdict
As far as my experience goes - Hostinger is great. The performance of the cheap host can compete with the industry giants. It's easy to use, customer support is excellent (I don't like phone support anyway), and it's constantly improving.
A few things might look indifferent for experienced users. It's a custom control panel and lack of unlimited plans. But it might not be for the worse as we figured.
So when choosing a host, be it a cheap one or not so much, I would strongly consider Hostinger (and do watch Emit's video, he has even more insights).