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Hostinger Review 2020: Affordable and Feature-Rich

Best for Windows VPS Hosting

hostinger logo

3.7out of 5

Powering

29 million sites

Starting from

$7.99

Free trial

Yes

Best for

Best for Discounted Prices

hostinger logo
Overall rating

4 out of 5 stars

Hostinger is best known for its affordable prices and wide variety of features, but it does have some drawbacks worth considering. Read on to determine if Hostinger is the right provider for your site.

We weigh up the pros and cons of this European hosting provider

Looking for a hosting provider can feel like a daunting task. There are so many options out there, and they all look pretty similar on the surface. But our team at Website Builder Expert has done the deep digging to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of each provider. We’ve spent hours researching and cross-referencing their respective features, and have been helping regular people – not tech experts – get online for 10 years. 

If you’re considering using Hostinger as your hosting provider, read on for the expert verdict. But first, a quick summary:

Best for Discounted Prices

3.7out of 5

Types of Hosting

4.5 out of 5 stars

Hosting Features

5 out of 5 stars

Disk Space

2.5 out of 5 stars

Uptime

2 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

star rating explanation graphic

Hostinger Pros

  • WordPress plans: a strong onboarding experience on most WordPress plans ensures great ease of use 
  • Both Windows and Linux hosting available: in addition to conventional Linux plans, Hostinger also offers Windows hosting on VPS plans
  • Multilingual customer support: Hostinger’s customer support agents are available in many languages, and are stationed all over the world

Hostinger Cons

  • Low uptime percentage: held up to industry standards, Hostinger’s uptime guarantee just can’t compete 
  • No dedicated plan: Hostinger doesn’t offer any dedicated hosting plans
  • No phone support: while the customer support options that Hostinger does have are robust, this provider doesn’t yet offer over-the-phone support

Hostinger in Brief

Hostinger was founded in Lithuania in 2004, and reached the one million user milestone in 2011. Since then, Hostinger has grown to include a number of subsidiary companies; powered by data centers in seven countries, the company and its affiliates now serve over 29 million users, with over 10,000 new signups every day.

Reliability and Performance

No web host can guarantee 100% uptime. That being said, you’ll want to aim for something in the 99.97-99.99% range, which equates to between 50 and 150 minutes of downtime per year. 

Now, Hostinger has a lot of strengths, but we’ll be honest: uptime isn’t one of them. This provider guarantees 99.9% uptime, which translates to about 7 hours and 53 minutes of downtime per year. Of course, that figure represents the worst case scenario, but ideally you’d like to avoid the possibility of more than 1-3 hours of downtime per year. 

As you weigh up Hostinger’s strengths and weaknesses, you might be wondering how much a less-than-stellar uptime will matter for your specific site. Uptime is especially important if you’re hosting an ecommerce site, because the more downtime you experience, the less sales you’ll be able to make. Good uptime matters across the board, but we say it should be a make-or-break factor for ecommerce sites.

Types of Hosting and Features

Hostinger offers four different types of hosting: shared, WordPress, cloud, and VPS. Shared and cloud hosting are the cheapest and most beginner-friendly options, WordPress hosting is excellent for blogging, while VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is best suited for larger sites that demand more resources.

Think of each hosting type like an umbrella. Underneath each, there are different plans you can choose from to best accommodate your site’s needs. Features vary across plans, but we’ve broken down the highlights of each below.

Hostinger Shared Plan Features

Shared plans are the cheapest, easiest way to host a website. Hostinger’s shared plans are secure and user-friendly, and the more advanced elements will be taken care of for you.

Single Shared Premium Shared Business Shared
Email One account Unlimited accounts Unlimited accounts
Bandwidth 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Backups Weekly Weekly Daily
Free domain No Yes Yes
Secure Shell (SSH) access No Yes Yes

Hostinger WordPress Plan Features

Hostinger’s WordPress plans are also run on shared servers, and offer the same ease of use and affordability.

Single WordPress Premium WordPress Business WordPress
Email One account Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Automatic backups No Weekly Daily
Free domain No Yes Yes
SSH access No Yes Yes

We’ve seen a lot of positive comments about Hostinger’s WordPress onboarding for customers, so you can also expect considerable ease of use when you sign up for a WordPress plan.

Hostinger Cloud Plan Features

While shared plans mean multiple websites sharing one server, cloud plans mean that your site is hosted in the cloud – a service that exists on multiple servers. 

All of Hostinger’s cloud hosting plans include a dedicated IP address, a free domain, and unlimited bandwidth. Here’s where they start to differ:

Business Startup Business Professional Cloud Global
Websites 300 300 300
SSD storage 40 GB 80 GB 200 GB
RAM 3 GB 6 GB 16 GB
CPU Cores 2 4 8

Hostinger VPS Plan Features

VPS hosting creates a virtual environment that imitates a dedicated server – meaning you get many of the benefits of dedicated resources, but at a lower price. 

Hostinger’s VPS plans come with a custom control panel, auto installers with popular web scripts and operating system templates, and 128 GB RAM per server. Hostinger’s VPS plans are categorized by the amount of CPU (Central Processing Unit) power given to the server, shown in the “vCPU” boxes below. Plans are also differentiated by increasing amounts of memory, storage, and bandwidth:

1vCPU 2vCPU 3vCPU 4vCPU 6vCPU 8vCPU
Memory 1 GB 2 GB 3 GB 4 GB 6 GB 8GB
Storage 20 GB 40 GB 60 GB 80 GB 120 GB 160 GB
Bandwidth 1000 GB 2000 GB 3000 GB 4000 GB 6000 GB 8000 GB

Hostinger’s shared, WordPress, cloud, and VPS plans all offer an excellent array of features. But if you’ve had experience with other hosting providers, or have been shopping around for a while, you might be wondering where Hostinger’s dedicated plans are.

This is one major drawback of Hostinger: it doesn’t offer dedicated hosting, which most other providers do. Of course, this will only make or break your decision if you’re looking for a dedicated plan, but it’s also an important factor if you want to start on a shared or VPS plan, and still want the possibility of eventually scaling up to dedicated. 

Dedicated hosting plans are generally regarded as the next step up after VPS. They’re a lot more expensive, and best suited to very large business and ecommerce sites. If you think a dedicated plan might be for you, you can check out our ranking of the best dedicated hosting providers to learn more.

Pricing

32% of people we surveyed named “features” as their deciding factor when choosing a provider, while “pricing” took second place with 27% of the vote. This is ideal, since Hostinger excels in both categories. 

Given the large array of hosting types and features, every Hostinger plan comes at a different price. Hostinger’s prices are very competitive with the rest of the industry, ranging from $0.80 to $129.95/month. 

We know what you’re thinking – why such a huge range? Well, Hostinger is no different from other hosting providers in its use of temptingly low introductory prices. The more time you commit to during your first purchase, the more money you save – but only on that first purchase. This is worth keeping in mind at checkout. 

For example, that initial $0.80/month only applies when you buy the Single shared plan for four years in advance, which means you pay a total of 80 cents x 48 months = $38.40 at checkout. 

Don’t worry – you don’t have to commit to four years up front! You can choose to pay in advance for either: four years, two years, one year, or one month, and prices will vary accordingly. We recommend purchasing one year in advance, because it’s not too much of a commitment, and you’ll still save some money. 

We’ve broken down Hostinger’s ranges in the table below, which shows both the introductory price of one year paid in advance, and the renewal price of one year paid in advance.

Hostinger Pricing Summary

Hosting Type Introductory Price Renews At
Shared $1.95-5.85/month $7.99-15.95/month
WordPress $1.95-5.85/month $7.99-15.95/month
Cloud $12.95-59.99/month $29.00-100.00/month
VPS $4.95-45.95/month $9.95-129.95/month

Hostinger also offers a 30-day money back guarantee that applies to all of its plans. This is pretty standard throughout the hosting industry, but still a major plus. 

Also, if you’re a student, you’re eligible for Hostinger’s 15% student discount. You can access the discount code by verifying your student status through Student Beans for free.

Security

Hostinger’s Business shared plan includes a free SSL certificate, which is ideal for small businesses looking to keep their clients’ data safe. If you aren’t on the Business shared plan, you’ll have to purchase an SSL certificate separately. 

Having to purchase basic-level SSL separately from a hosting plan is uncommon. However, if you want to upgrade to more enhanced security, then Hostinger is no different from competitors by charging an additional cost.

hostinger ssl prices

The SSL Certificate Activation is the standard SSL certificate that comes free with some other hosting providers, while the Comodo PositiveSSL Certificate is an enhanced security measure that would cost an extra fee with any hosting provider. The Comodo certificate is best for ecommerce, because it inspires trust in customers who will need to input personal information on your site. We’d recommend the standard SSL Certificate Activation for smaller, more personal sites. 

Hostinger has also recently enabled two-factor authentication for its users, which means you can use both your email and phone number to identify yourself as the owner of your account. Two-factor authentication adds an additional, manual layer of security to every account.

Further information

Customer Support

Hostinger offers robust customer service options, including a knowledge center, 24/7 live chat, email, and support tickets. Hostinger’s customer support team is multilingual, and equipped to field questions from all over the world.

hostinger customer support options

But Hostinger’s standout offering is its extensive library of how-to articles. These cover everything from creating a dropdown menu to duplicating a page in WordPress.

hostinger tutorial offerings

But however impressive these tutorials are, Hostinger is still lacking a necessity when it comes to customer support: a phone number. This provider does not offer support over the phone, which can be frustrating if you find live chat a little impersonal. Hostinger plans to implement in-house phone support sometime in 2020, but until then, their 24/7 live chat is the next best thing. 

Still, if you think Hostinger might be a good provider for your site, don’t let its lack of phone support put you off. “Phone support” actually tied for last place when we asked users how they would best like to receive support – live chat won with 32% of the vote, followed by email with 26%. 

Hostinger users also speak highly of the support services it does offer. One user named Kay talks about being “really impressed with how quick the response was to my query and how quickly it was resolved,” while a small business site concludes that Hostinger’s support team “is not just clued up, but genuinely interested and motivated in helping with the challenges that face everyone in this industry.” 

Sarah, another Hostinger user, explains how its support has helped her grow her freelance business:

“The online chat customer support service has been incredibly quick and efficient in helping me with a couple of initial issues in my new account. I truly appreciate the amazing level of support for me as a newbie. It is very reassuring and positive to have such responsive and friendly support, making life easier for a new freelancer setting up in business with so many other things to organize as well as a website. Thank you so much, Hostinger Client Support Team!”

Additional Products

Windows VPS Hosting

Windows hosting is the best (and often the required) type of hosting for websites that use other Windows tools or languages. Windows servers are the major alternative to popular Linux servers, which all of the Hostinger plans we’ve previously discussed are run on.

It’s a lot more difficult to find a Windows hosting provider than a Linux hosting provider, but Hostinger offers both.

For more information about Windows hosting, you can read our review of the 5 best Windows hosting providers

Email Hosting

Email hosting is the service that literally operates email servers. It works independently from website hosting, and enables your site to use domain-specific email addresses, such as maura@yourdomain.com. Having domain-based email addresses lends your site credibility, and if you’re running an ecommerce site, it gives customers another reason to trust your business.

Minecraft Hosting

This last one might be the most niche. Hostinger offers Minecraft hosting, which enables users to play the popular video game on a multiplayer server. You can choose from five different plans, all of which include instant setup, a mobile app, and automatic off-site backups.

Hostinger Review: Final Thoughts

Great value for money and a strong selection of features make Hostinger a competitive choice on the market. However, low uptime percentage and no dedicated hosting plans are definite drawbacks to consider before making your decision. 

If you don’t want to compromise on uptime, or if you know you’re going to need a dedicated plan, then try HostGator – not only does it rank first in our research for uptime, but it also earns the coveted title of best dedicated hosting provider.

FAQs

That depends. While it’s always nice to have the option to scale up to a dedicated plan, they’re really only necessary for huge businesses and ecommerce sites. You can still choose Hostinger without limiting the growth of your site – its VPS plans are scalable, too!

You’ll need a Windows plan if you want to use MS-SQL databases, ASP.NET, or .NET Core on your website – these are all Windows technologies to begin with. Linux plans, on the other hand, can accommodate different technologies and are more common.

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