Hostinger Review 2022 – The Best Shared Web Hosting? See how it compares.
Hostinger is one of the most popular web hosting and domain registrar companies today. Established in 2004 in Lithuania as “Hosting Media”, rebranded itself in 2011 as the name we are familiar with now – Hostinger. They are known for their exceptionally low prices compared to the industry – But how does it actually perform in terms of speed, user experience, features & pricing, and how does it compare to its peers such as SiteGround, BlueHost, GoDaddy & Hostgator.
That’s what we will be taking a look at in this review. Oh, and we’ll also discuss how they are able to offer such competitive pricing compared to their competitors. So by the end of it, hopefully you can see whether or not it’s for you or not for you.
9 Reasons Why You Should Choose Hostinger
1. Multiple Data Center Locations
Hostingers offers 7+ data centers around the world.
- Europe (the Netherlands, Lithuania, the United Kingdom)
- Asia (Singapore, India)
- North America (the USA)
- South America (Brazil)
This is important because it allows you to select a data center closest to your audience, which results in faster page load times since the distance for the data to travel is less.
And your page load times, will affect the user experience aswell as your Google rankings!
The best thing about it is that you can change it within your Hpanel (Hostinger’s) dashboard, without the need to ask support staff.
On Hostinger, changing your Datacenter is also FREE, once every 30 days!
Not all hosting providers will let you select it yourself, you may need to contact them which sometimes is a bit annoying.
- GoDaddy & SiteGround, charges an extra $20+ for a migration to a different server.
- Bluehost & Hostgator only have data centers in the US, unless you purchase from their foreign subsidiaries.
2. Exceptional Performance AMONG Competitors
I was initially surprised at the speeds when I tested Hostinger, because of their low prices starting at $1.99/mo. But they were the fastest among some of the biggest shared hosting companies (GoDaddy, SiteGround, BlueHost, Hostgator etc) which actually cost more.
For this test, I signed up for 3 plans on Hostinger (Single, Premium, and Business shared), and plans of similar monthly price on GoDaddy, Bluehost, SiteGround & HostGator.
After that, I installed WordPress on it and installed the same Astra starter website template (tech startup) for all the sites.
Next, we tested the speed on Pingdom against 7 different locations 3-4 times and then recorded the average times.
|Hosting Company||Average Speed (7 Locations)||Plan Tested||Monthly Pricing (Discount Period)|
|Hostinger (Single)||2.08 secs||Single Shared||$1.99/mo|
|Hostinger (Premium)||1.1 secs||Premium Shared||$2.99/mo|
|Hostinger (Business)||1.06 secs||Business Shared||$3.99/mo|
Washington DC, US
San Fransisco, US
Sau Paulo, Brazil
The reason we tested it against 7 different locations, is because the data centers for each of the hosting companies are in different places. So the data would be way off, if we just tested it at just one location (like many other reviewers do).
And we also tested it 3-4 times because sometimes during the day it may be different and the 1st time will likely be the non-cached version.
So as you can see Hostinger premium and business shared were the fastest, 1.10 secs and 1.06 secs respectively.
Hostinger uses Litespeed web server technology, which consistently ranks as one of the fastest and most reliable web servers. It outperforms old technology such as Apache, which GoDaddy still uses.
3. Strong Load Test Results
The next test I performed was a load test on K6. This basically tests to see how many visitors a site can handle simultaneously.
Why is this important?
On the pricing page – hosting companies normally show the estimated amount of visitors your website can handle per month (in total) before needing to upgrade your plan/resources.
But what they don’t really mention is – how well does your website perform when there a few visitors browsing your website at the same time.
Sort of like – how well does your computer perform, when you have a few programs open, and dozens of tabs open on your browser.
Some cheaper computers with less RAM, CPU cores will start to become laggy when you have a few programs open and exporting your edited videos will be slow!
However, high-end computers with plenty of ram and CPU cores will perform well even with dozens of tabs open, photoshop open and you’re also able to watch a movie without an issue at all.
It’s kind of important right?
So I did some basic tests, not full comprehensive (like doing multi-page browsing) simulation but we sent 50 virtual visitors to the their homepage to give us a general idea.
And here are the results:
Hostinger (Business) – 50 Virtual Users
The standard deviation was 18ms, 95% of times loaded 133ms or under, and a max of 434ms.
Great Performance. Very stable and max didn’t spike too high.
Hostinger (Premium) – 50 Virtual Users
The standard deviation was 121ms, 95% of times loaded 273ms, and a max of 952ms.
Good performance, but with some spikes.
Hostinger (Single) – 50 Virtual Users
The standard deviation was 649ms, 95% of times loaded in 2007ms, and a max of 3201ms.
As you can see here, there is much more variation here on the Hostinger single plan. So it’s not as good – if you have a website that gets alot of traffic, it will be slow.
With 20 virtual users (below) it performed better with a large spike. Overall, I probably wouldn’t select this server if I was building anything more than a small portfolio website or maybe creating a small website for friends etc.
SiteGround (Grow Big) – 50 Virtual Users
The standard deviation was 39ms, 95% of times loaded in 275ms, and a max of 886ms.
Good performance. Fairly stable with a few bumps.
Bluehost (ChoicePlus) – 50 Virtual Users
The standard deviation was 33ms, 95% of times loaded in 98ms, and a max of 2245ms.
Good performance. A little bit high for the max though.
GoDaddy (Deluxe) – 50 Virtual Users
As you can see, in this test – there were HTTP failures which basically meant the page took too long to load and crashed. So it’s safe to say the GoDaddy Deluxe plan couldn’t handle 50 users simultaneously. However, we did another test for 20 virtual users and it did just fine.
Hostgator Hatchling – 50 Virtual Users
The standard deviation was 74ms, 95% of times loaded under 551 ms and a max of 1824ms.
Summary & Thoughts
Hostinger Business performed the best in this load test. SiteGround (GrowBig) and Bluehost (ChoicePlus) did pretty well too. Really stable response times with 50 users on the site and max wasn’t too far off.
All others were okay, except for GoDaddy Deluxe and Hostinger (Single) which couldn’t handle 50 users on the site. However, they are okay with 20 users.
4. Lowest Pricing & Decent Renewals
As you probably know already, Hostinger offers some of the lowest pricing for their shared hosting plans starting from around $1.99/mo for the single shared plans.
If we compare them side by side with their top competitors. They beat them. So, let’s take a closer look.
If we compare SiteGrounds GrowBig Plan $4.99/mo to Hostingers Business Plan $3.99/mo – they both offer pretty much the same thing. But Hostinger is cheaper and renewals are much much lower.
SiteGrounds GrowBig plan renews at 24.99/mo (12 month term) where as Hostingers Business Plan renews at $11.99/mo (12 month term). More than half the price!
There are also different rates for 24, 36, 48 months renewals.
SiteGround 24 month renewal is $19.99/mo and for 36 month is $17.49/mo (but you need to pay that amount upfront, or roughly $629.64).
Hostinger’s 24 month renewal is $9.99/mo and 48 month is $8.99/mo.
In terms of price vs value, Hostinger definitely wins by a long shot against SiteGround.
If we compare BlueHost’s ChoicePlus Plan $5.45/mo to Hostingers Business Plan $3.99/mo – again you will noticed it’s a better deal.
The only caveat, is that we would assume 100 sites on Hostingers is sort of “unlimited” anyways. Cause if you had more, you’d likely be over their storage and other limits anyways.
Hostgators pricing is a bit more comparable. HostGators Baby Plan is $3.50/mo (36 months) or 5.00/mo (12 months) and Hostingers Business Plan is $3.99/mo (12months).
But you do miss out on some cool features on Hostingers business plan such as the WordPress staging tool, CDN, free daily backups etc.
Same when it comes to GoDaddy, their prices are quite high for what you actually get.
Summary & Thoughts
Overall, from a pricing point of view Hostinger is the definitely the winner here. And to be honest, they are probably keeping a very close eye on their competitors pricing so that it remains that way.
Note: when purchasing hosting, always look at the renewal prices. Most hosting companies will offer a massive discount on their first term – as it incentivizes sign-ups. Some companies renew at a much higher rate (x5), while some not as high (x3).
5. Awesome Documentation & Tutorials
Most reviews don’t mention this, but I actually find this to be really important. Because sometimes you will need to learn how to do something or connect it with a different app etc. Hostinger has a solid, easy-to-find, easy-to-follow, step-by-step guides to literally do everything that you would need.
It makes your life a lot easier and so you don’t need to contact support. Not all hosting providers have great documentation. Some are hard to find, not up to date, not easy to follow, or just not there.
6. Easy to Use & Intuitive hPanel Dashboard
Once you sign up and pay for your hosting. You will be re-directed to purchase your domain name (or claim your free one) or connect an existing one.
After that you will be able to follow the prompts easily to install WordPress or to start blank.
Everything is very simple and seamless.
Then you will be on the page, where you can activate your SSL certificate, create an email for your domain, and activate your CDN in a few clicks.
I’ve tried others and this is by far one of the easiest and best dashboard experiences.
Older legacy companies such as GoDaddy, Hostgator & BlueHost use Cpanel and I feel its disconnected. As on the outside when you purchase the hosting and domain – you have one look, normally quite modern and nice but then Cpanel looks completely different. So it can be confusing for beginners.
GoDaddy Cpanel (Manage Website)
However, SiteGround does have its own Sitetools which they custom-built. It’s a rich, premium-feel user experience. But still, not as simple to use as hPanel, in my opinion.
7. Innovative Website Boost Option (New)
Personally, I never thought of something like this. I knew cars had a sport mode that gave you some instant power. But having this option available inside a hosting dashboard?
Never did I think of it. But Hostinger has it, and they don’t even advertise it!
Inside your dashboard, when you select your website and on the left side panel – you are able to boost your web hosting plan once per month for free.
What does this mean?
You are able to increase your resources for free to the next tiered plan. For example, if you have the single shared plan you can boost your website to the business shared plan for 24 hours.
This is great if you want to try out a higher-tier plan without any commitment or perhaps you expect a bit of a traffic spike for that day. You can even use it if you are planning to import large amounts of data since it will be faster.
Nevertheless, it’s an innovative, awesome feature that I haven’t seen it in the other big 4 hosting companies.
8. Best Chat Support System
If we are not talking about the actual response times (which is actually one of the negatives of Hostinger) – but in terms of the chat support system, I like it a lot. The reason is, that it includes a person’s face, it doesn’t lag, it opens up in the same window, don’t need to login again and easily access it again if you close the window.
You may think it’s standard across all hosting companies, but it’s not. Hostingers chat system interface is really one of the best in the industry.
I’ve tried Hostgators, GoDaddys and Bluehost and you are redirected to another window, you have to login again and confirm your details. It’s just not as fluent, UI doesn’t look great. The system also lags slightly and overall is not as enjoyable as Hostingers to use.
SiteGrounds interface and system is better, but you have to navigate a bit more to find how to get in touch with their live chat support. Which is a little bit annoying, but is understandable. As hosting companies get big – it becomes a tough balance of support, speed, features and still remaining profitable.
9. Free Whois domain privacy
This used to be paid feature cost around $5-6 per domain. Now Hostinger, has added this option for FREE!
For those of you who don’t know what this feature is – Basically it hides your personal information such as your name, email, and contact number from public view.
So if you wanted to learn who owns a specific domain name, you can visit a website like https://who.is – and search for a domain and it will show it.
Having domain privacy protection is generally recommended and it’s to prevent companies from spamming your inbox or calling you about SEO offers or any business offers (cause they know you’ve started a business).
Other hosting companies normally charge for this – at around $15/per domain. So it’s a great benefit to have.
How to Enable Domain Privacy in Hostinger
Step 1: Go to the Domains Tab in Hostinger.
Step 2: Selec your domain
Step 3: Scroll down and Enable “WHOIS Privacy”
4 Reasons Why Shouldn’t You Choose Hostinger?
1. Slow or Sometimes Unavailable Chat Support
Now, don’t get me wrong.
Their actual chat support and documentation are great, but getting a hold of a person to chat to can take up to 30 mins or is even sometimes just limited to email support (recently it’s been better.)
I think this is one of the ways that they are able to offer such affordable pricing, speed, and all those features.
So what else should you know?
This isn’t something really advertised either (it used to be), but Hostinger actually has the option to purchase priority chat support for around $2/mo which basically takes the average response time from 20-30 minutes to just a few minutes.
How about other hosting companies?
Generally, they take a few minutes to reply. SiteGround was abit faster in terms of first response I’ve found. But again, although Hostinger may be slower – the chat UI is much better and their tonality is top notch.
2. No Phone Support
Hostinger doesn’t provide any Phone support, so you can’t pick up the phone if you have an issue to call them.
For me personally, this isn’t a big issue. As web hosting is handled online and fixing requires you to use your computer.
But for other people, it may be important, especially – if you if have a problem and the chat support can’t seem to understand you. You may want to get someone on the phone.
Do other top hosting providers offer phone support?
GoDaddy – Yes
BlueHost – Yes
HostGator – Yes
SiteGround – No, just live chat support.
3. No Daily Backups (for Single & Premium Shared)
For the single and premium shared plans, they don’t offer a daily backup for your sites. Only a weekly backup option. For business plan & cloud plans, you do get the daily backups.
I think, this also makes alot of sense too – since backing up sites does take more resources on the server. And in a lot of cases, for small beginner websites – people don’t update their websites on a daily basis.
Therefore, it keeps the monthly pricing of hosting low and if you do need it – you can purchase it as an addon for $2.15/mo. But I’d probably just get the business shared plan if daily backups are important to you.
I think if you don’t update your website too often, weekly backups are sufficient. But if you are a blog/news website and you make changes everyday – then daily back ups are probably best.
Recommended: You can also use 3rd party WordPress plugins such as UpdraftPlus for FREE backups into your Google Drive or other locations.
4. A lot of Plugins Pre-Installed
When you install WordPress on Hostinger, and login to the dashboard area – you will notice alot of plugins pre-installed and it makes it really cluttered.
Probably more annoying than anything, and not much of a reason to avoid them since you can deactivate and delete it within a few clicks.
So this another way, they are able to offer such amazing prices – as they have partnered up with these plugin companies.
- Overall, I rate Hostinger at a solid 4.7 score and can HIGHLY recommend them for most people.
- It is my best choice of affordable shared hosting among top competitors such as SiteGround, GoDaddy, BlueHost and Hostgator from what I’ve tested.
- Perfect for individuals who are small to medium sized businesses. You can build anything from a WordPress blog, business website, ecommerce store to a learning management website etc.
- Who is it NOT for?
- The Hostinger shared hosting plans aren’t recommended for high traffic websites, enterprise level businesses or if you are a professional web agency.
- If you do need more performance you can also take a look at Hostinger Cloud, it’s essentially the next step up and it’s super fast which maintaining the simplicity of Hostingers dashboard and user experience. You should also checkout the alternatives below if you are looking for something different. Each have their pros and cons.
How to get started with Hostinger
Which plan should you choose?
Hostinger Single Plan – You can only host ONE website on this plan. Only recommended if you are creating a simple and small portfolio website, resume website or if you are just testing out things and you want to most budget friendly option. In terms of performance it’s not great, so don’t create an ecommerce website on it. And on this plan, you have to choose the 48 month option in order to get the biggest discount at $1.99/mo. Or else, for 12 months and 24 months it’s $2.99/mo and $2.49/mo respectively. So it’s actually similar to the premium plan!
Hostinger Premium Plan – Recommended for most people starting. Can host up to 100 websites. You also get a free domain included for the first year. Decent performance. And an pricing is $2.99/mo for 12, 24 or 48 months. The only downside would be no daily backups. So if you need that, it would be a better option to get the business plan from the get go, rather than adding it on later for $2/mo.