Hostinger Review: Quality, Low-Cost Hosting for Bloggers
Hostinger is a global web hosting company specializing in low-cost plans packed with features. What they offer is simple: quality web hosting that is also very cheap.
For the blogging and online entrepreneur communities, Hostinger has three main attractions:
- Affordable pricing
- Few restrictions
- WordPress-ready hosting
Founded in Lithuania in 2004, Hostinger has grown into a worldwide hosting brand with operations in South East Asia, the Middle East, North and South America, as well as Europe.
As well as shared and virtual private server (VPS) hosting, Hostinger offers a template-based, drag-and-drop site builder. Customers can also register domain names for their site and purchase SSL security certificates.
If you like the sound of a web hosting service that is easy on the pocket without compromising the quality of your site, read on as we unpack exactly what Hostinger has to offer.
Unlimited Web Hosting
Hostinger describes its services as “unlimited web hosting” on the grounds that it places no restrictions, or virtually none, on the following:
- Number of sites per account
- Disk space
- Email accounts
- FTP users
A closer look at the Terms and Conditions reveals there is an “Acceptable Use Policy” for shared hosting plans. As these plans are intended for home and small business use, there are limits such as a maximum of 1000 tables, or 1 GB of storage, per database. If you exceed these, you may be asked to upgrade to a VPS plan, but the limits are high enough to be unlikely to bother the average blogger.
Having unlimited FTP users, and email accounts, is a great feature if you want multiple people working on your site as they can all have their own secure login.
Shared Hosting Plans
Hostinger operates a global network of servers offering shared hosting space to local users. It has three shared hosting plans, the cheapest of which aims at the personal website market. This is the only plan which does set restrictions on use: one site per account, one database, one FTP user, 10 GB disk space, 100 GB bandwidth. For a single website, this is more than generous and offers a great launchpad for growing your blog.
The two other plans both offer the “unlimited” features outlined above. You can run three to five optimized WordPress sites on these subscriptions and, if you pay annually, get a free domain name with unlimited subdomains. Secure SSH access to your server is also included.
On the top tier plan aimed at business users, customers are guaranteed higher processing speeds, get priority support, daily back-ups and free SSL certificates.
VPS Hosting Plans
For larger business sites, Hostinger’s VPS hosting plans offer the power and headroom of your own dedicated virtual server, meaning you won’t risk falling foul of the Acceptable Use Policy on the shared hosting plans and you can scale up quickly.
Hostinger’s VPS plans start off at a reasonable price for 1 GB RAM, 20 GB disk space and 1,000 GB bandwidth, making it a viable option for a large blogging business. All VPS plans come with dedicated IP, full root access to your server and 100 MB/S network connection for high-speed performance.
Set Up & Features
When you sign up for a Hostinger account, you get three domain options:
- Register a new domain — free on some plans if you pay annually, otherwise chargeable
- Transfer an existing domain from another host
- Continue using an existing domain without transfer.
WordPress & Plug-ins
When you first set up your account, you are given the option to install WordPress. This is actually just one of 90+ scripts (less on the cheapest shared hosting plan) available through the one-click auto installer. The installer includes other popular CMS platforms like Joomla and Drupal and e-commerce apps like PrestaShop and OpenCart.
One of the risks of running a large software platform like WordPress on a shared hosting plan is that it will slow your blog or website down. Hostinger uses a special caching system to speed up WordPress performance, although you are limited to how many optimized WordPress sites you can run per account.
If you are familiar with cPanel, Hostinger’s own control panel will be very familiar. This is where you access the full range of site management tools and features, such as the one-click installer, but also more advanced options like FTP access, PHPMyAdmin database tool, SSH access and domain management.
Free site builder
All Hostinger plans provide access to a user-friendly site builder aimed at people who want to get a new site up and running but don’t have any development skills.
Useful for first-time bloggers and site masters, don’t expect too much from this builder. It is enough to get you off the ground, but the choice of templates is pretty limited, and the amount of customization possible is limited.
For users with the know-how, there is developer support for PHP and tools such GIT version control software.
Hostinger offers a large choice of contracts, from three months all the way up to four years. You pay for the full contract term up front, and (as is standard across most web hosting companies) get discounts for the longer you sign up for. The rates advertised, which look extremely reasonable, are actually the monthly rates you pay if you sign up for two years.
Hostinger accepts a range of payment options, including all major bank and credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin.
Guarantees & Support
Hostinger operates a 30-day money back guarantee on all new accounts, with a no questions asked cancellation policy.
Hostinger makes various claims about being the fastest web hosting service around on its websites, but these cannot be verified as it offers no speed test. It does promise 99.9 percent server uptime, and you can view the status and availability stats for all of them.
In terms of service and technical support, Hostinger promises 24/7 “live” support 365 days a year, but don’t expect instant web chat or telephone response. This is a ticketing system only. That means “live” support really translates into expecting a wait of several hours. In the meantime, you are encouraged to resolve your own issues using the online knowledgebase and tutorials. Still, at such a low price point, none of these issues are significant drawbacks.
Who is Hostinger for?
It is easy to see why Hostinger has grown into such a popular hosting brand. It fills a niche between the most basic site building and hosting services for first time and personal bloggers and large-scale professional website hosting. If you run a successful blog and have ambitions to grow it into a business, Hostinger provides ample hosting space with a quality range of professional features at a very attractive price.
Support for WordPress and other CMS platforms is a big draw for bloggers, especially if you already run a WordPress site. One slight drawback is that you have to sign up, and pay up front, for long contracts to get the best deals on price. But overall Hostinger offers great value for most plans.