☑︎ this review has been last updated in July 2020

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering if Hostinger is a web hosting company that can be trusted – and whether there’s a catch about their aggressive promo pricing.

In this ultimate review, we will take a good hard look at Hostinger and answer the following essential questions:

  • 🏆Should you choose Hostinger over its competitors?
  • 🔍Which of their hosting plans is the best for you?
  • 🔨How about their site builder – is it worth trying?
  • 💰Can you get an even better deal on Hostinger?

About that last one… spoiler alert:

At the end of this review you can find an exclusive promo code which allows you to save 15% from your Hostinger order, on top of all the existing discounts and special offers you can already find on their website. Enjoy!

By the way, when Hostinger were deciding on their brand name, they probably did not foresee the many different ways it can be misspelled.. so if you’re here as a result of searching for hostenger or hosinger or even hostiger – just know that yes, that’s the same company we’re talking about here, so you’re in the right place :)

The Story of Hostinger

To give you an idea of just how large Hostinger is, here are some figures: the company currently has almost 30 million customers not only in the US, UK, India and Indonesia, but also in 170+ other countries (this is almost every single country of the world!).

And there are no signs of slowing down – according to their data, Hostinger is still expanding at a rate of 1 client every 5 seconds.

Right now Hostinger hosts websites high-performant hardware located in several datacenters around the world: namely, in the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Indonesia. An additional datacenter focused on Eastern Europe is planned for the near future.

However, as you might expect, Hostinger hasn’t always been the international giant it is today. It started back in 2004 as humble “Hosting Media” in the small but rapidly growing country of Lithuania, located in the north-eastern part of the European Union.

The founders of Hostinger did not intend to follow the crowd and create just another hosting service – they based the new company on an innovative idea:

People don’t want to pay for our marketing – just the hosting: simple, reliable, and as cheap as possible.

After many years, this principle still remains at the core of what Hostinger aims for, namely high-quality services for a close to zero price.

But how does Hostinger achieve such competitiveness? – you might rightfully ask – In other words, how does it manage to keep its prices low while keeping the quality high? I will explain soon – but first, let’s look at the product itself:

Which Hosting Plan Is Right for You?

There are several types of hosting offered on the official Hostinger website, each with multiple pricing plans. This makes it a challenge to choose just one, considering that there are also various additional services and features included free of charge depending on the plan.

Let’s roll up our sleeves and try to understand the essential components of hosting – this will enable us to narrow down our choice and arrive at the final conclusion.

We’ll examine each of the three types of Hostinger’s hosting services, but first, take a look at this little table. It summarizes the most important differences between hosting types and provides the most common use cases:

Shared hosting Business hosting VPS hosting
Ease of use Easy Easy/medium Medium/hard
For whom? Individuals and small businesses Medium and large businesses Developers and programmers
Degree of control Standard features via standard control panel Extended features via custom control panel Full control – almost like having your own server
Performance Sufficient for small and medium websites High performance for larger websites and online projects Medium to high depending on the plan
Room for growth Rigid – need to upgrade to another hosting plan Flexible – can add more resources “on the fly” Very flexible – granular control over resources
Price level Low Medium Flexible

I think that even from this table, the difference between the three hosting types that are offered by Hostinger is quite clear, but we will also give slightly more detailed explanations below.

Before we go into details, though, we need to understand one key concept: the server. Simply put, it’s a specialized computer that stores websites and displays them to your online visitors:

Any hosting is a collection of servers, powerful computers which are optimized to stay online 24/7/365 and show your website to anyone who types in its address into their browser.

So, servers are essentially the main component of any hosting service, and they can be used in different ways depending on the client’s requirements and budget. This is where the three hosting types come in:

  • Shared hosting is a basic version for those who are just starting or want to test their online projects with minimum expenditures. It’s called “shared” because each server holds hundreds or even thousands of websites from various clients.

    This implies that a single server’s resources are used simultaneously by many sites – fine for websites which have moderate traffic, but can drastically affect performance for larger websites.

    On the positive side, shared hosting is extremely cheap and very easy to use. This makes it ideal for private persons and small enterprises which are just starting their way into the online world.

  • Business hosting is a more advanced type, suitable for larger websites which are expected to have medium to high daily traffic (thousands of users per day and more).

    Hostinger’s business hosting uses what’s called cloud technologies – your computing resources are not tied to a specific physical server, but are spread across multiple machines, which guarantees better stability and resilience.

    This also means that your hosting resources are isolated from all other websites in this case, which leads to overall higher performance, compared to shared hosting.

    All these benefits come at a cost, of course – business hosting is significantly more expensive, with the cheapest plan (“Startup” at $15.90 per month) costing twice as much as the most expensive shared plan (“Business” at $7.95 per month). By the way, the latter naming is quite confusing in my opinion – but now we know what to expect :)

  • VPS hosting is the most flexible and the least user-friendly hosting type offered by Hostinger. It stands for “Virtual Private Server”, because in this case a single physical server runs several individual environments which do not intercept with each other at all. It’s like having your own server, except that it’s a so-called “virtual” machine.

    Such setup allows for maximum flexibility – you can do almost anything you want with your virtual server, because you have administrator-level control over the entire system.

    Which sounds like fun, until you realize that you won’t get a convenient control panel with a VPS hosting plan. In other words, it’s up to you to set up every part of your virtual server.

    This is why this type of hosting is simultaneously very useful for professionals who know exactly what they’re doing (i.e. programmers and web developers) and next to useless for anyone else.

Given the specific features of each hosting type, I can make a reasonable suggestion that you should probably choose the shared type. Why? Because if you were representing a large business or a web development company, you would already know everything I mentioned in the previous sections.

That case aside, let’s assume you need the basic hosting – and see which of the three Hostinger Shared plans is the most reasonable choice.

On Hostinger’s shared hosting page you can see three offers: the Single plan, priced at $0.88 per month, the Premium plan, priced at $3.49 per month, and the Business plan, priced at $7.95 per month. I believe it is important to understand that these are special promotions:

  • You can get these prices if you order a 48-month package, smaller periods cost slightly more (if you ask me, a 12-month package is usually more than enough to understand if you really need a website, and test your online project).
  • Such prices are valid for the duration of the package you order, after that your hosting will get prolonged at a normal rate.

Just to be clear – these are both common practices among hosting provides, so nothing sneaky about Hostinger in this regard.

All three shared plans are equipped with everything that is necessary for an easy start, including optimized software and hardware, so we will just focus on the differences:

Single Premium Business
Number of domains 1
Email accounts 1
Free SSL included? yes
Backups weekly daily
Processing power 1x 2x 4x
Free domain? yes yes

The Single plan has too few features and computing power that is enough only for the smallest of websites, while the Business plan adds very few benefits compared to the Premium plan while being twice as expensive.

In other words, the Premium plan is the most balanced in terms of features, most importantly it is the cheapest plan with a free domain included.

Moreover, it is the cheapest plan to offer automatic backups – and you will definitely feel the usefulness of this feature the first time something happens to your website :)

To conclude, for most individuals and small-medium organizations the Premium Shared Hostinger plan is the most reasonable choice. In the last part of our review I will provide an exclusive promo code for an additional 15% discount for this plan, stay tuned!

Free and Discounted Domains at Hostinger

As we mentioned above, Hostinger allows registering domain names for free – however, it’s worth keeping in mind that there are special terms to this deal and several conditions that need to be met:

  • The free domain offer is only valid for initial purchases of Premium or Business hosting plans.
  • You will need to choose at least a yearly billing plan for the promotion to kick in during the checkout.
  • The domain name will automatically renew at normal price (around $10 for most domain zones) after the initial free period.

If you already have a hosting account at Hostinger, you can purchase many popular domain extensions for a close to zero price ($0.99) separately. Domain zones that are currently included in this pricing tier include .online, .website, .store, .tech, and .xyz – a rather decent choice for the value-seekers among us.

If, on the other hand, you already have a domain name elsewhere, you can always connect it to Hostinger and use their hosting services for that domain. However, experience suggests that purchasing both domain and hosting from the same provider is a much more hassle-free solution – the centralized billing is easier, and, frankly, the entire process of pointing an external domain to your hosting can get quite hairy.

Hostinger Uptime and Speed: How Reliable Is This Provider?

Apart from features and pricing, another extremely important criterion for choosing hosting is its stability – in other words, server uptime and speed.

To measure the uptime, or the proportion of time Hostinger’s servers are up and running, we can look at both self-reported and third-party figures. The former are freely available on their server monitor page. It lists daily, weekly, and monthly statistics for all of Hostinger’s 150+ servers, which looks something like this:

Hostinger uptime

At the bottom of the table you can find the combined figures for all servers, which is what we’re interested in: look at the 30-day average to get the idea of how much time your website can be expected to stay offline within any given month.

As of July 2020 this figure is close to 99.9% – which implies that a hosted website should only experience about 42 minutes of downtime per month, which is a fairly normal result for most modern hosting providers.

This is also in line with 99.908% figure independently measured by Hrank, as well as within the bounds of Hostinger’s Service Uptime Guarantee – which is exactly 99.9% according to section 7 of their Hosting Agreement.

***

How about speed? Well, this is a tricky one, since in most cases both hosting providers themselves and most of the reviews use metrics that don’t really convey any useful information.

I’m talking about measuring the full loading speed of a random website hosted with the specific provider. Not only does a single measurement like that give you zero ideas about the real average speeds across all servers, it also places heavy emphasis on things which are completely outside of the hosting provider’s control!

In particular, most of a website’s load time is used up by the various bits that comprise the page itself, especially images; it’s also influenced by such things as the number of active WordPress plugins, your cache settings (or whether you have one at all), as well as myriads of other parameters which only depend on the specific webmaster’s decisions.

With that in mind, the only meaningful number that we can look at in this regard is the mean response time – the time (in milliseconds) it takes an average Hostinger server to send a first response to an incoming connection request (i.e. someone trying to access a website stored on that server).

According to third-party data by Hrank bots, Hostinger’s average response time hovers around 800 ms, with a reasonably stable track record:

Hostinger response time

Hostinger’s average response time as measured by Hrank

As with the uptime, this is a good result for an international hosting provider, but again not something to be utterly proud of – figures around 500-600 ms would be a more desirable benchmark.

As we mentioned above, your specific uptime at Hostinger will constitute just a fraction of your website’s total loading time, which mostly depends on your own decisions such as use of plugins and images. The response time will also vary somewhat depending on your website’s region. In any case, it’s worth keeping in mind when choosing your long-term hosting provider, as even fractions of a second can make a difference for your visitors.

Alright, now that we’ve looked at the facts, let’s move from averages to our personal impressions:

Our Impressions from Using Hostinger

For the purpose of this review we have purchased the Premium hosting plan from Hostinger and tested it extensively. Now, we are sharing our experiences with the readers of this guide.

When you complete your order, you get access to the hosting admin panel – this is the place where you will manage your hosting account:

Hostinger offers a custom admin panel, built by the company’s internal developers. We found it quite user-friendly and easy to understand, compared with widely used alternatives such as cPanel or Plesk.

Everything you need is represented by tiles with pictures, and organized neatly into groups to help you find services quicker. You can also use the search bar at the top for easier access to desired items.

If you purchase a domain with your hosting (below I will show you how to get it for free), it will automatically activate after a short while, and you will be able to start creating your website.

For that, you can either use the Auto Installer to set up a content management system such as WordPress – or use the drag-and-drop website builder from the Hostinger product family called Zyro.

Both options can be accessed from the Website section of the hosting admin panel, and you can also give Zyro a try directly from the Website Builder section of the official Hostinger website.

(Despite being tightly integrated with Hostinger, Zyro website builder is in fact a stand-alone product in its own right – warranting its own separate review, which will be coming soon in our blog, so stay tuned!)

By the way, Zyro is an interesting case of how a half-baked product can make a successful comeback.

When we first reviewed Hostinger in 2017, Zyro was a mess – it looked like a cross between a prematurely released startup idea and an abandoned legacy product. This was the case for a while, but in the early 2020 Zyro saw a complete overhaul:

Hostinger Zyro

Now that looks more like a modern site builder 😎 The choice of templates is still quite narrow, but at least now the designs look clean and up to date.

In addition to better visuals and a collection of 1M+ images, Zyro now features a couple of intriguing Artificial Intelligence based products:

  • AI Writer, an automatic system which asks you for a topic and produces several paragraphs of (very human-sounding) text on that topic. It’s still not perfect, but it can be a great help for breaking your writer’s block.
  • AI Heatmap Tool, which analyzes your web pages from the point of view of visitor attention and tells you where to place your page’s most important elements such as call-to-action buttons.

Almost magic!

Overall, the new iteration of Zyro can be recommended for anyone looking to create a simple website consisting of one or several static pages. For those who need more flexibility and more features, WordPress is still the best choice.

Apart from the product itself, another very important part of any offer is the customer support you get. Let’s take a look at how Hostinger performed in this area:

Hostinger Customer Support

If you’re already a client, you can ask Hostinger team for help 24/7 via the live chat that is located in the bottom right corner of the hosting admin panel.

To test the quality of support we have asked them questions via the chat: the response time was super-fast (usually just several seconds), and the Hostinger representative was always friendly, polite and helpful. They sometimes even use cat pictures to brighten your mood while you wait for them to type the reply 🐈

Apart from live chat, there is a free library of useful articles about all Hostinger products and services. You can find it by clicking the “Help” link in the top menu of the hosting admin panel. It also contains a list of most frequently asked questions – there’s a big chance that your issue can already be fixed there.

…What if you’re not a client?

In that case, you can speak to the Hostinger team via the contact form on their website. It won’t be as fast as the live chat, naturally, but arguably your question won’t be that urgent either :) in any case, you’ll still get your answer within a couple of hours, half a day at best.

(by the way, did you know that you can ask the authors of this review as well? Check out our special form at the bottom of the text!

Overall, Hostinger has managed to exceed our expectations when it comes to quality of support – especially given that their hosting is very inexpensive. We’ve seen much worse even from competing companies with higher prices.

30-Day Money-back and Cancelling a Hostinger Account

If you scroll Hostinger’s official home page all the way down to the footer, you’ll see a statement offering a refund of your order during the first month (30 days, to be precise) after making the payment. While a money-back guarantee is a laudable feature for any self-respecting hosting provider, it’s worth pointing out some of the fine-print details – making sure you’re aware of the consequences of requesting this refund:

  • New domain name registrations can only be cancelled within 4 days (96 hours) after completing the purchase transaction. While it looks like a serious caveat, this condition is in fact quite lucrative for Hostinger’s clients, since most other large hosting providers do not offer refunds for new domains at all.
  • Given the previous point, there is still a long list of domains that do not support refunds at all; those are pretty much all country-specific and regional extensions, as well as some generic ones like .mobi and .info.
  • Some other items that are not counted towards the 30-day moneyback guarantee are domain renewals, privacy protection packages, and SEO toolkits – which is a little annoying but also understandable from the hosting provider’s perspective. In any case, most of the essential features, including the hosting itself, are refundable under the guarantee.
  • Finally, you cannot refund any purchase made using cryptocurrencies (yes, Hostinger allows paying for your orders using the much-hyped Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and a bunch of other popular coins). This is mainly due to the fact that the price of such coins can change dramatically within even a short period of time, making refunds a very risky business even for a giant like Hostinger. At least this is the official explanation given in their terms and conditions.

Alright, what if you decide to cancel your account later than 30 days? – for example, you don’t need a hosting anymore because you’ve discontinued the corresponding web project. You can easily deactivate hosting plans and domains via your hosting control panel, just search for the “Deactivate account” item with a big red stop-sign:

Interestingly enough, while individual services are easily cancelled and removed, Hostinger does not offer a straightforward way of completely deleting one’s personal account with the company (citing “security reasons”).

While this should not create any real issues once you deactivate all services in that account (you will definitely not get charged anymore), for those who like cleaning thoroughly after themselves there is a strategy that can work: simply ask Hostinger support to delete the account.

If you’re in the European Union, you can even throw in words like GDPR to make sure youre request is satisfied; dwellers of other regions will have to rely more on the company’s good will.

What Else Does the Internet Want to Know About Hostinger?

Before we go on to summarize the strong and weak points on Hostinger, here’s a collection of the most frequent questions we’ve seen on the web and in our comments:

Is Hostinger really free? Well, not anymore… What do we mean “anymore”? Fun fact – it used to be, as part of its earliest attempts at quickly capturing the various international markets – but nowadays it’s a paid hosting, although one with a really aggressive low-cost strategy.

Is Hostinger good for WordPress? Absolutely. We can easily call it one of the best value for money options for a self-hosted WordPress website (check out our ranking of the top “cheapest” hosts around).

Is Hostinger reliable? Short answer – yes, definitely. Longer answer – for a retail hosting solution which costs a fraction of what other large providers would charge you, Hostinger is surprisingly well-equipped to deliver interruption-free hosting with powerful security features built in.

Pros and Cons of Hostinger

Now that we’ve examined Hostinger’s products and services, as well as customer support – let’s summarize the positive and negative sides. We’ll try to be as objective as possible:

  • Great value for money: very competitive prices for all hosting packages – as Hostinger puts it, “you only pay for the hosting, not for the marketing”
  • Flexible offers for any kind of client – from individuals and small businesses (shared hosting) to large companies (business hosting) and professional programmers (VPS hosting)
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee – in essence, Hostinger promises that your website will be available online all the time. The figure translates into a maximum of 44 minutes of downtime per month, which in practice is close to 0 minutes of downtime according to our tests.
  • You can get a free domain name with your hosting purchase if you choose at least a 12-month package
  • Easy to use, unique hosting admin panel developed by Hostinger team specifically for the company’s clients
  • You can install WordPress in just several clicks using the Auto Installer feature from the hosting admin panel
  • Hostinger’s proprietary website builder called Zyro has been completely revamped in 2020 and is now a pleasure to use
  • Large library of educational resources about using Hostinger’s products, available for free to all clients
  • Top-notch support from a friendly, fast, and helpful team that are always ready to solve your problems 24/7
  • Decent but by any means not outstanding average uptime and server response speed readings
  • Limited choice of starter templates in their Zyro website builder
  • No possibility to get support by phone – you will need to use either live chat, email, or contact form instead

Before we finish this review with a conclusion and a verdict (should you use Hostinger?), here’s a step-by-step guide for getting an additional 15% off your Hostinger purchase:

Bonus: -15% Hostinger Promo Code

Now, we’re not arguing that you should necessarily choose Hostinger – but if you do decide to go with this provider, it’s nice to have an option to save even more on your order, right?

With this in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide on getting an additional 15% discount at Hostinger using a coupon code:

(since we concluded earlier that the 12-month Premium shared plan is the most reasonable choice for most cases, we will be using it as an example)

  1. Visit the official Hostinger website by clicking the button below (it will open in a new window automatically):

    Limited deal – get 15% Off Hostinger

  2. Under the Premium Shared Hosting (i.e. the middle option), click on the large red “Get started” button. This will bring you to the configuration page.
  3. Click to choose the 12-month package (this is the cheapest plan which gives you a free domain name, so it’s not worth choosing the 3-month plan).
  4. In the domain section below, input the domain name you want. You might need to try several times before you find one that is available.
  5. Although this is optional, we also highly recommend ticking the “SSL certificate” checkbox – it doesn’t cost much, but will make your website safer and more trustworthy. Your website will also display a green safety lock in the browser’s address bar if you have SSL.
  6. All other things on that page are not essential – you can of course include them as well but you can do just fine without them. At this point this is how your configuration page should look like:

  7. Now look at the right side of the page and find the light grey text which says “Have a coupon Code?”. It should be located right above the total order sum. When you click on the link next to it, at new field will appear in its place. Type in the following code:

    SPECIAL15
  8. After inputting the code, click on the plus icon to the right (it should become violet in color). You will see a message saying that the coupon code has been successfully applied, and a new discount will appear in your order!
  9. Congratulations! You’ve just saved an additional 15% from your Hostinger purchase, making the final price even more attractive.

In case the promo code mentioned above doesn’t work in your case, let us know in the comments below – we’ll investigate and do our best to make sure you receive a functioning one.

Our Verdict and User Reviews

After examining Hostinger from all possible angles and using its services for some time, we can conclude that it is definitely worth considering for your web project: value for money, simplicity, ease of use and helpful support is everything that you need to successfully create and manage your website.

For those who do decide to go with Hostinger for their online project, we’ve also shown above how to save 15% more on your order using our exclusive promo code. It’s not much, considering that Hostinger is already quite inexpensive – but still a nice bonus, right?

***

Are you planning to use Hostinger but still not sure if you should do it, or which plan to choose? Or are you already using Hostinger and would like to share your experience? In any case, join the discussion in the comments section below, let’s be helpful to each other!

Affiliate disclosure: we believe it is fair to let you know that some links in this review are affiliate links, meaning that we get a small commission whenever someone purchases a Hostinger plan through them. This does not affect the price you get on your Hostinger offer, of course.

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31 comments

was their live chat always available only to existing clients??

Scott Lagreca

The price is hard to beat.. minus one star for absence of direct phone line for client support. The chat is nice but for some people it’s just easier to explain things orally rather than spend 10 minutes typing away..

4/5

black_panther

I was wondering if I get a free domain from freenom can I use it with hostinger?

why would that not be possible? a free domain works just like any other domain, it’s just free :)

@Alex have you actually DONE that?

I am using Hostinger for my affiliate website and so far no complaints. They helped me add a second domain as well.

4/5

Couple of times I saw bad reviews about Hostinger on FB and conversations with their support. Users complaints with facts. Support answers were plain marketing, nothing more. And their reviews (in lithuanian) seems like fake.

nice article, thanks. What’s lacking imho is a look at Hostinger’s uptime and server reliability stats, that’s probbaly the most important factor many people are considering when buying this or that hosting.

Thanks for the feedback! We’ve added a separate section that deals with Hostinger’s uptime and server response times, check it out here.

I’m considering a couple of websites for my pet prokjects, not much traffic but need to be online without hiccups, do you think Hostinger is a good choice?

The Pete’s Sake

unless you really want to pay triple the price to godaddy, it sure is.

The support team is proficient with emoji :D

I like thefact that their hosting oplatform is available in many langiages including Portuguese which is convenient for myself

with prices that much lower than the likes of godaddy and bluehost, you cant help but wonder: is there a catch? where exactly does the cost-cutting occur?

$truthbetold$

…Alternatively, you might ask: why are Hostgator’s and Bluehost’s prices so high? The answer: legacy infrastructure, bloated corporate hierarchy, and factored-in affiliate commissions ;)

doesn’t Hostinger also have an affiliate proghram?

Richard Watson

I’ve had a good experience of using them, I parked my own custom domain and was able to host my website easily and quickly with their panel, uploaded the files via FTP and it displayed live after setting my domain to their nameservers – all in – a free host with stable services and I’ve had no issues YET.
I do see other users encounter request issues as per your review but I’ve not bumped into this yet.

5/5

“FREE host”? Am I missing something or is this a misplaced review of some other hosting? :)

ASAIK Hostinger used to be free in the past, but that was a looong time ago, are you maybe confusing with some other provider

I’d say one of the best there is

5/5

My experience with them has been great.
And their control panel for me is actually one of their best features.
After using the original cPanel for a while, Hostinger’s panel has been a great change. While serving a similar purpose, it looks much better with it’s updated layout and simple to use features. May take some time getting used to, but soon it will be your favorite :)

5/5

Is the free domain that comes with the Premium plan free forever or just for the first year as typical of other hostings?

According to Hostinger’s T&C, only the first period is free; after that the domain name will auto-renew at the standard rate.

I’ll give them five stars for the pricing, but two for the clunky control panel and one for the site-builder. If you are seeking the lowest possible price and don’t care so much about the details, this might be for you.

3/5

Sampsa Tuomela

really fast support

if you’re a serious developer dont bother, too little options. Go for Digital Ocean or smth similar

why would a “serious developer” be reading a shared hosting review? :)

If only I’ve heard of this host earlier before wasting my time with such rubbish hosts as HostDime, A2, GoDaddy, etc.
The support these guys offers is amazing, the infrastructure is deceitfully powerful given how simple it is and the tools they continuously make available are just over the roof. This atop spontaneous offers which make their already awesome service cheap has made me commit to their Business service for the next 5 years.

5/5

do they have often promotions??

whew almost went with a host that would charge me twice as much!

5/5

definitely faster and simpler experience than godaddy, just one checkout page. some additional features would have been a plus, like domain brokerage.

4/5