Hostinger full review
Hostinger is, on face value, a no-frills hosting outfit that will appeal to anyone who needs to make every penny count. In that respect it’s cheap and offers a good level of features.
The Lithuanian company also offers its Easy Website Builder, which is aimed at the less tech-savvy user and delivers a quick and simple means of getting a few web pages together. Indeed, Hostinger shouts it loud from its own web pages and promises to let you work through four steps in order to produce a website in less than an hour. Simply sign up, choose a template or create your own, customize said website and then publish it online.
Prices & plans
Hostinger offers tempting prices, such as 80p / 80c per month for its Single shared web hosting package. Don't feel forced into committing instantly because of the "limited time offer". That's basically always there.
It's one of those deals where a few things aren't included such as a domain name or SSL certificate, and the deal is actually for four years and is limited to 100GB of monthly bandwidth, but at this price paying less than £50 / $50 upfront is something of a bargain anyway.
For shorter terms, it gets progressively more expensive right up to £7.99 / $7.99 per month with no contract at all. And, of course, you can bolt on extras such as daily backups and CloudFlare Protection in exchange for extra cash.
If you want more than one email address and unlimited bandwidth (your site will be inaccessible should the 100GB of bandwidth be used up on the Single plan) then you'll need the Premium or Business plan. These also offer more performance, but cost a bit more: a two-year Premium plan works out at a still-great value £2.95 / $2.95 per month.
For alternatives, check out our roundup of the best web hosting services.
Ease of use
If you don't have one already you’ll need to register a domain name before you can get down to designing a site, but that’s a straightforward process and, with a domain in the bag, you can press on with designing your pages, even before the domain becomes live.
The options for site building are generally pretty good with this service, and you can select any one of several popular apps for building pages such as WordPress and Joomla.
However, if you’re looking for a basic website builder solution then Zyro Builder is the one to use. This has everything you need to get started, including a healthy selection of templates that remove the need for much in the way of creative imagination. That said, the basic template layouts could be reworked to suit your own taste and requirements.
Thankfully this is done using drag-and-drop commands, which means that you can move elements around the page how and when you like. With a pre-selected theme there’s actually not much to do, but you can subsequently tweak and fine-tune layouts adding in, or taking away, elements as you wish. If you make a mistake you can simply step back through the process and restore anything you didn’t want to disappear.
There are some cool features, such as the capacity for adding in videos, which is a vital part of the online world for many nowadays. You also have the ability to incorporate social media elements, which is also a core requirement if you want to have any kind of hope of building up an audience for your pages and the resulting content.
Granted, Hostinger’s website builder does have its limitations, but it seems that if you’ve got a desire to produce more complex website designs then you’re probably best moving on the one of the other options inside your package.
The WordPress angle is an obvious one if you were hoping to have a blog, for example. However, to move on to the next stage you’ll probably want to have a bit more familiarity with the innermost workings of your Hostinger account. That might be something to put off for a rainy day.
In the meantime though the basic website builder tools can help you create a presentable web presence and get you out there into the online world. It’s a start, and not a bad one.
As your confidence grows you’ll also be able to explore more powerful aspects of the Hostinger website building interface, with the Advanced section offering up lots of elements that will add a more dynamic edge to your pages such as calendars, Video and Skype options.
Meanwhile, there’s also a Commerce toolbar tab that will enable your site to start selling things. Again, dip into these areas too soon and you might be mildly terrified, but once you’ve got used to the way this website builder ticks you’ll find that anything is possible, even if you’re a rookie page creator. When you’ve finished doing all the hard work then it’s a simple case of hitting the Publish button and you’ll be live and ready to start getting feedback.
We like the way that you can quickly preview what pages are going to look like in a variety of different formats too, such as desktop, tablet and phone designs, so that you can be reasonably sure that your efforts are maximised for whoever wants to view your content and from any location using the device of their choice.
If you need a creative boost along the way, or simply want to better understand the different aspects of building your website, then the Hostinger tutorials area is one to head for. Inside here there are all manner of topics and they offer a useful insight into how to squeeze that little bit more out of your online project.
Note that Hostinger uses its own interface and not the common cPanel, but this means it has better control over the features on offer.
Hostinger's introductory prices are very tempting, as they're available for up to four-year contracts. Most people will want to go for the Premium or Business plan, as it includes a lot of features which are extras on the Single plan. It's not the easiest to use out there, but it does offer great value for money and a huge number of features.