Hosting is one of the best choices for shared hosting, but that's mainly due to its fantastic prices in this area. But what happens if you have specific needs that aren't met with this brand? Moving up to VPS and creating a customized hosting environment can be expensive and challenging.
Instead, consider what you want and look for an alternative already available. The idea is not to reinvent the wheel for no good reason. Thankfully, the saturated web hosting business means many good Hostinger alternatives are available, irrespective of what you need.
If you're coming up against a wall when looking at Hostinger's shared hosting plans, where are some potential scenarios where you can do better.
1. If You Need WordPress Staging
Hostinger offers a good range of WordPress plans, but the cheaper options don't support WordPress staging. While this isn't a top priority for all users, those with experience running long-term WordPress websites know it will eventually come in handy.
WordPress staging allows you to create a “test copy” of your website to try out new things like extra features, code, or design elements. Without staging, you run a big risk of breaking production websites during these upgrades.
The problem with staging is that Hostinger and many other hosts can be edgy about allowing you to stage a website. This is because staging eats up a lot of system resources, occupying these valuable elements, especially on shared hosting plans.
There's another clue to be seen here. Most of the cheaper options like Hostinger won't easily provide overly taxing features on their systems. Thinking of it another way, a website with heavy traffic will also likely suffer.
Hostinger Alternatives for WordPress Staging Web Hosts
Not only does Bluehost support WordPress staging, but they even provide a dedicated plugin to assist. If you don't wish to use that, choose an alternative plugin, Softaculous, or even cPanel, to create your staging website.
Always one of the most attentive to detail, A2 Hosting allows staging on their WordPress plans. One thing to note, though, is that their limited I/O allowance may require you to contact support for assistance when staging your website.
Not your average web host, HostPapa provides green hosting services from its home base of Canada. You don't get WordPress staging on the cheapest plan, but you only need to bump things up one level, and it's available.
2. When Security is a Top Priority
Hostinger talks a lot about their server security. Their knowledgebase discusses how their servers use mod_security, Suhosin PHP hardening, and PHP open_basedir protection. However, these are mainly industry-standard and don't tell the full story. It's also pretty sad that their backups are weekly only.
If you're serious about security, look for a web host that goes the extra mile. That means a host that offers extensive server hardening and user protection from third-party security services like Immunify or Sucuri. Some web hosts even have strong CDN partnerships so that you can use tools like a Web Application Firewall.
The truth is that many web hosts will take care of their servers. However, your website is your problem, and they aren't likely to spend more money taking care of it on your behalf. Because of that, more secure web hosting options can be relatively harder to find.
Hostinger Alternatives for a More Secure Web Host
Aside from strong performance, security is an area in which A2 Hosting excels. Not only do they offer advanced features like Hackscan and Perpetual Security, but they also include application-level protection.
To make VPS hosting more available, security is one aspect that Scala Hosting takes seriously. They've even developed their security plugin that provides 24/7 active threat monitoring for your website and safeguards against malware.
Shared hosting is seldom ideal for security, and Liquidweb only offers VPS plans or better. They have a reputation as one of the best power-hosting service providers in the business. All plans come with proactive service monitoring, offsite backups, and multi-level DDoS protection.
3. If Long Contracts are a Problem
One of the highlights at Hostinger is the extremely low prices that you'll find on their shared hosting plans. However, to get those low prices, you'll have to sign on with them for a 48-month contract. That's four years of lock-in with one service provider.
While we're okay with contracts, anything beyond three years seems excessive. Unless you're very familiar with Hostinger, there are better ideas than the extended lock-in. Any dispute and you may find yourself stuck with no options except to cut your losses.
Although this isn't guaranteed, it's better to keep long lock-ins minimum. I would say that you can consider anything three years and below as reasonable.
Hostinger Alternatives for Shorter Hosting Contracts
InMotion Hosting offers three-year contracts to get maximum savings. While that may be stretching the limits, their plans are preferable, and you tend to get more than other hosting options, even for shared hosting.
Unlike most web hosts, Bluehost prefers you to sign on with more manageable contracts. You get the best prices on their 12-month plan. That's not something you'll easily find elsewhere in an industry that loves long contracts.
Like BlueHost, GreenGeeks is another web host that offers a good annual contract. While you can sign on for up to three years, the best savings are those on the 12-month plan. An additional bonus is that GreenGeeks is an environmentally friendly hosting service.
4. When cPanel Hosting is Preferred
Hostinger is one of those who realized early that cPanel market dominance isn't a good sign. True enough, users of this web hosting control panel have faced multiple price hikes over a relatively short period.
Anyway, Hostinger offers its custom-designed web hosting control panel instead. hPanel is simple and effective, but it may not suit everyone. The problem is that Hostinger doesn't offer anything else except hPanel.
Be aware that web hosts need to pay for cPanel licensing. If you seriously need cPanel, you're likely to find it only on the more expensive brands. Budget choices like Hostinger will likely not offer cPanel as the first choice.
Alternatives to Hostinger which Offer cPanel Hosting
Despite price hikes, TMDHosting has retained cPanel as the preferred choice across its hosting plans. If you want a cPanel-powered web host, this is one of the best options around. There are many other encouraging factors, too, including a free domain name, even on the cheapest plan.
Yep, it's Scala Hosting again, and rightly so. Scala Hosting offers cPanel with all of its shared hosting plans. If you go for a more advanced plan it gets even better with a greater variety of choices. That includes Scala Hosting's sPanel in the mix.
KnownHost offers cPanel on all of its shared hosting plans. You also get a decent amount of resources and access to LiteSpeed. While it may not be the cheapest around, KnownHost offers better-than-average uptimes of 99.99%.
5. When Powerful Hosting is a Priority
Hostinger offers cost-effective shared hosting, but if you need powerful web hosting, you should consider alternatives. While you can also find VPS and Cloud here, several other choices would be preferable.
The more robust plans at Hostinger are too generic for my liking. Consider a specialist in your area of interest for more powerful hosting options. For example, high-end WordPress hosting will be better satisfied at a brand like Kinsta.
Hostinger Alternatives For More Hosting Power
Cloudways acts as a conduit to several Cloud hosting providers. It offers potent Cloud hosting choices with a simplified management interface. Best of all, it's pay-as-you-go with no hefty upfront fees.
It may not be the cheapest hosting option, but Kinsta does have many advantages over standard web hosting. It offers a robust WordPress-specific platform right down to the expert WordPress support teams available.
Game hosting is pretty niche, but some hosts specialize in this business. Host Havoc is one of them, with special hosting plans that cover various popular games. That includes Minecraft, Valheim, V Rising, and much more.
Final Thoughts: Look Beyond Shared Hosting
The world of web hosting is virtually limitless. Just because shared hosting is cheap doesn't mean you can't do better for a comparable price. After all, many things factor into consideration when choosing your web hosting provider and plan.
While there's no doubt that Hosting excels in some areas, it doesn't cover the entire spectrum equally well. There are many niche cases where an alternative may do much better, even if it costs a pittance more.