As a beginner in terms of self-hosted blogging, choosing a reliable web host is a crucial decision. With the vast offerings of web hosting found online, choosing the right company should be accounted carefully, whether it is free or paid host. For a starting blogger like me or for those who doesn’t want to pay for hosting to make his/her website online, free hosting is relatively available for us. In the past weeks of my journey with this matter, I had tried a bunch of hosting providers that claim to provide 100% free and reliable service. Do a google search and you’ll find hundreds of pages of free hosting offerings. However, despite of the claims of these hosting providers, nothing more reliable to trust is experience. So, there is no harm on signing up on a free service – just make sure that they don’t ask for payment details before hand.
In this journey, I finally settled on a free host where this blog is currently hosted. Hostinger Philippines is a free web hosting company that offers up to 2GB storage, 100GB of bandwidth, PHP, MySQL, and the very good thing – it doesn’t put any advertisements on your site.
When I have found out about Hostinger.ph, I immediately signed up for a free account and pointed my domain to their nameservers. Installing WordPress is easy because of their user friendly control panel and built-in scripts auto-installer. Setting up was fast and my website is ready and online in just a few minutes. Hostinger is fully compatible with WordPress and most of the plugins available for the platform. Other free host doesn’t offer complete compatibility. What is more fascinating about this service is that the site loads fast (test it yourself) and you wouldn’t think that it is hosted on a server that is offered FREE. If you don’t have your own domain, you can use the subdomain offers by Hostinger. This is only a second choice and I recommend you should have your own domain if you are serious in making an identity online.
Experience with Hostinger
Hostinger is one of the best place where you would like to start making your identity online by launching a blog. Do take note that free service like hostinger do have limitations. But unlike other free host, the limitations set by Hostinger such as 20% maximum CPU resource and 100GB bandwidth per month are hard to reach. Also, the support provided by this free hosting service is outstanding. I have tried contacting support through ticket for numerous times and responses were fast. Usually, I can get a valuable response from my queries in just minutes to an hour after sending a ticket.
Updated (May 16): I experienced some errors on my blog days ago,
it was resolved and I found out that a Cloudflare setting is the culprit of this error, not Hostinger. Read the detailed article here: Fixing Error 522 in WordPress Edit: Hostinger contributed in the said error.
Hostinger Philippines is part of the Hostinger International group and was launched in the Philippines last 2012. Hostinger also offers premium shared hosting for as low as P99 per month. Currently, it utilizes Europe, North America & Singapore datacenters for Philippine operations.
Updated (May 20): I encountered a suspension of my free account with Hostinger. It is due to utilizing above 70% of the CPU limit for free hosting for more than 36 times. Here is the original message from Hostinger:
Dear Razoniel Bernardino, Your hosting account has been suspended. Details of the account are below: Hosting Plan: Free Domain: spideylab.com Reason: Abuse Additional information: Account spideylab.com exceeded allowed 70% CPU quota limit for more than 36 times. This is considered abnormal as it causes a high server load and overall slowdown. Website must be secured and optimized or removed form the server (Account spideylab.com exceeded allowed 70% CPU quota limit for more than 36 times. This is considered abnormal as it causes a high server load and overall slowdown. Website must be secured and optimized or removed form the server) Please contact us as soon as possible to get your website back online. Hostinger Philippines http://www.hostinger.ph
It was restored within the day and they advised me to optimize my website so it will not happen again. This suspension happened right after optimizing my database and repeatedly deleting caches and re-caching post pages (a reason for a spike in CPU usage). Also, I am sending traffic from my monitor during that time – about 6 homepage loads per minute (The same setup of the monitor runs well for some weeks before suspension). Technically, I am testing how far a free account can utilize.
Updated (June 24): I created a test domain and started monitoring its uptime with Status Cake. You may want to view the uptime report here. The monitor checks a webpage that has WordPress 4.2.2 freshly installed with Twenty Fifteen default theme.
In my opinion, the free service of Hostinger is really good for low to average traffic sites and personal blogs. Do not expect for a premium service if you did not pay for it. If you plan to create a blog that will attract hundreds of unique visitors per day or a possible spike in an hour, there is a great chance you’ll hit the limits and get suspended. However, customer service reps are kind to assist you on these cases. (And really assists well on doing an upgrade to paid hosting, of course.)
- Strict enforcing of CPU and other resources limit
- Frequent short downtimes (that last 1-2minutes)
- Very good customer support (even with free accounts)
ReliableGood/acceptable uptime (for low traffic sites)
Note: I tested the service for about a month and it served me enough for a consideration that it is free. It gives the service that follow the 99% uptime guarantee. However, I am already with a paid host as of this moment (June 19) as I see my blog on having some growth potential. So, I am saving myself from the hassle that I might get suspended again in the future. Also, I got some money now to pay for a hosting service.
The paid hosting of Hostinger quite exceeds my budget as I can not pay in bulk. You can only avail of the P99 per month plan if you pay for three years in advance. If you opt to pay quarterly, which is the minimum billing cycle for hostinger, they will bill you P227 per month or about 5 USD.
Do you recommend Hostinger Free Web Hosting?
A mix of a Yes and a No. It depends on how are you going to use the service.
You may also want to check: ByetHost Free Hosting Review and Free vs Paid Web Hosting: You Get What You Pay For.