A2 Hosting is one of those hosting providers that offer you a wide variety of options to choose from. They have managed WordPress hosting plans, but this is just one of many flavors of hosting they offer.
If you want to host in a Linux, Windows, Drupal, or Joomla setting, A2 will provide it. You can also get shared hosting, VPS hosting, or a dedicated server from them.
But variety is not all you get with this 20-year-old firm. Recognizing the importance of fast load times to online businesses. A2 Hosting has put a focus on guaranteeing their customers 20x faster hosting. And with an uptime guarantee of 99.9 percent, you can look forward to negligible downtime.
With shared hosting starting at $2.99, it’s fair to say that A2 Hosting looks to accommodate the needs and budget of every kind of website owner. The company has racked up positive reviews not just because of performing sites hosted with them and their friendly pricing.
Customers also praise their support team’s prompt response time whenever they need technical help. A2 has created a hosting environment that is not just conducive for non-technical users, but also developer-friendly.
Basic shared hosting plans start at $2.99 per month and for this, you will get optimized hosting for a WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal website. You will be given free access to the cPanel control panel for the management of your site or blog.
In terms of security, you will get a free SSL certificate, which will give your site the HTTPS prefix on the URLs of its pages. Not only does this secure communication between your server and visitors’ browsers via encryption, but it also helps with SEO.
Shared hosting pricing
While you only get hosting for a single website, you get 100 GB of fast SSD storage, unlimited transfers, unlimited email accounts, 24/7/365 support, access to an easy-to-use website builder, and a website staging area. Sound too good to be true? Well, it might be.
If you read the fine print. You quickly discover that the $2.99 offer only applies if you pay for three years upfront. If you make a one-year commitment, it goes up to $6.99 monthly, and if you go the monthly route; it goes up to $10.99.
So how does this shared hosting plan compare with what other providers offer? HostGator will start you off with their $2.43 Hatchling plan, which besides being cheaper, gives you much more than A2 Hosting’s offering.
You will get unmetered bandwidth and disk space along with more than $200 worth of Google and Bing ads credit. Besides this, you will get a year’s domain registration free.
BlueHost’s starter plan goes for $2.95 if you pay for three years upfront. Their plan also includes the free one-year domain registration and more than $100 of ads credit. So you can say there are several options that offer better value than A2 Hosting’s plans.
Managed WordPress hosting pricing
How do A2 Hosting’s managed WordPress hosting plans compare with the competition? Favorably. The starter one-site plan will cost you $12.99 per month if you commit to a three-year contract. If you don’t wish to make any long-term commitment, the plan will cost you $4 more per month.
At that price, you get a turbo-optimized site with automated backups and backed by A2 Hosting’s Guru Crew, which is available 24/7/365. For more or less the same features, you will need to part with $25 every month if you go for WP Engine’s entry-level managed WordPress plan or $30 if you opt to go with Kinsta’s. In the managed WordPress realm, A2 Hosting’s offering is hard to beat.
VPS hosting pricing
What about in the VPS hosting arena? A2 Hosting offers two options here: you can choose between managed and unmanaged VPS hosting depending on your needs and budget. Prices for the former range between $39.99 and $109.99 per month, depending on how much storage and processing power you desire. And if you’re comfortable committing to a plan for three years or would rather pay month by month.
In the base managed VPS hosting plan, you will get 4 GB of RAM, 150 GB of SSD storage, two CPU cores, and one cPanel account. At the other end of the scale, you get 150 GB of NVMe SSD storage (much faster read/write speed than normal SSD) and March 8 processing efficiency.
DreamHost’s managed VPS costs significantly less, but also offers much less processing power. Their VPS Basic plan, for which pricing starts at $10 per month, offers you a quarter of the RAM and a fifth of the storage you get with A2 Hosting’s entry-level plan. The most storage you can get from DreamHost’s plans is 240 GB. If you value performance overpricing, choosing A2 Hosting for your managed VPS will be a straightforward decision.
You can get the processing power of A2 at a lower price point if you go for unmanaged VPS hosting. Prices in this subcategory of VPS hosting range between $4.99 and $52.99 monthly.
However, unmanaged hosting is more suitable to users who have a developer at their disposal or are tech-savvy themselves. Cheaper unmanaged VPS is available from the likes of Hostinger, but again, you won’t get the specs A2 Hosting offers.
Dedicated server hosting pricing
When you come to A2 Hosting for dedicated server hosting, you find that you have three options to choose from: managed dedicated server, unmanaged dedicated server, and core dedicated server.
If you’re a developer looking for more firepower than your shared hosting or VPS can offer, you can choose from A2 Hosting’s three unmanaged dedicated server offerings.
If you’re on a tight budget or don’t have the operations to justify more resources, you can start with the Sprint plan which starts at $99.59 per month. For this, you will get at least 8 GB RAM and 2 Intel 3.1 CPU cores.
–If you’re part of an enterprise with a substantial budget, you can go for the Mach plan whose pricing starts at $248.99. Here you will have 8+ Intel Xeon CPU cores and at least twice the RAM of the Sprint plan.
Core dedicated server prices range between $141.09 and $290.49 for more or less the same specs. The only difference is that you get root access, which offers you more control over your resources and websites. Managed dedicated server pricing comes with three options priced exactly the same as the core dedicated server offerings.
So how do these plans compare with those of A2 Hosting’s rivals? DreamHost’s options are quite limited in comparison. With them, you only get managed dedicated server hosting and this comes in only two flavors; Standard, which costs $149 per month if you pay yearly, and Enhanced, which costs $279.
BlueHost’s pricing for dedicated server hosting may seem to be friendlier than A2 or DreamHost’s on the face. The three plans they offer range between $79.99 and $119.99 per month for similar specs.
However, if you read the fine print, you see that this is promotional pricing, which changes drastically during renewal. The standard pricing ranges between $119.99 and $209.99, which doesn’t differ too much from A2 Hosting’s prices. And BlueHost doesn’t offer the variety A2 Hosting does.
You notice that a money-back guarantee is mentioned in all A2 plans but doesn’t mention a period within which you can claim your refund (usually 30 days). This is because you can get your refund any time you feel you’re dissatisfied with their service.
However, as you would imagine, there are a few strings attached. For one, your refund will be issued through PayPal alone if they requested it after the first four months.
Another caveat in the cancellation terms is that you have to put in your request to cancel at least 15 days before the next renewal term begins. If you do so any later, you will end up paying for the full term of a service you are no longer subscribed to.
A2 Hosting prides itself in offering 20x faster hosting, and this is not an empty boast. Independent tests carried out over a year produced an average loading speed of 279ms. Besides resource allocation, speed is one of the differentiating elements between plans.
If you take up the Turbo Max shared hosting plan, for instance, A2 Hosting assures you of 20x faster page load speed and 2x faster TTFB (time to the first byte). They also promise customers under this plan up to 40 percent faster CPU performance.
Even with the Startup shared hosting plan, you still get to choose the data center locations where your site will be hosted. This will help improve speed for your visitors in those locations, making for a better user experience and higher Google search results rankings. A2 Hosting has server locations in Michigan and Arizona in the U.S. as well as in Amsterdam and Singapore.
A2 Hosting can guarantee their customers incredible speeds and good uptime because they own all their data centers. They don’t rely on third-party hosting providers such as Google Cloud or Amazon-like several competitors do.
The 99.9 percent uptime guarantee A2 Hosting offers potential customers is more or less the industry standard. But practical tests also conducted in the course of a year yielded an average uptime of 99.97 percent. So you most likely won’t get to cash in on the 5 percent refund they offer for every hour your website is down.
This reliability is thanks to the redundancy built into A2 Hosting’s network. They have contracted over one Internet service provider to ensure that there is a fallback in case one of them is unavailable. A2 also has redundancy in its power supply, including diesel-powered generators.
Overall, they have praised A2 Hosting for being responsive and effective in resolving queries. Be it DNS-related configurations or questions related to cancellation or renewal of subscription, their ‘Guru Crew’ handles them knowledgeably and with a good deal of professionalism.
You can reach out to A2 hosting with technical or account-related queries on the phone or via the live chat on their website.
They also have an email-based ticket resolution system. If you would rather go it alone, you will find plenty of information at your disposal in A2 Hosting’s knowledge base. You will find the articles there well categorized and with a handy search engine to help you retrieve the info you need easily. Whether you’re a developer or a non-technical user, you will find all the information you need.
A2Hosting’s support has been found to be wanting in terms of the time they take to respond to queries raised on their live chat by some customers. Getting the attention of their representatives can take over 10 minutes and they may take longer to offer a solution to your issue.
24/7 proactive monitoring of the network and servers on which A2 Hosting store’s website files by a program known as HackScan keeps your site free of all forms of malware. They also offer reinforced DDoS protection, a dual firewall, and a brute force defense to guarantee safety from hacking attempts.
Besides the above, all plans come with a virus scanner and a tool they call Patchman Enhanced Security. As the name suggests, it monitors the applications and plugins you’re running to ensure the version you’re using is not out of date. One of the most exploited vulnerabilities in computer systems is outdated software.
When the tool discovers your CMS is outdated and needs to be patched, it sends a notification and applies the patch automatically after some time. In this way, you will be sure you’re always working with the latest versions of WordPress, Joomla, or whichever CMS or website builder you’re using.
Another measure A2 Hosting has implemented to keep your account safe is two-factor authentication for control panel accounts. This ensures you don’t risk someone logging into your account and making unauthorized modifications.
As you can tell from the impressive load times, loads of security features A2 Hosting has put in place do not affect the performance of sites they host. If you would like to enjoy regular backups of your website data, subscribe to a higher plan than the basic Startup. The Drive plan and higher gives you access to automated backups. Thankfully, this doesn’t apply to the all-important SSL- every plan comes with a free SSL certificate. This will offer needed reassurance to e-commerce site owners who wish to guarantee their customer’s safe transactions.
Over and above the software-level security measures, A2 Hosting’s data centers secured well with multiple levels of restricted access and 24/7 video surveillance. Besides this, their SSAE16-certified data centers have rigorous climate control and static-free flooring to prolong the life of the hardware they house.
While we know A2 Hosting for offering WordPress hosting, you can build your site with Joomla, Drupal, or Magento and still host it on their servers. Several other WordPress hosting providers won’t offer you this luxury. And setting up e-commerce platforms from your A2 Hosting account is a breeze with the 1-click setup feature.
If you’re a developer, A2 Hosting also provides you with several useful tools. One of these is a command-line interface for WordPress (WP-CLI). If you want to, you can create your website using A2 Hosting’s own website builder. Their builder offers an intuitive interface that will help non-technical users to have their website up and running with just a couple of clicks.
Even the most basic shared hosting plans come with access to a staging area. This feature allows you to test everything from plugins to updates to plugins on a clone website before you go live with the modifications. In this way, you can be sure of the impact of the changes without subjecting your audience to them if they are adverse.
While several other competitors offer staging areas, they are not always available with all plans. With SiteGround, for instance, sign up for the GrowBig plan or higher to enjoy this feature. To get your website up and running, you need to register a domain for it.
Popular shared hosting providers as DreamHost offer you a free domain with whichever plan you choose. Though you will have to pay for it on renewal, the first year is usually free. A2 Hosting offers domains, but you will have to pay for them from day one.
Site migrations are another useful extra A2 Hosting provides. However, if you’re a shared hosting plan subscriber, you only get one free site migration. For any additional site, you will need to fork out $10. But if you sign up for a higher plan, you will get several free migrations at no extra cost.
Green web hosting is a thing and one which A2 takes great pride in touting. It offsets all the emissions produced by their data center locations with renewable energy as part of their FutureServe initiative. They have also made a commitment to support reforestation and renewable energy production. While this won’t do anything for performing your website, it will be a delightful bonus if you’re concerned about the impact of global warming.
Recent reviews posted on the A2 Hosting website have customers praising the provider’s “fast and helpful” support staff. However, there have been a few complaints of slow response times on independent forums.
- Offer a wide range of hosting plans.
- Wide selection of dedicated server hosting plans.
- Hosting in both Windows and Linux environments.
- Great value in managing WordPress hosting plans.
- Access to a staging area.
- “Anytime” money-back guarantee.
- A2 Hosting’s marketing focuses on speed, and they deliver.
- Globally distributed server locations to guarantee good load times wherever website visitors login from.
- They own all their server locations, which gives them more control over performance and security.
- Above-average uptime.
- Quick, one-click setup of various plugins.
- Robust security measures for all plans.
- Few data center locations compared to other providers.
- Several competitors offer better value in shared hosting plans.
- Some customers complain about support response time.
- No free domain registration.
- No automatic daily backups with basic shared hosting.
- A money-back guarantee comes with several conditions.
- Pay $10 extra for each additional site you wish to migrate under shared hosting.
- Cancellation terms are not favorable to clients.
Is A2 Hosting worth trying out? There are several reasons their services are worth checking out, especially because if you’re not happy, you can activate their ‘anytime’ money-back guarantee. But after you experience the 20x speeds and the reliability of their hosting, chances are you won’t feel the need to.
Their Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans will see you allocated unlimited storage on NVMe SSD drives, which offer incredibly fast read-write speeds. Not only do their turbo servers offer super-fast service, they can handle nine times the traffic ordinary servers can.
A2 Hosting’s plans are not the cheapest, but neither are they exorbitantly priced. The reason other providers may seem cheaper than them is because of their introductory pricing. But if you prefer transparent pricing and no nasty surprises during renewal, you will appreciate A2’s plans.
The beauty is that A2 offers you many options to choose from in terms of plans. If you’re just beginning your online business, you can start with basic shared hosting. You can then scale your way to the Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans.
If you outgrow the capacity of these plans, you can move to VPS or dedicated server hosting. Each of these has a selection of plans under the managed and unmanaged options. Apart from minor complaints about their customer service and you not getting the customary one year of free domain registration, there’s little to take away from the quality of A2 Hosting’s service.