A2 Hosting Review

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Paul Mahony

39 comments

2019 October 22nd at 5:55

9.0

Performance

10.0

Pricing

8.0

User friendly

9.0

Support

9.0

Features

9.0

A2 Hosting focusing on excellent server speed, good value for money and professional customer support. And from a bunch of shining A2 Hosting reviews we can see - it's going well.

The provider now has several shared, WordPress, VPS, reseller, and dedicated hosting packages for Linux and Windows. It also sells domain names and offers other web hosting solutions for business.

In this A2 Hosting review, we decided to check whether the claims are true.

We also have a video where we tested A2 Hosting's hosting plans - check it out!

A2 Hosting Pros

In this part of A2 Hosting review, we checked whether the users praises for the provider's speed, customer support, and features are right.

You can see what we found out below.

1. Excellent server performance and uptime

A2 Hosting guarantees 99.9% uptime and claims to have turbo fast servers.

And it delivers its promise.

A2 Hosting kept the uptime stable at 99.99% during our testing period. Response time was also below the industry average of 553ms - with some peaks here and there, A2 Hosting got 450ms average response time.

a2 hosting review

As far as performance is considered, A2 Hosting is better than your average host. So how does it do it?

In a few ways, actually:

  • A2 Hosting hosts each and every website on SSD storage based server automatically improving the performance a lot.
  • The host includes basic Cloudflare content delivery network with all plans
  •  The provider has its own A2 Optimized tool for caching.

All in all - A2 Hosting is doing well in terms of performance. And that is, in fact, the most important part of any hosting.

2. Choice of server location

One more thing that allows A2 Hosting to show excellent performance results is the server location choice.

A2 Hosting has its data centers in Michigan, Arizona, Amsterdam, and Singapore. In other words - it has most of the world covered.

Why should you care?

Hosting closer to your targeted audience allows delivering the content to the user's browser faster. So if your visitors are from Australia - choose a server there. Even if you yourself work from New York or Seattle.

3. Built-in security features

A2 Hosting includes standard SSL in all of its packages as well as a few other security freebies.

You get Patchman Enhanced Security tool. It monitors software and detects when it's out of date. In addition, it also quarantines infected files and patches software.

A2 Hosting also applies reinforced DDoS protection so you are safe from malicious attacks.

From what I see - A2 Hosting takes care of security seriously.

And if that's not enough, you can always add extra features like DropMySite automated backups for $1.99/month or free Server Rewind Backups with more expensive plans.

4. eCommerce compatibility 

Even with the cheapest shared hosting plan, A2 Hosting packages are compatible with eCommerce.

In fact, A2 Hosting has a number of 1-click installers for eCommerce software including Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop, and AbanteCart.

A2 Hosting review: A2 hosting ecommerce

Just keep in mind that even a small store would run slower on the cheapest plan because caching applications are not available.

But here's a thing:

If you want to sell just a few products or your merch alongside your blog - it will be perfect. This makes A2 Hosting one of the cheapest providers to start your online business with.

And it's easy to do that.

For the US users, A2 Hosting partners with e-onlinedata so it can offer you instant activation of Merchant ID. It promises that after submitting an application you will be able to sell instantly.

Same goes for PayPal merchant accounts as well.

So if you're looking to introduce eCommerce to your blog or business website - A2 Hosting is not a bad place to start.

5. Helpful customer support

A2 Hosting customer support is not disappointing as well. It has a number of options - 24/7 ticket, live chat, and phone support. You will also find a knowledge base and extensive guides for a lot of important topics - cPanel, WordPress optimization, getting started, etc.

A2 Hosting review: A2 hosting support options

But the human factor interested us the most.

During the time we reviewed A2 Hosting, we contacted them a few times.

Email ticket service was pretty average - we waited around 10 hours to get a reply. Not the worst, but definitely not best either.

Chat service was faster.

Wait times both with sales and tech support teams did not exist - we were connected immediately.

And the support was knowledgeable, friendly, and professional. We've always got instant replies, meaning that agents know their job well.

A2 Hosting review - A2 Hosting support

All in all, A2 hosting is well prepared to help its customers and you won't be left alone with your problems.

6. Great value for the price

The cheapest shared hosting plan with A2 Hosting starts at $3.92/month and is upgradable up to $9.31/month for a TURBO plan.

But even with the cheapest plan, you get enough value - SSL, unlimited storage, bandwidth, and even free site migration.

A2 Hosting review: A2 Hosting pricing

What is the difference?

  • LITE plan gives you 1 website. 5 databases, 25 email addresses and parked domains.
  • SWIFT includes unlimited websites, databases, emails, and snapshot backups.
  • TURBO will get you all the unlimited features, Turbo-speed servers, Railgun optimizer for HTML, and LiteSpeed Cache plugins.

You can compare everything here:

Lite Swift Turbo
Disk space limit Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Bandwidth limit Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Domains allowed 1 Unlimited Unlimited
SSL Included Included Included
Email accounts 25 Unlimited Unlimited
Customer Support 24/7 live chat, email, phone
Free Automated Backups No Daily Daily

As for the value of A2 Hosting packages - it offers more than a lot of other hosts. Except for a domain name which you'll need to purchase separately

Apart from that, A2 Hosting has everything you might need for launching and scaling a website.

A2 Hosting Cons

Everything sounded good, didn't it?

While A2 Hosting performance and features are excellent, the host does not avoid sneaky pricing tactics.

Here's what we found out.

1. A free domain is not included

Although many hosts include a free domain name registration for at least a year, A2 Hosting is not one of them.

Working not only as a host but as a domain registrar as well, A2 Hosting first tries to offer its own services.

A2 Hosting review: A2 hosting domain registration

And it's not cheap. Domain with .com TLD will cost you $14.95/year. Domain privacy will also cost an extra $9.99/year.

All in all, you get a good value for the price, but a domain increases a price quite a bit. Fortunately, you can save a few dollars by registering with other domain name registrars like Namecheap or GoDaddy.

2. Expensive renewals

Another flaw A2 Hosting does not avoid is the expensive renewals.

What can you expect after your first-term ends?

First of all, you'll have 14 days to renew or your account will be deleted (renewals are automated, but you may expect delays from a bank or insufficient funds, etc.).

Also, after the renewal prices jump to their standard rates:

  • For the LITE plan, $3.92/mo becomes $9.99/mo
  • With the SWIFT plan, $4.90/mo becomes $12.99/mo
  • The TURBO plan, $9.31/mo becomes $24.99/mo

That's more than two times the original price. And while A2 Hosting is worth its initial price, I'm not sure they'd buy me with the renewals.

3. Upselling attempts and restrictions

Upselling is another tactic of many hosts that is not bypassed by A2 Hosting.

For starters, to get the advertised price you'll need to sign for the longer term - 24 or 36 months. And that's not a problem.

But it gets more sneaky.

If you took a good look at a shopping cart as I did, you would see that the advertised price is nowhere to be found.

A2 Hosting review: A2 hosting check out

You'll see the regular price instead and the amount you saved in the order summary. Sneaky guys, A2 Hosting. 

But that's not even the end.

In the check-out window, you'll see at least 10 customization options you may want to try. But be careful - these tend to balloon the monthly pricing quite a lot.

What am I talking about?

You can get Turbo servers that are claiming to be 20x faster for $11/month or priority support for $19.99/month.

Backups will cost $1.99/month for 5GB and you would pay $3/month for Cloudflare basic plan.

That much of an affordable host.

A2 Hosting review - Our Thoughts

We really went in depth with this A2 Hosting review.

And it's great - the performance is excellent as well as uptime. A2 Hosting includes strong security features and its customer support is brilliant.

On the other hand, it is not flawless.

A2 hosting uses a few tricky pricing tactics. But that's not an exception - most of the hosts do.

So, A2 Hosting will impress you with performance. But once you reach the check-out window, read the fine print carefully.

What are your experiences with A2 Hosting? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

Pros

  • Free SSL certificates
  • Enhanced security features
  • Great customer support
  • Excellent performance

Cons

  • High renewal prices and upsells

Performance

10.0

Pricing

8.0

User friendly

9.0

Support

9.0

Features

9.0

Disclosure: We earn a commission if you make a purchase through referral links in this review. This helps to cover the expenses for running ongoing performance tests.

A2 Hosting User Reviews

39 comments

Deirdre picture
Deirdre

2019 November 2nd

I have used them for a few years. The support used to be tolerable. But now it’s nearly impossible to get anyone on the phone. Don’t even waste your time with their ‘chat’ option. They are never online. The support tickets they take their time addressing and rarely do you have the same person respond twice on your ticket. So you are always back to square one. I would advise another hosting company.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Dorothy picture
Dorothy

2019 September 27th

My site has been down for a week – a full 7 days- it was supposed to be a simple migration of a wordpress site. Support was terrible. Phone calls were not returned. Chat was useless. I told them over and over again that I had to talk with a live person. Swollen, painful hands. Typing is possible but the problem meant too much typing. I want badly to switch hosts.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
BinFL picture
BinFL

2019 August 28th

Unfortunately it’s as other reviewers say below. We are currently down and since April have been down 30 times. Below is the log:
Event Date-Time Reason Duration Duration (in mins.)
Down 8/27/2019 19:10 Connection Timeout 4 hrs, 40 mins 280 (And Counting)
Down 8/27/2019 13:49 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 5 mins 5
Down 8/27/2019 12:21 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 21 mins 21
Down 8/27/2019 5:28 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 17 mins 17
Down 8/26/2019 18:13 Connection Timeout 4 hrs, 27 mins 268
Down 8/26/2019 17:07 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 54 mins 55
Down 8/26/2019 16:29 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 21 mins 21
Down 8/26/2019 15:04 Connection Timeout 1 hrs, 3 mins 63
Down 8/26/2019 8:14 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 36 mins 36
Down 8/26/2019 1:02 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 44 mins 44
Down 8/25/2019 15:02 Connection Timeout 4 hrs, 6 mins 246
Down 8/25/2019 13:14 Connection Timeout 1 hrs, 36 mins 96
Down 8/25/2019 5:58 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 56 mins 57
Down 8/24/2019 22:07 Connection Timeout 1 hrs, 26 mins 86
Down 8/24/2019 7:15 Connection Timeout 8 hrs, 19 mins 499
Down 8/24/2019 6:05 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 3 mins 3
Down 8/24/2019 4:47 Connection Timeout 1 hrs, 11 mins 71
Down 8/24/2019 0:52 Connection Timeout 3 hrs, 47 mins 228
Down 8/4/2019 9:30 Not Found 0 hrs, 1 mins 1
Down 6/28/2019 20:54 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 12 mins 12
Down 6/3/2019 18:45 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 2 mins 2
Down 6/3/2019 18:38 Connection Timeout 0 hrs, 1 mins 1
Down 4/29/2019 21:03 Internal Server Error 0 hrs, 2 mins 2
Down 4/25/2019 16:07 Connection Timeout 23 hrs, 56 mins 1437
Down 4/24/2019 3:35 Connection Timeout 35 hrs, 26 mins 2126
Down 4/23/2019 15:58 Connection Timeout 11 hrs, 29 mins 690
Down 4/6/2019 19:51 Not Found 0 hrs, 2 mins 2
Down 4/4/2019 22:14 Not Found 0 hrs, 1 mins 1
Down 4/2/2019 21:34 Not Found 0 hrs, 1 mins 1
TOTAL 6371

Rob picture
Rob

2019 August 26th

Deadful uptime. Not just one downtime incident, they are regular. Plesk stops responding. No status updates for days when servers are down. Warning. Avoid like the plague.

Michael picture
Michael

2019 July 16th

This review needs to be updated. Ever since they had a major outage back in April/May 2019 the service basically sucks. Servers that were previously quick are now slow, Plesk log in for windows hosting is continually down and it takes 24 hours to get any kind of response.
We are approaching the end of year 1 of a 2 year hosting agreement. When year 2 comes due it is highly unlikely we will renew.
It is a shame because up until the outage the hosting was really good.

Richard picture
Richard

2019 June 15th

You should review your review of this hosting company. They had a 1 month outage on all their windows servers recently. Since then we have seen a 12 hour outage on our sql server database and last night our server went down again. We contacted A2 who didn’t even seem aware that it had been down for around 3 hours. This morning the server is still down and A2 have now posted a status alert on their status page. Their 99.9% uptime guarantee that they boast on their website is a complete lie – DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY EVER!

Samuel Renteria picture
Samuel Renteria

2019 April 29th

6 days and all my sites are still down. You need to update “99.9% Uptime Commitment” So far you commitment is (359/365) x 100 = 98.35% … and dropping!!!!!

Dario picture
Dario

2019 April 25th

We are using A2 Hosting almost 2 years. Everything was fine for the first month. After a while performance of the servers were degraded. Last two month is very bad situation. Monthly uptime for Amsterdam DC is below 95% and you can imagine our customers, when their services are down three days.
A2hosting is very high ranking hosting provider, because they ask customers for review after a couple of day of using their services. We are very disappointed with that provider.
As I am writing this review all our services are down, more than 43 hours ….

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
NamanModi123 picture
NamanModi123

2018 August 22nd

I appreciate that you took a simple, how to article by explaining the process step by step and how to build momentum. I have been using A2Hosting over the years and not found any issues so far. A2Hosting has been in the web hosting industry for many years. A2Hosting has cleared all the customers’ issues in the past and improved users expectation.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Ralph picture
Ralph

2018 May 23rd

Site offline for over 87 hours total in 3 weeks, this is from ONE of their banged up server reports. They didn’t even notify customers until over 16 hours after server went down.

nl1-ss2 Service Interruption
3 days ago
nl1-ss2.a2hosting.com is currently experiencing a service interruption. Users hosted on this server will experience service degradation as a result. Our System Operations team is investigating the root cause of this interruption. We will provide updates as more details are made available.

Update 2:30 AM EDT: The server has been rebooted and it’s back online now

Update 5:00 AM EDT: We have noticed some additional file system errors on the server and our system engineers are looking into it.

Update 6:00 AM EDT: We have brought the server down for a File System Check. We will update this post once the server is back online.

Update 7:00 AM EDT: Our system engineers are still running File System Check on the server

Update 9:30 AM EDT : Our system engineers are still running the File System Check. We will continue to provide updates as quickly as possible.

Update 10:30 AM EDT : The File System Check is still running on the server.

Update 12:00 PM EDT : Our system engineers are still running the File System Check. We will provide updates as quickly as possible.

Update 1:40 PM EDT : The File System Check is still in progress. We will continue to provide updates.

Update 2:45 PM EDT : Our system engineers are still working on restoring service. We will continue to provide updates as quickly as possible.

Update 3:45 PM EDT : The File System Check is continuing to run and we will continue to provide updates.

Update 4:45 PM EDT : Our system engineers are still running the File System Check. We will update this post regularly until this process is complete.

Update 5:55 PM EDT : Our system engineers are still running the File System Check. We will continue to update this post regularly and as more information becomes available.

Update 6:45 PM EDT : The status remains largely the same. Progress is being made on the File System Check. We started a Bare Metal Restore to a new hardware in an effor to expadite restoration of service.

Update 10:00PM EDT : Engeineers are still working a two-pronged approach to resolving this. We are working hard to restore server as soon as possible.

Update 11:00PM EDT : The previously mentioned processes are still in progress. You can be assured that we are working to restore service as quickly as we can.

Update May 22nd 1:00 AM EDT : Our system engineers are still working on the server at the moment.

Update May 22nd 2:00 AM EDT : Both processes, the full server restoration and File System Check, are still running.

Update May 22nd 3:45 AM EDT : Engineers are still working on the server. More information will be posted as soon as we’ll have further updates

Update May 22nd 5:45 AM EDT : The File System Check and a restore are still ongoing.

Update May 22nd 9:45 AM EDT : The File System Check and Server Restore are still in progress.

Update May 22nd 11:15 AM EDT : Our engineers are still working on the file system check and a full server restoration.

Update May 22nd 1:00 PM EDT : The File System Check and Server Restore are still in progress.

Update May 22nd 2:45 PM EDT : Our engineers are still working on the file system check and a full server restoration.

Update May 22nd 5:00 PM EDT : Restoration is still in progress. Thank you for your continued patience.

Update May 22nd 7:00 PM EDT : The full server restoration and File System Check are continuing.

Update May 22nd 8:15 PM EDT : The full server restoration is continuing.

Update May 22nd 11:15 PM EDT : The full server restoration is progressing towards completion.

Update May 23rd 01:30 AM EDT : The full server restore is still running.

Update May 23rd 03:45 AM EDT : The server restoration is still running and it should be finished soon.

Update May 23rd 05:45 AM EDT : The restoration process is still running at the moment.

Update May 23rd 08:00 AM EDT : The full server restore is still running.

Update May 23rd 11:45 AM EDT : The restoration process is still running at the moment.

Update May 23rd 1:12 PM EDT : The restoration process has now completed and we are in the final stages of enabling access. During this time frame some sites will be available while others may not. We will have further updates as we progress.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features