A2 Hosting Review
2019 December 12th
A2 Hosting focuses on excellent server speed, good value for money, and professional customer support. But these are just promises, I want hard proof for all of that.
So in this A2 Hosting review, I decided to test it and check just how good this provider actually is.
We also have a video where we tested A2 Hosting's hosting plans - check it out!
What is A2 Hosting?
A2 Hosting 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.
Starting from humble beginnings in 2001 with one shared hosting plan, the company grew and expanded to be versatile.
A2 Hosting Pricing
A2 Hosting has 3 shared hosting options, the cheapest Lite plan starts at $2.94/month. It includes a free SSL certificate, unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and even free site migration. But you're limited to 1 website and 25 email accounts using this Lite plan.
If you need more than one website and unlimited email accounts you can upgrade to Swift plan for $4.90 a month. This option will also include free automatic backups.
Turbo plan will get you all the unlimited features, Turbo-speed servers, Railgun optimizer for HTML, and LiteSpeed Cache plugins. This Turbo option starts from $9.31 a month.
Unfortunately, to get the advertised low price you'll need to sign for the longer term - 24 or 36 months. If you're serious about your website or project, that's not that big of a deal. But take a good look at the shopping cart, the advertised price is nowhere to be found.
You see, the regular prices are shown instead of the discounted ones, and the amount you saved is only shown in the order summary. All of this can be a bit confusing the first time you see it.
As we're talking about the check-out, you'll also see quite a large selection of customization options you may want to try. But be careful - these can inflate the monthly pricing very fast.
You can get the Turbo Boost feature for $10/month or better performance and double CPU cores for $3/month. Backups will cost $1.99/month for 5GB and you would pay $3/month for Cloudflare basic plan.
So be sure to pick the features that you really need for your website. But A2 Hosting offers you 4 different server locations even with the cheapest shared hosting plans.
These locations include Michigan (US east coast), Arizona (US west coast), Amsterdam (Europe), and Singapore (Asia). No matter where your audience is, you can select the optimal location for the best loading speeds.
You can compare every plan here:
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A2 Hosting offers more than a lot of other hosts. Except for a free domain name, you need to use your own existing domain or buy directly from the provider's website.
Now those higher prices can be a bit scary and can make it harder to part with your money. A2 Hosting solves this problem by offering anytime money-back guarantee to all its customers.
If you cancel in 30 days you'll get all of your money back and after those 30 days, you will be entitled to a prorated refund of unused services.
While prices for shared hosting are a bit higher and there are a few upselling attempts, you get great plans with powerful features in return.
A2 Hosting Features
A2 Hosting has feature-rich shared hosting plans that can help you with everything from improving security to starting an online shop. Let's look at what I found to be the most interesting aspects.
Even with the cheapest shared hosting plan, A2 Hosting packages are compatible with eCommerce. In fact, it has several 1-click installers for eCommerce software including Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop, and AbanteCart.
If you want to sell just a few products or your merch alongside your blog, even the cheapest shared hosting plan will be great for that. This makes A2 Hosting one of the cheapest providers to start your online business with.
And for people wanting to start an eCommerce in the USA, this provider offers instant activation of the Merchant ID. It allows you to use high-quality credit card processing and payment gateway services right from the start.
You also get a PayPal merchant account immediately, so you can start using Paypal to receive your customer payments right away.
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, it first tries to offer its own services.
And it's not cheap. Domain with .com TLD will cost you $14.95/year. It increases the price quite a bit, fortunately, you can save a few dollars by registering with other domain name registrars like Namecheap or GoDaddy.
But when you buy a domain name with A2 Hosting you get DNS management and email forwarding completely for free.
You also get ID protection add-on available for $9.95 a year. It will hide your personal information on the WHOIS system, so no one can find your email address and send spam.
A2 Hosting includes free standard SSL in all of its packages as well as the Parchman Enhanced Security Tool. It monitors software and detects when it's out of date. Also, it quarantines infected files and patches software.
And if that's not enough, you can always add extra features like DropMySite automated backups for $1.99/month. Or get free Server Rewind Backups with more expensive plans.
It also gives you a free reinforced DDoS protection so you are safe from malicious attacks. It provides instant attacks on your website detection and mitigation, and you don't need to configure anything yourself.
As you can see, at A2 Hosting every plan comes with all the essential security features.
A2 Hosting offers a large selection of free and paid features and add-ons for security, performance, and comfort.
A2 Hosting Performance
A2 Hosting guarantees 99.9% uptime and claims to have turbo fast servers. It kept these promises and gave us an uptime of 100% during our testing period of more than a month. As for the average response time, it was just 269ms.
Even the maximum loading speed was low - spiking to just 307ms, so the difference between the min and the max was just 41ms. It's also worth mentioning that I used a default windows theme on my website to test A2 Hostings' performance.
As for the loading time, I tested it with GTmetrix and got great results. Our WordPress website fully loaded in 1.2 seconds. And the fact that every website uses an SSD storage drive, helps to speed up that loading time.
As for the optimization part, our website got both A's in PageSpeed (97%) and YSlow (94%) score.
The host includes a basic CloudFlare content delivery network with all plans and has its own A2 Optimized tool for caching. Just to note that I didn't use A2 Hosting's CloudFlare option on my plan.
So we decided to see just how well it responds in multiple locations throughout the world without CDN. And the results were great going below 55ms in the USA and averaging about 100ms in Europe.
While Asia locations showed a bit slower speeds, it was mostly influenced by our server selection. So even without CDN and the Turbo Boost feature enabled our test website got an overall rating of A+.
If you need a powerful, stable, and fast shared hosting provider with an ability to improve even further, A2 Hosting will be right for you.
A2 Hosting Support
A2 Hosting offers 24/7 ticket, live chat, and phone support to its customers. There are different options if you want to contact sales, billing, or technical support. And you can even send them real mail through its address.
I decided to test out just how good and fast the support options are. Email ticket service was pretty average - I waited around 5 hours to get a reply. Not the worst, but definitely not best either.
If you like using phone support, you will be glad to find out that A2 Hosting offers more than 10 phone numbers worldwide for you to get help. And these numbers vary by the country you're trying to get help from.
You can find the exact number you need to dial for your country on the A2 Hosting contact page.
Wait times both with sales and tech support teams basically did not exist - I was connected immediately. And the support was friendly, professional, and honestly knew what they were talking about.
If human support is not your thing and you want to learn something on your own, there is a Knowledge Base and a blog available at the A2 Hosting's support center.
Here you can find extensive guides for a lot of important topics - cPanel, WordPress optimization, getting started, etc.
A2 Hosting takes helping you pretty seriously and you can expect a fast response with competent support agents.
A2 Hosting Review - Verdict
After my in-depth A2 Hosting review, we know one thing for sure - the performance and uptime are excellent. A2 Hosting includes strong security features and its customer support is brilliant.
It does have a few tricky pricing tactics and it can be more expensive than other providers. So, once you reach the check-out window, read the fine print carefully.
A2 Hosting will be great for you:
If you want unlimited, fast, and secure hosting provider that offers a lot of extras and features with every plan.
What are your experiences with A2 Hosting? Let me know what you think in the comment section below!
- Free SSL certificates
- Enhanced security features
- Great customer support
- Excellent performance
- High renewal prices