If you have designed an attractive website and loaded it with quality content, then you only need a hosting that offers reliable and solid performance to enable your website attract and sustain all the traffic it gets.
A2 Hosting is one of the hosting providers that has established itself as a speedy and reliable solution for websites. Although not well-known in the web host industry, their service has been exceptional. The company claims that its servers are 20X faster, and their customer care is just a call away.
But are the claims true, especially with their prices starting as low as $2.99 for shared hosting plans and $5.00 for VPS?
Well, we decided to dig deep and analyzed this hosting service to see if all that’s being said is true, and here is our detailed A2 Hosting review.
A2 Hosting Background
Launched in 2001 with the brand name Iniquinet, this web hosting startup steadily picked up the pace. They later changed their company's name to A2 as an honor to its base location, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
It has always embraced the latest technologies, which has been a major reason for its rapid growth and expansion. For example, in 2004, A2 supported PHP5, making it one of the first web hosting providers to do so.
In 2013, they introduced SSD (Solid State Drive) hosting to support its Swift Server platform. This enabled them to increase their speed for their shared hosting plans considerably, thereby making it stand out among all other shared hosting providers.
The company later adopted the use of turbo servers in 2014 to increase load speeds further. In other words, A2 has never shied away from adopting the latest technologies. This has been a major reason for its rise to become a reliable, high-speed web hosting company.
Whether you are new to web hosting or want to change web hosting providers, you need to take A2 into consideration. Let’s discuss its benefits.
The Benefits of Choosing A2 Web Hosting
Ultra-Fast Speed and Reliable Uptime
One of the main areas of focus when choosing a web host is uptime. Irrespective of the niche you are in or the website you have, you want your site to be available to your target audience without disruption for the vast majority of the time.
And this is an area A2 hosting shines the most. It promises and delivers a 99.99% uptime guarantee, and most of its current customers confirm this.
One of the things that has enabled A2 web hosting provider to maintain this impressive uptime is by limiting the number of people it has on a shared hosting server. By regulating the number of resources used in a server, they are able to prevent downtimes that may be caused by spikes in traffic from several websites.
Also, they make use of caches to store information of individual browsers so that they don’t have to get information directly from your site every time a previous visitor comes to your site.
In other words, some of the resources they accessed from a visitor’s site are stored in their browser's cache, making your web pages load fast.
Overall, as far as website speed and performance are concerned, A2 is up there with other renowned web hosting provider. To maintain extremely fast load speeds, they have employed the use of turbo servers and SSDs.
Therefore, if you have a site where speed is of great importance, such as an eCom site, then A2 will be a great option.
If you are comparing the shared hosting plan, you will be happy with its speed, no matter the option you go for. The Turbo plan will take speeds to a whole new level. We will talk about the plans later on.
Enhanced security and backup
All the A2’s data centers are SSAE16 certified, which means they have met the security standards needed for data centers.
They have a gated parking lot that is only accessible through a security key. The physical security is boosted by the use of video surveillance.
A2 also has a server reverse backup warehouse, which allows one to recover data easily from the saved account backup snapshots.
Also, A2 provides security tools such as HackScan, which is great for malware protection. It runs 24/7 to ensure your website is not attacked.
Another of their security feature is a web hosting firewall as well as a virus scanner. All these defense mechanisms keep your site and data safe.
What’s more, all these security tools are not just optional add on and doesn’t require you to set them up as it is the case with some hosts- A2 installs and manages them for you so that you can have peace of mind. They run them in the background, and thus you can have peace of mind knowing that A2 is taking care of your site security in the background.
What’s more, all the A2 hosting plans come with KernelCare. KernelCare allows A2 to update their security of the kernels anytime without rebooting the servers. With KernelCare, you will experience no downtime when doing updates. This ensures that your kernel will remain up-to-date.
Essentially, both KernelCare and HackScan acts as preventative security measures against malware attacks on your site.
Free site migrations
For those who have hosted their website on other web hosting services, the A2 team offers to move your site resources to their servers for free. Other hosting providers often charge for this service, and thus this is definitely a plus for A2.
All the shared plans provide for a single-site migration while the VPS, dedicated server, and reseller plans provide for up to 25 free site migrations.
Please note that you will need to give the A2 team access to your cPanel for this to be done smoothly.
Plenty of essential tools for developers
Some of the A2 hosting plans are created to suit developers. More specifically, developers will find unmanaged VPS plans or dedicated servers that offers root access more convenient.
The reseller plans are also a great option for developers as they, too, offer administration access to servers.
What’s more, A2 works with major content management systems, including Magento, Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal. You can install a CMS with several clicks, even if you are not a developer.
A2 Hosting also offers an inbuilt web builder functionality to allow beginners to build a professional-looking website.
However, it is important to mention that the site builder comes at a different price than the base price for A2’s shared hosting plans.
Another point worth a mention is that the hosting plans offered by A2 are compatible with Cloudflare CDN. This means that you can separate your files from your server to maximize your page loading speeds.
Great customer support
A2 has a reliable and supportive customer care that is available 24/7. And because they are an in-house team, they are knowledgeable and very resourceful.
Their professionalism and technical knowledge is the main reason the A2 support team stands out as they are able to answer any basic or advanced hosting question users may have with ease. Even if you are a developer, the A2 team will answer your advanced questions.
You can reach out to them via emails, phone calls, chat, or by submitting a ticket on their site. As compared to other hosts, A2 has an impressive response time.
Easy-to-use control panel
A2 offers a great control panel (cPanel), which is extremely easy-to-use and thus great for both newbies and experienced webmasters.
With the cPanel, you can navigate through different elements of your site and install CMS’s scripts with ease.
Also, you can access Drupal, Joomla, and other applications from the cPanel.
Before you sign up for A2 hosting plan, there are a few cons or downsides you should keep in mind;
High renewal pricing
Unfortunately, A2 implements low first rates as well as high renewal pricing. Therefore, don't expect to keep the same rates you started with forever. To enjoy low rates, you should choose a 3-year contract.
Also, unless you contact the A2 team via email 15 days before your subscription time expires, A2 will automatically renew your current hosting plan.
Limited options on their Lite plan
If you are considering the Lite plan, you should be aware that it comes with limitations. The plan doesn’t have the fastest servers, and thus can be quite limiting.
A2 Web Hosting Plans
Like many other web hosts, A2 offers different hosting plans including;
- Shared Hosting
- VPS hosting
- Reseller hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
Here is a brief of the features and pricing for each of the above plans;
A2 offers some of the most impressive web shared hosting plans as compared to many other hosting providers. The choices have lots of benefits and are affordably priced. Not to mention that they provide great performance.
There are three shared hosting plans you can choose from; Lite, which starts at $2.97, Swift, which starts at $3.70, and Turbo, which starts at $7.03.
We would recommend that you go for the Swift plan as Lite is quite limiting. The fastest of the three is the Turbo plan.
All these shared plans come with unlimited transfer, unlimited storage, free site migration, and free SSL.
The virtual private server is for people who want access to more resources than those offered in shared Hosting. The A2 VPS hosting offers both managed and unmanaged VPS plans.
Managed VPS plans range from $25 to $50 a month while the unmanaged VPS starts at $5 to $15 a month. There are also Core VPS plans that provide root access.
It is important we mention that unmanaged VPS plans are not for ordinary web owners- they are reserved for pro developers who want more control over their virtual servers.
Developers can select the storage, resources, and RAM they want to use. Managed VPS plans suits majority of websites.
If you are a web designer, developer, or have an agency, then reseller hosting is the best option for you.
If you intend to sell web hosting plans to your clients, the reseller option will suit. Plans in this Hosting starts at $9.80 for Bronze, $13.72 for Silver, $18.13 for Gold, and $30.38 for Platinum plan.
If you compare the reseller hosting plans offered by A2 with those offered by other companies, you will realize that A2 plans are quite affordable.
Many web owners will probably not need a dedicated server as it is reserved for websites that receive high volumes of traffic. This means that small- and medium-sized websites may not necessarily need this level of hosting.
If you have a large eCom store, you can opt for this type of hosting as you will get dedicated server resources such as RAM, bandwidth, CPU output, and storage.
There are four different levels of dedicated hosting, including Unmanaged Flex Server ($99.59), Discount SSD Server ($129.30), Managed Flex Server ($141.09), and Core Flex Server ($141.09).
A2 Hosting dedicated servers have super-fast speeds.
FAQ About A2 Hosting
Having helped many web owners host their site, we have answered the most common questions users ask about A2 Hosting. Some of the most frequently asked questions include:
Are there any special features with A2 Hosting?
Yes. There are few advantages of A2 hosting over others such as free website migration, Linus and Windows hosting, 99% uptime, and anytime money-back guarantee. Better yet, you get free SSD storage for all plans.
Which A2 Hosting plan is best suited for my site?
A2 Hosting offers numerous plans depending on individual needs and the total number of sites hosted. For beginners, the shared plan should suffice. As your needs grow, you can upgrade to a higher plan.
Where are A2 hosting servers located?
This web host runs its data centers in Michigan, Amsterdam, Arizona, and Singapore.
Does A2 hosting provide SSL certificates?
Yes, each of their plans comes with a basic free SSL certificate. A2 Hosting also offers an advanced SSL with top-level security.
Which control panel does A2 hosting use?
A2Hosting uses cPanel, which most users are familiar with. Its graphical interface makes it possible to carry out crucial tasks like changing passwords and previewing applications before installation.
Can I use A2 Hosting if I have high traffic?
A2 Hosting can certainly handle high traffic. In case you outgrow your plan and require more resources, they will notify you to upgrade to a higher plan.
Does A2 hosting provide a monthly payment option?
Yes. You get a month-to-month option. What’s more, you don’t pay any setup fees with the month-to-month option. Longer-term deals get even better discounts.
Do I have to register my domain with A2 Hosting?
Not necessarily. Although you can still buy a domain through A2 Hosting, you don't have to register your domain name with A2 Hosting to be a member. You can use your preferred domain registrars like NameCheap, GoDaddy, etc.
Do I really get unlimited bandwidth and storage?
Even though their plans are termed “unlimited” space and bandwidth, the reality is that nothing is really unlimited. The unlimited term is used based on the terms of service, so you can read the terms to get a better picture.
There’s nothing to worry about because you’ll still get enough systems to operate your site. Just like with other hosts, if you exceed the usage of resources, they will request you to limit or upgrade to a higher plan.
How is A2 Hosting customer support?
Most users applaud the company for having excellent customer support. Unlike most web hosts, A2 Hosting provides a 24/7 support with quick response time.
Their representatives are knowledgeable and friendly to users. Feel free to call or live chat if your request is detailed. You can also make use of their extensive knowledgebase.
This is a reliable hosting provider that's not only developers-friendly but also great for beginners who are looking for a hosting service that boasts of high performance and speeds.
Whether you are just building your site or need a reliable hosting provider for your existing website, you can depend on A2 Hosting. They also provide a unique anytime money-back guarantee, which safeguards your money.