A2 hosting caught my attention a long time ago. Its presence in my ongoing search for the best website hosting company is only logical. A2 appears to be one of the sly, friendly hosts who value high performance and reliability.
But is it really so good?
A2 user reviews suggest that it is, but all I had to do was hook the company’s Swift shared hosting plan for continuous live monitoring and check uptime and speed on the default WordPress installation to conclude; They follow in this data-driven A2 hosting review.
I also found reasons to bother with the technical support team, read the terms of service, and check the pricing structure of this green hosting provider for any hidden fees and upsells.
You can see the result in the front rows.
What is A2 Hosting?
A2 Hosting is a global web hosting provider. Located in Ann Arbor (have you seen two A’s there?), A2 is an environmentally friendly company, with four data centers and a very open, friendly attitude.
Despite being around since 2001, it isn’t the most popular name in the independent website host industry, but that’s no harm.
Truth be told, I am much more willing to give a relatively small and promising company than a large corporation. I have seen more than my fair share of large companies that cannot handle their huge customer base properly.
What’s more, some big players focus on attractive marketing, not the things that really matter, namely infrastructure and a strong hosting environment.
For example, despite the lack of global recognition and, with the strong marketing presence of HostGator and GoDaddy, A2 Hosting promises excellent support and impeccable infrastructure in a very cool and engaging way.
and you know what?
The number says that A2 delivers.
Check it out
Essentials – A2 Hosting Uptime, Speed and Support
A2 runs in good time and provides good support for its growing customer base.
1. Excellent uptime – 99.99%
Uptime is the name of the game. Hosting providers are paid to keep their website up and running.
A2 does a good job providing stability throughout the year.
So far, my original WordPress site has been online 99.9% of the time with the company, which is the promise of A2.
When I promise, the hosting provider guarantees such reliability and pays compensation when it fails to deliver. A2 credits 5% of the monthly fee for every hour of downtime, which is a very reasonable policy.
All four data centers enjoy great security, excellent network connectivity and multiple power supply mechanisms to guarantee smooth operation.
Average uptime 2018 – 99.99%
2019 – 99.98%
2020 – 99.97%
January – 99.99%
February – 99.98
“A2 fulfills its 99.9% uptime promise and goes beyond that.”
2. Excellent speed
Response Time – 0.46s (8th)
Fully Loaded Time – 1.00 Second (8th)
Proper under load – 0.69s (7th)
If you run a speed test on My Domain, the results may fluctuate slightly. Even from the same testing stage, two consecutive trials would normally display slightly different results.
Website loading speed is what makes or spoils an online presence. This may sound exaggerated but it is true, as both search engines and users penalize slow web pages.
Frankly, losing visitors and ranking due to poor performance is well worth it, as there are many easy optimizations and many fast web hosts; It is unforgivable to give a bad experience.
A2 Hosting promises great speed and that’s what you’ll get. I only signed up for the company’s Medium plan, and my small WordPress site doesn’t enjoy the benefits of Turbo Accelerator.
Still, the benchmarks I’ve gathered from three different sources (average values displayed here) are pretty respectable. And while TTFB (time to first byte) ranks A2 in 8th place, the time it takes for the site to fully load is fast, just over a second. These are solid numbers, even though I have not seen the best when preparing my hosting tribunal review.
In the last three years, A2 has consistently ranked 8th in terms of speed.
Again, the biggest shared scheme is a speed booster that caches the entire HTML content of a page and loads it in the blink of an eye. Additional tweaks such as Memcached and OPcache reduce MySQL and PHP response times, respectively, making Turbo Plan a truly Lightning-fast hosting option.
Even without all these optimizations, the A2 server performed really well under load. I sent 50 virtual users who established more than 250 concurrent connections. This owes a lot to a shared environment, but all questions were served back with remarkable consistency and speed.
In general, I would have to say that A2 Hosting has a very well configured hosting environment, which is suitable for a significant amount of sites
Average Response Time 2018 – 0.55s
2019 – 0.42s
2020 – 0.46s
January – 0.43s
February – 0.40s
Fully Loaded Pages 2018 – 1.03s
2019 – 0.96s
2020 – 1.00s
January – 0.96s
February – 0.85s
Response Under Load 2018 – 0.79s
2019 – 0.65s
2020 – 0.70s
January – 0.62s
February – 0.53s
“A2 Hosting has reasonable speed and can handle a significant amount of visitors.”
3. Stellar Support
Do you remember how I told you that it might be a good thing to be a little smaller than the competitors?
A2 hosting proves that.
The company has been growing steadily since its inception, but growth is steady and not forced. As a result, the hosting provider adequately handles the increasing number of customers without compromising their services and integrity.
All my interactions with the support team – mostly over chat, as you might have guessed – were quick, informative and enjoyable. The longest wait I had for a chat was about 2 minutes and it happened early on Saturday morning. All other chat requests were answered within seconds and the delegates were very helpful and friendly.
This is all good and dandy, but the truth is that you may not even need an A2 support team, as long as you have some time and willingness to learn.
The A2 Hosting Knowledge Base is an amazing collection of helpful articles and tutorials, and is constantly updated and expanded.
Lastly, there are regular blog entries that contain a lot of useful information for new webmasters.
“Stellar support, backed by an equally impressive knowledge base and handy blog entries.”
Benefits of A2 Hosting
I agree that A2 is a very likable hosting provider. If you like helpful geeks who know how to build reliable hosting services, and which are related to the environment,
1. Free offsite backup
Get yourself a coffee and ask anyone who deals with digital data about the importance of backing up everything; Coffee will help you sit through the inevitable barrage of arguments to come.
Backups are lifesaving and some hosting providers charge for the service but not A2 Hosting. The company makes automatic backups for free.
Now, free automatic backup is not as unique for A2 hosting, but it takes host file recovery a step further. With a simple plugin, you can automate the process of creating local backups. That is, copies of your website and its database on your personal computer.
This is an awesome and much needed feature that I really hope to see in all web hosting providers. The more backups you have, the more secure your data will be. You may not have too many backups and having an off-site restoration point is a great insurance for the longevity of your site.
Of course, this feature is a paid add-on, but once your site starts growing, you will appreciate its usefulness.
Likewise, if you don’t want to burden your budget, Automatic Backup has you covered.
2. Money Back Guarantee… Anytime!
A2 Hosting employs a standard 30-day money-back guarantee, promising a full refund if you cancel within the first month of using your services.
It is unique among some of the best web hosting providers. In most cases, after the money-back guarantee period is over, you are not entitled to any refund for the premature termination of services.
A2 is very transparent and open about its practices and charges only for the services provided.
3. Excellent Hardware
A2 Hosting is one of the companies that goes for sustainable development rather than lucrative marketing.
Potential customers can get a really good idea of what they are doing by checking the plan details.
All A2 servers are equipped with SSDs and SSD hosting is many times faster than hard-disk drives. With at least a 12-core CPU and enough 64GB of RAM, the company’s smallest servers also pack a punch.
Add that excellent network capability to every A2 data center and it’s easy to explain great uptime and good speed.
4. Modern Technology
A2 Infrastructure is powerful and completely up-to-date.
HTTP / 2 doesn’t mean much to you, but for those browsing your site it will result in better site performance on all platforms.
I mentioned that A2 hosting looks like a geeky company and you can see it by the presence of command-line options for WordPress, Python and Ruby. All shared hosting accounts
ts have access to the standard Linux MySQL database, but also to postgre SQL.
The good news for the developers is not over yet as Git, CVS, Subversion and Mercurial are also available.
5. Free SSL
SSL certificates used to be reserved for e-commerce sites, but for a few years now Google ranks all web pages that do not have encrypted connections. Whenever you browse to an unencrypted site, search engine giants consider encryption to be important for displaying warnings.
The Let’s Encrypt initiative is a direct result of this move by Google. It was quickly supported and adopted by many organizations, including many high-quality web hosts. A2 is one of them and equips all of their shared plans with free SSL.
The best thing is that SSL is ready to be used exactly. There is no need to worry about its installation or renovation.
6. Free HackScan and Increased Security
I probably should have made a section called Free Stuff and roll with it.
Then, it would become a huge wall of text, as A2 has so many features that fall into this category.
HackScan is a part of the robust defense system that protects all sites hosted with A2. This prevents malicious breaches from spreading and infecting more pages of the attacked site.
Before hackers can access the actual site, they must navigate through some serious brute force defense, dual web hosting firewalls, and hard server defenses.
WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla users can rest assured that their respective CMS will be up-to-date at all times, as A2 has a Patchman security tool to automatically install new versions. It can detect victim files and pages and also quarantine them.
To accomplish this, A2 Hosting has regular kernel updates that protect its environment as usual.
7. Free Migration
I really should have gone for a separate section with free features.
A2 Hosting can migrate to your cPanel site for free at any time, in addition to free security checks, backups, SSL and prorated refunds.
All you have to do is sign up for A2, purchase the plan you want, and request the company’s migration team to move all your data from the host you want to leave. This saves a lot of time and effort and generally takes absolutely no downtime. By the time the operation is complete, your site will be loading from the old provider.
Once everything is copied to A2 and successfully tested, you can switch hosts natively by tweaking your domain’s nameservers.
The best way to do this is to get your site moved by the technical support of the receiving company. The main advantage of a migration service, in addition to the obvious time-saving element, is additional technical expertise.
Copying sites from one server to another is not the same as copying files from one folder on your personal computer to another. Mostly, the servers of the two hosting companies are configured slightly differently. The receiving company’s technical support can be responsible for the differences and troubleshoot whatever is necessary so that your site works smoothly and without any glitch.
8. Optimized Hosting for WordPress
Practically all shared hosting plans can successfully host WordPress, but, like SiteGade, A2 ensures that the popular CMS performs at its absolute maximum. WordPress A2 installs within seconds with customization that promotes speed and security.
Developers can also make good use of WP-CLI.
9. Excellent for scaling
A2 Hosting is a great place to grow your website. Shared plans start at a low price point and move up to really powerful hosting packages that can handle e-commerce sites with ease.
However, sheer computational power is not everything. In all likelihood, given that your site continues to grow, you will need customization that does not provide shared hosting. A2 includes all types of web hosting: cloud, VPS, dedicated and reseller.
Smaller A2 cloud plans are similar to low-end VPS. It costs $ 4.99 (just like the second-smallest shared plan) but offers a speed boost and more control. You get root access to the Linux OS of your choice. Naturally, you can go or even go for a large scale cloud hosting provider, but A2 is a very lovely space between accessibility and price.
A2 VPS hosting is one of the best options for virtual servers.
Overall, A2 is a hosting provider that can take you from domain registration to hundreds of thousands of visitors per week.
10. Green Company
A2 Hosting Now a decade
007 and has already achieved 100% carbon neutrality. It also undertakes programs to plant trees and reduce the plastic used.
Overall, it is a socially responsible host who cares about the heritage it creates. Data centers require enormous amounts of energy and cooling, and it is good to see initiatives that negate the negative impact that thousands of servers can have.
Disadvantages of A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is a very lovely website hosting provider, but there are some things that can be done better. None of them are real deal-breakers, but worth noting.
1. Turbo Booster in only the biggest plans
A2 displays 20 times the speed booster in its hosting, but the truth is that this additional customization is included in the largest of only three hosting plans. Of course, this makes sense in a way because the sites using the largest shared packages are likely to be resource-heavy. They can definitely benefit from speed upgrades.
Nevertheless, the attractive promise of incredible speed is prominently displayed on the A2 home page and largely resembles Upsell.
2. Intro Plan is Limited
The smallest plan for A2 hosting is comparatively limited. It can host a single domain with more than 5 databases and 25 mailboxes.
It is designed for small, beginner websites that don’t have many technical requirements and maintain a relatively small number of people behind the scenes. As far as the intra deal is concerned, I have seen much better.
Do we recommend A2 Hosting?
Yes we do.
A responsible, sociable and enthusiastic, A2 Hosting is a company focused on delivering outstanding results at the top. And succeeds in doing so.
The Swift scheme I tested for this review runs at a respectable speed and the turbo promises even better performance.
Superb technical support, a good selection of hosting solutions that occur extensively as the package grows, and a solid knowledge base have made my A2 hosting review a breeze to research and create, and those companies Ranks as one of the best hosting options out there.
Despite the relative lack of fame, the hosting provider deserves its place among the best.
What's your reaction?