A2 Hosting boasts exceptional web hosting despite its lack of name recognition.
For nearly 20 years, the independently-owned hosting company has established itself as a reliable and speedy solution for websites.
A2 delivers strong uptime rates and great customer service. When it comes to speed, A2 is second to nobody.
Fast web hosting and A2 are synonymous. In fact, I named A2 Hosting as the most reliable and fastest host on my list of the best web hosting providers.
A2 Web Hosting Review
Whether you’re new to web hosting or looking to change web hosting providers, A2 needs to be taken into consideration. I created this guide to give you a more in-depth review of A2’s plans, features, and benefits.
Is A2 good for web hosting? Find out my answer below.
The Benefits of Using A2 Web Hosting
A2 delivers blazing fast speed. In fact, they beat their competitors when put up head to head.
Take a look at this speed comparison chart.
Think of it like golf. This is one chart where being at the bottom means you’re the best. A2 clocks in around 150 ms.
That’s more than twice as fast as popular providers like GoDaddy and Bluehost. With plan names like “Swift” and “Turbo” it’s clear that A2 is playing to this advantage.
If you’re leaning toward a shared hosting plan, you’ll be happy with the speed no matter which option you choose. But the Turbo plan is really going to take you to that next level.
A2’s speed continues to be unmatched when we look at their VPS and dedicated servers as well. So if you have a site where speed drives conversions (such as an ecommerce site), then A2 is a great option for you.
Great Customer Support
A2 has 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support. I prefer live chat, so I gave it a try to see how fast and responsive it would be.
I was connected with an agent in less than five minutes, which is a little bit slow for my liking. But once I was connected it was smooth sailing from there.
The agents are friendly, knowledgeable, and respond quickly. If you look up customer reviews for A2 on the web, you’ll see plenty of endorsements for their customer service experiences.
A2 Hosting has an extensive list of articles and guides in their knowledge base as well. This is great for those of you who prefer self-help options.
Good customer service should be a priority when it comes to web hosting. Your site is too important for your provider to neglect you in times of need.
In most instances, you probably won’t need to contact your provider. So customer service might not be on the top of your priority list right now. But I can promise you that it will change in the event of an emergency or times where you want some extra assistance.
All A2 Hosting plans come with HackScan and KernelCare. These are both components of A2’s perpetual security initiative.
HackScan is essentially malware protection. It runs 24/7 to prevent attacks from happening to your website.
KernelCare is a software extension. It allows A2 to update the security of their kernels every day without having to reboot any servers. With KernelCare, you’ll benefit from faster updates and no downtime during updates. This ensures that your kernel is always up to date on the latest security software.
Essentially, both HackScan and KernelCare are preventative security measures against malicious attacks on your website.
Tools For Developers
Some of the A2 plans are definitely geared toward developers. More specifically, developers would probably consider the unmanaged VPS plans or one of the dedicated servers with root access. The reseller plans are a great option for developers as well since you can get admin-level access to servers.
A2 works with all major content management systems. Some examples include:
You can install a CMS with just a couple of clicks, even without the help of a developer.
A2 Hosting has its own website builder as well. This is a user-friendly way to build a website as a beginner. Keep in mind, the pricing for the site builder is a bit different than the base price for the shared hosting plans.
Your A2 Hosting plan is also compatible with Cloudflare CDN. This will keep larger files separate from your server to keep loading times as fast as possible.
Free Site Migrations
If you’re currently using another web hosting provider, A2’s team will move your site to their servers for free. All you need to do is contact their customer support.
Other hosting providers charge $100 or more for this service, so it’s definitely a great added value.
There’s just one catch. The number of sites that they’ll migrate for free depends on the plan that you’ve selected. All of the shared plans come with a single site migration. The reseller, VPS, and dedicated server plans come with 25 free migrations.
You need to be able to provide A2 with your existing cPanel credentials for this to go smoothly. Otherwise, they may require a small fee for the added work.
A2 is carbon neutral, which is also known as “green” hosting. They’ve partnered with Carbonfund.org to ensure that every server is carbon neutral.
While this might not be a dealbreaker, I think it’s nice to use a web hosting service that cares about the environment. You can then turn this around and use it as a marketing strategy for your website as well.
If A2’s servers are green, and you’re using their web hosting services, that means your website is environmentally friendly by default.
This could be a huge selling point. According to a recent study, 73% of Millennials say that they’re willing to pay more for sustainability.
But marketing and sales aside, supporting an environmentally-friendly business is an added perk of using A2 for web hosting.
Before you sign up for an A2 Hosting plan, there are a few other considerations that you should keep in mind. I’ve identified a few cons or downsides of using A2.
High Renewal Rates
Unfortunately, low promotional rates and high renewal pricing seems to be the industry standard in web hosting. A2 implements this policy as well.
So don’t expect to pay the same price forever. You won’t get a better deal than your initial contract. To get the lowest possible rate, you need to choose a 3-year contract.
There’s one part of their pricing policy that doesn’t quite sit well with me. According to A2’s terms of service, your plan will automatically renew unless you contact them via email at least 15 days before the renewal period.
You also have the option to submit a request to cancel through their customer portal.
If you’re signing up for three years, there’s a good chance you might forget to do this 15 days before your contract is up, meaning you’ll be forced to renew at full price no matter what.
Surprisingly, A2 doesn’t have the best uptime rates in the industry. I’ve seen some months throughout the year where their uptime rates slipped to 99.6% or 99.7%. Those numbers aren’t awful, but they are definitely below satisfactory.
Fortunately, A2 guarantees a 99.9% uptime rate. If they fail to meet this promise, they’ll refund you 5% for every hour that your site was down.
While the credit is a nice way to show their commitment to customer service, I’d rather just pay full price and have strong uptime rates.
Some of you might be drawn to A2 Hosting because the shared plans are so affordable. But if you’re considering the Lite options (the cheapest plan), you should be aware that it has some limitations.
The plan is only for a single website and doesn’t come with the fastest servers. If you decide to use their cheapest website builder, it will only give you the option to create one page. That’s obviously not enough to build an entire website.
There are some other cheap web hosting plans out there that aren’t so restricting and have significantly lower prices.
A2 Web Hosting Plans
Like most web hosts, A2 offers several different hosting options. The plans can be segmented into four different categories:
- A2 Shared Hosting
- A2 VPS Hosting
- A2 Reseller Hosting
- A2 Dedicated Hosting
I’ll go over the pricing and features for each of these plans as we continue.
A2 Hosting has some of the best shared web hosting plans on the market today. The choices are competitively priced, and offer plenty of benefits. A2’s shared plans definitely deliver in terms of performance as well.
There are four different shared plans to choose from. Here’s a quick overview of each one.
For less than $3 per month, the Startup package might seem appealing to some of you with a small single website. But with that said, I’d recommend the Drive plan, at a minimum.
You’ll get unlimited websites and SSD storage for an extra $2.00 per month. Plus, automatic backups are a must have.
For those of you who want the fastest shared hosting plan on the market, you’ll have to sign up for the Turbo Boost plan.
Don’t get me wrong; the Startup and Drive plans are still faster than average in terms of shared hosting. But the Turbo plan is as fast as it gets.
A2 Turbo is up to 20 times faster than its competitors’ shared hosting services. The concept behind Turbo is simple. A2 allocates more resources per user and fewer users per server for sites on this shared plan. If you pair that with the enhanced performance over Apache, you get blazing fast shared hosting speeds.
All of A2’s shared plans come with unlimited storage, unlimited transfers, a free SSL, and free site migration.
If you’re looking for a step above shared hosting, you might want to consider a virtual private server. A2 offers both managed and unmanaged VPS plans.
Most web hosting providers either offer one or the other, so it’s nice that A2 has both to meet the needs of a wide range of customers.
- Entry — Starting at $5 per month
- Mid — Starting at $10 per month
- Elite — Starting at $15 per month
- Power+ — Starting at $25 per month
- Prestige+ — Starting at $35 per month
- Pinnacle+ — Starting at $50 per month
A2 also has something called “Core VPS” plans. The prices for these are exactly the same as the managed plans. The only difference is that the Core VPS comes with root access.
While the pricing for the unmanaged VPS plans may seem appealing, these are not for the everyday website owner. An unmanaged VPS is for experienced developers who want full customization over their virtual server.
With an unmanaged VPS, developers can select exactly how much RAM, storage, and other resources that they want. So you’ll only end up paying for what you need.
All unmanaged plans come with your choice of Linux OS. But you can change this on-demand at any time.
The managed VPS plans are more suitable for the majority of websites.
Resources max out at 8 GB of RAM, 150 GB of storage, and 8 vCPUs. This should be more than enough to accommodate a growing website.
If you’re a developer, web designer, or have an agency, reseller hosting might be the best option for you.
You should consider A2 reseller plans if you want to sell web hosting plans to your clients. This is a great opportunity for you to earn some extra cash while providing more value for your existing services.
Here’s an overview of the pricing and features for A2’s reseller plans.
If you read my guide on the best reseller hosting plans, you’ll see that these prices are very affordable.
I wouldn’t consider the Bronze plan. So we can eliminate that as an option right away.
It’s the only plan that doesn’t come with free WHMCS, which you’ll need in order to effectively manage your clients. You could always buy it separately for an additional $10 per month. But it’s better to just upgrade your plan to Silver or Gold.
Plus, 30 GB of storage probably won’t be enough to manage more than a handful of clients. The Silver package offers more than double the storage for less than $5 more per month.
Overall, the Gold reseller plan is my top pick. With 150 GB of storage and 1,000 GB of transfer speed, it can accommodate up to 250 websites. This gives you plenty of opportunity to scale your reseller services.
Dedicated servers are the top of the line in web hosting.
Most of you probably don’t need a dedicated hosting plan. These servers are made for websites with high volumes of monthly traffic. Small businesses or medium-sized websites don’t necessarily need enterprise-level hosting.
Large ecommerce shops good candidates for a dedicated server, since the server resources like bandwidth, RAM, storage, and CPU output won’t be shared with any other sites.
As you can see, A2 has four different dedicated hosting plans.
Only the Unmanaged Flex Server and the Core Flex Server come with root access. Similar to the VPS plans, root access is really intended for developers who want complete control and customization over their server.
Personally, I’d go with the Discount SSD server. It’s got more than enough resources to handle an enterprise-level website. The price is pretty affordable as well compared to other dedicated servers on the market.
If you want that optional root access, you can go with the Core Flex Server. It’s still fully managed but the root access will be there if the day comes when you need it.
A2 Hosting’s dedicated servers delivers some of the fastest speeds we’ve seen.
Do we recommend A2 Hosting for web hosting? Absolutely.
A2 is an industry leader in speed. They are known as a reliable and reputable provider with outstanding customer service.
When it comes to shared web hosting, VPS plans, dedicated servers, and reseller plans, A2 is a top option to consider for every category.