Gone are the days where you could blog professionally with Blogger (better known as Blogspot) or WordPress (the one not hosted on your own server). Today, if you want to get noticed, it’s important that you have a website that you can call your own and by that I mean a website that you completely control and is hosted on your own server, no terms and conditions attached.
For those new to this world, Web Server is basically a computer far away where you store your website’s data (such as files, database, images) to be accessed by the public from anywhere in the world. Now I do understand the complexity & costs behind buying & managing your own servers and that’s the reason we have hundreds of thousands of web hosting companies across the length and breadth of this planet many of which claiming to be the best one.
Now, this makes it more difficult for you to shortlist a few of them and choose one because the list of factors to consider before choosing a web host is endless. That being said, while we review A2 Hosting, we have made it a point to test their services in depth so as to leave no stone unturned.
Some of the primary factors that we have considered to make our judgement are server speeds, efficiency of the customer support, pricing, reliability, reputation and some other factors that we shall soon discuss in depth in the review. So let’s begin, shall we?
A2 Hosting has consistently tried to deliver the best hosting experience there’s to get since 2001. It is popularly known for its easy-to-use control panel, responsible & knowledgeable customer support and web servers that don’t suck. Their hosting plans don’t cost a fortune. FYI, they start at $2.96/month and can go all the way up to a few hundred dollars based on what your requirements are. They of course come with a tried & tested (by us) money-back guarantee. Should they go wrong anywhere, you get your money back with negligible questions asked.
A2 Hosting Overview
- Average Speed – 317 ms
- Customer Support – 24/7 Live chat
- Average Uptime – 99.93%
- Popular Features – Anytime Money Back Guarantee, Free SSL, Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Hosting Plans – WordPress, Shared, VPS, Reseller and Dedicated Servers
- Apps – WordPress, Magento, Drupal, and Joomla to name a few. But others will work just as well.
- Site Migration – One transfer free.
- Pricing plans – Prices start from $2.99/month
What We Like About A2 Hosting?
Let’s begin our review on a positive note. Here we look at some things that make A2 Hosting better than the rest.
Optimized, Fast Yet Reliable Web Servers
A2 Hosting is committed to providing speedy access to your websites and that has been their primary intention all the years long in the business. Most of their plans are even named according to their belief, for instance, “Turbo Boost” and “Turbo Max”.
Their servers are based on their proprietary SwiftServer platform which is fine-tuned for performance and are equipped with SSD (Solid State Drives) that are faster to read & write. They even have a free CDN in place. All of this basically speeds up the rate at which your data is handled and the rate at which it’s loaded by users on their systems.
They have 2 data centers in USA and 1 each in Europe & Asia. Thus, you can continue to offer speedy access to your website, no matter where your visitors are coming from.
They’ve an entire range of servers popularly called as Turbo Servers which they claim to perform 20x faster. We did not verify the claim, but yes, in general they do have servers that are faster than the other web hosts we’ve tried. Moreover, their customer support is even ready to go the extra mile like in my case they readily installed a few additional modules I wanted to test for better server performance (such as mod_pagespeed and mod_deflate to name a few).
Below is the average loading speed for the past few months:
|Month||Speed (In Milliseconds)|
|April 2020||296 ms|
|March 2020||273 ms|
|February 2020||304 ms|
|January 2020||398 ms|
|December 2019||310 ms|
|November 2019||316 ms|
All in all, their servers are well-optimized & loaded with latest packages such as PHP 7 to handle heavy traffic and perform well even for resource-hungry websites. It is one of the faster web hosts we’ve come across so we definitely give them a strong 8/10.
Free Website Migration
While, this does not apply to those creating a website for the first time, but, for those looking to shift web hosts, the A2 Hosting team will migrate your website from your older web host to A2 Hosting servers free of charge on all plans.
They transfer 1 cPanel for free with all their plans. It doesn’t matter if you have hosted 1 site there or 100. They shall have it all transferred free of charge.
If your websites are hosted on different servers and you are looking to consolidate all of them at A2 Hosting, you may have to pay an extra fee of up to $25 for that. Remember that this fee is for multiple cPanel transfers and not multiple website transfers.
Remember they migrate only from web hosts that support cPanel. If your current web host does not support cPanel, then you may have to hire a developer (check Freelancer or Fiverr). You may also use free plugins such as Duplicator which works for WordPress-based websites. Like-wise there may be other tools that work for other platforms.
To migrate your site, all you have to do is to share cPanel credentials of your old web host with the A2 Hosting customer support. They will take care of the rest. Your websites will be transferred to your new server for free at no extra cost while ensuring zero downtime.
Again a 10/10 for them.
Knowledgeable and Friendly Customer Support Service
If you ever need help with your website or configuring your server or anything related to your server for that matter, A2 Hosting is just a click away. They have more than a hundred knowledgeable articles which are easy to follow. These articles give you quick answers to most of the common questions.
And if you ever get stuck or if you prefer talking to a human, they also offer ticket-based help, telephone support, email support and live chat. We found their customer support very friendly and smooth in answering our questions or fixing the problems we faced. To review the quality & knowledge of their customer support, I had a chat with Chris from their team (without mentioning that I am doing a review of course) and he solved each of my doubts patiently and in detail. I believe they genuinely care about each customer and the same was reflected in the time and detail that they put into for each question that I asked.
As I mentioned earlier, they’re ready to go the extra mile to bring a smile on your face which is rare in this industry. So, for customer support, in our A2 Hosting review we give them a rock-solid 9/10. Try them and you shall not be disappointed.
Free Security Scanning for your & your Customer’s Safety
Speedy servers and efficient customer service though important are not everything. You need a website that’s not only fast but also secure. So for our review we decided to check if appropriate security measures are at place or not.
Most web hosting services fail to provide both speed and security simultaneously because the extra layers of protection, scanning, firewalls, and encryption often slow down your website. This impacts the user experience. But with A2 Hosting, this is no biggie. Here, you are blessed with security & integrity without compromising a tiny bit on your website’s load time.
All of A2 Hosting servers are secured by ‘HackScan’ technology. HackScan is an always up real-time monitoring service that scans your website for viruses, malware and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks which can knock your site offline by flooding your server with traffic. It helps keep your servers at bay from rogue elements that not only consume your server resources but also put your and your customers’ data at risk.
Thus, for security we give them a solid 10/10.
Install 455+ Scripts including WordPress with a Single Click
With A2 Hosting, installing WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Joomla, OpenCart or any other script for that matter is no longer a challenge. You get Softaculous Premium with all their shared & reseller hosting plans which lets you install up to 455 scripts with a single click! If you choose to go with their VPS or Dedicated servers, you will have to pay an extra fee of $3/mo for that.
If you are interested in a website builder, they have A2 Site Builder which starts at $2.99 per month. Personally, if I’m on a budget, I prefer using themes from Themeforest to make sites like the one you’re currently on. If I were to develop nice looking landing pages or business sites, I would go with Divi or Elementor if I’m on WordPress.
A2 Hosting also offers special features and plugins for your websites. For instance, the A2 Optimized WordPress plugin will speed up your WordPress website. This plugin is available with all Turbo plans.
Perfect 10/10 once again.
Free CDN & SSL Certificates
So what? Using a CDN helps your websites load faster by serving files from servers closer to the visitor. It also helps save your server bandwidth since most of the heavy resources separately load from Cloudflare.
They also offer a free SSL certificate with all plans with free automatic renewals. Not everyone is a fan of Free SSL’s. For those, they have a wide range of premium SSL certificates from GeoTrust, RapidSSL, Sectigo & Symantec.
If you are a web agency, a developer or an entrepreneur with multiple websites, having them hosted at A2 Hosting is the best decision you will ever take. A2 Hosting provides a lot of developer-friendly tools. From free server rewind backups to multiple versions of PHP, PostgreSQL, Python, and MySQL to admin level or root level access on select servers they got it all covered.
I see no reason to not give them a 10/10.
Average Uptime of 99.93%
A review is never complete without checking the uptime of the servers which gives a brief idea about the quality and reliability of the service.
The average uptime of A2 Hosting has consistently hovered around in the upper 99.9% range. Yes, they had marginally low performance in November 2019 but overall we do not see a problem here.
Here is the information on month-wise average up-time for the past few months.
We give them a 8/10 here.
Green Hosting Services
In this A2 Hosting review, we decided not to only talk about the features & benefits, but also how a corporation can help make the world a better place.
A2 Hosting is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan which is popularly known as the “Tree Town” since there are over 50,000 trees and 150 public parks here. A2 Hosting is a green hosting service that believes in working for the betterment of the environment and combating global warming. To help support reforestation and replenish renewable resources, they have joined hands with Carbonfund.org. They have also launched a green hosting initiative called the “FutureServe” to help offset the emissions from A2 Hosting’s servers.
Now, this may not affect your website or the hosting services they offer, but it will surely give you a feeling of satisfaction for working with an environmentally friendly company. It can be considered as an added perk of working with A2 Hosting.
Very few web hosts commit to the environment. We’re glad A2 Hosting does and we give them full marks 10/10 for their efforts & commitment.
Anytime Refund Guarantee
A2 Hosting has a 30-day refund guarantee which is mentioned on their website. If you get stuck somewhere or if you do not like the service, you are free to ask for a full refund; no questions asked whatsoever.
Over the past few years, A2 Hosting has modified its refund policy for the betterment of buyers. From a 30-day money-back guarantee, they have shifted to a more open and useful any time money-back guarantee.
For instance, to secure a discount, if you choose to pay for 3 years and are all happy & jolly for the first year. However, in the 13th month of your purchase your business has grown or if you are not satisfied with the service most web hosts won’t return you a dime. But, A2 Hosting will.
If you are not happy after a year and wish to migrate to another web hosting company, you shall not end up wasting your hard-earned money. At A2Hosting, You can ask for a refund any time while you’re still an active customer. They’ll be sorry to see you go, but they’ll happily refund you for the remaining period of your subscription.
There are a few obvious limitations to this policy. Additional services like domain registration, migration fees, and setup fees are non-refundable. However, that’s not something I’ll worry about when I am able to get most of my money back. And yes, you shall still own the domain till its expiry.
I think it’s only fair to give them a 10/10 for their buyer-friendly refund policy.
What We Think They Can Improve Upon
How could we complete our A2 Hosting review without talking about what can be improved? We couldn’t, so here are a few things that we think you should keep in mind before you give them your money. These may not apply to all of you but may be crucial for some.
High Renewal Rates
The renewal pricing of many plans is higher than what you pay for the first year. That being said, this is a common thing I have experienced at several other web hosts.
However, I do not see it as a major problem because if you get a 3-year plan, you save a ton of money anyway. And after 3 years, if you decide to continue, there’s no one stopping you from getting another or the same package for a discount with the same account. Yes, with the same A2 Hosting account, you can buy the same or another package at discounted rates. I have tried it and trust me, it works.
15 Day Deadline
If you choose to cancel your account, according to A2 Hosting’s terms and conditions, you need to submit a cancellation request 15 days prior to the renewal data via email or their customer portal. If you forget to do so, you may have to pay the entire renewal fee as it will get renewed automatically. If you apply for a refund, you may not be eligible for it. Therefore, you need to be extra careful with the dates.
However, I don’t see them enforcing this policy. I think it’s just a precautionary measure to avoid abuse of their system and protect their business.
I tried to cancel my account on the last day of my service expiration and I did not face a single problem. They gladly did it without me having to exchange any emails. So, I don’t think this is something you should worry about.
Many Options Could Leave You Confused
A2 Hosting has a lot of plans. While this isn’t a bad thing really, this is something which may confuse some of you. To reduce some of your confusion, I have made a few suggestions in the Plans & Pricing section below.
A2 Hosting Plans & Prices
Shared Web Hosting/Shared WordPress Hosting
If you plan to host a single website or a few websites that have moderate amount of traffic, their Shared Hosting/Shared WordPress plans are perfect for you. However I do not suggest signing up for their Startup, 1-Site or Lite plans because of the obvious 1-site limitation and absence of free automatic backups. Any of the other 3 plans – Drive, Turbo Boost & Turbo Max are good to go with. Here’s a comparison of the important features of the various plans.
|Feature||Startup||Drive||Turbo Boost||Turbo Max|
|No. of Websites||1||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Storage Space||100 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|RAM||0.7 GB||1 GB||2 GB||4 GB|
|No. of Cores||1||2||2||4|
|No. of Databases||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Turbo & NVMe||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Free Website Migration||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free CloudFlare CDN||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Managed WordPress Hosting
If you do not want to involve yourself in technicalities of owning and managing a website and if your website is WordPress based, then I suggest you get any of the Managed WordPress hosting plans. Again, choose the 1-Site plan only if you are sure that you going to host a single website. Think 3 or 4 months down the line & accordingly make a decision.
|No. of Websites||1||3||Unlimited|
|Storage Space||10 GB||25 GB||40 GB|
|RAM||2 GB||3 GB||4 GB|
|No. of Cores||2||3||4|
|No. of Databases||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Free Website Migration||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free CloudFlare CDN||Yes||Yes||Yes|
If you own established websites that drive several thousand visitors a day, go with a VPS. There are 3 types of VPS servers available with them.
Unmanaged VPS – This comes with admin/root access meaning that You’re the boss. You can control any and every aspect of the server. This is for those familiar with managing a server or those planning to hire a developer to manage their websites. For everyone else, unless you are willing to invest time running & managing a server, this is a no go. You can view a comparison of all Unmanaged VPS plans over here.
Managed VPS – This is for those who want to focus on the business more and less on managing a web server. Of course it has a hefty price tag, but it’s worth it. This does not come with Root access. Check the comparison here.
Core VPS – This is for those who want the flexibility of an Unmanaged VPS server while also not spending countless hours on managing one. Compare the Core VPS plans here.
All the VPS servers come with plans whose prices vary based on the storage, bandwidth/transfer, processing power & RAM. Choose one that suits your needs. In general, the higher the traffic or your storage requirement, the higher the plan you need to go for.
If your requirements are higher than anything that has been mentioned above, a dedicated server is what you need. They come with the same sub-levels as VPS hosting – Unmanaged, Managed & Core with few plans in each of them. Choose one that fulfills your requirements. You can check their comparison in the below links.
Unmanaged Servers – They come with root access and let you do everything and anything you want. Perfect for experts or those with easy access to developers & engineers. You can compare the unmanaged dedicated server plans here.
Managed Servers – They are easy to manage and go about. They do not have root access but are never the less good performers. You can compare managed dedicated servers over here.
Core Servers – Core Servers as Core VPS are best of both worlds. Comparison can be found here.
Why should I choose A2 Hosting to host my website?
Fast & reliable servers, SSD storage, free site migration, 99.9% uptime guarantee, choice of plans make A2 Hosting the perfect choice.
Which A2 Hosting plan should I purchase?
This totally depends on your website’s needs and the traffic that you have. It’s safe to begin with a Shared Hosting plan and then gradually move your way up as your website gains popularity.
Where is A2 Hosting Located?
A2 Hosting has data centers in Michigan, Arizona, Amsterdam, and Singapore. They own all their servers and their headquarters are in Michigan.
Are A2 Hosting servers fast?
Yes, they have some of the fastest web servers we have tried. All the servers are well-optimized for performance while not compromising on security.
Can A2 Hosting handle high traffic websites?
Yes, they can. If your current plan exhausts all the server resources, you may be asked to upgrade to a higher plan.
Can I upgrade my A2 Hosting plan later on?
Yes, you definitely can. We suggest starting with a shared hosting plan and gradually upgrade when required. Their upgrade process is smooth, fast and there’s no downtime. And you can upgrade by simply paying the difference.
Does A2 Hosting provide free SSL & CDN?
Yes, they do provide free SSL certificates and CDN service. They also have optional premium SSL’s and CDN for those who need it.
Is it necessary to register a domain with A2 Hosting?
No, it’s not. You can have your domain registered elsewhere and simply point the name servers/CNAME’s to your A2 Hosting server and you are good to go.
Does A2 Hosting really provide unlimited resources or is there a catch?
Even though web hosts claim to provide unlimited resources, it’s not factually correct. It’s unlimited according to their company’s terms and conditions which means that there may actually be a cap on those resources to avoid misuse.
However, very few people will actually hit their upper-limit. So, as long as you are running a medium-sized website & not running resource-heavy scripts, your ship shall sail smoothly.
So is A2 Hosting a Good Choice?
With speedy servers, top-notch customer support, above-average server up-time, free migrations, free SSL certificates, free CDN, multiple payment options and Anytime refund guarantee, there’s nothing else to ask for.
So, Yes, we recommend A2 Hosting as it delivers what it promises. It’s one of the better web hosting companies we have tried and it definitely lives up to our expectations.
A2 Hosting Coupons
Should you wish to go ahead, do not forget to use an A2 Hosting promo code. They help you save as much as 66% (why miss it?)