Finding a web hosting company that is compatible with your plans and vision is a difficult task. When you have a plethora of options in front of you, with all of them offering wonderful services, it can be hard to narrow down on one. Having said that, however, I believe that A2-Hosting is one of the best web hosting providers in the market.
A2-Hosting offers one of the fastest server speeds, has free website migration, and sports an awesome anytime money-back guarantee.
In this A2-Hosting review, I will be taking a closer look at the unique features and services that this company has to offer to its customers. After going through the details, and a concise pros and cons list, I hope you will be able to see if this service is the right choice for you.
A2-Hosting was founded in 2001 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bryan Muthig, the CEO started this web hosting service from a two-room office, personally selecting the staff that would help him achieve his dream. There has not been any reason to look back, considering that A2 Hosting is still a completely independent hosting company. It is important to emphasize upon this fact because the market is rife with big conglomerates who buy web hosting services. One such conglomerate is the Endurance International Group, also known as the EIG. If you did not already know, they own famous hosting services such as HostGator and Bluehost. This obviously does not instill a lot of confidence amongst customers.
A2-Hosting is one of the few hosting services committed to the cause of green energy practices. They are constantly trying to offset and reduce their carbon footprint in the world. A2-Hosting has taken active steps to ensure that this goal is met. They are in partnership with Carbonfund and the FutureServe program. It might interest you to know that A2-Hosting has been completely carbon neutral since the year 2007.
Their dedication towards providing customers with great quality services while acting responsibly for the environment is nothing short of a desirable quality.
Let us take a look at the different hosting solutions that A2-Hosting has to offer to its customers. This will give us a fair idea about the kind of customers they want to include in their clientele. It will help you decide if this actually is a service that you want to be a part of.
A2-Hosting has four amazing shared hosting plans lined up for customers. These plans are-
- The StartUp Plan
- The Drive Plan
- The Turbo Boost Plan
- The Turbo Max Plan
The StartUp plan allows you to host one website, offers a 100 GB of SSD storage, and allows free website migrations. This is clearly pitched for people who are just entering the world of web hosting businesses. There are practically no risks, the price is cheap, and you can also use the anytime money-back guarantee if the services do not suit your needs.
The Drive, Turbo Boost, and Turbo Max all offer unlimited website hosting and unlimited storage. You are free to transfer as many websites to the A2-Hosting platform as you want.
A2-Hosting offers website owners SSL certification without any charge. Simultaneously, their cPanel is extremely easy to use and has complete access to all your controls stored in one place. If you wish to integrate shopping cart applications in order to give your website an eCommerce feel, you are free to do so. All of these plans are extremely compatible with CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
Reseller Hosting allows you to purchase web hosting services and then sell them to other customers for a profit. Basically, you purchase a plan from A2-Hosting, you then use your allotted space and bandwidth to host third-party websites. Reductively speaking, you are renting out your own space to other small businesses and individuals. The motivation behind this is to make some profit for yourself as well.
Generally, these plans cover most of the resources that are otherwise available to customers on other plans for their own use. Storage space starts from 30 GB and goes up to 200 GB. A2-Hosting has some of the best reseller hosting plans available in the market. Currently, the prices range from $13.19 per month to $40.91 per month.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. A2-hosting provides you with the option for both unmanaged and managed VPS hosting. Your choice is dependent on how much control you wish to have on the technical aspects of your website to help foster an atmosphere that is user-friendly.
Although VPS hosting technically uses a shared environment to function, the workload on the servers is pretty low considering that there are fewer users on this plan. Server space is divided in such a manner that you do not have to worry about other users being responsible for your website crashing.
A2-Hosting currently has three minor VPS hosting plans to offer. The prices of these plans range from $5 a month to $32.99 a month. Apart from these, A2-Hosting also has a few powerful managed VPS hosting plans that range from $32.99 a month to $65.99 a month.
A2-Hosting offers you the ability to host your websites on the digital cloud. If you are looking to significantly scale your website in a short span of time, Cloud hosting is the way to go. It offers exponential possibilities for progress.
When you choose A2-Hosting’s Cloud hosting plan, you end up paying only for the resources that you have used in the entire process. You can design your own space in the cloud with only those features that you require at the moment. You can add more features and resources as your website grows. In this process, you have the complete freedom to customize your own hosting plan.
The prices for Cloud hosting usually depends on your usage and is available from $15 per month to $25 per month.
A2-Hosting makes sure that they cater to web developers and technicians as well. People who are familiar with coding and are comfortable with making changes to the command line are provided for by the unmanaged dedicated server hosting options present by A2-Hosting.
Websites that require a lot of resources but are not specifically looking for anything to do with the host services, can avail A2-Hosting’s extensive managed dedicated server hosting. The prices range from $9.31 per month to $141.09 per month. You can take your pick from managed or unmanaged dedicated server hosting solutions to suit your needs.
Now that we have a brief overview of all the plans that A2-Hosting has to offer, let us take a look at a few features that they have to offer to their customers. A quick heads-up, A2-Hosting offers some of the most comprehensive resources that all good web hosting services hope to provide.
- Unmetered bandwidth – With A2-Hosting, you can transfer as much data as you want to and from your website. There is no limit, which means that there are no surcharges that can be footed in your bill! Get all the help you need to solve your problems by getting in touch with A2-Hosting’s guru crew team!
- Free Website migration – Possibly one of the best basic features that A2-Hosting has to offer. If you are looking to change your website hosting provider, and you are worried about the charges you will incur for getting your website transferred, you can rest easy. A2-hosting moves all websites that use cPanel to their own hosting platform without charging you a penny.
- Faster Loading Speed competitors – Yes, A2-Hosting provides lightning-fast loading speed for your websites. They provide greater speed than their competitors, thanks to their Turbo servers. Websites on the A2-Hosting platform offer at least 20 times faster loading speed.
- Easy WordPress installation – If you are looking to use WordPress in order to make your hosting experience smooth, A2-Hosting has the perfect solution for you. You can install WordPress in seconds and start working on your website instantly. Speed and security are of no concern.
- Great Security – A2-Hosting provides you with a free subscription to HackScan Protection. They also provide access to Kernelcare so that you can enjoy rebootless Kernel updates without compromising your website’s security. Your website is also protected by a dual firewall system, regular virus scans, as well as brute force defense.
- Great Uptime – A2-Hosting guarantees a 99.99% uptime. This means that your site might be down for a negligible period of time throughout the year. This ensures that your conversation rates are not affected.
- Free Cloudflare CDN – In order to deliver your website and premium content to your users, you need to have a good CDN in your pocket. Cloudflare is one of the best Content Distribution Networks available. A2-Hosting provides you with a free subscription to help your website grow.
- Great Customer Support – Enjoy round the clock support from A2-Hosting’s guru crew. You can contact them anytime via the live chat system, email, or telephone
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of features that allow you to have a great experience while hosting your website with A2-Hosting. Take a look at the five distinct features that A2-Hosting would like all new customers to consider before making a purchase –
- Easy access to SSL Certificates
- Speed boost due to Swift Servers and Turbo Hosting
- Developer friendly environment for Hosting
- Assistance with Domain Registration
- Assistance with Domain Transfer
Let us look at each of these features in greater detail –
A2 Hosting allows you to choose from multiple SSL Certificate options. Generally, web hosting companies restrict this to one or two options. SSL Certificates help to protect you and your users from cyber attacks. If you have an SSL Certificate, you know that your data is secure.
This becomes all the more important if your website collects payment details from your users and there are purchasing options on your site. It is common knowledge that businesses function on trust. They do so even more on the internet. When customers fill in their personal details, they expect a level of privacy and security from your end. If there isn’t any, you are opening yourself up to a world of trouble
Here are the SSL Certificates that A2-Hosting grants you access to –
- Let’s Encrypt SSL – This is a free SSL Certificate that is provided by A2-Hosting to enhance your security. It also creates a secure connection between your website and the server on which it is being hosted.
- Single Site SSL – With prices starting from $49.95, expect premium quality service from this protocol. It is easy to set up and it comes with a 256 Bit Encryption, alongside an official site seal as well as a verified domain status.
- Wildcard SSL – Available from $149.95 per year, the Wildcard SSL certificate can be applied to multiple subdomains at the same time.
- Advanced SSL – This is the highest level of SSL Certification that A2-Hosting has to offer. It takes 1 to 5 days to be issued. It is a selection of the choicest Organization Authentication. It also provides Extended validation on SSL Certificates.
The SwiftServer platform is exclusive to A2-Hosting. It provides users with excellent speed and great site performance. All of this is possible due to LiteSpeed. Take a look at what you get to enjoy if you end up subscribing to an A2-Hosting plan –
- You will enjoy a far superior hosting performance than that of Apache
- Resource Allocation is increased across accounts
- Each shared server only hosts a fixed number of customers.
In nearly all of their shared hosting plans, you get to enjoy premium access to the A2 Optimized Site Accelerator. This comes with a one-click caching mechanism. While Caching services is not something that most web hosting services provide to their customers, A2-Hosting optimizes this experience for you in most of their shared hosting plans.
Take a look at the multiple caching options that become available, the moment you sign up with A2-Hosting. Remember that they are super easy to access, right from your very own cPanel.
- Turbo Cache – Content appearing in HTML on the website is safely stored in Turbo Cache repositories. They are then presented to the user without depending on a PHP script.
- OPCache/APC – This is majorly crucial in cutting down PHP response time, thus allowing your users to access content faster
- Memcached – Important data is kept in memory to facilitate quick retrieval. This helps you to boost your MySQL database speed.
SwiftServer Hosting provides you with free SSDs. A2-Hosting is amongst the first web hosting companies to replace Hard Disk Drives(HDDs) with Solid-State Drives (SSDs). This leads to superior page loading speed. SSDs decrease the read and write times, thus making it a smooth transaction. A2-Hosting provides all customers with an SSD to ensure that their websites run 300 times faster than those hosted by other companies.
Considering the fact that A2-Hosting wishes to cater to clients who are familiar with web development, it should not come as a surprise that there are a lot of features added to help the cause. Take a look at a few of them.
- They provide root access and FTP so that file transfers between computers and servers are seamless.
- They provide PHP compatibility
- They use the latest version of software and protocols. PHPNG is one such addition that is responsible for the smooth functioning of PHP 7. This provides websites with awesome speed.
- They support Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.2. Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world.
- You have access to Apache 2,2. This is the world’s most popular web server software.
- You have access to developer stacks such as Fedora, Tomcat, and Gentoo.
A2-Hosting provides both domain registration and domain transfers. You get access to the popular generic top-level domains(gTLDs) as well as country-code top-level domains(ccTLDs). If your plan includes targetting a specific geographical demographic, simply choose one that matches with the country of your choice. All you have to do is type in a domain name that you like, see if it is available, and then simply register it for yourself.
ccTLDs instill confidence in those who make regular visits to your site. It works especially well when your website offers online purchasing options. You can easily boost your reputation and brand value by choosing the domain that suits your website operations the most. Take a look at a few features that are available to you upon registering your domain with A2:
- Your domain information can be customised to appear differently in ‘whois’ searches
- Get free DNS management service and see how your website receives amazing speed as latency is reduced
- Use the ID Protection Option to safeguard your personal information
- Stop domain hijacking from happening
- Prevent unauthorized account transfers
- Get in touch with the support team whenever you face a problem
Now that we have skimmed through the major features of A2-Hosting, it is time that we turn our focus towards a detailed list featuring the good and bad of this service. This will be really helpful when you move to make a decision. Considering A2 hosting is a shared hosting solution, it would be unwise to compare it with managed hosting services.
A2-Hosting offers robust features to their customers, thus enabling you to focus on your plan and vision. Let us look at the features that make A2-Hosting irresistible.
A2 Hosting has website speed as one of their top priorities irrespective of the hosting plan that you choose. They believe that a website’s speed has the most impact on its performance. On signing up with A2-Hosting, you get servers that are super fast. Along with this, their array of caching mechanism such as Turbo Cache, Memcached, and OPCache/APC, allow content to be delivered in an instant to the users.
The fact that there are fewer users per server even on a shared server plan is testament to the fact that A2-Hosting tries to make the best out every situation. Owing to this, there is less strain on the server and you get access to more resources. Their free Railgun Optimizer ensure that HTML load times shoot up by 143%. They also provide free SSDs to all customers, ensuring that there is no delay in transmitting data.
You are free to subscribe to the Exclusive Performance Plus service which adds extra memory to your RAM. This is directly responsible for handling huge traffic surges with ease and grace, allowing your website to function at top condition even under stress.
A2-Hosting has 3 data spread across the world. This facilitates their process of providing lightning fast response times. It does not matter where your user is located, A2-Hosting will ensure that they receive quick access to the content they wish to see. They have data centers in –
- Michigan – United States of America
- Amsterdam -Netherlands, Europe
- Singapore – Asia
Along with this A2-Hosting also provides customers with free Cloudflare subscription. Cloudflare is one of the best CDN currently present in the market. It does a great job of finding the fastest route to send data to the visitor of your website. This directly translates into faster delivery of content, and reduced page loading times. All of this together ensure that you can capitalise on the traffic your website sees and can even lead to growth in the traffic itself.
While it is imperative that you have fast page loading times, it is equally important to keep in mind that your page needs to be available to the visitors of your site. A2-Hosting offers a guarantee that your website will be up for 99.99% of the time. This means that there is a very small window of time in an entire year where your website ‘might’ be down. This tiny window of time does not exceed a couple of hours. This is a great guarantee and uptime to be working on.
This guarantee is applicable to shared hosting plans as well. People often fear that shared web hosting presents the possibility of their own site suffering due to some other website crashing on the same server. A2-Hosting has the best minds working on problems such as this. They make sure that you do not have to pay for the mistakes of anyone else. This team is also responsible for keeping the server functional and active at all points of time.
Servers that are used by A2 Hosting, are independently owned. They are managed by expert system admins who are well versed with web development. They use the best server data centers available, and quickly respond to patch all security related issues on top priority.
A2 Hosting gives you ample room to grow your own services. This is a major plus point for the service when one is trying to choose the most compatible hosting provider. If you are just starting out, a great option for you will be the shared hosting plan.
A2-Hosting has a more than satisfactory range of features that will help you to secure your site while providing optimum speed and performance. You can easily spend your resources in upgrading your core features and move on to a more specialized hosting plan that suits your website’s growth.
A2-Hosting has top-of-the-line security measures in place to safeguard your data. This extends to not only your website, but also to the personal information that the visitors of your site might provide for transactions.
- Site Cleanup – In the event that your website is hacked, A2-Hostings’ guru crew will repair your site free of cost. Their services include a thorough hack cleanup, complete blacklist warning removal, as well as SEO spam repair. Not only will they get your site running and back online, they will also take the effort of adding enhanced measures in order to prevent a similar hack from affecting the website.
- Sucuri Firewall. For $15/month, you can add extra protection to your site. This will include stopping intrusions such as DDoS,brute force, and malware attacks.This will also take care of virtual patching of your site, along with SQL injection blocking. The Sucuri Firewall will also provide software and cross-site scripting vulnerability blocking.
- Sucuri Website Monitoring. If you wish to continuously monitor your website investing in Sucuri Website Monitoring is not a bad idea. It is avaiable for $5 per month. Once you have this service, you will be able to conduct continuous scans and receive regular alerts. You can also perform remote and server-side scans, set up website application firewall protection, and prevent hackers and DDoS attacks.
If you wish to purchase all of these security measures, you should go for the entire bundle available for $274.88 a year.
If you are looking for a web hosting service to host an online shopping platform, you need not look further. A2-Hosting comes with a lot of eCommerce features that you can make good use of.
- You have multiple SSL Certificates to pick from
- If you are in the United States, you can avail an Instant Merchant Account ID
- You can avail PayPal Merchant Accounts
- Get access to options such as Magento, OpenCart, and PrestaShop
A2-Hosting realises the necessity to pitch to a global audience. While many hosting companies specifically aim for an english speaking audience for their client base, a2-Hosting does not narrow itself down and lose great opportunities all across the globe. With their three major data centers strategically located in North America, Europe, and Asia, they constantly try to reach new audiences and create a diverse clientele.
A2 Hosting has a translation dropdown menu for their clients and audiences based out of the United States, India, Mexico, South Africa, and United Kingdom. They also provide easy currency exchange rates so that people can access accurate pricing. This helps them boost their sales and expand on a major international level.
There is no web hosting service provider that can be termed perfect. While all of them have positive features to display, they also have negative issues that must be held in front of the public. Here are a few things that you might want to consider before making your decision.
Upgrading to and downgrading from plans are generally hassle free. However, you should be aware of certain fees. Take a look
- Upgrades – If you are upgrading to a higher plan , you will not have to give any extra charge for migrating your account. If you do decide to switch data centers whilst migrating, you will not have to pay a data center migration fee as well. However, if you decide to change to another data center without availing an upgrade, you will have to pay $25.
- Downgrades – If you are thinking about downgrading to a lower-priced plan due to budgetary issues or otherwise, A2-Hosting might charge a $25 downgrade free.
- Migrating from Other Hosts – Site migration is free if your last hoting provider gave you access to a cPanel. If there was no cPanel, the migration team will determine a fee and help you migrate your site to the A2-Hosting platform.
These charges and fees appear to be minuscule in nature.It is also possible that you can find a way around them. However, it is always important to have an idea of how much money it might cost you.
If you are looking for a straightforward answer to the question ‘Is A2-Hosting worth it?’, my answer to that will be yes. It is an inexpensive shared hosting solution.The fact that they are independently owned is a huge boost considering that they have complete control over all of their servers. This means that customers will not become prey to the monopolistic structures who wish to rule the internet.
A2-Hosting also performs very well on all the three important fronts for web hosting services namely speed, security, and support.
While you might have to upgrade your hosting lan to fully enjoy the features of A2-Hosting, it would be sufficient to say that their plans are all value for money. You will not be wasting a single penny by choosing A2-Hosting as your web hosting partner. Last, but not the least, A2-Hosting has an anytime money-back guarantee. Turning down that deal without giving it a shot seems slightly juvenile.