The biggest selling point of A2 Hosting is their speed boost which is up to 20 times faster than other providers. Also, they make claims of superior uptime and a great customer support.
This web host provider has been on the market since 2001. Back then it was known as Iniquinet, but they changed the name in 2003. This hosting provider is not as popular as BlueHost, iPage or HostGator. They own three data centers around the world: US (Michigan), Europe (Amsterdam) and Asia (Singapore). It means that they offer great coverage to almost every major city in the world.
Unlike most of the other web host providers, A2Hosting has all of its own web servers. Combining this fact with their fast working machines and you get a high quality service.
Plans & Pricing
A2 Hosting has a lot of hosting options, from shared hosting to dedicated servers. They have an option for Linux and Windows plans to suite your needs. It should be noted that Windows based servers cost a bit extra than the prices stated below. This is not one of the cheapest providers, but in return offers a great deal of plans and high performance to cover for the price.
Starting package is shared hosting with a starting price of $3.92 a month. It comes in three plans: Lite ($3.92). Good option for a single site, since it comes with 1 website, 5 databases, unlimited storage and transfer, cPanel and free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) & SSD (Solid State Drives). Swift ($4.90); this option comes with the same features as Lite, just with Unlimited websites and databases. Turbo ($9.31); this option comes with two additional features, Turbo – faster page loading times and A2 Site Accelerator to increase in your site’s performance.
Reseller hosting is for those who want to host for their own customers and it comes in 4 plans: Bronze ($13.19 /mo), Silver ($18.47 /mo), Gold ($24.41 /mo) and Platinum ($40.91 /mo). They range from 30 GB Storage, 400 GB transfer, 40 accounts (Bronze) to 200 GB storage, 2 TB transfer and 100 accounts (Platinum).
From the offers, there is also VPS Hosting with three packages, each one with their own three plans. Unmanaged VPS (starting at $5 a month) for experienced developers, Managed VPS (starting at $32.99 a month) for more power and support compared to shared hosting plans and Core VPS (starting at $32.99 a month) with Managed VPS and Root Access.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Another set of plans come in the form of a dedicated server hosting. There are 4 plans available: Semi Dedicated Server (starting at $9.31 a month), Unmanaged Flex Server (starting at $99.59 a month), Managed Flex Server (starting at $141 a month) and Core Flex Server (starting at $141 a month).
There is a $25 fee for transferring your account to another data center or upgrading/downgrading your hosting plan. Everything is transparent and obvious, so you don’t have to worry about sudden and unknown charges.
Even from the beginning, there is a three step sign up that will make things easy. They accept all the regular payment methods like Credit Cards, PayPal, Checks, Bank transfers and even less famous ones, like Skrill and PayULatam. Your account is activated instantly, so you can get to it right away.
This web host provider comes with a great deal of features and plans to help you customize your experience in the best possible way.
Shared hosting is there for personal blogs or websites. It offers WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal optimization, Turbo Servers that have 20 times faster loading speeds (only with Turbo plan) and easy to use features.
If shared hosting is not enough for you, there is a VPS hosting that comes with more power. Some of the main features are greater speeds and security. It is mostly used by developers. This plan offers everything you need to host multiple complex websites, from Root access to Full HostGuard Management system (VPS control panel that helps clients manage their virtual servers with ease).
Dedicated servers offer a lot of options to those who need something extra. You can go with the unmanaged server if you are an experienced developer or a system administrator. There is an option for a managed server if you want to pay a bit extra to have someone else help you with the server management.
Reseller hosting option offers a lot of features to help you host a high quality server for other people. From WHM (Web Host Manager) control panel to eNom account that helps you resell domain names. All plans (beside the Bronze one) come with WHMCS – a Web Hosting Billing and Automation Platform to help with client management.
Like almost every other web host provider on the market, A2 Hosting uses familiar cPanel for website management (For Linux). If you choose Windows hosting, you will be using Plesk control panel. Plesk is similar to cPanel, just not as famous since Linux is easier and preferred OC for web hosting.
A2 Hosting has a 99.9% uptime commitment. After some research, we found this to be quite true, since the average uptime for this web provider is around 99.97%. Considering that the current standard in the industry is 99.90% that is an impressive number and should be bragged about.
As they claim, they are the fastest shared hosting provider with an average of 316ms in loading times. That is almost half as lower than some of the other providers like iPage and IdeaHost. It is always good when your web page loads faster by 2 seconds, even if it doesn’t seem as that big of a difference to some. This is the work of their SSD (Solid-State Drive) that are quite famous for their speed.
A way to boost performance on your site comes from software like CloudLinux (lightweight virtual environment that keeps high performance), HTTP/2 (it provides faster loading times than HTTP), Websocket (great for live content since it creates a two-way interaction between a browser and a website), RailGun (caches websites with dynamical content) and HHVM (it helps with programs written in PHP and Hack). All the information about their web hosting tools can be easily found on their website.
If you wish to migrate your server to another hosting provider, with A2 Hosting you can do it for free. With some other providers it can be quite the headache (even without the fees), but A2 stays on top of their game by giving you a helping hand. Only requirement for this is that you were using a cPanel before the migration.
A really helpful security feature is their HackScan service, which includes hosting firewall, virus scanner and 24/7 security monitoring. Some plans offer free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates to help you encrypt and protect your websites. If you don’t know what to do with these security solutions, A2 Hosting got you covered. Their support staff is there to apply these certificates to your domains, so you don’t have to break your head.
Another form of security comes as Patchman, which can boost up your security and optimization. It detects out-of-date software, automatically puts infected files into the quarantine and patches security issues with CMSs like WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.
Some lesser flaws with this web host provider are that the cheaper plans have some restrictions. For example, Turbo option that is their pride and joy is not available with the lowest price plans. Also, Lite Shared hosting plan offers only 1 website and 5 databases, which can be enough only for some basic users. Considering that the price on these plans is higher than of their competitors could put some people away from A2 Hosting.
Customer support is one of the bigger points when picking a right web host provider. A2 Hosting has a helpful and friendly customer support with 24/7/365 availability. They have all the standard methods for reaching out to them like email, online chat, and ticket submission or via a phone call. Since they are based in the US, toll free calls can be applied only there. Support connects instantly and their response rate is very high.
If you are not satisfied with the service, all their plans have an anytime refund policy. It means that before the first 30 days you can get a full refund, and after that a pro-rated refund. Domain registrations, setup fees and migration fees are not in this policy.
Pros & Cons of A2Hosting
- Really fast speeds
- Above average uptime
- Free site migration
- Friendly customer support
- Restrictions to basic plans
- Downgrading and upgrading fees
Even though A2 Hosting is not as famous as some of the similar web hosting providers, it manages to be in pair with most of them. It might feel a bit expensive to some, but when noting the high speeds and excellent uptime, it all balances out. If you are in a serious company or web developing business, this just might be the right provider for you. With the amount of money that goes into their plans, it’s no wonder why they offer high quality service.