A2 is a hosting company that offers up to 20x faster servers and powerful features with efficient customer support , the hosting plans are developer-friendly, and they have a unique “anytime” money-back guarantee.
A2 Hosting Review 2020: Is It Really Faster Than Namecheap, SiteGround and BlueHost?
Though bigger hosting platforms are making a loud buzz all around, one shared hosting is slowly paving its way into the mainstream market through its high-quality one-roof solution, delivering the fastest server speed. Yes, we are talking about A2 Hosting. Marking its presence for around two decades now (since 2001), the hosting offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee and gets an edge with its impressive loading speed time.
The seamless experience for a customer (in both basic and premium package) comes from its effortless navigation, elementary customer support, facile storage, and unlimited bandwidth.
Lets us get started with A2 Hosting’s overview!
A2 Hosting Overview
Bryan Muthig founded A2 hosting in 2001 to work with few clients. It was initially known as Iniquinet. The hosting gathered more clients than ever and the company expanded in 2003. It was thereafter renamed as A2 hosting (after Ann Arbor, the place of origination in Michigan.)
After bagging numerous awards & recognition for providing high-quality hosting service, A2 Hosting is here to stay long. Unlike non-SSD servers, A2 hosting calls its SSD “Turbo servers” that can load a page 20 times faster, which is a key factor in SEO and also in user experience.
A2 Hosting is a cost-effective deal for both companies and Small-Medium Businesses (SMB). What makes it one of the strongest web-hosting contenders is its amazing features (such as free SSL, one free site transfer, a 320ms speed, etc.) and its impeccable support and compatibility across different platforms (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Windows, Linux).
It is truly one of the top under-the-radar web hosting companies globally as it has multifarious hosting plans (Reseller hosting, VPS hosting, Shared hosting) to offer. Besides exceptional customer-friendly services and high-speed, the security feature is also top-notch.
Why You Should Prefer A2 Hosting?
If you are someone who is looking to invest in an efficient yet affordable/cost-effective hosting plan then you should know what makes A2 hosting a preferred choice for many. Also, how it is better than other popular hosting providers in the market?
Features of A2 hosting
#01 Lightning Fast Speed
The moment you hop on to the A2 website, you will notice how speed is the most highlighted feature. Now take a look at their pricing plan, they signify speed too such as “Swift” & “Turbo”
This reliable hosting is focused on providing a lightning-fast speed to its customers through its quick response and loading time. Speed performance is the single-most feature that every user looks for before investing and A2 Webhosting has mastered it.
#02 Modern Developer Tools
The developer can avail the most updated tools and get easy access to new versions instantly. A user can also choose an upgraded plan if managing the tools is a challenge. The user can upgrade to premium plans to get complete support & management of tools. Also, if you a small company or agency looking to host multiple sites under one roof then you can avail admin access for servers along with free server backups.
#03 Secured Servers With HackScan
Speed and security are two different poles and keeping them in a balance are quite tricky. The moment you go for extra encryptions on your website, it affects the speed of the website. Given the case, A2 protects its servers from malware or any other unexpected attack through HackScan (a monitoring program that works 24*7 to protect the servers from any malicious attack)
#04 Data Storage With RAID 10
In order to ensure no data loss (due to hard drive failure), A2 uses RAID 10 (Redundant Array of Independent Disk). The feature enables the automatic storage of lost data in other drives where the corrupted or failed drive is completely replaced. No matter which plans you choose, all the storage in A2 hosting occurs in SSD as they create a significant impact on the speed and loading time of a website.
#05 Easy Site Migration Services
Users with shared hosting (under Lite, Swift & Turbo plans) can migrate one site for free while users with VPS, reseller and dedicated hosting can go up to 25 free site migrations. The user must share their cPanel details with the customer support and they will execute the migration.
#06 Compatibility with Different CMS
A2 works seamlessly with all popular CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.) in the market currently and no developer support is necessary for the setup. With premium plans, a user can also get access to the A2 plugin to keep up with the site’s speed.
Just like Elementor, a user can also go for A2’s “SiteBuilder” to customize their site (depending on the plan). A2 has Cloudflare CDN that again contributes to the site’s speed.
#07 Money-Back Guarantee
Most hosting providers go for a 30-day money-back guarantee. In case a user faces any issue or finds their investment not worth, the company refunds back the complete amount in 30 days.
A2, unlike other hosting providers, doesn’t rely only on the 30-day money-back guarantee instead they are known for offering “anytime money-back guarantee”. If you have purchased a plan for 3 years and decide to quit in the first year then you can apply for money back and you shall be refunded for whatever times you didn’t use their services (2 years worth of refund). Also, if there’s anything that doesn’t fall under a refund, the user can keep it. (such as a domain.)
#08 Green Hosting Initiative
Amidst the technical features, the Green-hosting initiative needs an honorable mention. Though this mention has nothing to do with you choosing A2 hosting we believe you should know about the company and its background in-depth since you will be investing in it.
“FutureServe” is an environmental initiative by A2 hosting where the company has collaborated with Carbonfund.org to help do away with the emissions that come off the servers. A2 hosting understands their moral responsibility and looks forward to protecting the planet from global warming.
If you choose A2 hosting, indirectly, you will be a part of this global warming preventive measure.
#09 Active & Instant Customer Support
Customer support at A2 hosting is smooth sailing because they get back to you at the earliest irrespective of time difference.
Firstly you can dive into their knowledge base and see if any of the articles there answer your query directly. Secondly, if the articles don’t provide the satisfaction you were looking for, reach out to the on-call service. The Guru Crew at A2 Hosting will resolve your query by all means. In case they miss they will ask you to leave a message and one of the support guru’s call back. Lastly, you can also get ticket-based help or live chat support.
Another key point one must notice is the staff and their proficiency in resolving matters in “English” (reach out from any geography and your support is guaranteed). The customer support unit is in-house and not outsourced to a third-party vendor. The customer support is friendly and looks to resolve all the queries quickly.
#10 SSL Certifications
SSL certification is necessary to encrypt the data sent between the server and the website. Based on the type of site, the user can choose from a variety of options i.e. free SSL, Single-Site, Wild Card, Premium SSL, and Advanced SSL.
Setback Features of A2 Hosting
Though A2 hosting has some great plans and support lined up and not to forget the speed that comes with its turbo serves, it still has a few cons, which needs a discussion.
These cons may not affect you much if you are at an individual level but can be a bit challenging if you are a company or an organization.
Though only a few of them exist, let’s unfold them one by one:
1. The stellar uptime of A2 servers has been a hot topic of discussion ever since the company launched its services but it was noticed that the company is slowly slipping down. Though the difference is only a tad bit, if not improved in time, the competitors will get an edge there.
2. The introductory plan for the long-term can lift off a great burden on pricing and may even slash it to even half of the original price but renewal rates may take a toll on you. You must send a request to stop services 15 days prior to renewal else auto-renewal will occur and there is no refund for that.
3. The introductory hosting plans are pretty cost-effective but do not come with all the essential features. You might miss some of the greatest perks like offsite backup or turbo servers.
Comparison: A2 hosting Vs. Namecheap/ SiteGround/ BlueHost
After mentioning the comprehensive details on A2 Hosting, let’s do a fair comparison between A2 and some of the most popular hosting providers in the market. The comparison is mostly based on the speed performance and response time of the servers.
a. A2 Hosting Vs. NameCheap
NameCheap is not as responsive as A2 hosting. When both providers were compared for server response time, it was found that A2 hosting performed far better than NameCheap. The average response time was almost 50% faster when compared to NameCheap servers.
Here are a few reasons that bring out this difference:
-Firstly, A2 hosting makes use of SSD drives for database, files, etc.
-Secondly, the servers for A2 are located globally while NameCheap misses out in the Asian region.
-Lastly, A2 meets its server requests with Cloud fare CDN which gives its an upper edge.
Thus, there is a clear demarcation that A2 is far better than NameCheap when it comes to load time and speed performance.
b. A2 Hosting Vs. BlueHost
Uptime & Page speed is crucial and therefore here is a short comparison between A2 hosting and BlueHost to help you understand who has a better speed performance.
Both hosting providers were firstly subjected to load impact tests to see how they perform against traffic surge. While BlueHost has a negligible impact of around 100 live visitors, A2 hosting struggled with its speed after 40.
Secondly, both providers were subjected to the Pingdom test for load time. While Bluehost performed within 689ms, A2 hosting took 1.28s.
Lastly, the providers were put against the Bitcatcha test to check the response time of the server. A total of 8 locations were chosen and three different timings were recorded and their average was taken. The server response time for both was Grace C.
Thus, Blue Host was found better for both load time and speed performance, which makes it a preferred choice. Again several parameters still need to be considered before choosing the best hosting provider.
c. A2 Hosting Vs. SiteGround
While A2 hosting uses turbo servers to load web pages 20X times faster. SiteGround uses technology like HTTP/2, NGINX, and free CDN to amp up its speed performance.
When both hosting providers were subjected to the Pingdom website speed test, SiteGround loaded the site in less than a second while A2 hosting took 1.28s.
Both hosting providers were now put to test against the traffic surge. While A2 hosting performed well up to 40 users, SiteGround kept going till 50 after which both the hosting providers slowed a bit down and went back up.
With these two tests, we can conclude that SiteGround performed a bit more effectively than A2 hosting. Thus, if site speed is the sole parameter based on which you shall choose your provider then SiteGround stands out but if you consider other factors too such as bandwidth, support, security, database, etc. then keep A2 hosting in consideration.
Is A2 Hosting Up For Recommendation?
A2 Hosting is pretty competitive when compared to other hosting providers in the market but one thing that makes it stand out is its speed, which has been emphasised enough throughout our review.
A2 hosting has probably all the features that a user looks for whether it’s speed, customer support, cost-effective hosting plans, bandwidth, storage, and security. Hence, we do recommend this hosting for all the right reasons.