A2 Hosting started in a two-room office in 2001 in Ann Arbor, MI, and has grown into one of the most successful independent hosting companies.
The most attractive part of A2 hosting is their versatility. They offer all kinds of hosting - shared, VPS, dedicated, reseller, as well as CMS-specific hosting (e.g., WordPress).
Besides, a robust multi-layered security system, a well-trained proactive support team and a high page loading speed have made it one of the favorites in recent times.
These are the common features which we use to evaluate a hosting company. Find out how well A2 Hosting does:
A2 Hosting has all the standard security features as well as some advanced ones. They provide the clients with three kinds of Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates - Single Site, Wildcard and Advanced. From first to last, the number of websites supported keeps increasing - from one site to several sites.
For advanced security system, A2 Hosting has a Perpetual Security system which includes HackScan Protection, KernelCare, brute force defense and a dual firewall. HackScan prevents all hacking attempts before they can harm your site and KernelCare ensures kernel updates without the need of reboots. Their data centers are SSAE 16 certified which adds to its robust security system.
Backup and Restore
Firstly, backups are part of the premium plans. So you will need to spend some extra to get the essential backups. The only free backup available on A2 Hosting is the Server Rewind backup system that can recover databases for the client. But for efficient regular backups, you must subscribe separately to DropMySite. This third-party app will let you schedule backups monthly, weekly, bi-weekly or daily.
A2 Hosting calls their customer support team “Guru Crew Support” which reflects their confidence in this team’s capability. You can contact this team any time any day and they will respond proactively. Along with live chat and phone numbers available in different countries, you can also send them a ticket through emails if need be.
Hosting Types and Plans
A2 Hosting offers a wide range of packages covering all the major hosting variations as described below:
1. Shared Hosting
The three shared hosting plans are Lite, Swift, and Turbo. Lite will offer hosting only one website with five databases. It does, however, include free SSL, SSD, cPanel, unlimited storage and unlimited transfer. Turbo offers 20x faster speed and A2 Site Accelerator with unlimited websites and databases. The prices for these plans range from $3.92 to $9.31 per month.
2. VPS Hosting
VPS hosting plans can be managed or unmanaged. The managed hosting plans here are Power, Prestige, and Pinnacle. Their monthly prices are $32.99, $46.19 and $65.99. Their resources include at least 4GB RAM, 100GB storage, 3TB transfer and 6 vCPUs.
The unmanaged VPS hosting may cost $5.00 to $15.00 per month. The three plans Entry, Mid, and Elite include a minimum of 512 RAM, 20GB storage, one core and 2TB transfer.
The dedicated server hosting plans come with multiple management levels. The least costly one is Semi Dedicated Server priced at only $9.31 per month initially. This one offers at least 2GB RAM and two 2.1 GHz cores, but no root access. The pricier ones provide root access along with higher resource amounts.
The reseller hosting plans here begin at $13.19 and can go as high as $40.91 monthly prices. You will get a free eNom reseller account, 30GB storage, 400GB transfer, WHM control panel and 40 accounts at least.
The perks of A2 Hosting largely depend on high website speed. Their hosting infrastructure is apt at providing incredibly fast performances for the website. As HostingFacts states, they observed the monthly average site speed to be between 328ms to 395ms. Along with high speed, we discuss the other remarkable advantages of A2 Hosting below in brief:
The Turbo plan provides its clients with an exclusive access to the A2 Optimized Site Accelerator. This speeds up the site with the 1-click caching setup which helps load the pages faster. This optimization option available on their cPanel makes setup of caching solutions like APC and Memcached much easier.
A2 Hosting boasts their SwiftServer Platform which they worked on for more than a decade to reach perfection. They claim the Turbo packages offering this platform makes the web pages load 20 times faster than usual. Besides, you can also get more resource allocations and fewer neighbors on your shared server.
Global Data Centers
The total number of A2 Hosting data centers is only three. However, these three data centers are spread all around the world on three different continents - North America (Michigan), Europe (Amsterdam) and Asia (Singapore). As a result, these interconnected servers have developed a quadruple redundant network. They also offer security monitoring which stays on 24/7.
Since 2007, A2 Hosting is doing its share to fight the climate change. It is a partner on Carbonfund.org and uses carbon neutral servers. By purchasing carbon offsets, they help projects which reduce greenhouse gas emission. So you can also do your part in the battle of protecting our environment by deciding to work with them.
No Website Builder
The standard plans of A2 Hosting based on shared servers don’t offer the support of a website builder, which is especially important to make it easier for novices to create, publish, and maintain a website.
Expensive Plans and Terms
The packages of A2 Hosting are more expensive than some of its competitors. The least costly one (Lite) does not offer enough features like other basic hosting plans. You can host only one website here without any great performance or loading speed. Also, to use the lowest monthly price, you will need to enter a 2-year agreement. That is a long time for hosting commitments, although even three-year-long deals like this are prevalent in the industry.
Inconvenient Refund Policy
The phrase “Anytime Money-Back Guarantee” almost sounds like they will allow you a full refund irrespective of when you decide to cancel the service. However, the reality is that you will get a full refund only if you cancel the service within the first 30 days of signing up for the plan. For any period after that, you will get a prorated refund of unused services. Besides, this refund does not include the fees for domain registration, SSL certificates, and migration.
The owners of an e-commerce website would prefer a hosting provider with PCI compliance. Unfortunately, this is where A2 Hosting slips. It is not PCI compliant, which means you will need a secure shopping cart integration while building your online store.
A2 Hosting is undoubtedly a strong and capable competitor in the web hosting universe. However, it might not be the best option for the beginners or the business owners operating on a tight budget. If you are willing to pay some extra bucks to ensure high security and high site speed, this might be the right choice for you.