/A2 Hosting Review 2021

A2 Hosting Review 2021

Our Verdict: Outstanding Choice for Speed
Developer-friendly A2 Hosting supports almost any technology used for websites and apps. Their top benefits include record-breaking speeds and award-winning customer support, plus optimized WordPress servers with cPanel access.

It doesn’t matter what type of hosting you need (shared, VPS, dedicated, etc.), A2 will provide you with fast and reliable service.

And you don’t need to take our word for it — over 200 of our users have reviewed A2 Hosting, and they’ve given this provider an average score of 4.5 out of 5. They especially love the speed of this service, as well as the quality of their technical support.

Below, we’ll review everything else you need to know about A2 Hosting.

Quick Overview
Before we dive into the details, let’s take a quick look at what A2 Hosting has to offer:

Top Benefits:

99.9% Uptime Guarantee

Developer-Friendly Hosting Options

Green Hosting

Plans starting at:

$2.49 per month using this discount link.

A2 Hosting and How They Stand Out From Their Peers

Control Panel:

cPanel.

Money-Back Guarantee:

30 days.

Site Builder Included?

Yes, with certain plans.

Datacenter Locations:

Michigan, Arizona, Amsterdam, and Singapore.

Pros and Cons
The table below goes over the main advantages and disadvantages to using A2 Hosting:

Pros:

Industry-leading server speeds
Uptime commitment that reduces lost business due to outages
Feature-rich plans to suit sites of any size
Cons:

No free domain
Not PCI-compliant by default
Requests for support of new technology are accepted, but there is no ETA provided
A2 Hosting Solutions Offerings

A2 Hosting Plans
Now, let’s take a closer look at the different plans offered by A2 Hosting:

Shared Hosting

In my experience, A2’s shared hosting plans are faster than their competitors (especially if you pay up for one of their Turbo plans). Additionally, they offer 24/7 customer support for all subscribers, ultra-reliable servers, and free website migration.

Other features of A2 Hosting’s shared plans include:

PHP (5.x and 7.x)

Python (2.6, 2.7, and 3.2)

PERL 5.10

Node.js

MySQL 5.6 databases

PostgreSQL 9.6

Apache 2.4

FTP/SFTP access to your server environment

Free SSH access

Shared SSL certificate

All shared plans also come with free SSD storage to ensure top-notch performance.

A2 Hosting for Developers
Just a few of the many dev tools, languages, and technologies supported by A2 Hosting
web hosting coupon
Interested in A2?
Our readers can currently save 51% on A2 Hosting plans. Use this discount link to get the best price.

WordPress Hosting

A2 Hosting offers a special kind of shared hosting for WordPress. These plans are more expensive than the general shared plans described above, but they include a number of features that make them more appealing to WordPress users, such as:

Staging server

Jetpack personal license

Easy WordPress backups

VPS Hosting

For those who have outgrown their shared hosting plans or need better speeds for their websites, A2 Hosting offers two types of virtual private server (VPS) plans.

Unmanaged plans are perfect for developers or system administrators looking for a fully customizable, bare metal installation.

Managed plans offer the full power of a VPS plan, but with the same user-friendly cPanel platform that’s bundled with the shared hosting plans. It also comes with 100% worry-free HostGuard management from their Guru Crew support team, which is available 24/7.

You can get unmanaged VPS plans for shared hosting prices. A2 Hosting’s managed VPS plans are more expensive, but still competitive by industry standards.

For the purposes of data redundancy and improving performance, all VPS plans include RAID 10 storage. RAID 10 drives combine striping (which increases speed) with mirroring (which increases reliability).

Video: RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 – All You Need to Know
Dedicated Hosting

A2 Hosting offers both managed and unmanaged dedicated servers for those who need fast speeds for resource-intensive or highly-trafficked websites.

Managed dedicated servers get upgradeable RAID 1 storage, which means all the data is mirrored and thus less prone to data faults or loss.

Reseller Hosting Plans

If you want to get into the web hosting business yourself, check out A2 Hosting’s reseller plans.

There are four different reseller plans from which you can choose. With the exception of the basic plan, all plans offer the option of either WHMCS or Blesta billing software.

A2 Hosting Reseller Billing Solution

A2 Hosting Features
In this section, we’ll review A2 Hosting’s infrastructure, performance, customer support, and plan features such as SSL certificates and the Cloudflare CDN (content delivery network).

Performance and Reliability

I’ve tested A2 Hosting’s uptime and load speed over the last year on my server. Note that this is only one server, so the results don’t necessarily indicate how all A2 Hosting servers perform. But it does provide a useful snapshot of their speed and reliability.

Month Uptime Page Load
Feb 2018 100.00% 546 ms
Mar 2018 99.99% 422 ms
Apr 2018 99.81% 657 ms
May 2018 100.00% 361 ms
Jun 2018 99.34% 341 ms
Jul 2018 100.00% 308 ms
Aug 2018 99.99% 411 ms
Sep 2018 100.00% 336 ms
Oct 2018 100.00% 291 ms
Nov 2018 99.99% 272 ms
Dec 2018 100.00% 291 ms
Jan 2019 100.00% 301 ms
6 Month Average 100.00% 317 ms
12 Month Average 99.93% 378 ms
The 12-month average for A2 Hosting’s speed is very good. The 6-month average is exceptional — even better than WP Engine.

Uptime Guarantee

A2 Hosting backs their performance with a 99.9% uptime commitment, and they strive to meet this promise by following the web hosting industry’s best practices, using top-notch datacenters, and carefully managing all servers.

With that said, there are two instances when the uptime commitment does not apply:

During routine maintenance and upgrade periods that are scheduled ahead of time

During outages that result from circumstances beyond A2 Hosting’s control

If you experience any downtime as a result of issues not described in the exclusions listed above, and the downtime accounts for more than 0.1% of your total time that month, you can receive compensation from A2 Hosting.

This compensation is in the form of a service credit that is equal to 5% of the fees you paid for that month. You will receive one such service credit for each hour that your website is unreachable beyond the 0.1% (~42 minutes) downtime guarantee.

However, the maximum service credit you receive will be equal to the full amount you would have paid for that month had there been no outages.

Please note that to receive service credits as compensation, your downtime must be confirmed by an A2 Hosting staff member.

Backups

You can use your control panel to manage partial or full backups of your website.

To restore your website using a full backup, you’ll need to provide a copy of it to the A2 Hosting support team. There are no fees involved with requesting such services.

Migration Policy

If your former web hosting provider supports cPanel, A2 Hosting can manage the migration on your behalf. Migrations are available for shared, managed VPS, and managed dedicated accounts, and this process typically takes less than 72 hours.

Though not required, A2 Hosting recommends that you allow an overlap of at least seven days between opening your new hosting account and closing your previous hosting account in order to minimize the downtime you might see during the transfer process.

If your former web hosting provider did not use cPanel, A2 Hosting will still transfer your website, but only with one database.

Cloudflare CDN

The closer a visitor is to one of your servers, the faster your site will be for them. A content delivery network (CDN) uses a vast array of servers to ensure fast load times for any given visitor.

A2 Hosting plans include Cloudflare free of charge. This is one of the most popular and effective CDNs — A2 Hosting claims that a website using Cloudflare sees 200% faster page loads, uses 60% less bandwidth, and is more secure.

There are two ways to activate your Cloudflare CDN:

Use the Cloudflare cPanel plugin

Sign up on Cloudflare’s website.

If you decide to use Cloudflare’s cPanel plugin, you can easily enable and disable Cloudflare for your domains and subdomains using your A2 Hosting cPanel environment.

If you decide to activate using Cloudflare’s website, you will not be able to use the A2 Hosting cPanel to manage your CDN.

SSL Certificates

SSL certificates allow your site to send and receive data securely. They are essential for e-commerce and are now considered by Google to be a best practice for all websites. They’re also good for improving user trust and even boost your search rankings slightly.

With a shared hosting plan, you can easily add a free Let’s Encrypt SSL for your website.

If you have purchased a shared or reseller hosting package, you can opt for Let’s Encrypt, an SSL solution that provides your site with enhanced security.

Users with managed VPS plans and managed dedicated servers can also use Let’s Encrypt, but they will need to have a dedicated IP address as well.

You can also purchase a private SSL certificate from A2 Hosting for even stronger security.

Website Builder

With A2 Hosting’s website builder, even non-technical users can easily create their own site. It supports everything from single-page sites to full e-commerce stores.

A2 Hosting Website Builder

Green Hosting

A2 Hosting is a green hosting company. In addition to being 100% carbon neutral in their day-to-day operations, A2 Hosting is a partner of Carbonfund.org, which is a leading organization dedicated to battling global climate change.

A2 Hosting is 100% carbon neutral in their day-to-day operations.

Since 2007, A2 Hosting has supported Carbonfund.org’s reforestation efforts and development of clean, renewable sources of energy.

cPanel Features

From the A2 Hosting dashboard, you can launch the cPanel for your website. If you are hosting multiple websites with A2 Hosting, you will see a list of the cPanels available for your use on the dashboard homepage.

a2 hosting cpanel
A2 Hosting accounts come with cPanel, a popular brand of control panel
On the left side of the cPanel interface is basic information relating to your account. It includes things like your domain name and directory on the server.

It also includes addon domains, aliases, autoresponders, bandwidth, mailing list disk usage, MySQL disk usage, total disk usage, number of email accounts, and email filters.

The primary management area allows you to do things like:

Manage your files

Install scripts that extend the feature set and functionality of your website using Softaculous, an app installer that works with cPanel

Access staging features for your website

Create, manage, and optimize your website’s databases

Handle your domains and subdomains

Control the email accounts associated with this particular website/domain name

Access metrics on user visits, including frequency and length of stay

Secure your site by setting up security suites and applying SSL certificates

More advanced features are also available, including software that supports programming languages as well as website optimization and caching.

Customer Support

You will notice that support-related content and links are prevalent on your dashboard. In addition to the Support PIN that is prominently displayed in the top-left corner, there are two hyperlinks in the navigation toolbar that you can use if you need help.

Your A2 Hosting account is backed by multiple support options, available 24/7.

First, there is the Support tab, which allows you to:

View existing (and open new) support tickets

See records of (and request) website migrations

Check the status of A2 Hosting’s servers, as well as whether there have been any service interruptions over the past few days (this is important, especially given that the uptime guarantee requires you to report downtime in order to receive compensation)

Navigate to the knowledge base

Navigate to the notification center, where you can customize the service-related notifications you receive from A2 Hosting

Navigate to the A2 Hosting company blog, where you can read about all things web hosting and web design

Ways to Contact A2 Hosting

Then there is the Open Ticket tab, which leads you to the Client Area. In this area, you can:

Submit a sales ticket if you have questions about your purchases

Submit a hosting question if you are having a problem with your account

Submit questions to either the Support or Billing teams that are not related to an existing domain name or hosting account

If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can get in touch with the A2 Hosting Guru Crew support team 24/7 via their internal ticketing system, Skype, telephone, or live chat.

a2 hosting support page
A2 Hosting provides numerous support options
If you’re interested in self-help resources, A2 Hosting maintains a robust and in-depth knowledge base. And thankfully, this knowledge base is easily searchable.

Refunds and Money-Back Guarantees

If you purchase a web hosting option from A2 Hosting and decide within 30 days that they are not right for you, you can take advantage of their money-back guarantee and receive a full refund of all hosting fees paid.

After the 30-day period has elapsed, you can still cancel your account. However, you will only receive a pro-rated refund that is equivalent to the unused service for which you have already paid (this does not include domain registration).

Other Hosts to Consider
HostGator, Bluehost, and SiteGround are all good alternatives to A2 Hosting. I will look at HostGator in the most depth, because they are the most like A2 Hosting. However, you should give serious attention to Bluehost and SiteGround as well.