A2 Hosting Review – What You NEED To Know Before Buying

Review of: A2 Hosting
Reviewed by: Matthew Woodward
Rating:
Updated On: July 21, 2020

Summary:

A2 Hosting provide an affordable but FAST platform that you can trust. They have plans that cater for every type of business backed up by 24/7/365 support available via email or live chat.

Setting up a new website can be expensive, especially if you’re on a budget.

There are your one-off expenses like domain name, website theme, and plugins.

However, you also need to take into account ongoing monthly fees, like website hosting.

If you want to keep costs low, you should opt for an affordable hosting provider.

The good news is if you want a hosting provider that’s:

  • Fast
  • Reliable
  • Affordable
A2 Hosting offers plans that start from only $2.99/month.

This way, you can host any website on a budget.

In this A2 Hosting review, I’ll go through all the features and benefits so you can see whether A2 Hosting is the right provider for you.

Let’s begin!

Who Are A2 Hosting?

A2 Hosting is a budget-friendly, high performing, and reliable website host.

A2 Hosting

Founder and CEO Bryan Muthig leveraged his background and knowledge as a UNIX systems administrator to launch A2 Hosting in 2001.

It initially began as a hosting site for family and friends.

Over time, it grew to host thousands of websites around the world.

How Much Does A2 Hosting Cost?

A2 Hosting offers a variety of different hosting packages from:

  • Shared Hosting
  • Reseller Hosting
  • VPS Hosting
  • Dedicated Server

If you’re launching your first website, it’s best to go with shared hosting options.

Shared hosting is when your site shares a single server with multiple websites. It’s an affordable and easy-to-use option.

A2 Hosting’s shared hosting options include:

  • Startup: From $2.99/month
  • Drive: From $4.99/month
  • Turbo Boost: From $9.9/month
  • Turbo Max: From $14.99/month

A2 Hosting Pricing Plans

The more expensive plans generally include more features.

Below, I’ll go through the key features and show you which plans have these features.

If you want to start with one website, the Startup Plan ($2.99/month) generally has enough storage and features to begin with.

What Do You Get For Your Money?

Here, I’ll go through all features that are available in the startup and higher-tiered plans.

This way, you can choose the plan that’s most suitable for your site. You can start small and upgrade later on.

Unlimited Websites

If you purchase the:

  • Drive: $4.99/month
  • Turbo Boost: $9.99/month
  • Turbo Max: $14.99/month

…plan, you can host an unlimited number of websites.

That’s pretty amazing… right?

I wanted to see whether there was a cap on the “unlimited” websites you could host. When I went to their Terms of Service, I found their “unlimited policy”.

They defined unlimited based on their experience with other customers.

This means, you can have multiple websites.

However, you’ll need to upgrade or use fewer resources if you exceed the amount that other similarly situated customers also use.

Unlimited websites - shared hosting

The same goes for unlimited bandwidth (a measure of the level of traffic and amount of data transferred between your site, users, and the internet.)

Once again, you can use the bandwidth without limits. But it needs to be within a specific range because all servers have a limit.

If you use more bandwidth than purchased, your account may be:

  • Suspended until the next period
  • Required to purchase additional bandwidth via an account upgrade
  • Terminated by violating the terms of the package you purchase
  • Charged an additional fee for the additional bandwidth

Unlimited Bandwidth - Privacy Policy

When it comes to bandwidth and number of websites, $4.99/month is a highly affordable rate if you want to launch several websites.

If you’re starting with one, you should consider the Startup Plan, which costs $2.99/month. You can always upgrade later.

Litespeed Cache

Did you know 47% of consumers expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less?

If your site takes any longer than 3 seconds, 40% of people will abandon your site.

In other words, that means:

  • Loss of customers
  • Loss of revenue
  • Loss of profit

…if you’re planning to sell online.

You’ll be happy to know that A2 Hosting prioritizes website speed with their WordPress LiteSpeed Cache.

The WordPress LiteSpeed Cache is a plugin that can give you faster page loading times and a better user experience for your visitors.

It does this by communicating with your Turbo server to statistically store content from your site.

Here are the plans that include the Litespeed cache:

  • Turbo Boost: $9.99/month
  • Turbo Max: $14.99/month

A2 Hosting - Choose your plan

If you’re setting up a new business site, you should consider the importance of page loading times.

The extra few dollars spent every month can help boost revenue and profits, especially when a 1-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

A2 Site Accelerator

If you want to boost website speed, you should also consider caching your pages.

Caching is the process of storing data so that future requests for that data can be served at a faster rate.

For example: if you enable caching, your visitor’s web browser will store copies of your web page.

Your site won’t have to send for a new request which reduces bandwidth usage, lag and server load times…leading to faster loading sites and happier customers.

The great thing about A2 Hosting is, they have an Optimized Site Accelerator.

a2hosting-site-accelerator
When they visit for the second time, they will see a locally cached version of the page.

This Accelerator is an exclusive cPanel plugin that can quickly cache your apps from a single interface.

The plugin offers several caching solutions which include:

  • Memcache: A memory caching system designed to speed up dynamic websites by reducing its data baseload. For example, when someone makes a database request it increases the server load time. Memcache stores data objects in its dynamic memory (short-term memory) based on key values.
  • Turbo Cache: A system that caches site content to boost performance. When a visitor requests a page, the Turbo cache will store a static copy of the page’s HTML code. The server uses the cached copy to serve subsequent page requests so it doesn’t need to run the page’s scripts and database repeatedly.
  • APC and OPcache: A system that provides opcode caching. This is where you cache the compiled operation codes (opcodes) of PHP scripts. APC and Opcache allow websites to serve page content significantly faster.

These caching solutions work together at different levels in the A2 Optimized Site Accelerator to give your visitors a fast website experience.

A2 Optimized Site Accelerator

The A2 Site Accelerator is only available for Turbo Web Hosting Users like:

A2 Site Accelerator

Unlimited SSD or NVMe Storage

Did you know data storage can have a direct impact on site speed?

Since website data is stored on servers, it’s essential to know what the servers are made of and how reliable they are.

Many budget hosting providers use Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) to store website data.

Since HDDs contain moving parts (made up of a metal disk that mounts on a wheel that spins it), they fail more quickly and can be disrupted by small shocks…

…causing data loss and service disruption.

That’s why A2 Hosting uses solid-state drives (SSDs) to store your data for startup and drive hosting plans.

With SSDs, there are no physically moving parts.

Instead, SSDs contain memory chips like the ones in RAM or a USB which is more reliable and has faster data transfer speeds compared to HDDs.

If you want even faster speeds…look to the NVMe storage option.

Like SSDs, NVMe drives use solid-state storage technology.

However, NVMe is a significant improvement over the hardware interface and provides around 6x faster data transfers.

So if you’re serious about speed, consider the NVMe storage option.

This option is only available on:

NVMe Storage

Free Automatic Backups

If you’re new to websites, you’ll quickly find out that things can go awry very quickly.

You could:

  • Install a new plugin, which could break your site
  • Get hacked
  • Delete important files by mistake

These are just a few examples. But they frequently happen, especially if you’re tweaking your website.

That’s why you need to regularly backup.

This way, if something wrong happens you don’t have to start all over again.

You have a backed-up copy of your website data and can just restore your site from a previous backup.

A single backup can save you hours and even days worth of work!

A2 Hosting automatically backup your site regularly, for free.

A2 Hosting has a Server Rewind file recovery program that allows you to restore data from saved snapshots quickly.

These backups are only available on:

  • Drive
  • Turbo Boost
  • Turbo Max

Freeautomatic backups

Staging Area

If you want to work on your website and test new features without the possibility of the site shutting down…you need a staging area.

A staging area is a private version of your website that you can use to test out new features before implementing them on the actual live site.

Staging areas are necessary if your site:

  • Generates income (directly and indirectly). You could be losing money every second your site is down
  • Provides important information that has to be easily accessible to readers at all times

They’re also great when you’re building a new site.

Instead of having a half-built site live, you can create a private staging site and make the website live once you’re ready to publish.

Staging sites are available on all shared hosting plans.

Staging Site

Free SSL Certificate

When it comes to website security, it’s always best to start with an SSL Certificate.

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate boosts your site’s security by encrypting and authenticating the data.

This way, the data between your website and your users cannot be read by others. Your visitors can also trust that you are who you’re claiming to be.

SSL-enabled sites tend to have a lock icon in the address bar and generally start with https as opposed to HTTP.

Having an SSL certificate is a great way to prevent malicious actors from stealing login credentials and personal information.

You must have an SSL certificate if your site handles:

  • Personal data
  • Payment-related information
  • Login Forms

You’ll be happy to know that SSL Certificates are set up automatically for your domains by default. They’re also available on all shared hosting plans.

Free SSL Certificate

HackScan Protection

Malware is an ongoing problem that can seriously hurt your website and business.

Malware can:

  • Alter the appearance of your site
  • Send visitors to other (generally malicious) sites
  • Give hackers and malicious actors access to your site
  • Place spam on your site
  • Flag your website with a warning and have it removed from search results

Unfortunately, one million new malware threats form every day. If you’re not careful, your reputation, traffic and revenue can take a major hit when infected.

Thankfully, A2 Hosting is well aware of these threats.

As part of their Perpetual Security Initiative, A2 Hosting includes HackScan malware protection which blocks attacks from your website.

The protection runs 24/7 to ensure you remain protected at all times.

Hackscan Protection

DDOS Protection

Malicious website attacks grow in complexity everyday.

That’s why it’s more important than ever, to double down on security measures when it comes to protecting your site.

One very common attack is a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

A DDoS attack occurs when multiple compromised computers are attempting to take down a website by flooding the site with unwanted traffic.

The traffic can overwhelm the service, rendering the website unavailable for users.

Luckily, A2 Hosting has a reinforced DDoS defense solution.

While A2 Hosting cannot outright guarantee that your website will remain online during a DDoS attack, they do have the expertise and tools that can ensure:

  • Instant attack detection
  • Fast mitigation

…at a high-scale capacity, so you won’t be impacted by a DDoS attack.

By quickly detecting and mitigating DDoS attacks, A2 Hosting’s defence solution improves the likelihood that your website will remain online even during the most sophisticated DDoS attacks.

DDOS Protection

24/7 Phone, Email & Live Chat Support

A2 Hosting offers several 24/7 support options:

  • Phone: You can call A2 Hosting from 50+ different countries. Phone support is a great option if you have a major problem and want it resolved as soon as possible.
  • Live Chat: A2 Hosting also provides live chat support from their homepage. Live support is a fantastic option if you want to multitask and your issues are not very urgent
  • Email/Ticket Support: You can also email or submit a ticket. I recommend using email and ticket support options if your issues are not urgent at all. 

Contact Options

Free Migrations

If you’ve ever migrated a website, you know how difficult and challenging it can be.

Moving from one host to another requires basic scripting knowledge and a decent understanding of the technical aspects concerning data migration.

Data migrations are complicated for any newcomer.

I highly recommend those who are new to websites to avoid migrating sites themselves.

If you’re inexperience and unskilled, a failed migration can lead to:

  • Losing SEO and page rank
  • Losing website content
  • Broken internal links
  • Lengthy website downtime

But if you want to switch to A2 Hosting, they’ll migrate your site for free!

Site migrations

All you need to do is to fill out the migration form!

A2 Hosting completes the majority of migrations within 24-48 hours from receiving your migration request.

A2 Hosting Vs The Competition

So you might be wondering how does A2 Hosting stack up against the competition?

Well, just take a look at this table below which compares them with some of the other more popular shared hosting providers:

A2 Hosting GoDaddy Bluehost
Number of Websites 1(On Startup Plan.

Unlimited (On every other plan).

1(On Economy Plan).

Unlimited (On every other plan).

1(On Basic Plan).

Unlimited (On every other plan).

Monthly Price From $2.99 From $5.49 From $2.95/month
Storage Amount 100GB (On Startup Plan).

Unlimited (On every other plan).

100 GB (On Economy Plan).

Unlimited (On every other plan).

50GB (On Basic Plan).

Unlimited (On every other plan).

Free Automatic Backups (on selected plans) $2.99/month – $12.99/month
Free Staging Area X X
Free SSL Certificates $63.99/year – $259.99/year or free with some hosting plans
Malware Protection $5.59/month – $23.99/month for a security package $23.88 per domain when registering with SiteLock Basic
DDoS Protection $5.59/month – $23.99/month for a security package $23.88 per domain when registering with SiteLock Basic
2/7 Phone, Email & Live Chat Support X
Free Migrations If cpanel (free and moved within 1-2 days) – $25 per site if not coming from cpanel $99 per site
TrustPilot Rating out of 5 4 4 1.5

As you can see, A2Hosting is the clear choice both in price and the features they offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is A2 Hosting?

A2 Hosting is a website hosting provider that provides fast, reliable web hosting solutions at affordable rates.

They offer:

  • Shared
  • Reseller
  • VPS
  • Dedicated

…hosting solutions.

If you’re just starting, I recommend opting for a shared A2 Hosting solution.

How Good is A2 Hosting?

A2 Hosting has a good reputation as a solid hosting provider over the years.

On Trustpilot, they have almost a thousand reviews. Their average rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

A2 Hosting - Trust Pilot

Who Owns A2 Hosting?

A2 Hosting began in 2001 when CEO and founder Bryan Muthig leveraged his background as a UNIX Systems Administrator to launch the hosting company.

They’ve been independently owned ever since!

Is There an A2 Hosting Coupon?

Yes, there is! You can use the coupon MATTHEWWOODWARD to save 66% off shared hosting plans.

Does A2 Hosting have a Refund Policy?

Yes. If you decide A2 Hosting is not the right hosting provider, you can cancel your account within 30-days for a full refund, or anytime after for a prorated refund of unused service after 30-days.

Money Back Guarantee

What is the Fastest WordPress Hosting?

If speed is what you’re looking for, you should take a look at my WPX Hosting review.

WPX Hosting was the fastest WordPress hosting provider in my testing but they are not cheap.

WPX Hosting performed well in the:

  • Loading speed test
  • Performance benchmarker test

However, the top-scoring hosts are not cheap and if you take a look at my Kinsta review you’ll see it’s considerably more expensive than A2 Hosting.

If you’re starting out, I recommend you opt for a leading budget hosting provider and make the switch or upgrade plans when necessary.

Wrapping It Up

If you want a website hosting provider that is:

  • Fast
  • Reliable
  • Affordable

…you should try A2 Hosting.

A2 Hosting’s plans come with numerous features that can boost your website’s speed and security measures. Best of all, they’re super budget-friendly and start from $2.99/month.

This way, you can keep your ongoing hosting expenses as low as possible. It’s a great option if you’re on a tight budget or bootstrapping your business.

If you’re still feeling unsure, you can always try out their service.

And if you’re not happy, you can get a full refund within 30-days.

It’s a guilt-free way to test their service and see whether A2 Hosting’s shared plans are the right fit for you.

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