According to the studies, if a web page takes more than three seconds to load, more than half of the site visitors close it. Therefore, selecting an appropriate web hosting service is essential to ensure your customers a smooth user experience. This way, you will boost your chances of converting site visitors into consumers.
A2 Hosting is an old yet popular website hosting provider. It ensures split-second performance regardless of the site traffic. That’s why, if speed is a priority for you, it’s worth considering A2 Hosting. Get an unbiased and in-depth review of the company to determine if A2 Hosting can serve well to obtain the best results for your website.
What Is A2Hosting?
A2 Hosting is a reputable Linux-based web hosting service founded in 2001. Although it started as a Shared Web hosting provider, today, it offers a broad selection of hosting solutions like Shared, Email Hosting, Turbo Hosting, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated Server solutions, along with WP, Managed WP, and WooCommerce Hosting.
The company has created a positive reputation due to providing reasonably priced hosting packages with premium security features and responsive customer support. A2 Hosting sites stand out for impressive loading speeds due to being hosted on some of the best enterprise-level hardware. Having servers on three continents makes it a reliable option regardless of your target audience demographics.
A2 Hosting offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is decently delivered. Furthermore, the company introduces Turbo hosting plans with 20x increased speed, especially for high-traffic and content-heavy websites. And although A2 Hosting lacks such industry-specific freebies as a domain name, a site builder, privacy protection, and hosting of unlimited sites, it compensates with free SSL encryption and site migration.
Who Is A2 Hosting Best For?
A2 Hosting is, first of all, best for those who prioritize speed. Even though A2 Hosting isn’t the cheapest solution in the market, the suggested hosting plans are comparably more affordable than most hosting services offering the same quality, even with the lack of already standard freebies considered. Also, A2 Hosting is easy to handle and ensures premium security features.
Based on these facts, it’s more expedient to consider A2 Hosting if you want to set up an eCommerce store with little to no hassle or simply a fast and efficient website with a lot of security tools from scratch.
A2 Hosting Pros
A2 Hosting company has a series of features that give the overall description of the service. Check the major pros of the hosting solution:
- Beginner-friendly cPanel;
- Free automatic backups;
- Free SSL with all the plans;
- Unique refund policy;
- Installation of unlimited sites;
- Free site migration for cPanel sites;
- Robust website builder;
- Unlimited emails;
- Free SSH;
- Unlimited databases;
- Top-notch security features, including free HackScan, DDoS protection, two-factor authentication, etc.;
- Premium-level customer support is available round the clock.
A2 Hosting Cons
Nevertheless, if a free site migration is an advantage for some users, it is useless for others. The absence of a free domain may be more significant instead. Therefore, it’s worth checking all the downsides of A2 Hosting to clarify the whole picture. The main cons of A2 Hosting are as follows:
- No free domain available;
- More catered for long-term subscriptions (the renewal prices are strikingly expensive);
- No free plan or trial period;
- No traditional Cloud hosting.
Surely, A2 Hosting has more benefits than downsides, and yet its value primarily depends on a user’s preference.
How Expensive Is A2 Hosting?
A2 Hosting prices vary from pretty affordable to premium, yet are average compared to other providers’ pricing policies as long as you are within the annual or 36-month subscription. However, the renewal prices for all plans, from Shared to Dedicated, are rather high. See the entry tiers of all hosting plans:
- Shared Hosting starts with the tier STARTUP priced at $2.99 within an annual plan. It provides hosting services for one site, 100GB SSD storage, and free site migration. Note that the monthly price is $11.99.
- VPS Hosting starts at only $2.99/mo with Runaway 1 and $39.99/mo with Managed VPS Lift 4 plan.
- Managed Dedicated Hosting entry plan is WARP 1, which comes at $159.99/mo if bought for a year ahead. The Dedicated tier includes a free 1 TB backup drive, 16GB DDR4 ECC RAM, 2×1 TB SSD Storage, and premium security measures.
- Reseller Hosting starts with the tier KICKSTART at the price of $17.99, but once you upgrade the plan to Turbo KICKSTART with boosted features, the price goes up to $22.99/mo. The cost is for the annual subscription.
- Email Hosting entry plan is Professional, priced at $1.99/mo with guaranteed email delivery, advanced spam & virus protection, email backups, SSL/POP3/IMAP support, etc.
- WordPress Hosting plan Run is priced at $11.99/mo, while the WooCommerce Turbo Run plan comes at $17.99/mo.
More advanced plans of all introduced hosting types are significantly pricier, just as the renewal costs. A2 Hosting has no free lifetime plan or a trial period. Instead, it has a unique refund policy that doesn’t stretch over 30 days, like most other hosting providers. Here you get an anytime money-back guarantee matter when you cancel the subscription. This may sound attractive, yet it doesn’t go that smoothly.
If the client requests a refund within the first 30 days of use, they get the money automatically. If the request is made from 31 to 90 days, you get a prorated refund, i.e., based on the unused portion of the services in the subscription. Refund requests made after that period are left at the company’s sole discretion. Note that all third-party fees are excluded from the refund guarantee.
Google considers such measures as LCP in its website ranking. And the shorter the LCP, the better chance of appearing higher on the search results. A2 Hosting perfectly meets these requirements. The company is primarily known for providing premium speeds and fast loading times. In fact, it’s among the fastest web hosts nowadays, with a 288ms average load time for a site. A fast provider like A2 Hosting increases your chances of ranking on Google and conversion rates.
A2 Hosting has data centers in four locations: in the US (Michigan and Arizona), Netherlands (Amsterdam), and Singapore (Singapore). Accordingly, you can choose the closest server to your target audience to reduce latency and load your site faster. The company owes its speedy functioning to fast drives and advanced features such as a pre-configured LiteSpeed cache. Furthermore, the company uses SSD storage instead of outdated HDD storage. At the same time, by choosing any of the suggested Turbo plans, your site gets stored on an NVMe AMD EPYC Server – some of the fastest enterprise-grade servers existing. They ensure the use of the whole SSD potential along with some more resources allocated to the site, given the small number of users on the server.
Other advanced software optimization tools A2 Hosting delivers and backs excellent website performance with HTTP/3 and QUICK – the newest and fastest internet transportation protocols (up to 30% faster delivery of files than HTTP), the PHP 8 latest version, and popular software optimization like Drupal, WordPress, and PrestaShop.
So, the performance testing we have carried out proves A2 Hosting is a reliable and super fast solution even for supporting big traffic surges.
Security and Protection
When it comes to security, A2 Hosting is hard to beat. It offers a number of premium security tools even in all Shared hosting plans. Let’s break down the basic protection measures A2 Hosting users are ensured with:
- SSL certificates: The company includes free SSL certificates in all its Shared plans with automatic activation. Though this is the bare minimum one could expect from a major hosting provider, it’s still worth mentioning.
- Firewalls: The company offers a dual firewall – ModSecurity and CSF (Config Server Firewall). The former filters, blocks, and monitors both inbound and outbound traffic, while the latter protects against attacks and boosts overall server security.
- DDoS protection with Imunify360: Another protection means, Imunify360 provides stellar protection against any suspicious activities and malicious attacks such as brute force.
- Two-factor authentication: This simple yet effective security measure guarantees protection with a password and a code only the person registering on the site receives.
- Patchman security: Patchman is primarily a malware/vulnerability detection and patching tool. It detects and notifies about outdated software, detects security vulnerabilities in CMSs, and automatically patches it for the user. Also, it automatically quarantines all infected files for one day.
- Automatic backups: Automatic backups are provided in all plans except for the entry-level Startup. And yet, the company is not in charge of backup loss or damages. Hence, it’s recommended to download backups to Cloud storage for extra reassurance.
A2 Hosting uses the standard cPanel with most of its functionalities. It’s pretty simple and user-friendly and can be used for WP installation, adding a domain, setting up an email account, etc. Surely, the interface doesn’t look modern, yet it is one of the most functional. The navigation on the site is easy, given the categorization of different features into Domains, Metrics, Email, and Software. You can also find your account statistics to see how your website performs.
So, although the cPanel looks outdated and most other website hosting providers have integrated their tools, it still performs well and is convenient for hosting management.
Web Building Tools
A2 Hosting has its native website builder offered for free on the Startup plan. If you are ok with only a one-page site, i.e., paying $2.99, you get access to the A2 Sitebuilder and Startup Web Hosting. Note that at this cost, you get access only to 10 templates and receive 100 Mb storage, with no SSL protection included. To increase the potential of your site builder up to creating an eCommerce site with unlimited pages and storage, access to all templates, get blog and eCommerce plugins, as well as SSL protection, you must upgrade to the Enterprise plan, priced at $18.99.
A2 Sitebuilder templates look nice, but that’s all. Compared to other giants of the industry, they lack a professional look and uniqueness that make a template brand-specific. Given this, as well as the prices and limitations of the Sitebuilder packages, it’s more reasonable and affordable to install WordPress and use free or premium themes.
Customer and Tech Support
According to user reviews, A2 Hosting features a well-trained support team that communicates with customers in a friendly manner and solves any issues quickly and effectively. Emails are responded to in minutes while the live chat is available round the clock. Other than this, the company provides phone support and a ticketing form. To use them, one should log in.
Additionally, A2 Hosting features a pretty extended Knowledge Base and FAQ section with all common questions answered.
Is A2 Hosting Worth Trying?
A2 Hosting is one of the most trustworthy and speedy providers in the market nowadays. In terms of security and speed, the company has few rivals. It ensures many speed-focused features and reinforced security measures for an appropriate price. This makes the solution excellent for high-traffic sites.
However, A2 Hosting prices are deceivingly high. One must check the renewal prices first not to be surprised when the prices for the chosen services rise by 75% after the subscription expires. This, and the pretty costly A2 Sitebuilder, leave room for hesitation whether to choose A2 Hosting or not.
In all cases, if you are searching for premium-level hosting and can afford to pay for it decently, A2 Hosting is definitely the right choice.