A2 Hosting Review
Though not the most popular web hosting provider, A2 Hosting is by far the most credible and are widely recognised for their excellent uptime rates! But to better emphasise the quality of their web hosting services, A2 Hosting has won a total of 22 awards; which is pretty outstanding considering they haven’t been on the market for as long as some of their competitors.
Overall, A2’s web hosting plans cover an array of hosting platforms and cater to both Windows and Linux users – which, again, is more than what can be said about their competitors! So, how is it that A2 Hosting hasn’t managed to gage the same reputable status as their competitors? Could it be lack of publicity or reviews, who knows!? Regardless of the matter, we think their services are worth reviewing!
So, let’s backtrack to the birth of A2 Hosting.
History of A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting, formerly known as Iniquinet, first delivered their web hosting services in 2001 and catered to only a handful of clients at the time. A couple of years down the line, their client base soon soared, and consequently, Iniquinet rebranded to A2 Hosting in tribute to their hometown, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Since their rebrand, A2 Hosting went on to deliver web hosting services that exclusively supported the latest technical developments at the time, including PHP 5, MySQL 5 and SSD hosting.
Now, A2 Hosting continues to work in the same manner. According to the host’s moto, the company are never satisfied with their services and “won’t settle for [just] good enough”; so, their team of technicians consistently tweak their web hosting services to suit new technological advances – which are detailed further down the page.
A2 Hosting’s Web Hosting Services
When browsing A2’s website, we couldn’t help but notice how confusing their services are. Like all web hosting companies, the major hosting plans (VPS, shared and dedicated) were all there. However, the comparisons of A2’s hosting solutions were anything but helpful when it came to deciding which hosting package was the better option.
So to spare you the pain of sifting through A2’s plans, our team have compiled all the need-to-knows in this review. However, one positive we couldn’t help but notice was that all hosting plans included an anytime money-back guarantee, so you can try out A2’s hosting solutions as and when and won’t be held against your decision to cancel!
Alas! A2’s shared hosting plans are compatible with both Linux and Windows operating systems, and judging from their five-star reviews, they seem to have both services nailed.
A2 Hosting’s plans offer a range of desirable features including unlimited RAID 10 storage and transfer, a free SSL certificate and SSD hosting. Each plan also includes as cPanel 11, off-site backups, A2’s “perpetual security”, free site migration and Softaculous, with one-click installation of CMS software such as Drupal, WordPress and Joomla. Also, all plans come with free Cloudflare CDN and for little over a dollar, Linux users can activate the Railgun Optimiser for even faster load times!
For more advanced features, however, you can pay a few dollars extra; but which one is the better option?
Well, rather than evaluate each plan from each operating system, we drew up the pros and cons of both plans.
For a Single Site
Fastest Service Yet
For a Single Site
Fastest Service Yet
A2’s Lite plan isn’t the cheapest on the market. However, the company does offer discounts on a regular basis to compensate.
Overall, all Lite customers are supplied with five databases, 25 email addresses, five subdomains, 25 parked domains and can manage one website. Other than that, the Lite plan doesn’t offer much else – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If you’re new to web hosting, then the A2’s Lite plan would be handy as it includes all the essential web hosting features for a reasonable price. As an added benefit, this plan also comes pre-optimized for sites such as WordPress, PrestaShop and Drupal and better still; you can choose the location of your data centre, be it Asia, Europe or the US, to further optimise your site.
In addition to the Lite’s features, you can host an unlimited number of websites and have an unlimited number of databases. However, this isn’t really useful to anyone that’s looking to host a handful of sites, as A2 offers a few (but unfortunately not many) extra features.
For faster load times, Swift customers can pay an extra $1.47 a month for A2’s Performance Plus which doubles CPU cores and adds an extra 1GB of RAM, so your site(s) can maintain a high level of speed during unexpected surges of traffic, but this is only available to Linux users. In addition to this, however, you’re entitled to A2’s Server Rewind Backups to easily restore your site(s)’ data from accidental deletions, mistakes or corruption.
Although these features are great, we also feel slightly disappointed; especially since Swift is starred as the most recommended. However, if you want your money’s worth, then we advise A2’s Turbo plan.
A2’s Turbo plan the fastest shared service (20x faster, in fact) and is a desirable option for developers, as it’s compatible with Apache 2.2 and the latest versions of Ruby and Python.
With regards to the plan’s selling point, your site(s)’ visitors can benefit from Turbo’s ultra-speedy loading times with HTTP/2 and SPDY support, as well as ESI element tags.
Furthermore, you can benefit from Cloudflare Plus’ extra security features which also provides free universal SSL, so visitors all over the world will be safe with your site. A2 Hosting also provides Linux Turbo customers LiteSpeed cache plug-ins for CMS applications WordPress, Magneto, WooCommerce and PrestaShop as well as XenForo forum sites, though unfortunately, this is not available for Windows users.
For those who want to break free from the boundaries of shared hosting, then A2’s VPS hosting plans are (in our eyes) the better option. In fact, compared to other web hosting companies, we prefer A2’s VPS plans because they accommodate various levels of expertise. However, if like us, you already researched their VPS plans, then you might have felt a bit lost after realising there are 12 different VPS plans – just, WHY!?
Thankfully, this review breaks down the details of their VPS plans in a more digestible format!
To start with, Linux users are offered various VPS plans, including Unmanaged, Managed, and Core; each of which are tiered via the amount of storage, transfers, CPUs and RAM.
Windows users, on the other hand, are only given a choice of three Managed VPS plans, which are also categorised according to the quantity of storage, transfers, CPUs and RAM. Also, A2 (evidently) provides a Plesk control panel and MySQL and MSSQL databases, and supports ASP & .NET 2.x, 3.x, 4.x; MVC 4 or 5, etc.
A2’s Windows plans are a few dollars more expensive than Linux. However, this can’t really be helped and those clued up on computing will appreciate why this is the case. Other than that, the Windows’ features aren’t any different from the Linux Managed plans.
All VPS plans come with a ‘Guru Crew’ support team who are available at all hours of the day, 365 days a year. Like every other hosting package, A2 guarantee 99.9% uptime, perpetual security (including a free SSL certificate), solid-state drives, an anytime money-back guarantee and the option upgrade to A2’s Turbo servers and Cloudflare’s Railgun Optimiser (though the Railgun Optimiser is only available for Linux users).
In short, here are the prices of the cheapest Linux VPS plans as well as the Windows Managed VPS tiers:
Unmanaged VPS (Linux only)
Since A2’s Unmanaged VPS plan is developer friendly, it’s multilingual in Perl, Python and Ruby, and offers root access as well as a one-click installation of Webuzo to better manage domains, FTP accounts and databases. In addition to this, you can boot, reboot, reload and shutdown your server, choose which Linux operating system (OS) to use and reload a new one on demand!
For greater speed and stability, the Unmanaged plan also comes with solid-state drives and turbo features such as HTTP/2, ESI and Easy WebSocket Proxy Configuration for those who want to upload real-time content. Further to this, you can pay more to better optimise your site(s) with A2’s Turbo Boost feature for faster loading times – 20x quicker to be precise.
A2’s Unmanaged plans start with 512MB RAM, 20GB storage, 2TB transfer and one core – which is a fairly measly offer in all honesty, and increase as follows:
20 GB Storage
30 GB Storage
50 GB Storage
With regards to the Mid and Top tiers, you are required to pay extra for a cPanel license and Softaculous, which includes one-click installation of popular applications, such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and much more.
Nonetheless, A2 Hosting recognises that “web projects come in all shapes and sizes”, so instead, you can customise your plan to your accord. By doing so, you can choose which operating system you would like to use, the location of your data centre and whether you want a cPanel license or Turbo Boost features. Of course, you also decide the amount of disk space, central processing units, memory and bandwidth and as a result, A2 Hosting will tally up requests at a reasonable price. So as a matter of fact, the preliminary plans aren’t set in stone; which speaks volumes about their services, as their prices are transparent, reasonable, and best of all completely customisable!
If you’re confident in coding and know the exact amount of resources you need, then we recommend A2 Hosting’s Unmanaged VPS plan, as you have the freedom to develop with no invisible strings to hold you back. Because A2 Hosting allows you to scale plans to your liking, you are not expected to pay for additional resources or unnecessary features. In fact, you are less likely to receive unexpected bills, as you pay for exactly what you use! But, what about those that don’t have this level of technical expertise?
Managed VPS (Windows and Linux)
A2’s Managed VPS plans are ideal for anyone who is thinking about upgrading from shared hosting but doesn’t have extensive computing knowledge. However, if you want complete server control, Linux users can upgrade to A2’s Core VPS plan for the same price – which is an excellent option if you’re not willing to pay the price for dedicated hosting! Nonetheless, with Managed VPS there is the shutdown and reboot control.
In short, Managed VPS allows you to easily control site(s) without the worry of undertaking any security or maintenance tasks, as these are left in the hands of the hosting experts. Because of this, root access is (evidently) denied and instead, a free cPanel is included for better ease of control. For Windows users, this is replaced with the Plesk control panel.
4 GB RAM
6 GB RAM
8 GB RAM
Both Linux and Windows include free solid-state drives and a free SSL certificate, as well as prioritised customer service; so, if you encounter any technical mishaps, your claim will be prioritised.
Both plans also provide a range of suitable features and database options, as well as high-speed SwiftServer features, including Cloudflare Free CDN which is said to increase page loading times by 200%. For Linux users, the Railgun Optimiser is also available for faster HTML load times for over a dollar a month! Although, there are a couple of things to bear in mind before opting for one of the plans.
First of all, if you’re on a budget, you’ll probably be tempted to buy the cheaper option. However, we advise you to think carefully when considering the prices of the two. Though Linux is a few dollars cheaper, if you don’t have a tonne of technical expertise then we would recommend the Windows plan, as Plesk’s organised, graphical user interface is a lot easier to work around.
Secondly, Windows hosting is naturally going to better support those who are developing using ASP.NET or ASP. So, it’s only right to choose a plan that will better support your developmental preferences.
Like all of A2’s hosting plans, 99.9% uptime is guaranteed, as well as “the best” developer friendly tools, the option to upgrade to their Turbo server, perpetual security and an around-the-clock support team. However, we believe that A2 Hosting has gone a bit too far with their notion of personalisation, as their dedicated hosting services come with 13 different options; 26 if we include their Singapore dedicated server plans(!)
Though their plans cater to a multitude of needs and abilities, searching for the right one is a painstaking process – and one that we had to endure so you don’t have to! So, to make it easier, we’ve listed all the starting prices and key specifications of each dedicated hosting plan.
Great for Developers
In addition to the above features, unlimited email addresses and domains, as well as cPanel/Plesk, are also included. For more speed and stability, you can also pick from four data centre locations for increased optimisation and opt for a solid-state solution. To experience the benefits of A2’s Turbo server which is said to increase page loads by 20x faster than A2’s competitors, you can purchase this option for an additional cost each month.
Although judging from the plans above, it seems as if A2 Hosting doesn’t offer much, as each plan provides the same amount of storage, RAM, transfers and cores; though, each one is slightly different than the other. Therefore, for clarification, we’ve coupled the definition and the differences of each dedicated hosting package, as well as the desired and necessary features anyone would expect from a high-quality web host. Please note that not every hosting plans is Windows dedicated. However, some do include Windows-friendly features; so, don’t be thrown off!
Semi-dedicated (Windows & Linux)
Semi-dedicated hosting is designed for sites that have outgrown the shared hosting environment and require more power and resources for better support.
Typically, semi-dedicated hosting is the middle ground between shared and VPS hosting, as developers are awarded more processing power for greater speed and stability at a much lower price than VPS hosting. Better still, technical skills are not necessarily required to effectively manage the site, unlike dedicated or VPS; hence the term ‘semi-dedicated’.
This plan is ideal for either a medium size enterprise, a site which attracts inconsistent traffic or simply for anyone who has outgrown shared hosting but does not have the technical provision, nor the time to operate VPS sufficiently.
For Linux users, prices start at $9.31 per month, whereas Windows users pay slightly more, $10.78, but this is where it gets very confusing!
If you click ‘view semi-dedicated’ on A2’s dedicated hosting page, you will be directed to A2’s shared hosting solutions. That’s because the semi-dedicated hosting plan featured on the dedicated hosting page is actually A2’s top shared hosting plan; so, don’t be fooled by the lower prices listed on this particular page, as you’ll be buying into A2’s shared hosting solutions and NOT semi-dedicated hosting!
Unmanaged Flex (Linux only)
For complete server control, A2’s Unmanaged Flex plan would be better suited, as you can take full advantage of the isolated environment. Like many unmanaged plans, you have extensive control over their server environment with root access, though there is the option to download the cPanel and Softaculous to install CMSs, e-commerce or site builder apps.
In addition to this, you can pick to use any of the top Linux operating systems such as CentOS, Fedora, etc., and change your OS at any time to one that is more suitable.
Much like A2’s Unmanaged VPS plan, you can reload the operating system, (re)boot and shutdown via the Solus VM Control Panel and install Webuzo to setup web servers, scripting solutions and more. In fact, you can still receive the full benefits of A2’s turbo features, including Turbo Boost and Turbo Cache, and other SwiftServer features.
With Unmanaged Flex, there are three different plans: Sprint, Exceed and Mach. The latter of which comes in at $248.99 per month and includes 2x 1000GB RAID 10 storage, additional drives, optional SSDs across the operating system or database, 16GB RAM, 20TB transfer and more than eight cores.
Managed Flex (Linux only)
Likewise, A2’s Managed Flex plans include the same features as Unmanaged Flex, without root access, so you needn’t worry about any maintenance or operational issues. Though, the Manage Flex plan does offer the boot, shutdown and reboot control.
You can still take advantage of the isolated environment with the popular cPanel, as well as A2’s supported developer features, including Apache 2.2, Python, Ruby, Perl and PHP 7.2, free Cloudflare CDN and A2’s SwiftServer for a speedier service! Speaking of which, you can also upgrade to A2’s Turbo server, which offers a drop-replacement for Apache for quicker page loads. Cloudflare’s Railgun Optimiser, which increases HTML load times by 143%, is also available free to Linux users!
For further support, A2’s HostGuard service deals with security patches, upgrades and installations of core software, as well as any control panel updates. Also, Managed Flex customers can enjoy the benefits of A2’s priority customer support service, as well as their notification centre where A2’s Guru Crew are available to keep you in the loop with your server’s goings-on.
Corresponding with Unmanaged Flex, A2’s Managed plans are also categorised in three tiers: Sprint, Exceed and Mach; the highest tier of which is priced at $290.49 per month and, again, offers 16GB, 2X 1000GB storage, 20TB transfer and 8+ cores.
Core Managed Hosting (Linux only)
For those that want the best of both worlds, you can upgrade to A2’s Core server at no extra cost!
With this plan, you get to enjoy the same features formerly listed in A2’s Managed Flex plans and have root access. This means that you can customise your hosting environment with the same top developer features and turbo-speed servers, without worrying about any maintenance or operational issues, as A2’s tech team will manage your server’s hardware, network, software and security around the clock. A reasonably good deal!
Prices for the Core Managed plans are organised via the same method as the previous two plans: Sprint, Exceed and Mach; with the top hosting solution providing 16GB RAM, 20TB transfer, 8+ cores and 2x 1000GB storage for $290.49 per month. However, A2 Hosting’s Core plans do not include the ‘Railgun Optimiser’; but, there is the choice to upgrade to Cloudflare’s Firewall for increased uptime, security and site speed.
With regards to the advanced web hosting solutions, A2 Hosting offers an array of services, including cloud, reseller and managed WordPress, and thankfully aren’t as confusing as the previous plans!
Though not the cheapest on the market, you will tend to find that some of A2’s hosting solutions are interchangeable, as most of A2’s web hosting plans are either optimised or support installations for a range of popular apps that would otherwise be exclusive to specialist hosting solutions.
In addition to this, you can also take full advantage of the web host’s exclusive hosting features such as their Swift and Turbo servers, as well as A2’s optimised service!
Although this plan is hidden in their website’s footer, A2 Hosting does have a WordPress hosting solution, which includes free site migration, so you needn’t worry about rebuilding your website. A free SSL certificate is also awarded and for e-commerce customers, additional SSL certificates can also be bought at an affordable price.
A2’s WordPress hosting solution provides an array of speed-boosting features including a complete solid-state drive solution and A2’s ‘Optimised Site Accelerator’ which is powered by OPcache, Memcached and Turbo Cache. Cloudflare Plus and Railgun Optimiser is also included to increase page loads 200% faster than standard hard drives for less than two dollars extra a month.
In addition to the list of promising features, A2’s Managed WordPress plans also include website staging, Managed WordPress updates and patching, a WordPress toolkit, 24/7/365 dedicated WordPress support and a pre-installed WP-CLI for advanced control of your WordPress site.
Every Managed WordPress plan includes all of the preceding advanced features and are categorised in relation to the number of sites you wish to host.
10 GB Storage
25 GB Storage
40 GB Storage
Though rather than stay confined to one of these Managed WordPress plans, A2’s shared hosting plans are also optimised for WordPress, and it’s no secret! In fact, A2 Hosting boasts about their ‘perfect’ WordPress hosting solutions, which come with WordPress pre-installed and detail desirable WordPress optimised features, such as pre-installed Command Line WordPress Interface, A2-optimised features and enhanced security. Best of all, unlike A2’s Managed WordPress hosting solutions, the shared hosting plans come with a choice of four server locations, including two in the USA, one in Europe and the other in Asia.
For those who want more for their money, for Linux users, the Turbo shared hosting plan provides quicker processing power and WordPress LiteSpeed cache which significantly reduces your sites’ loading time, as well as the benefits of A2’s SwiftServer. Best of all, it’s cheaper; however, the only downside to this is that A2 Hosting will not offer dedicated WordPress features, such as the WordPress toolkit or WordPress expert support.
Another thing worth making a note of is that A2’s Managed WordPress plans come with multi-lingual support, a Plesk control panel and easy web-based file manager for further ease-of-use; however, if you’re used to the cPanel layout, then it would be best to opt for one of A2’s shared hosting plans.
A2’s cloud hosting solutions are said to be “high powered, developer friendly and reliable” and judging from their reviews and specifications; they’re not lying. But where does A2 Hosting stand in relation to their competitors?
To begin with, A2 Hosting is (at the time of writing) amongst the top three web hosting companies and have been awarded four and a half stars, out of five, for their cloud hosting services.
Despite their stingy RAM and storage allowance, A2’s support, features, uptime and overall value are credited by Google’s most popular hosting comparison site; making A2 Hosting a credible supplier.
In short, A2’s cloud hosting plans start at $15.00 per month and increase up to $25.00, yet if, for whatever reason, their plans aren’t to your liking, then their hassle-free anytime money-back guarantee works well within your favour!
512 MB RAM
1 GB RAM
1 GB RAM
One thing we admire about A2 Hosting is the transparency of their prices. Though their plans can come across as convoluted, nothing is ever set in stone as you can configure each plan to your accord.
With cloud, you can download or compile custom software, choose your OS, as well as the CPU speed, meaning you only pay for what you need. Nevertheless, to attain cPanel access, you must purchase a cPanel license, while A2’s competitors include this for free within their plans. Also, despite A2’s declaration of support to Windows users, the standard operating system for their cloud plans is Linux, so there are no dedicated Windows cloud plans.
Continuing with A2’s statement, to ensure a “high powered service” the host’s 99.9% guaranteed uptime and SSD speed boosting solutions are available across all cloud plans to further increase the performance of inbound and outbound operations, as well as A2’s redundant network and modern hardware. Unfortunately, however, A2’s SSDs are available at a small, extra cost, whereas A2’s competitors, again, provide this upgrade for free.
With regards to reliability, A2 Hosting monitors their network’s performance 24/7 and if their connection is down, A2’s quadruple redundant network will still keep you connected! As a backup, A2 also offers Cloud Disaster Recovery so you can recover your cloud in the worst-case scenario.
A2’s reseller hosting plans are perfect for anyone who is thinking about taking on web hosting but doesn’t want to deal with the operational aspects of the business. Better still, A2’s reseller plans are compatible with both Linux and Windows operating systems and offer a four-tier solution; the following of which are:
30 GB Storage
75 GB Storage
150 GB Storage
200 GB Storage
30 GB Storage
75 GB Storage
150 GB Storage
200 GB Storage
All plans seemingly vary depending on the number of accounts, storage and transfer and are, arguably, the best reseller hosting solution we have come across (so far anyway). They’re affordable and cheaper than some other major web hosting providers, and offer the same reseller-friendly features across both Windows and Linux, with added A2 oomph!
With Windows, you are given the easy-to-use Plesk control panel to better manage multiple accounts. For your clients, they have unbranded control panel access, a Plesk control panel and software auto-installer for popular applications such as Drupal and WordPress. Also, Cloudflare CDN is available, so your customers are guaranteed 200% faster page loads and enhanced security.
For maximum performance, A2 Hosting supplies the most up-to-date MySQL and MSSQL databases, at an unlimited rate, all of which are “fine-tuned for top performance”. For better management of Windows’ databases, you can use secure shell access or A2’s pre-installed phpMyAdmin, and for recovery purposes, there’s A2’s Server Rewind Backups!
For Linuxers, likewise, your clients are also offered free Server Rewind Backups, Cloudflare CDN, one-click installations of the same, popular apps through Softaculous and unbranded control panel access. Linux resellers, on the other hand, can manage the customer base via the WebHost Manager control panel; so you can create and oversee unlimited cPanel accounts, edit hosting packages to your own accord, manage SSL certificates and control domain name systems.
Since stability is an essential asset to any hosting plan, A2 goes a step further and ensures that their CloudLinux operating system better supports unpredicted traffic spikes. Every reseller is also assured stability due to A2’s 99.9% guaranteed uptime, free SSL, 24/7 network monitoring, SwiftServer solutions, quadruple redundant network and multilingual support. Furthermore, if you don’t want to deal with site migration, that’s fine as A2 has you covered on that little niggle, too!
So, all in all, A2’s reseller hosting plans seem to be pretty desirable, though one thing we must cover is the additional costs– which in our eyes, isn’t all that bad.
To attain a free WHMCS or Blesta license, you must either opt for the Silver, Gold or Platinum account; though you can buy a WHMCS license separately and get more features than A2’s mandatory freebie.
With regards to the freebie version, this covers 250 clients with the WHMCS branding to guarantee credibility. This can also be bought separately for an extra $10.00 per month for those who opt for the cheaper Bronze plan. However, for just over a dollar extra, Bronze customers can buy the WHMC Plus to add their own branding.
For those on the higher plans, to add your own branding, prices start at $12.00 extra a month and increase to $30.00, whereby your licence covers an unlimited number of customers. Even though it is debatable that this extra charge is a little over-priced, not many hosts provide this feature.
To top it all off, A2’s reseller hosting service has been identified as one of the best reseller hosting solutions on the market and their anytime money-back guarantee, generous disk space and exclusive server speed solutions make it an offer that is hard to refuse.
Unlike most web hosting companies, A2 Hosting does not have their own web builder, nor does it leverage other site building services. Instead, their hosting services include free site migration and one-click installation of top CMS applications, such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
Nonetheless, A2 Hosting also supports site building software including RapidWeaver and Sandvox – both of which are perfect for Mac users – as well as drag-and-drop site builder, Microweber; but that’s not all. A2 Hosting backs a range of site building software (28 to be exact), including popular Adobe application, DreamWeaver.
A2 Hosting Domain Registrar
Though not exceedingly popular, A2 Hosting does offer a domain registrar service alongside their web hosting plans, so you can either transfer or register a new domain.
Depending on the web hosting plan, you can choose to host a number of websites, domains and subdomains and can transfer their existing domain with ease; all that is needed is your Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) code from your existing registration company. However, not all domain transfers are free, so for more details, visit A2’s site.
Nonetheless, A2 also offers custom name servers with each domain, as well as free DNS management and domain theft protection; which is a great deal, as other hosts provide these extra features at an additional cost.
Register a new domain or transfer your existing ones now!
In addition to offering the most commonly registered top level domain (TLD) options, A2 Hosting offers hundreds of additional TLD options bound to fit your needs!
With regards to registering a domain, you can choose from 410 TLDs all of which vary in price and, at the time of writing, are no lower than $7.95.
Like every domain registrar, A2 supply domain extensions suitable for the website’s purpose and geographical location, as well as general TLDs such as .com; which is currently $14.95 – a bit pricier than other domain registrars.
A2 Hosting’s Key Features
Even though A2 Hosting isn’t the most popular on the market (again, we don’t get why!), they seem to be ahead of the game when it comes to delivering high-end server performance.
Irrespective of the typical 99.9% uptime guarantee marketing ploy, their countless four to five-star reviews speaks volumes with regards to their guaranteed top-quality service.
For speedier service delivery, the majority of A2’s plans come with Turbo servers which are said to increase page loads 20x faster, and if not, the option to upgrade is available to all customers. Otherwise, users can stick with A2’s SwiftServer features, which include the choice of four data centre locations, Cloudflare CDN and the choice to upgrade to Cloudflare’s Railgun Optimiser and A2’s Performance Plus for less than $2 extra a month. The latter two are said to supply 143% faster HTML loads, additional RAM and increased CPU cores for better processing power during traffic spikes. In the UK, that extra price wouldn’t even get you a bus ticket – so for that reason, A2’s additional features is, by far, a great deal!
Higher tiered plans, inevitably, offer more advanced server features such as HTTP/2, Cloudflare Plus and A2 Optimised Site Accelerator. However, despite these impressive features, be sure to read A2’s Server Maintenance Policy which states that servers and related hardware may be brought down for service or maintenance management and does not contribute to their uptime commitment. Otherwise, for any unscheduled downtime for more than 0.1% of the total time per month, they will provide service credit for 5% of what is paid for every hour the website is down. Though, downtime needs to be confirmed by a member of staff.
Nonetheless, with speed comes reliability and with A2, networks are monitored 24/7, and quadruple redundant network support is available to keep your site connected during downtime.
Perpetual security, amongst other things, is what A2 takes great pride in, as the company offers many features which proactively protects customers’ site(s) from malicious acts via KernelCare and HackScan, to name a few.
A2 Hosting also offers a range of security features which vary in advancement depending on the tier you choose. Server Rewind Backups, for instance, can be performed to recover data from deletion, mistakes or data corruption, as well as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal software patching. Furthermore, for cloud customers, Cloud Disaster Recovery is also available for worst-case scenarios.
On top of the following security features, free SSL certificates are available with all plans – which in most cases, is rare – and 24/7 network monitoring is also undertaken by A2’s tech team to better support their servers. However, one thing we don’t admire is how A2 Hosting do not take responsibility for browser, ISP network or DNS caching issues and DDoS attacks on their servers. For more details with regards to this, their customer support team are available to answer any questions regarding their policies.
Speaking of support, like many hosts, A2’s customer support team are available around the clock, 365 days a year and can be contacted via live chat, phone or ticket. The host is said to “hand-pick” their support crew and choose the “most knowledgeable, friendly and patient” technicians; which is ideal for anyone who’s caught up in the most stressful of situations.
In addition to this, support is prioritised to those who purchase A2’s pricier plans, so there’s no waiting around for their services. Though if you need help ASAP, A2’s FAQs, free resources including user guides and blog section is on hand!
A huge selling point of A2 Hosting is their anytime money-back guarantee service, which is another desirable feature they often boast about and is by far, the best deal we have yet come across.
To cancel your plans instantly within the first 30 days of use, you will be issued a full refund. Though if you request for a refund on a pre-paid plan after the 30-day period, you will be re-billed at the standard price, as opposed to the discounted price you purchased the plan on and will only be refunded the difference between the re-billed and discounted amount.
Refunds also exclude third-party services, such as domain registrations, set up and migration fees. SSL certificates have a seven-day window.
Although this seems like a bogus offer, there are benefits with A2’s anytime money-back guarantee. With regards to other hosting companies, a “satisfaction money-back guarantee” is offered. However, A2 Hosting does not take your satisfaction, or dissatisfaction for that matter, to heart. This means that you can try out A2’s services as many times as necessary and won’t be held accountable for your decision to cancel your plan and still receive a full refund; whereas some companies penalise customers for doing this.
Since we’re on the subject of money, A2 has another great offer as the company’s ‘refer a friend’ link can earn you extra credits. If you refer a person to A2, you can earn $50 hosting credit for every person you refer, which is active for 30 days.
A2 Hosting Pros and Cons
- Scalable plans and resources.
- Transparent services (no gimmicks).
- High-end reseller hosting plans.
- Anytime money-back guarantee.
- 24/7/365 support.
- Optimised features, including CMS caching.
- Refer a friend benefits.
- Mind-boggling plans.
- No website builder.
- Pricey VPS and dedicated hosting.
- Free domain is not optional.
- No Railgun Optimiser or Litespeed cache for Windows users.
The Future of A2 Hosting
Unfortunately for us, and for you, A2 Hosting is good at keeping their trap shut. Therefore, it was somewhat difficult for us to dig up some fresh news with regards to A2’s future hosting developments.
Nonetheless, we are pleased to announce that A2’s ultra-speedy services – as evident in this review – have crossed over the world of Windows; meaning that both Windows and Linux users can take full advantage of the company’s high-performance solutions. For the time being, however, we can only speculate that Windows hosting is only going to get better.
Despite A2’s focus on Linux, in a recent press release, Vice President of A2’s marketing sector, Corey Hammond, mentioned: “we [A2 Hosting] simply couldn’t ignore the growth of the Windows Hosting market and the demand for support for Windows software.”
With this in mind, we can only hope that whatever technical developments A2 Hosting undertake, both Linux and Windows users can benefit; and so far, A2 Windows customers have done. Though, we believe A2 has a long way to go.
Overall, A2 Hosting, as indicated via the length of the review, offers a multitude of web hosting solutions, which are suitable for all developer needs. Though some plans, such as VPS and dedicated are pricier than their competitors, deals such as their shared and reseller hosting solutions are an all-around bargain of a buy!
As previously mentioned, desirable aspects such as A2’s anytime money-back guarantee, around the clock support and their SwiftServer and Turbo Boost features are a credit to the company. However, one thing we have to complain about – especially since we conducted the research – is their convoluted hosting solutions! So, if you’re after a great web hosting solution, we advise you to either thoroughly research their services or simply re-read this review to save yourself the pain of going through A2’s disjointed descriptions!