This review is for A2 Hosting – a famous web host that focuses on delivering ultra-reliable hosting services for both newbies and professional webmasters.
Note that we mainly discuss the price, features, reliability, speed, support, and company reputation based on our real hosting experience with this web host.
Up to now, we have been hosting our WordPress site on A2 Hosting shared platform for more than 1 year and kept monitoring the site closely.
Besides, we have browsed a pile of customer reviews over the Internet. Therefore, this review is promised to be impartial.
Founded in August 2001 and based in Ann Arbor, Michigan (hence named as A2 Hosting), this company offers multiple hosting options to customers, including shared, VPS, reseller and dedicated hosting services, among which the shared web hosting is the most well-known one.
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A2 Hosting is a quality Linux hosting company and has built its excellent industry reputation on offering super-fast speed, at least 99.9% uptime, 24/7/365 US-based guru crew support, and all-inclusive hosting packages. So far, this company has half a million customers, and this number is still fast-growing with over 1,500 new customers increased for each month.
A2 Hosting > Price
Due to the fact that A2 Hosting provides cost-effective web hosting services, the hosting price has been starting at $5.99/mo originally. If customers need SSD for a 300% faster page loading speed, they only need to pay $5.39/mo instead of the regular price of $8.99/mo.
In addition, the pricing of the service applies to the billing cycle, meaning that the longer-term your purchase, the more money you save.
The 3-year plan is the longest billing cycle, which allows customers to save as high as $74.52. With A2Hostinig hassle-free 30 days money-back guarantees, customers no longer need to worry about the waste of money when paying for a long term plan at one time.
In terms of the payment method, customers have multiple choices, including Paypal, Google Checkout, 2CheckOut, bank transfer and Credit Card (Visa, AmEx, Disc).
Also, the extra freebies are available that include $25 search credits for Bing/Yahoo, $20 Bidvertiser ads credits, and free iContact email marketing trial.
A2 Hosting > Features
It is important to point out that the hosting package offered by A2 Hosting is all-inclusive.
In addition to unlimited disk space, data transfer, email accounts, domains, and databases, all accounts also have access to a large number of competitive features like free Server Rewind Backups, free HackScan protection, free Railgun Network Optimizer, SSH, FTP, Cron etc.
Some other great features are listed below.
Moreover, A2 Hosting is 100% compatible with all the popular scripts available on the web, including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and many more by offering the following features. The combination of these technologies can guarantee a great running environment for all the applications.
- Scripting Languages: PHP 5.5, Python 3.2 & Perl 5.10
- Databases: MySQL 5.5, PostgreSQL 9.1 & SQLite 3.3
- Server Software: Apache 2.2, Nginx & Tomcat
- Frameworks: Ruby on Rails 3.0 & Zend Framework
- Version Controls: SVN, CVS, Git & Mercurial
- Advanced Features: shared SSL, SSH, CloudFlare CDN & Railgun Optimizer
A2 Hosting > Usability
In terms of the control panel, A2 Hosting offers the widely used cPanel, which is easy to use and icon-based. With it, even new webmasters are able to manage their domains, email, software and databases with ease.
Besides, inside the control panel, customers can find an icon called Softaculous, which is used to install scripts (including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.) with a few simple clicks. In a word, setting up and managing a website, whether it is a personal blog or business site, can be a simple task there.
Below are some simple steps for blog creation with A2 Hosting and the most popular blogging tool of WordPress:
- Sign in A2 Hosting official website, and then click the “Login” button in the top of the homepage. Input the domain ID and password and click “Login”.
- Scroll down to the website builders category, and then click the Softaculous icon.
- Select the domain in which you wish to install WordPress and click “Install.” Wait for Softaculous to tell you the installation is finished. Remember the temporary WordPress user ID and password.
- Navigate to your WordPress control panel (address format is your site.com) and log in using your temporary name and password.
- Begin building your own blog site.
A2 Hosting > Speed
A2 Hosting is famous for providing a blazing fast shared web hosting service by utilizing the exclusive SwiftServer Platform, which is a product of high-performance hosting expertise with a lot of cutting edge technologies listed as following:
Railgun network optimizer in A2 Hosting is aiming to accelerate the connections between each CDN data center and the origin server. Therefore, web pages can be delivered rapidly wherever the original web server locates. In fact, as we have tested in the real world, A2 Hosting allows customers to get up to 143% faster HTML load times with Railgun.
CloudFlare Content Delivery Network
Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a powerful tool used to deliver website content like HTML, images, and multimedia files to visitors with the swiftest speed and the highest level of security. As tested, this tool can boost the page loading speed 200% faster. Besides, different from other hosts charge at least $20/mo for CDN service, A2 Hosting’s Cloudflare Content Delivery Network is free for customers to utilize.
SSD (Solid State Drive)
The SSD (Solid State Drive) offered by A2 Hosting has no spinning disks and movable write heads that contained by a traditional hard disk drive, but more resistant to physical shock. These features offered by SSD provide A2 Hosting a super reliable web host environment.
Apart from those mentioned technologies above, A2 Hosting SwiftServer Platform is featuring 10 GB Redundant Network with dual fiber entrance, and multi-homed network connectivity via Savvis, Global Crossing, Cogent Communications, which is helpful for keeping everything up and running while an internet break occurs.
And the Server Rewind backup program helps customers easily restore their data from saved snapshots when recovery is necessary.
As a result, A2 Hosting has been keeping delivering an ultra-fast page loading speed in the passing 30 days. To be specific, the average server response time of this company is approximately 397ms.
A2 Hosting > Reliability
By leveraging the power of multiple advanced datacenters (located in Southfield, Michigan, Reykjavik, Iceland) with redundant network, redundant power supply, and many security measures, A2 Hosting guarantees a 99.9% uptime. This web host is very open about its real-time uptime statistics. The uptime is tracked every 5 minutes by WebsitePulse from four different locations including Washington, Los Angeles, Brisbane and Dusseldorf, and the results are transparent for everyone visiting A2 Hosting Server Uptime Report.
Besides, if customers’ websites are unreachable due to an internal network or equipment failure, this company will provide a refund in the amount of 5% of the paid fee for the month. Obviously, A2 Hosting is confident about its hosting reliability.
A2 Hosting > Support
A2 Hosting does not outsource the customer service but offers the US-based Guru Crew technical support. The support staffs are professional and patient and can be contacted 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. For the frequently asked questions related to hosting accounts, customers can find the answer in A2 Hosting Community Forum or Knowledgebase.
Webmasters in the USA and Canada are able to ask for phone support via dialing 1-888-546-8946 while webmasters of other regions can dial +1734-222-4678. Besides, live chat is available by clicking the Live Help button on the official website of A2 Hosting. Also, its ticket system allows webmasters to log into and send a ticket email.
A2 Hosting – Plan Upgrade
Websites that are coming with different sizes, contents, daily traffic and target readers may require different hosting types and plans. In this case, A2 Hosting offers a wide variety of hosting solutions for you to choose from. With the growth of your websites, you can easily and quickly upgrade your plan from the basic web hosting to the VPS hosting or even the dedicated hosting for fully supporting your site running.
In addition, the VPS hosting of A2 Hosting includes the managed option and the unmanaged option. In this case, you can choose based on your budgets and server-side skills and knowledge. Even, A2 Hosting allows you to design your VPS package according to the ultimate hosting needs. This kind of customization freedom allows you to decide the exact allocation of monthly bandwidth, RAM and disk space in your package.
If you want to start your own hosting companies or businesses, you can also go with the reseller hosting of A2 Hosting, giving you enough server resources that can be divided into plenty of hosting accounts easily.
A2 Hosting – Knowledge Base and Blog Area
A2 Hosting has established a large knowledge base that contains a great number of useful tutorials concerning how to develop, host and maintain your website. All the articles are useful enough to resolve the issues you have experienced with your hosting account.
The great part of this knowledge base is that you can find a special Getting Started Area, which is pretty useful for some newbies who do not know how to configure the domain settings, how to access the hosting account, how to set up the emails, how to back up the data and many more.
In addition, A2 Hosting also has a special Blog area that posts a lot of informative articles about hosting, blogging, hot scripts, e-commerce and some others.
Summary – Is A2 Hosting Recommended?
The answer is a resounding YES! A2 Hosting offers affordable pricing, blazing fast speed, 99.9% uptime, great customer service and a variety of competitive features, so we highly recommend the company for those looking for a cheap but reliable web hosting provider.