A2 Hosting Review: When You Have a Need for Speed
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At first glance, A2 Hosting might seem like nothing more than another hosting platform that sings high praises then falls flat on the delivery. The features almost seem too good to be true.
Everyone claims to be faster than the competitors, but twenty times so? Can A2 Hosting live up to its promises? Let’s take a look.
Speed Tests Don’t Lie
When this company says it’s 20x faster than its competitors, it’s not just exaggerating to make an eye-catching headline. A2 Hosting has a special set of optimizations, and this clean code really makes things quick.
There’s no laggy, outdated programming on these servers. Premium plan members are also placed in a less crowded environment, which really helps to facilitate faster speeds.
And while nothing beats raw speed and power, there are other features to back it up. Shared hosting is what most bloggers are after, and these unassuming plans pack quite a punch. You can choose between Linux or Windows, the latter of which costs a bit more.
Still, most or all Linux features are there. A free SSL certificate is included, which you’ll need before you can process transactions, so it’s a huge save.
Other features include detailed analytics, billing, and invoicing services. This is all managed from a familiar cPanel dashboard.
A2 Hosting also mentions support for a surprising range of site types. Blogs, social media, podcasts, forums, education, dating, and more. And it’s not just a random list; supported apps and integrations for these types of sites are all available. Flexibility rules here.
And it’s not just a random list; supported apps and integrations for these types of sites are all available. Flexibility rules here.
If you’re starting a larger project then cloud, VPS, and dedicated hosting are available. Unmanaged VPS is relatively inexpensive here so experienced programmers will feel right at home.
The rest of the pricing is about average but all plans come with the same speediness and stability.
While shared hosting is certainly the star of the show, there are plenty of resources for larger websites and projects as well. Whatever your dream may be, you can relax knowing that it’s in good hands.
Types of Hosting Available
A2 Hosting offers a variety of different types of hosting to end users. In the table below, we will take a look at some of the most popular hosting options on offer alongside the features of each.
|Shared Hosting||VPS Hosting||Managed WordPress Hosting||Managed Hosting|
|Best for Personal Blog or Website||More Power Than Shared Hosting||Professional WordPress Option||Business / Intensive Hosting|
|Turbo Servers||More Server Isolation||Site Staging||Complete Server Isolation|
|WordPress-Friendly Hosting||Managed Hosting Available||Plesk Control Panel||Managed Hosting Available|
Performance and Hardware
A2 Hosting has some pretty decent specs under the hood. The company makes a point of stating that they own and control all of their own servers. This is definitely a bonus feature for users who value privacy.
Meanwhile, the company states that their servers are “ultra-reliable, expertly tuned by our team of engineers and monitored 24/7/365.”
Meanwhile, the company also boasts data centers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia so you can be almost certain that page loading times will be fast from many places on the planet.
Along with the above, A2 Hosting also features compatibilities with some e-commerce software.
While it’s not a full-fledged e-commerce platform on its own, if you’re looking for a place to run Magento, Prestashop, or similar online shopping carts, this will work just fine.
This a definite perk for those looking to open an online store to complement an existing blog presence.
Here is a list of some of the tools supported by A2 Hosting that may be beneficial to your e-commerce business:
- Divi Builder
- Beaver Builder
The most expensive shared hosting plan includes special optimizations and various performance boosts for Magento. Drupal and Joomla support is included as well. If you use these platforms or their plugins for e-commerce, you can easily install them via Softaculous.
And if you run your blog on WordPress, there are special features available just to improve your blog’s performance. WP comes pre-installed, so there’s very little setup required, and plenty of popular apps are compatible.
WooCommerce, Divi Builder, and more all work with A2 Hosting, which means you can build an excellent blog with a custom design and e-commerce integrated, without requiring a developer to make it happen.
Overall, this hosting provider isn’t designed specifically for online stores, and it’s certainly not a full-fledged shopping cart program in and of itself.
But for the sort of e-commerce platforms that require a separate host — like Magento — A2 Hosting supports them well. And this gives bloggers the flexibility they need to grow their businesses when the time comes.
A2 Hosting supports the WordPress Content Management System. This means that you can run your website from WordPress and avail of the many features and plugins included with the app.
There are two ways that you can install WordPress:
- Automatically via the cPanel control panel
Installing WordPress automatically via cPanel
Here we will take a look at the steps required to install the WordPress CMS using the Softaculous script on your cPanel:
- Log in to cPanel
- Click any of the options under Categories in the SOFTACULOUS APPS INSTALLER section
- In the Search text box, type WordPress and then press ENTER
- Click Install. The installation page appears
- In the Choose Protocol list box, select the protocol
- In the Choose Domain list box, select the domain for installation
- In the In Directory text box, type the directory where you want to install the application
- In the Database Name text box, type the name of the database to create for the application
- In the Table Prefix text box, type the database table prefix
- In the Site Name text box, type the site name
- In the Site Description text box, type the site description
- In the Admin Username text box, type the administrator username
- In the Admin Password text box, type the administrator password
- In the Admin Email text box, type the site administrator e-mail address.
- In the Select Language list box, select the default language for the application.
- To limit the number of login attempts, select the Limit Login Attempts check box.
- Review the installation options and settings, and then click Install.
One of the best reasons to use WordPress is for the wide range of plugins and tools available:
- BuddyPress: Helps site builders & developers add community features to their websites
- WooCommerce: An E-Commerce plugin for selling online
- Yoast SEO: Improve the SEO functionality of your website
- bbPress: Its forum software, made the WordPress way
- WordFence Security: Malware Scanning and Firewall security
One of the downsides to A2 Hosting is the somewhat confusing pricing model. Hosts tend to advertise the lowest possible price, which comes only with the longest possible plan as standard. They also tend to promote one-time use coupons to draw you in. It’s a common practice.
The promotional discount is also applied at the last step of checkout. This was a bit confusing at first because all throughout the checkout process, it didn’t seem possible to get the advertised price — at least not until the very end. It’s just a misunderstanding, but one that could turn some customers away.
Without the admittedly generous coupons and long cost-cutting contracts, A2 Hosting is average in terms of its pricing. Locking into a host you don’t trust with your life (or your website’s life, at least) for three years is never a good idea, so most bloggers should tread with caution until they’re sure this is the right host for what they need.
Keep in mind, however, there are many other hosts out there that are way more expensive and don’t offer nearly the same level of features. And for this host, with its fast servers and near-constant uptime, it may be worth paying a little extra.
One of the features that we like about A2 Hosting is the wide range of customer support/customer service options available should something go wrong with your package.
These include the following:
- Knowledge Base
- Internet Live Chat
- Email Support
This means that no matter which time of the day or night you end up in trouble, there will always be somebody there to help out.
A2 Hosting vs. The Competition
While A2 Hosting is undoubtedly a popular choice, it is certainly not the only option out there for those planning to launch a website or put their business online. in the table below, we will compare A2 Hosting with competitors such as InMotion Hosting and SiteGround.
|A2 Hosting||InMotion Hosting||SiteGround|
|Free SSL Certificate||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Unsurprisingly, A2 Hosting is often listed as an alternative itself. Its speeds outmatch those of similarly priced and sized companies, so turning to it makes sense. But if this hosting provider just isn’t what you’re looking for, you should try out a few similar options.
A2 Hosting vs. SiteGround
With a good reputation for its e-commerce and WordPress hosting, SiteGround just might be the alternative you’re looking for if you want to start or transfer a blog with requires e-commerce ability. Shopify might work, too.
As an online store that comes with hosting, there’s no need to jump between multiple tools to manage your content. It’s all right there. BigCommerce, Volusion, and others fall into this category as well.
A2 Hosting vs. Bluehost
BlueHost is another option. If WordPress is what you love, the CMS company itself recommends BlueHost as its host of choice. The two integrate very well together.
Conclusion: Super Fast Hosting for All Blog Projects
When a host seems too good to be true, it’s often a good idea to trust your instincts and move on — or at least do some thorough digging.
But A2 Hosting has no dirt to hide, and what it claims to offer really is the truth. It’s amazing what some simple optimizations can do. When a company takes the time to touch up the code just to squeeze out those extra precious milliseconds, you can rest assured that it cares about its customers.
A2 Hosting may have flown under the radar in comparison to more popular hosts, but if it keeps up its speedy service, it’s sure to overtake popular brand names like GoDaddy and HostGator. A2 sets a great example; you should never have to settle for anything less than this level of high-performance hosting.