Would you not like your website to load superfast?
Of course, most of us would like our websites to impress our visitors with quick loading and navigation.
If you have designed a great looking website with quality content, then you only need solid performance for it to attract the maximum amount of traffic.
This is where a hosting provider like A2 helps you.
The A2 web host has changed the way webmasters look at shared hosting services and even offers amazing speed with shared hosting.
Well, this is not to say that speed is the sole criteria on which you determine the selection of your website’s host.
There is no single hosting company that can claim to be the best for all webmasters and websites. Depending on your needs, you will find a particular hosting provider to be a better fit than others.
Hence, it does not always make sense to just go to the first Google search result page for the top hosting companies to select one for yourself because there are so many web hosts like A2 that may just be the perfect fit for the requirements of your website.
In this article, we provide you with an honest review of A2 hosting and its features. This will help you understand whether the A2 hosting provider is the right fit for you.
A2 Hosting Company Background
This web hosting company has been around for longer than you may think. It was launched in 2001 as Iniquinet, a web hosting startup.
The business was based in Ann Arbor, MI. As the startup picked up a good pace, they changed the company’s name to A2 as a tribute to their base location.
It has always been supportive of the latest technology, which is a major reason for its ever growing success. For example, A2 became one of the first web hosting providers to support PHP5 in 2004.
In 2013, A2 introduced Solid State Drive (SSD) hosting to support its SwiftServer platform. By adopting SSDs for shared hosting as well, A2 managed to raise the speed for all other shared hosting providers.
This company then started making use of turbo servers towards the end of 2014 to offer much quicker page load speeds than several other web hosts.
In a nutshell, A2 has grown into a reliable and high-speed web hosting company.
A further validation of its trustworthiness comes from the fact that A2 has received a rating of “A+” (on a scale of A+ to F, with A+ being the highest) from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
A2 Hosting Features
Now that you know a little bit about the company’s history and how it has evolved, it is time to take an in-depth look at the various hosting features offered by A2.
You can pay special attention to the features that matter most to you when selecting your ideal web host.
Performance – Speed and Uptime
Well, one of the prime areas of focus when selecting a web host should definitely be the uptime of the host. Irrespective of the type of your website or your business, you would definitely want your site to be available to your visitors for most of the time.
This is where A2 offers you what you want! It claims to provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee and most of the existing customers confirm this (if the reviews are anything to go by).
In fact, one of our websites run on this host and it has been offering 100% uptime for the last six months.
Apart from the considerably high uptime, the good part about A2 is that the company has been completely transparent about it. Their server uptime statistics is publicly revealed as they are being tracked by a third-party, such as WebsitePulse.
As far as website performance and speed is concerned, it is one of their biggest USP. A2 loves speed which explains the use of SSDs and turbo servers to maintain extremely high page load speeds at all times.
The SwiftServer platform of A2 also ensures the smooth functioning of your site, irrespective of a heavy traffic load.
Another reason for the solid performance of sites with A2 hosting is that their data centres are spread across three continents. A2 has data centres located in Michigan (USA), Singapore (Asia) and Amsterdam (Europe).
You thus get access to the server that is located closest to your location. This enhances the speed and performance of your site.
These servers are furthermore monitored round the clock. Also, since these servers are exclusively owned by A2, you can rely on their security.
Security and Backup
A2’s data centres are SSAE16 certified. It involves a gated parking lot with security key entry. Also, a security key is required to enter the data centres. The physical security is further enhanced with video surveillance.
A2 also offers a server rewind backup facility, which allows you to recover data from (automatic) saved account backup snapshots.
It also uses Cloud Fare which has the basic functionality of helping you deliver content at a fast pace. However, it does not allow any malicious threats to reach your site by blocking them.
The A2 hosting plans are loaded with free hack scans that further enhance the security of your website.
In addition, A2 offers a security solution labelled “Patchman” for all shared SSD accounts and some HDD servers.
This security tool helps to detect out-of-date software versions, infected files (which is quarantines) and so on. It even helps to patch any security issues with Drupal, WordPress and Joomla.
A2 has a reliable customer support team labelled “Guru Crew Support”. They are extremely good because they do not outsource their support facility to save money.
They have also formed their support team with the best professionals who have good technical knowledge. That is the reason why the A2 support team is able to not only answer your basic hosting queries with ease, but also able to answer any advanced technical queries.
If you are a developer, you would still receive good support from the A2 support team for trying out advanced features on your site. The name “Guru Crew” is clearly apt for this team!
Their support team is furthermore there for you whenever you need as they are available 24×7 and 365 days a year!
You can connect with them via chat, phone calls, and emails or by simply submitting a ticket! Their response time is even pretty quick as they do not believe in keeping their customer waiting for long.
A2 will even suit you if you are a newbie webmaster who knows nothing about web hosting. To make matters easy for you, it offers the industry standard control panel in the form of cPanel.
This control panel is extremely easy to use, even for first-time users, and you can easily navigate through it and do the stuff that you need to your website.
With options like Softaculous, you can install WordPress script or scripts of other CMS with just a few clicks. You can also easily access Joomla, Drupal and many other applications from the control panel.
It further offers you a shopping cart for your eCommerce platform, if you have any. A2 offers support for some highly effective eCommerce tools, including PrestaShop and Magenta. Also, the one-click cart set up functionality does not involve in any complex coding.
If you wish to get a hosting account with root access, then A2 even allows you to install open source control panels, such as ZPanel, Ajenti and ISPConfig.
The A2 hosting provider is unique as it offers a lot for developers as well. So, if you are a programmer or like coding, you will enjoy the kind of support that A2 offers for various programming languages or tools.
Your A2 account will always be loaded with the current versions of the most popular developer software.
For example, A2 was also one of the first PHP7 hosting providers (apart from the PHP5 one in 2004). Moreover, you get performance tuned databases, such as MySQL, along with several hosting frameworks for Perl, Ruby and Python.
It offers you maximum satisfaction with a risk-free trial accompanied by an anytime money back guarantee. You will get a hassle-free refund from A2. And, if you cancel your account within 30 days, you will get a full refund.
You can even get some pro-rated refunds based on your usage if you cancel your A2 hosting account after the initial 30 days. In fact, even the SSL certificates that have to be purchased enjoy a seven-day refund cycle from the date of purchase.
Clearly, A2 believes in offering the maximum convenience to you!
Various Plans and Pricing
A2 offers a variety which is evident in the types of hosting plans that it provides. Based on your requirements, you can select a hosting plan that suits your needs best.
Below, we go through the various A2 hosting plan categories.
All the A2 shared hosting plans offer the following common features:
The table below reflects the distinguishing features for the various shared hosting plans offered by A2.
|Pricing||Email Addresses||Domains||Cores||Databases||Physical Memory||Virtual Memory|
|Lite||$7.99 per month (annual basis) or $7.99 per month (bi-annual basis) or $9.99 per month (monthly basis)||25||1||1 x 2.1 GHz||5||5 GB||2 GB|
|Swift||$10.99 per month (annual basis) or $9.99 per month (bi-annual basis) or $12.99 per month (monthly basis)||Unlimited||Unlimited||2 x 2.1 GHz||Unlimited||1 GB||8 GB|
|Turbo||$20.99 per month (annual basis) or $18.99 per month (bi-annual basis) or $24.99 per month (monthly basis)||Unlimited||Unlimited||2 x 2.1 GHz||Unlimited||2 GB||8 GB|
If you are not into the technical stuff, you can go for the A2 Managed VPS hosting options or for the A2 Dynamic VPS hosting plans. With the dynamic VPS plans, you can get a fully customisable account, while the Managed VPS plans offer you full HostGuard management.
|Pricing||Bandwidth (From)||Memory (From)||CPU (From)||Disk Space (From)||Additional Features|
|Dynamic VPS||From $9.89 per month||200 GB||512 MB||Four vCPUs||10 GB (RAID-10)||Turbo VPS boost, full root access and more
Control panel requires a license
|Managed VPS||From $32.99 per month to $65.99 per month||2,000 GB to 4,000 GB||4 GB to 8 GB||Four to eight vCPUs||75 GB to 150 GB (RAID-10)||Turbo VPS boost and free control panel|
Dedicated Server Hosting
A2 also offers you Flex dedicated server hosting options if you like control and are excited about developing the command line. It further provides Managed flex dedicated server hosting options, if you like a completely managed hosting solution. Under both categories, three different plans are offered: Sprint, Exceed and Mach.
|Plans||Pricing||RAID 1 Storage||RAM||Transfer||Cores|
|Dedicated Server||From 99.59 per month to $248.99 per month||From 2×500 GB to 2×1,000 GB||From 8 GB to 16 GB||From 10 TB to 20 TB||Minimum two to maximum 12|
|Managed Dedicated Server||From $141.09 per month to $290.49 per month||From 2×500 GB to 2×1,000 GB||From 8 GB to 16 GB||From 10 TB to 20 TB||Minimum two to maximum 12|
Advantages of A2 Hosting
Disadvantages of A2 Hosting
The only disadvantage one can possibly point out for the A2 hosting provider is the prices of certain plans. You cannot consider them to be cheap hosting plans.
The Final Verdict
Very rarely have we come across a web host that has something for everyone: a newbie webmaster, a developer, an administrator and so on. You can start with A2 hosting at a lower level and then eventually scale up as your site requires more resources.
We hope that this article helps you determine if you can opt for A2’s hosting services for your website. Do you have any questions or points to add here? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!