A2 is known to be one of the oldest players in hosting business as they started in the year 2001 under the name Iniquinet. In 2003 they decided to change their name to A2 hosting.
They claim to have satisfied over 5 million users and 97% of their users are very much satisfied from them as they are giving 20x faster server. On top of that, their (first-term) pricing seems like a bargain, but what about the renewal fees? That's exactly why we decided to review A2 Hosting and tell you all about their products, prices, advantages, and flaws.
Like many other popular hosting providers, A2 Hosting has a lot to offer. Let me tell you what products you can get from them and when to use them.
Other than their hosting plans A2 also offer you domain names at a very low price like a .com domain will cost around just under $15 per year and you can also buy the extensions such as .com, .info, .int, .org, .edu. Country specific TLDs like.co.uk, .de, .fr, .es or .au aren't available.
The most popular hosting plan is their shared hosting plans and their renewal cost goes from just under $9 to more than $20 per month. It's the one that most websites will require – unless you have a website with high traffic or need a special server to setup.
They also offer managed WordPress hosting plans. These are shared hosting packages that are optimized for WordPress, come with some additional WordPress features (e.g. staging) and their support agents are WordPress experts. Managed WordPress hosting starts at $28.51 a month at A2 Hosting.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It's a way to divide a server into smaller individual (sub)servers. This means that you can configure the server according to your requirements as you don't have to share the possessions with other customers. They are appropriate if you need something between a shared hosting and a dedicated server. A VPS at A2 Hosting goes from as little as $5 a month to around $100.
You can imagine cloud hosting as a network of interconnected servers. So, your website won't be hosted on one server, but many at a single time. They are a great solution for those expecting traffic peaks as you can assign more resources as you need them. They start at $5 a month for 20 GB of storage and 512 MB of RAM – storage and resources can be increased.
But if your site is likely to get hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, you probably need a dedicated hosting package. In simple words, an entire server just for your website. These aren't cheap, at A2 Hosting they start at $120 a month.
If you have customers that may need hosting so you can choose the reseller program where you can sell hosting plans to your clients. These plans start at around $20 a month.
Let us talk a bit about its Pros and Cons so you know what to expect from A2 hosting provider.
There are some cases where using A2 Hosting will be a smart choice, but other times it may make little sense to use this hosting provider. Let me clarify those for you.
If you are after a medium-priced provider that's generous with storage and bandwidth, A2 Hosting is a reliable choice.
On top of that, it comes with some features that similar competitors won't offer, for example, built-in server-side caching, staging areas and speed optimization plugins for CMSs like WordPress, PrestaShop or Magento.
We can imagine that A2 Hosting would be a good fit for new bloggers who need a reliable host, for small and medium-sized businesses who are after a serious hosting service, or digital solopreneurs (e.g. SEO experts or WordPress designers) who want storage for their website and theoretically their clients. It is an amazing option if you are looking for a window-based website.
However, there are a couple of limitations that make me reluctant to recommend A2 Hosting for larger projects. Their uptime should improve and having a 35 concurrent HTTP connections limitation may be a deal-breaker for those getting more traffic.
The backend looks a bit old and it could be a bit more instinctive. Though, A2's cPanel version has a clean interface and it's simple to use. Their checkout page can be a bit irresistible with all the features and purchase options you have.
The Lite plan allows you to have 1 website (domain name), 5 sub-domains and 25 parked domain names – the Swift and Turbo tiers don't limit these. A .com domain name with A2 Hosting will cost you $14.95 – not included in the price.
You get 25 email accounts with the A2 Hosting Lite plan, and unlimited with the Swift and Turbo packages. You won't have any email storage limit per account. Be aware that you can't use A2 Hosting for email blasts (e.g. sending newsletters).
The Lite tier will let you create up to 5 databases – with the other plans you get unlimited databases.
On A2 Hosting's cPanel you'll find an application installer for many CMSs like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. They mix the usual Softaculous script with many apps on offer.
A2 Shared Hosting does not give you a limited storage space. Stay informed that they have a huge list as 'Acceptable Use Policy', so it is possible that your website isn't allowed (e.g. to use them as a device backup). Your account won't be able to host more than 600,000 files (inodes).
They also don't have a bandwidth limitation (traffic you can get). However, you are only allowed 35 concurrent HTTP connections to your server.
FTP (and FTPS, secure) accounts aren't limited either. SSH access (for faster deployment) is available.
They have a system in place for security. Among others, they scan your files for viruses, protect you from DDoS and Brute Force attacks. They also have a (free) tool to uncover infected files and quarantine them, as well as a WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal automatic update parching system. Additionally, you get free SSL encryption via Let's Encrypt. It will be easy for you to get back on your site to a previous backup point.
It's possible to set up a 2-factor authentication workflow to access your account, this makes the login process more secure and keeps phishing scams away.
The Turbo plan comes with amplified performance (more features and less users per server), HTTP/2 and a caching system for PrestaShop, WordPress and Magento installations. It pre-integrates CloudFlare's CDN and uses SSD drives to enhances your website speed.
In my experience, the uptime could have been better as they didn't reach the 99.95% industry standard. They have a 99.9% uptime commitment, but serious projects should look at higher uptime rates.
They create automatic backups of your site. They keep a copy of the last 7 days. With their server rewind feature, you can restore files to a previous version at no cost, but it's only available with the Swift and Turbo plans. The interface could be a bit more intuitive in my opinion. If you'd wish to make an on-demand backup then you need to use the basic cPanel tool to download a copy of your website or pay for their backup feature starting at $2 a month.
A2 Hosting doesn't come with a built-in CDN, but Cloudflare is pre-integrated and easy to enable.
You can select between Linux and Windows plans, not all hosting providers will offer both. You will be able to use PHP 7 and PHP 5. MySQL 5.6 and PostgreSQL 9.6 are available for databases. The Lite plan will give you 0.5 GB of RAM, the Swift tier will offer 1 GB and the Turbo package has 2 GB. You'll need a third-party provider if you need PCI compliance. You can use other programming languages like Python and Ruby. Staging areas for WordPress and Joomla sites can be added.
A2 Hosting has a 99.9% uptime commitment with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You will get 27*7 customer support through phone, chat or email (ticket system). Their knowledge base is complete and widespread, its support resources are simple to follow and come with many screenshots for the explanation.