A2 Hosting Review – Blazing Fast Shared Web Hosting!

Looking for an unbiased A2 Hosting review? Your search ends here, I’ve been using A2 Hosting for the past 1 year and here’s the experience I’ve had with them.

A2 Hosting claims to be the fastest shared hosting, is it so? They also make claims of making websites 20X faster, I will today share what I found out by using it. Today you know if the A2 Hosting is just hyped or is it worth the money.

Over the past few years, many new web hosts have emerged and made a name for themselves. One of such web hosts is A2 Hosting. Although, it’s not a new web host it’s been in the game for a long time.

Selecting the right host is very important for your online success. If you select a bad web host you won’t be ever able to do anything as you will always face downtime, slow speed, lack of security and other issues.

Many bloggers recommend BlueHost or HostGator for beginners but I don’t think they are good for beginners. The web hosts I recommend to new bloggers are SiteGround or A2 Hosting.

Why? It’s because I’ve used them as a beginner and know they are some the most trustable web hosts.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give A2 Hosting a 4.5 rating. It is an amazing shared web host.

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Before we get to the review it is important to know about the company. There are many people who don’t know about this amazing web host. Below is a brief history of A2 Hosting –

A2 Hosting’s History

a2hosting_logo

A2 Hosting is an Independent Company i.e, it’s not the same as BlueHost or HostGator which are owned by EIG. It was started back in 2001, which makes it almost 2 decades old. Even then not many people know about it. (That’s kinda sad.)

A2 Hosting operates from Ann Arbor, Michigan and provides web hosting services all over the world. It was started by Bryan Muthig who is still their CEO. Originally, the company was named Iniquinet which was later rebranded.

It was only started as a hobby but it grew very fast & is still growing. A2 Hosting is the best example of if you provide value and brilliant services to users you will grow, no one will be able to stop you.

Making customers happy and helping them succeed is something they enjoy. The employees and CEO want to provide the web hosting solutions they themselves wanted, that’s why they aren’t happy just being average.

There’s hardly anything negative about the company. It has a good reputation, is super powerful and loads webpages at a blazing speed. What else does one need from a web host? I can’t think of anything that I dislike about them.

What makes A2 Hosting So Unique?

There are thousands of web hosts on the internet. Every web hosting company claims it’s the best? So what is it that makes A2 Hosting stand out from the crowd? What does it have? I’m here to answer these questions!

And, the answer to these questions is that is it pretty good at what it does. A2 Hosting is without a doubt, one of the fastest shared web hosts. Not only that it also excels at other departments like support, uptime, etc.

Lots of bloggers use A2 Hosting & it’s the service which makes them do a lot of word-of-mouth advertising. It’s just the same as SiteGround. Both the web hosts provide exceptional service and are loved by thousands of people.

Although I was not able to get the actual number of users I assume it has at least 40 to 50 thousand customers. It’s because the A2 Hosting site gets 2.4 million visitors a month and I’m making a minimum guess.

Since its launch in 2003, it has won numerous web hosting awards. It’s difficult to make it big in the web hosting industry that too when you’re an independent company. But A2 Hosting has proved its worth, it’s not to be ignored.

These were some of the things I consider about A2 Hosting to be unique in its own way. Next up we will get the numbers talking i.e, I do a detailed review of each feature. Make sure to read till the end…

A2 Hosting Review – Performance, Uptime & Other Features

A2 Hosting - Review

When it comes to shared web hosting I will surely pick A2 Hosting in my top three picks. It’s such a fantastic web host, I have never seen any web host providing so many features without any limitation at their pricing.

Now we will look at some of the features which make A2 Hosting one the best web hosts. Let’s begin…

SERVER PERFORMANCE

A2 Hosting is mainly known for its speed. But is it really up to the mark? Does it back up its claim of being the fastest shared web host? I purchased the LITE Plan to check this out myself.

Till now, I’ve used many shared hosts some of them are not well-known and some are very popular. After installing WordPress on A2 Hosting and moving one of my niche blogs there, here are the Pingdom results I found –

Pingdom - A2 Hosting

You can see the site loaded under 900ms its fast, but not the very best. However, these results are without any speed optimization, on this site, there are no cache plugins, no Cloudflare, no image compressions, etc.

Another thing you should note is that I’m using the most basic plan which also doesn’t have any additional resources like A2 Turbo boosters. I’m very satisfied with these results and doubt any other web host can do the same on their basic plan.

I ran the test from US location while my site’s datacenter is on Aisa server. You must know that the further location you run a test from the worse your stats will be. Although, this wasn’t the case this time.

It’s another niche blog with content on the homepage. I didn’t optimize the site for speed as I wanted to check the speed test results without any optimization. If I optimize this site I can easily load it under 400ms. (But I’m a Lazy Person.)

UPTIME STATS

Every web host makes a claim of 99.99% uptime but there are a very few of them which back it up. Thankfully, A2 Hosting is one of the better web hosts out there which isn’t just bluffing. It’s a powerful and trustable web host.

So, to check out their claim I used Uptime monitor to see the stats of my site. It’s a freemium tool which you can also use to check the downtimes or uptime of your site. Here are my A2 Hosting uptime stats –

A2 Hosting - Uptime

It going to be about a year since I’m using A2 Hosting I’ve yet to face a major downtime. The stats you see above are of recent months as I wasn’t able to put the site on Uptime Monitor sooner. There’s an amazing 100% uptime they have got.

Most of the web hosts fail to provide even 99% uptime and are mostly down throughout the year. (Looking at you EIG web hosts.) Whereas, top web hosts are providing 100% uptime, no wonder they are growing so fast.

Again, all of this is on just the basic plan. It’s so good just on the basic plan you can think of how much amazing it will be on the bigger plans. Now, we have seen the personal experience let’s move to the other things…

PRICING

A2 Hosting comes with many kinds of web hosting plans. The common plans which you can purchase from A2 Hosting are – Shared Plans, Reseller Plans, VPS Plans, and Dedicated plans.

A2 Hosting Plans

On the above image, you can see all the plans and their starting cost. The hosting plan you should select completely depends on your requirements. However, if you’re a beginner you should go with Shared Hosting.

I will cover all the shared hosting plans in details, it will help you to understand what your requirements are and which plan you should choose. Before we start here are the three different shared hosting plans –

LITE PLAN

This is the first and most basic plan you can get. It comes at 3.92$/month (discounted price). You can only host one domain on this plan. The features of this plan are – 5 databases, unlimited storage & transfer, cPanel, Free SSL, etc.

It is powered by SSD servers, this plan was used for the screenshots I provided you before. If you’re an absolute beginner and want to get into blogging and other online stuff then this is the best plan for you.

SWIFT PLAN

The next one on the list, we have is the LITE Plan. It’s a successor to the LITE Plan, all the features in the LITE plan will be present in this plan. Also, it doesn’t have the limitations of the LITE Plan. It costs 4.90$/month (Discounted price).

With the SWIFT Plan, you can have unlimited domains on your account, there is also no limit on the number of databases, etc. This plan is good if you’re sure to get some visitors on your site from the start. Or, if you want to move an established site to A2 Hosting.

TURBO PLAN

This is the last and most expensive shared hosting plan on A2 Hosting. It will cost you 9.31$/month (discounted price). It’s much costlier than the standard shared hosting prices but makes it up by the performance.

It includes everything in the SWIFT Plan and the hyped TURBO SERVER. It’s 20X faster than the other plans. I wasn’t able to test it out but with the LITE plan performance, I’m sure the TURBO Plan will be damn amazing!

SECURITY

Security is something that as a Site Owner you should never compromise on. There are thousands of websites which are hacked daily, but one reason behind all this is an insecure web host.

There are also times when web hosting companies to extract money out of your pocket will add malware to your site & will ask you to pay to remove them. It’s the case with many EIG brands and local web hosting companies.

But such isn’t the case with A2 Hosting, I have used it for a year and never faced any security issues. Although, I also don’t compromise when it’s about the security of my blogs. But A2 Hosting does take care of their part.

Here are some of the security features you will get with every plan –

A2 hosting security

Apart from these some more security features are – Free SSL, SSH, DDoS Protection, CLEF – 2-Factor authentication, SimpleRisk, etc. Its one of the most secure web hosts and you should invest in secure web hosting. It’s for you!

SUPPORT

One of the many things to consider while selecting a web host is their support staff. If it isn’t good enough it will be better to stay away from that web hosting company. Fairly speaking, I liked the A2 Hosting support.

Although they aren’t as exceptional as SiteGround when it comes to customer support they aren’t no average joes either. They offer support 24×7 via phone, live chat, email and support ticket. They reply within 20 minutes of creating a support ticket.

A2 Hosting Support

What I also like about their support is that they have 6 different number for different regions around the world. It’s something that even SiteGround lack. You can call at any time and they will solve your issue ASAP!

When you create a support ticket or start a live chat you will always only be replied by a real person. Unlike most of the companies which first send an automated reply. I felt their support was impressive for the price.

OTHER MISC. FEATURES

This is a feature-packed web host. If I started explaining all of its features it would take a long time to finish this A2 Hosting review. So, I decided to make a short explanation of all the features. (My lazy soul is taking over me. Help!)

A2 Hosting Software, Hardware, etc

In the above image you can see some of the features you will get with each hosting plan. There’s no hosting plan which doesn’t have all of them. So let’s begin the explanation –

FREE SSD SERVERS – SSD Servers are the servers which are fast than the old HDD Servers. The SSD servers are made for high performance and load sites very fast. They’re must if you want a fast loading website.

PHP 7 – With A2 Hosting you always get the latest PHP version. Basically, if you have the latest version of PHP you site scripts will load fast. It’s proved that PHP 7 is twice as faster as PHP 5.

FREE SSL – Having an SSL certificate makes your site look secure. It’s proven that sites with SSL rank higher in SERPs than sites with no SSL.

GLOBAL SERVERS – A2 Hosting has data centers all around the world. It makes it easier to host your site closer to your visitors. It’s important if you want to load your site quickly.

SSH – Secure Shell (or SSH) access makes it easier for you to log in to your web host, with its help you can use UNIX/Linux commands to manage your site easily. It’s essential for modifying your site from the backend.

Whom Is A2 Hosting Best For?

A2 Hosting is best for anyone who wants to host their site with a powerful web host. It’s also good for only those who are willing to pay a good price for web hosting as it’s certainly not one of the cheapest ones.

If you’re someone who’s looking for a cheap web hosting then A2 Hosting isn’t for you. It also won’t be good for you, if you want a slow & less secure web host.

According to my experience, it’s good for new to established bloggers who want to grow their sites. I didn’t test out the big plans so can’t say anything about their services when you have a super high traffic blog.

It’s one of my top picks if you are a newbie and want to get web hosting with A2 Hosting then don’t wait for more. Go ahead and start your site with A2 Hosting.

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Do I Recommend A2 Hosting? Should You Buy It?

If you’re a newbie I will then your first hosting choice should be SiteGround. However, if for some reason you think SiteGround’s not the perfect host for you then A2 Hosting is the second best choice. They don’t have as many limitations as SiteGround.

A2 Invoice

Here’s the A2 Hosting invoice that I’ve in my A2 Hosting billing settings (accidentally deleted the email invoice). I just bought A2 Hosting for checking its performance, at the start, I wasn’t thinking of hosting any niche-blog on it but my mind changed.

P.S. I am from India so my default currency is INR. 3o14 INR = 50$. I only purchased web hosting as I had the domain name already.

I do host a niche blog on A2 Hosting. Overall, I do like its services and would recommend it fully. It’s a host you should try out once, it’s on the road to becoming one of the best web hosts in the upcoming years.

How To Install WordPress On A2 Hosting? (A Brief Guide)

So you’ve bought a hosting plan from A2 Hosting, what would you do next? Of course, install WordPress as it’s the best CMS to start blogging or anything like Online store, static website, etc.

I did cover the SiteGround WordPress Installation tutorial in this Start a Blog guide. However, there are many reasons some people choose A2 Hosting over SiteGround. You would know the reasons by now. (There are only a few of them.)

Setting up a site is an easy task when compared to making it a success. However, for first timers setting up a site is really complex but don’t worry if you’re a newbie I’ll guide you through the whole process.

This whole process will only take 20-30 minutes if you follow each step correctly. (It’s important.)

Installing WordPress on A2 Hosting is the same as installing it on SiteGround. But there is a little difference, on SiteGround if you’re a new user you will get a WordPress auto-installing wizard. It isn’t the same with A2 Hosting.

Even though both SiteGroud & A2 Hosting have cPanel and WordPress can be installed manually, you won’t get an auto-setup wizard with A2 Hosting. You will have to install it manually through cPanel.

I will cover all the steps you need to follow in order to get your WordPress site ready with A2 Hosting. Here are the steps –

#1 Purchase Web Hosting From A2 Hosting

Isn’t it the obvious first step? I mean you will have to first buy any plan form A2 Hosting to launch your WordPress site. It’s easy, won’t take much time and will only cost for the plan you select. (It’s not free.)

Go to A2 Hosting 

a2 hosting - homepage

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Select Your Plan

Choose from many web hosting plans like shared hosting, managed WordPress, etc. I recommend you select shared Web hosting if you’re a beginner. Else, you can select according to your needs.

A2 Hosting Shared Plans

Now, wait for a moment to think which plan will be the best for you. You get to choose from 3 plans.

After that click on Get (Plan Name), I recommend the Swift Plan.

Get a Domain Name

Next, you need to get a domain name for your site (or blog). If you’re confused about selecting the right domain name read this guide before making a final decision.

Register a new domain name

Then Click on Register a New domain and enter your desired domain name. You can even use your existing domain name from another registrar. There an option below for just that.

P.S. Registering a new domain name will cost 14.99$/year.

Pay For Your Plan

This is the last page you will encounter before purchasing a web hosting. Here you need to select billing cycle and fill other details like email address, name, etc.

A2 Hosting Checkout

After filling all the information you will have to pay. There are many payment options available like net banking, wallet, debit cards, PayPal, etc. They also have a 30-day money back guarantee in case you aren’t satisfied.

Click On Continue and you will be sent to the Payment Page. Pay the amount there and you’re good to go to the next steps. (It won’t take much time.)

#2 Install WordPress From cPanel

There are many ways to install WordPress but I will show you the simple way with the help of cPanel. On cPanel there’s a script installer known as Softaculous app installer. With it, you can install any software on your site with just a click.

Here are the steps you have to follow in order to install WordPress on A2 Hosting –

Login To Your A2 Hosting Account

Your login details are the one you set when you buy web hosting. If you don’t remember them don’t worry, you will get a mail with the same login details on your email account.

After logging in here’s what the dashboard will look like –

Services Page - A2

You will need to click on your active services, a new page will open next. Then you will have to click on Login to cPanel.

Or, you can simply click on the Quick cPanel Login. After that, you will be sent to the cPanel.

Logging In To cPanel

cPanel is an awesome tool which makes managing the site a breeze. This is what the cPanel looks –

A2 - cPanel

Here you will have to click on the WordPress A2-Optimized, it’s on the Softaculous app installer. It’s located just in the second column as in the screenshot. (You may find it a little lower on other web hosts.)

WordPress A2-Optimized

A2-Optimized WordPress is a little different from normal WordPress. It will be optimized for security and speed, this is why many love A2 Hosting.

Here’s the WordPress installation page –

WP A2 Optimized

You just need to click on Install WordPress. After that, only one page remains and your site will be up and running.

Filling Necessary WP Details…

Now you need to be careful and save all the information you enter. First up you have the software setup. Here you have to choose the protocol i.e, will your site run on HTTP or HTTPS. I suggest you use HTTPS. (It has SEO benefits.)

WP Installation

Next, you have the site settings it includes the site name and description.

Then fill the WordPress admin details like Email, Username & Password. You can easily set up an email address with email hosting it’s free on every A2 hosting plan. Make the username & password hard, also note them down somewhere secure.

At last, select site language, default plugins and the theme, you want to install. Then click on Install, the WordPress installation will begin. it will take only 4 to 5 minutes.

Congratulations, your blog is up and running. Login to your site from yoursite.com/wp-admin.

Final Thoughts…

If you want to go with an affordable web host which doesn’t suck A2 Hosting it the best choice. However, it isn’t cheaper than other web hosts. You would be surprised to know that it costs the same as SiteGround.

A2 Hosting is one of the best web hosting for beginners. If you want something else than SiteGround it’s my top alternative. I wanted to try out A2 Hosting for its praise and can say that it is very underrated.

This marks the end of this review. It took some time to make it but was good in the end. What are your thought about it, I do need some feedback. It will help me to improve. After all, it’s great when you get to know what you can do better.

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So what are your thoughts about A2 Hosting? Have you ever thought about using it as your main web hosting? If not, why? Which hosting review you want to read next? Let us know in the comments below…

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