Is A2 Hosting Right for Your Website?
A2 Hosting has a reputation for offering rock-solid and lightning-fast web servers. But do they live up to this reputation?
Read on to see what I’ve discovered while testing A2’s services, and also what their customers rant and rave about.
About A2 Hosting
Although they are a general hosting provider, A2 specializes in hosting for developers.
So regardless of which type of hosting (shared, VPS, dedicated) you need, you will get high-performance and reliable hosting.
Shared Web Hosting
Based upon my experience, A2 Hosting’s shared hosting plans are faster than their competitors. Additionally, they offer 24/7 customer support for all subscribers, ultra-reliable servers, unlimited resources, and free website migration.
Other features of A2 Hosting’s shared plans include:
- PHP (5.x and 7.x)
- Python (2.6, 2.7, and 3.2)
- PERL 5.10
- MySQL 5.6 databases
- PostgreSQL 9.6
- Apache 2.4
- FTP/SFTP access to your server environment
- Free SSH access
- Shared SSL certificate.
All shared plans come standard with free SSD storage to ensure top-notch performance.
My tests indicated that A2 Hosting also provides impressive speeds for your website as well as solid uptime. See below for details.
Choose from 3 Linux or Windows Plans
If you are looking to get started with a cheapest web hosting plan from A2 Hosting, you’ll begin by choosing the operating system of your server environment: Linux or Windows.
Regardless of which option you choose, you will have three different plans. All of them come with unmetered bandwidth and SSD storage.
The higher level plans come with more features. All plans, however, come with standards like databases and auto-installers.
A2 Hosting offers a branded version of the popular cPanel control panel to customers purchasing a Linux shared hosting plan (also VPS and dedicated). Plesk is available for Windows servers.
The Lite Plan
The entry-level plan, which A2 Hosting call their Lite option, gets you hosting for one website, use of five databases, 25 email addresses, unlimited SSD disk space, unlimited data transfer/bandwidth, and a free (shared) SSL certificate.
The Swift Plan
A2 Hosting’s most popular shared hosting plan is the Swift, which is the mid-range option.
This plan is very similar to the entry-level plan. Its primary difference is that it allows you to host unlimited websites and offers you more resources. In particular, there is no limit on the number of databases or email accounts you can have.
The Turbo Plan
A2 Hosting’s high-end shared hosting plan, called the Turbo option, is very similar to the other shared plans, but you get extras designed to increase the performance of your websites.
The most important extra of the Turbo plan is that your site(s) will be hosted on A2 Hosting’s Turbo servers. These servers allocate more resources to each individual user because there are fewer users per server. A2 Hosting claims this increases the speed of your site by a factor of up to 20.
Another extra of the Turbo plan is that it includes the A2 Site Accelerator. It is a cPanel plug-in that speeds up your site by providing pre-configured caching.
There are three major subsystems of the A2 Optimized Site Accelerator:
- Turbo Cache: caches the entire contents of your web pages so that they can be served without running PHP
- OPcache/APC: improves responses of pages that require the use of PHP
- Memcached: increases the speed of MySQL databases by keeping your most used data in memory for quicker retrieval.
A2 Hosting offers a special kind of shared hosting for WordPress. These plans are more expensive than the general shared plans described above. But they include a number of things that make them appealing:
- Turbo optimized for faster page delivery
- Staging server
- Jetpack Personal
- Easy WordPress backups.
There are other minor features that make setting up and running a WordPress site easier. So this is worth a look if you are running a WordPress-based site.
For those who have outgrown their shared hosting plans or need better speeds for their websites, A2 Hosting offers virtual private servers (VPS).
VPS Management Options
Typically, moving up from shared hosting to VPS requires you to either gain the technical knowledge required to manage your server “slice” or hire someone with the necessary system administration experience.
However, this is not the case with A2 Hosting. You can opt for three kinds of management for your VPS:
- Unmanaged: is perfect for those who are developers or system administrators looking for a fully customizable, bare metal installation.
- Managed: offers the full power of a VPS plan, but with the same user-friendly cPanel platform bundled with the shared hosting plans. It also comes with what A2 Hosting call their 100% worry-free Host-Guard Management from the Guru Crew Support team (which is available 24/7).
- Core: for those wanting a managed VPS plan, but with the addition of root access/administrative privileges. You will get worry-free support from A2 Hosting, but you will also get complete control over your server environment.
You can get unmanaged VPS plans for shared hosting prices.
A2 Hosting’s managed VPS plans (including Core) are more expensive but still competitive by industry standards. They are also more powerful than the unmanaged plans. The table below provides the basic information.
|Power+||2 TB||4||4 GB||75 GB||$32.99|
|Prestige+||3 TB||6||6 GB||100 GB||$46.19|
|Pinnacle+||4 TB||8||8 GB||150 GB||$65.99|
Like the shared hosting plans, you can choose to host your site on a Windows or Linux server. Windows plans cost 25% more than their Linux counterparts. And instead of the cPanel control panel, Windows plans offer Plesk.
A2 Hosting offers both managed and unmanaged dedicated servers for those in search of web hosting for the fastest speeds and resource-intensive or highly-trafficked websites.
Managed dedicated servers get upgradeable RAID 1 storage, which means all the data is mirrored and thus less prone to data faults or loss.
Reseller Hosting Plans
A2 Hosting offers reseller plans for those looking to get into the web hosting business themselves. They allow you to choose between Windows and Linux options, and there are four different reseller plans from which you can choose (regardless of which operating system).
With the exception of the basic plan, billing software (WHMCS or Blesta) is included. You can upgrade to a premium WHMCS package.