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When you’re starting a blog, choosing the right web hosting provider is one of your most important decisions. Your host provides a space for your blog to live on the internet, plus it’s responsible for keeping your site online and loading fast. A2 Hosting offers some of the fastest page loading around, making it a top choice for bloggers who value speed and site performance. In this A2 Hosting review, we’ll take an in-depth look at this company’s hosting service to help you decide if you should entrust them with your blog.
- A2 Hosting review: What is A2 Hosting?
- Performance and site speed
- Customer service
- Plans and features
- How to sign up for A2 hosting
- Who is A2 Hosting best for?
- Who is A2 Hosting not right for?
- Bottom line: Is A2 Hosting good or not?
Founded in 2001 by Brian Muthig, A2 Hosting is an independently owned web hosting service. Muthig originally founded it as a hobby in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but the company has grown exponentially since that time. It now hosts thousands of blogs and websites across the world wide web.
- Fast speed: A2 Hosting offers up to 20 times faster page loads on its turbo servers, which is a number one priority for blogs.
- Free site migration: If you have your blog hosted on another platform, A2 Hosting offers free and easy site migration.
- Free backups: You don’t need to worry about losing your content after a technical glitch; this provider offers free and automatic backups to keep your content safe.
- Speed Optimized WordPress: A2 Hosting does not only support WordPress, one of the best platforms for blogging, but it also optimizes it for speed so you don’t have to. According to A2, it provides up to 6 times faster page loads for WordPress sites.
- 99.9% uptime: For your blog to attract new visitors and retain existing ones, it must be up and running all the time. That’s what this hosting service guarantees.
- Unlimited SSD space and transfer: SSD, also known as Solid State Drive, increases server speeds by a huge percentage. Given that this web host runs on SSD, you can always be guaranteed of faster loading speeds.
- Affordability: This web host offers some of the most affordable rates on the market. We will discuss this further in the pricing section below.
- Excellent support: The company offers 24/7/365 “Guru Crew” support. I will explain this in detail in the customer support section below.
- Free SSL Certificate: To keep websites safe and secure from malicious attacks, A2 Hosting offers free SSL certificates to customers.
- High renewal rates: While A2 Hosting offers affordable rates for new customers, their renewal fees are higher, especially if you choose a short-term plan. To put this into perspective, A2 Hosting’s regular plans cost almost double the price of their initial startup period.
- Difficult cancellation process: According to A2’s policies, when you want to cancel your plan, you must submit a written request 15 days before the renewal time. Given that some web hosting platforms provide a one-click cancellation option, A2 Hosting could make things easier in this regard.
- Cheap is not necessarily best: The Startup plan is affordable, but it does not come with some important features. For example, it does not have automatic backups, which is risky.
To increase loading speed, A2 Hosting comes with additional settings and software. These include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and OpenCart. If you have no experience in web development, you may not understand how these tools and features work, but note that they can improve the performance of your blog.
When you visit the company’s website, you will notice how proud they are of their speed levels, something that has been mentioned in many A2 Hosting reviews online. Given that speed is one of the most important factors that determine the success of a blog, you can rely on this web host to keep your site up and running – fast!
As we mentioned earlier, A2 Hosting refer to their customer support as the “Guru Crew.” But just how good is this crew?
To start with, you can contact their customer support representatives in three different ways: chat, email or phone.
However, even before contacting support, you can browse through an extensive database of information. The support section of their site is organized, which makes it easy to find what you need.
For example, if you’re looking for Frequently Asked Questions about a specific hosting service, here’s what you’ll see when you click on the Support option on the menu.
Below the Support FAQ, there’s also a list of additional general questions and answers to help you find what you need.
To submit a support ticket or chat with a representative, you must first create an account with A2 Hosting. While useful for customers, this prerequisite is less convenient if you want to ask questions about the service before signing up.
A2 Hosting offers five hosting options, each featuring a subcategory. Let’s take a look at each hosting plan and its special features.
This is the cheapest hosting option, and it comes in four categories: StartUp, Drive, TurboBoost and TurboMax.
Start Up is a great option for a single website or blog. It comes with 100GB storage space, unlimited email accounts, unlimited transfers, 24/7/365 support, and other features, as shown below.
The Drive option comes with unlimited websites and SSD storage, free automatic backups, and more. The Turbo Boost, on the other hand, has more power, unlimited NVMe Storage, and is up to 20 times faster. A2 Hosting recommends this plan if you are looking for shared hosting.
The Turbo Max is the fastest and most expensive plan in this category. It has five times more resources and other features:
A2’s WordPress Hosting is also an ideal plan to launch your blogging career. It comes optimized for speed, high performance and 99.9% uptime. A2 Hosting explains that their WordPress hosting is up to 20 times faster than their competitors’ thanks to pre-installed Turbo Servers.
Their WordPress Hosting plan comes in two categories: shared hosting and managed hosting. Shared hosting comes with the Turbo option for increased speed and performance and an optimized WordPress. However, it does not come with backups, site staging or Jetpack.
Here’s the pricing for shared hosting on A2 Hosting:
Managed hosting, on the other hand, comes with Turbo Optimized features, optimized WordPress, easy backups, site staging, free Jetpack personal license, and WP-CLI pre-installed.
If you are wondering with option is best for you, it all depends on your experience. Shared WordPress hosting is cheaper and works best if you’ll be using WordPress for your blog.
I highly recommend WordPress for bloggers; you can learn more in my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog!
With managed hosting, all the technical aspects of managing and running a WordPress blog are handled by the web host, letting you focus on blogging. This may include daily backups, scalability, updates, security, and more.
Here’s what you will pay for managed WordPress hosting on A2 Hosting:
This hosting method may not be the best if you’re a beginner blogger. While it comes with better features than shared hosting, it’s more than you need when you’re just starting out.
With VPS hosting, you will share the same server with other users, but certain resources will be assigned only to you. A2 offers two types of VPS hosting: unmanaged and managed, as shown below.
This hosting option is suitable for bloggers whose blogs are in the technology and web hosting niche. Here’s how it works.
The blogger purchases reseller hosting services from the web host in wholesale, and then sells the hard drive space and bandwidth to customers for profit by blogging about it. Note that this is different from affiliate marketing where bloggers earn a commission for referring customers to a particular web hosting service.
Here’s a look at the prices for A2’s reseller hosting services:
Just as the name suggests, dedicated hosting comes with a server that is customized to your specific needs, and exclusively meant for you. It is basically the opposite of shared hosting.
A2 Hosting offers the following dedicated hosting services: unmanaged servers, core servers and managed servers.
As a beginner blogger, you may not need dedicated hosting; it is expensive and requires more technical knowledge. As mentioned above, a shared hosting plan or shared WordPress hosting plan would likely be best for you.
Here’s a preview of what to expect when you sign up for A2 Hosting. Your first step is to head to A2Hosting.com.
1. Select your hosting plan
Once you’re there, choose your hosting plan. For demonstration purposes, I chose WordPress Hosting.
After selecting the hosting plan, select the specific category you need. For example, under WordPress Hosting, I selected Shared WordPress, as it’s a good, affordable option for blogs.
I then chose the StartUp plan, which is ideal for beginner bloggers because it comes with just one website and 100 GB storage, among other basic features.
You also need to select your plan terms; A2 Hosting offers monthly, one-year and three-year options.
2. Choose your domain
On the next page, choose a domain name, or provide an existing one, and then click Check. If the domain is approved, move to the next step by hitting the Continue button.
3. Select your plan terms
On the next page, you’ll see a summary of your Shared hosting plan and its features.
I highly recommend the 36-month plan because, as mentioned earlier, the renewal prices will increase. By opting for a longer term, you can get the best price on the starter plan before deciding whether you want to renew.
4. Consider any add-ons
Next, customize your hosting by selecting the location of your server, choosing the SSL certificates, and a dedicated IP (recommended but not necessary).
There also some additional services available for selection, which are also useful but not necessary. They include DropSuite Offsite backups, Barracuda Spam FireWall and A2 Website builder.
These services are not part of the Shared Hosting plan and may be purchased separately. There is a brief description at the end of each extra service to help you decide whether you need it.
Click Continue to proceed to the next page.
5. Look over your domain configuration and features
On the next page, select your preferred configuration for the domain you selected earlier, and then click Continue.
The following page contains a list of features included in your plan, the domain fee, and the total amount you’ll pay at checkout. If you’re satisfied with the pricing, click Checkout.
6. Checkout and pay
On the checkout page, fill in your personal and account details, payment information, agree to the terms and conditions, and then click on Complete Order.
You will receive an email notification to confirm your registration, with specific steps on proceeding to the next phase.
Congrats, you’ve just registered for hosting and are well on your way to setting up your blog!
Given its speed, high performance and affordability, A2 Hosting is an excellent option for both new and experienced bloggers. Hosting options such as managed hosting help you focus on your blogging career as A2’s technicians take charge of the technical aspects of keeping your blog up and running.
This hosting service is not the best for clients who want to host projects that require a large amount of bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data transmitted over an internet connection in a given amount of time. A website like Netflix, for example, requires a lot of bandwidth to stream and store videos.
A2 Hosting wouldn’t be the best if you want to maintain more than two connections with any proxy or server due to its HTTP concurrent connections.
A2 Hosting knows that speed, affordability, and performance are three of the most important factors bloggers look for before signing up for web hosting.
Given that these are three of this company’s greatest strengths as detailed in this A2 Hosting review, it’s safe to say that this web host is one of the best in the industry. However, it’s not necessarily the fastest when compared to other leading web hosts.
According to a speed test I conducted on Pingdom comparing A2 Hosting vs Bluehost, Bluehost had an even faster load time — 689 milliseconds as compared to A2’s 1.28 seconds. That said, speeds can vary depending on when you check and are usually not constant.
In terms of pricing, Bluehost is also typically cheaper than A2 Hosting. Bluehost charges $2.75 a month for their Shared hosting option, compared to A2’s $3.92 monthly fee for an equivalent service. Bluehost’s dedicated service, their most expensive hosting, starts at $79.99 per month, while A2 Hosting’s starts at $99.59 per month.
If you’re debating between A2 Hosting and Bluehost, head to our Bluehost review for a closer look at this web hosting service.