A2 Hosting Review 2023: Is it as fast as advertised?
A2 Hosting is a web hosting company that has been in business since 2003. With over 19 years of experience, they are one of the most well-known and popular web hosts on the market. But is A2 Hosting the right web host for your business?
In this comprehensive A2 web hosting review, we’ll assess their features in more detail and explore essential elements like price, ease of use, performance, security, customer service quality, and more.
A2 Hosting claims that their web hosting is “20x faster” which strongly contributes to why customers are drawn to them. A2 Hosting’s main appeal is that it offers significantly faster hosting than most other providers, which is essential for a website’s success.
The truth is, A2 Hosting has some of the best business-level servers in the web hosting industry. This means that their hosting plans are not just hot air or promises, they’re backed by real components which can withstand any load you throw at them without slowing down your site’s performance much.
So, we purchased A2 Hosting to test it out, we will cover everything in great detail and hopefully answer any questions you may have.
Pros and Cons of A2 Hosting
- Powerful hosting plans, especially for WordPress
- Very fast page load times
- Speed boosting tools
- Free daily backups
- Excellent customer service
- Servers in 3 continents
- Great uptime
- Higher-end pricing
- No Windows server options
- Free domain is not included
- Most benefits only come with the Turbo plans
A2 Hosting Plans and Pricing
A2 Hosting prices are both affordable and premium, depending on which type of service you select. Pricing for shared hosting plans starts at $2.99 per month and tops out at $14.99 per month with a 36-month subscription agreement. In addition to shared hosting, A2 Hosting offers managed WordPress hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers as well as email hosting and more.
Hosting type Best for
Shared hosting is good for small websites that don’t need a lot of resources. If your website is low on traffic and doesn’t require complex scripts or databases, then shared hosting is a great option for you. However, if your website grows and starts to get more traffic, you may need to switch to a more robust hosting solution.
Managed WordPress is a great platform for businesses and individuals who want an easy way to create and manage a website. It makes it easy to create a professional website without having to learn to code or hire a web developer. Managed WordPress is a great choice for anyone who wants a simple, efficient way to create and manage a website.
VPS hosting gives you the power and flexibility of a dedicated server, without the high price tag. It’s perfect for businesses that are outgrowing their shared hosting plans but are not quite ready for a dedicated server.
Dedicated servers are good for businesses that want more control over their server. With a dedicated server, businesses can customize their server settings and configurations to better meet their needs, as well as receive more storage space and bandwidth than with shared servers.
A2 Hosting offers a variety of choices for hosting, but the most popular option is its shared hosting service. In this review, we’ll mostly be talking about their shared hosting service, which is a great choice for small businesses and bloggers.
A2 Hosting’s numerous plans for budget-friendly shared hosting all come with a lot of perks, including SSD storage space, free SSL certificates, unlimited email accounts, and DDoS protection from attacks.
Now let’s take a peek at each plan and what it offers.
StartUp single website, 100GB SSD storage, free site migration, free SSL certificate, and a money-back guarantee, priced at $1.99/mo.
Drive unlimited SSD storage, unlimited websites, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited databases, free site migration, free automatic backups, and a money-back guarantee, priced at $4.99/mo.
Turbo Boost Unlimited websites, unlimited NVMe SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited databases, free automated backup, free site migration (turbo up to 20x faster), and a money-back guarantee, priced at $5.99/mo
Turbo Max Unlimited websites, unlimited NVMe SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited databases, free automated backup, free site migration (turbo up to 20x faster), (5x more resources), and a money-back guarantee, priced at $10.99/mo
Overall, A2 Hosting’s prices are standard. When compared to other hosting providers, A2 Hosting is in the middle of the pack in terms of price. They do offer a lot of features for their price point though.
Because Startup and Drive hosting plans don’t offer NVMe SSD storage or Turbo servers, which are 20x faster, we believe they’re not worth your time.
If speed and storage are something you’re after, the Turbo plans may be a better fit for you. In particular, The Turbo Boost plan comes at a very affordable price of $5.99/mo and includes all of the same benefits as the Turbo Max hosting plan does–but on a shared server with more users. To put it simply, this makes it ideal for hosting a small business website or an eCommerce store.
Best Bang for Your Buck
To save the most money, select the Turbo Boost hosting plan and pay for 36 months upfront. With this method, the monthly rates will stay as low as $5.99/mo for the first three years.
It is important to know that A2 Hosting provides a refund if you are not satisfied with their services at any time. You are qualified for a refund of any unused services. Lastly, you are eligible for a 30-day money-back guarantee for a full refund, providing you meet the terms and conditions.
All things considered, A2 Hosting is a great provider for those people who are looking for the best-shared hosting hardware. Their plans are a bit more on the pricier side than some of the other hosting providers, but you get what you pay for. They have some of the best hardware in the business so if you’re looking for a reliable, high-quality provider, A2 Hosting is worth considering.
Adding a domain to your A2 Hosting account
After you buy a domain through A2 Hosting, it is automatically added and activated in your account. Although it may be cheaper to buy your domain from a domain registrar like GoDaddy.com, adding it to your A2 Hosting account manually will save you a few bucks.
If your Domain is registered with a third-party provider, such as GoDaddy, you will need to locate the DNS settings on that registrar’s website.
If your registrar doesn’t offer DNS management tools that let you create A records, look for free DNS management solutions. Once you find one, use their name servers to configure your A records.
You only need to use two of the name servers from A2 Hosting. Now from your domain registrar change the settings so that your domain points to any two of the A2 Hosting nameservers listed above.
To add a domain name, you’ll need to find and click on the Add Domains tab in your A2 Hosting’s cPanel. The tab is located under Domains.
Now, all you have to do is add your new domain name and hit submit.
Once you click “submit”, the system will automatically handle everything else.
Note: It may take up to 48 hours for your domain to become effective, but we have found that usually it only takes a few minutes.
After you finish adding your domain name, it will be ready for WordPress installation.
Installing WordPress with A2 Hosting using Softaculous
If you sign up for A2 Hosting, don’t worry about installing WordPress yourself because there’s an option to have it installed automatically. If you missed that during checkout, no problem. You can install additional WordPress sites following this quick guide below.
Log in to your A2 Hosting panel. After that, click on the green ‘cPanel’ button.
You will be taken to your cPanel control panel. In cPanel, you will use the Softaculous script installer to install WordPress onto your account.
Softaculous is among the first sections in CPanel, and all the icons represent scripts that you can install. WordPress – A2 Optimized is the first and best option, as you can see in the screenshot below.
If you click on the button, you will be redirected to the installer page as shown in the screenshot below. Click the blue ‘Install’ button at the top left of the page to continue the installation.
On the following page, provide some additional details to Softaculous for installing and configuring your site. If you already have an SSL certificate provided by A2 Hosting, go ahead and choose ‘HTTP://’ in the ‘Choose Protocol’ field. If not, just select ‘HTTP://’.
In the “Choose Protocol” field, select “HTTP.” Enter the domain you want to host your site on in the ‘Choose Domain’ field. Then, you can add a site name and description:
The section below is where you will establish your login credentials for your WordPress admin account. Although A2 Hosting will give you a username and password, you have the option to create your own.
A2 Hosting will also send you these details in an email. There is a field where you can enter your email address below the blue ‘Install’ button.
Click “Install,” and the installation process will start immediately. This should take approximately two minutes – it downloaded pretty quickly for us.
Do not exit or close this page until the installation is complete. Exiting or closing the page may interfere with the process.
“If you see a page like in the screenshot below, it means that your WordPress site has been successfully installed – congratulations.”
To explore your WordPress site as a visitor, click the top link. To access the administrative side of things and log in, use the bottom link instead.
After you make your purchase, you will receive an email from A2 Hosting that includes information about your site and how to log in.
Adding an email account with A2 Hosting
All A2 Hosting plans come with unlimited email addresses. It is very easy to set up email addresses, but A2 Hosting’s email clients are not as up-to-date as some of its competitors. This type of email setup is good only for personal emailing, yet not good for running large email marketing campaigns.
A personalized email always looks more professional than a generic one, so take advantage of this free tool to increase your website’s credibility.
A2 Hosting makes it easy to create a custom-looking email. Simply go to cPanel, find the Email Accounts under the Email section, click Create, and fill in the required details.
To more effectively manage your storage usage, you can set a custom storage space or elect to keep it unlimited.
You can now access your webmail client by clicking (Check Email) from the Email Accounts management window.
Note: E-mail marketing campaigns will not benefit from any of this. If you want to do email marketing, then you need email hosting on a dedicated server – not a shared one.
To sum it up, A2 Hosting’s control panel is a breeze to use. You will have zero problems getting around it and setting up your new website. Not only is this platform user-friendly, but it also has all the necessary tools to create a successful website.
A2 Hosting Performance and Uptime
A2 Hosting’s primary focus is speed, with the tagline “20X faster web hosting”. To put this to the test, we conducted a few performance-related tests on the provider. A2 Hosting has shown to be pretty dependable in terms of uptime and average server response time, as well as website loading speed throughout the test.
To start with, we ran a test to measure the host’s uptime using Uptime Robot:
To ensure optimal performance, we monitored A2 Hosting for over 72 hours. During this period, A2 Hosting experienced 1 outage that was recorded on 2023-01-04 05:09:14 and the downtime lasted for 8 minutes, as seen in the screenshot below. Even with the downtime A2 Hosting did manage to maintain a 99.8% uptime over the 72-hour test period, which is not bad.
A2 Hosting achieved an incredible response time of 291ms, making them truly fast. Even during the slowest period, their response time was a mere 1.2 seconds – which is still quite impressive.
In the end, A2 Hosting is an incredibly dependable web host that offers good uptime and lightning-fast response times.
A2 Hosting speed
To get an accurate understanding of A2 Hosting’s performance, we conducted a speed test to compare the loading time of both a blank and a completely constructed website. To do this we used GTmetrix – a metrics tool.
To ensure that you understand the results, here are 3 key metrics:
- The Largest Contentful Paint – measures how long it takes for the largest piece of content to fully load on a page – an optimal score is 2.5 seconds or less.
- Fully Loaded Time – is a metric indicating the moment after Onload and First Contentful Paint have been activated.
- Speed Index – is an essential metric that measures, on average, the time it takes for all visible components of a page to become displayed.
To begin, we evaluated the loading speed of a bare WordPress website from several locations worldwide. For our test, we decided on the Shared Start-up hosting plan—an ideal choice for businesses just getting started. Undeniably, our US-hosted site yielded the topmost and most remarkable results with a superb LCP score of only 558ms.
On the contrary, A2 Hosting’s Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) results in the UK and India were lackluster at best; with a 1.4-second load time for the United Kingdom and a 2.4-second load time for Mumbai, India, respectively. Despite this, an outstanding accomplishment was achieved when two out of the three servers tested loaded within Google’s set two-second threshold for eCommerce websites.
As you can see from the screenshot below, A2 Hosting achieved amazing results when tested on an empty website from a test server located in San Antonio, TX. The performance was nothing short of remarkable.
The outcomes of our tests conducted on a U.S. server were remarkable – with a speedily fully loaded time of only 750ms! Now that’s pretty fast.
Now, what would happen if we switched the empty site to a fully-built one?
After building the site, our LCP only increased to 757ms; the LCP barely went up, which is awesome. The website we tested had around 7 images on the page.
The fully-loaded time for the website was an incredible 1 second, easily surpassing the recommended maximum load time of 3 seconds. With this lightning-fast speed, you can ensure that your customers stay engaged and keep returning to your site—the perfect recipe for success!
To gain further insight into this website’s performance, check out the screenshot below for a comprehensive overview of analytics.
As evidenced by the screenshot above, A2 Hosting achieved an amazing speed index time of 694ms – that’s lightning-fast! This remarkable feat demonstrates that outstanding results are attainable, even with a fully-built website.
To guarantee that your website’s page load times remain rapid, pick a server located near the area of your intended audience. A2 Hosting has strategically implemented 4 data centers across the world, located in Michigan (US), Arizona (US), Amsterdam (Netherlands), and Singapore (Singapore).
In summary, A2 Hosting surpasses all of the crucial performance metrics. This is evident in its Contentful Paint Index (LCP), Full Loaded Time, and Speed Index Time findings.
What Makes A2 Hosting Fast?
A2 Hosting can provide such fast loading speeds for its websites due to the use of cutting-edge technology. It all starts with the fast drives, but it doesn’t end there; there’s also a pre-configured LiteSpeed cache for even more speed.
- SSD storage – A2 Hosting uses cutting-edge SSD storage instead of outdated HDD. A2 Hosting’s boasted 20x speed is due to SSDs. This is a widespread claim in the industry, as HDD comparisons have indicated that SSDs can be up to 20x times faster. It’s important to keep in mind that most well-known web hosting providers use SSD storage. Also, A2 Hosting is 20x times faster than if they used HDD, but this is not necessarily in comparison to other providers.
- NVMe AMD EPYC Server -If you decide on either of the Turbo plans from A2 Hosting, your website will be saved on an NVMe AMD EPYC Server. Currently, these are some of the fastest servers available. The technology they use allows them to utilize SSDs to their full potential. By having fewer users on the server, you’ll get more resources dedicated to your website.
A2 Hosting's advanced software
- HTTP/3 and QUIC – All Turbo plans from A2 Hosting come with support for the newest and fastest internet protocols: HTTP/3 and QUIC. Thanks to HTTP/3, files can be downloaded up to 30% faster than with regular HTTP. While Quic is working to make HTTP traffic more efficient, it can also improve your site’s speed and reliability.
- PHP version – A2 Hosting gives you the power to select which PHP version you want. The server uses PHP 7.2 by default, but you can also choose to use the latest version of PHP 8 if you want even faster performance. It is evident that the newer the version, the speedier the website loads. It’s great to see that A2 Hosting is always on the cutting edge, implementing new features and functionality as soon as they’re released.
- LiteSpeed Web Server and caching pre-configured – Caching is an important part of website speed. LiteSpeed web server is one of the newest, and swiftest technologies used by hosting providers. The caching engine that is included ensures that your website content loads quickly. One of A2 Hosting’s most appealing features, this is available exclusively with Turbo plans.
- A2 Optimized Software – A2 Hosting provides performance-optimized hosting for popular software platforms, such as WordPress, WooCommerce, and Drupal. The tweaked versions of the apps are supposedly faster than the default ones because the best performance and security settings have been configured for them.
To sum it up, A2 Hosting has top-of-the-line hardware to support your website. The performance testing results were impressive, exhibiting that all the technology and tools integrated into A2 hosting make websites hosted on their servers both reliable and fast. Not only are they powerful enough to support big spikes in traffic, but they’re also impressively fast.
Security – How Secure is A2 Hosting?
A2 Hosting takes security very seriously. The host not only meets but exceeds expectations and provides plenty of security features for its shared hosting plans. That encompasses SSL certificates and firewalls to DDoS protection and 2-factor authentication.
So, let’s take a closer look at each feature.
A2 Hosting’s shared hosting plans all come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. A worthy provider should offer this standard, and anything less would be disappointing.
The best part is that they are automatically activated and you don’t have to do a thing.
A2 Hosting has another win under its belt as it offers an extra layer of protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. In other words, DDoS is a type of cyberattack where your website is bombarded with Internet traffic from infected devices to overload it.
A2 Hosting uses Imunify360 to protect against harmful attacks such as brute force, or any activities that seem dangerous.
All A2 Hosting plans come with a dual firewall for added security, including Config Server Firewall (CSF) and ModSecurity. CSF is an effective server firewall that protects against attacks and strengthens your website’s security overall.
Additionally, ModSecurity can defend your website from future attacks as a Web Application Firewall (WAF). WAF monitors the traffic coming in and out of your website to ensure that it is safe.
Patchman enhanced security tool
A2 Hosting offers the innovative Patchman security tool to prevent hackers from accessing accounts. The tool first identifies any outdated versions. Outdated, insecure software can leave your website vulnerable to attacks from hackers.
If you have any outdated software, you’ll be notified. Otherwise, if an infected file on your account is detected, you will receive a warning. For your safety, any infected files will be quarantined automatically within 24 hours.
New weaknesses are discovered often in popular content management systems, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Although Patchman does not update the software version, it still extracts security fixes from new releases and backports them to all earlier versions.
All A2 Hosting plans, except for the Startup plan, have automatic backups. This tool captures a daily snapshot of your website and saves it. So, if you make any changes to your website that you end up not liking or accidentally getting infected, you can go back and restore the original version from the backup. Usually, it is less complicated to fix an issue automatically rather than manually.
Please note that A2 Hosting does take responsibility whatsoever if you happen to lose or damage the backups, although the feature is accessible we still recommend downloading backups to your Cloud storage for safekeeping.
Two-step verification is a vital security measure for your website. Not only does it ensure that a password is required to log in, but also an extra level of protection in the form of a code known only to you.
As passwords have repeatedly been shown to be insecure, this security measure is being implemented more frequently.
All in all, we’re happy with the variety of security features that A2 Hosting offers. The only downside is its less-than-stellar backup feature. Having said that, A2 Hosting is one of the most protected providers when it comes to shared hosting and deserves a spot on our list of secure web hosts.
Is A2 Hosting Support Helpful When Needed?
No matter what time of day or night it is, A2 Hosting’s customer support team is always available to help you out. You can get in touch with them 24/7 through phone, live chat, and email ticketing. If you want to find out the answer to something or learn a new skill, they also provide an extensive knowledge base.
Our favorite type of customer service interaction is live chat, which we always enjoy testing out.
We asked a question about their shared hosting plans and were quickly connected to a customer support representative.
The customer support representative was courteous and quickly answered my question.
Furthermore, we are excited to see A2 Hosting bringing back the live chat option for all users. This is a great way to connect with customer service and get answers to your questions in real-time. Only registered users could use live chat until recently.
Overall, we were impressed with the quality and speed of the live ticket support system.
In addition to being able to speak with customer service representatives 24/7, A2 Hosting also has an extremely informative knowledge base.
We’ve had our share of hosting providers over the years. Some are good, some not so good. But when it comes to customer support, A2 Hosting is one of the best.
All things considered, we were very impressed with A2 Hosting’s support. They are fast, helpful, and get the job done. We would recommend them to anyone who is looking for a great hosting provider with good customer service.
A2 Hosting Review – The Final Verdict
To sum it up, we’re coming to the close of this A2 Web Hosting review and can say with certainty that they are one of the most dependable providers out there. They’re also incredibly fast. You get speed-boosting features and enhanced security for a reasonable price.
Although A2Hosting is often praised in reviews, the provider isn’t without flaws. Prices can be a bit on the high-end side. Furthermore, not every plan provides the same amount of worth. So what does this all mean?
Pricing: A2 Hosting’s prices are on the higher side, with plans starting at $1.99/month for the cheapest option. However, you get more value for your money with the turbo boost plans.
Ease of Use: A2 Hosting uses cPanel as its primary website management interface. The convenience and practicality of this host are top-notch; however, it’s severely lacking in aesthetics.
Performance: A2 Hosting did very well on all our tests. The servers are consistently reliable with little to no downtime, and the pages load quickly. A2 Hosting is great for websites that receive a lot of traffic.
Security: A2 Hosting provides not only the necessities but also more advanced security features that you won’t find with many other providers. With every package you will receive top-tier security features to keep your site – and business – running smoothly.
A2 support was awesome! The live chat agents are well-informed, and helpful, and engage with customers swiftly to resolve any issues. A2 support puts the customer first and it is obvious through their world-class service.
To whom do we recommend A2 Hosting?
If you prioritize website speed and security or prefer using cPanel, A2 Hosting is the best hosting service for you. If you want to host a business website or online store, then it’s best to pick one of the pricier Turbo plans.
A2 Hosting Alternatives
If you’re interested in something that is just as speedy but has a more updated appearance than A2 Hosting, or you might be looking for an upgrade from A2 Hosting, we recommend you check out SiteGround Hosting. With premium plans starting at only $2.99/month.
Although A2Hosting is a bit cheaper than Hostinger, we believe that Hostinger is worth the slightly higher price. Additionally, it provides great performance at an unbeatable price of $2.49/month. Hostinger’s speed is appealing to many potential customers, as are the features offered at such a low price.
FAQs About A2 Hosting Web Hosting Review
Is A2 Hosting cheap?
A2 Hosting is one of the most affordable web hosts on the market. Their shared hosting plans start at only $1.99 per month, and they offer a wide variety of features to their customers. In addition, A2 Hosting offers a money-back guarantee, so you can try their service risk-free.
Does A2 Hosting offer a free domain?
A2 Hosting does not offer a free domain. However, they do offer a free SSL certificate with every hosting plan. This is a great feature for anyone who is looking to set up a secure website.
Who owns A2 Hosting?
Bryan Muthig is the owner and CEO of A2 Hosting. Serving as CEO and founder, he started the company in 2001 with a mission to help people everywhere achieve success online. He wanted to make it easier for people to thrive on the internet.
A2 Hosting is now one of the leading web hosting companies in the world. They offer a wide range of hosting services and have a global network of servers.
Where is A2 Hosting located?
A2 Hosting is Located in Ann Arbor, MI. Launched in 2003, the company has a long history of providing high-quality and reliable hosting services to its customers.
What is A2 Hosting best for?
A2 Hosting is best for websites that need fast, reliable hosting with great customer support. A2 Hosting offers a variety of hosting plans to fit any budget, and their servers are optimized for speed and uptime.
Does A2 Hosting use WordPress?
A2 Hosting servers, much like WordPress, are designed with both ease of use and performance in mind. A2 Hosting offers WordPress pre-installed on your hosting account, making it easy to get started.
What is the difference between WordPress hosting and web hosting?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows users to create and manage a website or blog. WordPress hosting is a type of web hosting that is specifically designed to work with WordPress. While any web host can run WordPress, WordPress hosting includes features and tools that are optimized for WordPress, such as one-click installations and automatic updates.
In addition, WordPress hosts often offer security features, such as malware scanning and firewalls, that are not typically found with other types of web hosting. As a result, WordPress hosting can provide a more streamlined and secure experience for WordPress users.