If you want to create a website and want others to see it as well then you need a website hosting service. Hosting is a server or a computer that stores and serves the websites on the internet. There are many hosting services available across the internet that claim to be the best one. But how do you know which is really the one you are looking for? You need a hosting service that delivers the fastest server speeds, efficient customer support, affordable pricing and much more than that. Have a look at the detailed review of A2 Hosting which is one of the most popular hosting services.
A2 Hosting has delivered the best services to its customers that include fast server speeds since 2001. It can be the best option for your web hosting. Moreover, it is popularly known for its easy-to-use and high-powered hosting. Their hosting plans are relatively cheap (starting from $2.96/month) and developer-friendly. They also have an efficient customer support service along with a special money-back guarantee. Below is the in-depth review of A2 Hosting along with its pricing, features, services, pros, and cons.
A2 Hosting Overview
- Average Speed: 317ms (From Feb 2018 to Jan 2020)
- Customer Support: 24/7 Live chat
- Average Uptime: 99.93% (From Feb 2018 to Jan 2020)
- Popular Features: Anytime Money Back Guarantee, Free SSL, Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Hosting Plans: WordPress, shared, VPS, reseller and dedicated servers.
- Apps: WordPress, Magento, Drupal, and Joomla
- Site Migration: One site transfer free
- Pricing plans: Starting range of $2.96/ month (renewal at $8.99/ month)
So here is the overview of A2 Hosting which looks pretty great. Now, let’s check out all the pros and cons of this popular hosting service.
Why Choose A2 Hosting?
With excellent high speed and plenty of features, A2 Hosting has the best services to provide to its customers including friendly customer support and legitimate refund policy. Here are all the advantages of getting A2 Hosting over other hosting services.
1. The Fastest Shared Hosting Service
A2 Hosting will make your website incredibly fast and not just the landing page or home page. It is tested to be the fastest shared hosting provider for several years (317ms). It is majorly known for its speed and even the pricing plans are according to the level of speed, for instance, “Turbo” and “Swift”.
If you want to create a website, then you will definitely want its loading speed to be fast to avoid a higher visitor bounce rate. To avoid losing your website visitors due to lower loading speed, A2 Hosting is highly recommended.
The average load time of A2 Hosting has been:
|April 2020||100%||306 ms|
|March 2020||99.99%||261 ms|
|February 2020||100%||294 ms|
|January 2020||99.99%||424 ms|
|December 2019||100%||302 ms|
|November 2019||100%||326 ms|
|October 2019||99.99%||290 ms|
|September 2019||99.99%||286 ms|
|August 2019||99.95%||307 ms|
|July 2019||99.85%||288 ms|
This is the average loading speed of the past few months that is better than any other hosting provider.
2. Efficient and Friendly Customer Support Service
If you ever need help with your hosting or website, A2 Hosting has provided more than a hundred knowledgeable articles. These articles will give you the quick answers you are looking for. Apart from this, if you prefer talking to a representative, they also offer ticket-based help and live chat options. Their customer support is very friendly and smooth in providing all the required information. They genuinely care about their customers’ queries and answer all the questions directly within half a minute. They have provided an overall good experience to their customers. If you decide to select A2 Hosting services, then you won’t have to worry about their customer support as they are very efficient.
3. Free ‘HackScan’ for your Website Safety
Fast speed servers and efficient customer service are not everything you need to make your website work great. You also need a secured website. However, most hosting services fail to provide both speed and security because extra layers of protection, scanning, firewalls, and encryption can slow down the loading speed. This will have an impact on the user experience. But with A2 Hosting, you can get both security and speed without compromising on the loading time. Moreover, with the lightning-fast speed of the website, you do not have to compromise on the security of your website either. The servers of A2 Hosting are secured by ‘HackScan’.
HackScan is a monitoring service that scans 24/7 for all the attacks including malware attacks to keep your websites safe. It will prevent all the issues before happening. They have scalable data centers that will protect your website from DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, which can knock your site offline by flooding your server with traffic. For these unexpected events, A2 Hosting has got your back. You do not have to worry about your website safety with HackScan.
4. Free Website Migration
At no extra charges, your existing website can be migrated by A2 Hosting from other servers to their servers, on all the plans. They transfer 1-25 websites depending on the plan. To migrate your site, all you have to do is get your cPanel account credentials and contact their customer support service as they will take care of the rest. Your website will be transferred for free at no extra cost to you. The only thing is that based on your purchased plan, a specific number of websites can only be migrated. A2 Hosting has mentioned everything in detail in their plans.
The customers of shared hosting on plans Lite, Swift, and Turbo will get one website moved at no cost. However, if you are getting the dedicated, reseller or managed VPS hosting, then you can migrate 25 websites for free. A2 Hosting might charge you a small fee if you do not have your cPanel credentials as it will be extra work for them.
5. Website Builders, CMS (Content Management Systems), and Developer-Friendly Tools
With A2 Hosting, you can easily install WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Joomla or OpenCart with just a few clicks. It seamlessly works with all the major website builders, content management systems and developer-friendly tools. You won’t need a developer for your website to help you out as A2 Hosting has everything covered for you. They also have special features and plugins for your websites. For instance, the A2 Optimized WordPress plugin will help you keep your website at a remarkably high speed. This plugin comes with the Turbo plans. Moreover, it offers its own user-friendly website builder as well.
6. A2 Optimized WordPress Plugin by A2 Hosting
The website builder of A2 Hosting is named SiteBuilder that is suitable for easy customization of your website. Using SiteBuilder for creating your website will be recommended when you want to do everything by yourself and do not want to use Google for HTML tags. It is more user-friendly and you won’t need any help from a developer. However, the pricing of plans varies for SiteBuilder that the general shared hosting plan charges.
The plans of A2 Hosting will keep your website fast as they are compatible with a Cloudfare CDN account. Your site becomes faster as the images and other larger files are separately loaded from your server. If you are a web agency or a developer and want to host numerous websites in one place, then A2 Hosting is the best option for you as it comes with developer-friendly tools. From multiple versions of PHP, PostgreSQL, Python, and MySQL to admin-level access on servers and free server rewind backups, you get pretty much everything with A2 Hosting for all your developing needs.
7. Anytime Refund Guarantee
Just like most other hosting services, A2 Hosting also had the same 30-day refund guarantee mentioned on their website. Everyone knows how this works. If you get into any problem or find any issues with the services within the first 30 days of getting a plan, then you are guaranteed full money-back without any questions. However, over the past few years, A2 Hosting modified its refund policy. From 30-day money-back guarantee, they converted it to any time money-back guarantee for the benefit of their customers.
For instance, if you choose to pay for 3 years for better deals and do not face any issue in the first 30 days of services. However, you are not happy after a year and you wish to migrate to another server. That will be a problem as you have already paid for 3 years and you will end up wasting your money.
However, you do not have to worry about this issue with A2 Hosting as they offer “anytime” money-back guarantee. You can ask for a refund any time and you will get the amount for the remaining time out of the entire amount you paid for (you will receive a refund for the amount of 2 years in the above example). But there are also a few limitations to this policy. Additional services like domain registration, migration, and setup, which are other than hosting are non-refundable. Moreover, any refund request in the first 120 days will be issued via PayPal. Although, you will obviously get to keep the non-refundable services such as the domain name.
8. Green Hosting Services
According to its website, the headquarter of A2 Hosting is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is also known as “Tree Town” as they have around 50,000 trees and 150 public parks. A2 Hosting is a green hosting service that feels their moral obligations towards the environment. They are helping in the protection of the planet by reducing global warming. Now, this may not affect your website or the hosting services they offer, but it will surely give you a feeling of satisfaction for working with an environmentally friendly company. It can be considered as an added perk of working with A2 Hosting. To help support reforestation and renewable resources, A2 Hosting has also joined hands with Carbonfund.org. They also have a green hosting initiative called “FutureServe” to help offset the emissions from A2 Hosting’s servers.
9. Average Uptime of 99.93%
The average uptime of A2 Hosting services was the highest in 2015 but over the past 2 years, there has been a very slight downturn in their performance. However, it does not matter much as they have still maintained the industry-standard results and managed to achieve an average uptime of 99.93%.
Here is the information on month-wise average uptime and speed for the past few months.
Any Concerns? Yes.
A2 Hosting also has a few disadvantages that may or may not be crucial for some. However, it is important to have a look at them before getting their hosting services. Below listed are the detailed disadvantages of A2 Hosting.
1. Renewal Rates are very high
The renewal pricing of all the plans is incredibly high, almost double from the first year pricing. That is a major drawback for the long-term plans. However, prepaying for 3 years or 36 months at one time will be a better deal as you get to pay lesser that way. Most hosting services also have the same policy of lesser price for the first year and then higher renewal prices. That is because if you are happy with their hosting services, then you would not want to deal with the issues of migrating your website just because of the prices. Most web hostings do the same thing with their pricing plans.
2. 15 Day Deadline
Even if you choose to cancel your service, you need to, according to A2 Hosting’s terms and conditions, submit a written request for cancellation before 15 days of the renewal via email or their customer portal. If you forget to do so, you will have to pay the entire renewal fee as it will get renewed automatically. If you apply for a refund, you won’t be eligible for it. Therefore, you need to be extra careful with the dates and not forget to cancel your hosting services at the right time.
3. Limitations on the Affordable Plans
The cheapest starting price of the shared hosting of A2 Hosting is $2.96/ month that is 51% off the regular price. This introductory price is for the Lite option which may not be the cheapest as compared to other hosting services, but still affordable. However, when you compare the plans along with their pricing, there are major drawbacks to the cheapest plans.
The Lite plan will only get you one website, free SSL, unlimited storage, 25 email accounts, free site migration and anytime refund guarantee. You do not get a lot of advantages if you choose the Lite plan.
If you choose the Swift plan, then you will be paying $3.70/ month, which will give you additional benefits of free automatic backups, unlimited emails, and unlimited websites. That means just by paying a few bucks per month more, you can get two services unlimited. That is what makes the Swift plan most popular.
However, if you get the Turbo plan, which will cost you $7.03/ month, that is almost double the price Swift plan, you can get 20X faster speed. Now, everyone wants a faster loading time for their websites, but some of them may not want to pay just double for it.
Similar issues come with SiteBuilder, A2 Hosting’s website builder. The most affordable options are not fairly priced.
A2 Hosting Pricing and Plans
- Lite Plan: The price of this plan is $2.96/ month. It will include hosting of one website, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, 5 databases, free SSL, and cPanel control access.
- Swift Plan: The price of this plan is $3.70/ month. In addition to everything in the Lite plan, it supports unlimited websites, storage, database, cPanel, SSL certificate, and one site migration.
- Turbo Plan: The price of this plan is $7.03/ month. In addition to everything in the Swift plan, it includes A2 Site Accelerator and Turbo (20 times high) speed.
- Hidden fee and conditions: The renewal prices are higher than the starting prices. You are required to cancel your renewal before 15 days or you will end up paying the entire renewal amount. Charges for domain names are non-refundable. They offer only single website migration for the shared hosting plans.
- Signup: The signup process is quite easy with just three steps.
- Upsells: Less Upsells.
- Payment Methods: PayPal, Bank Transfer, Skrill, Credit Card, Check or Money Order, and PayU Latam.
- Activation: Instant account activation.
- Installation: They allow easy installation of Apps and CMSs like WordPress at the time of checkout.
So, should you choose A2 Hosting?
A2 Hosting is highly recommended as it will deliver you the highest speed. They have efficient and helpful customer support who will take care of all your issues. You will also get a free SSL certificate and one free site migration. They also have any time refund policy that will be very beneficial for the customers.