A2 Hosting is a completely independent website hosting company founded in 2003. They’re located in Ann Arbor Michigan but serve hosting markets globally. A2 Hosting positions themselves like a high end, speed-focused webhost with excellent support.
The sale a complete spectrum of hosting solutions varying from shared Linux hosting (what most companies need) completely to cloud and server solutions for big, growing websites.
Like InMotion Hosting and SiteGround Hosting, they’re among the faster growing independent website hosts (i.e., not of a bigger corporate holding company like Endurance or GoDaddy). There is a large dedicated fanbase in accessory for some high-profile bloggers as customers.
Like my test out Website Hosting Hub, I lately were built with a couple small websites that needed their very own hosting accounts. Since I Have’ve had readers inquire about A2 Hosting, I made the decision to try them.
Get A2 Hosting’s current discount here.
Here’s my A2 Hosting review structured with benefits and drawbacks according to my experience like a customer.
Skip to direct comparisons or skip towards the conclusion.
Disclosure – I receive referral charges from companies pointed out on this web site. All opinions and knowledge derive from my experience like a having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.
Pros of utilizing A2 Hosting
There are plenty of A2 Hosting reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews according to anecdotes and private experience. That’s fine however i have a different approach. Like I mention in most my hosting reviews, there’s no such factor like a “best” hosting company. It’s by pointing out right fit for the project according to your objectives, budget, experience & expertise. Listed here are the professionals (advantages) for thinking about A2 Hosting.
Speed & Performance
A website hosting service could be several things for your business, however the core purpose of a hosting server would be to serve your site files whenever someone demands them. But – the implied adverb there’s for everyone individuals files rapidly.
At a time of worldwide audiences and multi-device connections, speed matters more than ever before. While there are plenty of variables in have fun with website speed, it’s mainly your hosting server’s job to transmit the requested files towards the visitor’s browser as rapidly so that as efficiently as you possibly can.
A2 Hosting makes lots of claims regarding their speed.
A number of individuals claims are misleading hyperbole. A number of individuals speed claims are upsells (that we’ll reach within the cons of A2 Hosting).
But overall, A2 Hosting does generally meet their promises.
Among the primary factors of site speed ‘s time to First Byte (TTFB) – ie, how rapidly the server transmits the very first byte from the first file as a result of a request. Here’s how my A2 Hosting website tested by helping cover their a standardized install to compare.
Their TTFB was a lot better than a few of their big brand competitors like Bluehost or GoDaddy and as good as others that concentrate on speed. For instance, here’s my TTFB report from tests which i did on my small SiteGround website.
A little faster – however in exactly the same ballpark – especially because of the variance that may happen with TTFB tests. Not to mention, for those who have a great server setup, that you can do much more. For instance, here’s my TTFB test by having an enhanced InMotion server.
Overall, A2 Hosting excels within their primary claim that they can fame – speed & performance. In the event that’s your priority, they are extremely within the running along with other direct competitors.
*Observe that I actually do possess some qualms with A2 Hosting over speed, measurement & the way they approach optimization. I’ll reach individuals within the Cons section, until then – A2 Hosting does perfectly on speed.
Global Data Centers
On the related but different note than speed & performance, A2 Hosting scores along with a globally focused host that may efficiently serve websites all over the world.
While there are numerous factors in website speed (like TTFB), the location of the server matters a great deal. Demands for information travel over physical wires to some physical server. Even at lightspeed, distance matters, particularly if you own/conserve a site or maybe these potential customers have to stock up a variety of files.
If both you and your audience are somewhere from the globe, it’s best to host your files near you and your audience.
*Note – if you’re in a single country, however your audience is disseminate, most sites solve this issue having a CDN.
Until lately, most leading edge website hosts were based & centered on the united states market. Should you be in Asia or Europe -you very well may be tied to lackluster local hosting and/or slow connection occasions.
A2 Hosting enables you to decide your datacenter one of the three they be employed in US, Europe or Asia. If you’re ex-US or are attempting to serve a crowd solely there – A2 Hosting’s datacenter choices are an engaging advantage.
Support Access & Options
Like I’ve pointed out in other hosting reviews, reviewing customer care is hard. Much like the local restaurant on Yelp, probably the most positive and many negative comments are generally useless.
Who knows when issues are customer-caused or if somebody simply experienced that certain amazing/horrible worker.
I’ve were built with a good knowledge about A2 Hosting. But that’s very anecdotal. So, I additionally like to check out “proxies” for customer care. Quite simply, stuff that indicate something concerning the culture & processes of customer care.
First – A2 Hosting provides lots of different channels for customer care.
There is a telephone number in the forefront. They’ve a comprehensive knowledgebase, live chat, as well as Skype access. They are doing well triaging demands via social networking.
Second, A2 Hosting’s reps are extremely “hands-on” – they provide custom installs and lots of solutions where your repetition goes in and connect the problem instead of speaking you thru the procedure. Although some customers might or might not like this option, it will signal they see customer care as an investment instead of a cost. That’s the kind of general conclusion which i search for – and the one which I believe matters within the lengthy-term more than a one-off experience.
Similar to their independent competitors in InMotion and SiteGround, A2 Hosting’s customer care is really a major pro to selecting on them a large brand webhost that might or might not prioritize support in the same manner. This time segues into another huge advantage for A2 Hosting.
Transparency & Independence
To begin with, I don’t believe that a business is “good” or “bad” simply because of its size. It’s about tradeoffs.
There are plenty of major benefits of utilizing a big company. They often possess the sources to supply big comprehensive solutions. They often have lower unit costs that may be passed towards the customer. They’re also usually more stable than small, upstart companies.
That stated businesses are often capable of being more agile, closer & more attentive to the client, and less inclined to view customers exclusively with the lens of the Internet Promoter Score.
In the realm of hosting – it truly depends upon your objectives & preferences. There isn’t any right answer.
That stated, it’s a large advantage that A2 Hosting is really a founder-owned, independent company – due to the fact that’s so rare in 2017. Most website hosts are brands of Endurance Worldwide, GoDaddy or even the Web.com group.
And not just is A2 Hosting independent, they’re stable and growing and extremely use their independence to advertise transparency and ease of access that the big brand simply can’t match.
If you’re someone searching for any webhost as opposed to a hosting brand – A2 Hosting will tick that box. Otherwise, you are able to ignore this and concentrating on your priorities.
Hosting Customizations & Features
The final major benefit of A2 Hosting that I wish to on-site visit is the concentrate on hosting features and customizations. They’re not only a complete-spectrum webhost with products targeted at virtually every need, they likewise have a concentrate on the exact features that you will get together with your plans.
They’ve from Home windows hosting to Dedicated and Cloud computing. All of their plans include current versions of software (ie, PHP7, new cPanel, etc).
Now – I believe a few of their “features” are misleading marketing-speak. But, similar to their speed claims, they are doing come finished supplying the hosting that the project will require.
Cons of utilizing A2 Hosting
Like every hosting company, A2 Hosting has disadvantages. There are many A2 Hosting complaints online. But don’t forget, that they like the professionals, all of these are poor your objectives & priorities. With this stated, listed here are the disadvantages which i found while using the A2 Hosting.
Like I’ve pointed out in other hosting reviews, evaluating prices across website hosts could be maddening. It’s tough to compare apples to oranges because plans generally include various caps.
That stated, I attempt to check out compare prices in line with the 3 “D’s” of core hosting features –
- Domains – the number of websites you are able to operate on your bank account
- Databases – the number of software installs you are able to run
- Disk Space – the number of files you are able to upload for your requirements
After searching at “core” hosting features, I love to factor all of the possible “bonus” features. Bonus features are features that you ought to only element in when they have to do with your objectives. For example, if you are considering running AdWords, a credit there can be useful, but when not, it’s something to disregard completely.
In either case, A2 Hosting has 3 primary tiers for shared Linux hosting – the Lite ($7.99/mo for just two-year plans), Quick ($9.99/mo for just two-year plans) and Turbo plans $18.99/mo for just two-year plans.
With heavy discounting, their plans aren’t bad when compared with both competitors and discount brands.
That stated – they’re certainly pricier than most website hosts which i’ve checked out for any couple of reasons.
First, their renewal prices is just valid for just two-year plans. Should you simply want to pay yearly – their renewal prices is a lot greater.
Second, their Lite plan’s pretty heavily capped. It’s really appropriate for literally one website without any additional use cases.
Third, they don’t start adding some key “bonus” features their competitors do include. I’ll discuss individuals later, but such things as backups, dedicated IP addresses, “performance”, “priority support” and junk e-mail filtering all get bucketed as upsells instead of as pre-packaged features.
4th, I’m not entirely obvious on which justifies having to pay double the amount cost for “Turbo” – you can even find some features that change from Incorporated to “Available”. Evidently from it, it seems they promise to place yourself on a less crowded server. However the factor is – that wouldn’t appear enjoy it would enhance minute to minute performance with an absolute measure. It might, however, “increase” speeds if when compared with crowded servers under constant load.
I’m not really a network engineer and that i’m definitely not aware of how A2 Hosting has their network setup. It may be fabulous. However the factor is – after searching at & using many website hosts, it appears like simply a method to have more money monthly without supplying immediate value every month.
Now – to become obvious, that’s not necessarily a bad factor. Cost isn’t a particularly good metric. Every customer need to look at overall value for his or her needs. But in either case, A2 Hosting works in a greater cost point than other hosts, and that i’m unsure their raw features satisfy the cost point….which segues in to the next section.
Technical Marketing Speak
Sometimes in marketing. I really like it. I believe good marketing could make the planet a much better place.
But marketing is really a tool. And That I absolutely don’t like it when companies use “marketing-speak” to misrepresent services and products. It’s fine to simplify, but tell it enjoy it really is. Also it’s fine to re-frame or re-position, although not at the expense of hiding other details.
A2 Hosting does this a great deal. There is a sleek website. They’ve good copy. However they consistently invent features that aren’t really features or they position details outdoors of context so that they appear great…but really don’t make sense at all.
Here’s a good example.
The chart looks great. It’s certainly one of individuals marketing assets which makes you nod and move along towards the buy button. Everybody will it for an extent, but there’s a couple things here that bother me.
First, the Performance Plus pitch grossly simplifies what must be done to “maintain your website’s speed during traffic spikes.” That depends upon your caching, how big your website, how big your “traffic spike” (ie, could it be hundreds, thousands or countless demands?”, and a large number of other variables. It plays on fear as opposed to a better upside like “smoothly handle an origin-intensive site).
Second, the Cores, Physical and Virtual Memory allocations are missing any kind of context. They come to influence you to definitely purchase a more costly plan – to not provide any truly helpful comparative information.
To be fair to A2 Hosting, I actually do such as the specificity and I know that supplying concise, helpful details are challenging on the web page. That stated, combined with next disadvantage, their marketing-speak works as a disadvantage for just about any customer attempting to make an educated selection of webhost.
Onboarding & Product Setup
Onboarding is the procedure of moving a brand new customer for an active, happy customer. It’s a vital process for just about any company, but specifically for website hosts who’re selling an inherently technical product.
While A2 Hosting has most of the common ingredients for any good onboarding (ie, email confirmations, intuitive client area and standard cPanel) – everything while establishing my account was slightly off. It had been a little frustrating – enough to really make it a drawback.
They begin out their orders simply by having an Order Confirmation.
Their account area is rather simple.
Their welcome email looks comprehensive…but it’s not. Most sign-up emails have critical username and passwords to be able to get began immediately (see examples within my Website Setup Guide).
But A2 Hosting’s emails don’t.
It informs me to obtain my DNS information within their help area.
However when I visit the help area…it informs me to return to the e-mail.
But there’s no information within the email.
So to Google/customer care.
In either case – using their cPanel, they’ve customized it to highlight their “A2 Customized Installers” as opposed to the standard Softaculous installer.
The issue using their customized installers is that it helps make the installed software way harder and cluttered than it must be.
Basically were a brand new, unskilled user, I’d be regretting my purchase about now. It’s these situations where A2 Hosting needs good support as their onboarding is creating issues that shouldn’t exist to begin with.
But past the “customized” setup/onboarding – I had been disheartened at just how they’ve pre-configured their “A2 Enhanced” software.
It appears as though they’ve hamstrung it to make use of less sources than usual while configuring plugins to obtain the software to a non-hamstrung condition. For instance, here, they set the default WordPress memory limit to 40M instead of something helpful like 256M. I’m sure they’ve their reasons, however that was frustrating because it’ll immediately provide error flags for many plugins.
But – the website will still appear fast given that they have very aggressive caching pre-installed. I’m not really a huge fan and believe that pre-configuring software like this can be a problem with firms that use a standard form of your software of preference.
Upsells & Offers
Upsells aren’t inherently a “bad” factor. If presented well, they may be helpful. But upsells have to be obvious, helpful and presented well. While less bad as some big brand competitors, A2 Hosting doesn’t do upsells well.
Here’s a specific item on checkout – a wall of “configuarable options” – also known as, upsells.
Whilst not garish or overwhelming, individuals configurable options create lots of questions.
Each and every option (aside from Server Location) either creates doubt or confusion within the mind from the customer. Furthermore, because they are all presented from context – I do not know what they’re or why they’re helpful or the way they affect my purchase.
However the frustrating offers/upsells don’t visit the checkout screen. They’re built-into A2 hosting’s “optimized software” as proven earlier.
But they’re also marketed inside the server backend. As seen here –
Within this situation, it’s less concerning the offer and much more using what the sale is. It’s a really horrible “SEO” product. The type which makes me embarrassed to operate in the Search engine optimization industry. Here’s a specific item whenever you click A2 Hosting’s “Link Building” product.
Yeah. I’m unsure how much cash Attracta pays A2 Hosting for your product placement, but wow does that negatively affect A2 Hosting’s otherwise solid, clean brand.
In addition to video sales letters – but A2 Hosting also instantly provided my email to Attracta to have an email automation setup that I didn’t join – pure junk e-mail.
However the frustrations with offers/upsells/messaging will get worse. A2 Hosting takes credit for supplying free, open-source products using their company companies free of charge. In their “Optimization” upgrade, they supposedly install a lot of exclusive software to assist your website.
Within the situation from the WordPress install, it happens to be some standard, free plugins open to anybody through the WordPress wordpress plugin repository.
It’s one factor to supply a car-install service – that’s fine. It’s another to make use of another person’s work and employ the worth using their try to add “exclusive” value for your product.
Now – from a day-to-day use perspective – none of the matters. You are able to disregard the upsells, disregard the offers and take away the bundled plugins. But so far as selecting a business according to trust & values, I view it like a problem with A2 Hosting.
Guarantees, Backups & Bonuses
Guarantees and backup services are “bonus” features within the grand plan of hosting. However for something as essential as your site, they may be existence (err wallet) savers.
A2 Hosting’s money-back guarantee is okay however is not impressive when compared with direct competitors.
Additionally they only provide “server rewind backups” free of charge together with your standard plan. If you would like true regular backups, you’ll have to sign up for a third party service.
Again, that’s fine, however it’s something to element in while evaluating cost & value among competitors.
Lastly, their actual bonuses/freebies are pretty thin on the floor. Actually, 3 of the 4 freebies are ad placements to profit A2 Hosting. Nothing outdoors standard, but something to element in if you know a few of the services you’re searching for.
Overall, A2 Hosting’s guarantees, backups, and freebies are ok by themselves, however a disadvantage when compared with all of those other industry.
Options to A2 Hosting
From the best-known hosts that I’ve utilized as a person or consultant, here’s how A2 Hosting compares straight to each.
A2 Hosting versus. SiteGround
SiteGround is among A2 Hosting’s big independent (ie, also not of a large holding company) competitors. Both of them possess a concentrate on speed with reputations for solid support. SiteGround shares all A2 Hosting’s positives (including global data centers) with couple of of A2 Hosting’s downsides. Read my full SiteGround Hosting review here, but unless of course you’ve got a specific reason behind selecting A2 Hosting, I would suggest registering for SiteGround.
A2 Hosting versus. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting is among A2 Hosting’s big independent (ie, also not of a large holding company) competitors. A2 Hosting offers global data centers and Home windows hosting that InMotion doesn’t. Beyond that, I’ve discovered that InMotion provides all of A2 Hosting’s benefits with no downsides. InMotion has very involved support along with a solid prices structure. Read my full overview of InMotion Hosting here, but unless of course you’ll need Home windows servers, I would suggest registering for InMotion Hosting.
A2 Hosting vs. Bluehost
Bluehost is among Endurance International’s best-known brands. They beat A2 Hosting on prices. However, A2 Hosting does far better with performance and core hosting features whereas Bluehost has better “bonuses” and side upgrades. If performance matters more for you – then pay a little extra for A2 Hosting. If you are just managing a simple, straightforward project, then Bluehost is solid.
A2 Hosting versus. HostGator
HostGator is among Endurance International’s other well-known brands. They’re most widely known for offering good website hosting with unmetered features for very economical prices. I utilize them for small personal projects – plus they beat A2 Hosting on prices and core hosting features. However, A2 Hosting has better support and gratifaction. So again, together, opt for A2 Hosting for much better value & better performance and HostGator for much better (or temporary) prices and/or unmetered features.
There is a reason A2 Hosting is among the fastest growing independent website hosts. There is a solid product along with a great support.
If you’re searching for any complete webhost with solid support and gratifaction (and also you don’t mind a couple of upsells) – go join A2 Hosting here.
If you’re searching for any webhost with the advantages of A2 Hosting – however with better prices and guarantees, I’d opt for InMotion Hosting. Get InMotion’s discount here.
If you’re more confused than ever before – then take my Web Hosting Quiz here or use this site setup guide here!
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