A2 Hosting Review: 20X Faster (Or So They Say…)

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Founded in 2003 as a web hosting solution for software developers, A2 Hosting is a web hosting provider that offers “service [they’d] want to use [them]selves.” What does this mean? It means that if you host your website with A2, you’ll get:

  • Screaming Fast Page Loads
  • Superb 24/7/365 Guru Crew Support
  • Amazing Uptime
  • The Best Developer Tools

A2 Hosting Screenshot
So, should you go with A2 hosting as you get ready to go live with your first website? Read on to find out if A2 is the right choice for you.

FutureServe Green Hosting

A2 takes its commitment to the environment seriously, and it has launched the FutureServe Green Hosting program. This initiative’s goal is to fight against global warming. Additionally, A2 is a partner of Carbonfund.org, an organization battling global climate change by replanting trees in areas that were once forests and supporting efforts to develop clean, renewable sources of energy.

A2 is also 100% carbon neutral, and the company has implemented a number of green policies, such as allowing employees to telecommute and reusing older hardware.

Features

In this section, we’ll cover the promises A2 makes to ensure that you get:

  • Screaming Fast Page Loads
  • Superb 24/7/365 Guru Crew Support
  • Amazing Uptime
  • The Best Developer Tools

Screaming Fast Page Loads

A2 boasts that all their sites are hosted on their proprietary SwiftServe platform, which is a finely-tuned, high-performance solution that allows your site to load up to twenty times faster than if you were hosting it on a competitor’s platform.

Superb 24/7/365 Guru Crew Support

If you ever have questions, call A2 at any time of the day (or night) and speak with their friendly and knowledgeable technicians.

Speak with A2 Hosting's Support Today

Amazing Uptime

A2 Hosting boasts a commitment to 99.9% uptime, and they work hard to ensure they meet this promise by abiding by industry best practices (such as using top-of-the-line servers, the best data centers, and running routine maintenance their infrastructure).

The Best Developer Tools

A2 is a developer-friendly web hosting company, so its goal is to load all of their plans with features that developers love. You might not be at the point where you’re ready to or comfortable with taking advantage of such features, but when you are, you’ll know that they’re there.

Some features include Server Rewind backups, administrative level root access on their virtual servers, and up-to-date versions of the most popular and useful developer tools, such as PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Python.

Web Hosting Plans

A2 offers several types of web hosting plans, including shared, seller, VPS, and dedicated hosting.

Shared Hosting

When you’re just getting started, you’re likely to be looking for simple, inexpensive options that nevertheless include everything you need to get your site up and running. A2 offers a variety of shared hosting plans from which you can choose. You can choose the data center where your account is provisioned: North American (Michigan and Arizona), Europe (Amsterdam), or Asia (Singapore).

First, you’ll need to choose the operating system you want running on your server. You can choose between Linux and Windows, but the latter option will cost you a bit more.

Regardless of which operating system you choose, there are three different plans from which you can choose.

The entry-level option gets you hosting for one website, five databases, unlimited storage, unlimited data transfer, a cPanel to manage your website, 25 email inboxes, and a free SSL certificate.

The mid-range plan gets you hosting for an unlimited number of websites, as well as unlimited databases, storage, email inboxes, and data transfer. You’ll also get a cPanel to manage your website and a free SSL certificate.

The high-end option gets you everything in the mid-range plan, but your website is hosted on one of A2’s turbo server, which means that you’ll get more resources and be using a server that has fewer users on it than those allocated to sites on a lower-tiered hosting plan. You’ll also get A2 Site Accelerator, which is pre-configured site caching designed to improve page load speeds, support for HTTP/2, infrastructure redundancy, and guarantees as to how much of the server’s resources are available to your site at any given time.

All shared plans come with Cloudflare CDNs free of charge, which means that your site is stored in a network of servers and then served from the location that is closest to your visitors. Again, this is something designed to improve the page load speeds of your website.

Other Hosting Options

When you’re just getting started with a website, a shared plan is most likely the best option for you. However, A2 does offer other options, so we’ll cover these briefly. You might find yourself needing to upgrade sooner rather than later, or you might decide to go straight to a more feature-rich plan from the get-go if you’re expecting rapid growth in the near future.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller plans are essentially web hosting plans that come with a larger share of resources that can then be “resold” to other customers. A2 offers three different reseller hosting plans from which you can choose, and aside from the differences in resource allocations, the reseller plans are very similar to the shared hosting plans in terms of the features they come with.

Reseller plans do, however, come with an assortment of management tools that make it easy for you to manage your sub-accounts, such as those for billing and invoicing.

VPS Hosting

VPS plans are typically the next step up if you’ve outgrown a shared hosting plan. However, when getting a VPS plan, especially an unmanaged option, you become responsible for a lot of the server system administration that was once taken care of by the web host itself.

A2 offers both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting plans, and obviously, the managed options are more expensive.

A2 makes it clear that its most inexpensive VPS options are unmanaged plans that should be chosen only by experienced developers. It comes with root administrative privileges, your choice of Linux operating system, at least 20 GB of storage (with the option to upgrade to SSD drives), 2 TB of data transfer, 512 MB of RAM, and 1 CPU core.

A2’s managed options are much more expensive, but if you’re looking for something that’s closer to a shared plan (but with more resources), these are what you’d want. These plans come with a free cPanel for website management (many other hosts charge for this feature at the VPS level), HostGuard Management tools, a free SSL certificate, and at least 75 GB of SSD storage, 2 TB of data transfer, 4 GB of RAM, and 4 CPU cores.

For an additional fee, you can get a managed VPS plan with root administrative privileges. This gets you the best of both worlds, so to speak.

Dedicated Servers

A2 offers options that are what you’d traditionally expect from a dedicated server purchase, but it also offers a semi-dedicated option. Let’s cover that first.

A lot of times, when you upgrade to dedicated servers, you’re expected to assume most, if not all, of the system administration tasks. However, A2’s semi-dedicated options get you the power and resources typically granted to users of dedicated servers, but the A2 team manages your website for you. You’ll get a cPanel to manage your website, unlimited storage, unlimited data transfer, 2 GB of RAM, 2 CPU cores, and a free SSL certificate. A2 also boasts that this option is twenty times faster than its shared plans.

If you think you’re up to managing your own server, A2 offers three different levels of dedicated servers from which you can choose. All come with root administrative privileges, your choice of Linux operating system, and large resource (storage, data transfer, RAM, and CPU cores) allocations.

Pricing and Billing

The cost of your A2 hosting plan depends on the type of web hosting you choose. You can choose to pay on a monthly basis, or you can pay upfront for an extended contract. If you opt for the latter, you’ll receive a discount off your monthly fees. Those who opt for the longest contracts will receive the largest discounts, which means that, on a month-to-month basis, these users pay the least for their hosting packages.

Depending on the type of hosting you choose, you can opt for varying billing cycles:

  • Shared Plans: 1, 12, or 24 months
  • VPS Plans: 1, 3, 6, 12, 24
  • Reseller Plans: 1, 6, 12, 24, 36
  • Dedicated Servers: 1, 3, 6, 12

Summary

A2 is a provider of web hosting services backed by solid customer service. Its goal is to offer developer-friendly options, but those who are looking to get started can certainly purchase its full-featured packages.

Visit A2Hosting.com Now!

Your Review of A2 Hosting

Are you a former or current A2 Hosting customer? Following your experience, would you recommend them to your nearest and dearest? How do they perform in terms of speed, features, and customer service? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below and let us know what you think.

Katie began her tech career as a C# developer before turning her hand to technical writing. She still codes regularly but these days she can be found writing about web development, coding and technology for HTML.com and our sister websites.
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