A2 hosting promises the kind of service they would want for themselves. They want happy customers like every other company, but they are willing to work to make it happen. We’ll find out if they deliver today in our full A2 Hosting review!
With promises that include super fast servers, rock solid uptime, tons of features, and an always available customer service team, there’s a lot to love here. Let’s see if this hosting company lives up to its claims!
A2 Hosting Overview
A2 hosting was established in August 2001. The company is based on Arbor, Michigan and has built their company’s reputation on promises of speed, reliability, and customer service that can’t be beat.
Originally, the company was named Iniquinet, but it was renamed to A2 Hosting in March of 2003. So, what does this company offer that others don’t?
For starters, they offer unlimited everything at extremely low prices. The basic plans range from $3 to $9 a month and include the company’s Solid State Drive Speed Boost feature. These types of hard drives are able to access data much faster than the standard ones.
Even the basic Lite plan will offer you unlimited storage and data transfer capacities. The Swift and Turbo options will come with unlimited everything from storage, to emails, domains, and databases.
For beginners, all of the basic applications are there like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Shopping carts are included for eCommerce websites as well. The popular cPanel is used for shared hosting accounts as well.
If you’re an advanced user or a developer, A2 Hosting also offers support for plenty of programming languages:
- 4 Versions of PHP
- Unlimited MySQL 5.5 databases
- PostgreSQL 9.1
- PHPMyAdmin & PHHPpgAdmin
- SSH access
- Apache 2.2
- Ruby on Rails
- Git, CVS, Subversion & Mercurial
There are also more robust hosting packages that include reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting. My personal experience was with the entry-level shared hosting plan, so let’s find out how I liked A2 Hosting and their services!
My Experience With A2 Hosting
I started using A2 Hosting in April of 2015 and now that I’ve had some time with their services, I’m ready to weigh in with my thoughts.
What I Liked About A2 Hosting
I’m telling you now, this is going to be a long list. Let’s start with speed, shall we? The people who work at this hosting company are positively obsessed with your website’s speed and it shows in everything they do.
1. Blazing Fast Speed
The use of SSD drives as opposed to standard HDD drives is the first part of this. They use these ultra fast drives for everything from your operating system, to your databases and every one of your files.
They have 10GB redundant networks, 12 core serves, and 64GB of RAM. Not only this, but you get support from a content delivery network called Cloud Flare for free. This type of network is normally extra and allows the servers to deliver content to your users based on their location, thus getting it to them faster.
If you’re a WordPress fan like myself, then you’ll be happy to know that the experience here comes with its own benefits. Back in October of 2014, A2 Hosting released a pre-configured optimization plugin for WordPress users called A2 Optimized.
This plugin is only available to WordPress users, but it goes in and changes all of the settings to ensure your WordPress site is working the best it can. According to A2 Hosting, the plugin “ends the guesswork of how to get the fastest WordPress page loads.”
It comes with these awesome features:
- Auto-server configuration for 6x faster page loads on WordPress
- A Unique WordPress login URL address.
- Automatic A2 Optimized updates
- ReCaptcha on WordPress’ login page
Not only do these features offer faster speeds, but several of them improve your WordPress security, which is huge. Speed is a huge factor as every second can reduce your sales and send people to other sites.
We’re not done yet either.
2. Full Server Reports, Phenomenal Uptime
Out of the gate, A2 Hosting impressed me with their speed. Unlike most other hosting companies, they also offer full access to reports on their server speeds and uptime.
These reports are compiled by a third party company called Website Pulse. The uptime is tested in four locations as well: Washington and Los Angeles in the US, Brisbane in Australia, and Desseldorf in Germany. These tests are done every five minutes!
The best part? You can see them whenever you want. The results are just as good, if not better than most other servers in the industry. Even testing it myself, I found that I had 100% uptime, which is simply incredible.
3. Flexibility in Hosting Plan Options
Many website owners worry about outgrowing their host. This won’t be an issue with you and your A2 Hosting powered website. They have options for every stage of a website’s growth. You can have multiple types of shared hosting, including options with additional features.
When it comes time, you can upgrade to VPS hosting without any hassle, and the same goes with the managed plans or dedicated hosting options.
4. Great Customer Service
Just when you thought the trifecta couldn’t be completed, A2 hosting combines great customer service with their blazing fast speed and perfect uptime. As of this writing, A2 Hosting has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website.
In the past three years, they’ve had only four complaints to the BBB. You look at other hosting companies and they get that many complaints in the space of a single week.
In my experience, the customer service team responded to my requests in less than an hour, and they always had a solution for me.
5. Excellent Shared Hosting Features
When you start out with an entry-level shared hosting plan, you don’t expect much, let alone CDN access and free backups. That’s unheard of, unless you choose A2 Hosting. The basic plan offers Server Rewind Backup, free Cloud Flare CDN, free SSH access, PatchMan and free hack scans.
The Server Rewind features promises to automatically back up your site on a daily basis, and allow you to restore everything from a single file, to your entire website. The feature can be accessed from the control panel and it’s 100% free.
The Cloud Flare content delivery network allows your users to access the website from the closest possible servers to them, improving your speed and security.
The PatchMan feature is an amazing security tool that automatically updates your software, including your CMS platform like WordPress. The feature automatically quarantines infected files and notifies you as well. Any security updates will be implemented automatically 2 days after the problem is identified.
Finally, the Hack Scan feature stops attacks from hitting your website. These features are most always an extra cost, but A2 Hosting includes them with even the most basic shared hosting plans.
What I Didn’t Like About A2 Hosting
This is going to be pretty bare bones, which is a good thing. The biggest things I look at with a hosting review are the features, the uptime, and the customer service.
A2 Hosting excells in all these areas. They go above and beyond in everything they do, which is why I have nothing negative to say.
A2 Hosting Pros
- Reliable server uptime (100% in my experience)
- Blazing fast speed (SSD storage)
- Incredible shared hosting features
- Flexible hosting options
- Great customer service
A2 Hosting Cons
- Absolutely nothing
A2 Hosting Customer Reviews
I’m in love with A2 Hosting, but apparently I’m not the only one. Check out these customer reviews from others who use this company’s services:
“I’ve been running website since before the dawn of the modern internet. I have used more hosting companies than I can count, and I’ve been through more headaches than you can imagine. Given this experience, I can safely say that A2 hosting has the best features, uptime, and customer service that I have ever seen, bar none.
Combine this with great prices, and I simply can’t recommend anyone else.”
– Rick Friedman
“I’d like to start by saying that I made a huge mistake on my site. I’m still not entirely sure how I did it, but I managed to wipe out all of my files. Yes, all of them. I was panicking to say the least, so I got hold of the customer service.
Within a few hours, my site was fully restored. The Server Rewind feature is a life saver! Most hosting companies wouldn’t bother to help, let alone back it up for me. I’m never going anywhere else.”
– Pamela Hegel
“I judge hosting based on how they handle a crisis situation. When my email was hacked and spam started going out under my name, I was in crisis mode to say the least. I immediately called the A2 Hosting line and the representative on the phone had my email account fixed in less then twenty minutes.
Not only that, but he went through the trouble of sending test emails for each account and tracked them to ensure nothing else was hiding in there. A2 performed flawlessly when I needed them, that’s a win in my book.”
– Craig Turner
“The biggest issue I’ve had with hosting companies in the past is their customer support. I’m not a tech wizard, but I do expect to be respected and helped by the people I talk to on the phone, via email, or in a live chat.
Thankfully, A2 Hosting’s customer service has set a new standard for me, and not just with hosting. I expect every customer service interaction to be as pleasant as the one with their associates was.”
– Eliza Barton
A2 Hosting Plans
Starting with the shared hosting plans, A2 Hosting offers three levels in this category:
This first plan starts at $3.92 per month and includes all of the features you would expect for a single website to run smooth as can be. You’ll have access to five databases, unlimited storage and transfer, SSD drives, and an anytime money back guarantee.
The second level of shared hosting starts at $4.90 per month. It offers the capabilities you would need for multiple sites, as many as you want in fact. With this plan you’re looking at unlimited everything, along with a free SSD drive and the iconic anytime money back guarantee.
Turbo is the fastest option for shared hosting that A2 offers. You’ll have unlimited everything, the SSD is included, along with the A2 Site Accelerator app, and Turbo access. A2 Hosting’s Turbo servers offer page loads up to 20 times faster, along with more resources and less users per server.
The second level of hosting available from A2 Hosting is a Virtual Private Server, or VPS. This type of hosting comes in two separate types:
1. Unmanaged VPS
This plan starts at an amazing $5.00 per month for the basic level of resources. One of the pitfalls of VPS hosting is that it can be complicated.
You essentially have access to a virtual server of your own, but that also comes with the need to keep up proper maintenance, which is something only a developer would truly know how to accomplish.
If you are indeed a developer, then you can enjoy root access, the choice of your Linux OS, and a fully custom set of resources that allow you to choose how much storage, transfer data, and RAM you’ll need.
2. Managed VPS
The other side of the coin is managed VPS hosting which starts at $32.99 per month. Why the sudden jump, you ask? Managed hosting of any kind includes a team dedicated to keeping your server updated and they also handle the proper maintenance for you.
You’ll have access to resources starting at 75GB of storage, 2TB of transfer data, and 4GB of RAM as well, with options to scale as needed.
With dedicated hosting, you own the block. An entire physical server is yours to harness how you see fit. Much like the VPS hosting, A2 Dedicated hosting offers two different approaches:
1. Unmanaged Flex Server
This type of server starts at $99.59 per month and offers complete and total customization. If you’re a developer, everything you need will be at your disposal. Root access, your choice of a Linux OS, and multiple choices of storage, transfer, and RAM are at your disposal.
2. Managed Flex Server
This service starts at $141.09 per month and offers a completely worry-free environment for your website. You have access to a Free cPanel and complete customization for all of your resources. Much like the VPS hosting options, you should choose a managed solution if you do not know how to properly maintain the server yourself.
Cloud hosting is an exciting new innovation in the world of hosting. It allows you to have flexible resources that can adapt to any situation your website encounters.
These plans can be easily re-sized and tweaked on the fly as you need more or less resources, which makes this one of the most adaptable types of hosting.
A2 Hosting offers three levels of cloud hosting:
This plan is $15.00 per month and offers access to 512MB of RAM, 10 GB of storage, Unlimited inbound transfer data, 2 cores and a 600 MHz CPU speed.
This starts at $20.00 per month and upgrades the RAM while keeping the other resources the same as the previous plan.
The highest cloud hosting plan starts at $25.00 per month and offers 1GB of RAM, 25GB of storage, and the same features as the previous plans.
I’ve tried out my fair share of hosting services in my time, but this A2 hosting review is one of the most positive I’ve ever written. This is truly one of the top hosting companies in the world, and it all comes from their dedication to providing a high-quality service.
When it comes time to choose your hosting service, this is easily one of the best. You can’t go wrong with A2 Hosting.