A bit of a veteran, A2 Hosting has been serving sites since 2001, and they provide some of the fastest speeds for servers we have seen in the past two years. They provide developer-friendly hosting plans with reliable customer support and have a money-back guarantee that is anytime and unique.
That said, we noticed a slip in the past few months of their uptime. We also noted their renewal dates take a sizeable leap after your first-year ends. If you need a budget-friendly service that is fast, with scalability for your site’s growth, A2 Hosting is likely a solid option.
Here is a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages we found as part of paying for and signing up to test their program for a couple of years.
Hosting Overview and General Information
During our time with A2 Hosting, we found them to be one of the fastest shared web hosts, with an average speed of 317ms from February 2018 through January 2020. They give reliable 24/7 live chat support, and from February 2018 through January 2020, we found an average uptime of 99.93% Uptime.
Some of the apps they offer include Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, and Magento. Features you will find include unlimited storage and bandwidth, an anytime money-back guarantee that is unique, and free SSL. They provide a variety of hosting plans such as WordPress, Shared, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated Servers. Plans start as low as $2.96 a month with a renewal fee of $8.99, and they provide one site transfer for free.
Advantages of Using A2 Hosting
It’s no doubt that A2 Hosting is one of the best-kept secrets in the hosting industry. They provide superfast speed, plenty of security options, excellent customer service, a liberal refund policy, and they care about the environment on top of all that!
Here is a closer look at what you will get when using A2 Hosting services.
1. Shared Hosting Provider Is Fast – 317ms!
A recurring theme you will notice when A2 Hosting is discussed is their speed. The homepage alone is uniquely designed to offer features to keep your site quick as lightening. They even remind you of how fast they are with plans named after speeds such as ‘Turbo’ and ‘Swift.’
With that said, it’s not surprising they are fast. In fact, of all the providers we’ve tested for the past several years, A2 Hosting is the fastest provider.
This is incredible considering that loading times for your page may make the difference between keeping a visitor and leaving for the competition.
The following chart shows the average loading times for A2 in the past year, as well as the average uptime:
|Month||Average Uptime||Average Loading Speed|
2. Customer Support Is Fast and Efficient
Overall we found A2 Hosting to offer quality customer support.
They provide a sizeable base of knowledge through hundreds of informative articles to do your research and find quick answers.
For those who’d like to speak to a human, A2 Hosting has ticket-based help, live chat, and even phone calls. We tried the live chat and were surprised that for as fast as A2 Hosting is, their support was a little slow, taking about five minutes to get someone. From there, it was a solid experience, however.
We received friendly service, with all our questions directly answered in under a minute. Our service representative seemed like he authentically cared and that he wasn’t reciting answers he’d looked up.
3. Site Kept Safe With Free HackScan
In the online world, security and speed don’t always go hand in hand. Extra firewalls, scanning, and layers of encryption can lead to slower times.
A2 Hosting has conquered security without letting its customers down on speed. They use HackScan to protect their servers and provide 24/7 monitoring, checking for attacks and malware every day.
The best safety is preventing trouble before it happens.
You are even protected during DDoS, or denial of service attacks because the data center is scalable. These are staged to knock your site offline with a flood of traffic. A2 Hosting is ready for any unexpected, sudden surges.
4. 1-25 Site Migrations-free, Depending on Plan
Without any extra fee, you get your existing website moved over by A2 Hosting, personally. Simply provide your cPanel account details to A2 Hosting customer support department, and they will handle all the rest.
The number of sites is dependent on the plan you’ve chosen. The exact details are spelled out in your signup. If you use shared hosting such as Turbo, Swift, or Lite, you can plan on getting one site moved free. If you are with the managed VPS hosting, Dedicated, or Reseller programs, you get 25 migrations free.
You will need to provide your cPanel access to the existing websites, or A2 Hosting may charge a small service fee for additional work.
5. Developer-friendly Tools, Website Builders, and CMS or Content Management Systems
With just a few clicks you can seamlessly install most major content management systems. They offer Magento, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart, or WordPress in a few clicks. You won’t need a developer if you have some simple computer skills. You will also enjoy some special features, such as the A2 Optimized Word Press plugin that Turbo provides, helping your site maintain its speed.
SiteBuilder is the website builder provided by A2 Hosting, and it works very well for those who want something easy to customize and user-friendly. You won’t find yourself Googling HTML because the builder is so easy to use. Plans and pricing are a bit different when using A2’s SiteBuilder than when using other hosting plans that are shared.
The plans from A2 Hosting are compatible with Cloudflare CDN accounts, helping you maintain that lightning-fast speed. This is done by loading large files such as images separate from your server.
If you are a business or webmaster with several sites to host in one place, you will be happy with A2 Hosting’s developer-friendly features. You can get free server rewind backups, free server access, and several versions of everything from Python, PostgreSQL, and MySQL to PHP and more.
6. Money-back Guarantee That Is Anytime
You may be surprised to learn that A2 Hosting used a similar 30-day money-back guarantee to the other hosts we’ve reviewed. This is standard, so if you see a problem in the first 30 days, you have a complete refund coming, no hassle.
There have been modifications over the last few years, thankfully, with the customers to benefit from the changes.
A2 Hosting now offers a money-back guarantee that is anytime.
The 30-day full refund is still offered. But what if you pay for three years, but are unsatisfied after year one?
You still have the option for a refund and get the prorated time and amount back, so in this case, the final two years of the contract. There are a few stipulations, though.
If you ask for a refund and it’s been more than 120 days, it comes through PayPal. As with other web hosts, add-ons like migration or setup fees and domain registrations are non-refundable. You will get to keep these, however.
7. Web Hosting That’s Green
Ann Arbor, Michigan, A2 Hosting’s hometown, is known as the ‘Tree Town.’ They have reported more than 150 parks and 50,000 trees. Because of this, A2 Hosting feels obliged to help the fight in protecting the planet.
They work with Carbonfund.org to help with reforestation and renewable energies. They also have a green hosting initiative called ‘FutureServe,’ which helps to counter server emissions.
This isn’t always a final factor when selecting a web host, but it can be a bonus to making that decision.
8. 99.93% Uptime
Even if your loading time is the fastest, it won’t matter if you’re always offline. Though obvious, it is an important point. The uptime for A2 Hosting was terrific in 2015 when we first signed up. But in the last two years of research, we have seen a slight drop in performance. Even with that said, they have managed a 99.93% uptime, which is respectable.
A2 Hosting Average Uptime Over the Last Year
- February 2019 – 99.94%average uptime
- March 2019 – 99.83%average uptime
- April 2019 – 99.99%average uptime
- May 2019 – 99.98%average uptime
- June 2019 – 99.70%average uptime
- July 2019 – 99.85%average uptime
- August 2019 – 99.95%average uptime
- September 2019 – 99.99%average uptime
- October 2019 – 99.99%average uptime
- November 2019 – 100%average uptime
- December 2019 – 100%average uptime
- January 2020 – 99.99%average uptime
Disadvantages of Using A2 Hosting
Even with all the advantages A2 Hosting has going for it, their friendly customer support and fast speeds can’t be the only thing to consider.
Here are some of the problems we had with them over the last two years:
- Renewal Rates Are High With a 15-day Deadline
Like other web hosts, A2 Hosting provides a small break with their long-term plans. Prepaying will save you some money if you sign up for three years. They make it a nice deal by giving an introductory offer that cuts the price in half.
After the initial term is over, automatic renewal happens, and your new pricing is nearly double what you initially signed up for. This is common to many web hosts. They know if you like their services, you won’t want the hassle of moving before the new price hits.
Here’s the hard to swallow part. To cancel, you need to submit a written desire to do so, a full 15 days before the renewal date, through direct email or their customer portal.
If you miss the deadline, you will automatically renew and have to pay a higher rate. You are ineligible for a refund.
This is a kind way of saying they hope you forget so they can renew you at a higher rate.
- Budget Plan Restrictions
‘Lite’ is A2 Hosting’s base shared hosting plan. It is priced at $2.96, which is half of its standard price. When comparing what you get to the price, you may be unsatisfied.
You only get one website, one site migration, free SSL, unlimited storage, and their money-back guarantee.
You won’t get the extra features that make everyone like A2, such as server rewind, offsite backups, and the 20x faster page loads.
Their website builder plan has similar problems. For $4.00 a month, you get only a page, which isn’t enough for a website.
Quick Facts, Hosting Plans and A2 Hosting Prices
|$2.96 a Month||$3.70 a Month||$7.03 a Month|
|*anytime money back||*anytime money-back|
|1 website||Unlimited websites||Unlimited websites|
|Unlimited transfer & SSD storage||Unlimited SSD storage/transfer||Unlimited SSD storage/transfer|
|25 email accounts||Unlimited email||Unlimited email|
|SSL Certificate Free||Easy, free migration||Easy, free migration|
|cPanel that’s easy||Easy cPanel||Easy cPanel and free SSL|
|Easy, free site migration||Free SSL||Free auto backups|
|Anytime money-back||Free Auto backups||Turbo up to 20x faster|
The three price points for A2 Hosting’s shared hosting are:
Lite Plan is priced at $2.96 a month. This comes with five databases, one website, free SSL, cPanel control access, and unlimited bandwidth and storage.
Swift Plan is priced at $3.70 a month. This comes with databases, unlimited websites and storage, an SSL certificate, single-site migration, and transfers.
Turbo Plan is priced at $7.03 a month. This comes with everything you see in the Swift plan plus the A2 Site Accelerator and 20x speeds with Turbo.
Please note: on the last page, if you use ‘HOSTING FACTS’ coupon, you get an excellent discount.
Signing up with A2 Hosting is easily done in three steps. You can pay using a bank transfer, money order, PayPal, credit card, check, Kkrill, or PayU Latam. There are very few upsells when working with them, and you get instant activation. The cPanel is easy to use, and you can install CMSs and WordPress when checking out.
Some specifications are only one free migration on shared plans, non-refundable domain name purchases, and higher rates after the introductory period. Remember that if you don’t cancel within 15 days before renewal, you are automatically renewed at a higher rate.
Is A2 Hosting Recommended?
Yes, we recommend them.
They consistently give best-in-class speed and offer customer support, which is both helpful and friendly. A2 Hosting has uptime that isn’t too bad, one free migration, and a free SSL. You can ask for a refund at any time when you are a customer and expect a prorated refund for unused time. There is the downside of higher renewal rates and not the greatest terms. If you select ‘Turbo,’ you only get one migration free, and that is their most expensive shared plan. So, A2 Hosting will be fantastic for some people, and while pretty good, they aren’t the top we have seen.