A2 Hosting Review (October 2021) – When To Buy A2 Hosting?

As more and more businesses are switching to the online mode, web hosting has become a hot topic in the market! A good web hosting is an essential ingredient of a successful website. 

Today, I am reviewing another renowned hosting company – A2 Hosting. It has been around for quite a while, and I have personally been using it for over a year now!

In this A2 Hosting Review, we will test out this web hosting service on a range of factors, like page load speeds, SRT, uptime, load tests, and a lot more!

We will also discuss its user interface, its security features, backups and migration, its unique refund policy, customer support, pricing plans and some important pros and cons. 

Finally, I will also reveal if you should buy A2 hosting and what are some suitable alternatives to it. 

So, with no further delay, let us get started. 

A2 Hosting Review 2021

Kripesh Adwani

Speed
Ease of Use
Pricing
Uptime
Customer Support

Summary

After using A2 hosting for more than a year now I believe their turbo plan provides the best value. Their unique pro rata return policy along with fast servers make it an interesting option for 2021.

4.1

Disclaimer : I strongly believe in transparency. If you buy using the links on our site, we may earn a small commission without any extra cost to you. This helps me to keep producing honest reviews. Read More >>

About A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting is a popular and reliable web hosting provider founded back in 2003 by Bryan Muthig. 

It is situated in Ann Arbor, Michigan (US) and proudly calls itself a Green Web Hosting Company. 

A2 Hosting

This means that it commits itself to green energy practices and cares about plants and the environment. 

It has even partnered with Carbonfund.org to support renewable energy and reduce their carbon footprint. This is an appreciable attempt from a web hosting company. 

Below, I have summarized all its features in a tabular format!

Overview

SpeedFrom India: 1.36 to 1.49 sec (Singapore Server)
Uptime99.94% (in the past 340 days)
Data CentersUSA, Europe, Asia/Singapore
Backups and RestorationAutomatic Server Rewind Backups 
Restore with one click
Migration1 free migration on all Shared Hosting plans
Customer SupportEmail, Live Chat, 24/7/365 Call Support, Knowledge base
FeaturesFree Sectigo SSL Certificates, cPanel, A2 website builder, Cloudflare CDN, unlimited emails, 100 GB SSD storage, Litespeed servers (starting from Turbo Boost plan)
Security 2FA, Virus Scanner, SSH Access, IP Blocker, ModSecurity, Imunify360, Hotlink Protection, HackScan, Patchman Enhanced Security, Barracuda Spam Firewall ($3/month)
Hosting PlansShared Hosting, VPS Hosting, WordPress Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Reseller Hosting
Payment MethodsCredit and Debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover), Paypal, UnionPay, Bank Wire Transfer, Skrill, Check or Money Order
Refund PolicyAnytime Refund Policy on Prorated basis
PricingStarting from $2.99/month

A2 Hosting Review Video

If you are a video person, you can watch my video review of A2 Hosting here.

User Interface

The user interface of A2 Hosting looks quite old and outdated in design. 

As you log in to your account, you get to see a basic interface that displays your active plan, domain URL and a cPanel login button. 

A2 Hosting UI

Clicking on the ‘Services’ button displays a list of all your previous purchases on A2 Hosting. Your current active plan is displayed at the end of the list. 

A2 Hosting UI2

The ‘Manage’ button will bring you to the Product details page where you can manage your services. It also has quick links for logging into the cPanel and Webmail. 

Overall, no major changes have been made to the user interface of A2 Hosting since last year. I think it needs a makeover in terms of design and colors to actually look like a modern 2021 product!

Testing Parameters 

For this review, I have purchased the Turbo Boost Shared Hosting plan of A2 Hosting, that comes for $6.99/month when purchased for 3 years together. 

I have used this hosting plan for my website kpa2test.xyz with the following settings.

Demo Website for testing

  • Singapore servers
  • Ocean WP Theme (Elementor based)
  • Gym Template (Elementor based)
  • Litespeed Cache Plugin (with default settings)

Now, let us quickly perform different tests on my website to see how well A2 Hosting performs. Let’s begin!

Server Response Time 

Server Response Time is the total time between you requesting a web page and the server delivering its first byte to your browser

I experienced super swift speeds of merely 2 ms in Singapore. But that was obvious, as I had selected the Singapore servers. 

A2 Hosting SRT

The SRT in Mumbai, Sydney, and Japan is also quite appreciable. However, it hiked up a bit in other locations like the US, London, Canada, Germany, etc.

Speed

Page Loading Speed refers to the time taken for a website to completely load in your web browser. 

When I selected Bangalore as the location and tested the speed, my website loaded in just around 1.36 sec to 1.49 sec

A2 Hosting Speed

This is remarkable considering I have not yet tuned the Litespeed cache plugin settings

The Litespeed cache plugin comes with their Turbo Boost and Turbo Max shared hosting plans. After tuning the cache system, my site is guaranteed to load even faster!

Uptime

Uptime refers to the time duration that your website stays active and responsive on the Internet. 

A2 Hosting offers an uptime guarantee of 99.9%.

A2 Hosting Uptime

I’ve been testing the uptime of my website for the last 340 days, which is almost equal to a year. I use the Better Uptime tool, which monitors the uptime of my website every 30 seconds.

Last 12 months average uptime of a2 hosting:

  • September 2021 : 99.98%
  • August 2021 : 99.96%
  • July 2021 : 99.99%
  • June 2021 : 99.93%
  • May 2021 : 100%
  • April 2021 : 99.96%
  • March 2021 : 99.89%
  • February 2021 : 99.81%
  • January 2021 : 99.92%
  • December 2020 : 99.96%
  • November 2020 : 99.94%
  • October 2020 : 99.99%
  • September 2020: 100%

The average uptime in the past year has been 99.94%, which is decent and definitely improved in the last 6 months. 

But I feel it could have been improved a little considering I’m using their Turbo Boost plan. Ideally, it should’ve been 99.99%. I got the similar uptime on Hostinger as well.

The longest incident of downtime has been 39 minutes. Overall, the uptime of A2 Hosting is good, but outages do happen at times. 

Load Test 

Under Load Testing, we expose a software or website to real life stress conditions in order to identify its potential and areas of improvement

A2 Hosting Load Test

For this load test, I sent 50 virtual users on my website that made 7151 HTTP requests. The surprising part is none of the requests failed! 

The average response time of 200 ms also seems appreciable considering the fact that I did the load test from Mumbai, whereas the servers are located in the Singapore region. 

Overall, the average response time looks stable, and I did not observe any major spikes in its graph.

Cache Plugins

The Starter and Drive Shared Hosting plans of A2 Hosting do not include a separate cache plugin. 

However, if you opt for the higher plans that use the Litespeed servers, you get two options for cache plugins. 

A2-Optimized-Cache-Plugin

You can either use their own ‘A2 Optimized’ cache plugin or the official Litespeed Cache plugin for WordPress, Magento, Joomla, OpenCart, etc.

I would recommend using the Litespeed Cache plugin with Litespeed servers for best performance.

Data Centers 

Talking about data centers, A2 Hosting has 4 data centers housed in the following locations around the globe-

  • Michigan and Arizona (USA Data Centers)
  • Amsterdam (European Data Centers) 
  • Singapore (Asian Data Centers)

If you have an Indian audience, you will experience better speeds by opting for the Singapore Data centers. 

A2 Hosting Domains 

Free Domains

Unlike popular web hosts like Hostinger and HostArmada, A2 Hosting does not offer a free domain name on any of its hosting plans. However, you are free to create as many sub-domains under your primary domain for free.

New Domain Pricing

A2 Hosting also offers domain registration service to its customers. It supports a variety of domain extensions. The major ones along with their yearly pricing are mentioned below. 

TLDAnnual Pricing
.com$14.95
.net$14.95
.org$14.95
.in$11.95
.online$49.95
.xyz$14.95

The interesting thing about A2 Hosting is that the renewal rates for all domain names are the same as the initial purchase rates!  

Preview URL

Preview URL helps you test the look and feel of your website without connecting your domain name to your hosting account. 

A2 Hosting provides a Shared URL feature with all its hosting plans so you can quickly check out how your site appears to your audience! 

Security Features

A large part of website management is actually adopting the best security practices to safeguard your data. Fortunately, you will find a range of security features on A2 Hosting. 

Security Features in A2 Hosting
  1. Virus Scanner: It monitors your database for any traces of virus. You can select if you want to scan your entire home directory/mail/public FTP space/public web space. 
  1. Two Factor Authentication: 2FA is available through an authenticator app. It suggests using Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Duo Mobile apps.
  1. SSH Access: This feature is for tech geeks who want to securely send files over the internet or login remotely to make modifications into the server!
  1. SSL Certificates: They now offer free Sectigo SSL Certificates on all hosting plans claiming they are easier to renew than Let’s Encrypt certificates. 
  1. Imunify360: This works as a firewall service for your web server. It scans for malware and viruses and protects your server from malicious attacks like brute force attack, etc.
  1. IP Blocker: It helps you restrict your site from being accessed from certain IP addresses. 
  1. Hotlink Protection: It prevents others from using web links to display images from your website. 

Meaning, it restricts users from taking up your bandwidth, because every time someone clicks on the web link, the image is fetched from your server. 

  1. ModSecurity: It is a firewall service that detects malicious online traffic and blocks them from damaging your website.
  1. HackScan: It is a malware protection service that comes free with every A2 hosting account. It monitors your server and website 24/7 and blocks all threats before they harm your website.
  1. Patchman Enhanced Security: It detects outdated software versions, restricts infected files, and provides software patching for CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
  1. Barracuda Spam Firewall: It scans your mails to find malicious emails. However, this service costs you $3/month for implementing on 1 domain.

Backups

With A2 Hosting, you get the Server Rewind Backup, which is an off-server backup. This means that your backups are stored on a remote server different from the one where your website data is originally stored.

They use the Raid 10 configuration for creating backups, meaning data is stripped in half and then copied on multiple hard drives. This provides ultimate protection against data loss. 

So, even if a drive gets corrupted, your data is stored in other hard drives and the damaged one can be replaced. 

Server Rewind Backups in A2 Hosting

Server Rewind Backups are created automatically every 24 hours and stored on their servers for 30 days. These backups can be restored with a single click. However, you cannot manually create any data backups using this service. 

To do so, you have to either use the old way of creating backups using cPanel, or opt for advanced options like DropMySite for easier backups. But DropMySite service requires additional charges.

Customer Support 

You get to see a helpful Email, Live Chat, and 24/7/365 days call support on A2 Hosting. They also have a decent knowledge base of support articles where you can find solutions to a majority of your queries. 

A2 Hosting Knowledge base

I faced absolutely no problems with their email ticket system. The experts that responded to my queries are very knowledgeable people. So, it was a delightful experience!

Their Live Chat support was quite as well. However, I was not impressed with the quality of support. Even simple queries about servers, cache plugins, backups, SSL Certificates, or free domains were not answered clearly in one go.

Their initial responses were not satisfactory, which is why I had to rephrase my queries to get the correct response. Overall, the frequency of replies might have increased, but their support quality has seen a decline since last year!

Inode Count 

Inode count refers to the total number of files and folders stored on a user’s account. 

A2 Hosting offers a limit of 300k to 600k inode count on its shared hosting plans. You get 300k inodes on their Startup plan whereas the higher plans have 600k inodes limit, which is really good. 

A2 Hosting Pricing Plans

Here’s a quick table that compares the four shared hosting plans offered by A2 Hosting. Hope it helps you distinctly identify the differences and which plan is suitable for you.

StarterDriveTurbo BoostTurbo Max
Price (3 years)$2.99/month$4.99/month$6.99/month$12.99/month
Disk space100 GB SSDUnlimited SSDUnlimited NVMeUnlimited NVMe
BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
RAM700 MB1 GB2 GB4 GB
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Add-on DomainsN.A.UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Litespeed ServersN.A.N.A.AvailableAvailable
Inode Count300k600k600k600k
Server Rewind BackupN.A.AvailableAvailableAvailable

What I liked best about A2 Hosting is that even the cheapest Starter plan also provides SSD storage.

Which is the Best Plan?

A2 Hosting offers five types of Hosting solutions to its users, namely- Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting, WordPress Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, and Reseller Hosting. 

A2 Shared Hosting Plans

Talking about Shared Hosting, I previously started with their Drive plan but it did not offer a satisfactory performance. Finally, last year, I switched to their Turbo Boost plan and have faced no problems since then. 

So, the best plan in my recommendation would be their Turbo Boost plan. The speciality of this plan is that you also get the NVMe SSD storage and Litespeed servers, that are capable of handling more traffic and guarantee faster speeds and stability of your site. 

Discounts

Their pricing keeps on changing frequently but you will always observe the best discounts when you purchase any plan for a duration of 3 years. Usually, you can find a 51% off on their plans but at present, their Turbo Boost plan is available at a 66% discount for just $6.99/month.

I think it’s an excellent offer! But for getting steeper discounts on your favourite hosting plans, you can use my link

The best discounts running at the moment would automatically apply to it. So, don’t forget to check out my link for the best hosting deals on A2 Hosting. 

Upsells

Newbies should beware while purchasing a hosting plan from A2Hosting! 

Upsells on A2 Hosting

You will get to see a few upsells on the pricing page like SSL Certificate, Best website Performance service, Dedicated IP address, Site builder, Application auto-install, etc. So, be careful and only opt for the services you need.  

Billing/ GST

When you head over to the Checkout page, you will find the ‘Estimate Taxes’ tab. Here, you can select your country, state, and click on the ‘Update Totals’ button. This will show you the total amount you need to pay, including taxes. 

Billing and GST

If you’re paying in Indian Rupees, you’ll need to pay 18% GST along with the hosting fee. You can enter your GST Number if you have one, and receive a GST invoice for your purchase!

Payment Options 

A2 Hosting accepts the following payment methods:

  • Skrill
  • Paypal
  • UnionPay
  • Bank Wire Transfer
  • Check or Money Order
  • Credit and Debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)

In my experience, the best option would be to use a credit or debit card for purchasing your hosting package. 

Refund Policy

They provide an ‘Anytime Refund Policy’ on all their plans, which is unique. The usual 30-days money-back guarantee still applies, but they also offer refunds on a pro rata basis.

So, if you wish to discontinue their hosting service at any point in time, you will only be charged for the duration that you have used their services, and the remaining amount will be refunded. 

This is a really generous and reassuring move by A2 Hosting! However, domain registration fee, migration fee etc are not refundable.

PS – A2 Hosting anytime refund policy does come with some terms and conditions. Make sure you read them if you are planning to use the pro rata refund policy.

cPanel Migrations

cPanel Migration is the process of transferring your website from your previous cPanel hosting provider to the current one. 

A2 Hosting offers 1 free cPanel migration on all their Shared Hosting plans. All you need to do is provide your cPanel details to their support team and it’ll be done within 24 to 48 hours! 

Migrating more than 1 website costs you $25 for each site, which is expensive. I was hoping they would increase their migrations on the more expensive shared hosting plans like the Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans. 

Their VPS Hosting plans, Dedicated Hosting plans, and Reseller plans come with 25 free site migrations!

Website Builder 

They have their own A2 Website Builder that you can use on all their shared hosting plans. It supports drag and drop of elements so you can use it to design your website quickly and easily. 

A2 Website Builder

However, I did not like using it. It’s average in performance and has limited features. If you wish to unlock advanced functionality, you need to pay an additional amount for it!

CDN

CDN or Content Delivery Network is a network of servers that cache web content for quick access. They are placed on different locations around the globe to enable faster delivery of web content to users. 

Create Cloudflare account

You can get Cloudflare CDN on all A2 hosting plans, which means better performance and faster speeds. It actually helps your site load up to 20 times faster! 

To enable Cloudflare CDN on your site, all you need to do is create a Cloudflare account and point your domain to it. 

Staging

Staging refers to creating a live copy of your website in order to test how changes or feature updates would perform on your site

This helps web developers get rid of all bugs and other issues before rolling out a major feature update! 

Website Staging in A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting provides website staging on all of its plans, even on the Starter Shared plan. You can access it through the Softaculous App Installer and create a test version of your website within minutes!

Applications

A2 Hosting offers quick, automatic, and safe installation of apps through its Softaculous service. It works well with all popular CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, etc. But here’s the impressive part. 

eCommerce Apps in A2 Hosting

If you are an ecommerce owner, you’ll absolutely love its library of 30+ ecommerce apps including WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart, VirtueMart, CS-Cart, Zen Cart, and more!

Software 

The Software support of A2 Hosting is highly impressive. You get top notch developer-friendly and modern tools in their cPanel. So, if you are a developer, you can get better access to resources and manage websites with more control.

Software Support of A2 Hosting

It offers loads of tools like PHP 8.0, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, NodeJS, phpMyAdmin, Python, Ruby, and Litespeed servers, starting from the Turbo Boost plan. These software options are a goldmine for developers! 

Windows Hosting

You might be aware that A2 Hosting used to provide Windows Hosting for .net websites. 

Windows Hosting not supported

However, they have discontinued it this year as they want to focus on providing faster speeds and improved performances to their Linux based hosting users, which is basically everyone!

A2 Hosting Pros

Fast Speeds

A2 Hosting uses Litespeed servers on its Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans, which is why we get to see lightning fast page load speeds.

Efficient Load Handling

The load handling of their servers is quite powerful, and I didn’t see any HTTP failures or spikes in the response time. The response time was stable even with numerous requests!

Unique Prorated Refund Policy

On top of the 30-days money-back guarantee, they also offer refunds on a pro rata basis. This means they will only charge you for the duration you used the hosting for, and return the remaining amount.

Developer Friendly Tools

If you are a developer, you will find impressive tools on A2 Hosting like PHP 8.0, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, NodeJS, phpMyAdmin, Python, Ruby, etc. 

Excellent Security Protection

They maintain an overall security with advanced features like 2FA, Free SSL Certificates, Virus Scanner, Imunify360 Protection, HackScan malware protection, and a lot more.

NVMe SSD Storage

They provide NVMe SSD Storage on their Turbo Boost and Turbo Max Shared Hosting plans, which promise improved performance and speeds. 

A2 Hosting Cons

Expensive Price

Because A2 Hosting is an established brand, their pricing plans are on the expensive side!

Average Live Chat Support

The Live Chat support is quick. However, the quality of support left me unimpressed. Ticket support is great though.

No Free Domain 

They do not offer a free domain on any of their hosting plans. This is a limitation when compared to its competitors like Hostinger, GreenGeeks, etc. 

Uptime can be Improved

Though the current uptime of 99.94% is decent but can be improved.

Single Migration on Shared Hosting Plans

Even on the expensive Turbo boost and Turbo Max plans that let you host unlimited websites, you still get a single website migration for free. I hope to see some more free migrations on A2 Hosting in the future.  

Should you use A2 Hosting?

A2 Hosting is one of the most established hosting solutions out there. I would personally recommend going with their Turbo Boost plan. Their regular rates, where they offer a 51% discount, seem a bit expensive. 

But because we see frequent discounts on their website, you might keep an eye out on the discounts escalating over 60% and then make your purchase.

A2 Hosting would also prove to be a good option because of its prorated refund policy. So, if you’re unsure about the time you need a hosting for, you can use A2 Hosting for a while and then get the rest of your money refunded. Easy, right? 

To get your favourite hosting plan at the best discounts possible, you can keep checking my discount link every few days. It will automatically be updated with the best discount code available at that time. With special offers, you can see discounts of up to 70%.

You can also join my Telegram channel to stay updated with the latest discounts and deals running on A2 Hosting and other digital tools.

A2 Hosting Alternatives

If you are unsure about getting A2 Hosting for your website, we do have some suitable alternatives for you. Let’s check them out. 

Cloudways

With Cloudways Hosting, you get loads of features like fast servers, excellent customer support, no downtime, website staging facility, and easy scalability options! However, it lacks email hosting and charges high fees if you opt for a larger server.

Beginners might also experience a slight learning curve with it. Its Managed Hosting plans start from $10/month.

FastComet

FastComet is another suitable alternative as it offers a good uptime, impressive customer support, and efficient load handling. 

However, the only downside is that you get lesser storage space (E.g. 25 GB SSD on FastCloud Plus plan). Its Shared hosting plans start from an affordable $2.95/month!

ChemiCloud

ChemiCloud Hosting provides good speeds, uptime, and load handling along with an easy-to-use website builder. You also get a free domain name, malware protection, and 50 free cPanel migrations

However, they offer lesser storage space and the best pricing can be availed by opting for their 3 year plans. Their Shared hosting plans start from $3.95/month.

Other than the above options, you can also check out Hostinger as a budget hosting solution, and Rocket.net, which has been gaining a lot of popularity lately!

Conclusion

A2 Hosting looks like a reliable hosting provider offering tonnes of impressive features. Its unique prorated refund policy, developer-friendly tools, security features, and NVMe storage make it an interesting option! 

The Turbo Boost plan is the most value for money option. You can check out my link to get the best discounts automatically applied to your purchase!

I hope you enjoyed reading this A2 Hosting Review. Which hosting company do you prefer? Do you think A2 Hosting could be a good option for you? Why or why not? Let me know your views in the comments box below. 

Anyway, for more informative articles, join my weekly newsletter. This is Kripesh signing off. Take care and keep learning. I’ll see you in the next post! 

FAQ

1. Is A2 Hosting the only Reseller hosting option I have?

No. Many popular hosting providers offer Reseller Hosting. For example, Bluehost, GreenGeeks, StableHost, etc. 

2. Can I buy a domain through A2 Hosting?

Yes, A2 Hosting also offers domain registrations at decent prices. For example, you can get a .com domain for $14.95/year. 

3. Does A2 Hosting Handle Site Backups?

A2 Hosting creates automatic backups through their Server Rewind Backups service. These are stored on a separate server for 30 days. 
However, for manually creating backups, you need to use the traditional cPanel method, which is quite complex. 

4. Will A2 Hosting help me migrate my website?

Yes, if your web host uses cPanel, A2 Hosting will help you migrate your current website and all your databases and emails for free. But for more than 1 website, they charge $25 on every site migration!

5. What is A2 Hosting cheapest hosting plan?

The cheapest plan on A2 Hosting is their Starter Shared Hosting plan starting from $2.99/month when purchased for 3 years. 

6. What makes A2 Hosting stand out?

In my opinion, the use of NVMe SSD on their Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans along with a pro rata based Refund Policy makes A2 Hosting stand out. 

7. Is A2 Hosting easy to use?

Yes, their interface is easy to use. But it looks somewhat old and outdated. So, users might not enjoy the overall experience. 

8. Is the A2 Turbo plan worth it?

A2 Hosting offers two Turbo plans – Turbo Boost and Turbo Max. Both these plans use the Litespeed servers with NVMe SSD storage, which promises a better performance and faster speeds. Thus, the Turbo plans are completely worth it in my opinion.

9. Does A2 hosting offer a money-back guarantee?

Yes. Along with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you also get refunds on a pro rata basis on your chosen hosting package. 

10. How does A2 hosting keep your site secure?

A2 Hosting offers a lot of security features to safeguard your website, like free SSL Certificate, 2FA, HackScan Malware Scanning, Virus Scanner, Imunify360, Patchman Enhanced Security, and more. 

a2hosting

 A2 Hosting Pros (+)

  • Fast Speeds
  • Load Handling
  • Refund Policy
  • Developer Friendly
  • Excellent Security
  • NVMe SSD Storage

 A2 Hosting Cons (-)

  • Expensive Price
  • Average Live Chat Support
  • No Free Domain 
  • Uptime can be Improved

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