Our rating: 4.9 (Excellent). A2 Hosting offers lighting fast, developer-friendly web hosting packages. Is A2 Hosting right for you website. Read our experts’ unbiased A2 Hosting review before you sign up.
A2 Hosting Starting at at $2.96
The Best Host for Developer-Friendly Web Hosting
A2 Hosting stands out from the pack for its fast speeds and developer-friendly hosting. Even at the shared hosting levels, we see great speeds from this host, and its developer-friendly hosting packages mean that you can rest assured that your website will be compatible with A2’s environments, no matter what languages, tools, or technologies you use to build your website.
Ease of use
- Fast speeds.
- Support for most languages, tools, and technologies.
- Plans include unlimited SSD space and bandwidth.
- Plans come with lots of bonuses and extras (e.g., automatic backups).
- Plans are not the cheapest options around.
- Lots of options on offer can make it difficult to choose the best one for you.
User Review( votes)
TL;DR: A2 Hosting offers fast, developer-friendly web hosting packages. Their offerings are not the cheapest ones around, but the plans themselves come with lots of bonuses for which other web hosting providers would charge money.
A2 Hosting Overview
A2 Hosting is a privately-owned web hosting company founded by then-system administrator and current CEO Bryan Muthig. Muthig, at the time, considered A2 Hosting to be just a hobby project, but the company has since grown quite a bit. Today, the company offers a full-line of web hosting solutions and utilizes data centers around the world to serve thousands of websites.
Why A2 Hosting?
A2 Hosting strives to offer its customers:
- Blazing fast web hosting solutions.
- Top-notch customer support.
- User-friendly solutions to the internet- and website-related challenges.
In the following sections, we will take a closer look at all of these goals to see if A2 Hosting manages to deliver.
A2 Hosting’s Web Hosting Plans
A2 Hosting offers a full lineup of web hosting options, including:
- Shared hosting
- Reseller hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated Servers/Dedicated Hosting
Furthermore, the company offers managed services for select VPS and dedicated hosting plans. This allows you to upgrade your hosting type, even if you do not feel comfortable managing your web hosting environment on your own.
When purchasing a hosting plan, A2 Hosting allows you can choose the data center that hosts your site. You will want to choose one that is close to your primary user base. Your options include:
- Arizona, USA.
- Michigan, USA.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- Singapore, Singapore.
If you are just getting started with a website or you have a smaller website that sees lower levels of traffic, shared hosting is a good fit for you. To be clear, most users will find shared hosting more than sufficient.
A2 Hosting’s shared options are budget-friendly, full-featured options that include everything you need to get your website online. You will also get helpful bonuses like:
- Free account migration from your current web host to A2 Hosting.
- A 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Support for most modern web development languages and technologies.
- Fast hosting on servers featuring SSD storage.
- Free security features like HackScan Protection to block attacks, brute force defense, firewalls, and more.
- Free CDNs to further improve the performance of your site.
- Free SSL certificates to secure communication between you and your visitors and improve your website’s search engine rankings.
All shared hosting plans come with cPanel Control Panel to assist you with tasks like transferring files to/from your web server, checking your website’s resource usage, managing your billing and account information, and more.
A2 shared hosting plans
A2 Hosting offers three shared hosting plans from which you can choose.
The entry-level Lite plan gets you hosting for one website. You’ll have use of five databases, as well as unlimited storage space. There are no data transfer or bandwidth limitations.
The mid-range Swift plan allows you to host as many websites as you want. You’ll also get an unlimited number of databases, unlimited SSD storage, and no restrictions on data transfer/bandwidth.
The high-end Turbo plan gets you everything in the Swift plan, but you get performance enhancements that A2 Hosting claims will make your sites perform up to twenty (20) times faster. These enhancements include hosting on Turbo servers, which allocate more resources per user and are used to host fewer users than those for the Lite and Swift plans.
A2 shared hosting plans starting at $2.96/month. See plans.
A2 Hosting offers some customization options for shared hosting plans during the checkout process. Some of the things you can purchase (if not already included in your plan) are:
- A dedicated IP address, which is recommended for use with SSL certificates for websites that use the HTTPS protocol.
- Hosting on Turbo servers (only for users purchasing a Lite or Swift plan).
- Offsite backups provided by DropMySite.
- Access to the A2 Website Builder if you do not already have a website and want a tool to assist you with building one.
- Performance boost via double CPU cores.
- Upgraded SSL certificates.
- Railgun enabling.
- Auto-installation of applications like WordPress, DokuWiki, and so on (A2 Hosting offers an extensive list of wikis, CMS options, e-commerce platforms, and more).
- Cloudflare CDN, so that you have access to a network of proxy servers that cache your site and respond to requests for your site using a server that’s closet (this helps speed up your page load times).
As a subset of shared hosting, A2 Hosting offers both managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting plans.
A2 Web Hosting’s WordPress plans are geared toward those who have built their websites using the WordPress platform. The plans are almost identical to the shared hosting plans, but by choosing the specialized option, you will get an environment that comes ready for you to start (or import) your WordPress website. A2 Hosting will make sure that your environment meets WordPress’ recommended technical specifications and install the WordPress core on your behalf.
A2 Hosting also offers managed WordPress plans. The managed plans are similar to the unmanaged options, but the former come with professional services and other helpful add-ons. You’ll get a staging environment where you can test all of your changes, hosting on the Turbo servers, a free Jetpack license, and access to the WP-CLI tool.
A2 Hosting offers reseller hosting options, which are ideal for those who:
- Want to start their own web hosting business by selling website resources they have purchased at a bulk price.
- Want to include web hosting with their existing portfolio (e.g., a web developer who wants to offer their clients web hosting to complement their newly-built website).
Currently, A2 Hosting offers four different reseller plans:
- Bronze: 30 GB of storage, 400 GB of data transfer.
- Silver: 75 GB of storage, 600 GB of data transfer.
- Gold: 150 GB of storage, 1000 GB of data transfer.
- Platinum: 200 GB of storage, 2000 GB of data transfer.
All of the reseller options are hosted on A2 Hosting’s faster Turbo servers, include a free SSL certificate, and come with WHMCS, WHM Control Panels, and eNom Reseller Accounts to help you manage your environment and your customer billing processes.
A2 hosting reseller hosting plans starting at $9.80/month. See plans.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
If your website’s needs exceed what is offered by shared hosting, the next step up would be virtual private server (VPS) hosting.
VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting in that multiple websites are hosted using a single server. However, with VPS hosting, A2 Hosting uses virtualization software to isolate websites from one another. This means that the server resources that are allocated to your website cannot be used by another website (and you cannot use resources that have been allocated to another website).
VPS hosting offers faster speeds, more control over the software that’s installed, and better security, but you may also be expected to take on additional tasks related to server management. When you purchase a VPS plan from A2 Hosting, you will need to make a decision as to how much time and effort you want to spend on system administration; your answer will inform your decision on whether you should purchase an unmanaged or a managed hosting plan.
A2 Hosting offers several different variants of VPS hosting: Managed, Unmanaged, Core, and Cloud.
Managed VPS Hosting
You can think of managed VPS hosting as a direct step up from shared hosting. You get more power and support than shared hosting, but you nevertheless get support from the A2 Hosting team. You do not have root access to the server, however, which means that you cannot customize your virtualized environment by yourself the way you could with an unmanaged VPS plan.
Managed VPS hosting plans’ features include a free cPanel Control Panel, the HostGuard Management suite, and at least 75 GB of SSD storage, 2 TB of data transfer, 4 GB of RAM, 4 CPUs, and a free SSL certificate.
A2 hosting managed VPS hosting plans starting at $25.00/month. See plans.
Unmanaged VPS Hosting
If you are an experienced software developer and you are willing to take on more of the server management tasks in exchange for lower hosting fees, consider the unmanaged VPS hosting plans. You will get root access, though the cPanel is an optional add-on. You’ll get at least 20 GB of storage (SSD storage is available for an additional fee), 2 TB of data transfer, 512 MB of RAM, and 1 CPU core.
A2 hosting unmanaged VPS hosting plans starting at $5.00/month. See plans.
Core VPS Hosting
The Core VPS Hosting option is a hybrid of the unmanaged and managed VPS hosting plans. Your resource allocation is virtually identical to those who have managed VPS hosting plans, but you get root access to your server environment so that you can make more granular changes to your hosting environment.
A2 hosting core VPS hosting plans starting at $25.00/month. See plans.
Cloud VPS Hosting
In addition to the VPS plans that rely on traditional hosting infrastructure (that is, your website is hosted on a single server located in a data center), A2 Hosting offers a cloud-based variant. Cloud hosting involves using the resources of several servers, all of which can communicate with one another, to host your website.
There are several benefits to cloud hosting, including security against downtime due to the availability of multiple servers and easy scaling if you need more resources for your website. The biggest downside to cloud hosting, however, is that it costs more than its traditional counterpart.
If you are interested in a cloud-based VPS hosting plan, A2 Hosting offers three different plans that you can choose from. Your plan will come with at least:
- 20 GB of SSD storage
- 1 CPU core
- 2 TB of data transfer
- 512 MB of RAM
You’ll get root access to your environment, and because your website is hosted in the cloud, you can resize your account as your resource needs fluctuate.
A2 hosting cloud hosting plans starting at $5.00/month. See plans.
Dedicated hosting (or dedicated servers) are some of the most expensive web hosting solutions around, but that is because they offer users the best performance, the most secure environment, and full server customization.
If you decide that dedicated hosting is the choice for you, A2 Hosting offers four kinds of plans:
- Unmanaged Flex Servers.
- Discount SSD Servers.
- Managed Flex Servers.
- Core Flex Servers.
If you are based Asia-Pacific, you might consider A2 Hosting’s dedicated servers located in their Singapore data center. The hosting options offered to those choosing this data center are similar to the ones offered to those based in the US, but you get the benefit of hosting your website from a location closer to your visitor base.
Unmanaged Flex Servers
If you want the most power and control over your server, the Unmanaged Flex Server is the choice for you. (It is also one of the cheapest dedicated server options available.) A2 Hosting recommends that customers opting for this server be fully comfortable developing on the command line.
Unmanaged Flex Servers come with full root access and your choice of Linux operating system. If you would like a GUI control panel, you can choose to purchase the cPanel add-on. Resource-wise, you will get at least:
- 2×500 GB storage
- 10 TB data transfer
- 8 GB RAM
- 2 CPU cores
If you want an SSL certificate, you can purchase it as an add-on.
A2 hosting Unmanaged Flex server hosting plans starting at $99.59/month. See plans.
Discount SSD Server
If you want a dedicated server that features SSD storage and is fully managed by A2 Hosting, a Discount SSD Server is for you. While you do not get root access to your server, you will get:
- Use of the cPanel Control Panel
- HostGuard Management
- 2×128 GB SSD storage
- 10 TB of data transfer
- 8 GB of RAM
- 2 CPU cores
- One free SSL certificate
A2 hosting Discount SSD server hosting plans starting at $129.30/month. See plans.
Managed Flex Server
If you want a fully-managed server, but the specs for the Discount SSD Server option we covered above does not meet your needs, you can opt for a Managed Flex Server. The Managed Flex Servers do not come with Root Access, but they do come with:
- Use of the cPanel Control Panel
- HostGuard Management
- 2×500 GB storage
- 10 TB of data transfer
- 8 GB of RAM
- 2 CPU cores
- One free SSL certificate
A2 hosting Managed Flex server hosting plans starting at $141.09/month. See plans.
Core Flex Server
If the Managed Flex Server appeals to you, but you want root access to your server, consider a Core Flex Server (the two options are otherwise identical).
A2 hosting Core Flex server hosting plans starting at $141.09/month. See plans.
Email Hosting and Services
A2 Hosting’s web hosting plans come with email functionality, which means that you can send and receive messages using a domain name that matches that of your website using your website’s hosting environment. You can access your A2 Hosting Webmail using your control panel or through an email client
A2 Hosting’s email services support the SMTP, IMAP, and POP3 protocols, which means that you can use the email client of your choice for accessing email accounts either at your computer or on the go.
Other features that come with your email service are protection from spam messages, email forwarders so you do not lose email sent to old addresses, and auto-responders in case you are unable to respond to your messages in a timely manner.
A2 Hosting is a domain name registrar, which means that you can purchase a new domain name or transfer an existing domain name for A2 Hosting to manage. Note that most of A2 Hosting’s packages do not come with a free domain name, so if you do not already have one, plan to purchase one in addition to your hosting services.
To manage your domain name, A2 Hosting offers you access to their user-friendly portal. Using this portal, you can set up auto-renewal of your domain name (if you let your domain name expire, there is a chance that someone else will purchase it and you can no longer use it), manage your nameservers, set up registrar lock so that unauthorized parties cannot move your domain name to another host, DNS management, billing and renewal, and more.
Uptime and Performance
A2 Hosting promises a 99.9% uptime and lightning-fast speeds. Is that the case?
We have been tracking A2 Hosting’s performance, and over the past few months, we saw an average uptime of 99.999% with an average response time of 254 milliseconds.
As you can see, A2 Hosting meets their 99.9% uptime guarantee…in the long-run. However, we did notice three separate months during our testing period where A2 Hosting did not meet this guarantee. We aren’t certain if this is due to routine maintenance or server-related issues, unfortunately. If uptime is critical for your website, we recommend a robust monitoring and alerting system.
Furthermore, monitoring will let you know if A2 Hosting ever becomes unavailable for more than 0.1% of the total time that month, since this will make you eligible for a service credit equal to 5% of the fees you pay for the month for each hour that your site is unavailable.
We saw an average response time of 254 milliseconds, which is some of the fastest speeds you will see, especially among shared hosting providers. The slowest value we saw was 279 milliseconds over the course of the month, while the fastest value we saw was 237 milliseconds during that month.
Customer Service and Technical Support
One of A2 Hosting’s biggest selling points is the quality and availability of its technical support.
The Guru Crew is the name used to refer to the A2 Hosting support team. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, the Guru Crew is available for 24/7 support via:
- Ticketing system
- Live Chat
We have mentioned multiple times that A2 Hosting is a developer-friendly host. If, however, you find that your hosting environment doesn’t support something you need, you can reach out to the Guru Crew for assistance. The team will then submit a request to the company’s software developers to add support for the tool, language, or technology.
A2 also maintains a knowledge base featuring articles on things like billing, databases, DNS, SSL certificates, cPanel, and more. You can learn how to access your email accounts, manage your domain names, and more.
A2 Hosting Pricing, Plan Contracts, and Payments
In most cases, A2 Hosting offers you month-to-month billing, but you can opt for an extended contract. Extended contracts are available in increments of 12, 24, and 36 months. In return for choosing an extended contract, A2 Hosting offers you a discount commensurate with your contract. Those with the longest contracts will therefore pay the least (on a month-to-month basis) for their hosting services).
Do note that A2 Hosting frequently offers discounts and coupon codes that allow you to save quite a bit off the regular rate changed for a hosting plan. Upon expiration, your plan will renew at the regular rate, however.
Refunds and Money Back Guarantees
A2 Hosting offers its customers the Anytime Money Back Guarantee, which means that you can cancel within 30 days for a full refund on your hosting purchase. You can cancel after the 30-day period, but you will receive a prorated refund for unused services. This is different from many other web hosts, who offer full refunds for 30/45/90 days, but no refunds for cancellations after this period is over.
Note, however, that domain name registrations, setup fees, and migration fees are non-refundable, while SSL certificates have a seven-day refund window.
A2 Hosting User Reviews
In this review of A2 Hosting, we have tried to take an objective look at what A2 Hosting offers (or does not offer). However, in the interest of getting as much information as possible so that you can make an informed decision, we can think of few things that beat reading A2 hosting reviews written by actual users. In our experience, A2 Hosting customers are pleased with the page loading speed of their websites, as well as robust support for a variety of web development languages, tools, and technologies
Is A2 Hosting Right For You?
A2 Hosting does not offer the cheapest hosting plans on the market, but their plans come with a lot of features you will find useful. If you can afford to pay a bit more for fast web hosting services that are also ultra-flexible, we think A2 Hosting could be a good fit for you.
If you are uncertain, remember that A2 Hosting offers a 30-day hosting money back guarantee. If you need a bit more time, you’ll receive a prorated refund on the fees you have paid.
Best Alternatives to A2 Hosting
Bluehost is known for its affiliation with Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. While the company does offer WordPress hosting plans (in some ways, the name Bluehost is also synonymous with “best WordPress hosting”), there are also general-use plans that non-WordPress users will find appealing. One of Bluehost’s selling points is that it is easy to you — if you find A2 Hosting too tech-y, you may find Bluehost a breath of fresh air.
GreenGeeks is an eco-friendly web hosting company that strives to provide competitive web hosting plans. What makes GreenGeeks stand out, however, is its commitment to running a carbon-neutral business and trying to offset its ecological footprint as much as possible. When you consider the amount of energy required to run data centers and a business around-the-clock, this is a challenging feat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What payment methods does A2 Hosting accept?
A2 Hosting accepts the following payment methods:
- Bank transfers
- PayU Latam (for residents of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru)
- UnionPay via Stripe
- Most major credit cards (including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover)
- Money orders
Unfortunately, A2 Hosting does not accept ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments or any type of cryptocurrency.
Does A2 Hosting offer free backups?
Yes, A2 Hosting offers its customers free, automatic backups.
Is A2 Hosting good for WordPress sites?
Yes, we think that most WordPress site owners will be happy with the services provided by A2 Hosting. In addition to A2 Hosting’s managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting options, the company supports WordPress with its general-use plans (and allows users to choose to have WordPress pre-installed on these options).
How many applications and websites can I host on a single server?
A2 Hosting provides you with a specific allocation of resources, and you are welcome to host as many applications and and unlimited websites — as long as you can fit given your resource allocation. Do note, however, that you must comply with the Terms of Service and excessive usage may result in you having to upgrade your hosting plan.
Wrapping Up Our A2 Hosting Review
While A2 Hosting isn’t the cheapest option around, we think the company offers some solid hosting options at prices that won’t break the bank. If you are looking for the easiest option to use, consider looking elsewhere; otherwise, those who are reasonably tech-savvy will find lots to like with the company’s hosting, its performance, and support offered by the Guru Crew.
Read: A2 Hosting Coupon Code
Ready to build your new website? Head over to A2 Hosting to purchase your web hosting package today!