A2 Hosting has been around since 2001. When it first hit the scene, it was known as Iniquinet, but it was renamed A2 Hosting back in 2003. The name may have changed, but the services and features have remained the same. And have data centres around the world in the US (Michigan), Europe (Amsterdam) and Asia (Singapore).
In addition, they make claims of ‘99.9% uptime’ and ‘guru support’. (OK, now it’s just sounding too good to be true.)
So what’s the verdict?
Key server speed features at A2 Hosting
Complete SSD solution
Turbo server (20x faster page loads)
US, EU, and Asia server locations
HTTP/2 (deliver files 20-30% faster)
12 core server minimum
16 GB RAM server minimum
10 GB/s redundant network
RailGun Optimizer (143% faster)
Server Rewind, CloudFlare, and HackScan
A2 Hosting’s shared hosting plans have some features you don’t see often in shared hosting deals, including Server Rewind, CloudFlare, and HackScan.
Server Rewind is one of the best features available. This tool backs up your account so you can restore a single file, MySQL database, site, or account if you accidentally delete something. The service is:
Automatic– Account backup snapshots are taken regularly.
Flexible– Restore a single file, MySQL database, site or your entire account.
Convenient –Access Server Rewind from your control panel.
Free –Yes, it’s actually 100% free.
CloudFlare is a CDN that is known for its blazing fast speed and cached content. It loads content up to 200x faster than other CDNs.
Then, HackScan blocks attacks before they occur. This is another way that A2 Hosting keeps your site secure.
All these are available for free at A2 Hosting.
E-commerce and Security
If you plan to sell products, A2 has you covered with numerous e-commerce tools. You can use AbanteCart, PrestaShop, OpenCart, or another tool to construct an online store. All offer a one-click setup that lets you get started fairly easily. Magento, a common and popular e-commerce app, lets you easily drag and drop elements to create a store.
Naturally, you’ll need a Secure Socket Layer certificate to go along with that store. It encrypts the data between your shop and customers’ browsers for safe online transactions. A2’s SSLs have a $49.95 per year starting price for a one-year certificate and 256-bit encryption.
Website uptime is a vital element of web hosting. If your site goes down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services. It’s in your best interest to find a reliable web host that can keep your site up and run. Otherwise, customers may go elsewhere—and they might never come back.
To evaluate reliability, I use a website-monitoring tool to track my test site’s uptime over a two-week period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings my website and sends me an email if it is unable to contact the site for at least 1 minute. The data reveal that A2 was incredibly stable during my testing. In fact, it didn’t go down once! As I’ve learned from my uptime tests, a website is usually down for at least a few brief periods over the course of a month. Based on my testing, you can count on A2 to be a rock-solid foundation for your website.
Excellent Customer Service
If you’re ever in need of technical assistance, A2’s aptly named Guru Crew is available to lend a helping hand. Available 24/7 via phone or live chat, the Guru Crew is one of the best customer support teams I’ve encountered in the web hosting space.
I contacted the team on a weekday morning to learn which plans offer Windows-based hosting and how to install WordPress. I waited just a few seconds before a Guru Crew member fielded my questions.
A2 offers an Anytime Money Back Guarantee that grants you a full refund if you cancel your account within a 30-day window. Sure, many web hosts offer that type of refund, but A2 one-ups them by offering a prorated refund if you decided to pack it up after 30 days.
A Very Good Web Host
A2 has nearly everything you’d expect from a quality web host, including terrific uptime and knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives. The hosting packages are notable, too, though they’re relatively pricey when compared to other major players in the field.
A2 Hosting: What’s In The Package?
First, though, take a minute to see the different hosting plans that you can get if you use A2 Hosting. Then, I’ll go over the specific features that I like about this company.
If you go with A2 Hosting, you can choose from – shared, VPS, reseller, and dedicated server hosting.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these, starting with the shared hosting plans.
I spent most of my time testing A2 Hosting’s shared hosting plans.
It offers three options for shared hosting, in the form of Lite, Swift, and Turbo. Like many of the hosting companies out there, it focuses on unlimited options with its shared plans. The plans range from $3.92 to $9.31 a month, and they all come with unlimited storage and transfer, plus free SSD. In addition, the Swift and Turbo plans include unlimited websites and databases.
Regardless of the account that you use, you can integrate it with Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress. It’s also easy to integrate basic shopping cart applications to create a merchant website using.
SSD Speed Boost
Pre-configured Site Caching
While shared hosting is the most popular option, it’s far from your only choice
You can also go with Unmanaged or Managed VPS hosting with A2 Hosting. Unmanaged VPS hosting starts at $5 a month, while Managed VPS hosting starts at $32.99 a month. Choose the Managed VPS hosting option if you want a user-friendly platform and a worry-free Host-Guard Management system. Go with the Unmanaged VPS hosting option if you’re a developer and you want to have full control over your server.
A2 Hosting has three reseller hosting options available. The Produce plan starts at $13.19 a month; the Progress plan starts at $19.79 a month, and the Prosper plan starts at $36.29 a month. These plans range from 60 GB to 200 GB of storage a month and 600 GB to 2,000 GB transfer a month. They all include unlimited accounts and free SSD.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Finally, you can sign up for dedicated server hosting. Select the Unmanaged Flex Server plan or the Managed Flex Server plan. The Unmanaged plan starts at $99.59 a month, and the Managed plan starts at $141.09 a month. The Unmanaged plan is fully customizable and includes root access, while the Managed plan has a free cPanel control panel. Both provide 10 TB transfer and 8 GB of RAM.
Important to Know
While there is very little I would complain about A2 Hosting. There are a few important issues that shoppers need to take note.
Ever changing prices and promo code
A2 Hosting’s promo codes change throughout the year. Because of that, the promo code we have listed might not be correct. Check the official A2 Hosting page to make sure you have the right promo code.
Only Turbo users get Turbo Server
You will only have access to the Turbo Server if you sign up for the Turbo plan. While the Turbo and Swift Servers are similar, the Turbo Server has some features that are important to web developers. The Turbo Server has its own PHP API and compiles .htaccess files. In addition, APC is enabled on the Turbo Server, and the server has a built-in caching engine. All of these features improve the server’s speed.
If you want to change the PHP configuration settings for the server, you’ll need to use the cPanel instead of the php.ini files. These servers don’t support Python-based or Ruby-based web applications.
Server migration fees
Quote from A2 Hosting Refund Policy
When upgrading to a higher-priced hosting plan, we will migrate your account to the new product for free. The data center migration fee is also waived if you choose to move to a new data center during the upgrade process. Upgrades requests are processed and effective only after payment for the package price difference is paid. If you would like to move to another data center without upgrading your account, there is a $25 migration fee.
When downgrading to a lower-priced plan, the difference between the amount of the current package price already paid over the new package price will be placed on the billing account as a service credit. Refunds will not be issued and a $25downgrade migration fee will be charged. Please contact the sales or billing department if considering an upgrade or downgrade to determine what options are available as well as cost.
A2 Hosting charges a small server migration fees for non-upgrading customers who wish to switch data center locations (say, from US to Asia data center). Also, a server migration fee will be charged to customers who wish to downgrade their existing hosting plans (so it’s always recommended to start small and upgrade later at A2 Hosting).
SHARED WEB HOSTING REVIEWS
View a sampling of Shared Hosting reviews from our amazing customers.
“Every time I have asked A2 support for help, they have come through for, me even though my site’s only a small shared-hosting account.”
“I’m happy to say that A2 hosting has so far been a wonderful resource. Normally we would simply use our own servers but A2 definitely has the experience in Ecommerce. Which is why we chose them for 2 of our bigger Ecom clients web stores. They…”Read full review
“The guru crew went above and beyond to help me with a rather complex split of multiple sites under one cPanel account into their own cPanels in a WHM account. Went flawlessly with their help. A2’s shared reseller account is the best way to go for…”Read full review
“I bought a shared Swift Web Hosting and i was surprised by the performance i had with a low price, The live chat team is very fast, also the support tab is diveded and organized very well and the team staff are very efficient. I highly recommend it.”
“Wow! Your level of service is awesome. I’m not use to this! I just signed up for a shared hosting plan. I messed up during the sign-in process. You took care of everything quickly and correctly! Thanks!”
“I’ve got about 75 emails (in roughly 5 diff threads) and a little over a month of experience with A2 Hosting. On the hole I’d say they’re a great hosting company and have good articles out there to help you troubleshoot your way around. My last…”Read full review
“These folks know what they are doing. I had to abandon my previous hosting company due to performance (slow). A2 is blazing fast (I have a shared account). So far everything has been most impressive!”