A2 Hosting is a leading web host with servers in Arizona, Michigan, Amsterdam, and Singapore. Founded in Ann Arbor in 2001, A2 has now been in the industry for more than 20 years. Today, the team comprises more than 200 employees in about 20 different countries.
One of A2’s strong points is its wide range of hosting arrangements. Depending on your needs, you can set up a shared, virtual private server (VPS) or even dedicated hosting. A2 also offers specialized solutions such as email, reseller, and WordPress hosting, plus specific hosting arrangements for businesses, e-commerce stores, agencies, and blogs.
A2 Hosting starts at just $2.99 per month for the cheapest shared plan, which supports a single website and up to 100 GB of Solid State Drive (SSD) storage. New users get free guided migrations and other amenities such as 24/7 support and guaranteed 99.9% uptime. Outside of web hosting, A2 hosting offers some additional products:
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates
- Website Builder
|A2 Hosting Standout Features|
|Performance||Average response times and server speeds.|
|Average Load Time||608 ms|
|Average Response Time||1289 ms|
|Free Domain||Not included|
|SSL||Free with all subscriptions|
|1-click WordPress||Free with all subscriptions|
|Support||Available 24/7 through phone and live chat|
What Makes A2 Hosting Stand Out?
Let’s look at the notable features that set A2 Hosting apart from other web hosts.
A2 Hosting Offers Excellent Flexibility
If you’re setting up a website for the first time, you might be looking for shared hosting plans. These can only support limited traffic, but they’re also the most affordable option for new creators. Fortunately, A2 provides many more options. With both VPS and dedicated hosting available, you can easily upgrade your plan as needed to keep up with your increasing traffic. A2 also offers managed WordPress hosting and reseller plans, so there really is something for everyone.
A2 Hosting Offers Turbo Servers
With A2 Hosting, you can either get a basic subscription or an upgraded plan with Turbo servers, which offer significant performance upgrades and can help your site load more quickly for visitors. Both basic and Turbo plans are available for every type of hosting.
A2 Hosting Provides 24/7 Support
You can get in touch with A2 Hosting anytime. In our experience, the team is always helpful and extremely responsive. There’s also a detailed FAQ section for each type of hosting.
What Are the Pros and Cons of A2 Hosting?
There’s a lot to like about A2 Hosting, from its wide range of subscriptions and 24/7 support to guaranteed uptime of 99.9% or above. However, we found a few weaknesses, including the interface and lack of support for Windows. Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of A2 Hosting.
- Flexibility: A2 provides a wide selection of hosting types, so there’s something for every user, and you can adjust the hosting plan if your needs change.
- 24/7 support availability: The company offers 24/7 global customer support through phone and live chat.
- 30-day money-back guarantee: You can get a full refund within 30 days. If you wait longer, you’ll still get a prorated refund for unused service until 90 days.
- 99.9% uptime guarantee: A2 guarantees 99.9% uptime, meaning your site is down less than 1/1000th of the time.
- Visual design: A2’s interface isn’t intuitive or aesthetically pleasing, its website is dated, and the main dashboard is difficult to parse. Overall, A2 is behind its top competitors concerning visual design and ease of use.
- Long-term contracts: If you want to get the lowest prices, you must commit to a three-year contract. If you opt to just go monthly, you will be paying over three times the price for each hosting option.
- No free domain name: A2 doesn’t provide free domain names, so you will need to acquire a domain name. This adds an extra cost to your hosting subscription.
- No Windows hosting: Unfortunately, A2 doesn’t offer any support for Windows, so it’s only a good option for users who want to host through Linux.
A2 Hosting may be the best web host for: Everyone. A2 offers everything from shared hosting to dedicated servers, with plans running anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars per month.
A2 Hosting Shared Hosting Packages
|Startup||Drive||Turbo Boost||Turbo Max|
|Price:||$2.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$5.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$6.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$12.99 per month (3-year commitment)|
|Best for:||Personal projects||Basic shared hosting for multiple websites||Improved site performance on shared hosting||Best performance without upgrading to VPS or dedicated hosting|
|Disk space:||100 GB SSD||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Who should use A2 shared hosting? Shared hosting is the cheapest way to host your website, though it won’t perform as well as a VPS or dedicated hosting arrangement. This shouldn’t be an issue for small sites, but you may find yourself needing to upgrade if you start generating more traffic.
While each of the first three plans offers a decent value, I find it difficult to recommend the most expensive shared hosting subscription (Turbo Max). This plan is nearly identical to Turbo Boost, with the main differences being 4 GB of memory instead of 2 GB and four cores instead of two. Turbo Max is almost twice as expensive, but it doesn’t offer enough additional value to justify that cost.
A2 Hosting Managed WordPress Hosting Package Options
|Price:||$11.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$18.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$28.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$41.99 per month (3-year commitment)|
|Best for:||Small WordPress sites||Larger sites, users with up to 5 websites||Resellers and other high-volume users||E-commerce vendors|
|Storage:||50 GB SSD||250 GB SSD||Unlimited SSD||Unlimited SSD|
Who should use A2 WordPress hosting? If you want to create a WordPress site, hosting through the platform is naturally your best option. A2’s hosting plans come with WordPress-friendly tools like plugin management, Jetpack licenses, and even testing for new updates. These plans are completely managed, so you can focus on creating your ideal site without worrying about hosting or other technical concerns.
A2 Hosting VPS Hosting Package Options
|Unmanaged VPS (Basic plans)||Unmanaged VPS (Turbo plans)||Managed VPS (Basic plans)||Managed VPS (Turbo plans)|
|Price:||$4.99-$9.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$34.99-$74.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$43.99-$74.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$65.99-$109.99 per month (3-year commitment)|
|Best for:||Users who want more control over their configuration||Users who want to fully optimize VPS performance||Users who want A2 to handle their setup||Users who want turbo servers in a VPS plan|
|Storage:||150 GB-450 GB SSD||150 GB-450 GB NVMe||150 GB-450 GB SSD||150 GB-450 GB NVMe|
|IP Address:||1 free (additional IPs available)||1 free (additional IPs available)||2 free (additional IPs available)||2 free (additional IPs available)|
|RAM:||1 GB-4 GB||8 GB-32 GB||4 GB-16 GB||8 GB-32 GB|
|Bandwidth:||2 TB-4 TB||2 TB-4 TB||2 TB-4 TB||2 TB-4 TB|
Who should use VPS hosting? VPS hosting is an intermediate option between shared and dedicated hosting. If you’re having trouble with shared hosting performance, consider upgrading to a VPS plan. A2 offers both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting arrangements.
A2 Hosting Dedicated Server Hosting Package Options
|Unmanaged Dedicated Server (Basic plans)||Unmanaged Dedicated Server (Turbo plans)||Managed Dedicated Server (Basic plans)||Managed Dedicated Server (Turbo plans)|
|Price:||$105.99-$425.99 per month (3-year commitment||$165.99-$455.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$155.99-$475.99 per month (3-year commitment)||$215.99-$505.99 per month (3-year commitment)|
|Best for:||Users who want to minimize costs for a dedicated server||Users who want the best possible performance on a dedicated server||Users who want A2 to handle their hosting arrangement||Users who want both managed hosting and a dedicated Turbo server|
|CPU:||Intel Xeon Silver or AMD Rome 2nd Gen||Intel Xeon Silver or AMD Rome 2nd Gen||Intel Xeon E-2224, AMD Rome 2nd Gen, or Intel Xeon Silver||AMD Rome 2nd Gen or Intel Xeon Silver|
|RAM:||16 GB-256 GB (upgradeable)||64 GB-256 GB (upgradeable)||16 GB-256 GB (upgradeable)||64 GB-256 GB (upgradeable)|
|RAID Level 1 Storage:||2×1 TB or 2×960 GB U.2 (additional SSD storage available)||2×1 TB NVMe M.2 or 2×960 GB NVMe U.2 (additional SSD storage available)||2×1 TB or 2×960 GB U.2 (additional SSD storage available)||2×1 TB NVMe M.2 or 2×960 GB NVMe U.2 (additional SSD storage available)|
|Network Bandwidth:||6 TB-15 TB||10 TB-15 TB||6 TB-15 TB||10 TB-15 TB|
|Free Domains:||Not included||Not included||Not included||Not included|
|Dedicated IPs:||1 free (additional IPs available)||1 free (additional IPs available)||2 free (additional IPs available)||2 free (additional IPs available)|
Who should use dedicated hosting? Dedicated servers give you exclusive access to a server for your website. Instead of sharing resources and settings, you’ll have full control over a server of your own. These are some of the most expensive plans that A2 offers, but they stand above shared and VPS subscriptions in terms of performance. Dedicated servers are best for sites that need to accommodate a large volume of traffic.
Free SSL Certificate
Secure connections rely on SSL certificates to verify the site’s identity and transmit encrypted data to the user’s web browser. You won’t have to worry about finding an SSL certificate if you host your website through A2.
Free Site Migration
If you’re bringing an existing website to A2, the team will help you get it on its servers. While some specific situations may require a migration charge, the A2 website says that migration is “free in most cases.”
Unlimited Email Addresses
Depending on the kind of website you’re hosting, you may be interested in creating an email address associated with that domain. Dedicated email addresses may appear more professional than generic email domains such as Gmail or Yahoo. Every A2 Hosting subscription comes with unlimited email addresses as well as unlimited email storage.
WordPress Management Tools
Even if you’re not on a managed WordPress hosting plan, A2 subscriptions still include pre-installed WordPress. You’ll receive an email with log-on instructions, and A2 also provides preset optimizations for both performance and site security.
Quick Installation for Other Software
WordPress is an incredibly popular platform for all kinds of sites. Still, you may prefer another service such as Drupal, Joomla, PrestaShop, or OpenCart. A2 Hosting provides a one-click installation for all of these platforms and more.
cPanel Control Panel
If you opt for a managed A2 Hosting plan, you’ll have access to a streamlined cPanel Control Panel. This makes it easy to configure various website settings and view key pieces of information about your site. For example, you can create backups, check site statistics, and manage your email accounts.
99.99% Uptime Guarantee
Every A2 Hosting package comes with an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. In most cases, you’ll be eligible for compensation if your site is ever down for more than 0.1% of a particular month. You will even get a free month of hosting after about 21 hours of downtime in a single month.
Free SSL Certificate
SSL certificates are necessary for both secure connections and strong performance in search results. Every A2 hosting plan includes a free SSL certificate, and some subscriptions come with a premium one such as RapidSSL.
WooCommerce is the easiest way to sell products and services on a WordPress site. The A2 Sell plan comes with WooCommerce pre-installed and optimized, making it easy to start selling as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Uptime and Reliability
Based on our research, A2 Hosting servers had been up 99.957% of the 30 days ending on June 7, 2022. That’s even better than its average uptime over the past five years, which is 99.908%.
While it wouldn’t be fair to call A2 unreliable, its uptime is still lower than what we’ve seen from other top hosting providers. For example, SiteGround’s historical average is 99.991%, which means that A2 experiences roughly 10 times more downtime than SiteGround.
To be fair, however, it looks like A2 hosting may have had some issues in 2018 and 2019, where their uptime was 99.979% and 99.759%, respectively. Since then, they have had an average uptime of well over 99.9% consistently.
While I have not been able to find any announcements from them explaining this improvement, it seems clear to me that they did make some sort of change to improve their uptime and reliability.
Site Response Times
Downtime is incredibly frustrating, but consistently long response times can be even worse. Keep in mind that loading times will depend on your site design and hosting provider. For example, a website with lots of images will typically take longer to load than one that only contains text.
While A2 performed fairly well with respect to uptime, its site response times weren’t quite as impressive. Out of a pool of over 160 web hosts, A2’s response time was in the bottom 20% over the same 30-day period. With an average of 1289 milliseconds, A2 took an average of more than a second to respond.
According to industry standards, as long as a website loads in two seconds (2000 ms) or less, it is acceptable, so A2hosting does meet that, but it would be nice to see them boost their response times a little more.
SSL is a standard encryption protocol used for communication between servers and web browsers. Without an SSL certificate, browsers will be unable to create a secure connection to your website. SSL certificates encrypt all communication and ensure that data won’t be intercepted by anyone else.
Protecting Your Data
A2 Hosting offers key security features including:
- DDoS protection
- Virus scanning
- Daily kernel updates
- Defense against brute force attacks
- HackScan protection on managed WordPress sites
These will help protect your site from some of the most common cybersecurity threats.
You don’t want to wait for the next business day when something goes wrong with your web host. A2 provides responsive 24/7 customer support to help resolve problems as rapidly as possible. The team is available via phone, live chat, and support tickets, so you can reach out in whatever way is best for you.
I was able to resolve many questions without contacting support by simply checking the A2 Knowledge Base. From setup guides to cPanel configurations and information for developers, the Knowledge Base has all the information necessary to work out most common issues.
Unfortunately, A2 Hosting hasn’t been doing much to iterate its existing offerings. I couldn’t find any information on the website about recent product updates, so I contacted the company directly. While I got a quick response to my message, it only confirmed what I had already suspected:
“In terms of the plans that you see on our A2 Hosting page, they will remain as is. At this time, there are no new or pending product launches but if there are any changes, they will be released directly onto our main a2hosting.com page.”
With that in mind, we don’t expect to see major alterations to pricing, functionality, design, or other areas of the A2 Hosting service in the near future. Some other hosting providers are constantly updating their offerings, so it’s possible that A2 will fall behind its top competitors over time.
While A2 Hosting does not seem to be making any major new upgrades to its service offerings, it has kept its current offerings current with the latest features. Some examples of this include:
- A2 Hosting upgraded its PHP support to the latest stable version, which is 8.1.
- In January of 2022, A2 Hosting added new security features for all their managed WordPress plans. These security features include HackScan Protection, Reinforced DDoS Protection, and KernelCare.
- A2 Hosting began offering Magento support on managed VPS hosting packages in late 2001.
These updates are in addition to standard version upgrades and other related ‘general maintenance’ types of improvements.
Compare A2 Hosting Alternatives
A2 Hosting is a solid web host, but other providers offer advantages in some areas. We’ve tested the most popular hosts to compare their pros and cons and identify good options for different users. Take a look at how A2 Hosting stacks up against five leading web hosting providers: Bluehost, SiteGround, GoDaddy, Hostinger, and HostGator.
Frequently Asked Questions About A2 Hosting
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Does A2 Hosting Offer Migrations?
A2 offers migrations with every hosting plan, and most migrations are complete within 24 to 48 hours. However, there’s always a chance that something will take longer than expected, so the company recommends leaving at least one week of overlap time before you close your former hosting account.While A2 advertises free migrations, this feature is described in more detail on the website:
“The vast majority of our migrations are free of charge. In some instances, specifically involving more complex and manual migrations we may charge a fee. Any fees will be discussed with you and will require approval from you before any work is done.”
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to contact the team before subscribing if you’re worried about migration fees stemming from your current hosting setup.
How I Rated A2 Hosting
Every user has unique priorities when looking at a web host. I combined a number of different criteria to bring readers the best overall recommendations of 2022.
As you might expect, my evaluation focuses on speed, response times, reliability, and customer service. I also consider the selection of hosting arrangements — such as shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting — offered by each provider. Pricing is another important criterion, particularly when it comes to comparing two different web hosts.
To accurately evaluate performance, I run my own tests on each host in addition to testing through third-party services. While my own experience and testing are fundamental, I also read through user reviews to see how other customers feel about the host. No single source can be authoritative, so I try to include as many perspectives as possible.