A2 Hosting (All the Facts)
A2 Hosting is actually one of the oldest web hosting services in business today having begun in 2001 under the name Iniquinet.
The company originated in Michigan and changed its name in 2003 to A2 Hosting.
If you visit their website you will learn that 97% of their customers are pleased with their services and that they promise to deliver “Up to 20x faster servers”.
In addition, their first-term pricing appears to be a really good value for the money, but have you taken a look at the renewal fees?
So this A2 hosting review will let you decide if this is the hosting service you have in mind.
Let’s dive in…
A2 Hosting has lived up to its hype and provided excellent server speeds.
Their customer support is efficient, effective, and pleasant. It seems as if the staff genuinely cares about helping answer your questions and giving you the best start possible.
Furthermore, the hosting plans are reasonable, and they provide a distinctive “anytime” money-back guarantee.
A word of caution, however, as uptime has been slipping over a period of several months, and the renewal rates take a fairly large leap after your first purchase period concludes.
Still in all, if you require a fast web hosting service that maintains comparatively inexpensive pricing ($2.96/mo) enabling you to scale once your website develops and grows, A2 Hosting may very well be a great choice.
What Products Does A2 Shared Hosting Provide?
There’s a lot of information to sift through in terms of what products A2 Hosting offers you.
In addition to hosting plans, you can get domain names, and their prices are reasonable.
For a .com domain name, you will have to pay $14.95 annually. Among other extensions, you can buy: .com, .info, .net and .org domains.
A2- Hosting has shared hosting plans that are very much in demand. The cost of hosting ranges from $2.99 to $14.99 monthly.
This is the plan that will be necessary for most projects — unless you have a site with an enormous amount of traffic or require a special server setup.
Moreover, they provide managed WordPress Hosting Plans. These are shared hosting plans that are geared for WordPress, and they have some extra WordPress features.
Plus, their support team is made up of WordPress experts. Managed A2 Hosting WordPress plan starts at $12.99 a month.
VPS–Virtual Private Server.
Divides a server into smaller individual (sub) servers. This allows you to configure it for your requirements and you won’t have to share resources with other clients.
This comes in handy if you need something that’s in between shared hosting and a dedicated server. A2 unmanaged hosting VPS can cost as little as $4.99 a month to nearly $35.99 a month as compared to Managed VPS hosting which starts at $39.99 a month.
Means your website won’t be hosted on just one server, but several at once. This is an ideal solution if you receive traffic peaks since you can assign more resources as needed.
It’s 4.99 a month for 150 GB RAID-10SSD storage and 1GB of RAM — you can always increase storage and resources.
If you anticipate that your site will be extremely popular and get hundreds of thousands of visitors monthly, then you probably require a Dedicated Hosting package.
Dedicated Hosting package.
That means you get an entire server to host your project. These plans don’t come cheap, they start at $99.59 a month for unmanaged servers.
If you have your own clients who need hosting, you can choose the A2hosting reseller program where you can sell hosting plans (minus A2 Hosting branding) to your clients. These plans start at around $18.99 monthly.
Review A2 Hosting Pros
A2 Hosting is one of the best of the less well-known hosting companies.
They provide fantastic speed, courteous and friendly customer service, loads of security features, a liberal refund policy, and they’re environmentally conscious.
1. Fantastic Fast Shared Hosting Provider
A2 Hosting.com is all about speed. The homepage mentions speed. All of their features are geared towards making your site fast.
And each pricing plan even has a name that is speed related (like “Swift” and “Turbo”).
A2 Hosting has proven itself to be one of the fastest shared hosting providers out there.
Pretty amazing in the Internet world where slow page loading times could make the difference between having a visitor to your website stick around or having them get impatient and head over to the competition’s website.
2. Efficient and Friendly Customer Support
If you’d rather find a speedy answer to your problem, A2 Hosting support has hundreds of articles available in their knowledge base for you to tap into.
If you’d rather talk with a human, they provide everything from chat service to phone and ticket-based assistance by the A2 Hosting support staff who are very friendly.
3. Free ‘HackScan’ Protection
When it comes to online, speed and security don’t usually go hand in hand. That’s because firewalls, extra scanning, or layers of encryption can frequently slow down users.
Not so with A2 web Hosting. They’ve stayed exceptionally fast while not sacrificing security.
They use “HackScan,” a 24/7 monitoring service that scans for malware and other attacks to protect their servers.
Moreover, their data centers are scalable, which means that you’re protected if a denial of service attack (DDoS) occurs. These attacks are particularly nasty because they try to flood your servers with traffic and thus push your site offline.
4. Free Site Migrations (1–25)
Regardless of the plan you have, A2 Hosting will move your website over to their servers at no extra charge. Just give their customer support department your cPanel account credentials, and they’ll do the rest.
The only issue is the number of sites, determined by the plan you bought. Their terms explain everything in detail.
Customers with shared hostings on the Lite, Swift, and Turbo plans will get one site moved free of charge. However, if you’re buying reseller, dedicated, or managed VPS hosting, you’ll get 25 free migrations.
All of this is based on the assumption that you can supply cPanel access to your existing websites. If not, then A2 might require a small fee for the extra work involved.
5. Content Management Systems (CMS), Website Builders, and Developer-Friendly Tools
A2 Hosting is compatible with all major content management systems. You can install a Drupal, Joomla, OpenCart, WordPress, or Magento site with no problems.
You will have no need for a developer’s assistance.
A2 Hosting has its own website builder, called SiteBuilder. It works perfectly if you want something to customize your site on your own but be aware that pricing and plans are different for A2’s SiteBuilder than for the regular shared hosting plans.
Another positive point is that a2 Hosting’s plans are compatible with a Cloudflare CDN account to help your site remain fast by loading images and any other type of large files separately from your server.
If you’re a webmaster or an agency that’s going to be hosting many sites, A2 has plenty of developer-friendly tools for you to use.
You are able to have admin-level access on servers, along with free server rewind backups, and versions of PHP to MySQL, Python, PostgreSQL, etc.
6. Anytime Money-Back Guarantee
Like almost all other hosts A2 Hosting originally had the standard 30-day money-back guarantee that you’d expect.
Essentially this means that if you have any issues within the first 30 days, you are given a complete refund. No questions asked.
A2 Hosting has changed this policy over the past several years to the advantage of their customers. They now provide an “anytime” money-back guarantee.
They haven’t changed the 30 days policy. You will still have a full refund within the first 30 days. The question is, what happens if you’re prepaying for three years, and you find that you’re not happy after only the first year?
The solution to that is that you are still able to request a refund and you will get a prorated amount back for the time that is left on your deal.
You should know that there are several stipulations to this, however.
Number one is that when a refund request is granted but it’s past the first 120 days, then the refund will be issued through PayPal.
As is true for other hosts, ‘additional’ services such as domain registrations, setup fees, and migration fees, are not refundable.
The good news is that you’re allowed to keep anything that’s not refunded, such as your domain name.
7. Green Web Hosting
Unbelievable as it may seem, here is a hosting company that is also environmentally conscious.
While that might not be your top concern when looking for a great web hosting provider, nor should it ultimately determine whether or not you choose to work with that provider, it’s still an important fact to know.
A2 Hosting comes from the hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan which is referred to as “Tree Town.” They claim to have 50,000 trees and 150 parks.
Thus, A2 has ingrained environmental integrity which makes them believe that it is their moral duty to aid in protecting the planet from the negative effects of global warming.
As part of this responsibility, they have teamed up with Carbonfund.org in an effort to help support reforestation and renewable energies. Furthermore, they have a “Future Serve” green hosting initiative to help offset emissions that are emanated from their servers.
8. Uptime of Almost 100%
This is a crucial point. A2 provides excellent uptime of almost 100%. As a matter of fact, compared with the service provider BlueHost, the uptime was 99.97% to their 99.98%.
As you know, projects that rely upon their site being online all the time, one example would be online stores, can be seriously damaged by a server that has constant periods of lengthy downtime.
Together with the support, performance is a crucial part of being a hosting provider.
It doesn’t matter if they have the most advanced, top-notch technology available and excellent features if your hosting provider can’t manage to keep up with the needs and requirements of your website.
A2 Hosting Review Cons
This is a detailed exploration of each of the negatives about A2 Hosting. There aren’t many, but they are worth mentioning.
1. Costly Renewal Rates (15 Day Deadline)
A2 Hosting provides a small price break on its long-term plans. In other words, if you pay in advance for three years you will save a couple of dollars on your monthly bill, which can add up to a substantial amount over 36 months.
A2 then makes the deal for new customers even more enticing by offering special introductory pricing that essentially halves the total price.
That’s all well and good. The trouble is that upon the ending of your initial term, your automatic renewal begins at the “regular” pricing, which is nearly double what you originally paid.
This is a common ploy by most web hosts out there. They’re smart enough to realize that if you’re essentially satisfied with the service, you’re not going to go through the enormous hassle of moving your site before the price goes up.
Now we step into troubled waters though.
Their terms state that you must submit a written cancellation request 15 days before the Renewal Term starts, either by going through their customer portal or by emailing them.
But what if you miss this 15-day time period? You will have to pay for the next renewal plan, which will automatically renew if you’re not eligible to receive a refund.
2. Limits on Cheapest Plan
A2 Hosting’s least expensive shared hosting option, Lite has an introductory price of $2.96/month or 51% off the usual price. It could be lower, but not bad.
However, it’s when you begin comparing that price and what you’re getting to what the competition is offering, you run into some problems.
With this A2 Hosting plan, you only receive one website, with unlimited storage, free SSL, site migration, and the Anytime Money-Back Guarantee.
What’s missing are many of the terrific perks that go toward making A2 a great choice, for instance, Turbo Servers that make page loads up to 20X faster, server rewind, or offsite backups.
Their website builder plan has the same problem. The least expensive choice that’s similarly priced near $4/month only gets you a single page — nowhere near enough to build a real website.
A2 Hosting prices for its shared hosting :
A2 Hosting FAQS
Ease of Signup —
Three-step sign up. Not hard.
Payment Methods ––
These feature plenty of options including Credit Card, PayPal, Check or Money Order, Bank Transfer, PayULatam, and Skrill.
Hidden Fees and Clauses —
Renewal rates are higher than the introductory period. You have to cancel 15 days before the Renewal Period or get automatically charged. Domain name purchases are not refundable.
Only one site migration is free.
Very few upsells.
Account Activation —
Control Panel and Dashboard Experience —
A2 Hosting cPanel.
Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.) –
Options to install WordPress and other CMSs are available at checkout.
Conclusion: A2 Host
First, keep in mind that A2 Hosting does have an unlimited and unmetered policy, but if you end up using too many resources, you will be asked either to upgrade or to use fewer resources.
A2 Hosting has continually delivered best-in-class speed for the past several years. Their customer support is knowledgeable and friendly. All of their shared plans include a free SSL certificate plus one free migration. Also, their uptime is not bad.
And if you run into issues at any time, you can ask for a refund on the prorated balance of unused time.
Also, you can choose from 4 server locations in three continents.
The only negative is that renewal rates are high (and the strict terms are not the best).
Plus, regardless of if you have the most expensive shared plan to host unlimited websites (“Turbo”), you only get one free site migration.
However, A2 Hosting is a great choice for new bloggers who absolutely require a dependable host, and for medium to small-sized businesses.
And if you want to host a Windows-based project, then this is the website for you.
Additionally, it does have several features that competitors don’t provide.
For instance, you have built-in server-side caching, a real plus, and plugins for ultimate speed for CMSs like WordPress, and staging areas.
In general, A2 Hosting is a good option, but some businesses may find that it’s limiting.
That’s ok. You can test A2 Hosting absolutely risk-free for 30 days and decide if this hosting provider is right for your project.
I hope that this A2 hosting reviews has brought much value to you.
Related article: Inmotion Hosting
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