A2 Hosting has been around providing services since 2001. The company initially started as Iniquinet back then from Michigan. In 2003, the company changed and registered their name as A2 Hosting.
Through the years, the hosting provider garnered great customer reviews as well as a solid customer base. According to their website, 97% of customers are satisfied with their services. They also boast a faster server speed as well as lower fees, not to mention a money-back guarantee. But do all those claims hold? That is what we are going to find out in this review.
But before we proceed with the different pros and cons of hosting with A2 Hosting, let us go through the services that the hosting provider offer first.
A2 Hosting provides Shared, WordPress, Reseller, VPS, Cloud, Dedicated Server, and Email Hosting services. All the hosting services are currently at discounted rates.
- Shared Hosting currently starts at $2.99 to $14.99 and is best for single websites as well as those from CMS other than WordPress like Joomla, Magento, and more.
- Managed WordPress Hosting ranges from $11.99 to $36.98 per month. If you have a WordPress site and want to manage it as less as possible, then this service may be the one for you.
- Reseller Hosting charges $13.19 to $40.91 per month currently. If you have a business and have clients who require hosting services, you can avail of the reseller hosting program.
- VPS Hosting starts at $5.00 to $25 per month. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is good to have if you want to get a service that is in between shared hosting and dedicated server hosting. With VPS, you can divide the server into sub servers to keep from sharing resources with your clients.
- Cloud VPS Hosting is popular for those who do not want to host their websites on a single server but on several ones at the same time. Cloud VPS is excellent for those who expect traffic peaks in their sites. Cloud VPS costs $5 per month with 20 GB of space to $15 with 50 GB of storage space.
- Dedicated Server Hosting currently sells at $99.59 to $141.09 monthly. If your site receives hundreds of thousands of visits every month, then having a dedicated server is the best choice. You do not have to share a server with anyone because you have one exclusive to you.
The bestseller of all the services that A2 Hosting offers is Shared Hosting. The Shared Web Hosting service is currently on sale for the different plans.
- StartUp Plan costs $2.99 per month (was $8.99) for a single site.
- Drive Plan currently charges a monthly fee of $4.99 (was $11.99) for unlimited websites.
- Turbo Boost Plan is the most popular at $9.99 monthly (was $19.99) with more speed and power through turbo servers.
- The fastest and most powerful plan is the Turbo Max Plan, which is $14.99 per month ($24.99), with five times more resources than the other plans.
A2 Hosting offers a variety of payment deals for their plans. You can choose to avail for monthly, 12-month, 24-months, or 36-month terms. The rates above are all currently for a 12-month term. Of course, the longer the duration of the contract will be, the cheaper the payment will also become. Do remember, though, that even though the rate is monthly, you need to pay the amount for the full term in advance.
Domain Name Registration
Aside from providing hosting services, A2 Hosting also offers domain name registration. The company offers the most common top-level domains, as well as other options that will fit your name aesthetics. Currently, .com, .org, .info, and .net sells for $14.95 per year. The TLD .biz sells at $17.45 annually. However, if you are looking for country-specific TLDs, A2 Hosting does not currently offer them.
Pros of Hosting with A2 Hosting
With almost two decades of experience in providing hosting services, A2 Hosting is now one of the best hosting providers out there. The speed and quality, powerful features, security, support, are the main reasons for their success.
Let us dive right to learn more about these advantages. Here are the most prominent:
1. Fast hosting speed
One of the main pros that A2 Hosting is known for is the speed. It may not be the fastest in the market today, but it is among the top performers in this category. This claim also proliferates on the company’s website as well as in their plan names like Turbo. It just means that they take loading speed seriously.
On average, A2 Hosting loading time averages at around 300ms, which is considerably faster than the other competitors in the same field.
2. High uptime percentage (99.9%)
Regardless of how fast the loading time of your web page is, it will not matter if the website is always offline. A2 Hosting aims always to provide the highest possible uptime. Although 100% is nearly impossible to achieve, the company manages to stay within the industry-standard at 99.9%. It means that your website will still have some downtime here and there, but it will less than nine hours per year. Compared to some of the other hosting providers out there, that downtime rate is already low. So, A2 Hosting still stands as one of the best in hosting in terms of uptime.
3. Free malware and attack scans
A2 Hosting also provides security features for their customers. Usually, firewalls, extra scans, and layers upon layers of protection can slow down things. But, A2 Hosting has managed to bypass that and incorporate security without dropping speed.
All plans under A2 Hosting, especially shared hosting, comes with a free SSL certificate as well as HackScan protection. This protection feature runs 24/7 scans to monitor malware and other possible attacks. A2 Hosting also has scalable data centers that provide better protection for your website in case of any denial of service attack.
4. Free site migration
Migrating your site from one server to another can be quite tedious, especially if you have no idea about the ins and outs of the process. That is why many hosting providers today include site migration in their services. However, unlike other hosting providers that require additional fees for migrating your website, A2 Hosting does it for free. The only catch to the deal is that the number of free migrations you can get depends on your chosen plan.
Plans under the shared hosting program only include a single free website migration. The other programs such as reseller, VPS, or dedicated server comes with as many as 25 free site migrations. Also, free site migration requires access to your cPanel. So, if you do not have access to your cPanel, you will have to pay a minimal fee needed to do the extra work.
5. CMS and Website builders
A2 Hosting is highly compatible with all the major content management systems (CMS) out there. Whether you are using WordPress, Drupal, Magento, or Joomla, you can easily install them within your A2 Hosting cPanel. There are also individual plugins designed for these CMS, such as the A2 Optimized WordPress plugin that comes as a freebie when you purchase any of the Turbo plans.
If you are not as well-versed with HTML, that is okay. You can still tweak your website and some customizations through the A2 Hosting website builder known as SiteBuilder This website builder is very user-friendly and can help you customize your site without having to worry about codes and HTML tags. Do take note that the SiteBuilder in shared hosting plans may differ from the other programs.
6. Automatic backups
Another feature that comes with any of the A2 Hosting plans is the automatic backup. A2 Hosting keeps seven copies of your website as backup. So, you do not have to worry about your content getting lost when something goes wrong. However, do keep in mind that since these backups are automatic, they run on a schedule that you cannot change. If you want to initiate a backup at your chosen time, then you will have to purchase an add-on for on-demand backup.
Also, even though the automatic backups are free, restoring them is free if you purchase the Drive plan and any of the higher plans. The StartUp plan does not allow you to restore for free.
7. Efficient customer service
Another thing that A2 Hosting takes pride in is its fast, efficient, and friendly customer service. Many customers out there often complain about faulty support from their providers, which should not have been the case. Hosting companies must provide excellent customer service to their clients in case of technical problems. A2 Hosting takes that importance very seriously. The company has an active customer forum with hundreds of articles that you can find to do some quick fixes on your own.
But, if a quick DIY does not do the trick, then their responsive social support system is also there. You can talk to one of their agents for a more personal and thorough explanation via the live chat. You can also send tickets, or better yet chat via phone.
8. Money-back guarantee
Before, A2 Hosting used to stick to the standard 30-day guarantee for refunds, but the company has changed this policy. Today, your customers can now avail of the money-back guarantee “anytime.” It is very favorable for those who prepaid for the 12-month, 24-month, or 36-month terms.
Say, for example, you prepaid for 36-months to get the cheapest pay, then after 12-months of usage, you are no longer happy. If it is with the original 30-day money-back guarantee, you will no longer receive any refund. However, with the new “anytime” policy, you can still request a refund for the remaining time. It means that you can no longer receive the refund for the first 12-months, but you can still receive the prorated amount for the remaining 24-months.
Do take note though that setup or migration fees, domain registration fees, and other additional services are non-refundable.
9. Environment-friendly hosting
A2 Hosting also supports going green in their services and provides customers with the option to support it as well via their green web hosting initiative. Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is the seat of A2 Hosting, is well-known as the “Tree Town” with around 50,000 trees and over 100 parks.
The company is also in partnership with Carbonfund.org in promoting renewable and sustainable energy. There is also the “FutureServe” program, which aims to offset the carbon emissions coming from the A2 Hosting servers. So, if you are keen on eco-friendly hosting, then A2 Hosting is just right up your alley.
Cons of Hosting with A2 Hosting
Although A2 Hosting has been raking the market with great potential and superb service, there are also some issues that you need to consider if you want to avail of any of the hosting plans.
Here are some of the issues that you need to explore:
1. Higher renewal rates
When you sign up for a plan at A2 Hosting, you will initially pay the discounted monthly price for the plan. You will then have to prepay at that monthly rate before you can use the features of the plan. A2 then adds more into the deal by decreasing the monthly rate if you choose the longer term. That is, you will save more on purchasing the 36-month plan than just the 12-month plan.
Now, that scenario seems to be a great deal at first. But what happens when the term ends, and you wish to renew? Will you still get the same rate? The answer is no. What you pay per plan on your first time is just the introductory discounted price. Once the term covering that period ends, when you renew, you will now pay the regular rate. For example, the StartUp plan for shared hosting starts at $2.99 per month for a 12-month term for first-time customers. Once your 12-month term ends, and you renew, the monthly rate reverts to the original $8.99 per month for the next 12-month.
Although most of the contenders out there pull the same stunt, what we think is the deal breaker is the autorenewal and 15-day deadline. Once your first term ends, it will automatically renew. But, if you do not want to renew, you will have to send in a cancellation request within 15 days before the end of your term and start of the renewal term. If you fail to submit your request within 15 days, your account will automatically renew, and you will have to pay for the full term at the regular rate. It is non-refundable too.
2. Plan restrictions
The cheapest plan A2 Hosting offers is the StartUp plan, which currently costs $2.99 per month. The plan comes with:
- One website
- Unlimited SSD space
- Free site migration
- 9% uptime
- Free SSL certificate
- cPanel control panel
- 24/7 Support
- Money-back guarantee
At first, these features seem to be sufficient for the price of $2.99 per month. But once you renew and revert to the original $8.99, do you still think that these features will be sufficient at that price point? We think not. And that is what we find a downer in A2 Hosting. They place too much restriction on the features per plan that other contenders seem to offer better deals. If you want the turbo speed, which advertises up to 20x the page load speed, or the automatic backups and free restore, you will have to pay higher.
3. Advance payment
We mentioned these a couple of times already, but A2 Hosting requires you to prepay your plans. It means that if you decided to go for the 24-month term, you would have to pay the total price for that term in advance.
Though A2 Hosting also allows you to pay on a per month bases, you will have to pay the regular rate. But let us face it, one month is just ridiculous, so your next option is 12-months. If you go for the single month term for the StartUp plan, it will cost you $8.99 only. If you go for the 12-month term, you will prepay $35.88 at the rate of $2.99 per month. The same thing happens for the longer terms, you will have to pay a higher total price, but save more at the same time with the lower monthly rate.
4. Paid on-demand backups
All the A2 Hosting plans, apart from the StartUp plan of shared hosting, come with free automatic backups. But these backups run at specific schedules. The restoration also comes at a cost. Since these are all automatic, you do not have full control over when to initiate a backup when you need it. If you do run a backup, you will have to pay the necessary sum because on-demand backups are not free.
5. 35 Concurrent HTTP connections
All the plans under the Shared hosting program have a limit of 35 concurrent HTTP connections. It may be enough for a single website or two. But once your traffic increases or decides to add more sites to your plan, this may no longer be enough.
Should You or Should Not Get a Plan?
If you are looking for a provider at the medium range with a good bandwidth and generous storage size, then A2 Hosting is for you. There are also some features that A2 Hosting offers that not all competitors within the same range offer. If you are a blogger or owner of a small to medium-sized business, then do consider A2 Hosting
However, although A2 Hosting provides excellent uptime, there is still some downtime here and there as well. Some customers experience more than others, so do consider that. There is also the 35 concurrent HTTP connection limit. If your site has a high traffic count, especially over thousands, then this limit might cause more problems. In that case, better look for another hosting provider, or choose the more expensive hosting plans that A2 Hosting offers.