A2 Hosting Review: Pros & Cons of utilizing A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting Review

A2 Hosting is a completely independent website hosting company founded in 2003. They’re located in Ann Arbor Michigan but serve hosting markets globally. A2 Hosting positions themselves like a high end, speed-focused webhost with excellent support.

The sale a complete spectrum of hosting solutions varying from shared Linux hosting (what most companies need) completely to cloud and server solutions for big, growing websites.

Like InMotion Hosting and SiteGround Hosting, they&#8217re among the faster growing independent website hosts (i.e., not of a bigger corporate holding company like Endurance or GoDaddy). There is a large dedicated fanbase in accessory for some high-profile bloggers as customers.

Like my test out Website Hosting Hub, I lately were built with a couple small websites that needed their very own hosting accounts. Since I Have&#8217ve had readers inquire about A2 Hosting, I made the decision to try them.

Get A2 Hosting&#8217s current discount here.

Here&#8217s my A2 Hosting review structured with benefits and drawbacks according to my experience like a customer.

Skip to direct comparisons or skip towards the conclusion.

Disclosure &#8211 I receive referral charges from companies pointed out on this web site. All opinions and knowledge derive from my experience like a having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.

Pros of utilizing A2 Hosting

There are plenty of A2 Hosting reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews according to anecdotes and private experience. That’s fine however i have a different approach. Like I mention in most my hosting reviews, there’s no such factor like a “best” hosting company. It’s by pointing out right fit for the project according to your objectives, budget, experience &amp expertise. Listed here are the professionals (advantages) for thinking about A2 Hosting.

Speed &amp Performance

A website hosting service could be several things for your business, however the core purpose of a hosting server would be to serve your site files whenever someone demands them. But &#8211 the implied adverb there’s for everyone individuals files rapidly.

At a time of worldwide audiences and multi-device connections, speed matters more than ever before. While there are plenty of variables in have fun with website speed, it’s mainly your hosting server’s job to transmit the requested files towards the visitor’s browser as rapidly so that as efficiently as you possibly can.

A2 Hosting makes lots of claims regarding their speed.

A number of individuals claims are misleading hyperbole. A number of individuals speed claims are upsells (that we&#8217ll reach within the cons of A2 Hosting).

But overall, A2 Hosting does generally meet their promises.

Among the primary factors of site speed ‘s time to First Byte (TTFB) – ie, how rapidly the server transmits the very first byte from the first file as a result of a request. Here’s how my A2 Hosting website tested by helping cover their a standardized install to compare.

A2 Hosting Speed Test - Standard

Their TTFB was a lot better than a few of their big brand competitors like Bluehost or GoDaddy and as good as others that concentrate on speed. For instance, here&#8217s my TTFB report from tests which i did on my small SiteGround website.

SiteGround Speed

A little faster &#8211 however in exactly the same ballpark &#8211 especially because of the variance that may happen with TTFB tests. Not to mention, for those who have a great server setup, that you can do much more. For instance, here&#8217s my TTFB test by having an enhanced InMotion server.

InMotion VPS SpeedTest

Overall, A2 Hosting excels within their primary claim that they can fame &#8211 speed &amp performance. In the event that&#8217s your priority, they are extremely within the running along with other direct competitors.

*Observe that I actually do possess some qualms with A2 Hosting over speed, measurement &amp the way they approach optimization. I&#8217ll reach individuals within the Cons section, until then &#8211 A2 Hosting does perfectly on speed.

Global Data Centers

On the related but different note than speed &amp performance, A2 Hosting scores along with a globally focused host that may efficiently serve websites all over the world.

While there are numerous factors in website speed (like TTFB), the location of the server matters a great deal. Demands for information travel over physical wires to some physical server. Even at lightspeed, distance matters, particularly if you own/conserve a site or maybe these potential customers have to stock up a variety of files.

If both you and your audience are somewhere from the globe, it&#8217s best to host your files near you and your audience.

*Note &#8211 if you’re in a single country, however your audience is disseminate, most sites solve this issue having a CDN.

Until lately, most leading edge website hosts were based &amp centered on the united states market. Should you be in Asia or Europe -you very well may be tied to lackluster local hosting and/or slow connection occasions.

A2 Hosting enables you to decide your datacenter one of the three they be employed in US, Europe or Asia. If you’re ex-US or are attempting to serve a crowd solely there &#8211 A2 Hosting&#8217s datacenter choices are an engaging advantage.

Support Access &amp Options

Like I’ve pointed out in other hosting reviews, reviewing customer care is hard. Much like the local restaurant on Yelp, probably the most positive and many negative comments are generally useless.

Who knows when issues are customer-caused or if somebody simply experienced that certain amazing/horrible worker.

I’ve were built with a good knowledge about A2 Hosting. But that’s very anecdotal. So, I additionally like to check out “proxies” for customer care. Quite simply, stuff that indicate something concerning the culture &amp processes of customer care.

First &#8211 A2 Hosting provides lots of different channels for customer care.

A2 Hosting Customer Service

There is a telephone number in the forefront. They’ve a comprehensive knowledgebase, live chat, as well as Skype access. They are doing well triaging demands via social networking.

Second, A2 Hosting&#8217s reps are extremely &#8220hands-on&#8221 &#8211 they provide custom installs and lots of solutions where your repetition goes in and connect the problem instead of speaking you thru the procedure. Although some customers might or might not like this option, it will signal they see customer care as an investment instead of a cost. That&#8217s the kind of general conclusion which i search for &#8211 and the one which I believe matters within the lengthy-term more than a one-off experience.

Similar to their independent competitors in InMotion and SiteGround, A2 Hosting&#8217s customer care is really a major pro to selecting on them a large brand webhost that might or might not prioritize support in the same manner. This time segues into another huge advantage for A2 Hosting.

Transparency &amp Independence

To begin with, I don&#8217t believe that a business is &#8220good&#8221 or &#8220bad&#8221 simply because of its size. It&#8217s about tradeoffs.

There are plenty of major benefits of utilizing a big company. They often possess the sources to supply big comprehensive solutions. They often have lower unit costs that may be passed towards the customer. They’re also usually more stable than small, upstart companies.

That stated businesses are often capable of being more agile, closer &amp more attentive to the client, and less inclined to view customers exclusively with the lens of the Internet Promoter Score.

In the realm of hosting &#8211 it truly depends upon your objectives &amp preferences. There isn’t any right answer.

That stated, it&#8217s a large advantage that A2 Hosting is really a founder-owned, independent company &#8211 due to the fact that’s so rare in 2017. Most website hosts are brands of Endurance Worldwide, GoDaddy or even the Web.com group.

And not just is A2 Hosting independent, they’re stable and growing and extremely use their independence to advertise transparency and ease of access that the big brand simply can&#8217t match.

A2 Hosting CEO

If you’re someone searching for any webhost as opposed to a hosting brand &#8211 A2 Hosting will tick that box. Otherwise, you are able to ignore this and concentrating on your priorities.

Hosting Customizations &amp Features

The final major benefit of A2 Hosting that I wish to on-site visit is the concentrate on hosting features and customizations. They’re not only a complete-spectrum webhost with products targeted at virtually every need, they likewise have a concentrate on the exact features that you will get together with your plans.

They’ve from Home windows hosting to Dedicated and Cloud computing. All of their plans include current versions of software (ie, PHP7, new cPanel, etc).

Now &#8211 I believe a few of their &#8220features&#8221 are misleading marketing-speak. But, similar to their speed claims, they are doing come finished supplying the hosting that the project will require.

Cons of utilizing A2 Hosting

Like every hosting company, A2 Hosting has disadvantages. There are many A2 Hosting complaints online. But don’t forget, that they like the professionals, all of these are poor your objectives &amp priorities. With this stated, listed here are the disadvantages which i found while using the A2 Hosting.

Cost Point

Like I’ve pointed out in other hosting reviews, evaluating prices across website hosts could be maddening. It’s tough to compare apples to oranges because plans generally include various caps.

That stated, I attempt to check out compare prices in line with the 3 “D’s” of core hosting features –

  • Domains &#8211 the number of websites you are able to operate on your bank account
  • Databases &#8211 the number of software installs you are able to run
  • Disk Space &#8211 the number of files you are able to upload for your requirements

After searching at &#8220core&#8221 hosting features, I love to factor all of the possible &#8220bonus&#8221 features. Bonus features are features that you ought to only element in when they have to do with your objectives.  For example, if you are considering running AdWords, a credit there can be useful, but when not, it&#8217s something to disregard completely.

In either case, A2 Hosting has 3 primary tiers for shared Linux hosting &#8211 the Lite ($7.99/mo for just two-year plans), Quick ($9.99/mo for just two-year plans) and Turbo plans $18.99/mo for just two-year plans.

With heavy discounting, their plans aren’t bad when compared with both competitors and discount brands.

That stated &#8211 they’re certainly pricier than most website hosts which i&#8217ve checked out for any couple of reasons.

First, their renewal prices is just valid for just two-year plans. Should you simply want to pay yearly &#8211 their renewal prices is a lot greater.

A2 Hosting Pricing Specifics

Second, their Lite plan’s pretty heavily capped. It&#8217s really appropriate for literally one website without any additional use cases.

Third, they don&#8217t start adding some key &#8220bonus&#8221 features their competitors do include. I&#8217ll discuss individuals later, but such things as backups, dedicated IP addresses, &#8220performance&#8221, &#8220priority support&#8221 and junk e-mail filtering all get bucketed as upsells instead of as pre-packaged features.

4th, I&#8217m not entirely obvious on which justifies having to pay double the amount cost for &#8220Turbo&#8221 &#8211 you can even find some features that change from Incorporated to &#8220Available&#8221. Evidently from it, it seems they promise to place yourself on a less crowded server. However the factor is &#8211 that wouldn&#8217t appear enjoy it would enhance minute to minute performance with an absolute measure. It might, however, &#8220increase&#8221 speeds if when compared with crowded servers under constant load.

I&#8217m not really a network engineer and that i&#8217m definitely not aware of how A2 Hosting has their network setup. It may be fabulous. However the factor is &#8211 after searching at &amp using many website hosts, it appears like simply a method to have more money monthly without supplying immediate value every month.

Now &#8211 to become obvious, that&#8217s not necessarily a bad factor. Cost isn’t a particularly good metric. Every customer need to look at overall value for his or her needs. But in either case, A2 Hosting works in a greater cost point than other hosts, and that i&#8217m unsure their raw features satisfy the cost point&#8230.which segues in to the next section.

Technical Marketing Speak

Sometimes in marketing. I really like it. I believe good marketing could make the planet a much better place.

But marketing is really a tool. And That I absolutely don’t like it when companies use &#8220marketing-speak&#8221 to misrepresent services and products. It&#8217s fine to simplify, but tell it enjoy it really is. Also it&#8217s fine to re-frame or re-position, although not at the expense of hiding other details.

A2 Hosting does this a great deal. There is a sleek website. They’ve good copy. However they consistently invent features that aren&#8217t really features or they position details outdoors of context so that they appear great&#8230but really don&#8217t make sense at all.

Here&#8217s a good example.

A2 Hosting Specifics

The chart looks great. It&#8217s certainly one of individuals marketing assets which makes you nod and move along towards the buy button. Everybody will it for an extent, but there’s a couple things here that bother me.

First, the Performance Plus pitch grossly simplifies what must be done to &#8220maintain your website&#8217s speed during traffic spikes.&#8221 That depends upon your caching, how big your website, how big your &#8220traffic spike&#8221 (ie, could it be hundreds, thousands or countless demands?&#8221, and a large number of other variables. It plays on fear as opposed to a better upside like &#8220smoothly handle an origin-intensive site).

Second, the Cores, Physical and Virtual Memory allocations are missing any kind of context. They come to influence you to definitely purchase a more costly plan &#8211 to not provide any truly helpful comparative information.

To be fair to A2 Hosting, I actually do such as the specificity and I know that supplying concise, helpful details are challenging on the web page. That stated, combined with next disadvantage, their marketing-speak works as a disadvantage for just about any customer attempting to make an educated selection of webhost.

Onboarding &amp Product Setup

Onboarding is the procedure of moving a brand new customer for an active, happy customer. It&#8217s a vital process for just about any company, but specifically for website hosts who’re selling an inherently technical product.

While A2 Hosting has most of the common ingredients for any good onboarding (ie, email confirmations, intuitive client area and standard cPanel) &#8211 everything while establishing my account was slightly off. It had been a little frustrating &#8211 enough to really make it a drawback.

They begin out their orders simply by having an Order Confirmation.

A2 Hosting Confirmation

Their account area is rather simple.

A2 Hosting Backend

Their welcome email looks comprehensive&#8230but it&#8217s not. Most sign-up emails have critical username and passwords to be able to get began immediately (see examples within my Website Setup Guide).

But A2 Hosting&#8217s emails don’t.

A2 Hosting Onboarding

It informs me to obtain my DNS information within their help area.

However when I visit the help area&#8230it informs me to return to the e-mail.

A2 Hosting DNS

But there&#8217s no information within the email.

A2 Hosting DNS

So to Google/customer care.

In either case &#8211 using their cPanel, they’ve customized it to highlight their &#8220A2 Customized Installers&#8221 as opposed to the standard Softaculous installer.

The issue using their customized installers is that it helps make the installed software way harder and cluttered than it must be.

A2 Hosting WordPress Install

Basically were a brand new, unskilled user, I’d be regretting my purchase about now. It&#8217s these situations where A2 Hosting needs good support as their onboarding is creating issues that shouldn’t exist to begin with.

But past the &#8220customized&#8221 setup/onboarding &#8211 I had been disheartened at just how they&#8217ve pre-configured their &#8220A2 Enhanced&#8221 software.

It appears as though they&#8217ve hamstrung it to make use of less sources than usual while configuring plugins to obtain the software to a non-hamstrung condition. For instance, here, they set the default WordPress memory limit to 40M instead of something helpful like 256M. I&#8217m sure they’ve their reasons, however that was frustrating because it&#8217ll immediately provide error flags for many plugins.

A2 Hosting WordPress Limits

But &#8211  the website will still appear fast given that they have very aggressive caching pre-installed. I&#8217m not really a huge fan and believe that pre-configuring software like this can be a problem with firms that use a standard form of your software of preference.

Upsells &amp Offers

Upsells aren’t inherently a &#8220bad&#8221 factor. If presented well, they may be helpful. But upsells have to be obvious, helpful and presented well. While less bad as some big brand competitors, A2 Hosting doesn’t do upsells well.

Here&#8217s a specific item on checkout &#8211 a wall of &#8220configuarable options&#8221 &#8211 also known as, upsells.

A2 Hosting Choices

Whilst not garish or overwhelming, individuals configurable options create lots of questions.

A2 Hosting Choice Confusion

Each and every option (aside from Server Location) either creates doubt or confusion within the mind from the customer. Furthermore, because they are all presented from context &#8211 I do not know what they’re or why they’re helpful or the way they affect my purchase.

However the frustrating offers/upsells don&#8217t visit the checkout screen. They’re built-into A2 hosting&#8217s &#8220optimized software&#8221 as proven earlier.

But they’re also marketed inside the server backend. As seen here &#8211

A2 Hosting Offers

Within this situation, it&#8217s less concerning the offer and much more using what the sale is. It&#8217s a really horrible &#8220SEO&#8221 product. The type which makes me embarrassed to operate in the Search engine optimization industry. Here&#8217s a specific item whenever you click A2 Hosting&#8217s &#8220Link Building&#8221 product.

A2 Hosting Offers

Yeah. I&#8217m unsure how much cash Attracta pays A2 Hosting for your product placement, but wow does that negatively affect A2 Hosting&#8217s otherwise solid, clean brand.

In addition to video sales letters &#8211 but A2 Hosting also instantly provided my email to Attracta to have an email automation setup that I didn’t join &#8211 pure junk e-mail.

A2 Hosting SEO Tools

However the frustrations with offers/upsells/messaging will get worse. A2 Hosting takes credit for supplying free, open-source products using their company companies free of charge. In their &#8220Optimization&#8221 upgrade, they supposedly install a lot of exclusive software to assist your website.

Within the situation from the WordPress install, it happens to be some standard, free plugins open to anybody through the WordPress wordpress plugin repository.

A2 Hosting Claims

It&#8217s one factor to supply a car-install service &#8211 that&#8217s fine. It&#8217s another to make use of another person&#8217s work and employ the worth using their try to add &#8220exclusive&#8221 value for your product.

Now &#8211 from a day-to-day use perspective &#8211 none of the matters. You are able to disregard the upsells, disregard the offers and take away the bundled plugins. But so far as selecting a business according to trust &amp values, I view it like a problem with A2 Hosting.

Guarantees, Backups &amp Bonuses

Guarantees and backup services are &#8220bonus&#8221 features within the grand plan of hosting. However for something as essential as your site, they may be existence (err wallet) savers.

A2 Hosting&#8217s money-back guarantee is okay however is not impressive when compared with direct competitors.

A2 Hosting Refund

Additionally they only provide &#8220server rewind backups&#8221 free of charge together with your standard plan. If you would like true regular backups, you&#8217ll have to sign up for a third party service.

A2 Hosting Backups

Again, that&#8217s fine, however it&#8217s something to element in while evaluating cost &amp value among competitors.

Lastly, their actual bonuses/freebies are pretty thin on the floor. Actually, 3 of the 4 freebies are ad placements to profit A2 Hosting. Nothing outdoors standard, but something to element in if you know a few of the services you&#8217re searching for.

A2 Hosting Offer

Overall, A2 Hosting&#8217s guarantees, backups, and freebies are ok by themselves, however a disadvantage when compared with all of those other industry.

Options to A2 Hosting

From the best-known hosts that I’ve utilized as a person or consultant, here’s how A2 Hosting compares straight to each.

A2 Hosting versus. SiteGround

SiteGround is among A2 Hosting&#8217s big independent (ie, also not of a large holding company) competitors. Both of them possess a concentrate on speed with reputations for solid support. SiteGround shares all A2 Hosting&#8217s positives (including global data centers) with couple of of A2 Hosting&#8217s downsides. Read my full SiteGround Hosting review here, but unless of course you’ve got a specific reason behind selecting A2 Hosting, I would suggest registering for SiteGround.

A2 Hosting versus. InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting is among A2 Hosting&#8217s big independent (ie, also not of a large holding company) competitors. A2 Hosting offers global data centers and Home windows hosting that InMotion doesn’t. Beyond that, I&#8217ve discovered that InMotion provides all of A2 Hosting&#8217s benefits with no downsides. InMotion has very involved support along with a solid prices structure. Read my full overview of InMotion Hosting here, but unless of course you’ll need Home windows servers, I would suggest registering for InMotion Hosting.

A2 Hosting vs. Bluehost

Bluehost is among Endurance International’s best-known brands. They beat A2 Hosting on prices. However, A2 Hosting does far better with performance and core hosting features whereas Bluehost has better “bonuses” and side upgrades. If performance matters more for you – then pay a little extra for A2 Hosting. If you are just managing a simple, straightforward project, then Bluehost is solid.

A2 Hosting versus. HostGator

HostGator is among Endurance International’s other well-known brands. They’re most widely known for offering good website hosting with unmetered features for very economical prices. I utilize them for small personal projects – plus they beat A2 Hosting on prices and core hosting features. However, A2 Hosting has better support and gratifaction. So again, together, opt for A2 Hosting for much better value &amp better performance and HostGator for much better (or temporary) prices and/or unmetered features.

Next Steps

There is a reason A2 Hosting is among the fastest growing independent website hosts. There is a solid product along with a great support.

If you’re searching for any complete webhost with solid support and gratifaction (and also you don&#8217t mind a couple of upsells) &#8211 go join A2 Hosting here.

If you’re searching for any webhost with the advantages of A2 Hosting – however with better prices and guarantees, I’d opt for InMotion Hosting. Get InMotion’s discount here.

If you’re more confused than ever before – then take my Web Hosting Quiz here or use this site setup guide here!

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting is really a full-service webhost located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA and founded in 2003.
A2 Hosting
Date Printed: 06/08/2017
A2 Hosting has solid speed, customer care and hosting features. They fall lower a little on cost point and product onboarding.
3.5 / 5 stars

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