So the scenario goes like this…
You’re starting a business. You’ve been studying marketing, so you’re learning how to get people to know about your products and services. You keep hearing about how effective internet marketing is to inform people about your business, so you decide to try it. The problem is…you don’t know where to start. You hear that you need to get a web host, you need to buy a domain name, and you need to install a CMS like WordPress, but how do you do that? Then, you decide to do research to comparison shop for web hosts, and you find out about A2Hosting.
This scenario (being clueless about how to get started online) has happened to nearly everyone with a website at one point or another. We all have to experience the learning curve and the initial shock about the expanse of the topic, so I wrote this review to help those of you who are trying to navigate the expansive world of the internet, and who think A2 Hosting may be a good way to go for you.
The goal of this post is to show you the features of A2 Hosting, so you’ll be able to decide if this is the best fit for you. Everyone has their preferences, and some people will tell you “this is good, so you should sign up”. I want to align you with the right product fit for you: whether with A2 Hosting or another option.
In this A2 Hosting review, I will give you:
- What it is
- How it works
- Pros and Cons
- What it does well and what it does not
- What others are saying (good and bad)
- My Recommendation
- And, Alternatives (in case you want to do some comparison shopping)
- 1 What You Should Look for In a Web Host
- 2 What is A2 Hosting? An Overview
- 3 How Does A2 Hosting Work?
- 4 How Do I Get Started with A2 Hosting?
- 5 Who is A2 Hosting For?
- 6 A2 Hosting Tools & Training
- 7 A2 Hosting Support
- 8 What Does A2 Hosting Do Well
- 9 What Doesn’t A2 Hosting Do Well
- 10 A2 Hosting Review Roundup
- 11 A2 Hosting Review Roundup
- 12 A2Hosting Price
- 13 My Final Opinion of A2Hosting
- 14 Top Alternatives
- 15 VERDICT: Recommend
- 16 A2 Hosting
- 17 Pros
- 18 Cons
What You Should Look for In a Web Host
In a previous post, I outlined a series of important checkpoints to help you know what to look for in a web host. You may read a good review on A2 Hosting or any others today, and their servers can operate poorly months down the line. I don’t want you to feel stuck following others’ recommendations without having a good template of what to look for yourself. In summary, you should look for:
3. Good Customer support
4. Features that will help you to maximize your presence online
6. Storage space
Choosing a web host is a big decision if you plan to invest your time creating and uploading content online, or if you plan to invest your money to pay someone else to do it. You don’t want to choose a web host based on the wrong metrics. To read the full post about how to choose a good web host, CHECK OUT THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
What is A2 Hosting? An Overview
A2 Hosting was started back in 2001 by Bryan Muthig. He was a technology professional, having a background as a UNIX system administrator, and he decided to transfer his expertise into his own company. When he started A2 Hosting 18 years ago, he called it “Iniquinet”, and since they’ve rebranded.
The rebranding was probably a good move. Haha. Who would remember how to pronounce Iniquinet?
- Buying the smaller hosting companies
- Wiping out their support staff
- Increasing the affiliate commissions
- and changing good names into lackluster performing businesses
So, it’s good to note that A2 Hosting is privately owned, and has been that way since they started. Their support is 100% US based, so it’s not a big communication lapse where the business operates in one location and the support is overseas. As a result, if you place a support ticket, the communication is quick and your problem can be resolved very fast.
How Does A2 Hosting Work?
In it’s simplest form, website hosting is paying for space on a server to ensure your website is live for your visitors when they want to see it. A2 Hosting has a network of servers in the US (in Michigan), in Europe (in Amsterdam), and in Asia (in Singapore). As a result, they can provide quick serving of your website data to internet users all over the world.
While my preferred content management system is WordPress, A2 Hosting offers WordPress hosting and so much more! If you prefer an alternative to WordPress, A2 Hosting may be a good option for you. They host:
- Forum CMS
- CRM CMS
- E-Commerce CMS (like Prestashop, Magento, Woocommerce, etc.)
- and, so many more content management system options!
How Do I Get Started with A2 Hosting?
So, if you’re in the situation we described above where you’re looking for a way to start your website or grow your website, and you’re thinking A2 Hosting is the best option for you. You’d get started by…
1. Choosing an A2 Hosting plan
The A2 Hosting plans vary by:
- How many websites you plan to create
- Whether you want shared hosting, VPS, or a dedicated server
- and whether you want the turboservers or not
If you’re just starting out, and you want to host one website, you can choose their smallest shared hosting plan, and it should be sufficient for you. If you have a larger website with more content and traffic, you may want VPS or a dedicated server. Check out my post on how to choose the best hosting for you if you want to understand the differences. If you want more websites, you might be best off choosing their shared or VPS plans where you’d be able to host unlimited websites. Only very established sites will require dedicated servers, but if that’s you, A2 Hosting still has a package option you can pick.
2. You Transfer your existing site (with A2 Free migration) or you Install a CMS
A2 Hosting offers free migration, so if you currently have a web host, and you want to switch to A2 Hosting, they make the switch very easy for you. You’d contact the A2 Hosting support letting them know which hosting account you’d like the site transferred to.
If you’re new online, you’d need to buy a domain name and install a content management system. For the ease of this tutorial, I’ll explain a WordPress installation. A2 Hosting uses a three-click website builder named Softaculous. Once you’re logged onto your A2 Hosting account, you’d go to Softaculous, and install WordPress.
3. Begin Customizing your site
Once you have a live website on A2 Hosting, you’re all set and ready to begin customizing your website!
Here’s a video walkthru to show you how you’d set up a website on A2 Hosting:
Who is A2 Hosting For?
- Those who want the flexibility to use various content management systems (WordPress and others)
- Those who want quick customer support
- Website owners who want a hosting company they’ll be able to grow with: from 0 to millions of visitors
- Those who want to resell hosting to others (A2 offers reseller hosting)
- and, Those who understand the importance of page speed to their rankings and overall business undertakings online
A2 Hosting Tools & Training
While A2 Hosting offers a superior level of support, speed, and quality services, they don’t offer much training for newbies or businesses who are aspiring to grow online. If you want to understand SEO, social media marketing, paid advertising, or other techniques to maximize your use of the internet, you’d have to find that outside of A2 Hosting.
They do offer tutorials and support to help you get your site live and keep it live though!
A2 Hosting Support
Customer reviews suggest A2 Hosting is outstanding. They’ve been in business for 18 years, so it wouldn’t be surprising to find one customer complaint here or there, but A2 has a amazing reputation for good customer support!
What Does A2 Hosting Do Well
- They provide quick and knowledgeable support
- They host many different content management systems (CMS)
- They maintain their servers very well so they keep a 99% or higher uptime
- They give users C-Panel access so if you want to do customizations, you have access
- They offer lots of security preventative features to prevent malware attacks or hackers
What Doesn’t A2 Hosting Do Well
- They don’t provide internet marketing training or tools to maximize your reach online
- Although testers have noted their uptime ranks among the highest, they don’t have the #1 highest uptime of all web hosting companies online
A2 Hosting Review Roundup
There are several review sites and individual reviewers who share their experiences with A2 Hosting online. Some of them are very technically inclined, and have uptime monitoring, site speed tests, comparisons, and much more. As a result, you can get alot of data to support A2 Hosting claims about their speed and customer support. Here’s some of the reviews I’ve compiled about A2 Hosting:
Here’s a video playlist I’ve compiled on A2 Hosting reviews so you can see experiences, speed tests, uptime tests, and other data A2 Hosting users have compiled:
A2 Hosting Review Roundup
Here are the positive and negative reviews of A2 Hosting that I was able to compile.
Their Uptime and Speed Tests
Hostingfacts has been performing a test on A2 Hosting since 2015 where they’ve purchased a domain and publically share their uptime and speed data. You can see the results of their speed tests and uptime data since 2015 here. It’s pretty good!
Common Positive Feedback
- Very good customer support
- They always respond quickly to support tickets
- They perform better than most (and sometimes all) web hosts on speed tests
- They’re versatile
- Technical support is very knowledgeable
Common Negative Feedback
- They’ve had ebbs and flows where uptime will go between 99.1% to 99.9%. For some 99.1% uptime is alarming.
Most Helpful Positive A2Hosting Review
HostingFacts has been a paying customer of A2 Hosting since 2015. Their review reflects their testing on their A2 Hosted sites. Here’s what they said:
“A2 Hosting page loading times came in with an average of 376ms over a period of TEN months – the highest of every web host we have reviewed – and 50+ percent faster than the industry average (890ms). “
Most Helpful Negative A2Hosting Review
In his video review comparing uptime data and page load speeds, Darrell Wilson showed Siteground and Dreamhost performed better on page speed tests. His experience may be different than yours, and the page speed was within seconds of a difference. You can see all of the data from his comparison tests here:
Shared Hosting Plans
A2 Hosting has three shared hosting plans: 1-site, 3-sites, and unlimited sites. The pricing breaks down like this:
VPS Hosting Plans
VPS hosting means you’d have a server that’s shared with less website owners than a shared hosting plan. These plans range from $5/mo (for unmanaged VPS hosting) to $70/mo for Windows managed VPS hosting. They offer plans priced at $32.99, $36.99, $49.49, and $69.29. CHECK OUT THEIR PLANS AND PRICING HERE.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated hosting would mean your websites will have their own dedicated server. You’ll have much more storage space and you won’t have to worry about sharing a server with someone who might have unethical internet marketing practices. As a result, you won’t have to worry as much about your email being automatically sent to a spam box or something like that. Dedicated hosting at A2 Hosting starts at $141.09/mo. CHECK OUT THEIR DEDICATED HOSTING PLANS HERE.
My Final Opinion of A2Hosting
Overall, A2 Hosting is a great option for those who want to start a website or those with an existing website who want great customer service, great technical experts supporting them, and a high-quality hosting service. This is one of the hosts with the top performance and the most satisfied customers. If you’d like to give A2Hosting a try, CREATE YOUR A2 HOSTING ACCOUNT HERE.
If you’d like to check out some other alternatives, here are some top recommendations:
Wealthy Affiliate – Wealthy Affiliate offers managed shared hosting plans with very good customer support, 30GB of storage, peer-to-peer feedback and comment exchange, one login to add content to any of your hosted sites, and free SSL certificates. In addition to a high-quality hosting plan, you also get thousands of hours of recorded training on website monetization, traffic generation, and many other pertinent topics. Their hosting also comes with free site migration, access to a community of over 1 million active members, live weekly internet marketing training, and a keyword research tool to create content around what’s in demand online. LEARN MORE ABOUT WEALTHY AFFILIATE HERE.
WPEngine – WPEngine is a managed WordPress hosting plan. They’ve tweaked their hosting offer to focus solely on providing the best support to WordPress users, and customers are really excited about the solutions they offer. READ MY FULL WPENGINE REVIEW HERE.
Siteground – If you look online for “best WordPress web hosting companies”, it’s pretty easy to find Siteground recommended by many notable people. It’s a great WordPress hosting option. If you’re interested in Siteground hosting, and you want to learn more, be on the lookout for my Siteground review.
Or, view all of the website hosting reviews here.
After reviewing dozens of web hosts, you can see my top 6 recommended web hosts for small businesses here.
- They host various Content Management Systems (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and more)
- They have many satisfied customers with great reviews
- They provide quick and knowledgeable support
- They have lots of security features to prevent malware and hacking
- They provide quick and easy installation of CMS, so your site will be live within seconds
- They aren't the cheapest hosting option
- They don't provide internet marketing training
- You'd have to get usertesting separate from hosting
- Separate login for each wordpress installation
- Very high up time (more than 99% but not the highest)