A2 Hosting Review 2020: See This Web Hosts Pros & Cons Revealed

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Ante Rados
Ante Rados

A2 is a hosting provider that started in 2001 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In the meantime, they have grown to the company with data centers located in America, Europe, and Asia. They have a scalable product line that includes shared, WordPress, cloud, VPS, and dedicated server hosting.

If you want your hosting provider to be user friendly and eco-friendly, A2 might be the right provider for you. They are a carbon-neutral company renowned for friendly and expert customer service that is available 24/7.

Although A2 is a good hosting provider, it is not all rainbows and butterflies. As with most of the big hosting providers, you will run into some hidden clauses and additional fees that might come as a bad surprise when the time for renewal of your plan is due. That being said, let’s see what A2 hosting is all about.

A2 Hosting hosting review: plans and pricing

A2 hosting has plans for various types of hosting. In this A2 hosting review, I will tell you about each of them individually, but first, let’s go over some things that are relevant for all of them.

With A2 hosting, you can choose to pay monthly, annually, biannually, and triennially. When you pay for longer periods up front, you can get up to 20% discount on a plan. If you end up disliking their services, they have an any time money-back guarantee. You can get a full refund in the first month of using their services. With any money-back request at a later date, you will get proportionally less of your money back.

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are only some of the examples of software that can be installed with one click. There is also a good choice of eCommerce tools that will be at your disposal. You can easily set up Magento, OpenCart and PrestaShop. PayPal Merchant Accounts are available for accepting money on your website.

The security A2 offers is exceptional. KernelCare automatically takes care of smaller problems on a daily basis. In addition to that, A2 has reinforced DDoS protection, dual web hosting firewall, brute force defense, virus scanning and 24/7 security monitoring.

Developers will be happy to know that A2 supports a big variety of development features. You can choose from a bunch of different PHP versions (5.5, 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4). You can also use MySQL 5.6, Apache 2.4, PERL 5.10, PostgreSQL 9.6, Python (you get to choose from among 2.6, 2.7, and 3.2 versions), and Ruby 1.8.

A2 has confusing promotional prices, so you might end up paying more than you expected when your plan renews. You will have to cancel the renewal 15 days before the beginning of the renewal term. Otherwise, your plan will renew automatically at regular price.

This effect is further boosted by A2’s website. It is cluttered with useless fluff that makes them look good but doesn’t offer much information. Clicking on any “Learn more about this offer” and similar links can lead you in circles, so finding the information you want can get a bit tiring. Most of the A2 Hosting reviews use their promotional prices. Below, in pricing for each of the plans, I used the regular prices your plans will renew at when no discounts are applied to make this part easier for you.

A2 Hosting shared hosting

Shared hosting is a great option for beginners and other groups of people that don’t expect much traffic on their website. With a shared hosting subscription, you will share servers with other users. A2 hosting has four different shared hosting plans:

Startup: $2.99/month

  • 1 website
  • 100 GB SSD Storage
  • 0.7 GB physical memory

Drive: $4.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited storage
  • 1 GB physical memory
  • Server rewind backups

Turbo Boost: $9.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited Storage
  • 2 GB physical memory
  • Server rewind backups

Turbo Max $14.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited Storage
  • 4 GB physical memory
  • Server rewind backups

With Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans, you will share a server with fewer other users and get more resources. This means your website should be faster compared to the websites hosted on the two cheaper plans.

The difference between the features that come in each of the plans isn’t big. I find the Drive Plan the best buy plan. You get two significant upgrades from Startup Plan; an unlimited number of websites you can host and automated server backups. Two more expensive plans don’t come with such significant boosts in features, so I advise that, for shared hosting, you stick to the Drive plan.

All A2 shared hosting plans come with free site migration and a free SSL certificate. You will also get access to an easy to use site builder with each of the shared hosting plans. The real surprise among A2 shared hosting features is 1-click website staging. However, the biggest pro of A2 shared hosting is SSD storage. Most hosting providers use SSD storage as a privilege of more expensive hosting types. With A2 Hosting, you get to enjoy improved performance that comes with SSD storage even with their cheapest plan!

A2 Hosting cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a more expensive option than shared hosting. You will still share resources with other users, but the good thing about cloud hosting is your website will be stored on multiple servers. When one of the servers gets overloaded, your website will draw resources from different servers. This results in better performance and speed of your website. A2 has three cloud hosting plans. The plans come with different amount of available storage and bandwidth and different server specs, but all other features are same across all cloud hosting plans:

Entry: $5/month

  • 20 GB Storage
  • 1 CPU core
  • 2 TB bandwidth
  • 512 MB RAM

Mid: $10/month

  • 30 GB Storage
  • 1 CPU core
  • 2 TB bandwidth
  • 1 GB RAM

Elite: $15/month

  • 50 GB Storage
  • 4 CPU cores
  • 2 TB bandwidth
  • 1 GB RAM

All of their cloud servers also use SSD storage but that isn’t the only good thing about A2 cloud hosting. Some other benefits come with A2 cloud hosting: you can choose the operating system of the server and you get the root access to the server. With the root access, you can edit, install, and configure all files on your server. This way you can configure the server the way you want it. If you are not experienced with server configuration, you should be careful. You could misconfigure it or delete files critical for the server operation.

A2 Hosting WordPress hosting

WordPress hosting is similar to shared hosting. With WordPress hosting, you will also share servers with other users, but there is a difference. WordPress hosting is optimized for WordPress websites through various performance tweaks. Here is A2 pricing for WordPress hosting:

Startup: $2.99/month

  • 1 website
  • 100 GB SSD Storage
  • 0.7 GB physical memory

Drive: $4.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited storage
  • 1 GB physical memory
  • Server rewind backups

Turbo Boost: $9.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited Storage
  • 2 GB physical memory
  • Server rewind backups

Turbo Max $14.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited Storage
  • 4 GB physical memory
  • Server rewind backups

With A2 WordPress hosting, you get 1-click WordPress setup and access to free WordPress themes. Their plans are compatible with multiple WordPress page builders you can use to create websites easily. You can combine the plan with Elementor, Beaver Builder, BoldGrid, DiviBuilder and SiteOrigin.

Most of the hosting providers have different pricing and features for shared and WordPress hosting. That is not the case with A2 hosting. The pricing for their shared and WordPress hosting are the same. Since there is no price difference, there is no reason not to choose WordPress hosting if you are going to host a WordPress website.

A2 Hosting VPS hosting

A2 hosting has three sets of VPS hosting plans: unmanaged, managed and core. Unmanaged VPS hosting plans are the same as Cloud, so I won’t explain them further. Managed and core plans come at the same price and differ in a few features. I will let you know about different features for managed and core VPS plans after we go over the pricing:

Power+: $60.99/month

  • 4 GB RAM
  • 75 GB storage
  • 2 TB bandwidth
  • 4 cores

Prestige+: $90.99/month

  • 6 GB RAM
  • 100 GB storage
  • 3 TB bandwidth
  • 6 cores

Pinnacle+: $115.99/month

  • 8 GB RAM
  • 150 GB storage
  • 4 TB bandwidth 8 cores

With managed plans, you don’t get root access, and with core plans, you don’t get it. Managed plans come with CloudFlare CDN and firewall option. They also have automated backups that you won’t be able to use with core plans.

All plans include 2 dedicated IP addresses, free migration and a free SSL certificate. You will also get some eCommerce features. They include the PrestaShop 1-click setup and PayPal merchant accounts. If you are in the US, you will also get instant activation of your merchant account ID.

A2 Hosting dedicated hosting

When you subscribe to dedicated server hosting, all server resources are solely at your disposal. A2 dedicated hosting is divided into four categories: unmanaged, SSD, managed and root dedicated servers.

The unmanaged dedicated solution comes with administrative level root access and choice of the operating system server will run on. One thing you get in all other A2 dedicated hosting solutions besides this one is the free cPanel license. There are three different unmanaged dedicated hosting plans you can choose from:

Sprint: $149.99/month

  • 2×500 GB storage (upgradable to 2×4 TB)
  • Intel Core i3 3.1 GHz CPU
  • 2 CPU cores
  • 8 GB RAM (upgradeable to 32 GB)
  • 10 TB bandwidth

Exceed: $229.99/month

  • 2×500 GB storage (upgradable to 2×4 TB)
  • Intel Xeon E3 2.4 GHz CPU
  • 4 CPU cores
  • 8 GB RAM (upgradeable to 32 GB)
  • 15 TB bandwidth

Mach: $329.99/month

  • 2×1 TB storage (upgradable to 2×4 TB)
  • Intel Xeon E5 2.1 GHz CPU
  • 8 CPU cores
  • 16 GB RAM (upgradeable to 512 GB)
  • 20 TB bandwidth

A2’s SSD dedicated hosting servers have the same configuration as servers in unmanaged dedicated hosting plans. The difference is that with unmanaged servers you have to take care of installing software, tools, libraries, etc. by yourself. In short, there is less work you have to do with a managed server, but you also get less control over the server. Another difference in A2 SSD dedicated hosting plans is that you get SSD storage instead of HDD storage. Monthly pricing for SSD dedicated hosting is $222.99 for the Sprint+SSD plan, $302.99 for the Exceed+SSD plan, and $402.99 for the Mach+SSD plan.

You can also get managed servers without SSD. Server configuration is also the same as in unmanaged hosting, but the prices are different. Monthly pricing for managed dedicated servers is $199.99 for the Sprint plan, $279.99/month for the Exceed plan, and $379.99 for the Mach plan.

Finally, if you want to get both the root access and cPanel license, you will have to choose one of their Core Flex plans. Those have the same pricing as managed servers without SSD.

Despite four categories for dedicated server hosting, A2 has somewhat limited choice for dedicated servers. Since the servers in all their plans are the same in reality you get to pick between three different servers. The other options you get to choose between are: do you want root access or not, and do you want cPanel or not.

A2 Hosting reseller hosting

With reseller hosting you can rent a hard drive server from a hosting provider to host websites for other people. Reseller hosting is a great option for companies that have clients who need hosting alongside products that the company is offering. It is also a great start for anyone who is considering becoming a full-fledged hosting provider one day. A2 has four reseller hosting plans, which come with different storage, bandwidth and number of client accounts.

Bronze: $29.99/month

  • 30 GB storage
  • 400 GB bandwidth
  • 40 client accounts

Silver: $34.99/month

  • 75 GB storage
  • 600 GB bandwidth
  • 60 client accounts

Gold: $44.99/month

  • 150 GB storage
  • 1 TB bandwidth
  • 80 client accounts

Platinum: $69.99/month

  • 200 GB storage
  • 2 TB bandwidth
  • 100 client accounts

In the Bronze plan, you get a free copy of Blesta for client billing and management. On other plans you can choose between Blesta or WHMCS starter. You can upgrade to other versions of WHMCS for an additional monthly fee. WHMCS starter comes with support for 250 clients and WHMCS branding. There are three other plans you can choose. WHMCs Plus will cost you $12/month. It removes WHMCS branding. WHMCS Professional comes at $20/month and has support for 1,000 clients. Finally, WHMCS Business will cost you $30/month, and it has support for an unlimited number of clients.

All reseller plans come with automated server backups and priority support. From the cPanel, which is included in all plans, you can create your own packages for your clients. You also get access to CloudFlare CDN, which helps improve the loading time of websites hosted on the server.

Your clients can create unlimited number of websites with any of the plans, but all of the plans come with 1 dedicated IP you get for free upon request. If you want to get more, you will have to pay for them.

Is A2 Hosting Hosting Good?

Despite some trickery when it comes to pricing, A2 is a good hosting provider overall. They offer good prices, reliable service and a scalable set of plans. It is best suited for small businesses because their low to mid-tier plans come equipped with SSD storage and some other great features you usually don’t get on the lower end of hosting plans.

Bigger companies might want to look for a hosting provider with more powerful dedicated servers and specialized features. In general, the A2 is a reliable hosting provider with good speed and solid uptime. They might not be the best hosting provider for everyone, but they are certainly among the best big hosting companies.

A2 Hosting pros and cons

A2 Hosting is a good hosting provider overall. In this A2 Hosting review, I mentioned some things they are doing great. I also talked about the reasons why A2 hosting should be avoided. To keep the most important good and bad stuff in the same place here is a table with overview of pros and cons.

Pros

Cons

  • SSD storage
  • Environment friendly hosting provider
  • Any time money-back guarantee
  • Expert and friendly support team
  • Great security

A2 Hosting complaints and praise

The main A2 Hosting complaints seem to revolve around hidden fees and clauses. The worst of those is the automatic renewal of your plan if you didn’t manually cancel it 15 days before the renewal term. On the other hand, SSD storage for even the lowest priced plans and their excellent customer service has earned them a lot of praise. People also praise A2 hosting as one of the cheapest hosting providers. That is mostly because most of the A2 web hosting reviews use their promotional prices. Their renewal prices are average when compared to other hosting providers.

Our A2 hosting reviews conclusion

In conclusion, if you are careful about hidden clauses, and you inform yourself about the real pricing, you will be satisfied with other factors of A2 hosting. You will get a good value for your money, and you can rest assured that your money will end in pockets of a company that cares about their customers and environment.

Our A2 web hosting reviews rating out of 5

A2 hosting has some features that you wouldn’t expect to come with low priced plans. Their any time money-back guarantee has also earned them a high rating. Their effort to remain a carbon neutral company doesn’t impact the quality of hosting for the end-user, but it affects our planet, so that is also a factor that helps increase the rating. If they didn’t have hidden fees and clauses in the terms of agreement, I would rate them even higher.

Rating:

4/5

A2 Hosting FAQs

A2 Hosting is a hosting provider with a variety of hosting plans and data centers on several continents. You can get shared, WordPress, cloud, VPS and dedicated hosting. They have data centers in America, Europe and Asia to assure excellent website load times all around the globe.
A2 Hosting is a good hosting provider overall, especially for small businesses. Their low-tier plans come with some surprising features. One example of why they are great for small businesses is that they offer SSD storage even in their lowest-priced plan. As long as you are careful about hidden fees and clauses, you will be happy with A2 hosting.
In the market where many hosting companies are owned by the same company (EIG), A2 hosting is a real refreshment. A2 is an independent hosting company owned by its founders. It was founded from a two-room office in 2001 by Bryan Muthig (current CEO of A2 hosting) and it has remained independent ever since.
A2 hosting headquarters are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ann Arbor is the county seat of Washtenaw. Because of the dense forestation of parks and residential areas, Ann Arbor is nicknamed “Tree Town.” The city contains more than 50,000 trees and 150 parks.
EIG (Endurance International Group) is a large hosting company that has acquired many smaller companies. A2 Hosting is not one of those companies. A2 is an independent company that has remained founder-owned ever since it was founded back in 2001.
One way is to purchase a domain directly from A2 hosting. If you already own a domain you purchased from a different hosting company, you can do two things: (1) transfer the domain’s billing and administration to A2 hosting, or (2) to keep your domain billing separate, change the domain’s name server settings to point to A2 hosting.
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