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Founded in the year 2001 by Bryan Muthig, A2 hosting original name was Iniquinet. The main goal of the founder of this company was to handle a small number of clients. But scenario changed in the year 2003 when the company has gained clients then it ever thought. In the same year, its name was changed to A2 Hosting. The name was inspired by the name of the town where it all happen i.e. Ann Arbor, Michigan. After this, the company grows rapidly.
The main aim of the company is to provide such web hosting service that the staff of the company want to use it for themselves. The main features on which the company focuses more are 24*7 customer support from the US-based representatives, lighting speed loading time, 99.9% uptime and best developer tools in the market. The servers of A2 hosting are located at three locations around the worlds which are Singapore, Amsterdam, and Michigan.
A2 hosting undoubtedly scores full because it offers what a customer really seeks from a web host with almost no negatives. Along with all its plans the company offers faster SSD drives which tremendously helps in shortening loading time of the website. Similar to a VPS web hosting, A2 hosting also offers a semi-dedicated hosting in which everything is controlled by Plesk or cPanel in which no technical knowledge is required.
The plans of A2 hosting are based in both Linux and Windows operating system. Along with this 24*7 customer support, SSH access for geek level access, a free site migration and 30 days money back guarantee are also provided by the company to its clients. A2 hosting also a wide variety of diversified plans along with the number of inclusions. These plans serve a wide variety of purposes which helps you to manage your own website or you can also take help of the A2 hosting representatives to do so. For the WordPress users, the website is already optimized.
Although A2 hosting is not the fastest hosting available in the market but this means that they are not slow either. The Turbo and Swift plans of the web hosting give the average response time of less than 180 ms.Although they are not as fast as the other competitors present in the market. But they easily make up for this by providing unlimited features and convenience to their clients.
Pros of A2 hosting
The A2 host is famous for offering certain pros to its customers for providing them a good experience of web hosting. These includes:
1. Reliability and Stability in Uptime
Uptime plays a very crucial part in any web business. It is very important for a website to remain up for its customer to come and visit it. Although 100% uptime is not possible practically, thus the maximum uptime achieve by the web hosts is 99.9%.
A2 hosting also promises you to provide an uptime of 99.9% and to make you sure that you get this uptime they reimburse you 5% of the total monthly amount paid by you for every hour of downtime your site faces due to some equipment failure or internal network issue. Only the downtime caused by ISP problems, DDoS attacks or any problem occurred by outside forces does not cover under this reimbursement.
2. Fast hosting speed
Fast speed is very important for any online business. When it comes to speed than every millisecond counts. The recommended speed for a web host to respond as per Google is 200ms. After this, the data of your website that will transfer to the screen of your customer will also take the same time of 200ms. If this time increases then your customer will surely leave your website due to the bad experience of speed and will switch to other faster website.
But, with A2 hosting one will never face any such loss. The server speed of both its hosting packages comes out to be A+. Turbo plan results in the speed of 169ms whereas the Swift plan has a worldwide average speed of 176ms. Although this speed is surely not the fastest speed provided by any web hosts but still it is quite good.
A2 hosting uses caching in order to maintain good speed which saves all the information in the browser of the customers thereby reducing the times when they have to request the same information from your website again and again.This in turn also decreases the number of requests on its shared hosting servers.
3. Great customer support
A2 hosting very well understands the need for good customer support for their clients. A2 hosting provides an impressive 24*7 support to their customers via different modes such as ticket submission, phone, chat or email. With BBB they have a rating of A+ for their customer support. You can instantly connect with the representatives of A2 hosting in case of any query you face. The representative of A2 hosting is also very friendly and responsive.
4. Secure your site with free “Hackscan”
In order to protect your site from hackers, A2 gives you a number of preventive and helpful measures such as HackScan. Hackscan is a service which is available free of charge that includes brute force defense, 24*7 security monitoring, virus scanning and web hosting firewall. A2 hosting provide this service so that you should not be worried about the hacking and security of your site instead you fully divert your mind towards running your website.
5. Free Site Migrations
As you know it takes lots of time and efforts to move your site from one host to other especially if you are not technically strong and for this task, many web host charges big amount from you. With A2 hosting you need not have to worry about relocating your website from other hosting providers. A2 hosting will help you with this task and provide this service absolutely free of charge.
A2 hosting offers 30 days money back guarantee to their customers in case if you are not satisfied with their services for any seasons. But A2 does not provide refunds for the SSL certificates, migration fees, setup fees and domain registrations.
8. Free CDN (Content Delivery Network)
The customers of A2 hosting can also use Cloudflare’s content delivery network (CDN) along with free scanning of viruses which will help you in getting faster site speeds, one-click setup, enhanced security, increased uptime and many more. In addition to this Cloudflare will also divert the traffic towards your site.
9. Green Web Hosting
A2 hosting has joined hands with Carbonfund.org in 2007 for fighting against the changing climate. A2 hosting believes in saving the environment. So you will definitely feel good by joining A2 hosting account if you also want to save this nature. A2 hosting buys carbon offsets as a result of which all the servers of A2 hosting are carbon neutral. Carbon offsets basically help in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
Such projects help in upgrading power plants, increasing the energy efficiency of transportation or buildings or restoring forests which all results in creating less pollution. In addition to this A2 hosting also gives its employees an opportunity to telecommute in order to avoid the unnecessary emission of CO2.
A2 hosting believes in recycling the old hardware instead of throwing the used hardware. They also promote planting new plants during their special occasions and has also replaced disposable coffee mugs with coffee mugs in order to reduce trash.
Solid State Disk Drives (SSDs) are used by the company in place of HDDs which consumes way less energy as compared to traditional HDDs.
Cons of using A2 hosting
A2 hosting definitely offers a wide range of advantages to you but all the advantages come along with some minute flaws. These are:
1. It is more expensive than average
All the benefits which A2 hosting offer comes at a good cost. The pricing of A2 hosting is slightly more as compared to other average hosts. Similar to many hosts, A2 hosting also offers low cost on their long-term plans. The cheapest shared hosting plan offered by A2 hosting comes at $3.92 in case if you sign up for two years.
Although time and again they carry on discount codes which helps you in getting a low price for 1-year signup also.
2. Restrictions on Cheapest Plan
Every plan does not accompany all features. Like the cheapest plan offered by A2 hosting is Lite plan which comes along certain restrictions like only one website is allowed to host and 5 databases come with this plan. But the lowest plan offered by A2 hosting still beats the pricing of many other web hosts. Although the Swift and Turbo plans are similar in nature just some extra perks are associated with the turbo plan such as turbo speed, PHP API, APC enabled and a built-in caching engine. In turbo plan, APC is by default enabled and 256 MB of APC memory comes by default with the account.
In place of php.ini files, cPanel is used for changing the way PHP is configured on the Turbo Server. For boosting speed, the Turbo plan also compiles .htaccess files. The web applications which are based on Python or Ruby such as Django and Rails are not supported by the servers of Turbo web hosting.
A2 Hosting’s Plans and Features
1. Shared Hosting
As per A2 hosting its shared hosting plans are faster as compared to other hosts. In addition to this A2 hosting also provides reliable servers, 24*7 customer service free website migration and unlimited resources. Some other features of A2 shared hosting are:
- Shared hosting also provides free SSL certificates which comes along the choice of purchasing and using your own private SSL certificate.
In order to ensure top-notch performance, all the plans of shared hosting come with a standard SSD storage for free. In addition to this A2 hosting promises to provide you with unbeatable speeds and solid uptime for your website. All this is possible because of the infrastructure on which it is hosted.
Getting started with A2 shared hosting
The first step begins with choosing the operating system of your server i.e. Linux or Windows if you are looking for the cheapest plan available for hosting your website. Choosing the operating system is followed by opting the correct plan as per your requirement. Each plan of shared hosting comes with a different allocation of resources. But all the three plans of shared hosting have some premium offerings like guaranteed uptime and SSD storage. It should be noted that the Windows hosting plan is expensive as compared to the Linux hosting plans.
If you want to purchase the shared hosting plan, dedicated server or a managed VPS hosting plan of A2 hosting, then it will accompany with the popular version of cPanel. Only in case of purchasing an unmanaged dedicated server or unmanaged VPS hosting plan an additional cPanel can be added as per your need at an additional price.
Three plans come under the umbrella of the shared hosting plan. These include Lite, Swift, and Turbo.
- Lite plan – Lite plan is the basic or entry level plan offered by the A2 hosting which comes at a monthly price of $4.40. Lite plan allows you to host one website with five databases, unlimited bandwidth/data transfer, unlimited SSD disk space along with a free SSL certificate. In addition to this Lite plan also comes with 24*7 customer support, free solid-state dries, 30 days money back guarantee, 99.9% uptime guarantee and WordPress integration.
- Swift plan – Swift plan is the mid-range plan offered by the A2 hosting and is one of the famous shared hosting plans which comes at a monthly price of $5.39. His plans offer you unlimited hosting of websites, databases, bandwidth/ data transfer, SSD storage along with a free SSL certificate. In addition to this, Swift plan comes with a cPanel to manage your website. Although this plan is quite similar to the Lite plan but it provides you resources for as many websites as you want to host instead of providing resources for a single website.
- Turbo plan – Turbo plan is the top-notch shared hosting plan offered by the A2 hosting which comes at a monthly price of $10.29. This plan is quite similar to the Swift plan only to increase the website performance some extra designs are offered such as your website will be hosted on the A2 Turbo servers. Using A2 Turbo servers increases your site speed by a factor of 20. Also due to their limited users per server, individual users get more resources which are allocated by the Turbo servers.
With the help of A2 site accelerator which is a plug-in of c-Panel that gives pre-configured caching which helps in speeding up your website. The Turbo plan of A2 hosting is definitely the fastest plan available which provides all the same features and benefits that the Swift plan offers.
2. VPS Hosting
A2 hosting offer certain Managed, Unmanaged and core VPS hosting plans. In the VPS hosting plan of A2 hosting, you can fully customize your servers by opting what you need for the price you pay. The VPS web hosting is the perfect option for those who need specific web hosting. You should have proper technical knowledge in order to manage your website or you can also appoint someone who has proper experience of managing the servers while shifting from shared hosting plan to VPS plan option. But if you don’t want to do this either then you can go for managed VPS option in which the A2 hosting team looks after all the system administration of your website.
Similar to shared hosting plans, VPS hosting also allows you to choose the platform on which your website will be launched i.e. Windows or Linux. The plans on Windows will be slightly costlier as compared to those on Linux. But A2 hosting offers you three kinds of VPS web hosting plans regardless of any operating system you opt. These are:
- Managed VPS hosting - The managed VPS hosting comes with the cPanel which comes along with all the plans of shared hosting. It is a full powerful VPS plan which is accompanied by its fully worry less Host-Guard management system that is 24*7 provided by the representatives of A2 Hosting.
- Unmanaged VPS hosting – The unmanaged VPS hosting is the best option for all the system administrators or developers who want a fully customized plan in which they can work from scratch.
- Core VPS hosting – For those who need a managed VPS plan along with some administrative privileges and root access, Core VPS plan is the best option available. In the core VPS hosting you get full control over the server environment with the 24*7 customer support.
3. Resellers Plan Options
Reseller option provides four hosting options to choose from which include Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Bronze Reseller plans come at a monthly price of $14.91 whereas the highest plan i.e. the Platinum plan comes at a monthly price of $42.23. The plans can be opted as per the need of the resources. Plesk control panel, anytime money back guarantee and free eNom reseller account comes with all the Reseller plans. In addition to this free WHMCS also come along the Silver, Gold and Platinum Reseller plans of A2 Hosting.
Dedicated hosting comes with two kinds of hosting options which are managed and unmanaged dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting is perfect for those who need fast speeds and resources for the websites with high traffic. A2 hosting also provides the customer support for the technical assistance as well as for the system administration in order to manage the website servers.
For improving performance and data redundancy, managed VPS hosting plans and dedicated server hosting plans have RAID-10 storage. An upgradable storage of RAID-1 come along the managed dedicated servers.
Backups for your website
In order to do the partial backups of your websites, you can use the cPanel Control Panel which comes along with your hosting plan. In case of the full backup of your website, you need to give an entire copy of your website to the representatives of A2 Hosting. The representatives of A2 hosting provide this service absolutely free of charge.
Basic features of A2 hosting
1. Unlimited Add-on domain
2. The first domain is free
3. Unlimited data transfer
4. Unlimited storage capacity
5. Unlimited FTP account
6. $14.95 is charged every year for the .com domain registration.This price may vary for different TLDs.
7. $9.95 is charged every year for private domain registration.
8. Allows .htaccess Overrides.
9. Includes the server side.
10.Includes custom Cron jobs.
Do we recommend A2 Hosting?
Without a single doubt yes we do recommend A2 Hosting. Although A2 hosting does not believes in big and flashy advertising campaigns and focuses more on the thing which is more important for its users i.e. performance. The company provides good speed and uptime along with a friendly customer support. But, A2 hosting is not for those who give priority to money before service. A2 Hosting provides a lot of features for the money they charge. The users who are experienced in this field will surely appreciate the features and service of the company.