A2 Hosting has been around since 2001 and they’re most known for their page loading speeds.
In fact, they have delivered one of the fastest server speeds we’ve seen over the past 12 months. Also, A2 Hosting has a strong uptime, which makes their hosting service reliable.
The hosting plans are developer-friendly, and their “anytime” money-back guarantee is a unique feature.
A significant downside is the renewal rate, which jumps up aggressively after your initial period. However, if you need a fast web hosting service at relatively cheap upfront pricing ($2.99/month) with the ability to scale with your website growth. Then A2 Hosting might be an excellent option for you.
Here’s an in-depth look at A2 Hosting’s pros and cons after signing up, paying for their hosting service, and putting it to the test.
General Info & Hosting Overview
Our Verdict: 5.0
|SPEED:||285 ms (April 2020 to March 2021)|
|UPTIME:||99.97% (April 2020 to March 2021)|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat, Email, Phone, Ticketing|
|APPS:||WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart, and Magento|
|FEATURES:||Unlimited Bandwidth, Free SSL, Cloudflare CDN, Anycast DNS, Anytime Money-Back, Website Staging, DDoS Protection, and more.|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated Servers|
|SITE TRANSFER:||Single Free Site Transfer with Shared Hosting ($10/site afterward)|
|PRICING:||Starting at $2.99/mo (renews at $10.99/mo)|
Pros of Using A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is one of the best under-the-radar hosting companies you might not know about, but should.
Their speed is excellent, uptime is reliable, customer service is friendly, security features are plentiful, and refund policy is liberal. On top of it all, they’re even environmentally conscious.
Let’s take a detailed look at A2 Hosting’s many perks.
1. One of the Fastest Page Loading Speed (285 ms)
You see a recurring theme when you go to A2Hosting.com – speed.
And A2 Hosting is, in fact, fast. In the past 12 months, they have delivered an amazing average speed of 285 ms.
And what’s even better?
A2 Hosting has been showing improved results monthly basis. Thus rankings #2nd out of 40 hosts in average speed (DigitalOcean is a tiny bit faster with 268 ms).
2. Reliable Uptime of 99.97%
On top of being lightning-fast, A2 Hosting is also quite reliable.
They had some trouble a few years ago when their uptime struggled to reach the industry standard of 99.94%. However, they’ve turned the problems around over the past year and achieved an average of 99.97% uptime. The total downtime of their servers was a bit more than two hours.
Last 12-month average uptime of A2 hosting:
- March 2021: 99.99%
- February 2021: 100%
- January 2021: 99.85%
- December 2020: 100%
- November 2020: 100%
- October 2020: 99.99%
- September 2020: 100%
- August 2020: 99.99%
- July 2020: 100%
- June 2020: 99.84%
- May 2020: 100%
- April 2020: 100%
3. 24/7 Server Monitoring and Malware Scanning
The best way to keep your site safe is by preventing issues before they break out. But, extra scanning, firewalls, or layers of encryption can often slow users down. This isn’t the case with A2 Hosting. They can still perform at the highest level while giving you loads of additional security features.
A2 Hosting servers are protected by “HackScan,” a 24/7-monitoring service that scans for malware and other attacks.
Their data centers are also scalable, meaning you’re protected if a denial of service attack (DDoS) breaks out. These attacks attempt to flood your servers with traffic and knock your site offline. So A2 Hosting has got your back to handle sudden, unexpected surges.
4. Free Site Migrations (1-25 Depending on the Plan)
A2 Hosting offers to move a single existing website over to their servers without extra charge on all plans.
With the shared hosting plan, if you have multiple websites that you want to migrate, it costs $10/site extra. However, if you’re going with the Reseller, Dedicated, or Managed VPS hosting, you get 25 free site migrations. Their terms of service spell everything out in detail.
To take advantage of this, you need to reach out to their customer support department and give them your cPanel account credentials.
If your websites have any other control panel than cPanel, they might take a small fee for the extra work.
5. Content Management Systems (CMS) and Developer-Friendly Tools
A2 Hosting works seamlessly with all major content management systems.
You can install a WordPress, OpenCart, Drupal, Joomla, or Magento site with just a few clicks and don’t need a developer to do that.
A2 Hosting also has performance-enhancing plugins to make these CMSs faster, starting from the “Turbo Boost” plan. You get a free Cloudflare CDN with all hosting packages that further contribute to speeding things up.
Suppose you’re a webmaster or agency looking to host dozens of sites under one roof. In that case, A2 Hosting comes with developer-friendly tools. You can get admin-level access on servers, free server rewind backups, and multiple versions of everything from PHP to MySQL, Apache, Python, Ruby, etc.
A2 Hosting also has a website builder, appropriately named A2 SiteBuilder. However, it isn’t included in the standard hosting plans and is priced separately.
6. Anytime Money-Back Guarantee
Most hosts that we’ve reviewed offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, A2 Hosting has gone further than that and provides an “anytime” money-back guarantee.
This means that you still get a full refund within the first 30 days. But, if you find the service not suitable, you can cancel anytime and receive a prorated amount back for the remaining time you’ve prepaid.
However, there are a few snags.
The first is that any refund request past the initial 120 days is issued through PayPal. Another is that ‘additional’ services like domain registrations, setup, or migration fees are nonrefundable. You get to keep anything that’s not refunded, though, for example, your domain name.
7. Green Web Hosting
A2 Hosting’s hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is known as “Tree Town.” They reportedly have 50,000+ trees and 150+ parks. So A2 feels a moral obligation to help protect the planet from global warming.
They have partnered with Carbonfund.org to help support renewable energies and reforestation. They also have a “FutureServe” green hosting initiative in place to help offset emissions from their servers.
This probably isn’t a deciding factor to sign up for a web host. But, knowing the company you’re working with cares about the environment is a nice extra perk.
8. Fast Customer Support
A2 Hosting provides 24/7 support through live chat, email, ticketing, and phone. They also have a vast knowledge base if you prefer to find an answer yourself or learn something new.
However, our favorite is a live chat that we always like to test out.
We asked a simple question about their shared hosting plans and got connected to the customer support rep almost immediately.
The customer support rep was polite and knowledgeable and replied to our question quickly.
Moreover, we’re happy to see that A2 Hosting started offering a live chat option to everyone again. Not so long time ago, live chat was available only for registered users.
Cons of Using A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting has many perks going for them, but we also found a few issues.
Here’s a look at each of these downsides in detail.
1. Domain Name is Not Free
A2 Hosting doesn’t include a free domain name in any of their shared hosting plans. This is not a very common sight in the hosting industry because most of the hosts we’ve reviewed offer a free domain name (at least for the 1st year).
In order to register or transfer a domain name at A2 Hosting, you’d have to pay, for example, $14.95/year for .com extension (renews at the same price).
2. High Renewal Rates (And a 15-Day Deadline)
A2 Hosting offers lower prices with long-term plans. They also have introductory prices with their plans when signing your first term with them, which lowers the regular price for more than half.
This sweet deal ends after the initial period when the automatic renewal kicks in at the “regular” pricing. The renewal pricing is roughly double the monthly average price you first paid.
It gets worse.
What happens if you miss this 15-day window? You will be on the hook for paying the next renewal plan, which will renew automatically, and you’re not eligible to receive any refund.
3. Restrictions on the Cheapest Plan
The introductory price for A2 Hosting’s cheapest shared hosting option (“Startup”) is currently $2.99/month. That’s not the lowest pricing we’ve seen, but it’s pretty good.
But, there are multiple restrictions to that lowest costing plan. You only get a single website, 100 GB of SSD storage, and there are missing features like automatic backups and server rewind. The next tier plan already gives you unlimited websites and SSD storage, free automatic backups, and 2x more resources, starting at $4.99/month.
It makes you wonder if the cheapest plan is just there to promote a low price when the actual useful features for creating a site start at a bit more expensive plan.
The same issue applies to their website builder plan. The cheapest option with the same price of $2.99/month only gets you a single page — not nearly enough to create an actual website.
A2 Hosting Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
A2 Hosting has four pricing tiers for its shared hosting:
|Startup Plan||Drive Plan||Turbo Boost Plan||Turbo Max Plan|
Renews at $10.99/mo
Renews at $12.99/mo
Renews at $20.99/mo
Renews at $25.99/mo
|Other Features||–||• 2x Server Resources
• Automatic Backups
|• 2x Server Resources
• Automatic Backups
• Site Accelerator
• Chacing Plugins
|• 5x Server Resources
• Automatic Backups
• Site Accelerator
• Chacing Plugins
- Domain name: Not free with any of their shared hosting plans.
- Free Features: SSL, CDN, and DNS.
- Ease of Signup: Three-step signup. Not too difficult.
- Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal, Check or Money Order, Bank Transfer, Skrill, UnionPay, and PayU Latam.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: Renewal rates are higher than the introductory period. You have to cancel 15 days before the renewal period; otherwise, you’ll get automatically charged. Domain name purchases are not refundable.
- Upsells: Some subtle upsells along the signup process.
- Account Activation: Instant Activation.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): The option to install WordPress and other popular CMSs option are available at checkout.
Do We Recommend A2 Hosting?
Yes, we do.
A2 Hosting has consistently delivered best-in-class speed for the last several years. They’ve also improved on server uptime, which is now more reliable. Moreover, all their shared plans come with a free SSL certificate and free site migration.
And if you run into issues at any time while being a customer, you can ask for a refund on the prorated balance of unused time.
We don’t like that renewal rates are high, and the strict terms after the initial period aren’t generous. Plus, if you’re paying for the most expensive shared plan to host unlimited websites (“Turbo Max”), they still only give you one free site migration. Not to mention that a free domain name is not included in their shared hosting plans.
Have you used A2 Hosting before? Please consider leaving a review below — good or bad — doesn’t really matter as long it’s helpful to our visitors.