A2 Web Hosting – Review 2023

A2 Web Hosting – Review 2023

There are many web hosts vying for your dollar, so it takes a special service to stand out from the crowded field and prove itself worthy of your investment. Web host A2 does so thanks to its terrific uptime, wonderful customer service, and impressive packages. In fact, A2’s high-quality WordPress plans propel the company to the front of the WordPress hosting pack as the category’s co-Editors’ Choice pick (alongside Bluehost), despite relatively high prices and zero Windows server options.

(Credit: A2 Hosting)

Shared Web Hosting

If you want to launch a site without spending a lot of money, invest in shared hosting. A shared hosting package places your site on a server with many other sites, so you literally share server resources and lower your overall hosting fee. It’s practical and cheap web hosting, but it isn’t particularly powerful. The main drawback is that the other sites that share your server can slow—or even take down—your site, if they crash badly or get a big traffic spike.

A2 offers four tiers of Linux-based shared web hosting: Startup, Drive, Turbo Boost, and Turbo Max. Startup (starting at $2.99 per month with an annual contract) has 100GB of SSD storage, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email addresses, but you’re limited to a single domain. Drive (starting at $4.99 per month with an annual contract) builds on Startup by offering unlimited storage and domains. Turbo Boost (starting at $5.99 per month with an annual contract) tops the other two by placing your files on NVMe SSDs on A2’s AMD EPYC servers, with pre-configured site caching. Finally, there’s Turbo Max (starting at $12.99 per month with an annual contract), which ups the memory from 2GB to 4GB. Likewise, it increases the server cores from two to four.

These are respectable shared plans, but they’re a step behind what’s offered by HostGator. As the Editors’ Choice pick for shared web hosting services, HostGator boasts free domain registration, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email addresses with each shared hosting plan. If you want to explore shared hosting, HostGator is the place to start.

VPS Web Hosting

As with its shared hosting plans, A2 offers multiple Linux-based virtual private server (VPS) packages. VPS hosting is like shared hosting in that multiple sites exist on the same server. The difference? VPS hosting offers more resources per site. There are far fewer sites on each server, and each is isolated from its server mates.

A2’s Unmanaged VPS (starting at $5.99 per month with an annual contract), a service designed for experienced website admins who have their own IT staff, starts with 1GB of RAM, 500GB of monthly data transfers, and 20GB of storage. If you go for the next tier (starting at $6.99 per month with an annual contract), the RAM, storage, and monthly data transfer totals increase to 2GB, 75GB, and 2TB, respectively. As’s top-tier Unmanaged VPS plans start with the Supersonic 8 (at a substantial $24.99 per month with an annual contract) with 8GB of RAM, a drop to 4TB of monthly data transfers, and 200GB of NVMe SSD storage for blistering speed. Supersonic 32 is the highest tier in this category, offering 8TB of monthly data transfers, 32GB of RAM, and 450GB of NVMe storage (at $84.99 per month with an annual contract).

Managed VPS (starting at $35.99 per month with an annual contract) offers a base Lift 4 plan that includes 4GB of RAM, 150GB of storage, and 2TB of monthly data transfers. A2’s mid-tier Mach 8 plan (starting at $54.99 per month with an annual contract) has 8GB of storage, 150GB of storage, and 2TB of monthly data transfers. The top-tier Mach 32 plan (starting at $89.99 per month with an annual contract) offers 32GB of storage, 450 GB of NVMe storage, and 4TB monthly data transfers.

Each A2 plan comes with a free SSL certificate. They also include HostGuard Management service, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty with under-the-hood happenings. These managed plans, which see A2 handle the server care, don’t let you increase the RAM, storage, or monthly data transfer totals. It’s worth noting that both managed and unmanaged VPS have root access options for complete website control; it’s standard on unmanaged VPS plans, and an option for managed ones.

(Credit: A2 Hosting)

Hostwinds edges out A2 in VPS hosting to remain the Editors’ Choice in this category. It has you covered with multiple tiers of VPS hosting in its Managed Linux and Windows, or Unmanaged Linux and Windows offerings. The choice of Linux- or Windows-based hosting is something that A2’s VPS services lack. Unmanaged Linux VPS starts at just $4.99 per month (for 1GB of RAM, 30GB of disk space, 1TB monthly data transfers) and scales up to $328.99 per month (for 96GB of RAM, 750GB of disk space, 9TB monthly data transfers, and unlimited email). Hostwinds’ unmanaged Windows plan starts at $10.99 per month (for 1GB of RAM, 30GB of disk space, 1TB monthly data transfers) and maxes out at $376.99 per month. Like the Linux plan, you get the same 96GB of RAM, 750GB of disk space, 9TB monthly data transfers, and unlimited emails. Hostwinds’ flexible, powerful VPS plans outshine those of its rivals, making it tops in the category.

Hostwinds even features Minecraft (yes, the video game) VPS server hosting. Creating a Minecraft server is surprisingly popular, so many services like Hostwinds and Hostinger offer game-related configurations. Like the standard VPS hosting, Minecraft hosting has a slider that lets you quickly select a pre-configured server. The entry-level tier ($4.99 per month) is designed for a maximum of 10 people; the high-end tier ($328.99 per month) can host a maximum of 350 people.

Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated servers are the most powerful web hosting offerings around, as your website shares zero server resources with other sites. If you expect a large amount of website traffic, you should spring for dedicated hosting.

A2 has many Linux-powered dedicated server packages. The managed (starting at $119.99 per month with an annual contract) and unmanaged (starting at $99.99 per month with an annual contract) servers all have at least two CPU cores, 16GB of RAM, 6TB of monthly data transfers, and two 1TB hard drives. They mainly differ in their abilities to let you obtain root access and use HostGuard Management.

Those are attractive offerings, but the feature-packed AccuWeb is the Editors’ Choice for dedicated web hosting. AccuWeb gives you a choice of customizable or prefab Linux- or Windows-based dedicated servers, starting at $105 per month for 8GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and 20TB of monthly data transfers. These also scale considerably if you need more power.

Cloud Web Hosting

Cloud hosting is becoming increasingly common. It differs from traditional hosting in that it spreads resources across multiple servers, whereas traditional hosting pulls power from a single server. A2, like many other web hosts, offers multiple tiers of cloud hosting; unfortunately, they’re limited to just the Linux operating system.

At $5.99 per month with a one-year contract, Runway 1 plan comes with 1GB RAM, 20GB of SSD storage, and 500GB of monthly data transfers. The mid-range $8.99-per-month Runway 4 plan ups the RAM and storage to 4GB of RAM, 150GB of storage, and 3TB of monthly data transfers. The absolute high-end is the Supersonic 32 plan ($84.99 per month for one year) offers 450GB NVMe SSD, 8TB of monthly data transfers, and 32GB of RAM.

A2’s packages are good, but DreamHost is the co-Editors’ Choice for cloud hosting services. DreamHost’s Linux-based packages start at $4.50 per month (for 512MB of RAM, 80GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers) and top out at $48 per month (8GB of RAM, 80GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers). If your website requires enterprise-class cloud hosting, Ionos has you covered. The co-Editors’ Choice has the specs and prorated plans that big businesses crave.

(Credit: A2 Hosting)

WordPress Web Hosting

WordPress. It’s a name synonymous with web hosting, and a service that powers more than 40 percent of the web. It’s easy to see why: WordPress is easy to use, and has a rich WordPress theme and WordPress plug-in ecosystem to let you tweak the content management system as you see fit.

If you want to go the WordPress route, A2 has you covered. Its four shared WordPress hosting plans—Startup, Drive, Turbo Boost, and Turbo Max—are identical to the company’s shared web hosting plans. In fact, even the pricing is the same. The advantage of using A2’s WordPress hosting plan is that the optimized environment enables faster page loading than its normal shared hosting package (the company claims that it’s 6X faster than traditional hosting). A2’s WordPress plans have unlimited storage and monthly data transfers at each tier with the exception of Startup, which only offers 100GB of SSD storage. A2 is our top pick for WordPress hosting.

If you require something a bit more focused, A2 also offers managed WordPress servers. With a managed WordPress server, the company handles updates and patches for you. If you’re focused on one website, for $14.99 per month for one year, you get 50 GB of storage, unlimited monthly data transfers, and 4GB of physical memory. That scales up to the Sell plan (starting at $40.00 per month), which nets you unlimited websites, unlimited NVMe of storage, and 16GB of RAM.

Bluehost has Editors’ Choice-worthy WordPress plans, too. In fact, it has an excellent website builder that integrates WordPress functionality and offers tremendous flexibility (some plans have no traffic limits). Read our Bluehost review for a platform deep dive.

If you’re new to WordPress, take a few minutes to get up to speed with our piece on how to get started with WordPress hosting.

Reseller Web Hosting

If you’re looking to get into the web hosting business, but don’t want to deal with infrastructure matters, check out A2’s reseller hosting packages. The plans, starting at $19.99 per month and scaling up to $44.99 per month, boast unlimited email and up to 250GB of storage and 3500GB of monthly data transfers. In addition, A2 lets you apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it supplies 24/7 tech support. That said, A2’s reseller packages aren’t quite as robust as Hostwinds’ offerings. The category’s Editors’ Choice winner has a variety of excellent packages that are sure to please anyone thinking about getting into the reseller business.

Commerce and Security

If you plan to sell products, check out A2’s many e-commerce tools. You can use PrestaShop, OpenCart, WooCommerce, or another tool to construct an online store. All offer a one-click setup that lets you get started fairly easily. Magento, a common and popular e-commerce app, lets you easily drag and drop elements to create a store.

Naturally, you’ll need a Secure Socket Layer certificate to go along with that store. It encrypts the data between your shop and customers’ browsers for safe online transactions. A2’s SSLs start at $49.95 per year for a one-year certificate and 256-bit encryption.

Terrific Uptime

Website uptime is a vital element of web hosting. If your site goes down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services. It’s in your best interest to find a reliable web host that can keep your site up and running. Otherwise, customers may go elsewhere—and they might never come back.

To evaluate A2’s reliability, we used a website-monitoring tool to track our test site’s uptime over a two-week period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pinged our website and sent us an email if it was unable to contact the site for at least 1 minute. The data revealed that A2 was incredibly stable during my testing. In fact, it didn’t go down once. As we’ve learned from our uptime tests, a website is usually down for at least a few brief periods over the course of a month. Based on our testing, you can count on A2 to be a rock-solid foundation for your website.

(Credit: A2 Hosting)

Excellent Customer Service

If you’re ever in need of technical assistance, A2’s aptly named Guru Crew is available to lend a helping hand. Available 24/7 via phone or live chat, the Guru Crew is one of the best customer support teams I’ve encountered in the web hosting space.

We contacted the team on a weekday morning to learn which plans offer Windows-based hosting (none do!) and how to install WordPress. We waited just a few seconds before a Guru Crew member fielded my questions. A2’s customer service squad ranks up there with GoDaddy‘s as the best in the business.

A2 offers an Anytime Money Back Guarantee that grants you a full refund if you cancel your account within a 30-day window. Sure, many web hosts offer that type of refund, but A2 one-ups them by offering a prorated refund if you decide to pack it up after 30 days.

An Outstanding Web Host

A2 has nearly everything you’d expect from a top-tier web host, including terrific uptime and knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives. The company’s hosting packages are notably robust too, especially its WordPress plans, which makes it our top pick if you’re building a WordPress-based site. A2 lacks Windows hosting, so turn to HostGator or Hostwinds (also Editors’ Choice picks) for building a website on Microsoft’s platform.

Mike Williams also contributed to this review.


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