You might have already read a couple of reviews about A2 Hosting but this A2 Hosting Review is a bit different from the others.
You may find A2 Hosting reviews everywhere on the web written by website owners but I’m not only an owner of a website but also a web hosting expert and critic.
Hope you would like my detailed A2 Hosting review where I have covered some Pros & Cons of A2 Hosting web hosting services.
The rapidly changing web hosting industry has brought about numerous transitions in traditional web hosting companies that have now shifted to a cloud-based architecture to satisfy consumer demands. All shared and VPS plans have now migrated to cloud hosting which has not only been beneficial to the consumers but have also helped web hosting companies by making optimum use of their hardware infrastructure depending on the market demand. However, the basic principles and requirements have still remained the same.
Even now consumers and organizations focus on performance and page speed. Although scalability is not a problem for consumers it was a significant challenge for web hosting companies to build stable architecture and support cloud hosting. A2 hosting has successfully migrated its traditional web hosting services into a cloud-based architecture in very short span of time. With scalability comes the overhead of performance and page speed.
The performance and page speed of web hosting services is inversely proportional to the size of the server infrastructure. Therefore, the larger is the server infrastructure the lower should be its performance and page speed. However, A2 hosting has successfully replicated its performance and numerous other parameters in their cloud hosting services even though the migration from managed servers to cloud servers is a huge transition in itself.
With excellent customer service and competitive pricing, A2 hosting is creating ripples in the web hosting industry by grabbing shares of the market from giants in the market like Godaddy, Hostgator, and Bluehost. Let’s try to understand the numerous services provided by A2 hosting and how they could serve your requirements.
Plans and Pricing
Like all web hosting companies A2 hosting also provides shared, VPS, dedicated and reseller accounts for its customers. however, it also provides numerous add-ons and services often absent in traditional web hosting companies. It’s cloud hosting plans are structured as VPS plans and offer the flexibility of VPS servers in cloud-based environments. its shared and dedicated plans are just like any other web hosting company. It provides 3 types of shared hosting account namely:
- Lite: starting from $3.92/month, it comes with solid state drives and optimized server software like WordPress, Prestashop, Drupal etc. It also comes with unlimited raid-10 storage, unlimited bandwidth, 25 email addresses, 1 free domain name, 5 databases, etc. The plan also includes basic cloud flare CDN support with the ability to upgrade to cloud flare pro at $3/month. The self-customized Swift Server comes with 1GB/s redundant network, a minimum 2-core server with minimum 64 GB Ram configuration.
- Swift: starting at $4.90/month Swift comes with even more services like unlimited data transfer, unlimited domain names, unlimited databases, unlimited email addresses with 2.1 Ghz processor that has a 1GB physical memory and 8GB virtual memory. It includes all the features provided in the lite edition and comes with additional features like server rewind backups used to recover any file or directory from a previously saved snapshot whenever recovery is necessary. All snapshots are automatically backed up and maintained which allows the user to restore either a single file, a MySQL database or the entire account. You can access server control backup from the control panel and it is provided completely free with the Swift and Turbo plans
- Turbo: starting at $9.31/month this plan comes with the turbo server which is up to 20x faster than traditional web servers along with solid state drives and Turbo cache. The plan also includes HTTP/2, SPDY support, ESI support and easy web sockets and proxy integration that allows users to establish a two-way communication between the server and client creating a real-time web experience. This is ideal for all kinds of complex development environments as the developers can use the numerous language support along with speed and web socket connectivity to host their custom application and serve them directly in a production environment. With enhanced user control and security, all the servers are production ready and users can further modify the configuration as per their security requirements.
Along with the above hosting plans, A2 hosting also provides cloud hosting solutions that are easily scalable and have numerous additional resources like unlimited bandwidth, memory, resources, custom CPU cores, custom CPU speed and high availability. You can easily set up your own custom server through the hosting custom server panel by selecting the amount of memory you require and the number of CPU cores your application would consume. Along with that, you can also control the amount of inbound and outbound data that you would be using to create your own cloud hosting plan. This allows maximum flexibility along with the ability to customize the configuration which lacks in most web hosting companies
A2 hosting also provides traditional VPS hosting and dedicated plans along with managed VPS plans that is consumer deployment process while at the same time provide the customer with all required technical hardware to help them deploy any kind of server or application to the market.
Features and Add-ons
A2 Hosting comes with numerous features and add-ons that focus on increasing speed and performance of web hosting platforms. Ranging from Edge Side Includes that allow users to easily cache parts of the webpage instead of relying on whole cached web pages in case of caching failures to HTTP/2 protocols that allow faster loading of web pages due to its ability to parse and deliver a higher number of web pages in the same time span. The server also allows users to create web socket connections with the browser to allow seamless experience in live web games and other media intensive applications that may be run by the user on the hosting platform.
Cloud flare is now built into the server configuration that automatically caches your web pages with a single click on the control panel to not only speed up delivery of web pages but to also maintain temporary caches in case of server failures. Moreover, the server configuration for PHP also includes APC that is a special alternative PHP cache which caches PHP bytecode compiler output and reduces parsing on the server side to further increase its performance and reduce server load. A2 also supports Railgun that helps in caching dynamic web pages which Cloud flare can’t cache. HHVM which is the new trend in PHP development introduced by Facebook to speedup PHP application while at the same time avoid unnecessary language constructs is also supported by the hosting company.
Performance and Reliability
To test A2 Hosting server performance, we run a simple test on one of the websites hosted on A2 hosting shared hosting server and found that their servers are quickly accessible from United States, Asia and some part of Europe but from Australia, they are slowly accessible. Below is our test results.
To complement its numerous features along with add-ons it also provides a reliable server infrastructure and guarantees up to 99.9% uptime while at the same time manages to maintain high performance along with page speed. Numerous software and hardware improvements have let the company innovate its data center along with server software that could provide the best performance metrics.
Expert system administrators are always at your disposal through their 24×7 support system to help you diagnose or install any kind of performance related problems on your server. Let’s dive deeper into each of its parameters like page speed and server uptime or downtime, user experience, and customer service to better understand how the company fares as compared to other web hosting companies.
One of the primary focus of A2 hosting is to increase page speed with the help of solid state drives and server infrastructure that would greatly impact end user experience. Along with numerous enhancements to the server infrastructure, they have also made significant improvements in the software stack which help them to build significantly large scale web applications without any performance related issues.
They allow all kinds of plugins and server side includes along with numerous page speed plugins to speed up content delivery with the help of content delivery networks like cloud flare and railgun.
Therefore, benchmark tests revealed A2 hosting service web pages at 3.02 seconds on average which is much better than any other web hosting company like Godaddy and Bluehost. The rising growth effectively demonstrates the numerous features of the web hosting company along with its performance parameters.
Serve Up-time and Downtime
To analyze A2 Hosting downtime we put some of their IPs in close monitoring. Below is A2 Hosting 1 Week Up-Time report. We found that none of their IP went down even for a minute during our monitoring. Below is the screen shot of our test report.
No matter how small or how large a website is hosted on the server any percent of downtime would badly affect the user and the websites customers. Therefore, A2 hosting effectively understands the importance and tries to maintain the highest uptime rating with the help of its three data centers located across the globe with world class infrastructure and connectivity.
The company makes sure that all data is replicated in all three data centers so that in the case of server failures, consumer data remains intact without any damage or recovery. Along with numerous backup options, instant snapshots of all aspects of the account are stored automatically that allow users to retrieve file directory and database information as per their requirement. The company greatly excels in providing some of the best uptime support among all its competitors.
User Experience and Customer Service
On a 3rd party review site, i.e shopperapproved.com, 479 users out of 605 have rated A2 Hosting as a 5-star hosting provider.
However, A2 hosting has a relatively complex control panel which takes some time for getting used to. However, considering the numerous features and the helpful customer support agents which they call the Guru crew, it becomes quite easy for any customer in any corner of the world to deploy their website and custom applications without any unnecessary overhead.
Over the years I have used all kinds of web hosting solutions from small local agencies to big companies. When I bought A2 hosting, I was trying to test the development platform for my application and the support for HHVM which was a feature to be present in commercial web hosting company. However, I was surprised to find that the company dominates the web hosting scenario in terms of the developmental capabilities it offers to its customers. You can literally build any kind of custom application in their shared hosting platform and still support a significant number of users.
The performance was also way better than expected and definitely felt better than commercial-grade organizations like Godaddy and Bluehost. However, the lack of seamless or commonly used unified control panel is something that most users don’t like about. If you are experienced with a hosting client before or you prefer a robust development environment than a good looking UI, then you better choose A2 hosting. Else you may go for another web hosting company. Any experienced developer who wants to apply their resource intensive web application on a good web hosting company then A2 hosting it is an ideal solution in the market today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: A2 Hosting Problems?
Answer: We haven’t found any problems with A2 Hosting in our test but when we search the internet to know what problems others are facing with A2 Hosting, we have found some people were complaining about their customer support.
Question: is A2 Hosting good?
Answer: We do recommend A2 Hosting to our readers. Their web hosting service is top notch and quite affordable too.
Question: where is a2 hosting located?
Answer: A2 hosting is located in Ann Arbor, MI. To serve customers around the globe, they have their data center locate at USA – Michigan, Europe – Amsterdam and Asia – Singapore.
Question: Is there any A2 Hosting Discount Coupon?
Answer: Yes, A2 Hosting time to time run promotional campaigns. When they run a campaign they mention discount coupon on their website. You can check their home page for coupon code.
Question: How to check A2 Hosting Server Status?
Answer: To check if A2 Hosting is down or up, you can check A2 hosting server status by visiting their server status page at https://my.a2hosting.com/serverstatus.php
With the tough web hosting market evolving every single day, it is hard to find a web hosting company that you can rely on. However, A2 hosting with its numerous services and features, cheap pricing along with dedicated support provides numerous advantages to consumers which lack in most web hosting companies. However good web deployment features are highly essential along with beautiful user interface to attract consumers and also help them deploy the solutions without having to know any technical details about all aspects of the web hosting environment.
Successful web hosting companies have replicated this model of user interface design in order to attract consumers and retain them for a long period of time. Even though they provide much less features at higher costs. The moment A2 hosting solves this problem, it would definitely gain huge part of the market and compete for head on with popular web hosting companies. It is a heaven for developers or programmers who would like to test the custom application development features on a dedicated web host that offers better services at cheaper cost.