A2 Hosting vs. Hostgator vs. SiteGround

Hostgator is one of the oldest and most popular web hosting companies in the world and operates along with some other giants in the web hosting industry that are controlled by the Endurance International Group. Siteground is relatively new but is one of the major competitors with excellent services that mainly target customers planning to host on specific CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magento. A2 hosting is famous for providing highly optimized servers that run on top of highly scalable architectures for running high powered websites and applications. All the three web hosting companies are focused on providing their best services through their server infrastructures that are ideal for different market segments.

While Hostgator targets all newbies and experienced people and provides cheaper services with limits to resource consumption, Siteground targets customers who want to run specialized high performance websites on top of their commonly used web content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Magento. A2 Hosting on the other hand supports all content management systems and aims to provide high performance systems targeted at page speed improvement and customizations generally restricted in other web hosting companies.  Let’s dive deeper into the services provided by each of the companies to find the best ones that suit your requirements.

Also Read: A2 Hosting Review & A2 Hosting vs Bluehost Vs Godaddy

Plans and Pricing

The pricing of the products depends on the resources made available for web application hosting. As the three companies target quite different customer bases, their prices also differ significantly. Although Hostgator has the cheapest plans, they don’t provide as many resources as Siteground and A2 Hosting provide. Hostgator also lacks the deep customization features provided by A2 Hosting. Siteground hosting although doesn’t allow server customization, they focus on providing enough resources for running even large scale web applications on top of major CMS’s. You can run very powerful websites with their plans without ever running out of resources. The pricing comparison below targets all services provided by the companies and compares them with the resources and features provided by each.

A2 Hosting

A2 hosting provides shared, reseller, cloud, VPS, managed VPS and dedicated servers that are ideal for all kinds of use cases. You can modify each of the server configurations to suit your application requirements. However, you have to opt for higher plans if you need their high performance servers. The shared hosting plans are divided into the following:

  1. Lite: Priced at $3.92/month, this is one of the cheapest plans available on the web. However, it lacks numerous features provided by the higher swift and turbo plans. It comes with solid state drives that power speed up all your web activity. Websites run on a 2.1Ghz core processor that can handle major types of server processes. It also comes with optimized versions of WordPress, Joomla and other major content managements systems ideal for common website deployment.
  2. Swift: Along with all the features included in Lite, the swift plan comes with unlimited email addresses, domain names and databases. Your websites also run on top of 2×2.1Ghz core processors that are more than enough to run normal blogs or even a small ecommerce website. It comes with a 1GB physical memory and 8GB virtual memory. You also get server rewind backups that are not available in Lite plans. It is priced at $4.90/month along with additional features that may cost more upon inclusion. You can always scale up to a higher plan when your resource usage exceeds the limits set by the plan. However, it is highly unlikely that you will ever have to scale if you are running a normal website with up to 10000 visitors a month.
  3. Turbo: One of the most powerful shared plans in the market comes with optimized hardware that can run even the most resource intensive ecommerce websites. It comes with specially designed and optimized turbo servers that are up to 20x faster than normal SSD servers. With inbuilt caching and server side optimization methods that lack in most web hosting plans, this provides one of the most customizable web interfaces for all web applications. It comes with all free features with unlimited usage and can run even the most powerful apps without any resource constraints. It has a 2GB physical memory and 8GB virtual memory. Content delivery networks are included in the plan and therefore you don’t need to configure or setup additional CDN’s for optimizing your websites. Priced at $9.31/month it is one of the best plans on the web when it comes to resource availability and optimization features included in the plans. Numerous other features are included in the plan that will be discussed in detail in the features and add-ons section.

a2 hosting plans pricing

Along with the shared plans, A2 hosting also provides VPS and cloud hosting that is ideal for high resource consuming and custom web application that need extra features to run on a commercial web server. Its VPS plans come in Dynamic and Managed solutions. The dynamic VPS plans are ideal for web administrators who need complete control over their server and would like to develop custom applications on top of it. You can modify the servers into any form you like to suit your application requirements. For any additional features you need to contact their customer support.

Managed VPS solutions are ideal for users who want the company to manage all their server side configurations. You are provided with a simple CPanel that has all the features in it for you to easily manage the high power servers without having to worry about the nitty gritty details. All maintenance and configuration tasks are handled by the company and if you need additional customizations, you can directly contact their customer support team for assistance.

A2 Hosting VPS Plans

A2 hosting also provides highly customizable virtual servers that are easily scalable and are ideal for most web apps. You can opt for their cloud hosting and customize the servers as per your requirements. Therefore, it is ideal for developers who need more control over their systems instead of commercial web administrators. You can also opt for their managed and non-managed dedicated servers that are built for commercial application hosting. Prices vary depending on the resource consumption of the web applications hosted on the servers. The dynamic VPS plans start from $9.89 per month and the managed VPS plans start from $32.99/month. The pricing for the cloud hosting plans vary depending on the type of configuration you select. Dedicated servers however start from $99.59/month.

Hostgator

Built for all types of customers, Hostgator is one of the most popular web hosting companies in the world. It hosting millions of domains and provides all types of services generally required by the common users. However, there are a lot of resource constraints that are definitely not good when compared with other A2 Hosting and Siteground. As Hostgator doesn’t specify the amount of resources provided to each of its plan, it is hard to figure out the exact amount allocated for each plan. The shared hosting plans provided by it are as follows:

  1. Hatchling: Ideal for the beginner, this is one of the cheapest plans available on the web. It has all kinds of basic features but comes with restricted resource usage ideal for running only small blogs that get less than a thousand visitors a month. Prices start from $5.56/month for a three years plan and costs $8.76/month when you opt for a monthly basis. You can host only one domain on the plan but you can run a small ecommerce store on top of the server. One click installs and other easily customizable features allow users to easily deploy common web content management systems ideal for running small blogs or wikis.
  2. Baby: A bit more powerful than the hatchling plan, this allows users to host multiple website each with their own domain name. You can also have a private SSL to carry out secure transaction on your website. It is more powerful than the previous plan and can allow you to easily run an average sized ecommerce store or a blog that can handle up to 10K visitors per month. You can also develop custom application on top of the server as long as the resource consumption doesn’t exceed the set limits.
  3. Business: One of the powerful plans provided by the company, it is priced at $11.96/month for a 3-year period. It comes with all available resources and allows users to build larger website that can easily handle up to 20K visitors a month. You also get a toll free number with your plan which is ideal for all kinds of businesses. You can easily run even the most sophisticated web content management systems like Magento or even high resource consuming WordPress and Joomla websites on top of the server and still run functionally without any interruptions. Over the years, the company has maintained a great track record of providing excellent server resources for its customers but high resource consuming applications often tend to be upgraded to the next high plans that is the VPS or even the cloud plans offered by the company.

hostgator web hosting plans

Along with the shared hosting plans, the Hostgator also provides dedicated WordPress hosting that is ideal for running high powered WordPress websites that can handle up to 30K visitors every month. You can also opt for their VPS or dedicated plans that are ideal for most types of high resource consuming websites.

Also Read: Bluehost vs Hostgator

Siteground

One of the widely appreciated and feature rich web hosting platform also provides some of the best plans for hosting any kind of website on its shared hosting platform. As it primarily targets the major content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Magento, you can easily build your website on top of the platform to ensure maximum stability while running your website with all standard parameters. However, you cannot modify your web server as much as you can in case of A2 hosting. The shared plans offered by Siteground are as follows:

  1. Startup: Ideal for small websites and startup blogs, this is the cheapest plan provided by the company. It comes with limited features that are ideal only for a small time website and cannot handle any of the large scale features required by major high resource consuming websites. It comes with only 10GB web storage space and can handle up to 10K visitors per month. Moreover, you can only host one website on top of the server. It is priced at $3.95/month after heavy discounts.
  2. GrowBig: A more powerful configuration priced at $7.95/month is ideal for handling up to 25K visitors per month. It comes with 20GB storage space along with additional features like SuperCacher for one year, Free SSL certificate for a year and 30 backup copies for your website that you can revert back to whenever you like. You can host multiple websites on top of it but the total web page visits should be less than 25K in a month
  3. GoGeek: A more powerful plan than the previous two is priced at $14.95/month but comes with more resources and can handle up to 100K visitors per month. It is mainly targeted towards developers who want to create powerful web applications on top of their server. Along with all the essential features included in the previous plans, it also comes with PCI complaint hardware, personalized GIT and Staging support and numerous other advanced developer features generally not available in other web hosting companies.

siteground web hosting plans

Along with the above plans, the company also offers Cloud hosting and dedicated servers which are ideal for developing custom applications. They are much more powerful than the shared hosting plans and often come with additional controls that lack in more web hosting companies. Along with the above, the company also provides additional hosting solutions for WordPress and Joomla through custom plans designed to build any kind of website on top of these major content management systems.

Features and Add-ons

All the three companies provide exceptional features that allow users to build nearly any kind of web application on top of their servers. However, each of the companies are built around numerous additional features ideal for a specific segment of users. Some of the major features in the three companies are as follows:

A2 Hosting: It is popular for its highly optimized Turbo servers that claim to provide up to 20X speeds. Along with caching and other high performance servers, the A2 servers are one of the highly customizable configurations on the web. You also get all unlimited features like domain names, RAID storage, email addresses and databases for your web applications. The servers are highly configurable and allow custom features that lack in most web hosting companies.

We tested A2 Hosting server performance and found that they have best servers among A2 Hosting, Hostgator & Siteground.

a2 hosting server performance test

A2 Hosting Server Performance Test Results

Hostgator: Although it is one of the most popular web hosting companies, it only offers a limited resource usage that is ideal for only small websites and ecommerce stores. Moreover, it doesn’t allow web administrators to customize their servers to suit their requirements. Thus you are stuck with the standard installation and cannot build anything other than the already available solutions.

We tested Hostgator server performance. Below are the results of our test.

hostgator server performance test

Hostgator Server Performance Test Results

Siteground: Although one of the most stable web hosting companies in the world with specialized services for WordPress and other major content management systems, this does not provide any additional features that are suitable for high end developers or even powerful custom applications. You are stuck with the maximum number of page visits allowed in a month even though most of them have been incurred by your development team. Its GoGeek plan only comes with additional support for GIT and other development features that lack in most web hosting companies.

We tested Siteground server performance. Below are the results of our test.

siteground server performance test

Siteground Server Performance Test Results

Performance and Reliability

Without doubt A2 hosting is one of the most performance oriented web hosting companies in the world. Its highly optimized web hosting plans often help users deploy any kind of powerful web application on top of their servers. Although Hostgator is one of the most popular web hosting companies, it doesn’t fare well in terms of performance and reliability of its servers. Siteground fares well when tested for standard installations of WordPress and other CMS’s it supports but it doesn’t do good when it comes to the performance of web applications other than those. Let’s dive deeper into each of the factors to understand the best hosting company for your requirements.

Page Speed

A2 hosting is one of the few companies that focuses heavily on optimizing page speed along with server performance. It has shown exceptional speed in delivering any type of web application through its servers with the help of its highly optimized web servers. The turbo servers are definitely 20x faster than Siteground and even much faster than Hostgator. The average page speed test results in 2.36s for websites hosted on A2hosting, 4.2s on Hostgator and 6.2 on Siteground. These figures are enough to show the excellent server performance of A2hosting. IF you want a high speed server configuration with all types of speed delivery mechanisms already built into it, then A2hosting should be your first choice.

Serve Uptime and Downtime

As Hostgator runs one of the largest clusters of web servers and also has its partners under endurance group, it has the highest flexibility when it comes to reducing server downtime. It performs excellently and often tends to score above 99.2% uptime over one-year period. Siteground on the other hand is also a highly optimized server and also performs perfectly when it comes to server uptime with more than 99.8% uptime rate over the same period. However, it is A2 hosting that shines above all. As it is a relatively smaller web server setup, it still managed to compete with Siteground and other major web cloud based web hosting solutions that can easily scale beyond their traditional web servers to maintain uptime. It has shown a continuous server uptime rate at 99.7% over the same period.

Conclusion

After years of hosting with numerous companies, I have found A2 hosting to be one of the most powerful web hosting companies in the world. It offers some of the best services at affordable prices. It also has one of the most powerful and highly optimized sever configurations that is generally not found in most web hosting companies. You can easily build any kind of web application on top of the server and the applications are automatically optimized to deliver their best performance. Although Hostgator and Siteground also have powerful web servers, they restrict their users to build anything custom on top of their servers. Thus Hostgator comes second in the comparison while Siteground that restricts on the basis of page views falls at the end of the spectrum.