A2 Hosting Review

A2 Hosting may be less known than some of the bigger hosting services on the market, but with their exclusive SwiftServer platform and Turbo Servers that load pages up to 20X faster than its competition, their marketing is hard to ignore. But are they really that good?
8.8/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #11 in category Web Host Reviews
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Quick Facts & Checklist

Speed89 ms (over the last 6 months, updated March 2021)
Uptime99.99% (over the last 6 months, updated March 2021)
FeaturesUnlimited bandwidth, Free Website Builder, Free SSL Certificate, Unlimited email accounts, Free migration, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Hosting PlansShared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated Servers
Support24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Email, Knowledge Base
PricingPlans start from £1.79 per month 

A2 Overview

What Is A2 Hosting?

Established in 2002, A2 Hosting is a web host provider with multiple ‘best hosting 2020’ awards under its belt.

They are an independently owned company, and you can feel this in their approach to the customer.

They emphasise usability and customer support, with pricing that makes sense and plans that are scalable.

a2 hosting review landing page

If you are starting in web hosting, it’s a good idea to invest your time and money into a business that has its head screwed on in a similar way to you. A2 Hosting understands the needs of small businesses because their ethos is that of a small business.

Furthermore, with a good record of solid performance, reasonable pricing and plenty of attractive added features, A2 Hosting are underdogs in the web hosting industry, and indeed a hosting server to keep your eye on.

It might not be a recognisable hosting name to you, but that is in no way reflective of its quality as a company. Its marketing presence and ‘celebrity status’ may reside in the shadows of other, more prominent hosting companies. Still, it could give most of those companies a run for their money.

Are you looking to create your website with WordPress?

A2’s WordPress solutions are fine-tuned, blazing fast and are ready for you! Choose the high-speed package tailored for your needs.

Speed & Reliability

How Fast Is A2 Hosting?

For your website to be recognised, it has to be fast. In a world of fast fashion and fast food, the modern consumer is not a fan of waiting around, so why should they wait for a page to load?

Furthermore, as our world speeds up, with faster phones, faster cars and even faster planes, our patience lasts for less time than ever before. This means it has never been more important for a web host provider to have a short load time.

Consider, for a moment, how long you would wait on a webpage to load before you would give it up and click on another page. Maybe 2 or 3 seconds?

You may not believe this, but in reality, many people wouldn’t even wait 3 seconds, and within the space of 1.5 to 2 seconds, would abandon ship and discard your webpage in preference for a quicker site.

Ouch.

A2 Hosting Speed Test

A2 Hosting has an initial load time of 88 milliseconds. Yep, you did read that right! This is a super quick rating, faster than some of the more prominent names in web hosting.

Load Impact & Stress Test Results

We also conducted a test using K6’s Load Impact tool for an even clearer picture of A2’s capabilities.

This tool enables us to test how fast a site responds under stress by simulating multiple visitors simultaneously. During the test, we gradually built up to 50 virtual users over 5 minutes.

a2 hosting load impact

A2 Hosting K6 Stress Test Results

As our results above show, even when 50 virtual users (the grey line) were accessing the site simultaneously, the response time (the blue line) remained stable at an impressive 84ms.

This means that when multiple users are using your website, there is no drop in performance.

Not bad going, A2 Hosting. Furthermore, it takes A2 Hosting a further 0.8 – 1 seconds to fully load a webpage, meaning the page will be up and ready to use and peruse before you can blink.

So A2 Hosting is fast, but speed isn’t everything. Let’s look at the rest of their performance ratings.

A2 Shared Hosting Uptime

We would want a site to have 100% uptime in an ideal world, meaning it is always up and running, ready for visitors. However, in reality, things happen.

Our sites might crash due to too many visitors, or they could catch a nasty virus requiring some maintenance work.

So how does A2 Hosting score? High is the answer. Extremely high. Their uptime generally sits somewhere in between 99.99% and a whopping 100%. Once again, A2 Hosting could give the industry-leading hosting servers a serious run for their money. 

Is Uptime & Speed important to you?

If strong uptime is a hosting priority of yours, and it should be! A2 Hosting is the host for you.

Pricing & Plans

How Much Does A2 Hosting Cost?

High performance is all well and good, but if it comes at too high a price. So how much will A2 Hosting set you back?

Not too much is the answer. Plans start at £1.79 per month for shared hosting, aimed at personal websites and blogs, spanning up to £77.06 for dedicated server hosting, tailored more for large-scale, operating businesses.

In the space between these figures, there are plenty of different plans, dependent on your needs.

a2 hosting pricing

A2’s Shared Hosting Plans

They have a four-point plan structure specifically for WordPress hosting, ranging from £2.11 per month to £10.59 per month.

They also offer specific plans for VPS hosting and dedicated hosting.

A2’s Alternative Hosting Packages

On their shared hosting Startup plan, for £1.79 per month, you will receive; 1 website, 100 GB of SSD storage, free site migration, unlimited email accounts, free Cloudflare CDN and a free SSL certificate.

I know what you’re thinking – sounds pretty good.

It isn’t a bad basic plan, but it is basic – especially for the price. While £1.79 isn’t going to break the bank, there are many cheaper plans with more features.

A2 Hosting vs Competitors Prices

Host Provider
a2hosting brand logo
VS
hostinger brand logo
VS
bluehost brand logo
Shared Hosting
WordPress Hosting
VPS Hosting

A2 Hosting can list as many attractive features as they like. Still, if every other hosting company offers these features as a basic too, the appeal is somewhat diminished. 

High Renewal Costs

Another sneaky pricing issue we came across is the issue with plan renewals. As with most hosting companies, the first term of your plan is super cheap, and it’s when renewals kick in that the bill starts to build.

A2 Hosting’s renewal rate is pretty high, so don’t be fooled by the initial bargain.

Furthermore, they only give you a 15-day window to cancel your plan once the renewal has been activated. So it is pretty easy to miss this window and end up paying for a subscription that you don’t necessarily want.

Annoying, to say the least. 


Help & Support

How good is A2 Hosting support?

So, A2 Hosting may not be the cheapest host on the market, but its strong performance is always worth remembering. Quality does come at a cost, after all. What about their customer support?

Parting with money is no easy thing in this day and age, where everything costs something. So it is always good to know that your money is going towards a company that cares about you. 

Pro-Active Live Chat Support

A2 Hosting has a great approach to customer support, with a super-fast live chat feature that puts you in touch with a real person in no time.

We often find that the smallest companies excel in customer support, perhaps because their client base is smaller and more valuable to the company, and A2 Hosting is certainly no exception.

a2 hosting support

A2’s Support Ticketing System

They have a hefty knowledge base and an informative blog that posts regularly. This means you may never actually have to use the live chat feature, as there is a tonne of info already out there for you to view.

a2 hosting knowledge base

A2’s Support includes an extensive knowledgebase

Moreover, with a ‘hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans, you can walk away if you are unsatisfied with their services.

FutureServe Green Hosting

A2 Hosting pride itself on being a green hosting provider, exemplified in their partnership with Carbonfund.org. It aims to reinvest into the environment, which, unfortunately, too often suffers from the large amount of destruction caused by servers.

This environmental pledge is not directly reflective of the nature of A2 Hosting’s customer support; however, it does outline the kind of company A2 Hosting is – one that cares.

We think that’s pretty cool.

Is expert support important to you?

A2 Hosting’s 24/7/365 support staff featuring expert system admins work hard to ensure your server runs at its peak. Take a look!

Features & Products

What Features & Services Do A2 Offer?

Added features are somewhat of a hosting provider’s last chance to win you over – the cherry on top of the cake if you will. When it comes to A2 Hosting, added features are certainly not an area in which they are lacking.

Firstly, like most hosting servers, they use cPanel to simplify the web design process. In the more expensive plans, you will also receive a whole plethora of added features, mainly aimed at improving your site’s speed and performance. These include access to an NVMe drive, LiteSpeed Speed enhanced web server and turbo cache.

a2hosting client area

A2’s client area & cPanel is simple to use

These features certainly go a long way to explaining A2 Hosting’s high performance. However, this points to the issue that perhaps high performance only comes from high-cost plans, which allow for these impressive added features.

Furthermore, there don’t seem to be many added features for other elements of web hosting, for example, website design and more elaborate security features.

This would suggest that if your main hosting priority is high performance, then A2 Hosting is the perfect match for you.

However, suppose you are looking for style over substance. In that case, there are probably other hosting providers with slightly more advanced design features.

A2’s Shared Hosting Features & Comparison

Main FeaturesStartupDriveTurbo BoostTurbo Max
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Storage100 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Free Domain Name✖︎✖︎✖︎✖︎
Free SSL Certificate✔︎✔︎✔︎✔︎
Daily Backups✖︎✔︎✔︎✔︎
24/7 customer service✔︎✔︎✔︎✔︎
Money back guarantee✔︎✔︎✔︎✔︎

Security & Protection

Is My Website Secure With A2?

It is also essential to understand precisely what security features your new hosting server invests in so that you know that your data is protected.

Cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent and more damaging with the world rapidly moving online, so good protection has never been more important.

Free SSL Certificates

We have previously mentioned that A2 Hosting has a free SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate on all plans, which is great but pretty much the industry standard.

However, one security feature that sets A2 Hosting apart from its competition is that Cloudflare CDN is included in all plans, even the most basic ones.

This adds an extra layer of security, in addition to speeding up load times. Win-win.

a2 hosting ssl certificates

A2 provides free SSL certificates on all their plans

On their more expensive plans, you can also expect ‘performance plus traffic spike protection’ in addition to ‘free server rewind data backup protection.’ These are essentially fancy ways of saying that they will both protect you from online flooding and make sure your data is backed-up.

Moreover, they also offer free HackScan software, which is always on the lookout for malware and potential cyber-attacks. So they pretty much have you covered from every angle.

a2 security

A2 offer Two-factor Authentication among other security features

Ultimately, their security features are good and will work well for almost any kind of site. However, we expect to see more security features on their most expensive plans, as bigger sites have more significant security needs.

How important is security to you?

Not only does A2 Hosting offer a wide variety of SSL Certificate options, but also from a wide variety of SSL Certificate providers. Head on over and take a look!

Pros & Cons

What We Like & Dislike About A2


What Are The Alternatives To A2 Hosting?

Hostinger Best Overall Cheap Host

Hostinger provides fast, stable and feature packed web hosting services for the best price!

Bluehost #2 Rated Cheap host

The most popular web host by far, offering great packages and amazing value for money!

Hostgator Great value option

A great budget friendly host offering good packages and support for those new to hosting

Hostpapa PERFECT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

HostPapa offers great pricing on web hosting plans for beginners and small buisnesses

Dreamhost Great Customer Support

Dreamhost offers quality and reliable services with lots of “unlimited” features.

Final Thoughts

Do We Recommend A2?

For a small company, the unbelievably high performance and ethos of A2 Hosting are pretty impressive – in fact, faultless. Their speed and uptime are forces to be reckoned with and give even the most highly rated hosting companies a run for their money.

However, we aren’t sold on their pricing, finding it somewhat inconsistent and on the sneaky side of renewals and cancellation.

Moreover, we have come across hosting providers with slightly more advanced added features, particularly security and web design.

That said, when looking at an uptime of 99.9% – 100% and loading speeds of just 90 milliseconds, we would be fools not to recommend A2 Hosting.

Ready to give A2 a try?

If you’ve never run a website before or are a professional developer, A2’s got you covered with a high-performance solution!

Overall Score

Editor & User Ratings

8.8Expert Score
A2 Hosting

A Super Fast, Fine-tuned Web Hosting Solution! Ultra-reliable, high-performance web hosting is there to help you and your sites succeed.

Speed & Reliability
9
Pricing & Plans
9
Help & Support
8.9
Features & Products
8.8
Security & Protection
8.5

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