Quick Facts & Checklist
Updated January 2022
|Speed||92 ms (over the last 6 months, updated March 2021)|
|Uptime||99.99% (over the last 6 months, updated March 2021)|
|Features||Unlimited bandwidth, Free Website Builder, Free SSL Certificate, Unlimited email accounts, Free migration, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee|
|Hosting Plans||Shared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated Servers|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Email, Knowledge Base|
|Pricing||Plans start from £1.79 per month|
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.
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.
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.
A2 Hosting Speed Test
A2 Hosting has an initial load time of 92 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 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.
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’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
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’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’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.
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.
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 Features||Startup||Drive||Turbo Boost||Turbo Max|
|Free Domain Name||✖︎||✖︎||✖︎||✖︎|
|Free SSL Certificate||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|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 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 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.
Pros & Cons
What We Like & Dislike About A2
A2 Hosting Cons
Not the cheapest provider on the market – but by no means extortionate.
Somewhat limited security features.
Slightly sly approach to renewal terms.
Watch out for hidden fees!
What Are The Alternatives To A2 Hosting?
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.
Editor & User Ratings
A Super Fast, Fine-tuned Web Hosting Solution! Ultra-reliable, high-performance web hosting is there to help you and your sites succeed.
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