A2 Hosting Review 2021: Is It The Fastest Shared Hosting?

So you want to buy an A2 hosting plan but are not sure if this is the hosting service for you?

Don’t worry, I totally get you.

Hi, my name is Zee, and in order to help you find the truth, I will cover everything you need to know about A2 Hosting in this review.

After all this article aims to help you decide if А2 is the right hosting provider for you.

And trust me, choosing the right hosting provider is really important if you want to have a fast and secure website

So in order to test A2 hosting, I will share with you the most relevant information about their pricing and do actual tests reviewing their installation process, user interface, page loading speed, uptime, and customer support quality.

Basically, I will evaluate A2 Hosting’s performance, pricing, and overall impression based on the following 4 categories below.

Additionally, I will score each category from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest.

1. A2 Hosting: Ease of Use

I will run actual installations and other processes for you so you can see if it’s easy or hard to use and navigate using their interface.

2. A2 Hosting: Speed and Performance

I will then test the speed of a newly created website and uptime. For this test, I will make sure the website looks and feels exactly like the one you will use in real life.

3. A2 Hosting: Customer Service

I will then evaluate their customer service responsiveness and effectiveness by asking them some basic questions and needing some help.

4. A2 Hosting: Pricing

I will finally review and compare their different hosting plans using the specific services each plan offers to find out if the price you’re paying is worth it or not.

Then lastly, I will provide you with my overall honest recommendation after I’ve done all those tests and help you decide if A2 is the best shared web hosting you have been looking for.

So stick with me ’till the end because I will reveal my personal favorite plan, and show you additional detailed steps on different setups and installations.

Here we go…

A2 Hosting Review: The Moment of Truth (Is it the best shared hosting or not?)

Before I start with the tests and results, I want to let you know that I will keep everything as honest as possible in this review.

I’m not sponsored by anyone and all these tests are actual real-live results I got after doing some experiments.

So please read this whole article, and decide if buying and using A2 Hosting is the right option for you.

If you are curious please click here to go to A2hosting.com and see their latest special price while it’s still available.

In the following chapters, I will show you some great and important things.

Here is the whole structure. Feel free to jump on exactly what it’s important for you and start from there:

  • A2 Hosting: Setup and Ease of Use
    • SSL Certificates Installation
    • Email Account Setting Up
    • WordPress installation
  • A2 Hosting: Speed and Performance
    • Original Website Speed
    • Enhanced Website Speed
    • Turbo Plans Speed
  • A2 Hosting: Customer Service
    • Average Response Time
  • A2 Hosting: Pricing
    • Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe)

Now let’s begin with the user interface.

A2 Hosting: Setup, Interface, and Ease of Use (Test)

Their homepage, as you can see below is easy to navigate, and yet they don’t have a fancy interface like SiteGround or Bluehost.

While I like to use fancier and simpler menus, I still find the A2 hosting interface decent.

While it’s not as perfect as it can be, it does have everything I want.

For example, A2 Hosting’s cPanel interface is able to give me a simple one-click WordPress installation.

Also, when you log in to your cPanel, you’ll have access to all of your website’s features.

If you have used cPanel before, you are definitely familiar with all of these options.

A2 Hosting utilizes the industry-standard setup. Let’s check out some of the things you can do on cPanel.

If you are into easy one-click WordPress installations and like to do things fast, don’t forget to click this link and see the latest price directly on A2hosting.com

The first thing I’ll try to do is installing the SSL certificate.

So, we will go to the SSL option.

Then, click on the SSL status, choose our domain name. Choose all and enable auto SSL.

The domains are now verified in my account.

Last but not least, I will open an email account and see how it works.

Now, I will enter the email account option and click the create button.

Then, I will enter my username and password, then will click create.

You can see that my email account has been created.

As I’ve said, this is due to personal tastes, but I think SiteGround and Bluehost (just click on their links to check their interfaces) have better-looking interfaces than A2 Hosting.

Still, the overall design and interface on A2 hosting is fairly simple and easy to use.

Were you impressed by how simple and fast are all their installation processes?

If the answer is yes, then you should definitely give them a try. Click here to learn more about them and see their latest discounted pricing of A2hosting.com

Overall, I would score A2 Hosting 7 out of 10 for setup and ease of use.

A2 Hosting: Speed and Performance

After I installed the WordPress website (using their one-click installation), I tested the speed of my brand new barebones website using GTmetrix.

As you can see from the screenshot above, my empty website loaded fully in 0.8 seconds. It is fast, and it shows great promise, considering I haven’t done any site speed optimization yet.

After I added some content to the test website, I also added some design elements to make the page size even bigger.

After all, I wanted to make it as real as possible so the speed test to be close to what you will see with your own website.

So firstly I installed my favorite Astra theme. (The free version)

The next step I did was to configure the A2 Optimized plugin using some basic settings. This plugin will optimize the speed performance of the website.

Then, I installed CloudFlare as well. After all, who doesn’t want a free CDN?

All those things are what you’d do in real life.

After all the changes in the new website now takes 1.8 seconds to load, which is really good since Google recommends a site load time under 3 seconds. So, this is an easy pass.

Lastly, I checked how fast their Turbo Plus plan work on its own and whether it can outperform the installed free A2 optimization plugin.

To do this test, I simply turned off completely the A2 Optimized plugin to see how much slower will the website speed will go with only using the Turbo plan alone.

After I did all those things it now takes 2.3 seconds for the website to fully load.

And to be honest, 2.3 secounds is still a decent result based on the current Google standards.

Basically, the difference between the two results is enough to make the Turbo plan worthwhile, but only if you have enough traffic coming in. (Anything with above 20 000/month)

Otherwise, just buy their cheaper Startup or Drive plans.

On the other hand, I monitored the uptime of the A2 server using Uptime Robots, and in the period of the last 30 days, their uptime was 99.988%.

My Test Results for Speed and Uptime

I’ve tested multiple shared hosting providers, and with its 1.8 seconds of load time, A2 Hosting is one of the fastest hosting providers I’ve ever tested.

While their server uptime performance is not perfect, 99.98% in 30 days is still better than what you’ll get if you decide to go after some competitors.

And because of that, I would give them a 9 out of 10 because of their really fast server speed and great uptime.

If you like my speed test and uptime results feel free to click this link to go to A2hosting.com and get their best current prices. They are one of the fastest hosting providers you can get and are worth every penny.

If you really want to get the same speeds as me you should use their Turbo Boost plan.

On the other hand, if you need more information about A2 Hosting before you decide that, keep reading.

Now, let’s test A2 inside the next category which is also really important…

A2 Hosting: Customer Service

The customer support at A2 Hosting is supposed to be very highly rated.

With that being said, I would like to see this for myself and test themby asking 3 different questions:

1. I will tell them that a virus has infected my website, and I will ask for their help in fixing the problem.

2. I will ask them a quick question about how they do the backup process.

3. I will be needing their help (because I am a newbie) to install CloudFlare and an SSL certificate for me (free of charge).

After I contacted their support here are the 3 results I got:

1. They told me that they can do a malware scan and help me recover the previous version when it was not infected yet. However, they cannot guarantee that each piece of malware will be eliminated for free.

They still offered to help, so the outcome was okay for me.

2. They resolved my request in just 3 minutes, and that includes waiting time. I think that is impressive.

3. They ended up agreeing to help me and after some convincing installed Cloudflare and the SSL certificate as a one-time offer, which was really nice of them.

But even if they needed some convincing, not all hosting providers will ever really do this for you.

When it comes to customer service A2 Hosting is available via email or phone in addition to providing 24/7 live chat support to all users. (even those who hasn’t purchased anything yet)

To get a sense of how quickly they responded, I contacted them 3 times a day to get a true picture, as opposed to getting a one-way response time during their off-peak hours.

So, the three wait times were 2:25 minutes, 3:20 minutes, and 4:10 minutes.

With that, the average response time would be around 3:20 minutes of wait time which is good.

Anything under 5 minutes is acceptable to me.

So when it comes to my final rating I would give their customer service a score of 8 out of 10.

I found the technical support team to be friendly and willing to help.

Also, during peak hours, they have a decent response time.

And getting them to install SSL certificates and CloudFlare for me was a real challenge, and thus I deducted them a couple of points.

A2 Hosting: Pricing 

In order to test their plans I’m going to choose and purchase their Turbo Max plan.

But in addition I’m going to show you the whole process you know how it looks like.

From the A2 Hosting page, I will click on “Shared Hosting”.

When it comes to shared hosting plans A2 currently offers 4 options to choose from: Startup, Drive, Turbo Boost, and Turbo Max.

As you can see in the illustration above, A2 Hosting also offers other hosting services like VPS and Dedicated plans and they will be able to support you if you decide to upgrade in the future.

But because they are way more expensive and you are most likely going to use their shared hosting plans anyway I’m going to continue with them.

But how to know which hosting plan is better and in which way?

For starters, it’s great to begin with the fact that the automatic backup feature is not included within the Startup plan and it’s only suitable for 1 website.

However, with the 3 remaining plans (Drive, Turbo Boost, and Turbo Max) the automatic backup feature is available, and you get unlimited number of websites.

They mainly differ with speed performance.

Basically, when it comes to pricing and speed we can divide the 4 hosting plans into 2 sections.

The Startup and Drive belong to the normal section, while the Turbo Boost and Turbo Max belong to the premium section.

The Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans are faster than the Startup and Drive plans because they embrace the newest storage technology called NVMes (Non-Volatile Memory Express) which is way faster than the traditional HDDs and even faster SSDs.

Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is a new technology that has many advantages compared to legacy protocols for accessing high-speed storage media.

In short NVMe storage is faster, more energy-efficient, and provides higher performance compared to SSD and HDD.

But it’s also great to know that NVMe is still inaccessible for most other companies.

So that is why A2 Hosting stands out if you choose to buy the Turbo plans.

Click here if want to check the latest price of their Turbo plans directly from A2hosting.com

Should you buy a domain name from A2 Hosting? (Is it worth it?)

First of all, I need to pick a domain name.

I’ll try typing one at random to see the pricing.

As you can see from the picture above, there is a $14.95 yearly domain subscription fee for a .com domain.

Which is quite expensive considering it is just a domain name.

Many of the hosting websites charge you between $10 to $15 per year for their domain names, so I don’t suggest that you buy your domain name from them.

Not only that but there will also may be hidden costs for the domain privacy for another extra $10 to $15 per year.

Thus, a domain name may cost you up to $30 a year which is way above what is really worth.

Many reviewers won’t mention this domain pricing issue however, I’m here to tell you the truth.

My recommendation for you is to buy all your domain names directly from a domain name provider like Namecheap.

Click here to check to go to Namecheap.com and see their current prices.

I use them personally for all my domain names because you can get your domain name for under $10 with their main privacy included for free.

So when it comes to buying a domain from A2 Hosting, I would recommend you to not do it and use an alternative like Namecheap where it’s a lot cheaper.

Now let’s continue with the hosting plan.

When I went to purchase a 3-year Turbo Max plan I got a nicely discounted price of $540 from the original $900. (click here to see if the offer is still available from A2hosting.com)

But when it comes to monthly plans A2 offers different options. You can choose between 1, 12, 24, and 36 months.

As expected, long-term contracts tend to charge cheaper than shorter ones.

As you can see the 36-month plan is usually the cheapest one because you save a lot of money.

So I picked this one.

Once I’ve selected the monthly plan, my next step is to select which data center I want to use to store and share my website files.

As you can see from the photo above A2 Hosting has currently 4 data centers, which affects their performance on the global scale.

When working with a global website that mainly targets a US audience, it is best to pick a data center in Arizona, or Michigan.

If you are from Europe and want to have quick loaded files for your European countries select Amsterdam.

An if you are from Asia, India or Australia go for the Singapore Data center.

But in general besides SiteGround no other host owns multiple datacenters to choose from.

Right below the data center you will be given an option to pay extra cash to get “Essential SSL DV“.

Trust me you don’t have to pay for this “extra feature” because all hosting providers now give free SSL certificates and in case then don’t you can easily get one yourself free of charge. (go to Youtube and type “how to get a free SSL”).

Right after that I enter my credit card details, pay and get instant access to my hosting.

It’s that simply and fast.

So when it comes to pricing, overall value, and options I will rate A2 Hosting a 9 out of 10 in this category.

I really like their prices, speed, characteriscs and extra speed wordpress plugin so in my opinion paying between $5 to 20 bucks/month is well worth it.

I took one point off because their Turbo Max plan is not cheap at $10 per month if you select the 3-year plan.

However, their lower-tier options are comparable to those offered by Bluehost and other cheaper hosting providers. So you get the same or even better characteristics and still not pay an arm and a leg for hosting.

But my favorite feature is the fact that for a really nice price you get to use NVMe storage instead of HDD or SSD which does really help with speed.

Final Thoughts: Should you go for A2 Hosting or not?

After I have finished all tests, installations, and setups, it’s time to give A2 Hosting a final score.

So with all the things you get, I believe that A2 Hosting deserves to get an 8.5 out of 10.

And because it’s over 8 points that makes A2 Hosting one of the best hosting providers that I have tested so far.

After seeying the results I can say that A2 Hosting has great speed.

Their price is reasonable and the overall support responds fast and is helpful. Even if the interface is not a 10/10 it’s still very functional and easy to use.

But is it worth paying for?

If I have to be honest my answer would be yes, it is.

I run 2 of my websites using it and so far I’m happy.

So if you are looking for speed, security, and daily backups then A2 might be exactly what you are looking for.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user looking for the overall best-shared hosting provider. I must say, you should consider A2 Hosting as a very worthwhile option.

It’s a great option for both beginners (the Standart plan) and advanced users (the Turbo plans) so if you are looking for fast and reliable shared hosting you won’t make a mistake.

If you liked my results, and want to get the best discounted price they offer please click this link and it will redirect you to the A2 Hosting Website.

However, if you are looking for a fancier and easier-to-use interface with a better-looking cPanel, I don’t think A2 Hosting is the right option for you now.

In that case you can check out Bluehost and SiteGround (click on the names to get to the official websites and check their best deals as well).

But if you are really looking for a super-fast hosting provider that is below 1 second you should definitely give a closer look at WPX Hosting (click here to go to Wpxhosting.com and learn more)

So that was everything. I really hope you now know if A2 Hosting is the right option for you.

If you want to know more about A2 Hosting and other related web-hosting providers, you may want to check the following relevant review articles below:

What do you think of this article? Is it informative enough? Don’t forget to share it with your friends.

Thank you for sharing your time with me.

See you again next time!

Credits:

Test Images: Dotcom Dollar – Allan Borch (YouTube)

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