A2 Hosting Review
By Skye Schooley, business.com Writer | Updated Jul 01, 2019
A2 Hosting provides a wide range of hosting services for small businesses. It offers shared, virtual private server, WordPress, reseller, cloud and dedicated hosting. Each type of hosting comes in multiple plans so you can find the right plan to meet your business's web hosting needs. Its services are both robust and on par with industry standards, especially its security. It offers essential security measures like network monitoring, SSL certificates and malware protection, as well as advanced measures like reinforced DDoS protection. A2 Hosting is our choice for the most secure web hosting service in 2019.
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A2 Hosting is very transparent in its terms of agreement. If you are interested in testing out a web hosting plan risk-free, A2 provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for a full refund, as well as an anytime money-back guarantee that may warrant you a partial refund, depending on your agreement. The risk-free trial period is a draw for companies looking to learn more about what it's like to work with A2. The web hosting provider also has a good online reputation and positive online reviews. It is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A rating.
Types of Web Hosting Offered
In addition to domain registration, A2 provides shared, VPS, WordPress, cloud, dedicated servers and reseller hosting plans. Each type of web hosting varies in pricing, features and usage. The type of plan you choose will depend on your business size, budget and needed features.
VPS and dedicated hosting are great ways to have your own distinct service instead of sharing servers with other A2 customers. They provide faster, more reliable services, but they are typically only necessary for large corporations with high-traffic websites.
Reseller hosting is ideal for providing your own customers with web hosting capabilities, if you're running a web hosting reseller business. Managed WordPress hosting, like shared hosting, is a good choice for small businesses; however, it is more expensive and benefits those who need a little more help with managing their site and require less personalization. Shared web hosting plans are the most cost-effective option for small business owners.
A2 Hosting Pricing and Plans
A2 Hosting breaks down its shared hosting plans into three types: Lite, Swift and Turbo.
The Lite plan typically starts at $7.99 per month, the Swift plan at $9.99 per month, and the Turbo plan at $18.99 per month. However, at the time of our review, all of the plans were on sale for 51% off. These costs may vary based on what services are included and how long your contract is. A2 offers terms up to three years. The longer the plan you sign up for, the cheaper the monthly rate.
The web hosting industry is competitive, causing many companies to offer discounts to first-time customers. This promotional pricing is usually only good for the first billing cycle or first year and then charged at the standard rate. Depending on what agreement is reached, make sure you have a clear idea of what the per-month pricing will be through your entire contract. Ask about renewal terms and any fees associated with them. It's important to review all of this information before you sign up.
A2 is one of the few companies we looked at that extends most of its services across all three plans. Some companies reserve the best services for the highest-paying customers, but A2 provides business owners with solid services regardless of what plan they sign up for. The main difference is speed – the Turbo plan includes some boosts that will make your site faster than the other plans.
There are no additional fees for canceling your service, but you may be required to pay out the rest of your agreement. If you cancel within the first 30 days, you'll receive a full refund. If you cancel after the allotted 30 days, you may receive a prorated refund rounded up to the next full month you have left on your contract. Refunds are not offered on partial months of service.
The amount of money you're refunded will depend largely on your own situation and your agreement with A2. If you received a free domain as part of a promotion, you will be required to pay A2 Hosting a $14.95 fee upon cancellation, and you will retain your domain registration.
These prices and terms apply to shared web hosting, but A2 also provides managed WordPress, VPS, dedicated and reseller hosting. Plans for each of these types of service vary in cost. For instance, dedicated and VPS hosting will likely be more expensive than shared and WordPress hosting. The more expensive services are better for larger businesses that need their own dedicated servers to support high traffic volumes.
A2 Hosting Web Hosting Features
A2 Hosting's shared hosting plans include a wide range of services and features that make it ideal for small businesses. It may be helpful to view a full breakdown of the features to compare each shared plan, but the overall offering matches up with other web hosting companies. One category A2 Hosting shines in is security, offering a suite of security services on each of its plans.
Storage and Bandwidth: A2, like many of the companies we reviewed, offers unlimited storage to its users. This extends to all three plans. However, "unlimited" in this case means a level of usage "defined by our experience with similarly situated customers," according to A2's terms of service. If you go over your allotted usage, you'll likely receive a warning or could even have your service suspended until your usage goes back down. A2's offering is consistent with many other services we looked at and should support most business's needs.
Security: A2 Hosting provides its customers with secure hosting options. Its shared hosting plans, along with many other plans, have access to 24/7 network monitoring, SSL certifications and free HackScan malware protection. They also provide KernelCare rebootless updates, a dual firewall, brute-force defense and reinforced DDoS protection. These measures, along with A2's Patchman-enhanced security tools, help to keep your website safe and secure at all times. Some plans even have the option for Server Rewind backups and offsite backups. A2 Hosting offers access to a priority support team, should you have any questions about your site security.
Pre-installed Apps and Integrations: A2 provides a wide range of pre-installed apps, including WordPress. You can monitor and control your site with the latest version of cPanel. Since cPanel is such a commonly used control panel, you are ensured an easy user experience and won't have to struggle with learning a unique, custom control panel. You'll also have access to Softaculous, which provides you with one-click access to Joomla, Drupal, CubeCart, B2evolution, phpBB and SMF. Other e-commerce site features are also available, like Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop and AbanteCart.
Domain Transfer: Site migration and transferring your domain to an A2 plan is easy, as long as you have your Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) code from your current registration company. In most cases, A2 Hosting can migrate an existing domain to its services for free. Any migration fees it charges are nonrefundable.
Reported Uptime: A2 Hosting, like most hosting companies we reviewed, says its customers enjoy 99.9% uptime; however, it doesn't provide a lot of detail on credits or deals should it fall short of this promise. Its terms of service say that the company will schedule periodic downtime for maintenance. In these instances, the company will warn you about the impending downtime.
Reputation and Customer Service
A2 Hosting is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau with an A rating. The company has an overwhelming number of positive online reviews and testimonials, and there have only been 26 customer complaints against it on the BBB website over the past three years. A2 Hosting had one of the best BBB pages of any company we reviewed.
We contacted A2 Hosting's customer support team via live chat to speak with representatives and test their customer service capabilities. We were almost immediately paired with support agents who were knowledgeable and courteous. They provided follow-up links as further resources to our questions. They even sent chat transcripts at the end of the service for future reference. Based on our research, A2 Hosting has very helpful customer service.
A2's money-back guarantee is a little more complex than other companies'. While you can technically get a refund at any time in your service, the first 30 days is the period where you will most likely get a full refund. While you may still be entitled to a partial refund down the road, other web hosting providers offer longer money-back guarantee periods, sometimes 45 or even 90 days.