Founded in 2001, A2 Web Hosting is known for its rapid page loading speed.
Indeed, they have provided one of the fastest server speeds we have seen in the past 12 months. A2 Hosting also offers a high level of uptime, which makes its hosting service highly reliable.
The hosting plans are developer-friendly, and their “anytime” money-back policy makes it one of the most unique providers in the industry.
It is important to note that the renewal rate increases substantially once your initial period ends. As for those who prefer a fast web hosting service at a low upfront price ($1.99/month) and the ability to scale as your business grows, A2 Hosting is the right selection.
In this review, we explore in detail A2 Hosting’s pros and cons after signing up with them, paying for their service, and putting it to the test.
1. A very fast loading speed (285 ms)
As a matter of fact, A2 Hosting is fast. The company has delivered an impressive average speed of 285 milliseconds during the past year.
The performance of A2 Hosting has been improving on a regular basis. Hence placing #2nd out of 40 hosts with regard to average speed (DigitalOcean is a little bit faster with 268 ms).
2. 99.97% Uptime Reliability
The A2 Hosting service is not only lightning-fast, but also quite reliable.
Several years ago, the company had difficulty reaching the industry standard of 99.93% uptime. Over the last year, they have resolved the problems and have achieved an average uptime of 99.97%. They experienced a downtime of approximately two hours.
3. Monitoring and scanning of servers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
An effective way to ensure the safety of your website is to take preventative measures before problems arise. However, additional scanning, firewalls, and layers of encryption can slow users down. With A2 Hosting, this is not the case. They provide a high degree of performance while also providing several additional security features.
As part of A2 Hosting’s service, HackScan monitors the server for malware and other threats 24 hours a day.
4. Free Site Migrations (1-25 Depending on the Plan)
On all plans, A2 Web Hosting allows the transfer of a single website to their servers free of charge.
In the case of a shared hosting plan, if you want to migrate multiple websites, it will cost an additional $10 per site. In contrast, if you choose the reseller hosting, dedicated hosting, or managed hosting, you receive 25 free site migrations.
5. ACMs (Content Management Systems) and developer-friendly tools
All major content management systems are compatible with A2 Hosting.
With just a few clicks, you can install a WordPress, OpenCart, Drupal, Joomla, or Magento website without requiring the assistance of a developer.
A2 Hosting also provides plugins that will accelerate the performance of these CMSs, starting with the “Turbo Boost” plan. With all hosting packages, you receive a Cloudflare CDN that contributes to speeding up your website
There is also a website builder offered by A2 Hosting, appropriately named A2 SiteBuilder. Although it is not included in the standard hosting plans, it can be purchased separately.
6. Money-back guarantee at any time
The company has gone further and provides a “anytime” money-back guarantee. Consequently, you are entitled to a full refund during the first 30 days of purchase. You can however cancel the service if you do not find the service appropriate, and you will receive a prorated refund for the time you have already prepaid.
Despite this, there are a few complications.
In the first instance, any refund requests beyond 120 days will be processed by PayPal. There is also the issue of ‘additional’ services, such as domain registrations, setup fees, or migration fees, being non-refundable. Any items that are not refunded to you, however, such as your domain name, can be kept by you.
7. Green web hosting
It is worth noting that A2 Hosting’s hometown Ann Arbor, Michigan, is known as “Tree Town.” They are reputed to have more than 50,000 trees and 150 parks. Therefore, A2 considers it a moral duty to help protect the planet from global warming.
In support of renewable energies and reforestation, they have partnered with Carbonfund.org. Furthermore, they have implemented the “FutureServe” green hosting initiative in order to offset emissions from their servers.
8. Customer support that is quick
A2 Hosting customer support team is available 24/7 via live chat, email, phone, and ticketing. In addition, they provide a vast knowledge base in case you wish to obtain answers on your own or learn something new.
1. Non-free Domain name
A2 Web Hosting does not include a free domain name with any of its shared hosting packages. In the web hosting industry, this is not a common sight since most of the hosting companies we have reviewed offer a free domain name (at least the first year).
When registering or transferring a domain name with A2 Hosting, you will be required to pay a fee, for example, $14.95/year for the .com extension (this fee is renewable).
2. Renewal rates are high (with a 15-day deadline)
The long-term plans offered by A2 Hosting are more affordable. Also, it offers introductory rates for its plans when you sign up for a first term, thereby reducing the regular price by more than half.
After the initial period, the sweet deal ends when the automatic renewal takes place at the “regular” price. Renewal fees are approximately four times higher than the average monthly price you initially paid.
The situation worsens.
In accordance with their terms, you must submit a written cancellation request “15 days prior to the start of the renewal term” through the customer portal or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens if you do not meet the 15-day deadline? As a result, you will be responsible for paying the next renewal plan, which will renew automatically, and you will not be eligible for a refund.
3. Limitations on the lowest-priced plan
A2 Hosting’s introductory price for its cheapest shared hosting service (“Startup”) is currently $1.99/month. Although it is not the lowest price we have seen, it is still quite good.
However, this lowest costing plan has a number of restrictions. It only offers one website, 100 GB of SSD storage, and lacks features such as automatic backups and server rewind. With the next tier plan which costs $3.99/month, you already gain access to unlimited websites and SSD storage, plus free automatic backups and 2x more resources.
It seems suspicious that the cheapest plan exists only for the purpose of promoting a low price when most of the useful features for the creation of an online presence can only be found on the more expensive plans.
A2 Hosting is recommended by us?
We certainly do.
Throughout the last several years, A2 Hosting has consistently provided exceptional performance. Their uptime has also been improved, making the service more reliable. Further, all of their shared plans include a free SSL certificate and free site migration.
And if you encounter issues at any time during your membership, you can request a refund on the prorated portion of time remaining on your subscription.
It is unfortunate that renewal rates are high and the terms after the initial period are rather restrictive. Furthermore, if you purchase a shared hosting plan that permits hosting of unlimited websites (“Turbo Max”), they still provide you with only one free migration. In addition, it is important to note that any of their shared hosting plans do not include a free domain name.