A2 HOSTING REVIEW
A2 Hosting was all an idea of Bryan Muthig who set the blueprint of a hosting web service that has become one of the big dogs in terms of speed and reliability. Their turbo servers guarantee 20x quicker page loads compared to regular hosting platforms.
A2 HOSTING HISTORY
For a while now, A2 Hosting has been one of the most popular Web Hosting service providers in the world. I read a publication about how they began and realized that the company started in 2001 and quickly established it’s base in Michigan, United States. The company was also able to expand and set up data centres in Amsterdam in the Netherlands as well as Singapore. Initially, it was known as Iniquity but later rebranded to what it is today. The name “A2” emerged as a tribute to the company’s base location, Anne Arbor in Michigan.
A2 became one of the first web hosting companies to incorporate PHP5 as early as 2004. Also in 2013, A2 included the use of solid-state drives (SSD) in their hosting service delivery, and this undeniably boosted the speed of their service.
Before choosing tllo go with A2 Hosting, one area I was concerned about was getting the best deal with a web hosting platform that was reliable for at least most of the time. I look out for speed and reliability when choosing a web hosting service, and so I decided to do a little research. Some statistics I gathered showed that the average uptime of 32 shared web hosting service providers was 99.59% which turned out to be plus or minus 35 hours of downtime per annum. It bolstered my understanding as to why online giants like Facebook and Google also get hit by downtime. From my years of experience, any service provider who promises you 100% uptime is not being realistic or sincere. Another study from Dun and Bradstreet shows that close to 60% of Fortune 500 companies recorded over 1hour 30mins of downtime per week. Hence, you shouldn’t settle for any web hosting service that offers anything less than 99.94%. In my opinion, it is A2’s biggest strength. Even though they do not provide 100% uptime, they guarantee 99.9% of uptime period on all their hosting servers, being an active customer for the past year. The third website I registered over seven months ago has been live and productive so far with 0% downtime. The reason for this level of stability is as a result of A2 Hosting‘s policy which ensures that none of their shared servers are overloaded at any given time. It is, not rocket science as making conscious efforts to curb choking reduces the burden on any server, especially during periods of spikes in the number of clients. I also got to find out caching was another integral operational practice that involved storing relevant information on your device’s browser. These resources are saved in your browser’s cache so that recurring details doesn’t have to be requested every time a user visits.
LITTLE OR NO DOWNTIME
A2 Hosting is comparatively stable, but at some point; you will experience system downtime with any web hosting platform. However, with A2 Hosting, you shouldn’t be experiencing any frequent downtime periods.
With the use of SSDs as well as turbo servers, A2 is on beast mode when it comes to speed and reliability. A2 is quite lucid about their server speeds and statistics are available for review on third-party platforms like WebsitePulse. SwiftServer, a platform of A2, also boosts the momentum by ensuring the smooth functioning on your websites regardless of periods of heavy traffic.
A significant contributor to the speed is the fact that you, as a user, will always be connected to the nearest server to your current location. A2 Hosting also has data centers in 3 different continents, and these data centers are monitored continuously round the clock.
Excellent back-up and security features
The data centers of A2 Hosting are SSAE16 certified, putting in place a gated parking lot with security key entry. In addition to this, a security key is required to gain access to data centers. The entire physical security situation is also equipped with video surveillance. Besides, the system is equipped with a server rewind back-up feature which enables a user to get data from saved accounts as well as back-up snapshots. There are also a few essential security tools that A2 makes available, one of which is called a Hackscan, which is part of their prime security initiatives. Another key feature is their dual web hosting firewall, joined by virus scanning, security monitoring, and brute force defense system. There are also optional add-ons where everything has to be set-up and managed by you, unlike some other web hosting platforms. A2 then goes a step further by helping you harness these add-ons seamlessly in the background; giving you peace of mind while surfing your web page.
A2 also uses Cloudflare, another package which has many features and security protection elements to help deliver your content as fast as possible without having to worry about malicious threats reaching your website. In addition to these, A2 has a security solution called “Patchman” available to all shared SSD accounts as well as some HDD servers worldwide. “Patchman” helps detect out-of-date software versions, infected files, etc. It also helps to patch up any security problems with Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.
Excellent customer support.
This is one of my favorite things about A2. They have a reliable customer support team called “Guru crew support.” They are incredibly useful, and this is because they do not sublet their support facilities to cut costs; instead, they provide their clients with in-house expertise and knowledge.
They have also been able to form their support team with the best professionals who possess adequate technical knowledge. This is why reason why their tech support team is not only able to answer your fundamental queries with ease but is also ready to tackle any technical issue you might have.
Even as a web developer, you would have access to excellent support from the A2 support team for trying out advanced features on your website. The support team is pretty much at your beck and call 24 hours a day, all year round. Clients can connect with the support team via phone calls, chat, emails, or just by submitting a ticket. From personal experience, their response time when compared to other hosting services is pretty impressive as they do not believe in keeping their customers waiting for long.
Standard control panel
A2 Hosting should perfectly suit both a newbie who knows nothing about web hosting as well as an experienced webmaster. They make use of the industry-standard cPanel with a straightforward user interface that is easy to understand. With features like softaculous users are able to install WordPress scripts of other CMS in just a few clicks. You also have quick and easy access to Drupal, Joomla and a ton of other applications via the control panel.
Peradventure you run an e-commerce platform, softaculous offers a shopping cart should the need for this arise. A2 also has support for some other highly potent e-commerce tools including magenta and PrestaShop. Also, knowledge of complex coding is not required for the one-click cart functionality set-up.
For advanced users who would love to have root access on their hosting account, A2 allows for the installation of open-source control panels like zPanel, ISPConfig, and Ajenti.
A2 Hosting also offers amazing opportunities for developers too so if you happen to be more inclined to web development and you are into stuff like coding or programming like I am, then you are bound to enjoy the unique support that A2 offers for different programming languages and tools.
A2 Hosting is arguably one of the most affordable and reliable web hosting providers available at the moment. So far, they have been able to deliver:
High-quality developer tools
Premium speed performance
Customer service satisfaction.
A2 seems to have something for everyone in terms of hosting plans; they may not be the cheapest you’ll ever see; however, they are certainly not far off. A2 hosting plans come in three main options.
Lite (between $3.92 to $6.37 per month)
Swift (between $4.90 2 $7.35 per month)
Turbo (between $9.31 to $12.25 per month)
The main differences and variation between the plans include the number of websites, storage limit, total databases, and operating systems. These plans are well-tailored for personal use, and private businesses as its features include free DNS management, unlimited storage, spam filtering sites statistics, 24/7 customer support, and more. A2 Hosting‘s most affordable plan is the Lite plan which goes for as little as $3.92 per month. There’s no cause to worry as the company offers a full refund within 30-days
Why should you choose A2 Hosting?
Some of the perks of going with A2 include:
They offer turbo web servers that are comparatively 20x faster at loading pages.
There is a money-back guarantee.
Amazing server uptime rated at 99.9%.
They run a site accelerator (TurboCache, OPcache/APC, Memcache).
There’s free SSL with Let’s encrypt and pre-tuned for security.
You get free scheduled daily back-ups and server rewind tool.
It comes pre-installed with free website migrations and WordPress.
HTTP/2, SSD, PHP7 with free Cloudflare CDN and HackS
Reasons not to choose A2 Hosting
The cost implication on server migration for changing data centers is a hassle.
The 20x faster turbo server feature and A2 site accelerator feature are only available on the turbo plan.
From my point of view, which is the point of view of a customer, web developer and web hosting expert, I believe there is no one web hosting service that offers you a 100% in all departments, and so the decision boils down to what exactly you want as an end-user. While I was seeking web hosting services over a year ago, as I mentioned earlier, I was particular about speed and reliability, and these are the areas in which A2 thrive. Some key aspects one should take into consideration are price, features, speed, security, and customer support. In terms of cost on a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate it an 9/10. In terms of features and what they have to offer for your money, it will be 9/10 from me again, as I’m quite satisfied with features like the DNS management service, spam filtering, site statistics, and unlimited storage.
In terms of speed, honestly, it is a 10/10 for me as I’ve never for once experienced slow speed over the past year and some days. In terms of customer support, it’s another 8/10 for me. Their 24/7 customer care support is indeed reliable and always ready to deal with your issues.
Overall, as a web expert, I’ll say it’s never going to be a flawless experience with any hosting service at all, but if speed and security top your priority list, then A2 Hosting is an ideal go-to option for you. They are independently owned, and this means that they have full autonomy over all servers. Their prices are quite affordable.