Welcome to the most detailed, honest and transparent A2 Hosting Review on the planet.
No, it’s not an exaggeration, I’ll tell you why. I’d not just share my opinions or what the company “claims” to offer. Rather, I actually bought a hosting package from A2 Hosting and hosted my domain on it.
I’d be running a number of different tests on the domain. But more importantly, every stat or data I share can be independently and transparently verified by you. So unlike most other A2 Hosting Reviews out there, I’d not just be saying “A2 hosting has a response time of ‘X’ seconds”. Rather, I’ll share with you a screenshot and the exact URL for the test-result (s) so you know the screenshot isn’t doctored.
A2 Hosting Review
Here’s everything I’m discussing and/or testing throughout this A2 Hosting Review:
- Pricing plans and benefits.
- Page load-time test.
- Server response-time test.
- Server response-time with traffic hike.
- Server location choices.
- 99% Uptime commitment.
- Anytime refund policy.
Let’s get going!
A2 Hosting Overview
Before you jump in with both feet, let me paint you an outline of the company?
- Plans start at: $3.92/month.
- Website migration: Free
- WordPress optimized: Yes.
- Free SSL : Yes.
- Free domain : No.
- Free CDN: Yes.
- Live Chat: Yes
- Phone support: Yes.
- Money Back: 30 Days/ Anytime.
- Website: www.a2hosting.com
Proof of Purchase
All the tests will be conducted on- “http://updateland-hostingreview.online/”. The domain was purchased with the sole intention of getting these unbiased and transparent reviews done.
As for the hosting package, here’s a screenshot which proves my purchase of the same.
And here’s my IntoDNS report:
This proves that my domain is indeed hosted on A2 Hosting. Let’s get started with this A2 Hosting Review then?
A2 Hosting Pricing Plans and Benefits
Before anything else, I believe you need to know if it fits your budget. All its features (or the lack thereof) only matter if it’s within your budget, isn’t that right?
Well, A2 Hosting holds a dominating position in our list of the best cheapest web hosting providers.
Its cheapest plan starts at a low $3.92/month for shared servers.
Even the cheapest shared plan ($3.92/month) will get you:
- A2 Hosting Free SSL Certificate (from Let’s Encrypt).
- Unlimited space and bandwidth.
- Free website migration.
- 25 E-mail accounts.
- And Free Cloudflare CDN.
If you’re willing to pay a bit more, you can go for its “Swift” ( $4.90/month) or “Turbo” ( $9.31/month) plans. These offer:
- Free automatic backups
- And 20x faster speed.
Page Load-Time Test
In the simplest possible words, this is a measure of the time required to display a website’s full content to a user. This includes text, images, widgets and everything else.
Here’s some data from Google. It displays how every single second which adds to your load-time impacts your bounce-rate, and eventually your business and revenue.
My website weighs exactly 57.2KB (as it’s all dummy-content). I tested its speed using Pingdom from various locations. Here are my test-results:
|North America||553 ms. (Verify)|
The screenshot above is from the fastest result, viz. a viz. North America (553ms). You can verify the results by clicking on the link provided in the box above. 553ms is pretty impressive, and arguably one of the fastest speeds we’ve seen so far. Even from the other locations, the speed is more than acceptable.
Just to get a second opinion, I also tested it from Canada using GTMetrix. The load-time came out to be 1 second (verify).
Note that I didn’t enable a CDN so the results you’re seeing are RAW, without any modification, boost or friction.
However this speed would differ based on each website’s content, distance from server, webpage size, optimization and many other aspects.
Server Response Time Test
This is a more direct test of a server’s performance. It relies less on the website’s content and more on the server itself. I’d not make this into a research paper by trying to explain what the SRT exactly is. Let’s keep things simple eh?
According to Google, a response time of <200ms is ideal. So that’s our yardstick/measuring-tape for now.
I tested my website using Bitcatcha. It gave me the fastest response time of 25ms for U.S (East). The slowest response time was for Singapore, at 298ms.
Again, considering the 200ms bar set by Google, I’d say this couldn’t get any better. Don’t you agree?
Server Response Time with Traffic-Hike
I’m leaving no stones unturned. The servers perform good in general, but does this performance hold under pressure?
To test just that, I’d be sending 50 virtual users to my website. These users (bots) would visit the website at the same time and stay there for 5minutes.
At the back-end, I’d be monitoring the server’s performance every step of the way, and would share the results with you.
So I used Loadimpact (now re-branded as K6 Cloud) to get the job done, and here are the results:
The server seemed pretty consistent throughout the test. It required 47-49ms throughout the entire test regardless of the number of V.Us active on the site.
In a nutshell, no a traffic-spike on your website won’t make your website go crazy. It’ll still be fast and not lose its normal performance by much.
So those were the tests I promised you. I’m pretty sure you’ve got an idea of the company’s potential by now?
Let’s get into some less-technical aspects which are no less important when choosing your hosting partner.
Server Location Choice
Not many hosts offer this, fortunately A2 Hosting does. You can choose a server-location of your choice from one of the following four locations:
- Michigan (U.S)
- Arizona (U.S)
- And Singapore.
As you may already know, the server-location majorly impacts the speed for your users. Hence the ability to choose a location based on where your target audience will be from is a boon.
Note that the location-choice is available regardless of your pricing-plan so that’s an added bonus.
99% Uptime Commitment
The company guarantees 99% uptime. Their claim is backed by the fact that you get a 5% refund on your paid-fee for every hour of downtime that your website experiences due to the server/company’s fault.
As far as my personal experience goes, my website never went down so far. I went through some other A2 Hosting reviews on the internet, and the uptime report is equally impressive on each of them.
Let’s say you’ve never before used a hosting server. Keeping that in mind, I’d say A2 Hosting offers one of the easiest stepping stones even for first-timers.
Here’s what the interface looks like:
No, it isn’t the easiest interfaces we’ve seen. But isn’t rocket-science either. For e.g. the shortcuts in the above screenshots clearly explain where they lead to.
I installed WordPress and the process literally took seconds, thanks to A2 WordPress hosting which is modified specially for this very purpose. Although you could also go through our list of the Best WordPress Hosting Companies if WordPress hosting is what you’re explicitly looking for.
There also is a clear “cPanel” button which takes you to the A2 Hosting cPanel. The login details are e-mailed to your e-mail ID for convenience.
So all in all, you don’t need to be a tech-whiz in order to use A2 Hosting.
A2 Hosting Support
Support is extremely important. Not each of you may be a web-developer. You may get stuck, confused or just mess things up, and that’s perfectly normal.
A2 Hosting offers 24X7 live-chat. You can connect to them even before you spend a dime, just to get your doubts cleared.
Note that I’ve seen wait-times as high as 27-minutes with them. However, closing the session and restarting the chat process somehow gets you agents instantly.
Additionally, it offers Toll-free customer care numbers for majority of the countries on the planet. All in all, their support is without doubt one of the best in terms of availability, speed or quality of answers.
Not that you’d need it, but they also can be contacted via E-mails.
Anytime Refund Policy
The most unique aspect on this A2 Hosting Review is its “Anytime” money-back guarantee. It’s the only company to offer such a massively generous refund-policy.
If you claim a refund within the first 30-days, you get 100% of your payment back. Although if you claim a refund anytime later, the refund is prorated.
Or in other words, the company still charges you for the months you used their services, and refunds the remaining amount.
A2 Hosting Pros and Cons
Perfection is a myth, the same holds true for A2 Hosting as well. It too isn’t completely without its flaws. Here are its primary Pros and Cons-
- Extremely fast speed.
- Lot’s of free add-ons.
- 24X7 support.
- No free domain.
- High renewal rates.
So let’s wrap this A2 Hosting review up then? As the tests above prove, the company doesn’t disappoint as far as “speed” goes. Is it really faster than Siteground and Bluehost though? I’d say yes, but why don’t you head over to our Siteground review and BlueHost review and see for yourself?
It totally caters to the needs of the average website owner, as well as WordPress-lovers.
Most of the add-ons you’d need, such as the SSL, CDN, or website migration are all offered for free. The uptime guarantee makes sure your website doesn’t go down long enough to hurt your business.
The only downers are the facts that it doesn’t offer free domains with any of its plans which most other best hosting companies do. And secondly, the renewal rates are pretty high. But that’s pretty common in the industry.
Anyway, this is me signing off folks. Do let me (and the other readers on this A2 Hosting review) know your thoughts on the company. Or, just share your experiences maybe?