A2 Hosting Pros & Cons
A2 Hosting is one of the oldest providers around. They are originally from Michigan and started in 2001 under another name (Iniquinet). Later on, in 2003, the name was changed to A2 Hosting.
Shared Web Hosting
If you want to launch a site without spending a lot of money, shared hosting should be on your radar. Shared hosting places your site on a server with many other sites, so you share server resources and lower your overall hosting fee. It’s a solid form of cheap web hosting, but it isn’t particularly powerful. The main drawback is that the other sites that share your server can slow—or even take down—your site, if they crash badly or get a big traffic spike.
A2 offers four tiers of Linux-based shared web hosting: Startup, Drive, Turbo Boost, and Turbo Max. Startup (starting at $2.99 per month) has 100GB of SSD storage and unlimited monthly data transfers, but you’re limited to a single domain and just 25 email addresses. Drive (starting at $4.99 per month) builds on Startup by offering unlimited storage, email addresses, and domains. Turbo Boost (starting at $9.99 per month) tops the other two by moving things to NVMe SSDs on A2’s AMD EPYC servers, with pre-configured site caching. Finally, there’s Turbo Max (starting at $14.99 per month), that increase the resources available to the web server. The memory jumps from 2GB to 4GB, and the servers are 4-core instead of 2-core.
VPS Web Hosting
As with its shared hosting plans, A2 offers multiple Linux-based virtual private server (VPS) packages. VPS hosting is like shared hosting in that multiple sites exist on the same server. The difference? VPS hosting offers more resources per site. There are far fewer sites on each server, and each is isolated from its server mates.
A2’s Unmanaged VPS (starting at $4.99 per month), a service designed for experienced web site admins who have their own IT staff, has a baseline Runway 1 tier with 1GB of RAM, 2TB of monthly data transfers, and 150GB of storage. If you go for the next tier (starting at $7.99 per month), the RAM, storage, and monthly data transfer totals increase to 2GB, 250GB, and 3TB, respectively. The following tier, Runaway 4 (starting at $9.99 per month), brings those numbers up to 4GB of RAM, 4TB of monthly data transfers, and 450GB of storage. Finally, the top tier is Supersonic 8 (at a substantial $29.99 per month) with 8GB of RAM, a drop to 2TB of monthly data transfers, but on 150GB of NVMe SSD storage for blistering speed. You aren’t locked into those specs, however. A2 lets you spec out its Unmanaged offerings with up to 4TB of monthly data transfers, 32GB of RAM, and 450GB of NVMe storage.
Managed VPS (starting at $34.99 per month) offers a base Lift 4 plan that boasts 4GB of RAM, 150GB of storage, 2TB of monthly data transfers. A2’s top-tier Mach 16 plan has 8GB of storage, 150GB of storage, and 4TB of monthly data transfers. The plans come with HostGuard Management service, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty with under-the-hood happenings. These managed plans, which see A2 handle the server care, don’t allow you to increase the RAM, storage, or monthly data transfer totals. It’s noting that both managed and unmanaged VPS have root access options for complete website control; it’s standard on unmanaged VPS plans and an option for managed ones.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated servers are the most powerful web hosting offerings around, as your website shares zero server resources with other sites. If you expect a large amount of website traffic, you should spring for dedicated hosting.
A2 has many Linux-powered dedicated server packages. The managed (starting at $141 per month), unmanaged (starting at $99.59 per month), and Core (starting at $141 per month) servers all have at least two CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, 10TB of monthly data transfers, and two 500GB hard drives. They mainly differ in their abilities to let you obtain root access and use HostGuard Management.
Cloud Web Hosting
Cloud hosting is becoming increasingly common. It differs from traditional hosting in that it spreads resources across multiple servers, whereas traditional hosting pulls power from a single server. A2, like many other web hosts, offers multiple tiers of cloud hosting; unfortunately, they’re limited to just the Linux operating system.
Excellent Customer Service
If you’re ever in need of technical assistance, A2’s aptly named Guru Crew is available to lend a helping hand. Available 24/7 via phone or live chat, the Guru Crew is one of the best customer support teams I’ve encountered in the web hosting space.
We contacted the team on a weekday morning to learn which plans offer Windows-based hosting (none do!) and how to install WordPress.
A2 offers an Anytime Money Back Guarantee that grants you a full refund if you cancel your account within a 30-day window. Sure, many web hosts offer that type of refund, but A2 one-ups them by offering a prorated refund if you decide to pack it up after 30 days.
An Outstanding Web Host
A2 has nearly everything you’d expected from a top-tier web host, including terrific uptime and knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives. The company’s hosting packages are notably robust too, especially its WordPress plans, which makes it our top pick if you’re building a WordPress-based site. A2 lacks Windows hosting, so turn to HostGator or Hostwinds (also Editors’ Choices) for building a website on Microsoft’s platform.
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