|A2 Hosting standout features|
|Performance||Average response times and server speeds.|
|Average load time||608 ms|
|Average response time||1289 ms|
|Free domain||Not included|
|SSL||Free with all subscriptions|
|1-click WordPress||Free with all subscriptions|
|Support||Available 24/7 through phone and live chat|
What Are the Pros and Cons of A2 Hosting?
There’s a lot to like about A2 Hosting, from its wide range of subscriptions and 24/7 support to guaranteed uptime of 99.9% or above. However, we found a few weaknesses, including the interface and lack of support for Windows. Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of A2 Hosting.
Pros of A2 Hosting
- Flexibility: A2 provides a wide selection of hosting types, so there’s something for every user, and you can adjust the hosting plan if your needs change.
- 24/7 support availability: The company offers 24/7 global customer support through phone and live chat.
- 30-day money-back guarantee: You can get a full refund within 30 days. If you wait longer, you’ll still get a prorated refund for unused service until 90 days.
- 99.9% uptime guarantee: A2 guarantees 99.9% uptime, meaning your site is guaranteed to be down less than 1/1000th of the time.
Cons of A2 Hosting
- Visual design: A2’s interface isn’t intuitive or aesthetically pleasing, its website is dated, and the main dashboard is difficult to parse. Overall, A2 is behind its top competitors concerning visual design and ease of use.
- Long-term contracts: To get the lowest prices, you must commit to a three-year contract. If you opt to go monthly, you will pay over three times the price for each hosting option.
- No free domain name: A2 doesn’t provide free domain names, so you must acquire a domain name. This adds an extra cost to your hosting subscription.
Free SSL certificate
Secure connections rely on SSL certificates to verify the site’s identity and transmit encrypted data to the user’s web browser. You won’t have to worry about finding an SSL certificate if you host your website through A2. Every A2 hosting plan includes a free SSL certificate, and some subscriptions come with a premium one such as RapidSSL.
Free site migration
If you’re bringing an existing website to A2, the team will help you get it on its servers. While some specific situations may require a migration charge, migration is free in most cases.
Unlimited email addresses
Depending on the kind of website you’re hosting, you may want email addresses associated with that domain. Dedicated email addresses may appear more professional than generic email domains such as Gmail or Yahoo. Every A2 Hosting subscription comes with unlimited email addresses as well as unlimited email storage.
WordPress management tools
Even if you’re not on a managed WordPress hosting plan, A2 subscriptions still include pre-installed WordPress. You’ll receive an email with log on instructions, and A2 also provides preset optimizations for both performance and site security.
Quick installation for other software
WordPress is an incredibly popular platform for all kinds of sites. Still, you may prefer another service such as Drupal, Joomla, PrestaShop, or OpenCart. A2 Hosting provides one-click installation for all of these platforms and more.
cPanel control panel
If you opt for a managed A2 Hosting plan, you can access a streamlined cPanel Control Panel. This makes it easy to configure various website settings and view key pieces of information about your site. For example, you can create backups, check site statistics, and manage your email accounts.
99.9% uptime guarantee
Every A2 Hosting package comes with an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. In most cases, you’ll be eligible for compensation if your site is ever down for more than 0.1% of a particular month. You will even get a free month of hosting after about 21 hours of downtime in a single month.
Uptime and reliability
Based on our research, A2 Hosting servers had been up 99.957% of the 30 days ending on June 7, 2022. That’s even better than its average uptime over the past five years, which is 99.908%.
While it wouldn’t be fair to call A2 unreliable, its uptime is still lower than what we’ve seen from other top hosting providers. For example, SiteGround’s historical average is 99.991%, which means that A2 experiences roughly 10 times more downtime than SiteGround.
To be fair, it looks like A2 Hosting may have had some issues in 2018 and 2019, where their uptime was 99.979% and 99.759%, respectively. Since then, they have had an average uptime of well over 99.9% consistently.
While I have not been able to find any announcements from them explaining this improvement, it seems clear to me that they did make some sort of change to improve their uptime and reliability.
Site response times
Downtime is incredibly frustrating, but consistently long response times can be even worse. Keep in mind that loading times will depend on your site design and hosting provider. For example, a website with lots of images will typically take longer to load than one that only contains text.
While A2 performed fairly well with respect to uptime, its site response times weren’t quite as impressive. Out of a pool of over 160 web hosts, A2’s response time was in the bottom 20% over the same 30-day period. With an average of 1289 milliseconds, A2 took an average of more than a second to respond.
According to industry standards, as long as a website loads in two seconds (2000 ms) or less, it is acceptable, so A2hosting does meet that, but it would be nice to see them boost their response times a little more.
SSL is a standard encryption protocol used for communication between servers and web browsers. Without an SSL certificate, browsers will be unable to create a secure connection to your website. SSL certificates encrypt all communication and ensure that data won’t be intercepted by anyone else.
Protecting your data
A2 Hosting offers key security features including:
- DDoS protection
- Virus scanning
- Daily kernel updates
- Defense against brute force attacks
- HackScan protection on managed WordPress sites
These will help protect your site from some of the most common cybersecurity threats.
You don’t want to wait for the next business day when something goes wrong with your web host. A2 provides responsive 24/7 customer support to help resolve problems as rapidly as possible. The team is available via phone, live chat, and support tickets, so you can reach out in whatever way is best for you.
I was able to resolve many questions without contacting support by simply checking the A2 Knowledge Base. From setup guides to cPanel configurations and information for developers, the Knowledge Base has all the information necessary to work out the most common issues.
Unfortunately, A2 Hosting hasn’t been doing much to iterate its existing offerings. I couldn’t find any information on the website about recent product updates, so I contacted the company directly. While I got a quick response to my message, it only confirmed what I had already suspected:
With that in mind, we don’t expect to see major alterations to pricing, functionality, design, or other areas of the A2 Hosting service in the near future. Some other hosting providers are constantly updating their offerings, so it’s possible that A2 will fall behind its top competitors over time.
While A2 Hosting does not seem to be making any major new upgrades to its service offerings, it has kept its current offerings current with the latest features. Some examples of this include:
- A2 Hosting upgraded their PHP support to the latest stable version, which is 8.1.
- In January of 2022, A2 Hosting added in new security features for all their managed WordPress plans. These security features include HackScan Protection, Reinforced DDoS Protection, and KernelCare.
- A2 Hosting began offering Magento support on managed VPS hosting packages in late 2001.
These updates are in addition to standard version upgrades and other related ‘general maintenance’ types of improvements.
Compare A2 Hosting Alternatives
A2 Hosting is a solid web host, but other providers that offer advantages in some areas. We’ve tested the most popular hosts to compare their pros and cons and identify good options for different users. Take a look at how A2 Hosting stacks up against other leading web hosts:
Frequently Asked Questions About A2 Hosting
What does A2 Hosting do?
Is A2 Hosting secure?
What kind of support does A2 Hosting offer?
How do I cancel my A2 Hosting account?
What are the best alternatives to A2 Hosting?
Who owns A2 Hosting?
Does A2 Hosting support Django?
Does A2 Hosting have an email limit?
Does A2 Hosting offer migrations?
A2 offers migrations with every hosting plan, and most migrations are complete within 24 to 48 hours. However, there’s always a chance that something will take longer than expected, so the company recommends leaving at least one week of overlap time before you close your former hosting account.
While A2 advertises free migrations, this feature is described in more detail on the website:
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to contact the team before subscribing if you’re worried about migration fees stemming from your current hosting setup.
How I Rated A2 Hosting
I test web hosts based on the following factors:
- Plan value: What plans are available, and do they offer a good value?
- Ease of use: Is the dashboard easy to navigate?
- Support: How fast can you get help when needed, and is support genuinely helpful?
- Features: What features does the host offer, and how do they compare to similar competitors?
- Security: Does the host offer SSL certificates, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack protection, backup services, and scans for viruses and malware?
- Speed and uptime: Does the provider offer a fast, stable environment for your website? How does it perform in tests, and what kind of servers does the hosting company use?
- Recent improvements: What has the host done lately to update its technology and services?
Learn more about our review methodology.