If you are looking for a web hosting that has good performance and fast as well, then you must consider A2 Hosting.
A2 Hosting is a web hosting that was created in 2011, so it’s been in the business for a while now. Initially, they were known as Iniquinet, what a name! Yeah, I know you’re thinking it too. I guess after being in the business for a couple of years, they seen it too; the best move they made was rebranding to now known as A2 Hosting.
We are very happy, and I could barely get that name right. So moving on, apart from the whole drama with the name, I must say their excellence in service and the light-hearted, fun-loving culture also draws many clients to them.
Every company wants to give their best in terms of service; however, long-term, loyal clients are built on a good functional relationship. And that’s what we found with A2 Hosting.
Of late, we have heard a buzz on the internet and a couple of businesses we know speaking a lot of good things about A2 Hosting web hosting upgraded services. So, we wanted to experience it for ourselves. We got the Turbo web hosting and Swift web hosting account and ran a couple of our own tests, and guess what? We are super happy with the outcome.
Everyone has heard about Guru Service of A2 Hosting offering 24×7 support and limitless benefits. They have applied many perks and features, but in reality, it’s the speedy package wrapped in quality features that leaves their contenders to bite the dust.
After critical benchmarking and testing, we think A2 Hosting deserves a special place in the business. There are a couple of things we really liked and some not so much.
- 1 A2 Hosting Features we like:
- 2 A2 Hosting Review
- 3 Unlimited Features
- 4 Guru Support
- 5 Data Centres
- 6 Optimized Servers
- 7 Intuitive Interface
- 8 A few things they could improve
- 9 Shared Hosting Options
- 10 VPS Options
- 11 A2 Hosting and their Competitors
- 12 A2 Hosting vs SiteGround
- 13 Our Thoughts
A2 Hosting Features we like:
They are Fast!
I must agree that for us, speed is the most important thing we look for in a host. A host that can cater that to us earns bonus points from us. Early in the business, we understood that it comes down to speed, every millisecond counts.
I’m sure we’ve all had better things to do, but have you ever noticed the amount of time taken to blink? About 400 milliseconds (Well, what can I say, I’ve had some idle time on my hands).
Now a good web hosting will take half that time to respond to requests made. Only then will they be deemed effective. According to Google’s recommendation, it is 20 ms. Your data has to reflect on your visitor’s screen at about the same time.
If it’s going to get slower than this, you can bid farewell to a potential customer. Your customers will be taking their business to your competitors for sure. Honestly, this happens to me too; I don’t have the patience to wait for a site to load; I rather move on to a quicker and effective website.
Looking from the effective point of view, I must say, A2 Hosting is effective.
We tested both our sites using Swift A2 Hosting and Turbo A2 Hosting . We first put it through the speed test (I’m sure you had already guessed it). The test results were fantastic.
We conducted the test on A2 Hosting by checking on the response time between server locations; from eight locations across the planet, we pinged. We averaged the scores, and the web hosting were ranked on their performance.
The recommended response time from Google is 20 ms (note: Low is always better). Below is a chart on the ranking
Below +180 ms: A+
181 – 210 ms: A
211 – 220 ms: B+
221 – 240 ms: B
And so on.
A2 Hosting Review
Swift Plan; Avg speed: 173; Data centre: Singapore
|US (E)||US (W)||Singapore||Sao Paulo||London|
|212 ms||172 ms||6 ms||316 ms||28 ms|
|141 ms||163 ms||218 ms||67 ms||159 ms|
Turbo Plan; Avg Speed: 149 ms; Data Centre: Michigan
|US (E)||US (W)||Singapore||Sao Paulo||London|
|10 ms||63 ms||234 ms||145 ms||129 ms|
|214 ms||433 ms||13 ms||147 ms||110 ms|
The speed results for Turbo A2 Hosting and Swift A2 Hosting came back A+. Turbo A2 Hosting was a tad faster at 149 ms, and Swift was at an average of 173 ms.
Okay, I agree they are not the fastest in the business, but for a host to be given A+ is for sure considered good for us. Now, if you combine all the luxurious features, we have got a gold medalist in web hosting!
A2 Hosting offer a secret weapon with all their plans – Turbo Servers. A2 Hosting affirm websites load 20 times faster when hosted on the Turbo server in comparison to regular sites. This is because the efficient servers are not overcrowded by users and are good at managing connections.
Now we decided to run a test of our own to confirm these claims made by them. From Chicago, we pinged the Turbo A2 Hosting and from Singapore the Swift A2 Hosting. Turbo took 0.981 ms to complete the load while Swift took 1.066 ms. That’s quite an improvement. When the websites get heavier, we will see a sizable disparity in load speeds between pages.
A2 Hosting offer SSD storage with all their shared hosting packages. This is the reason for A2 Hosting quick loading time. If you’re reading and thinking it’s not that big a deal, then let me assure you, it is! If you have an ecommerce store, then speed is vital. If your site takes even a minute longer to load, you could be losing a client.
Today, people lack patience and attention span. The slightest thing can make them change their mind. Even waiting for a page to load could bore them, making them leave the site. It is the loss of a potential customer, in turn, loss of money.
In comparison to the regular hard disks, SSDs are 30% faster. So, in our search for a good host, as soon as we see SSD as a storage of a web page, we are secretly excited in anticipation of fast loading speeds.
What is uptime?
We looked it up at the Wikipedia explanation – it is opposite to downtime. Well, that’s one way to explain it, and perhaps a simple one.
Uptime is the total number of hours your website has been available for visitors to view and depends on your web hosing. 100% uptime is not found that easily; many web hosting services providers in the market offer a 99.9% uptime. So if many offer 99.9%, what’s new that A2 Hosting offers? Here’s the deal;
If downtime occurs and it’s not a scheduled one, and it’s over 0.1% of the overall time in a month then, A2 Hosting will offer a 5% service credit from the fee amount paid every month for each hour the website was not up because of the internal equipment or network failure.
This is not applicable for ISP problems, DDoS attacks or any problems caused by exterior forces. We are very appreciative of the guarantee they offer their customers. The level of confidence they have in the uptime increases our confidence in their service.
We would like to share the data from the website test. The counters are updating constantly.
|Uptime Since September 2020 99.95%|
Plan: Swift, Datacenter: Singapore
|Uptime Since February 2021 99.99%|
Plan: Turbo, Datacenter: Michigan
I find no difference between the A2 Hosting regular business and A2 Hosting online ones, both are always trying to curb their expenses. It can sometimes get very irritating when you need an extra email address or a domain, and you have to shell out those extra bucks to have it.
A2 Hosting offers a list of unlimited features with the Turbo and Swift accounts. I’ve listed them below;
They offer unlimited;
- Email Addresses
- Subdomains, Add-on Domain and Parked Domains
- Raid 10 Storage
- Total Database
Now, these were the list of unlimited features. I’m sure you are wondering what’s free? Here it is;
- DNS Management
- Site Migration
- Railgun Optimizer (Turbo Plans only)
- Speed Booster SSD
- Patchman Security Tool
Looking at all the unlimited and free benefits, this is definitely what it must feel like to be treated like royalty. So, we had absolutely no stress of having to incur any extra charges down the line.
Every successful A2 Hosting web hosting service provider and a dedicated hosting service is well aware that in order to run a successful business in this industry is to have a good support team. You could be the best in the business with exceptional hardware and speed, but it’s of no value to your customer, especially when he needs help with troubleshooting a problem and the host has no one available to help them with the same.
Guru is the name of the A2 Hosting customer support team. They handpick their support team that is a group of well-trained technical experts. You can reach out to them any time of the day or night, and someone will be able to help you with the most complex issues.
We had a good experience with them. The issue was resolved when we reached out to them by raising a ticket.
We also spoke to one of the Gurus via Live chat. The executive was prompt, knowledgeable, helpful and very friendly.
However, it took a while for someone to connect with us, but we were assured this issue would not persist for long. The moment they hire more support executives, the response time will be faster.
For fast loading times, the locations of the data centres are vital. It is essential to understand that no matter what these hardware or tech web hosting providers and dedicated hosting provider say, with regards to the delivery speed of your data, it all depends on the location of the data centre – how close are they to the customers you target.
If your target customers are Hongkongers and the data centre where your site is hosted is in North America.
So now your data has to travel a distance before being displayed on your customer’s screen (the load will be slow), and most of the time, this doesn’t get the work done.
We have noticed the majority of hosts have their data centers in America. A2 Hosting has four data centres; America- 2, Amsterdam – 1, Singapore – 1.
A2 Hosting has Europe, America, and Asia covered. All you have to do is choose a data centre that is closest to your target customers. This will help them enjoy fast loading speeds.
By the way – A2 Hosting is known to be the top web hosting service and dedicated hosting provider for web hosting in Singapore.
Many enjoy making a few adjustments to the settings and to the software to get maximum performance.
Well, I simply prefer to have things with the best settings and should already be step up and ready to use. I don’t like investing that extra time in tweaking and tinkering.
A2 Hosting provider is all set to take on this challenge. They have pre-tuned software that allows maximum security with top-notch performance.
Today, this optimization can be directly applied to well-known softwares like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and PrestaShop. So, I don’t have to stress about the load speeds of the page.
I trust the years of experience and in-depth knowledge that A2 Hosting provider has in regards to maximum security settings and quickest page loads, so I don’t have to waste my time with this and rather focus 100% on running my business.
I would want to very quickly point out that the software is better with A2 Hosting provider services optimized software.
We noticed Optimized WordPress runs 6x faster in comparison to sites that are not optimized.
Now the A2 Hosting Turbo plan comes with the Optimized Site Accelerator, and its caching option is pre-configured.
This loads sites faster. They offer three options;
- Turbo Cache – the load times are 20 times faster.
- Memcached – for quick retrieval, all the data is saved in the memory.
- APC/ OPcache – the PHP page has half the response time.
We did a couple of our own tests to check the speed of the page load, this was done with the A2 Hosting Turbo Cache ON and later with it OFF.
I can say that we had seen a significant improvement in the loading speed when the turbo Cache was ON. However, I must point out, and it isn’t like their ads claim it to be, 20 times faster. But again, this could also be due to the test sites being light and did not have a lot to load.
A couple of milliseconds have been shaved off, with the Turbo Cache being ON. I agree it doesn’t look like a lot, but when summed up, it will make a big difference to the site speed.
I don’t want anyone getting negative; I’m sure if you have a lot of images, your site will be heavy. In this situation, you might be able to experience 20 times faster load speeds.
All thanks to the A2 Hosting’s one-click install support; we could install our preferred software. This was super useful and convenient. It was particularly useful for our e-commerce sites, and we could, with much ease, install check-out counters.
A2 Hosting has a login UI that is very simple, and navigating around it felt very natural and easy. It is obvious that they have spent hours understanding the user’s requirement and experience too. That’s the reason why everything around it is very intuitive. Using it is very convenient.
If you look to the top panel, you find the things you need to use on a regular basis. The panel is well designed with colours that are contrasting and attractive.
Everything is placed conveniently, just the way you would want it. Right from the prominently place search bar to the centre of the page, making it easy to browse through their extensive knowledgeable articles. The colours they used are very pleasant, not gaudy, it felt good. The icons and links that are essential are highlighted, so you won’t waste time looking for them.
So to wrap it up, we are in love with the UI of A2 Hosting.
A few things they could improve
We have already shared a list of things we simply love about A2 Hosting, but if I’d say I loved everything about their plan, then I’d be lying. They definitely had a couple of flaws.
Yes, I mean, the Guru support is good, but they are slow. I do understand the reason behind it, but if you are understaffed, then you cant make your customers face the brunt of it (I prefer to call it out the way it is).
As I had mentioned earlier, we had tried to connect with customer support via live chat. So get this, we were in a never-ending queue (a wait time of 25 min), and that can be very frustrating, especially if you’re having a busy day at work.
When we finally got to someone, the executive was very helpful, knowledgeable, and courteous and solved our issue almost immediately, but the whole wait time was a big bummer. They must work on their support speed which I say is fruitful but very inconsistent. We hope to receive better support in the near future.
Features and Plans
The shared hosting plans that A2 Hosting has is available in three sizes;
It’s their basic plan. When compared to the other two, you don’t get much; five databases, one website, and you pay a monthly fee of $4.40.
With this plan, you get everything from the Lite plan, but the only difference is; there’s no limit on the number of websites. You pay a monthly fee of $5.39 (it is 99 cents more than the basic plan).
This plan is the fastest so far with similar features and benefits that Swift offers, but the only difference is the Turbo Servers that assures to be up to 20x faster along with A2 Hosting Optimized features. The monthly fee is $10.29. so, if you are looking for a major boost in your speed, you will then have to shell out some extra cash.
When compared to SiteGround in terms of price, there’s not much of a difference. However, you must decide what your requirement speed or features is.
Hands down A2 Hosting has better unlimited and free benefits while SiteGround has servers that are faster.
With all their plans, they offer an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. We have an interesting fact that all the shared hosting options are supported by Nodes.Js; this is a feature that VPS hosting users enjoy.
Reseller Hosting Plan
The Reseller hosting plan is available in four options; Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Platinum being the high-end package with a monthly fee of $42.23, and Bronze being the basic plan available at a monthly fee of $14.91. Now you can select any of these plans once you are sure of the resources you would need to run your business.
All these plans have the Plesk Control Panel, any time refund policy and eNom Account that’s free.
If VPS hosting options are what you’ve been looking for, then I must mention the Core VPS Hosting, Managed Hosting and Unmanaged Hosting. So now you have a few options to choose from. Your servers can be customized, and you can pick only what you require and control the features you have paid for. It is apt for those with specific requirements.
A2 Hosting and their Competitors
This is hardly a detailed review without testing A2s performance to its competitors. So we have tested the response time of the server and compared it. The server response time is vital in breaking or doing your business, like; the number of times we have exited from a website because of the time taken to respond. So here it is;
A2 Hosting vs SiteGround
We looked at the Swift Plan from A2 Hosting and compared the results to the most popular SiteGround – GrowBig Plan, and this is what we found;
Both have Shared hosting WordPress Plans. However, both of them have their Word-Centric benefits. Some of the features have a different name, but they are built to do the same work; some others are unique to their specific package.
A2 Swift Plan
- The plan offers Auto WordPress hosting Installs and configuration
- You can use staging with much ease
- They offer Optimized Caching
- The backups for WordPress hosting is easy
- Auto WordPress core patches and updates
- Developer-friendly features; Git, SSH, CLI, etc
SiteGround GrowBig Plan
- They offer Single-Select installs
- The WordPress hosting updates are automatic
- WP-CLI enabled
- They provide SuperCacher
- The staging of WordPress hosting is simple
- The Git is pre-installed
Note: Both GrowBig and Swift are moderate plans for popular web hosting brands. We have seen that GrowBig offers more benefits with regards to speed due to the SuperCacher feature. It is an enhanced caching feature that is made available from the beginning. On the other hand, A2 Hosting users need to get the turbo plan in order to enjoy Turbo Servers.
This gives SiteGround an added edge, especially with regard to value. Both are approximately the same price. However, the loading times are better.
The next thing we had to do was test them on the server response times (We used our own speed checker). Look at the results below.
|SiteGround GrowBig||A2 Swift|
|US (E)||215 ms||212 ms|
|US (W)||211 ms||172 ms|
|Germany||168 ms||159 ms|
|Canada||240 ms||218 ms|
|Japan||70 ms||67 ms|
|Sydney||95 ms||141 ms|
|Bangalore||66 ms||163 ms|
|Sao Paulo||351 ms||316 ms|
|Singapore||3 ms||6 ms|
|London||180 ms||278 ms|
|Average – World Wide||159.9 ms||173.2 ms|
Both the brands have their data centres based in Singapore; we are not surprised they did so well in Asia; however, SiteGround was a tad faster.
Both of them did very well; A2 Hosting’s Swift Plan had an average of 173 ms, whereas SiteGround’s faster server had an average of 160 ms. So, both are in the A+ ranking.
Both the plans have a price plan very similar to each other; their monthly plan, A2, is at $5.39 while SiteGround is at $9.99. We feel A2 has a good deal.
We can safely conclude that A2 Hosting is a sturdy web hosting services.
I agree; we can’t title them as the fastest in the business, but they’re not the slowest either. Both their plans Turbo and Swift, have an average worldwide response time that is under 180 ms, securing them a place under the A+ category.
A2 Hosting is very fast, there is no doubt, but their competitors have better speeds. You cannot get everything in one place, so A2 with their unlimited features make up for the inconvenience.
The features of their optimized software and single-click setup save a lot of time. This is particularly essential for busy entrepreneurs who no longer have to stress to set up the website. With the optimized settings, everything is very simple and easy.
A2 Hosting has good prices that are very decent. The various plans that they offer, give their customers options to pick a plan according to their requirements and budget. The Swift Plan is not too basic but also has a lot of unlimited goodies to offer.
For businesses that need to boost up their site speed, they have Turbo Plan, which offers all the features from the Swift plan and adds in the Turbo Server feature too. It will boost your speed, but we feel it’s a tad pricey.
A2 Hosting is packed with amazing features that make things very straightforward. The major bummer is their Live chat assistance, they offer good service, but they need to get consistent. However, if you overlook this part, they are a web hosting services that we would recommend.
So if you are in search of a host that offers unlimited email accounts, websites and has decent speeds too. Then your search ends here, and we encourage you to go with A2 Hosting. You can also check our Hostinger review.