A2 Hosting Review

 
A2 Hosting is one of the best hosting companies out there for small and medium sized businesses, receiving 5-star rankings from a range of sites like PC Mag, an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and only falling to 4.5 on WhoIsHostingThis. All in all, they offer a premium hosting service, and with a range of products and solutions most companies are going to find a fit.

Prices starting at $3.92/Month

Shared hosting plans

A2 Hosting has some of the most robust shared plans out there, packed full of free features and add-ons.

A2Hosting has three shared hosting plans: Lite, Swift and Turbo. All of their plans are entirely run on SSD and include CloudFlare CDN, free HackScan protection, 24/7 support, a 30 day money back guarantee, WordPress optimization, and a huge number of redundancies. All of the shared hosting plans are run on a variation of CentOS called CloudLinux to allow enhanced resource regulation and management in a shared environment.

Lite: $7.99 full price

Lite is the basic getting started plan for A2 Hosting. It includes:

  • Unlimited RAID storage and transfers
  • 25 email accounts
  • 1 domain, 5 subdomains, and 25 parked ones
  • 5 MySQL databases
  • 2GB virtual memory and 0.5GB physical memory
  • 1x 2.1 Ghz core
  • 12 core server with 16GB RAM (total server, not resources allotted to you)
  • Free site transfers
  • cPanel 11 control

Swift: $9.99

Swift is their medium plan and includes all the same stuff except most of it’s not unlimited:

  • Unlimited email addresses, and SQL databases
  • Unlimited domains, subdomains, and parked domains, and add-on domains
  • 2x 2.1 Ghz core
  • 1GB physical memory
  • 8GB virtual memory
  • Server backups rewinds, an easy way to restore a single file, MySQL database, or your entire account

Swift is their recommended option, and it’s easy to see why – for only $2 more, you get a lot more bang for your buck.

Turbo: $18.99

Turbo is their top-of-the-line shared option, with the big points of different (to justify the jump in price) is that they’re hosted on the A2 Turbo Servers for 20 times the speed and include SwiftCache for better page loads. Besides that, the Turbo plan also includes:

  • 2GB physical memory (instead o 1GB)
  • Free Railgun Optimizer (faster HTML load times)

VPS and dedicated hosting

A2 hosting offers both VPS and dedicated hosting options as well, and like their shared servers, they offer loads of add-ons and features.

Dynamic VPS: $9.89

Dynamic VPS is essentially renting space on server with other VPS users, but you have a lot more control over your own turf, so to speak. Dynamic VPS (like all A2 products) is run entirely on SSD, is accessed through cPanel, and you can choose your server location. It also uses Turbo Boost, which makes pages load 20x faster.

Cloud VPS: $15.00

Cloud VPS, while more expensive, comes with the added benefit of being able to scale your server extremely quickly and effectively. That way, you only pay for the resources you think you’ll use and can resize easily. Plus, A2 has a built in redundancy system, so that if a node fails while you’re on it, you and your site simply shift to another available node – and there’s always another available node. Like their dynamic VPS, cloud VPS enables users to have root access and choose their Linux distribution from a long list of potential options. You can use:

  • CentOS 5 and 6
  • Fedora 16, 17, and 20
  • Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04
  • Debian 6 and 7
  • Gentoo
  • Slackware 13

They also offer unmanaged cPanel access, but you do have to pay for the license at $20 per month.

Cloud VPS also comes with Quick Start Cloud, which is essentially an A2 bundle of popular software that they’ll auto-install on your server for you. Alternatively, you can use the A2 Quickinstaller to select from a laundry list of popular developer software and which Linux distributions it’s available on.

Managed VPS

A2 Hosting also have a managed VPS service as well with all your basic VPS benefits but in an entirely managed environment. What this means is that you can use VPS for, say reselling web domains but not have to worry about installation and maintenance of core software like Apache and MySQL.

All their managed VPS accounts are run on CentOS and accessed with cPanel. They also come with your basic application pre-installed like PrestaShop, WordPress, Drupal and Joomla; however, developers do not have root access.

Their least expensive plan starts at $49.99 for:

  • 4GB RAM
  • 75GB RAID-10 Storage
  • 2000GB data transfers
  • 2 dedicated IPs
  • 4 vCPUs

Their most expensive plan is $99.99 per month and has:

  • 8GB RAM
  • 150GB RAID-10 Storage
  • 4000GB data transfers
  • 8 vCPUs

Dedicated hosting

A2 Hosting has both a managed and unmanaged dedicated hosting option. These are essentially extension of the managed VPS and dynamic VPS plans, respectively, except with more power available for larger websites.

The unmanaged plan is called the Flex Dedicated Server Plan and ranges in price from $119.99 to $299.99. The lower end will get you two 3.4Ghz Intel i3 Cores with 8GB RAM and 32GB available for upgrade, and 10TB data transfers. The more expensive plan gets you 16GB RAM, with a potential upgrade to 512GB RAM, 20TB transfers, and 12 cores, made up of the Intel Xeon E5 CPU.

Linux

A2 Hosting is significantly more open about alternative Linux distributions than other leading hosting companies. Like others, they’re a LAMP host who runs CentOS on their shared servers. For their shared servers, they also run CloudLinux, which is an OS that’s optimized for shared environments. CloudLinux is used to better regulate and monitor CPU usage, I/O usage, memory, power, and MySQL usage. It’s used to ensure that no one client is using more of the community resources than they should, but it’s also a security measure. CPU usage spikes, for example, are often the result of a DDoD attack. CloudLinux nips it in the bud before the server is infected.

For their dedicated and unmanaged VPS options, A2 Hosting is very receptive toward their clients choosing non-CentOS Linux distributions. However, they do not provide any support for any Linux distribution other than CentOS other than some knowledge centre questions regarding server access.

Technical details

  • PHP 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5
  • MySQL and PostgreSQL
  • phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin
  • SSH access
  • Nod .js
  • Apache 2.2
  • Ruby 1.8, Perl 5.10, and multiple versions of Python
  • WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PrestaShop, Magento, and OpenCart compatible.

Conclusion

Like other services, A2 Hosting doesn’t allow root access on their shared servers. However, they do allow access to their root for both traditional and dynamic unmanaged VPS plans as well as dedicated server resources. Finally, no matter what you’re hosting, A2’s commitment to speed and building a product that developers would be happy to use make them an excellent choice for the more tech-minded.

Prices starting at $3.92/Month

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