There are many web hosts vying for your dollar, so it takes a special service to stand out from the crowded field to prove itself worthy of your money. Web host A2 does so thanks to its impressive packages, terrific uptime, and wonderful customer service.
In fact, A2 hosting provider could easily rank among the best-of-the-best of Web hosts if it offered more Windows-based server options, and prices that are more on par with DreamHost and HostGator.
Shared web hosting plans
A2 offers three tiers of Linux- or Windows-based shared Web hosting: Lite, Swift, and Turbo. Lite (starting at $9.99 per month) has unlimited storage and monthly data transfers, but you’re limited to a single domain and just 25 email addresses.
Swift (starting at $12.99 per month) builds upon Lite by offering unlimited email addresses and domains. Turbo (starting at $24.99 per month) tops the other two by adding preconfigured site-caching for faster load times.
These are featured-packed plans, but they’re a step behind what’s offered by HostGator$3.33 at HostGator – Shared. The Editors’ Choice for shared web hosting services boasts unlimited storage, monthly data transfers, and email addresses with each shared hosting plan.
VPS web hosting plans
As with its shared hosting plans, A2 offers three Linux-based virtual private server (VPS) packages.
Unmanaged VPS (starting at $5.00 per month), a tier designed for experienced developers who like working with the command line, has one CPU core, a scant 512MB of RAM, 2TB of monthly data transfers, and 20GB of storage.
Managed VPS (starting at $60.99 per month) raises the CPU cores to four, RAM to a far more reasonable 4GB, and storage to 75GB.
It also adds HostGuard Management, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty with under the hood happenings. The top-tier Core VPS (starting at $60.99 per month) has the same specs as Managed VPS, but it grants root access for complete website control.
Still, Hostwinds$4.50 at Hostwinds – Shared remains the Editors’ Choice for VPS hosting. The Budget tier starts at just $7.50 per month (for 1GB of RAM, 25GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, unlimited email, and half a CPU core), but scales up to $172 per month (for 28.5GB of RAM, 600GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, unlimited email, and 8 CPU cores).
The high-end SSD Windows plan starts at $13.50 per month (for 1GB of RAM, 25GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, unlimited email, and one CPU core) and maxes out at $209 per month (35GB of RAM, 170GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, unlimited email, and eight CPU cores).
Hostwinds also offers a choice of Linux- or Windows-based hosting, which is something that A2’s VPS lacks. Hostwinds’ flexible, powerful VPS plans outshine those of its rivals.
Dedicated web hosting plans
A2 has four Linux-powered dedicated server packages, ranging from the basic $9.31 per month Semi Dedicated Server to the $141.0 per month high-end Core Flex Server. Semi Dedicated Server has unlimited storage and monthly data transfers, but is locked to two CPU cores and 8GB of RAM.
Unmanaged Flex Server, Managed Flex Server, and Core Flex Server 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 HostGaurd Management.
Those are attractive offerings, but the feature-packed Arvixe remains the Editors’ Choice for dedicated Web hosting. You can configure its Linux- or Windows-based cloud servers with up to 8GB of RAM, 300GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers, while its traditional servers can be outfitted with up to 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers. Arvixe’s dedicated servers offer plenty of room to grow.
WordPress web hosting plans
If you want to go the WordPress route, A2 has you covered. Its three Linux-based WordPress plans – Lite, Swift, and Turbo – are identical to the company’s shared Web hosting plans. In fact, even the pricing is the same.
The advantage of using A2’s WordPress hosting plan is that the optimized environment enables faster page loading than its normal shared hosting package (the company claims that its 6X faster than traditional hosting).
A2’s WordPress boasts unlimited storage and monthly data transfers at each tier, something that 1&1 does not offer. That said, 1&1 gives users the option to build their sites in either Linux- or Windows-based environments, which may prove incredibly important depending on your needs. As a result, 1&1 remains the Editors’ Choice for WordPress hosting.
E-commerce and security
If you plan to sell products, A2 has you covered with numerous e-commerce tools. You can use AbanteCart, PrestaShop, OpenCart, or another tool to construct an online store. All offer a one-click setup that lets you get started fairly easily. Magento, a common and popular e-commerce app, lets you easily drag and drop elements to create a store.
Naturally, you’ll need a Secure Socket Layer certificate to go along with that store. It encrypts the data between your shop and customers’ browser for safe online transactions. A2’s SSLs have a $49.95 per year starting price for a one-year certificate and 256-bit encryption.
A2 has nearly everything you’d expect from a quality Web host, including terrific uptime and knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives. The hosting packages are notable, too, though they’re relatively pricey when compared to other major players in the field. For example, DreamHost and HostGator offer slightly more complete packages, but A2 has a lot to recommend it, too.