A2 Hosting is now the home for WebHostingCat.com! After a number of years with another web host, we decided to make the switch to A2 Hosting based on the outstanding website features, performance, and customer support I’ve received from A2 with my Swift Server hosting account there. For WebHostingCat.com, we’ve decided to go with one of their Turbo Server Hosting plans. Our updated review is based on both the Swift Server and Turbo Server hosting plans at A2 Hosting.
Who is A2 Hosting?
A2 Hosting started business in 2003 and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI. With data centers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, A2 specializes in High Speed and WordPress web hosting. They also feature VPS, Dedicated, and Cloud Hosting options.
What are the Advantages of A2 Hosting?
A2 Hosting goes all out to provide super-fast web hosting. With their A2 Optimized services and optional Turbo Servers, they state you can get up to 20 times faster page load speeds than other web hosts. And for WordPress sites, A2 provides even more optimization.
Here are some of A2 Hosting’s key high speed hosting features:
- A2 Optimized Software (WordPress, Drupal, PrestaShop)
- A2 Optimized Plugin for WordPress for 6 times faster page loads and improved security
- CloudFlare CDN
- Solid State Drives
- RAID-10 Storage
- Turbo Servers and A2 Optimized Caching with Optional Turbo Plan
- cPanel Interface
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- Anytime Money Back Guarantee
How Do You Sign Up for A2 Hosting?
The signup process for A2 Hosting is very easy. After selecting your billing cycle and entering your account information, you are presented with a number of options you can select. The two main points to keep in mind here are to be sure and select the data center closest to your area (US, Europe, or Asia),
and remember that although the optional services are definitely useful, they will cost you more money. I do appreciate that A2 Hosting does not pre-select any of these additional cost items—like some other web hosts do.
Another great thing about the signup process at A2 Hosting is that you can pay your bill via PayPal, credit card, or check. It takes very little time to sign up, and almost instantaneously you’ll receive a group of emails including a welcome from A2 Hosting’s CEO Bryan Muthig, order confirmation, installation details, and your welcome email containing your account details (website and admin URLs, nameservers, ftp information, etc.).
Great cPanel Hosting
With A2 Hosting, you get cPanel and the Softaculous software installer. You can easily access it from your A2 Hosting Client Area account page. You’ll then be able to access all of your important website functions—including the premium features that you get with A2 Hosting. Among cPanel web hosting providers, A2 Hosting is one of the very best.
What Bonus Features Do You Get with A2 Hosting?
Besides the CloudFlare content delivery network that I mentioned earlier, you also get quite a few other freebies with your A2 Hosting plan:
Attracta SEO for Google Site Listing
- Perpetual Security with HackScan Protection
- Server Rewind Backups
- Integrated ManageWP Account
- Free Site Migration
- Bing/Yahoo Ad Credits
Is A2 Hosting Good?
I’m very impressed with the A2 Optimized WordPress Hosting. When you sign up, WordPress is pre-installed and automatically configured for faster performance. When you login to your WordPress Admin, you can click on the A2 Optimized tab to see the status of each configuration and make changes if necessary.
A2 Optimization Includes:
- Page Caching
- Database Caching
- Object Caching
- Browser Caching
- Minify HTML Pages
- Minify CSS Files
- Minify JS Files
- Gzip Compression
- Compress Images
- And More
The A2 Optimized WP plugin incorporates other plugins such as W3 Total Cache and EWWW Image Optimizer. In fact, your A2 WordPress installation includes the following plugins:
Does Turbo Server Make a Difference? Yes!
My A2 Hosting Swift Server hosting plan provides excellent performance and speed. However, I was very interested to see how much of a difference opting for a Turbo Server A2 Hosting plan would make. Along with the A2 Optimized environment, I enabled the Turbo Cache and Memcached options. I also implemented the free Cloudflare CDN that comes with your A2 Hosting plan. The difference was immediate and the results amazing.
Here are some of the test results I received after switching to A2 Hosting:
UPDATE: A2 Hosting Turbo Server Even Better Now with QUIC
If 20x faster page loads, more resources, fewer users per server, solid state drives, and A2 Hosting’s optimized environment aren’t enough for you, the A2 Hosting Turbo Servers now utilize the QUIC protocol for even better performance. QUIC (QUICK UDP Internet Connections) is a better alternative to the standard TCP (transmission control protocol). QUIC provides faster page loading with lower latency. Unlike TCP, QUIC utilizes multiplexed connections between computers, meaning the multiple round trips between communicating computers are eliminated.
Our results have been outstanding. Here is some sample data from testing our site residing on an A2 Turbo Server:
Get a Faster Website with A2 Hosting
In this video I show how we significantly increased our website speed with A2 Hosting by combining their Turbo Server, optimized WordPress environment, and Cloudflare CDN.
Server Rewind Backups
A lot of web hosting companies advertise free data backup and restore. But with A2 Hosting’s Server Rewind Backups, you get backup and restore that is superior to most hosting plans that only restore from the latest backup copy–which may have overwritten the actual website version that you need. With A2 Hosting, you can select data from the previous seven days, and each Sunday backup copy is kept for a month. Server Rewind Backups are included with A2 Hosting’s Swift and Turbo hosting plans. You can quickly and easily access Server Rewind from your cPanel.
Extra Security Protection
Website security is more important than ever these days. And A2 Hosting provides perpetual security with their free HackScan protection, dual firewall, brute force defense, virus scanning, and security monitoring. But that’s not all they provide. With their Patchman Enhanced Security Tool, software vulnerabilities and malware can be detected and the appropriate action taken. I’m definitely impressed with A2 Hosting’s security features.
A2 Hosting refers to their customer support staff as the Guru Crew. A2 provides 24/7/365 U.S. based Guru Crew support via live chat, support ticket, phone, and email. I have found the Guru Crew support to be excellent with fast response times and helpful Guru Crew members. Here is a sample of one of my live chat support sessions.
For high speed hosting or WordPress sites, A2 Hosting is a great choice. Based on my experience, they provide hosting plans with all of the important features you’ll need for your site. And I’ve found the combination of their Swift and Turbo Server platforms, optimized WordPress environment, and excellent Guru Crew customer support makes A2 Hosting a top web hosting provider.
So, to sum it all up: Swift and speedy servers and hardware; Optimized environment for WordPress; Free CloudFlare CDN for faster page loading; SEO and marketing tools to get you listed in Google; and great customer support from the Guru Crew. It all adds up to a Best Web Hosting Award for A2 Hosting.