A2 Hosting Review 2023: Features and Alternatives

A2 Hosting has a ton of options and a lot of information on their site – a layman might even get intimidated! This is the distilled version.

A2 Hosting Discounts 2024

Here’s the list of A2 Discounts in 2024

Disclaimer: Your clicks help fund my private jet and underwater sea palace 🙂

Basic Plan Advanced Plan Premium Plan
A2 Shared Hosting $2.99/month
Discount: 75% off
With coupon code: SOFAST!
Discount: 60% off
With coupon code: SOFAST!
Discount: 70% off
With coupon code: SOFAST!
A2 WordPress Hosting $11.99/month
Discount: 50% off
With discount coupon code SOFAST!
Discount: 44% off
With discount coupon code SOFAST!
Discount: 36% off
With discount coupon code SOFAST!
A2 VPS Unmanaged $2.99/month
With discount coupon code VPS-34
With discount coupon code VPS-34
With discount coupon code VPS-34
A2 Managed $39.99/month
Discount: 48% off
With discount coupon code VPS-34
Discount: 48% off
With discount coupon code VPS-34
Discount: 57% off
With discount coupon code VPS-34

If you know exactly what you’re looking for, A2 is the perfect host for you. You’ll find everything you want and can customize your plan to suit your needs.

If on the other hand, you’re new to web hosting, you might be better off starting with a simpler provider like Hostgator. They’re the exact opposite of A2 Hosting. Fewer packages, limited plans, and beginner friendly. Here’s the full list of Hostgator coupon codes. However, the best direct alternative to A2 Hosting is NameHero.

The Biggest A2 Hosting Discount

Need to make a decision fast? Click below for the maximum discount today:

The A2 discounts are automatic, so you don’t have to manually type in discount codes. you’ll see which one is applied to your purchase on the order screen.

Frequently Asked Questions:

A2 Hosting Renewal Discount

The A2 hosting renewal discount policy is particularly harsh, even in the web hosting world. You don’t get the same discounts once you renew – every web host does the same. However, you get no discount even when you sign up for 3 years. For the basic Startup shared hosting plan, for example, the renewal cost is $11.99 regardless of how long your billing cycle is.

Here’s a screenshot of how A2 Hosting is more expensive for 3-year and 2-year hosting, compared to 12-month hosting:

A2 Hosting Renewal Discount
A2 Hosting Renewal Discount

So you have to pay the full price once your first billing cycle is done. Which means you need a good alternative.

Best Alternative to A2 Hosting: NameHero

Unlike earlier, I no longer recommend SiteGround. So now my recommendation for the best A2 Hosting alternative is NameHero. Unlike A2 Hosting, they offer the LiteSpeed web server on all their NameHero plans instead of just a few. This means that even their basic shared hosting plan is blazing fast, and the discounts are better.

Unlike A2 Hosting, NameHero also offers renewal discounts when you sign up for a long duration. The discount increases the longer you host. So paying for 3 years in advance, means that you pay a lower “per month” cost. A2 Hosting has no such benefit.

For a more complete look, here’s my in-depth A2 Hosting vs NameHero comparison.

A2 Hosting Special Holiday Discounts

A2 Hosting has extra discounts on certain holidays, with special coupon codes.

A2 Hosting Black Friday Sale

For example, they have their highest discount of 67% on Black Friday. Here’s the e-mail they send out to affiliates:

A2 Hosting Black Friday Sale
A2 Hosting Black Friday Sale

A2 Hosting Boxing Day Sale

Boxing Day is the day after Christmas, and A2 Hosting has a special coupon code that gives you 63% off as shown here:

A2 Hosting Coupon Code for Boxing Day
A2 Hosting Coupon Code for Boxing Day

Granted, it’s not as big as the 67% off for Black Friday, but it’s the next best thing!

Who Owns A2 Hosting?

Currently, A2 Hosting isn’t owned by any conglomerate like EIG or GoDaddy. The company with the name “A2” was formed in March 2003. It was called something else and then renamed because they wanted to associate it with their town Ann Arbor, Michigan – hence the A2. The founder is Bryan Muthig, and it continues to be independent of any other larger enterprise as of now.

Where are the A2 Hosting Data Centers?

A2 has a pretty global presence on the web hosting scene, with data centers in the following locations:

  • USA-Michigan
  • USA-Arizona
  • Europe-Amsterdam
  • Asia-Singapore

The presence of data centers in Europe and Asia moves it ahead of hosts like InMotion who share the same traits as A2 but don’t have data centers all around the world. This is great for those hosting in countries like India, which don’t exactly have the best data center infrastructure. Singapore is a great location for all of Asia, and it’s good that A2 has a presence there.

You can choose the data center on which to host your site during the checkout process as shown here:

A2 Hosting Review - Choosing the Server
A2 Hosting Review – Choosing the Server

This means that your site lives in that particular geographical location. It’s not the same as a CDN which chooses the closest server to your customer depending on where they are. If you want to serve global visitors from a data center close to them, you can use the Super Page Cache plugin with Cloudflare if you’re using WordPress.

Do I Get a Free Domain with A2 Hosting?

A2 hosting doesn’t offer free domains with its shared hosting plans. This sets it apart from the other major hosting providers. It has more in common with NameHero whose plans start at 3.58/month. However, NameHero does offer a free domain for its Turbo and Business cloud packages.

What Are A2 Turbo Plans?

A2 Hosting has special “turbo” plans where it replaces the traditional Apache web server with LiteSpeed – a drop-in replacement. But it’s not free software. That’s why very few hosts offer it. NameHero, HostArmada, KnownHost, and GreenGeeks offer LiteSpeed web hosting out of the box. Here are the best LiteSpeed web hosting providers.

If you choose a higher-end plan with A2, you can get the LiteSpeed web server for your site as well. The biggest benefit of this is the in-built server caching, which stores copies of your dynamic web pages and serves them to subsequent visitors instead of creating them from scratch each time. This leads to much faster page load times and fewer resources used on your plan. Here’s a complete list of web hosts with server caching.

Even though LiteSpeed requires an accompanying plugin on WordPress, it’s not the same as 3rd party plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and WP Rocket. Because the caching takes place on your server, it creates no additional load on your site whatsoever.

Does A2 Offer Cloudflare Integration?

On the 1st of November 2022, Cloudflare stopped supporting direct cPanel integration, which means that you can no longer integrate Cloudflare with A2 Hosting as easily as before. Instead, you need to set it up manually – it’s not hard but requires additional steps.

In my opinion, if you want to reap the full benefits, you should let Cloudflare manage your DNS servers anyway since they tend to be much faster than those offered by other hosting providers. For that, you need to follow the instructions on the Cloudflare website.

Even though it’s free, I find Cloudflare to be the best CDN.

Does A2 Hosting Support Railgun on Cloudflare?

Yes, but you need to integrate Cloudflare manually for this to work.

I just turn Railgun off. I’ve found it to be finicky, and it makes my site slower. It’s a good concept, but until I find that Cloudflare has sorted out all the kinks, I won’t be recommending Railgun to anyone. With Cloudflare’s other caching solutions, I feel there’s no more need for Railgun.

Does A2 Hosting Have SSD Drives?

While I have my reservations about the benefits of SSD hosting, they’re undeniably faster than traditional disks. A2 Hosting has had SSD in all their plans for quite a while now. They’re ahead of others like Hostgator, which still uses SSD drives. So that’s a nice benefit to have if it’s important to you.

Does A2 Hosting Give Free SSL?

A2 Hosting has had support for free SSL certificates via Let’s Encrypt long before it became cool and before others like Hostgator and Bluehost decided to give it for free. This earns them points in my mind because it shows that they’re ahead of the technology curve and are trying to offer features that they think add value to their customer’s hosting.

What Are A2 Hosting’s VPS Options?

Unlike other providers, A2 Hosting has separate plans for the three types of VPS, namely:

  1. Unmanaged
  2. Managed
  3. “Turbo” (Unmanaged with root access)

This means that you can choose your level of expertise when migrating your site to a VPS server. If you’re confident in your ability to set everything up on a bare metal machine, then unmanaged is for you. If you need the hard work taken care of, then the managed service is what you’re looking for. If you want an unmanaged VPS, but faster NVMe drives

Here is a list of providers who offer the best NVMe Hosting.

How is A2 WordPress Shared Hosting Different?

A2 Hosting’s WordPress hosting is very different from regular shared hosting. It comes with advanced features like staging, the turbo engine, and pre-compiled .htaccess files. Accordingly, the prices of managed WordPress hosting are much higher as well.

There used to be a time when A2 Hosting’s WordPress plan was the same as regular shared hosting, and they had a managed WordPress hosting plan for those who wanted more WordPress-specific features. But they’ve eliminated the former, and now the managed WordPress plan is the only one there is.

A Truly Huge Number of Plans – But Poorly Displayed

In contrast with providers like DreamHost who have a limited number of plans, A2 Hosting has a plan for everyone. 3 separate VPS plans, 3 plans for dedicated servers, 3 plans for managed WordPress hosting, and 3 plans for cloud hosting.

My only complaint is that many plans are not visible from the home screen. A2 Hosting has a confusing selection of VPS plans, with no clear explanation of what counts as “Turbo” plans, and whether they’re managed or unmanaged VPS packages.

On the whole, A2 Hosting is a “complete” provider. They cater to the low end of the market with shared hosting plans as cheap as any of the others. On the other hand, they also give you access to high-end machines, with everything in between.

Customer Complaints Against A2 Hosting

This A2 hosting review is the first to see an “A” rating at the Better Business Bureau. It has a higher percentage of positive ratings than any other provider. That’s pretty impressive, considering that all big hosting companies usually get inundated with bad reviews when something goes wrong. People don’t usually leave a good review when their service is fine!

Of course, Googling for customer complaints is a waste of time because every web host has bad reviews. That’s why I use BBB for my data because they’re as close to an “official” review as I can get.

Bottom Line for A2 Hosting

So should you select A2 Hosting? The answer is “yes” if:

  1. You know exactly what you want
  2. You want to choose the level of VPS management
  3. A “Non-EIG” company is what you’re looking for
  4. You’re also looking for servers in Europe or Asia

Good luck hosting your site with A2!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!