A2 Hosting Review
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A2 Hosting has been around since 2001. When it first hit the scene, it was known as Iniquinet, but it was renamed A2 Hosting back in 2003. The name may have changed, but the services and features have remained the same. The company is still known for providing blazing fast speed, superior uptime, and stellar customer service today. It manages to accomplish this by owning all of its own web servers. It has data centers in three locations, with the primary data center in Michigan and additional servers in Amsterdam and Singapore, Asia.
I've tested more than 25 different shared hosts so far. I have to admit that I've seen nothing like this before. The site that I hosted on A2 Hosting took just 285 ms to load up fully! And it wasn't like it was a very light site, either.
This essentially makes A2 Hosting the fastest shared hosting that I've ever tested. And I'm on the basic plan, hosting just this one site. So, considering my plan doesn't even get the additional advanced speed-boosters like memcached and all that's included in their "A2 Accelerated" hosting plans (more expensive) makes it an incredible feat for their most basic plan. I ran the page load test multiple times in a day and from multiple locations, and the results remained consistent throughout all of them, no matter which time of the day I was performing the test at.
A2 Hosting basically offers 3 different shared hosting plan. The plans primarily differ based on the amount of add-on domains (i.e. number of unique websites) that you can host on them.
Their lowest plan, LITE, comes at $3.92/mo. It allows you to host just 1 domain on it. Apart from that, it's pretty similar to the two other larger plans, and is powered by the same high-spec'ed, SSD-driven servers. I personally have this plan for the site that I showed you the load time and uptime screenshots of.
Their intermediate plan, SWIFT, comes at $4.90/mo , and allows you to host unlimited number of websites on it. It also comes packed with all the standard features from the LITE plan. Unlike the LITE plan, it doesn't come with any restrictions on the number of databases, either.
Their most expensive plan is called TURBO, and it is priced at $9.31/mo (discounted), which is a bit more expensive than regular shared hosting. The characteristic feature of this plan is their much-hyped "TURBO" web server itself. Well, it basically replaces the standard Apache as seen on the two other plans. It claims to be at up to 20x faster than Apache (presumably at a certain things only). They also advertise it being less resource-hungry than Apache, and thus, offering a better consistency in performance as compared to their Apache-powered servers powering the other two plans.
First things first, A2 Hosting claims to offer 24x7 email, phone, Skype and live-chat support. They've listed 6 different phone numbers on their contact page, making phone support more accessible for international users.
One of the major things I liked about the A2 Hosting support was that they weren't reluctant to offer script-specific (for example, an issue with your specific WordPress theme) support without charging extra for that. It's absolutely not the same with 99% of the other shared hosts, who prefer to not provide any support beyond their actual service (providing some space in a shared server).