There are many web hosts vying for your dollar, so it takes a special service to stand out from the crowded field and prove itself worthy of your money. Web host A2Host does so thanks to its impressive packages, terrific uptime, and wonderful customer service. In fact, A2Host’s high-quality WordPress plans propel the web host to the front of that WordPress hosting pack, despite some relatively high prices and zero Windows server options.
If you want to launch a site without spending a lot of money, shared hosting should be on your radar. Shared hosting places your site on a server with many other sites, so you share server resources and lower your overall hosting fee. It’s a solid form of cheap web hosting, but it isn’t particularly powerful. The main drawback is that the other sites that share your server can slow—or even take down—your site, if they crash badly or get a big traffic spike.
A2Host offers three tiers of Linux-based shared web hosting: Lite, Swift, and Turbo. Lite (starting at $7.99 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 $9.99 per month) builds on Lite by offering unlimited email addresses and domains. Turbo (starting at $18.99 per month) tops the other two by adding preconfigured site caching for faster load times.
These are solid plans, but they’re a step behind what’s offered by HostGator ( at HostGator) . The Editors’ Choice for shared web hosting services boasts unlimited storage, monthly data transfers, and email addresses with each shared hosting plan. If you want to explore shared hosting, HostGator is the place to start.
As with its shared hosting plans, A2 offers multiple Linux-based virtual private server (VPS) packages. VPS hosting is like shared hosting in that multiple sites exist on the same server. The difference? VPS hosting offers more resources per site. There are far fewer sites on each server, and each is isolated from its server mates.
A2’s Unmanaged VPS (starting at $5.00 per month), a tier designed for experienced web site admins who have their own IT staff, has a scant, baseline 512MB of RAM, 2TB of monthly data transfers, and 20GB of storage. That said, if you go for the Elite tier, the RAM and storage totals increase to 1GB and 50GB, respectively. You aren’t locked into those specs, however. A2 lets you spec out its Unmanaged offerings with up to 9TB of monthly data transfers, 32GB of RAM, and 250GB of storage.
Managed VPS (starting at $49.99 per month) offers a base Power+ plan that boasts 4GB of RAM, 75GB of storage, 2TB of monthly data transfers. A2’s top-tier Pinnacle+ plan has 8GB of storage, 150GB of storage, and 4TB of monthly data transfers. The plans come with HostGuard Management service, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty with under-the-hood happenings. Additionally, the Core VPS (starting at $49.99 per month) has the same specs as Managed VPS, but it grants root access for complete website control. These managed plans, which see A2 handle the server care, don’t allow you to increase the RAM, storage, or monthly data transfer totals.
Hostwinds ($3.29/Month at HostWinds) tops those packages to remain the Editors’ Choice for VPS hosting. It has you covered with 10 tiers of VPS hosting in its Budget VPS, Premium VPS, Windows VPS, SSD Windows VPS, and SSD Linux VPS offerings.
For example, Tier 1 Premium VPS starts at just $13.50 per month (for 1GB of RAM, 50GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email), while Tier 10 scales up to $105 per month (for 15GB of RAM, 200GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email). The SSD Linux plan starts at $13.50 per month (for 1GB of RAM, 25GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email) and maxes out at $129 per month. For that, you get 18.5GB of RAM, 130GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email.
One unusual VPS note: Hostwinds also has Minecraft (yes, as in the video game!) VPS server hosting. Like the standard VPS hosting, Minecraft hosting has a slider that lets you quickly select a pre-configured server. The entry-level tier ($8 per month) is designed for a maximum of 10 people; the high-end tier ($160 per month) can host a maximum of 350 people.
Hostwinds also offers a choice of Linux- or Windows-based hosting, which is something that A2’s VPS services lack. Hostwinds’ flexible, powerful VPS plans outshine those of its rivals, making it tops in the category.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated servers are the most powerful web hosting offerings around, as your website shares zero server resources with other sites. If you expect a large amount of website traffic, you should spring for dedicated hosting.
A2 has many Linux-powered dedicated server packages. The managed (starting at $169 per month), unmanaged (starting at $119 per month), and Core Flex (starting at $169 per month) servers 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 HostGuard Management.
Those are attractive offerings, but the feature-packed AccuWeb is the Editors’ Choice for dedicated web hosting. AccuWeb gives you a choice of customizable or prefab Linux- or Windows-based dedicated servers, starting at $105 per month for 8GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and 20TB of monthly data transfers. If you need more dedicated power, there’s also the $385 per month plan that comes with 16GB of RAM (customizable up to 512GB), 250GB SSD, and 20TB of monthly data transfers.
Cloud Web Hosting
Cloud hosting is becoming increasingly common. It differs from traditional hosting in that it spreads resources across multiple servers, whereas traditional hosting pulls power from a single server. A2, like many other web hosts, offers multiple tiers of cloud hosting; unfortunately, they’re limited to just the Linux operating system.
A2’s $5.00 per month Entry plan comes with 512MB RAM, 20GB of storage, and 2TB of monthly data transfers. The company’s $10.00-per-month Mid plan ups the RAM and storage to 1GB of RAM and 30GB, respectively. The Elite plan ($15.00 per month) increases the storage to 50GB.
A2’s packages are good, but DreamHost (2.59 Per Month at DreamHost) is the co-Editors’ Choice for cloud hosting services. DreamHost’s Linux-or-Windows-based packages start at $4.50 per month (for 512MB of RAM, 100GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers) and top out at $48 per month (8GB of RAM, 100GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers). If your website requires enterprise-class cloud hosting, 11 Ionos has you covered. The co-Editors’ Choice has the specs and prorated plans that big businesses crave.
WordPress Web Hosting
WordPress. It’s a name synonymous with web hosting, and a service that powers nearly 30 percent of the web. It’s easy to see why: WordPress is easy to use, and has a rich WordPress theme and WordPress plug-in ecosystem to let you tweak the content management system as you see fit.
If you want to go the WordPress route, A2 has you covered. Its three Linux-based WordPress hosting plans—Lite, Swift, and Turbo—are identical to the company’s shared web hosting plans (A2 also offers more expensive managed plans that give your installation the white glove treatment). 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 it’s 6X faster than traditional hosting).
A2’s WordPress boasts unlimited storage and monthly data transfers at each tier. All that helps A2 topple previous winner TMDHosting, which experienced serious uptime issues in our most recent tests. A2 is our top pick for WordPress hosting.
if you’re new to WordPress, take a few minutes to get up to speed with our piece on how to get started with WordPress hosting.
Reseller Web Hosting
If you’re looking to get into the web hosting business, but don’t want to deal with infrastructure matters, check out A2’s reseller hosting packages. The plans, starting at $19.99 per month, boast unlimited email and up to 200GB of storage and 2000GB of monthly data transfers. A2 offers a good mix of Linux-based servers, too, in the shared, dedicated, and VPS categories. In addition, A2 lets you apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it supplies 24/7 tech support.
That said, A2’s reseller packages aren’t quite as robust as Hostwinds’ offerings. The category’s Editors’ Choice winner has a variety of excellent packages that are sure to please anyone thinking about getting into the reseller business.
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’ browsers for safe online transactions. A2’s SSLs start at $49.95 per year for a one-year certificate and 256-bit encryption.
Website uptime is a vital element of web hosting. If your site goes down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services. It’s in your best interest to find a reliable web host that can keep your site up and running. Otherwise, customers may go elsewhere—and they might never come back.
To evaluate reliability, I use a website-monitoring tool to track my test site’s uptime over a two-week period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings my website and sends me an email if it is unable to contact the site for at least 1 minute. The data reveal that A2 was incredibly stable during my testing. In fact, it didn’t go down once! As I’ve learned from my uptime tests, a website is usually down for at least a few brief periods over the course of a month. Based on my testing, you can count on A2 to be a rock-solid foundation for your website.
Excellent Customer Service
If you’re ever in need of technical assistance, A2’s aptly named Guru Crew is available to lend a helping hand. Available 24/7 via phone or live chat, the Guru Crew is one of the best customer support teams I’ve encountered in the web hosting space.
I contacted the team on a weekday morning to learn which plans offer Windows-based hosting (none do!) and how to install WordPress. I waited just a few seconds before a Guru Crew member fielded my questions. A2’s customer service squad ranks up there with GoDaddy’s ($5.99/Month at GoDaddy) as the best in the business.
A2 offers an Anytime Money Back Guarantee that grants you a full refund if you cancel your account within a 30-day window. Sure, many web hosts offer that type of refund, but A2 one-ups them by offering a prorated refund if you decided to pack it up after 30 days.
A Very Good Web Host
A2 has nearly everything you’d expected from a quality web host, including terrific uptime and knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives. The hosting packages are notable, too, especially its WordPress plans for which it is a new Editors’ Choice.
For more on getting started online, read our tips on how to create a website. You might also want to check out our story on how to register a domain name for your website.
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