Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affliliate links
Here I'm reviewing A2 Hosting. We've been using A2 Hosting ourselves for a bunch of our sites for the past 2 years. We've used it for Wordpress, Dolphin (social networking software), Processwire, and several custom static sites. In this balanced review I'll list the pros and cons of this host, and things you should know.
- Has all the tools you need no matter what type of site you want to put up. These tools are: cPanel, Softaculous, free SSL through Let's Encrypt, and email. I wouldn't even consider a host that didn't offer all of these features together, and you shouldn't accept less either.
- Cheap. A2 Hosting is even cheaper than many other hosts who offer less features. You should be able to get a basic shared hosting package for well under $10 a month at A2 Hosting - that may be cheaper than the amount you spend on coffee!
- Fast; excellent uptime. My websites load fast and I've not had a problem with any downtime. I can attest this is a very reliable host.
- Many customer support options: support ticket, online chat, or phone. Customer support has always been speedy; I've never had to wait long. Their phone support has a decent level of internationalization. There are local numbers for several different countries including Australia, Singapore, US, and England. Plus they have toll-free numbers for Canada, Brazil, Colombia, and Spain.
- Well internationalized site; multi-language capability. A small part of the internationalization is their own website, which they've offered in a few different languages and currencies. They serve virtually all countries. Once you've signed up though, it gets even better: cPanel, the control interface to your websites, email, etc, is available in virtually all languages; I've included screenshots below.
Below: Screenshots I took from my A2 Hosting account, showing the ability to switch between different languages.
Above: Russian language
Above: French language
Above: Arabic language
That was just a tiny sampling of what's available: I was able to select virtually any language including German, Korean, Malay, Japanese, and many many more. Let's move on.
- Up to date software. A2 Hosting has kept on top of having up-to-date versions of PHP and other software. Speaking from experience, not all hosts do that. This is a huge bonus for you because it means your sites are going to be more secure than they would be at other hosts where they're using older versions. Even highly reputable hosts don't always offer the latest version of PHP. You can actually choose to switch your version of PHP to an older one if you want on A2 Hosting, but I love that they offer the latest version.
- Suitable for the beginner or the seasoned developer. I wasn't as experienced as I am now when I started on A2 Hosting, and now I realize how many features they offer that not all other hosts do; things that are under-the-hood like changing your PHP extensions at the click of a button. Don't worry if you don't know what that means; you may never need to use it, but it's there if one day you do.
- By default, they automatically install a free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate on all of your domains. It's there without you having to do anything, which is great. This means you get https right away. Most other hosts, even if they offer free Let's Encrypt certificates, require you to put in a support ticket to activate it. With A2 Hosting, I've gotten up and running way faster than at other hosts because of this; it's especially helpful if you expect to have more than one website.
- While the A2 shared hosting plans are perfect, it can be a little bit of a price jump if you're switching from shared hosting to their managed VPS. But with 3 tiers of shared hosting to choose from, you've got many years to grow in shared hosting before you even need to think of this. The shared-to-VPS price jump is the case at many other hosts too (and often worse at other hosts), so I don't see it as a major disadvantage.
My experience with A2 Hosting has been stellar. In retrospect I wish I'd put all my websites on A2 Hosting (my earliest websites are with another host). I highly recommend A2 for its excellent performance and service at a surprisingly low price point.
If you're just starting out, you'll want to start with the cheapest plan: The Lite plan under shared hosting. If you know you'll want more than one domain, then I recommend starting with Swift, still on shared hosting but the next tier up. Rest assured you can always upgrade either plan later as needed.
How to get off to a great start with a side business
Would you like to try your hand at a fun business: setting up and running a website? Let us show you how with our free illustrated tutorial. Follow along, and you'll be able to quickly set up your choice of sites: a forum, social network, blog, e-commerce store, or Q & A site. Take a look at our beginner's tutorial page and let us get you off to a fast-moving start.