How Good Is A2 Hosting?

How Good Is A2 Hosting?

How Good Is A2 Hosting?

“How good is A2 Hosting?”  It’s a legitimate question and one from readers that I’ve been fielding with some regularity since migrating The Renaissance Garden Guy to an A2 Hosting dedicated, managed server.  Keep it right here to get a genuine tech idiot’s opinion on A2 Hosting’s goods and sevices as they pertain to my own experience as an A2 Hosting customer.

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How Good is A2 Hosting?

I’m 100% prepared to answer this question from the viewpoint of a decidedly non-tech savvy A2 Hosting customer.  Since such a surprisingly large number of RGG readers and subscribers have been asking it, I’m compelled to answer, and to do so in the most objective way possible.  Of course, I’ll do my best to give you my take on those technical points with which I’m most familiar, and/or have researched to a degree that’s sufficient for a cogent discussion.  But, since most of you RGG readers and subscribers who’ve been asking about this topic are, much like me (although I’m finding it difficult to believe that, to date, I’ve owned and operated The RGG for nearly 3-1/2 years), relative neophytes with regard to website and blog creation, hosting, and associated matters, I believe that my non-tech approach and straight from the gut, unvarnished opinion on all of the things that have mattered most to me since moving The Renaissance Garden Guy to its own dedicated, managed A2 Hosting server is probably the best way to go about reviewing my experience as an A2 Hosting customer.  There’s nothing more telling about a given company’s ability to satisfy its customers than the way those very customers feel about that very company at the end of the day.  Am I not right?

(Note to readers: At any point, please feel free to click on any of the A2 Hosting banners or button(s) interspersed throughout this article to learn more about what A2 can offer you and your website.  Also, please feel free to check out the Host Your Own Site page here on The RGG.  There’s some decent info there, as well.)

So, how good is A2 Hosting?  Let me dial you in.

How Good is A2 Hosting?

How good is A2 Hosting Sales and Customer Service?

Reputation.  When I made the decision to move The Renaissance Garden Guy to A2 Hosting from my previous excellent, but inadequate (they didn’t have a dedicated server big enough to handle all of the site’s content, multimedia and otherwise), hosting service, I did so already informed of A2’s excellent reputation.  Aside from high praise for A2 industry insiders such as website developers and designers that I know personally, PC Magazine made A2 Hosting their top pick in 2023 for WordPress hosting.  A2 has been around since 2003 and has widely been considered one of the industry’s top, if not THE top hosting services available for websites of every level of complexity and capability.

Grace, patience, and thoroughness.  My initial call to A2 Hosting was the only one I needed to make in arriving at my decision to move The Renaissance Garden Guy to one of their mythically capable dedicated servers.  Kevin, the gentleman I spoke with during that initial call, spent an enormous amount of time on the phone with me, answering all of my questions and explaining the benefits of, and differences between the various available hosting packages.  (As you’ll read below, the selection is substantial.)  I never felt rushed, and Kevin assured me that he would spend as much time with me as necessary in order to help me make the right decision for my site.  And that’s exactly what he did.  By the time I purchased my package, I was completely satisfied that Kevin had provided me with enough excellent info to make an intelligent and informed decision.  He even walked me through all of the initial steps (that most other companies would leave you to do on your own) like creating an account, including setting up my password and login information.

One of the things that really stuck with me was Kevin’s explanation of the different types of hosting packages available.  As you’ll read below, the choices are numerous.  Kevin helped me get my arms around the pros and cons of each one.

A2 Hosting Sales and Customer Sevice Grade: A+

How Good is A2 Hosting?

How Good is A2 Hosting Package Selection?

A2 Hosting’s selection of website hosting packages is definitely sizeable, and the available customization combinations make the selection even bigger.  The main two hosting choices are dedicated hosting (you’ll get your own dedicated server with none of its storage space or functions and capabilities shared with other users) and shared hosting (the server is shared by more than one customer and website), with a third choice called VPS (a virtual private server that in terms of architecture and location, is actually a shared server, but it features the amenities and performance of a dedicated server).  With each of these server options, A2 offers both managed and unmanaged hosting.  With managed hosting, A2 handles total management and maintenance of the server, and all of the behind-the-scenes adjustment, fixes, patches, security checks, updates, maintenance, speed, etc. of the website itself.  It’s a great choice if you want the convenience of top-to-bottom sever through website management and administration (that’s me – I don’t want to worry about doing anything but creating content for my site).  With unmanaged hosting, A2 continues to handle total server maintenance and management, but the customer takes on the responsibility of actual website maintenance, security, speed, etc.  Unmanaged hosting is typically a great choice for tech savvy individuals capable of handling many or all of the routine (and not so routine) issues with operating and administrating a website, and looking for more control and specialization in terms of website operational specifics.  With A2, there are a lot of excellent packages with varying costs and tiers, and a lot of options associated with each one.  According to what I found while shopping around, A2 has one of the largest selections and widest arrays of performance, storage, and price options available.  Once again, I make this statement based on my own experience and my ability to interpret the selection options across all of the hosting companies I had researched.  If you do end up contacting A2 Hosting’s sales department, take your time with your questions, and take notes.  I promise you that you’ll get all the info you need about A2 package selection to make an informed and smart hosting choice.

A2 Hosting Package Selection Grade: A+

How Good is A2 Hosting?

How Good is A2 Hosting Pricing?

This is an interesting topic, and it’s important that I give you what I think is a bare bones, spot-on take.  The bottom line is this: with A2’s entry level through intermediate shared hosting plans, as well as many of the dedicated plans at this level, the pricing is extremely competitive, and all plans come with a lot of freebies, like a free SSL certificate and free unlimited email accounts.  The pricing on all A2 plans, however, will increase when it’s time to renew, and no A2 plan offers a free domain or free domain registration.  With their mid-level to top tier dedicated, managed hosting plans, the costs can be fairly high.  I’ll temper these last two statements with two final thoughts: 1) A2 Hosting offers an anytime money back guarantee, so you can cancel at any time and get your money back for what you don’t use.  2) You get what you pay for.  And with these more expensive A2 Hosting plans, you get one hell of a lot of storage, performance, security, amenities, and speed.

A2 Hosting Pricing Grade: B 

How Good is A2 Hosting?

How Good is A2 Hosting Migration and File Uploading?

Site migration.  If you’re wanting to move your existing site from another hosting service to A2 Hosting, site migration is the process that makes it happen.  How good is A2 hosting in terms of their site migration process?  My personal answer: Unbeatable.  For one thing, site migration from another hosting service to A2 is free.  It’s also free if upgrading to another A2 server from an existing A2 server.  A2’s tech support throughout the entire process of The RGG’s migration from another hosting provider was absolutely first rate: They remained on the phone with me and helped me initiate the process right from the start by helping me locate and provide my cPanel login credentials (established with the previous hosting service), and once the migration began,  remained on the phone with me until they were confident the process was underway.  After I got off the phone with them, their migration team kept me updated via email throughout the entire migration process, and notified me once the process was successfully completed.  I literally didn’t have to think about anything or do anything other than wait for them to tell me it was done.  Once A2’s migration team finished their work and the site had been successfully migrated to its new, badass server, A2’s optimization team installed the A2 Optimized and LiteSpeed Cache plugins (which you’ll read about shortly).  After all migration and initial optimization was complete, A2’s awesome phone support helped me transfer my domain to A2 and register it (once again staying on the phone with me and helping me submit my domain transfer authorization request to my former hosting service).  Once The RGG had migrated, A2 installed and activated my new SSL certificate, and ensured that the security of the site was airtight.  Site migration, SSL certification, and domain transfer were a total piece of cake with A2 Hosting.

A2 Hosting Site Migration Grade: A+

WordPress file uploading on A2 servers.  Uploading files to your WordPress site’s media library is a critical part of content creation.  If you’re featuring a lot of photography and video in your individual posts, the maximum file size you can upload at one time is a critical number, and the maximum post size is obviously vitally important, as well.  With my dedicated, managed A2 server, the maximum single post size is 2G, and the maximum single upload size is 1G.  These numbers could potentially be insufficient if you’re trying to upload an uncompressed video file, or want to feature lots of video or photographic content in one post.  It’s not a deal breaker at all for me, because there are a lot of ways around these limitations (compressing video and photo files, hosting the actual video file on a separate platform/server, etc.).  With unmanaged A2 servers, maximum post and individual file upload sizes can be much larger (customers managing their own sites will have root access and can configure these sizes with a great deal of upper limit flexibility).  Overall, I do wish my managed dedicated A2 server had a bit more upper limit capacity.  Again, this is not an issue with unmanaged A2 servers.  Unmanaged server customers can configure these numbers with greater flexibility, and can definitely achieve higher maximum sizes for both individual posts, and individual file uploads.

A2 Hosting Maximum File Upload Size and Individual Post Size Grade: B+

How Good is A2 Hosting?

How Good is A2 Hosting Technical Support?

I believe that A2 Hosting’s technical support is second to none.  Their multi-divisional/multi-teamed staff are incredibly well-trained, thorough, friendly, and knowledgeable.  Although A2 tech support is incredibly skilled, the company doesn’t have an “official” tech paradigm in place for specifically providing WordPress support.  That being said, A-2 tech support, again, is organized in mulit-divisional fashion (they’ve got a migration team, an optimization team, an escalation team, live call and live chat teams, etc.) and they investigate all questions or issues with regard to WordPress, and work to resolve those issues, provide answers to questions, select and install any necessary plugins and/or activate any necessary/appropriate features of installed plugins in order to ensure that WordPress functions at its full potential.  And even though they’re not officially “WordPress support” per se, in my case, they’ve taken care of any and all WordPress issues and concerns in seamless, expeditious fashion.  When it comes to the working knowledge and expertise of A2’s tech staff, I can’t imagine that there’s one that’s any better, anywhere else.

One of the most reassuring aspects of this amazing support is A2’s commitment to keeping the customer informed.  Issue resolution is reported to the customer, via email, live chat, and/or telephone call from A2 tech support staff, at every relevant stage throughout the resolution process.

24/7 telephone support (call center), 24/7 live chat, and ticket system.  A2 Hosting’s tech support is accessible via telephone, live chat, and through submitting support tickets.  I’m a telephone conversation kind of guy, so I need to talk to somebody if I have a question or issue.  Although A2’s staff does answer calls on the caller’s first attempt, many times customers will need to leave a message with their account info, call back number, and call back time window.  A2 is pretty good about returning calls within the time you specify when you leave your message, and I understand that they’ll be getting even better at both answering initial calls and returning calls – they’ve very recently made a major manpower investment and have substantially increased the size of their incredibly well-trained call center staff.

A2’s live chat will result in a more immediate response time.  Simply initiate a live chat by including relevant account info and wait (sometimes only a few seconds, sometimes a few minutes) to engage.

A2 utilizes a ticket system to direct any tech issues to the right support division.  To use it, click on “Open Ticket” from your A2 account’s home page.  You’ll get a couple of drop down menus which will lead you to the page where you can describe the issue in detail and submit the ticket.  You’ll get a response within 24 hours, but generally much, much sooner.  All correspondence is viewable in the ticket window, and is conducted via email.  It’s actually very effective.

So, how good is A2 Hosting technical support?  As far as this mother’s son is concerned, it’s excellent.

A2 Hosting Technical Support Grade: A+

Unbelievable Speed 2023
How Good is A2 Hosting?

How Good is A2 Hosting Speed?  (Are They Really That Fast?)

How good is A2 Hosting speed?  Insanely good.  Although I’m not knowledgeable about the use of website page loading metrics or the means of measuring them, I do have two eyes and a brain in my head, and I know when a page I’m accessing from my browser loads quickly.  I also know what RGG readers have been telling me.  I’ve literally not seen any page I’ve opened through my browser load as fast as The Renaissance Garden Guy loads.  And any number of RGG readers and subscribers have contacted me to let me know how instantaneous the site’s pages load in their own browsers.

As you’ll read in the next two sections below, A2 Hosting servers represent the best structural and functional hardware that the industry has to offer.  These devices are built for speed and capacity,  And A2 combines this amazing hardware with incredibly robust software optimizations that maximize each server’s capacity for speed and effectiveness.

A2 Hosting Speed Grade: A+

How Good is A2 Hosting?

How Good is A2 Hosting Hardware?

How good is A2 Hosting server hardware?  It’s the best in the industry.  When you get into the mid to upper tier dedicated turbo server packages, you’ll find that the servers are powered by either 2nd or 4th generation AMD EPYC processors, which are among the absolute fastest processors available.  The RGG’s dedicated server is a Warp 2 Turbo AMD Bare Metal SSD (solid state drive) server with 1TB of storage (expandable to 4TB), 32GB of DDR4 ECC RAM (double data rate with error correcting code), and a new type of SSD data transmission called NVME (non-volatile memory express), which maximizes SSD efficiency and storage capacity.  This server is powered by one of AMD’s massively powerful and lightning-fast 2nd Generation EPYC processors.  A2’s very top tier hosting packages utilize AMD Turbo servers powered by AMD’s awesome 4th Generation EPYC processors which have even more RAM, more speed, and more storage (up to 5TB).

But all A2 servers, starting with the shared servers, are fast and capable, including “Startup,” which is A2 Hosting’s entry level, shared plan.  Although this shared plan and the next tier up “Drive” shared plan are not hosted on turbo servers, they’re still much faster than the servers used by A2’s closest competitors in their comparably priced packages.  One reason for this speed advantage lies with the capacity and efficiency of A2’s servers’ inodes.  These file data structures, in the case of A2’s servers used in their two entry level hosting plans, process 600,000 files in Linux.  This is 2 to 3 times more inode processing capability than A2’s closest competitors.

How good is A2 Hosting server hardware?  From entry level all the way through their top tier dedicated, managed hosting plan, A2 Hosting’s servers are among the entire industry’s very best, if not the very best.

A2 Hosting Server Hardware Grade: A+

How Good is A2 Hosting?

How Good is A2 Hosting Software Integration?

cPanel interface.  Before I touch on the awesome software integrations that help make A2 Hosting’s blazingly fast servers even faster, I’ll mention here that all A2 WordPress customers will enjoy the cPanel server and website management and user interface platform.  cPanel is the tried and true, time-honored “mission control” for WordPress sites.  A2’s cPanel is loaded with options and is easy to navigate and use.  cPanel access and control for The Renaissance Garden Guy at A2 Hosting was definitely a selling point for me.

A2 Optimized.  A2 Hosting incorporates incredibly robust software integration with, and optimization of, its servers, for WordPress, Joomla, or Opencart sites.  In all cases, the A2 Optimized plugin is an option (its installation is free and standard on all Turbo and managed WordPress hosting plans) that maximizes A2’s lightning-fast servers for even more functionality, speed, and performance.  It utilizes such speed and efficiency-enhancing features as image compression, page caching, and Redis object caching, and truly serves as a software amplifier for A2’s already prodigious server hardware.

LiteSpeed Cache.  The second incredibly powerful and effective software integration for A2’s Servers (on Turbo Boost and Turbo Max shared servers, and on Turbo managed VPN and Turbo managed dedicated servers is LiteSpeed Cache.  LiteSpeed Cache, like A2 Optimized, is an incredible speed and performance-enhancing WordPress plugin that’s loaded with amazing features (server-level full page cache, additional image optimization, CDN auto integration, and lazy load images, to name just a few) and that operates seamlessly with A2’s Turbo servers and the A2 Optimized plugin.

Right here, I’ll remind you that A2’s excellent optimization team installed these plugins immediately upon The RGG’s successful migration, and had my site fully optimized and operating at insane speeds immediately.  So, how good is A2 Hosting software integration?  Crazy good.

A2 Hosting Software Integration Grade: A+

How Good is A2 Hosting?

How Good is A2 Hosting Reliability and Uptime?

Uptime guarantee.  A2 Hosting’s 99.9% uptime guarantee is completely legit, and even a bit conservative, as far as my observations are concerned.  Without a precise and continuous monitoring system in place to gauge the exact length (if any) of a particular outage over a given  measured period of time, I can’t provide an actual percentage of uptime for The Renaissance Garden Guy.  What I can tell you is 1) I have not noticed any downtime whatsoever since migrating the site to A2 in early November of 2023, and 2) RGG readers and/or subscribers have never reported an issue with the site’s reliability.

Response time.  Again, through my own rudimentary testing methodology (visiting The RGG from an incognito browser tab over and over again), I can report instantaneous loading times for pages and images, and no RGG reader or subscriber has ever made me aware of a response time issue.

A2 Hosting Reliability and Uptime Grade: A+

How Good is A2 Hosting?

How Good is A2 Hosting?  A2 Gets an A+!!!

How good is A2 Hosting?  Aww, you already know the answer… A+ all the way!  I’m not saying that there isn’t room for improvement.  There definitely is when it comes to both pricing and individual maximum upload file size (and I wouldn’t say no to a bigger maximum post size, either).  But for me, these problems are not significant enough to cause me to look elsewhere for RGG hosting.  When I compare these two less-than-perfect components of the A2 Hosting experience with all of the positives, they don’t make even the slightest dent.  I’m extremely happy with A2 Hosting’s care and guardianship of The Renaissance Garden Guy, and I wholeheartedly recommend their amazing hosting capabilities to anyone thinking about starting their own website, or looking to move an existing one to another service.  How good is A2 Hosting?  A2 gets a big A+!!!

That's a Wrap!

Thanks for giving this one a read, guys and gals.  I know it’s a bit of a departure from the usual topical gamut we run here together, but, as I wrote here earlier, a fairly large number of you have been asking about the whole website/blog creation thing.  So now, when I’m asked by readers and subscribers, “How good is A2 Hosting?”, I’ve got their answer right here.  I’m entirely happy with The Renaissance Garden Guy’s new home, and its markedly improved performance here.  I’ll preemptively satisfy any emerging curiosity at this point, and tell you that, yes, A2 Hosting is The Renaissance Garden Guy’s affiliate partner, and, yes again, I’ll get paid if any RGG readers click on an A2 banner or link featured here on this site.  Does my affiliate relationship affect my objectivity?  Not in the least.  I mean, these guys offer an anytime money back guarantee.  If I didn’t like them, not only would I definitely not recommend them, I’d cash in my guarantee and move the site to another service.  Nope.  I’m sincere in my satisfaction with A2 hosting. 

Once again, if you’d like to learn more about A2 Hosting and what they have to offer, please click on any of the A2 Hosting banners or the “Click here to view A2 Hosting’s package selection” button right here in this review.  I can tell you what I think all day long, but it’s always best to investigate these things for yourself.  And, if you’re really curious about what they can do for you, give them a call.  Their sales team will be more than happy to answer all of you questions.

Thanks once more for sticking this one out.  As always, my dear readers and subscribers, I thank you for your kind interest and your readership.

Cheers, and Happy Gardening!

Unbelievable Speed 2023

The Renaissance Garden Guy is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Additionally, The Renaissance Garden Guy is a participant in the Bluehost, SeedsNow, and A2 Hosting affiliate programs.  I earn a fee/commission each time a visitor clicks on an ad or banner on this site from one of these companies and makes a subsequent qualifying purchase.

Please click here to view The Renaissance Garden Guy Disclosure page.

6 thoughts on “How Good Is A2 Hosting?”

    1. Bless your heart, Roxxy – thank you! I’m so glad you thought this review was helpful. I’m pretty much a tech idiot, which I think makes this review all the more meaningful and valuable to RGG readers who are contemplating getting into the website/blogging game. If a moron like me can operate a successful website, I believe that says a great deal about the hosting service behind the site. A2 really is an amazing company. Thanks once again, Roxxy.

  1. You started as a non tech individual. The knowledge you have gained since you first published The RGG is impressive. Having an outstanding tech team on your side for your site is critical.

    1. Thank you for the kind compliment, Rick. When it comes to all things tech, I’m still very much a flounderer. You’re absolutely right. Having the right people in place is absolutely critical. Thanks again, Rick.

  2. Your site is terrific. All the tools you use must also be. With such high praise A2, has to be one of the best hosting services around. Thanks for all the information and for your recommendation.

    1. A2 really is a great company, and I’m very happy with The RGG’s performance since moving it to its fast and powerful dedicated server there at A2. I do highly recommend them. Thank you, Kevin.

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