Can you relate to the following circumstances:
Your site behaves like a zombie when there is a spike in traffic?
Your hosting keep spitting server errors and you are tired of troubleshooting them?
If its your situation right now you need a solution called: Managed WordPress Hosting.
As managed WordPress Hosting specially configured for WordPress, you will better Tech Support, Security and fast page load time.
After using A2 Hosting’s Managed WordPress Hosting Service for about 2 months Ihavecomee up with an Un-Biased review.
They promise to provide quality hosting service with insane speed. So lets check it out.
I have signed up for their Unlimited Plan and selected data center of USA – Michigan.
A2 Hosting are in hosting business since 2001. At that time they were knowned as Iniquinet and back in 2003 they changed name to A2 Hosting.
A2 refers to Ann Arbor (Michigan) which is hometown of Bryan Muthing (Founder & CEO).
In today’s time most of the big Hosting brands like Bluehost, Hostgator are owned by EIG, but that’s not with A2 Hosting. They are independent hosting companies since then and are providing quality service.
How A2 Hosting Managed WordPress Service make your life Easy?
Pre-Installed WordPress with A2 Optimized:
While signing up for A2 hosting I have used Sub domain and later I added a .com domain purchased from third party domain registrar.
Both the time I got Pre-Installed WordPress. That’s mean no more time wasting for searching articles about how to install WordPress.
There is also an option for manual installation of WordPress.
Also each WordPress installation is A2- optimized that insures tighten security and Blistring speed on your site.
By default following plugins were Pre-installed:
- A2 Fixed W3 Total Cache: Caching plugin to Boost page load speed
- A2 Optimized WP: WordPress optimization Plugin provided by A2 hosting.
- EWWW Image Optimizer: Image optimizer to compress images
- Wp-Form Lite: Plugin to create contact form and Other
Site Speed: Does it beat Google recommended timings?
Weather you are running a blog or having a small business website speed always matters.
Google also has confirmed that Page loading time is one of the ranking factor and as per Google’s recommendation, it should be under 3 Seconds.
A2 Hosting Turbo server technology claims 20x faster page loading time. To test it out I setup a real website with some content.
And here is what I have got:
Note: I have not done any optimization. This is a Pre-Configured and Optimized WP installation by A2 Hosting. I believe page loading time can be reduced below 1 second by using CDN and scaling images
Further, I have I have done a load impact test on the server and below are the results:
In the above graph, the Blue line represents VUs (Virtual users) and Green line represents page load time.
I flooded my website with 1 to 100 real-time visitors for 5 minutes. For most of the time page load time is nearly the same at around 1.2 seconds (expect 1-2 spikes).
That’s a quite good result and it is below Googles recommended 3 seconds. But truly speaking I was expecting more from A2 Hosting.
Security: Do they take security as a concern?
Each day thousands of website got hacked and blacked listed from Search engines.
So you need to pay a special attention on your site security.
Each A2 Hosting Manged WordPress Account include Free Hack Scan Protection, Brute Force Defence, and Dual firewalls to keep your site safe from Hackers.
You can Enable/Disable Web application firewall from Plesk control panel.
There is also a tool Patchman that will scan for software vulnerability and malware detection and resolve them.
Along with that their A2 hosting Optimize Plugin(pre-Installed) provides features like:
- LoginURL change
- Lock Editing of Plugins and Themes from the WP Admin
- Deny Direct Access to Configuration Files and Comment Form and much more.
4. Customer Support:
A great customer support differentiate quality web host from rest of the Croud.
There are numerous hosting provider out there whose customer support sucks. Even some big hosting companies have bad reputation on customer support department.
But that’s not case with A2 hosting. It doesn’t matter you are a tech geek or a novice, A2 hosting customer support is always available to solve your problems.
Currently A2 Hosting have ‘Ticket Support’ system. You need to generate the ticket for your queries and Guru crew support will respond to your ticket shortly.
I have personally have generated 2 support ticket. For the first time I got a complete solution of my problem within 15- 20 minutes.
And for the second time when the issue was advanced (fault was mine) their Expert WordPress team resolved the issue within 10-15 minutes.
So I can only say that customer support is really helpful. In my case instead of sending instructions they resolved the issue and send the report of why this happens.
There is no doubt customer support is great and knowledgeable but I missed live chat feature.
I hope they will add live chat feature in near future so we can get in touch with them quickly.
Some Extra Perks:
1. Free Migration:
In case you you want to migrate your old site to A2 hosting you don’t need to worry.
Just submit a Migration support support Ticket and sit back. They will migrate your site for free in most of the cases.
2. Free Jetpack Presonal Plan (Worth $3.50/month):
If you are familiar with WordPress you must have heard the name of Jetpack plugin.
It is one of the popular plugin that comes with lots of features like Marketing, Security and Performance features.
With Each A2 hosting’s manged wordpress account you get access to personal plan of Jetpack that include unlimited image CDN, Daily automated backup, automated spam filtering, automated social media posting any many more.
8. Free Automated Backups:
To keep your data safe A2 Hosting provides weekly and Monthly backup. You can easily schedule your backups routines from Plesk Control panel and for storage you can use FTP storage location or link your Dropbox account.
Along with that Jetpack Personal Plan(Free with A2 Hosting) also allows you to backup your data daily.
8. Free SSL Certificate:
Google has anounces earlier that they will give an extra edge to HTTPs enabled webiste in rankings.
If you want that extra edge and want to make it more secure you need a SSL certificate.
But buying SSL certificate for each website can make a hole in your pocket.
A2 Hosting and kept that in mind and they have joined hands with Lets Encrypt that provides Free SSL certificates.
Any Time Money Back Gurantee
Whoo! That’s something I heard for the first time.
I have seen hosting companies providing 90 days money back guarantee but A2 Hosting has taken it to next level.
You will get the full refund within 30 days after signing up and after that refund will be based on unused service.
Whats about Package and Price?
Currently, they are providing 3 packages ranging from $26.47 – $77.49 monthly and after using coupons it can be dropped to $12.97 – $37.97 monthly.
After comparing all of the 3 plans I have noticed that you will get almost the same features with each plan.
But the difference got created when it comes to Domain Add-ons, Storage, and Resource Usage.
After using it for about 2 months overall experience is good . There were some glitches but A2 Hosting Customer Support done a great job.
If you are searching for a Stable Host with High Performance, Tighten Security, great Server Uptime, and decent site speed can go with A2 Hosting.