SiteGround Vs A2 Hosting: Which is better? (2021)
Find out whether SiteGround is better than A2 Hosting or not Below!
Table Of Contents
SiteGround and A2 Hosting are two well-established hosting companies that have been in the game for years. Both platforms offer various hosting solutions, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and many other great solutions. But the question on everyone’s mind is, which platform is superior? SiteGround and A2 Hosting have their fair share of supporters. Is one better than the other? That’s what we’ll find out today.
In this review, you will be getting a detailed description and comparison of these great hosting platforms. We’ll be looking at crucial metrics such as uptime, speed, and customer support, and all the essential questions that you’ll want to find out before signing up for either one.
Features and Solutions
SiteGround offers three types of hosting plans, including web hosting, WooCommerce, and WordPress hosting. And for all three plans, they come in further three plan levels, which are the StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek. The difference between these levels is the number of domains you are allowed to have and the included storage space.
The startUp, for instance, allows only one domain and offers the least amount of storage space with no additional features. As for GrowBig and GoGeek, you get unlimited domains with more storage space and also some bonus features! So if you are just starting with one domain, then StartUp would suffice. However, if you plan on having more than one domain, then you should really consider GrowBig or GoGeek.
With SiteGround, you also get cloud hosting solutions, dedicated servers, and even enterprise hosting.
Compared to SiteGround, A2 Hosting offers a little more in terms of hosting solutions, including WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, shared hosting, reseller hosting, and dedicated hosting. For your usual shared Hosting, it is further separated into three plans: the Lite, Swift, and Turbo. Just like SiteGround, these plans are packaged according to the customer’s needs.
For instance, for the Lite Plan, you only get one website but up to 25 email accounts and unlimited storage space. The only limitation to the Lite Plan is that you won’t get access to additional features like automatic backups. Then for the Swift and Turbo plans, you get unlimited websites, unlimited email accounts, AND automatic backups.
The managed WordPress plan also comes in 3 packages depending on how many sites you have. The three boxes are for one site, three sites, and unlimited. For all three plans, you also get a 1-click staging area, and a free SSL certificate included upon purchase. Other than this, they also have domain registration and specific hosting categories like NGINX hosting, Linux, CMS, and CRM hosting.
Do people favor SiteGround or A2 Hosting?
Based on a simple Google Trends research, it seems like more people favor SiteGround over A2 Hosting, which is pretty understandable as I do hear SiteGround popping up more often. In terms of numbers, according to SiteGround, they host 2,000,000 domains and more, but no such information could be found for A2 Hosting. Although this number might not mean anything, I’m actually wondering about the fact that large numbers could also make it more challenging for hosting platforms to manage their overall performance.
SiteGround’s primary focus is on their technology in which they focus on three crucial areas: speed, data centers, and uptime. Necessarily, these are mostly what people will look for in a good hosting company. You can tell SiteGround’s focus is what makes them popular. You can even find the list of technologies they use on their website.
Whereas for A2 Hosting, they also have a good track record in terms of data centers and web hosting technologies, but it is kept in their Knowledge Base. You can also find some of them displayed on their plan feature section on their website.
To summarize, for SiteGround, you can find data centers in five of 3 continents, whereas for A2 Hosting, it’s four in 3 continents. Both companies have solid-state storage, CDN, and PHP7. SiteGround has both NGINX and HTTP/2, but A2 Hosting only has these on their higher-tier plans.
Let’s take an even more in-depth look into all these technologies:
Data centers are the most crucial thing for hosting companies as the loading time, speed, and stability of websites are dependent on the location and characteristics of data centers. Fundamentally, the closer the data center, the better. To stay ahead of the competition, it is vital for hosting companies to have several high-quality data centers in various locations spreading out as far as countries and continents. If you are a hosting company and want to expand, building a close data center is crucial.
SiteGround has five data centers, and you can see where they are located as they provide a map with exact locations of their data centers. Currently, they have centers in Singapore, the UK, the USA, and the Netherlands.
A2 Hosting has four data centers strategically spread out two in the USA, one in Europe and another in Asia. All four data centers have their own web servers that are monitored 24/7. Their US data centers even have SSAE16 cert with its own redundant network and power supply all in a tightly regulated system, so you won’t have to worry about facing problems with extended downtime.
When it comes to excellent hosting performance, Solid-State Drives are more reliable than your usual hard drives as they work at a higher speed. Therefore both A2 Hosting and SiteGround use SSDs so you can guarantee that both offers optimized hosting performance.
Whenever you encounter lagging websites that don’t seem to load normally, Nginx is the reverse proxy and high-performance HTTP server that will speed this up. By using SiteGround, you will have NGINX automatically included in both their cloud and shared plans. A2 Hosting also offers this, but you would need to subscribe to their higher-tier plans as the standard shared hosting plan will not include this.
PHP, HTTP/2, and CDN
What do these abbreviations mean? No, they are not special codes, but they contribute to the loading speed of your site. You can be anywhere on the globe, but with these technologies, your site will load quickly and seamlessly.
If you subscribe to any SiteGround shared plans, you get all three of these elements that will ensure quick load time anywhere you are. You also get free CDN with Cloud Flare. For A2 Hosting you also get a free CDN from Cloudflare. For all A2 Hosting plans, you get PHP7, but only Turbo and Dedicated hosting package supports HTTP/2.
To further speed things up, SiteGround has extra uptime technologies included like the Linux Containers (LXC) and anti-bot AI. A2 Hosting does not seem to have these additional ‘boosts’ so I do question if loading times with A2 Hosting might be affected from time to time.
Overall, SiteGround seems like they value loading times for customers more than A2 Hosting does. While A2 Hosting offers all PHP, HTTP/2, and CDN, you only get the power of all three elements if you pay more and subscribe to their more expensive plans. But for SiteGround, they offer all three just on their shared plans, and they even include other technologies to ensure customers won’t face slow loading times no matter where they are.
A good web host should also come with great features on offer. You never know what you might need, so it is crucial to go through each element.
Storage is necessary because it determines how much space your website can take up. With SiteGround you get storage that gets gradually larger from 10GB SSD on the StartUp plan, 20GB SSD on GrowBig and 30GB SSD on GoGeek. So the more you pay, the more storage space you have for your website with SiteGround. Nevertheless, from my experience, you never really end up using so much space unless you regularly upload high-resolution pictures, videos, or store files.
On the other hand, A2 Hosting gives unlimited SSD storage no matter what plan you choose! You don’t see many offers like this very often, so it’s special indeed. You don’t have to worry about you having to pay more should you need more storage space in the future.
You probably knew this already, but backups are important. Whether it’s for your personal messages, work emails, or your website, you need backup if something happens, and all your data gets wiped out.
With SiteGround, you get daily backups, and they will keep it up to 30 days with the shared hosting plan and seven days with the cloud hosting plan. To recover your backups are also accessible by just heading to the cPanel and looking for the Backup Tool. Should you need on-demand backups on the GrowBig and GoGeek plans, you can create five at one time. You can also get on-demand backups with the StartUp plan, but they will charge you a fee.
On the other hand, A2 Hosting does not really have great backup features. If you are on the Lite Plan, you don’t even get any automatic backups, so you need to subscribe to their shared plans if you need automatic backups. How often are these backups depend on a ‘best-effort’ basis which sounds to me like it will be quite inconsistent? Your backups will be stored on the server for 30 days, and you can access them from Server Rewind on the cPanel.
With A2 Hosting, creating backups are secure. There’s a backup tool in the cPanel where you can set automatic backups with a cron job. Alternatively, you can set commands to generate a compressed file containing all your data in public_html.
At the end of the day, the winner in terms of backup must go to SiteGround as it’s just much simpler and safer to backup daily with the backup restoration without a third-party source.
Websites and subdomains
If you have multiple websites, you would want to host them under one hosting plan for easy management. You can do this on both SiteGround and A2 Hosting except on their Lite and StartUp plans, which only allow for one website per subscription. If you have only one website, then a cheaper plan would suffice. Then when you have plans to take on multiple websites, then you can consider paying more for a plan with unlimited sites.
In terms of subdomains, SiteGround offers unlimited subdomains on all plans, whereas A2 Hosting only gives up to 5 subdomains for the Lite Plan.
Data transfer essentially means the amount of bandwidth you can use, and you get unlimited bandwidth for both SiteGround and A2 Hosting. Bandwidth also means the amount of traffic that your site is receiving. Unlimited means there is no cap on how much your site receives, but you are expected to use a ‘reasonable’ amount. If you use an unreasonably high bandwidth, you might get a notice, such as from A2 Hosting, asking you to reduce it. This is partially due to prevent abnormal or unethical behaviors like hacks, spams, excessive cron jobs, and things like that.
You create as many email accounts as you wish if you use SiteGround however, each account quota will be limited to 2GB, 4GB, and 6GB for the StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plans, respectively. As for email clients, you get to select between three, which are Roundcube, SquirrelMail, and Horde. So far I’ve had no problems with either of these.
The number of email accounts you can have with A2 Hosting is limited to 25 free ones on their Lite Plan. Only on the Swift and Turbo plans can you create unlimited email accounts. For all your mailboxes, you get to set your own storage quota, so it’s advisable if you set either no quota at all or overestimate a large sum to avoid future problems. A2 Hosting doesn’t really have a cap on storage, so try and get as much as you can. POP3, IMAP, and SMTP, and webmail are your email access options. They also include spam protection.
Overall in terms of email accounts, it seems like a tie. Both offer unlimited email accounts in most of their plans with several limitations. A2 Hosting does also offer spam protection, which is something different that will be useful down the line.
WordPress is one of the more popular website building platforms on the internet, which means many people use it. Therefore if your host is optimized for your website building platform, for instance, WordPress, as in this scenario, it is ideal. Both A2 Hosting and SiteGround are WordPress optimized, but they do differ in some features.
Number of websites
One main difference is the number of websites. With SiteGround you get only one if you’re on the StartUp plan but unlimited websites for the rest of the plans. For A2 Hosting, they offer one, three, and unlimited websites for the entre-level, mid-tier, and highest-tier plan accordingly. What this means is if you’re with A2 Hosting and you need more than three websites, you must pay more for their highest plan.
Another difference is the bandwidth, which A2 Hosting wins with unlimited transfer. On the other hand, SiteGround can only accommodate up to 10,000 to 100,000 visits monthly. While this amount is sufficient, a non-capped amount would be better because you never know how big your site might expand.
In terms of storage space, A2 Hosting offers slightly more than SiteGround.
And as for other features, we compared both platforms for the following: Quick install, automatic system updates, automatic plugin updates, staging area, and in-house caching. All these features are available with SiteGround, with the exception of automatic system updates and plugin updates as you need to activate them. A2 Hosting also has all these features except for automatic plugin updates.
Next, let’s talk about the speed of your new site. Obviously, speed is very important when it comes to web pages. Try to think back to the last time you experienced a slow-loading web page. Do you remember the frustration you faced? You most likely clicked away in less than 30 seconds. Now put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine this happened to them while they were on your site! You do not want this to happen because it could mean losing a loyal customer to your competitors. Therefore, the speed of your site is crucial.
I can tell you from my personal experience with using A2 Hosting is that they have good speed and load time. I remember all the times I performed speed tests, and I was always impressed by the results. As for my experience with SiteGround, the speed was only commendable when I upgraded to the mid-tier shared plan. If you subscribe to the lower plans, you might experience problems with speed. But overall, in my opinion, both platforms’ speed surpasses other hosts like Bluehost, HostGator, or GoDaddy.
However, at the end of the day, many characteristics can influence how fast your site loads. A2 Hosting even goes one step further by offering ‘Turbo’ speed for their priciest shared plan.
SiteGround has always given me an uptime at a consistent 99.99% and above, which is very impressive. A2 Hosting is also not far behind but in line with the industry average, which is between 99.92% to 99.9%.
Compensations are usually offered should downtime ever occur. SiteGround gives one-month free Hosting if your uptime ever drips below 99% to 99.9% and even more months if more percentage points of uptime fall.
A2 Hosting gives downtime compensation in the form of 5% credit to your monthly hosting cost, but you need to submit a ticket for them to confirm the occurrence to get it. This is typically how it works for most hosting companies, so SiteGround’s compensation is the most generous so far.
Both A2 Hosting and SiteGround offer a multitude of ways customers can get in touch with them and get help ASAP. SiteGround has 24/7 live chat, phone support, or you can raise a ticket, and someone will get back to you. For A2 Hosting, you have access to their comprehensive knowledge base, and they also have a live chat, phone support, and ticket help.
With SiteGround, you have free pro website transfer only on the GrowBig and GoGeek plans. You can also get this with the StartUp plan for an additional fee of $30. There is no limitation on the number of email accounts or websites you can integrate.
Professional site migration is available on ALL A2 Hosting plans for FREE as long as your previous host also supports cPanel. There are other conditions, too, like you must initiate the migration within 30 days of creating your A2 Hosting account. You do this by filling out a migration form and wait up to 72 hours for your transfer. You also get clear instructions on how to migrate.
A2 Hosting offers an additional malware tool completely free, so if you ask me, it feels like A2 Hosting really cares about their customers.
The price for both A2 Hosting and SiteGround is comparable. In terms of shared and dedicated plans, SiteGround is slightly more expensive. But the SiteGround WordPress plan is cheaper than A2 Hosting, so it really depends on what you’re looking for.
A2 Hosting or SiteGround? I enjoyed using both these platforms as I feel that they both have their own pros and cons that appeal to different people. I’d say A2 Hosting is more beginner-friendly as it is cheaper and offers a lot of free features. As we all know, beginners are always trying to save money and budget costs.
But while SiteGround is slightly more expensive, you’re paying for quality. Better uptimes, regular updates, and superb customer service is definitely something you are looking for in a good hosting company. To me, I would recommend A2 Hosting to beginners, and if you feel like you want to progress and you have the budget, then make the switch to SiteGround.
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