SiteGround Vs. A2 Hosting (2020) – A Complete Comparison
Today, we’ll take a look at two different web hosting services, each one with its own set of features and solution. Both are somewhat similar: there’s shared, WordPress, and VPS hosting among their features, but is there a winner?
Answering that will be our goal today, so we’re comparing the two with the most relevant criteria. We’ll evaluate their speed, stability, support, and main features. When starting your own site, making sure it runs properly and stable is paramount, so it’s important to make the right choice.
Before we start, I must clarify that I used the shared plans for both platforms. Therefore, some of the solutions won’t be taken into consideration since they aren’t included. Still, the majority of what you’ll learn still applies to the other plans.
SiteGround comes with three types of shared plans depending on the type of hosting you need: web, WordPress or WooCommerce.
Inside each plan, there are also three levels depending on your goals and website size.
The first one is StartUp, which works with a single domain and little storage capacity. The other two are GrowBig and GoGeek, which let you host unlimited domains and increase the storage space as well as adding more features.
You can also use cloud hosting with SiteGround as well as dedicated servers and custom web infrastructure for enterprises.
A2 has a plethora of different solutions: shared hosting as well as WordPress, VPS, reseller, and dedicated hosting. You can use either managed or non-managed WordPress hosting as well.
Our share hosting alternative has three plans like SiteGround.
The first one is the Lite plan; it works with a single website and 25 email accounts, and other limitations include a lack of automatic backup. The other two plans are Swift and Turbo, and they let you host unlimited sites and email accounts, and they also support automatic backup.
Luckily, all plans come with unlimited storage capacity.
If you go for a managed WordPress plan, then you can go for either one, 3 or unlimited sites. All plans come with free SSL and single-click staging.
A2 Hosting offers more variety depending on the category you’re interested in, like CMS, Linux, and CMS hosting, among others.
SiteGround is the more popular hosting solution of the pair, but both services are somewhat unknown when compared with the most common names on the internet.
However, if we take a look at Google Trends, we’ll see that SiteGround has been above A2 Hosting continuously for a year now in terms of online searches. SiteGround also claims over 2 million domains hosted by them, but seeing as A2 doesn’t have similar claims, we can’t really compare them in this regard.
What I do know is that SiteGround’s popularity hasn’t slowed down or hindered their service. Shared plans tend to be the first ones to suffer when resources start to dwindle as more domains are registered, but I didn’t run into any troubles with mine.
You can check out SiteGround’s website for the different technologies used by the platform. The section is divided into speed, uptime, and data centers.
A2 Hosting also offers enough information about the technologies they run and their data centers. You can find most of this information in the “knowledge base” section, but you can also preview them on the features page for their plans.
Basically, both platforms offer the same technologies, but A2 Hosting limits their NGINX and HTTP/2 for the higher subscription tiers. As for Data Center, SiteGround has one above A2, but they’re both located in three continents.
If you’re interested in going more in-depth, let’s do just that.
These are important to ensure website stability and speed on different locations. People closer to a data center will have better-performing websites. That’s why this is an important factor to consider as well as why hosting services try to spread into different continents.
SiteGround has five different data centers spread among three different continents. You can find them in the USA (two of them), the UK and Netherlands, and Singapore.
As for A2 Hosting, they have two data centers in the US, one in Amsterdam, and one in Singapore. It’s worth noting that the US ones have their SSAE16 certificate, regulation, and redundant power supply and network.
Solid-State Drives are faster alternatives for standard hard drives, so they’re the preferred technology today, especially when ensuring the performance of your website.
Luckily, SiteGround and A2 Hosting make them available even from the shared hosting subscriptions, so that’s one sacrifice you don’t have to make.
NGINX is basically a modern HTTP proxy that helps increase website loading times when using static content.
SiteGround offers NGINX for all cloud and shared plans from the get-go. Unfortunately, A2 Hosting doesn’t offer NGINX for shared hosting users, so you’ll have to upgrade if you want access to it.
When it comes to faster loading times regardless of your location, CDN, PHP7 and HTTP/2 are easily among the best solutions.
Luckily, SiteGround offers all of them from their shared plans, and their CDN is free with CloudFlare. On the other hand, A2 Hosting also offers CloudFlare’s free CDN and PHP7 support; the problem is that HTTP/2 is only available for either Turbo or Dedicated hosting plans.Features
Additionally, SiteGround provides users with more uptime solutions like LXC (Linux containers) as well as anti-bot AI. That’s why SiteGround is the winner when it comes to technology quality for shared plans.
Features are what most people use to judge services and products, so that’s what we’re taking a look at now. I should make one thing clear before diving into the list: these are the features I consider as most important, and I’ve seen most people on the internet agree with this list.
However, if you want to find out more about features I might haven’t covered—or additional features outside the shared plans—then I’d recommend you check out each host’s website for more content.
This one is simple: it’s how much space your website can take up on their platform.
As I said, SiteGround offers increased storage space with each plan. You can store up to 10, 20, and 30GB on the StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plans respectively. While it might seem like little, it’s actually quite difficult to reach these limits depending on your site. If you don’t use a lot of HD media or file storage—which you shouldn’t—you might not run into trouble.
However, A2 Hosting is the clear winner here. All of their plans come with unlimited storage as you might remember.
If you’ve ever lost an important file, you know how frustrating it can be. Now, imagine losing your entire website; that’s why backups are vital.
SiteGround offers great backup features, and they keep a daily backup for your website: 7 days for cloud hosting and 30 for shared hosting. You can also recover your backups easily through the Backup Tool available on your cPanel.
The two larger plans also come with on-demand backups, of which you can create up to 5. You can also create on-demand backups on your StartUp plan, but you must pay a fee.
A2 Hosting offers a slightly poorer backup policy, unfortunately. They don’t backup your site automatically on their Lite subscription; other shared plans do create automatic backups, but they work under a “best-effort” policy.
I can’t exactly tell you how often that is, but it seems to be somewhat daily with a few gaps in-between. These backups are kept for a month, and you can also restore them from the cPanel.
Luckily, you can still create site backups manually. You can do it from the cPanel, set up a timer, or issue commands to export a compressed file with your website’s HTML. However, SiteGround is a lot more efficient, so it’s the winner here.
Sites and subdomains
A lot of online entrepreneurs plan on building several websites down the line, and getting all of them under a single hosting platform can be a big advantage.
Luckily, both hosting services let you host unlimited sites on your shared plans—except for the most basic ones.
However, SiteGround does gain an edge here because it supports all the parked and subdomains you want to host even from the StartUp plan. A2 Hosting only lets you host 5 subdomains with lite.
Again, all of the shared plans on both platforms grant unmetered bandwidth; A2 Hosting calls it “transfer”. Therefore, you’re not limited in terms of how much traffic you can handle, but you’re somewhat expected not to overdo it.
I would say it’s a tie for this round. None of the solutions place a hard limit to your bandwidth, yet A2 Hosting might notify you if you’re using too much bandwidth. You should worry if you’re getting too much spam, hacks, or are overclocking your site unnecessarily. Other than that, A2 will only notify you and give you tips to reduce your bandwidth usage.
SiteGround lets you create as many email accounts as you want, but they’re limited depending on your plan. The StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plans limits them at 2, 4, and 6GB respectively. You can also use 3 different clients.
On the other hand, A2 Hosting limits your email capacity to 25 accounts for free on the Lite subscription. The other 2 tiers remove the limit entirely. You can set your own storage quota for each account—or even remove it entirely. Again, it’s advised not to use too much space regardless of the seeming lack of limitations.
Regarding how you can access your email, A2 has plenty of options. You can use webmail, IMAP, and more. You also get spam protection.
It mostly depends on your needs. If you need more space than email accounts, go for A2; if you need more accounts than actual space within them, go for SiteGround.
WordPress is the most popular CMS platform, and it powers countless websites, so it’s important to get a good hosting that fully supports it.
SiteGround and A2 offer managed hosting to its customers, but they’re not exactly the same.
SiteGround only permits a single website on their basic plan, but the other tiers remove the limit. A2 does keep a certain cap in this sense: one for the basic plan, three for the medium tier, and unlimited on the highest.
This makes SiteGround a better option if you want to run more than 3 sites with managed WordPress hosting.
On the other hand, we have that your SiteGround plan limits your monthly visits at a maximum of 100,000 visitors per month. This makes A2 a better candidate for large traffic on less websites since their data transfer is unlimited.
Therefore, it’s mostly up to personal preference.
Of course, speed is critical when running a website. It improves both user experience and your search engine ranking.
A2 Hosting has great loading speeds, and it easily ranks among the top web hosting services in terms of loading times. SiteGround is also extremely quick, and it might be faster than A2 depending on location. Still, they both beat some of the most popular services like GoDaddy and HostGator.
Both platforms might also feel different over different factors.
Besides location, we also have the fact that A2 Hosting keeps their “turbo” speed for the highest tier plan. It should outperform SiteGround, but you do need to pay more. As is, SiteGround seems to perform a bit faster in many test platforms, but I’ll call it a tie since results vary quite a bit.
Downtime doesn’t just mean your website goes offline for a moment, but it’s a big hit for your SEO. Therefore, uptime is vital when choosing a web hosting service regardless of what type of website you’re running.
Both A2 and SiteGround offer 99.9% uptime guarantee. While that’s definitely preferable, they’re just claims; you always want to test your hosting service to prove it.
However, I didn’t experience any significant issues while testing both providers, but SiteGround seems to be a few decimals above A2.
If you website goes down, then you’d surely expect some form of compensation. Thankfully, this approach is somewhat of an industry standard in case your uptime ever dips under their minimum guarantee.
A2 Hosting gives you 5% of your monthly fee if your runtime falls below 99.9%; this adds up for every downtime hour outside of scheduled events, like maintenance. To get your credit, you must send a ticket to support for a team member to verify your complaint. This is mostly in-line with what most hosting companies offer.
In this sense, SiteGround is clearly the winner. Their policy is a lot more generous, and it’s one that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
You basically get a hosting month for free if your uptime falls under their guaranteed minimum. Furthermore, you also get additional months for free if you rack up several percentage points.
Your website largely depends on your hosting company. That’s why customer support is so important, especially if something bad happens.
In this sense, SiteGround really outshines many hosting companies. You have access to full-time live chat, ticket submission, and even phone support, which covers pretty much all channels available.
Their service is also quite unique. They have overstaff shifts to ensure you don’t have to wait a lot and in-house balancing. You can even see your support agent’s profile picture while talking to them.
I’ve never had any problems contacting customer support, and I’ve done it quite a few times. They’re polite and friendly, and I’ve never found a problem they couldn’t solve. You can also check out their website to see how their support team operates.
However, A2 Hosting’s customer support is also quite varied. They offer the same support channels as SiteGround, but they also have a resource database. You can use the latter to find guides, tutorials, and FAQ’s to try and solve any issue by yourself. You can contact phone support in more than 50 countries.
It seems A2 has a significant edge with the knowledge base, but it offset by relatively longer waiting times when compared to SiteGround. Live chat seems to be quite slow at times, so it’s hard to pick a winner here.
It’s mostly just personal preference: a quick support team or the resources to solve things yourself.
SiteGround offers this service for free on their highest subscription tiers. You can still transfer your website with the StartUp plan, but it’ll cost you $30; the same goes for any additional transfers.
Luckily, it doesn’t look like you’re limited in how many sites and email accounts you can transfer. You can also transfer either your website or the entire cPanel with several websites, and you can request your transfers from your account.
I have to give the advantage to A2 Hosting here, though. They offer free site transfer on all shared plans; you only have to make sure the old host also supported cPanel.
You need to request it within your first month after registering with A2 and fill out a form, and migrating your site usually takes about 2 or 3 days. Back to the knowledge base, you can check out their instruction for migrating websites yourself if you’d rather do it manually.
SiteGround is quite strict with their measures. You have access to both SSH and SFTP besides your free SSL certificate. They also use ModSecurity to protect your customers and implement IDS and IPS systems to keep hackers and bots at bay.
They also offer a Sucuri-powered SG scanner for you to scan your website daily as well. You can add the service for slightly over $1 monthly.
A2 Hosting also offers a free SSL certificate as well as the SSH and SFTP access. Their most noticeable feature is their Perpetual Security approach, which basically implements KernelCare for Linux kernel security and HackScan to block any hacking attack continuously.
What gives A2 Hosting the edge in web security is that they include the Patchman tool for free in all shared plans. It detects any outdated software, infected files, and patches several CMS. They also offer great DdoS protection, dual firewall, and brute force defense.
We understand pricing is important for a lot of people, especially for those starting out, so let’s take a look at both services’ plans.
To summarize things, SiteGround is more expensive than A2 if you’re going for either their shared or dedicated plans. However, they offer a cheaper managed WordPress subscription.
While SiteGround’s discounts appear as more significant, both the regular and discounted prices are still more expensive than A2 Hosting’s. The latter’s price gap is also less noticeable.
If you’re deciding on which plan to choose, you’re better off comparing their features before going for the price, especially since each service offers its own advantages and disadvantages.
Nevertheless, A2 might be better for those on a budget. Besides, there’s not a big change in performance and features between the different tiers. It mostly depends on your business’ size.
All in all, this is easily one of the toughest competitions I’ve seen between hosting services, especially against SiteGround. Both are quite similar regarding features, and it seems as if one fails where the other excels and vice-versa.
Therefore, I’d say it’s up to personal choice.
SiteGround is better for you want better uptime and technology on the lower plans. It’s worth remembering it seems a bit faster, and if you don’t have an issue with the storage limits on the shared plans, it’s perfect. Customer support is also more efficient.
A2 Hosting is better if you prefer a better migration policy, unlimited storage space, and solving issues on your own—or have no problem with waiting sometimes. Of course, it’s also a better choice if price is important for you.
I hope you found this review useful and if you have any questions, please comment down below. I’ll be more than happy to assist you.
Once again, thanks for reading my SiteGround Vs A2 Hosting and I wish you the best of luck.