Setting up a website is easy, but choosing the web host is not. Or perhaps I should say finding a reliable and affordable web host that can run your online business without any problem is not easy. With thousands of web hosting companies out there, each offering a cheaper package than the others, filtering the good web host from the crowd can be a tedious task. Today, we take a look at A2 Hosting for WordPress and see how it compares to the rest. We also have a giveaway for an A2 Hosting SSD package that includes a free year of web hosting and support.
A2 Hosting offers a variety of hosting packages including shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS, and even dedicated hosting.The shared hosting plan starts from $4.97 per month and goes up to $7.46 per month for the SSD plan. Unlike other web hosts that come with a cheap plan but limit you to only one domain, you can use unlimited domains on any hosting plan.
Other than the cPanel, which is almost always the default control panel in most shared hosts, it also includes Softaculous, CloudFlare integration and easy Google Apps setup so you can set up your site very easily.
While registering an account in A2 Hosting, you can choose whether to register a new domain, use an existing domain that you own, or use a free sub-domain from A2 Hosting. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, you will still be able to use your own domain in the end, though the configuration method will be different for each option.
In the next checkout page, after the payment section, there is an option for you to select the software to be auto-installed.
For this review, I have set up a sub-domain account and pointed my own personal domain (http://damienoh.me) to the site. The front page worked fine, but the sub pages were all pointing back to the original sub-domain (instead of damienoh.me). Luckily, the fix is easy, and it only involves a tweak in WordPress’s wp-config.php file.
Simply add the lines to your wp-config.php file:
If you are wondering, A2 Hosting provides you with access to cPanel, as well as your FTP account. For those who prefer SSH, you can also log in to your account via SSH. You won’t be able to install system applications though.
A2 Hosting comes with CloudFlare integrated, and setting it up is easy. Simply login to your cPanel and click the CloudFlare button.
Once you have signed up, you can just click to activate CloudFlare for your domain.
For an unoptimized site, the result from Pingdom speed test is as follows:
It is faster than 95% of all tested websites. Not bad!
In addition, A2 Hosting comes with SSD drives which make pages load in seconds. You probably know how fast SSD runs in Desktop. Well, the performance is similarly fast for the web host as well. With Google pushing hard for sites to improved their loading speed, using a SSD for your site would be a great bonus.
If you are running a serious online business that can’t afford to have any downtime, you probably won’t be hosting your site on a shared host. We understand that downtime is inevitable for a shared hosting; it is only a matter of how often and how long the downtime is. During my two weeks of testing with a2 hosting, there were a total of five downtimes, each lasting less than five minutes (since the monitoring service that I am using is set to check at five minute intervals). I guess they are probably glitches that cause the site to be inaccessible for a short while. For most of the time, the site stayed up and running.
A2 Hosting does provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is the market standard. Anything lesser than that, you will not want to be associated with it.
We are glad to have three A2 Hosting Premium + SSD accounts to giveaway. Each free account is valid for oe year. Here is how you can participate:
End date: 7th April 2014.
- Sonia Kumar
- Matthew Chinander
- Harry Malhotra