SiteGround vs A2 Hosting: WordPress Hosting Comparison

siteground vs a2 hosting

SiteGround was founded by a group of university friends. A2 Hosting, on the other hand, began as a hobby of the now CEO Bryan Muthig – a side venture of hosting several sites for friends and families.

The verdict on who has the best success story lies on these two web hosting service providers’ successes in providing a secure, efficient, and fast WordPress hosting service.

Who offers the deals? Who has the best customer service? And most importantly, who has the highest customer satisfaction?

SiteGround Overview

One of the few in the industry based outside of the US, this Bulgarian company expanded to more than 4 locations in three continents, hosting more than 1,800,000 domains from around the world. The company is still growing but over the years, it received recognition as a fast and reliable WordPress host.  

siteground vs bluehost
Siteground review

Siteground plans:

SiteGround has 3 managed WordPress hosting plans: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek.

siteground plans
Siteground plans

The StartUp plan hosts only one website, excellent for new or small websites with no more than 10,000 monthly visitors. The plan has all the essential hosting and WordPress features including 10gb of SSD storage, CMS installation, and free email accounts.

The GrowBig plan offers premium hosting services for an unlimited number of websites with at least 25,000 monthly visitors. It is an excellent upgrade for growing businesses with all the features of the StartUp plan and premium features like all 3 levels of SuperCacher, free backup restores, free site transfer, and support priority. Lastly,

The GoGeek plan has the features of the other plans with the addition of geeky features like free backups on demand, PCI compliant servers, and free staging environment (WordPress and Joomla). With a monthly visitor limit of at least 100,000, the GoGeek plan is best suited for eCommerce sites.

Siteground’s plans offer comprehensive features and tools. Each plan is designed for websites in different stages of growth. There are core hosting features, core and advanced WordPress features (including developer tools, WordPress security tools, collaboration tools, etc.). SiteGround also offers site optimization features (instant Cloudflare CDN setup and free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate), advance security, and support options.

These features are applicable to almost all types of WordPress sites. The addition of developer tools provides more flexibility and further enriches existing functionality. 

Pros:

  • Lightning-fast speed. SiteGround is one of the few hosting companies that actually deliver on their promised server speed and uptime. This is possible through the utilization of the latest technology including cutting-edge hardware, custom software, and innovative speed optimization solutions.
  • Multiple server locations. SiteGround has 6 data centers strategically positioned on 3 continents (North America, Europe, and Asia)
  • Servers are optimized for WordPress hosting. WordPress hosting plans come with in-house performance optimization tools to further enhance the performance of the shared servers.
  • Advanced security. When SiteGround says security, they don’t just mean server or website security. SiteGround offers an all-inclusive security approach that includes user accounts, applications, and hardware security.
  • Advanced tools including development and collaboration tools for developers and their clients.
  • Industry-best customer support. Almost all hosting services offer 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and tickets but SiteGround is one of the few that built a positive reputation for its fast customer service waiting times and support staff efficiency. Its team of expert support reps also provide fast support that goes beyond hosting issues. Aside from this, SiteGround also offers comprehensive knowledge base resources in the form of how-to guides and video tutorials.

Cons:

  • The price point is higher than most competitors.
  • No free domain registration for new accounts
  • The minimum subscription period for shared plans is 1 year.

A2 Hosting Overview:

a2 hosting wordpress
A2 hosting wordpress

Launched in 2001, A2 Hosting is an independently-owned web hosting company with humble beginnings. Now with multiple data centers located in 3 continents, A2 Hosting is proud of their service’s power, speed, security, and reliability.

A2 Hosting plans:

A2 hosting shared plans
A2 shared hosting plans

A2 Hosting offers three WordPress shared hosting plans: Lite, Swift, and Turbo. The Lite plan is designed to host a single WordPress site. The Swift plan can host an unlimited number of websites and twice the number of the Lite plan’s resource. As its name implies, the Turbo plan offers up to 20x faster page loads with the Turbo Server.

A2 hosting plans
Click to enlarge

All three plans have the basic and special features like databases, unlimited RAID-10 storage, unlimited data transfer, SSD speed solution, free SSL Certificate via Let’s Encrypt, perpetual security with HackScan, A2 Optimized software, 10gb redundant network (quadruple), redundant power (UPS/diesel generator), 12 core server minimum, 64gb RAM server minimum, free site migration, priority support, reinforced DDoS protection, optional WP-CLI, CloudLinux OS, 24/7 network monitoring,  DNS management, and many more.  

There are features that are only available in the A2 Hosting Turbo plan like the Turbo server, A2 Optimized Site Accelerator, CloudFlare Plus, Railgun Optimizer (available as an add-on on other plans), WordPress LiteSpeed Cache Plugins and pre-configured Magento.

A2 Hosting plans are somewhat unique as they provide information upfront on add-ons, their subscription prices, and technical details (like the cores and physical memory allocation on the Performance Plus add-on).

Pros:

  • Pre-installed WordPress
  • User-friendly for basic users
  • Auto-configuration and best performance optimization with A2 Optimized
  • The use ohigh-performancece SwiftServers and green web hosting
  • Anytime money-back guarantee. You can basically ask for a refund for unused features or functionality on your plan or ask for a prorated amount for any remaining time on your plan.  

Cons:

  • Plan renewal fees are significantly higher. The signup fee is 51% of the renewal fee. This discounted price is already higher than what other WordPress hosting services offer.
  • Server rewind backups are only available for premium plans. Offsite backups are also only available as an add-on
  • There are no site staging capabilities for shared hosting plans.

SiteGround Vs A2 Hosting Comparison:

SiteGround vs A2 Hosting
SiteGround vs A2 Hosting Comparaison

Site migration is free for all plans (single site only). Clients need to contact A2 Hosting’s customer support for information on the free migration service or quotation on multi-site migration.  SiteGround makes the migration process easier with complimentary migrator plugin (available on GrowBig and GoGeek plans).

Both companies offer manual site migration in-house which is always a plus especially with how several clients need a walk-through for the entire process.

A2 Hosting plans are scalable, intended to grow with the site. The features offered are even more comprehensive than that of SiteGround’s. A lot of these features are proprietary and add a lot of value to each plan. But these features are somewhat overwhelming for beginners or even intermediate WordPress users. There are just too many technical and redundant features that take away from the value of other vital features.

In comparison, SiteGround features, even the more advanced ones are straightforward. These features are enough for shared hosting plans especially if the basic plan only hosts one website.

But even if SiteGround’s features seem enough, it’s still one of the few WordPress hosting service providers that do not offer unmetered storage and data transfer. A2 provides unlimited RAI-10 storage with the speed boost of SSD solutions (hosting website files, OS, and databases).

There are 4 server location options for every A2 Hosting shared hosting plans. These locations two locations in the US (Michigan and Arizona), one location in Europe (Amsterdam), and one location in Asia (Singapore). A2 has a 99.9% Uptime Commitment with 24/7 network monitoring, quadruple redundant network, redundant power, ana d balanced number of accounts on each server. In the past two years or so, several clients noted that A2 Hosting is not able to uphold their uptime commitment. Though the downtown rate is dismissible, it may show an underlying issue that has yet to be solved.

SiteGround has 6 server options in the same continents. There are two data centers in the US namely: Iowa (best for North America, South America, and Africa) and Chicago (best for North America, South America, and Africa). There are two more in Europe:  two in Netherlands (Amsterdam and Eemshaven for Europe and Russia), and one in the UK (London for Europe and Russia). Lastly, SiteGround’s sole data center in Asia is located in Singapore (best for Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and South Pacific.)

Aside from this, SiteGround ensures server reliability through the use of 1H Guardian for the fastest (reaction within less than a second) automated detection and repair of server outage and overload issues.  On top of this automated system, SiteGround has 24/7 human monitoring. To ensure the high reliability and top performance of servers, SiteGround data centers have high-level electricity redundancy and enterprise-class UPS technology, LXC-based stability for ease in scaling server resources during high spikes in traffic.

A2’s Turbo Server promises up to 20x faster page loads. This server provides a drop-in Apache replacement that assigns fewer users for each server and more resources for each user, caching optimization with APC/OPcache and Turbo Cache. There is no assurance, though that the promised 20x increase in speed can be consistently delivered. SiteGround tackles the limitations of Apache through a customized server setup that is based on Linux Containers, customized CentOS, Apache, and NGINX web server technologies on top of everything.

The A2 Optimized feature aims to optimize WordPress sites through pre-configuring for the best possible security and performance settings. A2 Hosting staff and in-house experts actually test and retest the right combination of settings and configurations, thereby creating a default configuration that is excellent for general-purpose website use. SiteGround seems to not have a similar solution which is very beneficial for WordPress beginners and even intermediate users that are averse to tinkering around WordPress’ configuration.

The A2 Optimized Site Accelerator feature provides pre-configured site caching powered by Turbo Cache, APC/OPcache, and Memcached. SiteGround has an answer to this with their in-house-developed SuperCacher. This service increases the website’s capability to handle higher hits and dramatically boosts the sites load speed. There are three levels of caching with Level 1 caching static content, Level 2 caching dynamic data and Level 3 the caching of database queries results. The first two levels are powered by NGINX while the third level is powered by Memcached.

A2 Hosting has a strong focus on cultivating a developer-friendly approach by ensuring that the latest and best versions of several of the most popular development software are available. This includes: FTP/SFTP, free SSH access, SSL and free SSL, different versions of PHP, MySQL 5.6/MariaDB, PostgreSQL 9.6, different versions of Python, PERL 5.10, Apache 2.4, Node.js, and many more. SiteGround offers almost all of this development software on top of other supported technologies (PHP libraries, PHP encoders, GD library, ImageMagick, CURL, Zlib, and many more). SiteGround also offers a staging feature (for GrowBig and GoGeek plans) and pre-installed Git (only for GoGeek plans)

Perpetual Security includes different security measures that addresses vulnerabilities and protect against hacking attempts. These security measures include a complimentary HackScan Protection that block hacking attempts, KernelCare for rebootless kernel updates, dual firewall, reinforced DDoS protection, and brute force defense.

These security features are quite comprehensive in comparison to what other WordPress hosting services offer especially that these features are available for all WordPress shared hosting plans.

SiteGround’s security features can hold up even against multiple attacks with unique account isolation, anti-hack systems and help, proactive updates and patches, and SPAM Experts Spam Prevention.

A2 Hosting calls their support team the “Guru Crew.” This crew provides 24/7/365 chat, phone, and email ticket support. The crew is known for being friendly, fast, and knowledgeable. A2 Hosting also has a knowledge base with articles on different aspects of the hosting process like billing, getting started guides, WordPress optimization, among others.

The Verdict

SiteGround vs A2 Hosting is a challenging battle, i love Siteground because i felt the how powerful are their plans when i migrated my blog.

A2 Hosting is one of the most underrated hosting service providers in the industry. It doesn’t receive the same hype as other, newer companies. Fast speeds, reliable servers, and tight security are several of the hallmarks of an excellent WordPress host. A2 Hosting has all of these hallmarks but still, it doesn’t have the same efficient flair as SiteGround.

Also, its tendency to oversell its services somehow casts doubts of their effectiveness as a whole. SiteGround doesn’t need to plaster declarations of excellence on every page of their website but you still know and believe that they can deliver excellent service.

With this reason, among others, I vote SiteGround as the winner.

Reasons to Love SiteGround:

There are several reasons why SiteGround may be the perfect fit for your WordPress hosting needs. These reasons include:

  • An official recommendation from WordPress!
  • Average load time of 1.3s – providing almost instantaneous speed boosts and 99.9 percent guaranteed uptime.
  • User-friendly
  • Let’s Encrypt free SSL certificates
  • Excellent customer service that is available 24/7 via chat, phone, and ticket. No-hold time on chat and phone while you can receive ticket answers less than 10 minutes.
  • High customer satisfaction is evident with its low cancellation rate and consistently positive feedback from users.
  • Each migration has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • See why people love Siteground:
siteground review
https://www.facebook.com/groups/IntermediateWordPress/permalink/923681304319171/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/364796540329984/permalink/920014981474801/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/internet.questions/permalink/1616275888471269/

People who migrated to Siteground:

Siteground Review
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Mustapha Ajermou

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Hey there , my name is Mustapha Ajermou and I’m a serial entrepreneur from Morocco, since a young age I wanted to make money on my own andi have been pursuing my dreams ever since..
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