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This A2 Hosting vs SiteGround comparison review is about two extremely close competitors. They offer pretty much the same range of hosting solutions, with slight differences here and there.
So, of course, choosing between the two can, understandably, be overwhelmingly difficult. Besides, both A2 Hosting and SiteGround are renowned for their excellent web hosting capabilities. Each of them happens to be one of the best-shared web hosting, best WordPress hosting, best VPS hosting, best-dedicated hosting, and best reseller hosting solutions.
But, here’s the thing. One of them has got to be superior to the other, right?
Yes, that’s correct. Turns out SiteGround and A2 Hosting are not completely identical. Although they share some of the basic hosting features, there are multiple differences between SiteGround and A2 Hosting.
Well, that’s precisely what this SiteGround vs A2 Hosting comparison review is all about. It gets down to the nitty-gritty of their hosting packages to help you identify the one with better hosting features for your website or web-based application.
And to be more specific, our A2 Hosting vs SiteGround review compares their ease of use, performance capabilities, as well as the features and pricing of their shared web hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting packages.
Table of Contents
The Main Differences Between A2 Hosting vs SiteGround are:
For a service that’s been around since 2001, A2 Hosting is extensively experienced when it comes to web hosting. Admittedly, two decades of experience is no joke.
Make no mistake though. You won’t be able to trace the brand name “A2 Hosting” to 2001. Rather, it turns out the company began as “Iniquinet” and proceeded to maintain the name for two years.
Now, Iniquiet at that time had been built to serve a small number of websites. But interestingly, its features proved to be so good that it managed to attract a heck of a lot more users than it had previously anticipated.
All that growth occurred in just two years, after which its founders decided to make huge changes to the company. And so, in 2003, “Iniquinet” rebranded to “A2 Hosting” and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today, A2 Hosting is renowned for its cheap web hosting, high-level hosting performance, as well as excellent customer support (with many step-by-step instructions in their knowledge management system).
Its shared web hosting solutions target typical bloggers, freelancers, startups and small businesses, while VPS hosting is reserved for users who want a bit of an extra kick. This particularly resonated with small to medium-sized businesses, growing enterprises, web developers, plus app developers.
A2 Hosting’s dedicated hosting package, on the other hand, offers isolated servers to users who need the best possible performance. Some of the clients at this level include enterprises, mid-sized businesses, established large businesses, plus developer agencies.
Then to top it off, A2 Hosting also happens to provide reseller hosting. This package is ideal for users who’d like to make some money off web hosting. It gives you the features you need to start and run an online business as a hosting provider.
That said, it’s worth noting that these are just the base packages. A2 Hosting manages to specialize further through optimized hosting packages for selected web applications.
You can, for instance, purchase WordPress hosting solutions for your WordPress site. It comes with hosting features that are specifically optimized for WordPress.
Apart from that, A2 Hosting offers Linux Hosting, Drupal Hosting, Joomla Hosting, Windows Hosting, and Magento Hosting options.
Don’t get it twisted though. That’s not all you can run on A2 Hosting. Since its servers here and the corresponding features are extensively flexible, you should be able to cheaply host pretty much any popular web-based application.
And speaking of which, the cheapest A2 Hosting package starts at $2.94 a month for shared web hosting. The costliest, on the other hand, starts at $290 a month for dedicated servers.
SiteGround came a little later than A2 Hosting. More specifically, it was launched in 2004 by a team of university students and has since grown quite extensively. SiteGround is now a well-established hosting provider with more than 400 workers across different countries.
The hosting features it continues to offer have proven to be exceptionally reliable that its average customer satisfaction rate by 2018 was 97%. Quite impressive, I must say, especially considering the fact that SiteGround is currently servicing about 1 million domains.
Now with the same features though. Rather, Siteground’s users leverage different features from the range of varying packages they purchase.
Shared Web Hosting, for instance, is undeniably the most popular option since it offers cheap web hosting to pretty much anyone- freelancers, web developers, agencies, small businesses, startups, e-commerce sites, you name it.
Then SiteGround’s Cloud Hosting, on the other hand, offers virtualized server environments to users who need dynamic scalability. This is what you’d consider if, say, you were seeking a hosting solution for an exceedingly growing business.
But, while that would give you incredibly fast hosting performance, it can’t possibly match up to the alternative Dedicated Server Hosting service. SiteGround has specially optimized its packages for large websites and web-based applications with high-level needs.
Other than that, SiteGround offers Reseller Hosting, Enterprise Hosting, Student Hosting, as well as Web Hosting for Agencies.
And while it’s standard packages are capable of hosting all the popular web applications, SiteGround comes with specialized solutions for WordPress hosting, Magento Hosting, Joomla Hosting, PrestaShop Hosting, WooCommerce Hosting, and Drupal Hosting.
So, in a nutshell, you could think of SiteGround as a flexible multi-faceted web hosting service with sufficient features for everyone.
But, can it possibly outdo A2 Hosting? Let’s find out by going into their respective packages…
Just like many other web hosting solutions, A2 Hosting comes with a cPanel-based system for managing your hosting account. So, if you’re familiar with the cPanel, customizing your A2 Hosting service should be a breeze.
But, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that things might be difficult for other users. Not at all. A2 Hosting is friendly even to users who’ve never worked with the cPanel before. Its entire system is incredibly intuitive and it’ll only take you a couple of minutes to get used to its basic functionalities.
Installing your favorite application shouldn’t be a problem either. A2 Hosting provides a Softaculous installer, which essentially automates the app installation process. You just need to click once and voila!
Interestingly, it turns out SiteGround previously used an interface that was pretty similar to the one on A2 Hosting for many years. It’s only recently that it shifted from a cPanel-based user interface to its own custom backend.
And from the look of things, I have to admit, redesigning the entire interface was a great move. SiteGround now comes with a modern elegantly-designed system.
It offers ultimate control of your hosting account, and you can bet everything is pleasantly straightforward. It only takes a few minutes to register, purchase an ideal hosting package, customize your account, then finally install your preferred app.
And yes, that’s right- you’ll find automated installers for WordPress, ZenCart, Moodle, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, etc.
Shared Web Hosting is the cheapest hosting package on A2 Hosting. Starting at just $2.94 a month, the three plans here provide flexible features that can accommodate pretty much any website.
Its one-click Softaculous installer should get you started by automatically installing your preferred CMS platform. Then subsequently, you get to leverage performance-optimized SSD storage, 24/7 Guru Crew customer support, plus a free Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN).
While the basic entry-level plan offers standard page loading speeds (load time), the best possible performance at the shared hosting level is only achievable when you pay slightly more for the Turbo plan. It consequently supplements the optimized SSD storage with the A2 Site Accelerator, Turbo Servers, and caching technologies.
According to A2 Hosting, this alone should boost your speeds by up to 20 times.
Other notable shared hosting features include multiple data centre locations, 24/7 network monitoring, HackScan protection, free site migration, free SSL certificate, and unlimited storage.
Shared web hosting on Siteground is essentially a combination of cheap pricing and high-performing SSD powered infrastructure. More specifically, you get the benefit of leveraging unlimited bandwidth, high-level customer support, a range of free tools, plus performance optimization technologies for as low as $3.95 a month.
Now, I guess you’ve noticed shared web hosting here is slightly costlier than A2 Hosting’s plans. Fair enough. But, there’s a good reason behind that.
You see, while shared hosting usually entails bundling multiple users within one server, SiteGround happens to isolate its user accounts. This consequently translates to increased web security (real-time detection) and great web performance.
Other notable SiteGround shared hosting features include free daily backups, free Cloudflare CDN, free SSL certificate, free site builder, free site transfer, SuperCacher, and one-click Git repo.
A2 Hosting is one of the biggest players when it comes to WordPress hosting. It’s particularly renowned for its performance optimization features, which are principally available in the form of Shared WordPress Hosting and Managed WordPress Hosting.
The former, to begin with, starts at $2.94 a month – just like the regular Shared Hosting package. And for that, you could install WordPress through a specialized one-click installer, or alternatively, have A2 Hosting’s experts handle that for you.
And speaking of which, the WordPress experts hired by A2 Hosting are best leveraged through Managed WordPress Hosting. This is where your package transforms from regular shared hosting to specially-optimized WordPress hosting.
Your site’s core WordPress platform and its accompanying plugins are automatically updated and patched by WordPress experts, and you get to take advantage of turbo servers, automated backups, 1-click site staging, Plesk control panel, a free JetPack Personal license, WordPress caching technologies, plus unlimited websites.
SiteGround isn’t just a great WordPress host. It’s much more than that, and the proof lies within the WordPress platform itself.
What does that mean?
Well, the thing is, SiteGround happens to be one of only three web hosting solutions that are officially recommended by WordPress.org. Yes, that’s right – WordPress itself noticed that SiteGround is truly extraordinary and subsequently made it a hall of famer.
That said, the secret to SiteGround’s exceptional WordPress hosting is providing managed WordPress hosting at the price of standard shared hosting. Every single WordPress hosting plan here comes with managed services.
Hence, in addition to specialized WordPress hosting features, you’re assured of technical support by WordPress experts. They’ll install WordPress for you, then proceed to apply the subsequent WordPress and plugin updates automatically.
SiteGround’s managed WordPress hosting also offers 1-click WordPress staging, WordPress SuperCacher, WordPress CLI and SSH, advanced on-demand backup, free Cloudflare CDN, free WordPress Migrator, etc.
Then get this. Although SiteGround’s managed WordPress hosting plans can comfortably support a WooCommerce-based online store (e-commerce site), you should choose the specialized WooCommerce hosting option instead. This takes your managed services up a notch by further optimizing your hosting package for WooCommerce
Although shared hosting on A2 Hosting features high-performing turbocharged servers, the company shines best when it comes to VPS hosting.
This is the sweet spot for any type of website since it mitigates the weaknesses of shared servers at reasonable rates. In other words, VPS hosting allocates dedicated server resources at a fraction of the price you’d pay for real Dedicated Server Hosting.
The trick that A2 Hosting has used here is simply providing virtually server environments with isolated resources for each user.
In essence, you get to choose between fully-managed VPS hosting, unmanaged VPS hosting, and core VPS hosting. Three high-performing configurations for different types of users.
Managed VPS hosting, to begin with, offers dedicated server environments along with managed installation and upgrade of your core apps.
Unmanaged VPS hosting, on the other hand, suits experienced developers who’d like to run and manage their own apps. A2 Hosting even grants them up to 15 operating system options.
That said, the most flexible of all VPS hosting packages here is A2 Hosting’s Core option. It combines the best of managed and unmanaged packages by simply supplementing managed services with root access.
SiteGround chooses to use a different approach when it comes to virtual private server hosting. Instead of riding on a standard virtual network, SiteGround set up its own custom cloud infrastructure.
So, while the resultant framework is almost similar to VPS hosting architecture, SiteGround’s cloud network is substantially more flexible.
You should be able to customize your own cloud environment, scale easily, plus capitalize on managed services. Other benefits include dynamic caching, private DNS, dedicated IP, SSH access, sub-account management, advanced performance, as well as dedicated server resources.
Sadly, however, SiteGround’s cloud hosting is way costlier than A2 Hosting’s VPS hosting. The latter starts at $25 per month for 4 CPU cores and 4 GB RAM, while the former starts at $80 for 2 CPU cores and 4 GB RAM.
Just like the corresponding VPS hosting package, dedicated server hosting on A2 Hosting comes in three varying forms that cater to different types of users- managed dedicated hosting, unmanaged dedicated hosting, and core dedicated hosting.
Unmanaged is, of course, the most flexible option since it offers different Linux OS versions, along with root access and extensive admin-level control privileges. This will cost you at least $99.59 for 2 CPU cores, 10TB data transfer, and 8GB RAM.
It’s worth noting, however, that unmanaged dedicated hosting is reserved for experienced developers who can work with a command-line interface. But, if you don’t have the skillset, the alternative managed dedicated hosting should save you the trouble that comes with server management and maintenance. The only problem is, it doesn’t provide root access or custom OS options.
But, in the end, at least you get to capitalize on A2 Hosting’s SwiftServer resources. This is basically a collection of hardware configurations meant to enhance performance and redundancy. Some of its notable features include HTTP/2, Cloudflare CDN, multi-core processors, fast DD3 memory, enterprise-grade hard drives, etc.
SiteGround’s Dedicated Server Hosting is a premium managed service that provides enterprise-grade hardware along with proprietary software. The end result is accelerated server performance and unlimited scaling capabilities.
That said, your package pricing depends on not only your server resource allocation but also your selected data centers. Asia-Pacific locations happen to be the costliest, while the US and Europe-based data centres are the cheapest.
Not as cheap as A2 Hosting though. While A2 Hosting starts you off at $99.59 per month, the lowest SiteGround goes is $269 per month. That should give you a dedicated server with Intel Xeon e3 processors, 3.20Ghz CPU clock speed, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 10 TB bandwidth, plus a host of specialized performance features.
In A2 Hosting is completely prohibited to send unsolicited emails. Breaking this rule can end in a terminated account.
The SiteGround Hosting does not comply with the HIPAA compliant.
With SiteGround you won’t have to worry about the safety or security of your business as an online merchant. All the hosting plans are compliant with PCI.
Each host here has uniquely optimized its shared hosting, VPS/cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, plus dedicated server hosting environments for enhanced performance.
That means you should be getting some of the fastest page loading times (and response time) with either A2 Hosting or SiteGround.
The isolated account environments make its shared web hosting provider faster, then its increasingly optimized WordPress technologies translate to better WordPress hosting performance, while the extensively scalable cloud framework performs better than A2 Hosting’s VPS network (pros and cons to each, depending on your business).
But then again, A2 Hosting manages to make up for that by adjusting its pricing downwards. Consequently, you’re bound to pay much less if you go for A2 Hosting.
The choice is yours.
I blog about the tools I use every day because everyone hates hype-mongers. Don't be a hype-monger. I build web assets every day and I know the struggle with choosing the right tools. From SEO to website creation, to sales funnels tools, I've used them all and now I'm here to tell you about them.