A2 Hosting vs. SiteGround (2016)

Alexandra Leslie Alexandra Leslie Hosting Expert
“We tested SiteGround & A2 Hosting — The winner is SiteGround!”

Hosts don’t come ranked much higher than A2 Hosting and SiteGround. Both offer comprehensive and high-powered hosting solutions for both novice and experienced site owners. Hosting packages from both companies come loaded with optimized WordPress tools, Cloudflare CDN, and 24/7 support. A2 Hosting has the edge on unlimited storage and speedy page loads, boasting SSD-packed Turbo Servers, while SiteGround adds incredible freebies such as a free-for-life domain name and unlimited email accounts. We’re having a hard time picking between the two but keep reading as we examine the various perks.

Advertiser Disclosure

Overall Rating
5.0/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit SiteGround »
Overall Rating
4.9/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit A2 Hosting »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 5.0/5.0

With an impressive breadth of overall hosting services offered, SiteGround is a leading innovator in the hosting space — from custom software solutions to premier customer support. They offer the full... read more +

With an impressive breadth of overall hosting services offered, SiteGround is a leading innovator in the hosting space — from custom software solutions to premier customer support. They offer the full range of web hosting features, including a free domain and email, Cloudflare CDN, cPanel with SSH access, and unlimited MySQL databases and bandwidth — not to mention their prize-worthy customer support.

We got a chance to sit down with both the CEO, Tenko Nikolov, and Founder of SiteGround, Ivo Tzenov, to discuss the technology behind some of their incredible innovations. They gave us the inside scoop on SiteGround's features, and took us through the solutions they've engineered to enhance the user experience.

What's SiteGround's strongest "pull" factor, you ask? Well, customer service has been their claim to fame, without a doubt. However, customers come to SiteGround for the support, only to be blown away by the custom solutions they've built to make the hosting experience as stress-free as possible.

SiteGround has engineered an in-house chat software that allows users to select and rate thoroughly vetted customer service agents with whom they've worked previously. They've written their own Ticketing System as well, which is comprised of an algorithm designed to select appropriate technical support representatives for specific tasks.

They've taken their preference for in-house software solutions for customer support and applied it to their entire business. "All of our infrastructure and all of our code beds are done internally," Tenko said.

For their shared hosting service, they've conceived a one-of-a-kind server isolation system that prevents vulnerable servers from taking down entire networks. In place of VPS hosting, they've built their own cloud container platform, featuring thousands of containers and top-notch scalability and security. All SiteGround hosting service users benefit from their unique downtime prevention mechanism, which has helped SiteGround develop their reputation for uptime rates: 99.996% annually and 99.999% monthly.

In the cases of caching and backups, customers have access to SiteGround's in-house SuperCacher, with a flexible range of options to meet any and all page load needs at optimum speeds. Their custom backup software improves upon technology off the shelf, which often takes up to a day to run. Instead, SiteGround customers receive daily backups from a system that only takes about an hour.

SiteGround is, without a doubt, an esteemed leader in customer service within the hosting industry. They've emphasized that commitment to quality with the unique, custom solutions they've built. On the development side, they devote a tremendous amount of time to UX testing, epitomizing their commitment to the user experience.

read less -
  • Unlimited email hosting at your FREE domain
  • Compatible with multiple webmail and email clients
  • Secure email protocols and integrated anti-SPAM solutions
  • FREE website builder and easy management via cPanel
  • Ideal for business email hosting, with 99.9% uptime
  • Get started on SiteGround now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
FREE for life!

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

If speed and performance, partnered with support and security, are at all priorities in your web host shopping, A2 Hosting should be a leading contender. ... read more +

If speed and performance, partnered with support and security, are at all priorities in your web host shopping, A2 Hosting should be a leading contender.

We got to sit down with A2 Hosting's CEO, Bryan Muthig, and Director of Business Development, Andy Melichar. Discussing the technologies behind their products only piqued our interest, and we were very excited to be let loose within the hosting nerd's playground that is A2's interface.

When A2 Hosting first launched in 2003, they were developer-focused. "We were actually one of the first companies to offer PHP 5, and one of the first hosting companies to offer Ruby on Rails in the shared hosting platform," Bryan told us.

As they've grown, a primary focus has been performance, especially after a survey asking customers to rank the features they look for in a host revealed "site load speed and performance" as a top priority, behind support and reliability.

A2 Hosting was also one of the first to offer SSD hosting, and today, they remain one of only a handful of SSD hosts out there. "When we looked at SSDs, we said, 'If we're going to do this, we're going to do it right,'" Andy told us. Many hosting companies that attempt offering SSDs only include them on the file server and not the SQL server; therefore, web files can be uploaded, but performance suffers almost immediately.

A2 includes SSDs across the entire stack, and Bryan told us they found around a 300 percent increase in page load speeds using them. "We really look at things very deeply to be sure that we’re not just doing something because it’s the new, cool catch-word that people are talking about," Andy said. "We actually want it to be useful and to make a difference and not detract from the customer experience."

In the last year, A2 has launched their own Turbo hosting platform, with pre-configured caching options that include OPcache, Memcached, and a custom Turbo Cache product that resembles Varnish, but works with SSL (unlike Varnish). With the Turbo option, A2-optimized caching tools, and A2-optimized software available, sites experience page loads speeds up to 20 times faster than average.

Whether you want a dedicated server, standard shared hosting with cPanel, VPS, or some hybrid hosting solution in between, A2 can offer hosting to meet your needs. With expertly-tuned servers that house fewer accounts, A2 promises uptimes of 99.9% or higher, with "Guru Crew" customer support available all day, everyday.

While A2's Turbo hosting platform is an excellent stepping stone prior to graduating from the shared space, A2 Hosting also offers exceptional hosting solutions once you're ready to migrate to VPS, cloud, or dedicated servers.

Get full root access, SSD speed boost, and your choice of operating system with their Dynamic VPS, Cloud VPS, and Flex Dedicated Server plans. If you prefer a managed dedicated server, their Managed Flex Dedicated Server package comes pre-configured, with cPanel and HostGuard's comprehensive server management.

A2 runs accounts on their own, high-speed SwiftServer platform, with datacenter locations based out of Michigan (USA), Amsterdam (Europe), and Singapore (Asia). They offer a quadruple redundant network with security monitoring established 24/7.

A2's "Perpetual Security" includes their own hack scanning protection software: HackScan, KernelCare for daily, automatic, and rebootless kernel updates, and access to their Server Rewind backup system for database recovery. Their proactive security also includes an A2-optimized plugin for auto-hardening of WordPress sites to prevent hacks, brute-force defense, virus scanning, and dual firewall protection.

Overall, you can't go wrong in choosing A2 Hosting as a web host. Their inventive hosting solutions, impressive performance and security measures, and the constant thought they put into the user experience warrant our high praise for their services.

read less -
  • Turbo Server for up to 20x faster page loads, plus SSD speed boost solution
  • Unlimited RAID-10 storage and transfers, plus FREE site transfer
  • A2-optimized plugins for WordPress, PrestaShop, etc., with 1-click installs
  • A2-optimized caching with OPcache and Memcached
  • "Perpetual Security" with FREE HackScan and Server Rewind available
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name
$14.99

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Hosting with the perfect balance of technological innovation and superior customer support, SiteGround offers a range of affordable hosting services to meet your needs. In addition to the expected cheap... read more +

Hosting with the perfect balance of technological innovation and superior customer support, SiteGround offers a range of affordable hosting services to meet your needs. In addition to the expected cheap web hosting perks — free domain, emails, and unlimited bandwidth — they specialize in the custom-built tools they bring to the table for technical and customer support.

SiteGround has developed their own Ticketing System and custom chat software, allowing you to chat with trusted and capable representatives with whom you've had success in the past. Their custom software takes in around 1,500 chats on any given day. Their Ticketing System uses an algorithm to assign tasks to the most appropriately qualified team member out of their dozen-or-so web developers.Their website itself receives about one million visitors per month, with users coming for both their tutorials and knowledge base articles written and updated by their Tech Support Team.

"Everybody says we have 24/7/365 support," Tenko said. Once a month, SiteGround tests the support of a list of hosts, themselves included, with dummy accounts. They measure response times, politeness, responsiveness, et cetera, and if a competitor is really doing something well, SiteGround's team takes note and acts on that to improve their own services. “Quality is #1 for us, not the revenue or the numbers," Tenko told us.

For hosting users, SiteGround's interface and API are simple and intuitive. They have free automation-migration from popular hosting sources, so you can just input SSH data directly from your site. SiteGround makes it affordable and easy to get your website up and running, and their support crew doesn't leave your side at any point.

read less -
  • FREE site transfer, email accounts, and domain name (for life!)
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee, Cloudflare CDN, and unlimited site traffic
  • 1-click WordPress installs and cPanel with an all-inclusive UI
  • 24/7 support featuring their custom Chat and Ticketing Support Systems
  • SuperCacher with 4 caching options, plus staging and Git available
  • Get started on SiteGround now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
FREE for life!

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

There are plenty of excellent cPanel shared hosting providers out there, so what sets A2 apart from the rest? Not only do they offer a ton of features, they've custom-built their packages for enhanced... read more +

There are plenty of excellent cPanel shared hosting providers out there, so what sets A2 apart from the rest? Not only do they offer a ton of features, they've custom-built their packages for enhanced performance, speed, and security — putting your priorities above pricing.

A2 Hosting packages include a free Cloudflare CDN, 24/7 "Guru Crew" support, and their SSD speed boost solution. Within the included cPanel 11 control panel, users will find Softaculous — featuring easy, 1-click installations of popular web applications.

With an emphasis on performance, A2 has then gone above and beyond to craft A2-optimized, performance-enhancing solutions for their services.

They have an A2-optimized plugin for WordPress that pre-configures caching and compression options, allowing you to get started on the content side of things quickly and easily. If you land and convert on A2's WordPress landing page, they automatically install both WordPress and their optimization plugin, so the performance enhancements are built in. Similarly, they developed a cPanel plugin that is designed to detect a recent PrestaShop installation and auto-configure optimizations for you.

With A2's "Perpetual Security," users receive free HackScan protection and KernelCare, which runs rebootless auto-updates to kernels daily. They promise 99.9% uptime and 24/7 network monitoring, plus virus scanning and defense against brute-force attacks. WordPress users also benefit from another A2-optimized plugin, which auto-hardens WordPress sites to prevent hacking.

Not only was A2 one of the first to offer SSD hosting — featuring three times the page load speeds of standard hosts — but they also built their own Turbo hosting platform. A2's Turbo Servers yield 20 times faster page load speeds, using less CPU and less memory, with fewer users on each server. They also offer their A2-exclusive Site Accelerator, with SPDY and HTTP/2 support.

A2 spends a great deal of time and effort performance testing and feeling out the competition to ensure they're giving their customers the best speed, security, and support they can offer, at a price users can afford. Their A2-optimized solutions make it easy, and the usefulness and reliability of their products make them cost-effective. With their 24/7 support, including a WordPress-specific support department, we're confident A2 Hosting can provide the assistance you need to get an affordable site launched and thriving.

read less -
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN and SSD speed boost solution
  • Turbo Server, plus A2-optimized caching and 1-click CMS software
  • Up to unlimited email addresses, domains, and databases
  • "Perpetual Security" with FREE HackScan and Server Rewind available
  • 24/7/365 "Guru Crew" support
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name
$14.99

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Looking for limitless server resources that are easily accessible across the globe? Look no further than SiteGround's dedicated hosting. Featuring multiple datacenters based out of the US, Europe, and... read more +

Looking for limitless server resources that are easily accessible across the globe? Look no further than SiteGround's dedicated hosting. Featuring multiple datacenters based out of the US, Europe, and Asia, SiteGround's dedicated servers offer extreme accessibility, scalability, and security.

If you're interested in dedicated hosting, you're probably not new to the web hosting community, as hosting on dedicated servers is designed for site owners faced with extremely high traffic volumes (ie. not entry-level site owners or mom-and-pop shops looking to build a web presence). These customers are therefore in need of a server dedicated to providing blazing-fast page load speeds and mega-scale bandwidth for their very popular website, and their website alone.

With dedicated servers, the key points to consider before choosing a host are bandwidth limitations, speed and processor performance, as well as RAM and storage options. To ensure your account is secure, you'll also want to look into data protection, downtime prevention, and of course, network size and overall security.

SiteGround starts you off with Intel Xeon E3 or E5 processors, with a minimum of four CPU Cores and eight Threads. Depending on whether you choose the "Entry Server", "Power Server", or "Enterprise Server" Plans, you'll be given 4-16GB of DDR3 RAM, and 8-15MB of CPU Cache. Disk space ranges across the three plans, from 500GB of SATA II to four 500GB SATA IIIs with RAID 10 (all HDD). Best of all, all SiteGround dedicated hosting customers are alotted five terabytes of bandwidth.

On the hardware side of things, SiteGround uses the latest hardware, while keeping replacement parts on-site for every model used. Their Dedicated Server Operations Team puts a tremendous amount of resources into testing and tweaking hardware configurations for optimum server performance. To reward their loyal customers, hardware is regularly updated, with seamless transitions and zero downtime. Overall, SiteGround averages 99.999% uptime each month and 99.996% annually.

For software, SiteGround prides itself on using mostly in-house solutions and performing their own custom patches and bug fixes for products bought off the shelf, which are also always kept up-to-date. "We really obsess over doing everything ourselves, because we believe that’s the best way to do it,” Tenko said. Their customer service offerings, including their Ticketing and Chat Systems, were developed in-house, and offer top-level support 24/7.

In terms of security, SiteGround was the first to implement a unique server isolation mechanism that protects servers from becoming compromised by a single, vulnerable account. They actively monitor and detect security exploits. The unique downtime prevention software they developed detects and resolves the majority of server issues instantaneously, while most hosts take up to 40 minutes to detect, triage, and react to security breeches.

For unmatched support, server resources, and technological innovation, you can't go wrong with choosing SiteGround as a dedicated server host. As Tenko put it best: “Quality is #1 for us, not the revenue or the numbers.”

read less -
  • WHM, cPanel, SSH access, and 24/7 proactive uptime monitoring
  • FREE domain, 5 FREE IPs, and Softaculous autoinstaller
  • Cloudflare CDN and iptables firewall
  • MySQL 5 and PostgreSQL
  • Private DNS server setup
  • Get started on SiteGround now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Up to 5 x 400 GB SATA III/RAID 10
Domain Name
FREE for life!

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

Whether you're looking for managed or self-managed hosting, A2 Hosting offers two extremely reliable dedicated server plans to meet your needs, depending on your levels of comfort and experience. ... read more +

Whether you're looking for managed or self-managed hosting, A2 Hosting offers two extremely reliable dedicated server plans to meet your needs, depending on your levels of comfort and experience.

With A2's Flex Dedicated Server plan, users get administrator-level control with root access and their choice of Linux operating system. Your server will be ready for your configuration, with SolusVM control panel included. Plus, they offer 24/7/365 server monitoring and maintenance for hardware.

A2 also offers a managed option for dedicated hosting, which features comprehensive server management by HostGuard. Their managed dedicated servers are pre-configured and include cPanel control panel for user control.

A2's dedicated servers feature their SwiftServers — expertly-tuned with performance enhancements. A2 was one of the first in their field to offer SSD hosting, and their customers receive free SSDs, which contribute to page loading speeds as much as three times faster than those of standard web hosts. A2's SwiftServer network is also equipped with SwiftCache, which is powered by OPcache, as well as their own Turbo Cache product, which functions with similar technology to that of Varnish.

Servers are never overloaded, and A2 notifies you of targeted server occurrences, such as high load volume or when a filesystem becomes full. With datacenters strategically based in three nations, A2 offers US- and Euro-based dedicated server locations and high redundancy (10Gb/s). A2's dedicated hosting plans include instant account activation, with plenty of processing power and RAM to get you started. When you outgrow your server, A2 makes the migration upgrade simple by moving your entire system using Xen.

A2's "Perpetual Security" features their hack scanning detection mechanism: HackScan, and KernelCare for auto-updates to kernels, which run daily with no reboot necessary. With the managed package, HostGuard takes care of security patches, control panel updates, and both installation and upgrades for core software. A2's Smart System Notifier quickly notifies their support staff of any network-related or hardware issues that arise, aiming to resolve said issues before they're even brought to customers' attention.

No matter the level of control you're looking for, if it's a dedicated hosting solution you need, A2's servers can get your job done swiftly and successfully. A2 has poured numerous resources into creating efficiency tools and performance enhancements for all of their hosting plans, including their managed services.

With custom software solutions, "Turbo" speed boosts, proactive protection, and tons of optimizations, A2 Hosting features user-based, performance-focused products; their dedicated servers just show a concentrated representation of their commitment to performance for their customers.

read less -
  • Root access with Linux OS or pre-configured (managed) cPanel hosting
  • 3 datacenters, expertly-tuned servers, & 30-minute deployment
  • "Perpetual Security" with HackScan, KernelCare, and proactive protection
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN and HTTP/2, plus A2-optimized caching tools
  • Xen virtualization
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name
$14.99

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

When it comes to VPS hosting, SiteGround does things a little differently. Instead of managing a typical virtual private server network, they have their very own cloud platform that they built from the... read more +

When it comes to VPS hosting, SiteGround does things a little differently. Instead of managing a typical virtual private server network, they have their very own cloud platform that they built from the ground-up. It's similar to VPS, with shell access included, but it's much more scalable, according to Tenko.

Their managed cloud hosting includes thousands of containers and is much faster than most products you'll find on the market. A single cloud instance can be provisioned, up, and running in seconds, according to Tenko. "Unlike most of the container cloud platforms out there, it's completely secure," he said.

Tenko also told us they've done around 70 kernel patches to ensure security for their cloud hosting innovation. “We’re really obsessed with performance and security," he said, "and we really obsess over doing everything ourselves, because we believe that’s the best way to do it.”

When asked about the motivation behind crafting an in-house cloud platform rather than using a container product off the shelf, Tenko said, "there are a lot of reasons, but the main one is flexibility." It may require more groundwork in the beginning, but being able to dictate changes to the technology means that SiteGround stands out, providing an enhanced, faster, more-scalable service. "People feel that they're getting something custom," he said.

The container platform that their cloud hosting is built upon isn't the only in-house technology they've got up their hosting sleeve. Instead of using third-party software, the SiteGround team writes almost all of their software themselves.

Among SiteGround's many custom solutions is their unique server isolation system. The technology shields servers from falling victim to the vulnerability of single, corrupted accounts. SiteGround was the first in their field to develop such a mechanism.

SiteGround also created their own backup system, which runs daily backups in about an hour, a downtime prevention mechanism that has yielded stellar uptime rates, and their SuperCacher, which offers four caching options for optimum load times.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, SiteGround developed the software to build their very own Chat System and Ticketing System, which enable them to provide the ultimate customer support. Ivo told us, "customers come for the customer service, but they stay because of the technology."

With each custom innovation SiteGround has engineered, customers have reported being pleasantly surprised by how much the technology simplifies their hosting experience. SiteGround's cloud hosting service is no different. They offer all the hit features they're known for, plus the added scalability and security that surpasses most VPS hosting providers. If you're ready to move beyond shared hosting, and want to do so with a king of customer service and tech solutions, look no further than SiteGround's cloud hosting.

read less -
  • Fully-managed cloud hosting with ultra-fast performance and scalability
  • 3 datacenters, FREE Cloudflare CDN, and daily backups
  • SuperCacher, Git integration, and 1-click install for popular CMSs
  • WHM, cPanel, SSH access, and private DNS server setup
  • FREE domain name, dedicated IP, and iptables firewall
  • Get started on SiteGround now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
20 GB - 80 GB
Domain Name
FREE for life!

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

While A2's Turbo platform serves as the perfect "training wheels," so to speak, before migrating from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server, A2 Hosting also offers some stellar VPS options. "We still... read more +

While A2's Turbo platform serves as the perfect "training wheels," so to speak, before migrating from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server, A2 Hosting also offers some stellar VPS options. "We still do quite a bit of VPS, which is actually where we’ve seen the strongest area of growth," Bryan said.

A2's growth in the VPS hosting space didn't surprise us. They offer two packaged solutions: Dynamic VPS and Cloud VPS, which are both hosted on their SwiftServer platform, with SSDs for page loading speeds up to three times faster than average.

They offer 24/7/365 live chat support, a public phone number to speak to an actual human when you need help, and no additional fee for premium support. All VPS users get full root access, plus cPanel and their choice of operating system.

A2’s Cloud VPS users receive the ultimate redundancy and reliability of a high-availability failover, absolutely free. Customers can create their own custom-fit server and only pay for the features they want. Then, users can control said resource consumption within cPanel, and resize their account as needed.

When it comes to speed and performance, A2 Hosting pulls out all the stops. Their Turbo VPS speed-boosting option features their Turbo Servers, which, partnered with their exclusive Site Accelerator, produce page load speeds up to 20 times faster than average.

For caching, the Turbo platform is also equipped with A2’s Turbo Cache product, which works similarly to a Varnish cache. The Turbo Cache stores and serves HTML contents without running PHP, and unlike Varnish, Turbo Cache works with SSL. A2’s Turbo Servers are enabled with SPDY and HTTP/2 support, with ESI as well.

A2 has developed several plugins for cPanel, WordPress, PrestaShop, et cetera, to ensure easy setup and installation, while keeping the A2 environment in mind. Not only are many installations 1-click, but auto-optimizations are available as well. In the case of their WordPress plugin, “it’s got a nice, pre-configured environment that’s going to be good for most users,” Bryan explained, “and then if you want to configure it or customize it yourself, of course, you’re able to do that.” A2 also offers an auto-hardening plugin for WordPress users for protection against hacker attacks.

With their “Guru Crew” support team available round-the-clock, A2 also offers 24/7 network security monitoring and proactive protection measures. The “Perpetual Security” included features HackScan, A2’s hacker detection mechanism, KernelCare for daily, rebootless kernel auto-updates, as well as virus scanning and defense against brute-force attacks.

VPS hosting with A2 holds a breadth of opportunities for customization, cost control, and custom solutions built for their server network. With an emphasis on performance and a commitment to solving customer problems, you won't regret going "Turbo" with A2 Hosting's VPS packages.

read less -
  • Turbo VPS and Turbo Cache options for 20x faster page loads
  • Quadruple redundant network with 24/7 network security monitoring
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN, plus auto-installs with Softaculous available
  • Multilingual support and up to unlimited databases available
  • Enhanced security with FREE HackScan and daily kernel updates
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name
$14.99

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#3 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews

Want a hassle-free, WordPress-compatible hosting service? SiteGround has thought of everything you need to get your site up and running. Starting with the essentials, users get free email accounts, site... read more +

Want a hassle-free, WordPress-compatible hosting service? SiteGround has thought of everything you need to get your site up and running. Starting with the essentials, users get free email accounts, site transfer, cPanel, Cloudflare CDN, and free domain registration. Then they make it simple for you to start rolling out content by offering easy, 1-click installs for popular CMSs, including WordPress.

With SiteGround's WordPress hosting, you'll find features you would normally only have access to with managed (more cost, less control, compared to shared) WordPress hosting services. "Our WordPress product has several distinct characteristics that make it attractive to the end user," Ivo told us.

Users experience a seamless site transition with transferring conducted by SiteGround's WordPress experts, with a free template and template installation included as well. Sites experience no downtime during the transition, but that's no surprise given that SiteGround is reputed for an incredible 99.999% monthly uptime rate (99.996% annually!).

SiteGround's unique downtime prevention software monitors servers' statuses in real-time and resolves over 90 percent of server issues instantly and automatically. With most competitors, it can take an average of 5-20 minutes to detect, plus up to 20 minutes to react to and resolve issues.

SiteGround's WordPress hosting also features autoupdates to the core and plugins, with WordPress caching built-in as well. Users can easily stage and deploy changes to their site, with SiteGround's 1-click staging, and Git is available for version control. "Our customer feedback on these features has been extremely positive," Ivo said.

SiteGround's technical support and reliability is uncanny. In addition to downtime prevention, they've developed a server isolation system that prevents vulnerable servers from devastating entire networks; SiteGround was the first to innovate in such a way in the shared hosting space.

When their team of about 26 developers, designers, and DevOps gurus isn't writing and building premier solutions from scratch, or coming up with new tutorials and knowledge base articles for the SiteGround site, they're talking to customers directly.

On the customer support side of things, SiteGround hits the ball out of the park. Two innovations contribute to their unbeatable customer service: their Ticketing/Help Desk and Chat System. Both of these user-focused software solutions were custom-built in-house.

The Ticketing System they designed uses an algorithm to select appropriate Tech Ops Team members for specified jobs. Users can submit support ticket requests under an array of categories and can expect a reply in 10 minutes or less (usually less). The algorithm calculates based on skill level and specialty, assigning the most appropriately qualified developer to each job in the queue.

The custom Chat System harnesses the relationships built in previous chat scenarios by allowing users to select team members they've previously worked with, rather than waiting on the next available agent. Customers can also preview profiles and rate representatives based on their experiences.

Tenko and Ivo took us through an impromptu demo of the Chat System, revealing both the ease of use of the product, and the genuine helpfulness and responsiveness of their Support Team members, who had no idea who they were chatting with at the time.

From in-house solutions on the technical side, to warm and unwavering support from a customer service angle, SiteGround has crafted a complete package for any hosting need. For WordPress-specific hosting, they offer popular perks that you wouldn't necessarily get with other shared hosting providers. Get started with all of the awesome freebies, enjoy their helpful and polite team, and prepare to be blown away by SiteGround's commitment to building hosting solutions intended to make your web experience easier than ever.

read less -
  • 1-click install, FREE transfer, and FREE domain name
  • Isolated servers and multi-location dedicated servers
  • Pre-installed Git, 3 caching levels, and FREE CDN
  • FREE WordPress setup wizard, staging, and auto-updates
  • 99.9% uptime, 24/7 support, and custom Chat System
  • Get started on SiteGround now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
FREE for life!

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

If shared web hosting is what you need, A2 Hosting is the perfect host to help launch your site with your choice of CMS, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others. As part of A2's promise to... read more +

If shared web hosting is what you need, A2 Hosting is the perfect host to help launch your site with your choice of CMS, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and others. As part of A2's promise to emphasize performance, they've concocted several A2-optimized features specifically for WordPress.

A2's shared web hosting plans come with cPanel 11 control panel, where users can access Softaculous auto-installer. Easily install popular web applications, including your choice of CMS, with one click.

"If you land on our WordPress landing page, and order WordPress hosting, we auto-install WordPress and our optimization plugin," Bryan said. "You don’t have to do anything."

"We wanted to make these performance enhancements really accessible to people," Andy said, so A2 has come up with several plugins and tools designed to operate in their online environment. These features are available for all users, including VPS and managed services customers.

A prime example of A2's custom performance enhancers would be their exclusive Site Accelerator, which helps A2 users experience page loading up to 20 times faster than that of the average web host.

A2 has optimized tools to auto-configure popular software, including WordPress, with auto-optimizations like compression and caching. "We're trying to ease all the friction points for the users and make sure we’re solving their problems," Andy told us.

Once you've installed PrestaShop, an A2-optimized cPanel plugin will automatically detect it and allow you to set up all "normal" optimizations. "We'll go in and configure everything the way that we know it will work best on our servers," Andy said.

Other eCommerce features include access to SSL certificates, PayPal merchant accounts, and a Merchant ID with E-onlinedata (with instant activation). When it comes to marketing your site or online store, A2 users can get $50 towards paid ads. Plus, with Attracta, a free SEO tool available in cPanel, sites are listed in Google within 24 hours.

In addition to enhanced speed and performance, A2 Hosting includes "Perpetual Security," which features several custom technologies.

All A2 accounts are offered a free hacking detection scan, featuring their own hacker detection mechanism: HackScan. A2 Hosting users also benefit from KernelCare: A2's product for conducting daily, rebootless auto-updates to kernels.

A2 has built another custom plugin for WordPress users to prevent hacking. The software auto-hardens WordPress sites for proactive protection against hackers. Additionally, A2 offers virus scanning, a dual firewall, and brute-force attack protection — not to mention SPAM filtering for emails, which are also IMAP, POP3, and SMTP supported.

A2 Hosting offers 24/7 customer support and tons of A2-optimized features made with WordPress users in mind. Whether you're an online retailer looking to launch a fresh site with PrestaShop, or a moderately web-savvy WordPress user looking for speed and security excellence, we'd highly recommend A2 Hosting.

read less -
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN and 1-click installs for WordPress or popular CMSs
  • Turbo Server, SSD speed boost solution, and A2-optimized caching
  • A2-optimized software and WordPress plugins for hacker protection
  • "Perpetual Security," including FREE HackScan and KernelCare
  • SSL certificates, PayPal integration, and 1-click installs for PrestaShop
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name
$14.99

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

Do you know you need to "build a website," but don't know where to begin? Well, SiteGround will start you off with your domain name, email accounts, unlimited site traffic, and unlimited database storage... read more +

Do you know you need to "build a website," but don't know where to begin? Well, SiteGround will start you off with your domain name, email accounts, unlimited site traffic, and unlimited database storage options — all for free. Those are just some of the essential starting perks.

From the beginning, you'll also experience unrivaled customer service, whether you're transferring a domain or want a relatively hands-off experience starting your very first site. Even web savants will love the support they receive from SiteGround.

SiteGround hosting includes 1-click installations for your choice of CMS, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento. Their WordPress experts will even migrate your site for you — a seamless transition with zero downtime — or first-timers can benefit from their in-house Setup Wizard.

Once you're up and running, if you run into any trouble, their custom Ticketing and Chat Systems' software has been engineered and implemented to provide you with pleasant and tech-savvy customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

SiteGround offers tons of additional freebies and add-ons to make building your website with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or Magento intuitive and stress-free.

Other WordPress website-building perks you'll enjoy with SiteGround include staging options to easily test and deploy changes to your site. Their SuperCacher offers four different caching options, including those for static and dynamic content, for optimized page loading. You can also opt to have Git pre-installed, so you'll always have version control and revision history.

SiteGround also conducts daily site backups, using their own in-house system that can run backups in about an hour, compared to rival technologies that can take up to half a day to operate. For "GrowBig" and "GoGeek" Plan customers, up to 30 copies of these backups are available.

Tenko told us that customers "come for the customer service, but they stay for the technology." Whether you're a hosting newb or a site-building savant, you can trust SiteGround to provide you with a hosting and website-building combo that's simple to manage and pleasant to troubleshoot.

read less -
  • FREE domain, emails, site transfer, and unlimited bandwidth
  • FREE auto-migration, easy CMS install, and in-house Setup Wizard
  • In-house-built Ticketing System and chat software for 24/7 support
  • WordPress auto-updates, plus staging to easily test and deploy
  • SuperCacher with static and dynamic caching options available
  • Get started on SiteGround now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
10 GB - 30 GB
Domain Name
FREE for life!

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

When it comes to site-building, A2 Hosting sets users up with all the tools they need to get a website built, launched, and thriving. "Our bread and butter is still the cPanel shared hosting," Bryan said.... read more +

When it comes to site-building, A2 Hosting sets users up with all the tools they need to get a website built, launched, and thriving. "Our bread and butter is still the cPanel shared hosting," Bryan said. With cPanel included in all A2 plans, customers have access to a smorgasbord of site-building tools and 1-click installations.

A2 Hosting packages come equipped with Cloudflare CDN and cPanel, where users can find a breadth of resources — including Softaculous auto-installer.

From the cPanel control panel, A2 customers can setup their choice of web applications, CMSs, eCommerce features, and more. A2 strives to make these setup processes as simplistic and intuitive as possible. They've built A2-optimized plugins, so not only are installations done in one click, but A2-optimized configurations are done automatically.

"We realize that performance is what we really need to focus on," Andy said. A2 has developed several key features geared towards emphasizing just that.

In the last year, A2 has launched their Turbo hosting platform. Partnered with their exclusive Site Accelerator, A2's Turbo platform produces page loads up to 20 times faster than your average web host.

Their Turbo platform includes OPcache for caching (a rare find in the shared hosting space), as well as their own Turbo Cache product, which works similarly to Varnish.

In addition to enhanced performance, A2 Hosting offers "Perpetual Security." This includes round-the-clock protection and support, plus solutions for A2-optimized security.

A2's "Perpetual Security" includes a free scan with their hack detection mechanism: HackScan. They also include KernelCare — daily, automatic, and rebootless kernel updating. For WordPress users, A2 has built a plugin to auto-harden WordPress sites to prevent hacking. Other features available include virus scanning, brute-attack defense, SPAM protection for emails, and auto-heal hosting protection.

A2's "Guru Crew" is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide expert support for their customers. A2 also maintains 24/7 network security monitoring of their expertly-tuned servers.

A2's cPanel hosting equips users with everything they need to build a website, plus enhancements to make their web experience safer and simpler. Andy put it best when he told us A2 is "trying to ease all the friction points for the users." They find and solve your potential problems, so you can get on to producing content for your new site.

read less -
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN, cPanel 11, and A2-optimized software
  • Softaculous 1-click installs for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla
  • A2-optimized caching (6x faster page loads) and Turbo Server (20x faster)
  • A2-optimized enhanced security, including FREE HackScan
  • 24/7/365 "Guru Crew" support
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Unlimited RAID-10
Domain Name
$14.99

SiteGround vs. A2 Hosting - Our Conclusion

Alexandra Leslie Alexandra Leslie Hosting Expert
“We tested SiteGround & A2 Hosting — The winner is SiteGround!”

We told you this was a close one. Your best hosting fit really depends on your specific needs. Are you trying to minimize your costs? A2 Hosting squeaks by with cheaper plans across the board. With speed tests going to A2 Hosting and domain and email hosting staying in SiteGround’s court, the rest of this battle is largely a toss-up. Both providers have a 30-day money back guarantee, so give them each a try and see which fits better.

Overall Rating
5.0/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit SiteGround »
Overall Rating
4.9/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit A2 Hosting »