Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2020
A2 Hosting and Bluehost are among the most well-known companies in the web hosting industry. They each offer robust cPanel plans with WordPress integrations and competitive pricing. When it comes to picking which one you want as your web host, the comparison is a heavyweight fight.
Bryan Muthig started A2 Hosting in 2001. As the company grew, it became known for its industry-leading server speeds and easy to use web hosting services. Based in Ann Arbor, MI, the company currently offers WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and domain services.
Bluehost is a sizeable player on the web hosting stage with two million domains and a wealth of valuable services. Founder Matt Heaton started the company in 2003, which Endurance International Group then acquired in 2010. Currently, Bluehost has more than 700 employees at its Utah headquarters and works in tandem with its sister companies, HostMonster, FastDomain, and iPage.
When companies are this evenly matched, it can be stressful to decide which one will be your ultimate web host. That is why we have researched and rated each company based on their pricing, support, performance/speed, and ease of use. Based on the results, you can make an informed choice to see whether A2 Hosting or Bluehost makes more sense for your website.
Pricing – It’s a Tie
A2 Hosting offers three shared web hosting plans called Lite, Swift, and Turbo. Lite is the basic plan and goes for $3.92 per month. The basic package comes with a single website, unlimited storage and transfers, and the typical extras of free SSL certificate, SSD, and site migration.
Swift and Turbo provide additional features at prices of $4.90 and $9.31 per month. Specifically, users will receive an unlimited number of websites and unlimited databases as part of the upgrade. It is also worth noting that Turbo comes with its namesake—the turbo-charged speed, which makes page loading twenty times faster.
Bluehost gives customers the option of four different shared hosting plans: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro. The Basic Plan comes with a single website, 50 gigabytes of SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, and unmetered bandwidth. Users are also awarded a domain, five parked domains, and 25 sub-domains.
The additional three options range in price from $5.45 to $13.95 per month. The primary benefits of upgrading are unlimited websites, storage, domains, and spam experts—an impressive number of attractive benefits in any offer. Each of the three models also provides free 30-day access to Office 365 mailboxes, so it is difficult to fault such generous features considering the price range.
Support – A2 Hosting Wins
A2 Hosting has you covered when it comes to technical support. They provide live chats, messaging, and ticket-based support in addition to hundreds of articles on their sites with helpful information. Once you get connected with an A2 hosting expert, you can expect a genuine and knowledgeable experience.
Bluehost makes it easy for customers to get in touch with their support services when they have a problem or query that needs resolution. People can contact them through email ticket, phone, and live chat. Additionally, their website offers user forums, video tutorials, and a knowledge base to answer any questions.
Despite the robust offerings for their technical support team, people are generally mixed in their testimonials about the quality of customer support.
Speed – Bluehost Wins
If there is one thing that you should know about A2 Hosting, it is likely how fast its performance has been over the years. They have set the pace when it comes to page load speed, which comes in at around 330ms. This mark is no small accomplishment considering how much competition there is for the title of the fastest web host. A2 Hosting also has the advantage of having servers on almost every continent, so whether you’re looking for a website hosting provider for Australia or a web hosting service for Singapore, A2 Hosting has you covered.
Unfortunately for A2 Hosting, their uptime lags behind the pack. Despite an overall positive uptime track record, A2 Hosting recently measured at 99.92%. That means customers will see seven hours of downtime per year, which isn’t terrible, but it also poor form compared to many of its competitors.
In virtually every head-to-head comparison, Bluehost wins in the speed department. This race is the one exception, but Bluehost page load speeds still come in at a zippy 400ms on average. That mark is good enough to be among the top five in the industry.
Bluehost also has a remarkable track record when it comes to uptime. They consistently achieve 99.99% while the industry average floats around 99.94%. Bluehost even recorded a nine-month streak of 100 percent uptime in 2018.
Ease of Use – It’s a Tie
Both A2 Hosting and Bluehost have made their offerings accessible for users of all skill levels. Each offers cPanel, which provides intuitive control over a website. There are also great plug-ins to choose from, as well as several content management systems, like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
A2 Hosting has its own website builder, aptly named SiteBuilder. The user-friendly application lets people customize their website without the need to know anything about HTML. A2 Hosting also offers Cloudflare CDN to ensure your site stays fast.
Bluehost prides itself on making website building easy for its users. People will be able to install WordPress and take advantage of the drag-and-drop features until they obtain the desired look and feel. Users can also take advantage of an ample security package and their CDN.
Conclusion – BlueHost Wins
The fastest loading time is a fantastic asset that stands out from the rest, but the unreliable uptime takes A2 Hosting down a notch in our final evaluation. Bluehost has robust all-around service, affordable introductory plans, and accessible customer support. It is even one of the three companies that WordPress cites for its content management system.
While we gave Bluehost the edge, both these companies are worth ample consideration. There are scenarios where A2 Hosting might work out better for you. For instance, you might want a free website transfer or are willing to overlook the inconsistent uptimes in favor of speed.