Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2020
Our Quick Summary
SiteGround wins this comparison. It’s very hard to beat SiteGround these days, their speed and expert support is unparralleled, not to mention their custom caching plugin and in-house security measures to keep everyting running as smoothly as possible.
Keep reading to find out how both hosting companies rate on pricing, support, speed, and ease of use!
A2 Hosting and SiteGround are among the few remaining independently owned and operated web-hosting providers. It may not be a coincidence that these are two of the best providers, too. Each company provides robust all-around services with exceptional support, numerous features, and reliable performance.
A2 Hosting got its start in 2001 as a hobby for CEO Bryan Muthig. Since their humble origins in a two-room office in Ann Arbor, MI, they have grown to the point of having a worldwide reach. Today, they are known for their award-winning service and blazing page load speed.
SiteGround was born in a Bulgarian university dormitory in 2004. Since its inception, it has developed a reputation as one of the best quality all-around web-hosting providers in the industry. Currently, SiteGround has data centers in three continents, with more than 400 employees globally, and services more than two million domains.
Selecting a web host can be a difficult decision, especially when the contenders are as powerful as A2 Hosting and SiteGround. That’s why we have taken the time to research and evaluate the two companies based on their pricing, support, performance/speed, and ease of use. Our goal is to provide you with all the information and insight you need to choose a web hosting provider, confidently.
Pricing – SiteGround Wins
For the sake of simplicity, we are going to focus mostly on the introductory plans that A2 Hosting and SiteGround offer.
A2 Hosting has four tiers, with the cheapest being their shared hosting offering. Users pay $3.92 per month, which comes with a single website, a free SSL, site migration, and a money-back guarantee. While competitively priced, the shared hosting plan is relatively sparse.
The other hosting plans and tiers do allow for unlimited websites, databases, storage, and transfers. Their most advanced model is dedicated hosting, which caters for more intensive business needs.
SiteGround provides three plans – called StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek. The StartUp plan retails at $3.95 per month, though there is a one-time charge of $14.95 for setup. The model comes with a single website and 10 gigabytes of web space to handle 10,000 monthly visits.
SiteGround did not skimp on “Essential Features,” which come standard with each plan. StartUp users get the benefit of unmetered traffic and unlimited MySQL, as well as free daily backups, SSL certificate, Cloudflare CDN, and email accounts.
Support – It’s a Tie
While customer support is not something that most web hosts are known for, we are glad to report that A2 Hosting and SiteGround both scored well-above average here. A2 Hosting lets customers resolve problems via chat, phone, and ticket-based support. They even offer hundreds of articles on their website that can nip any potential problems in the bud.
A2 Hosting received high marks across the board, especially in technical support, which has notably knowledgeable staff and 24/7 convenience.
SiteGround has a robust support team that operates 24/7. Users can get in touch with one of their experts by phone, chat, or the ticketing system. The delay times are relatively minimal, and users can expect insightful and friendly assistance from knowledgeable technicians. In addition to the traditional technical support service, SiteGround customers also get assistance with everything from site migrations to 30-day money-back guarantees.
Speed – It’s a Tie
When it comes to speed, A2 Hosting is the Usain Bolt of the web hosting industry. Their 300ms page load speed comes out as tops in the industry. With their data centers being strategically placed around the world, you won’t have to worry about looking for web hosting services in your local area, so it doesn’t matter if you’re searching for a web host in Australia, a Canada web hosting service, or a website host for the UK, A2 Hosting has data centers on almost every continent.
Their overall uptime is closer to average, though. A2 Hosting’s uptime floats around 99.92%, which equates to approximately one hour of downtime per month. This mark is not the worst we’ve seen, but there is still room for improvement.
Now, SiteGround may not be as fleet of foot as A2 Hosting, but it does come in at a respectable 700ms for page load time. This mark is discernibly above the industry average. This speed will more than get the job done on any website.
SiteGround is just about perfect with a stellar 99.99% uptime. They even offer a free service to compensate customers if their uptime dips below their company standards. The Service Level Agreement explicitly states that SiteGround users will get “an additional month of free hosting for every 1% of uptime lost below 99.00%.”
Ease of Use – It’s a Tie
Let’s start with some of the similarities. For instance, both companies provide cPanel when it comes to managing web accounts. They both also offer a wealth of single-click installations and website builders, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
A2 Hosting offers user-friendly plug-ins that allow for straightforward construction of a website. They offer all the major content management systems, so even first-time users can get the job done. A2 Hosting also provides Turbo and Cloudflare CDN, which keep site speeds fast.
SiteGround is a reliable choice for a wide range of skill levels when it comes to website building ability. Their deep integrations and drag-and-drop offerings mean users can get the look and feel of their website settled with relatively little effort. They also offer AI-bot prevention and other security tools so that users can focus on the essential parts of their website.
Conclusion – SiteGround Wins
It is hard to go wrong with either choice, but when it comes to crowning a champion, we have to go with SiteGround. Their all-around excellence and constant willingness to improve their products and services make them one of our top choices, time and again. SiteGround users can expect consistent performance in addition to serviceable speed and outstanding customer support.
SiteGround and A2 Hosting are close competitors, though, even as you examine the individual categories used to score the two companies. While A2 Hosting offers slightly cheaper plans, they don’t quite match SiteGround in uptime. That said, if you want the fastest speeds possible, A2 Hosting is the fastest web hosting provider on the block.