A2 Hosting vs HostGator: similar price, but not the offerings
In this article, I'll compare A2 Hosting vs HostGator based on their pricing, ease of use, performance, security, and customer support.
A2 Hosting and HostGator are amongst the most reliable high-quality web hosting services in the market. Both are renowned names in the industry, but there are some differences in their features and pricing plans.
While A2 Hosting is more performance-oriented, HostGator is known for its ease of use. While both have their differences and similarities, they’re good in one aspect - hosting your website. But which one should you pick?
I have compared both providers based on their pricing, usability, performance, security, and customer support, to determine each provider’s strong points and uncover the weaker ones. So without further ado, let’s see which one comes out on top.
A2 Hosting vs HostGator: general info
Both A2 Hosting and HostGator are affordable and well-known hosting solutions. While A2 Hosting is a performance and security-oriented hosting provider, HostGator is mostly known as a simplistic, yet well-rounded hosting provider.
Let’s take a look at how these two compare side-by-side. However, if you’re simply looking to find out which one is better, jump to the final recommendations at the end.
|Price from||From $2.75/month||From $2.99/month|
|Payment types||Credit/debit card, PayPal, check, money orders, bank wires||Credit/Debit card, PayPal, Skrill, bank wires, and checks or money orders|
|Hosting types||Shared, WordPress, VPS, cloud, reseller, and dedicated server hosting plans||Shared, managed WordPress, VPS, reseller, and dedicated hosting|
|Control panel||Native user interface +cPanel||WHMCS +cPanel|
|Server locations||The USA||Michigan (US), Arizona (US), Amsterdam (Netherlands), and Singapore (Singapore)|
|Security||SSL certificates, server-level firewall, 2-factor-authentication||Free SSL, DDoS protection, server-level firewall, 24/7 server monitoring, server hardening, virus scanning, brute force defense, and 2-factor-authentication|
|Support||24/7 Live chat, 24/7 phone support, knowledge base||24/7 live chat, ticketing, and phone|
|Website migration||One free WordPress/cPanel migration and inter-server migration||Free site migration|
|Extras||Email accounts||Staging and email accounts|
|Money-back guarantee||45 days||Any-time|
A2 Hosting vs HostGator: pricing comparison
When it comes to prices, HostGator is a more affordable option, with prices ranging from $2.75/mo to $5.25/mo for its shared hosting plans. At the same time, A2 Hosting starts at a similar $2.99/mo mark, yet goes all the way up to $12.99/mo.
Along with shared hosting, both providers also have:
|Hosting type||A2 Hosting||HostGator|
|Shared hosting||Yes, starts at $2.99/mo||Yes, starts at $2.75/m|
|WordPress hosting||Yes, starts at $5.95/mo||Yes, starts at $11.99/mo|
|Cloud hosting||No||Yes, starts at $4.95/mo|
|VPS hosting||Yes, starts at $4.99/mo||Yes, starts at $23.95/mo|
|Reseller hosting||Yes, starts at $18.99/mo||Yes, starts at $19.95/mo|
|Dedicated hosting||Yes, starts at $105.99/mo||Yes, starts at $89.98/mo|
While both providers have many hosting options, the main focus of this A2 Hosting vs HostGator comparison is shared hosting.
Now before I compare booth hosts side-by-side, you should know that A2 Hosting does not include a free domain with any of its plans. However, you can purchase a custom domain from the provider (from $14.95 to $79.95 per year). On the other hand, all of HostGator’s shared plans include a free domain.
Talking about HostGator’s and A2 Hosting’s cheapest plans, both of them allow hosting a single website and include a free SSL certificate.
Regardless of the similarities, here’s how they differ:
- A2 Hosting’s Startup ($2.99/mo) includes 100 GB storage, unlimited emails, a dual firewall, brute-force defense, virus scanner, and advanced DDOS protection.
- HostGator’s Hatchling ($2.75/mo) includes unlimited storage and email accounts, as well as unmetered bandwidth, a free domain name registration, and a server-level firewall.
It is evident that A2 Hosting offers generous security measures and large disk space even with its basic plan. But if you're looking for unlimited disk space, free domain, SSL, and unlimited bandwidth, HostGator is a step ahead.
However, keep in mind that cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean the best. So which plan should you choose?
A2 Hosting offers 4 shared web hosting packages with prices ranging from $2.99/mo to $12.99/mo.
If you're looking for a comprehensive package with excellent server speed, take a look at the Turbo Boost plan. For just $6.99/mo, you’ll get to host unlimited websites on enhanced-performance Turbo Servers. More so, the package includes unlimited NVMe SSD storage and free automatic backups.
To get the best value for your money, you can select the Turbo Boost 3-year subscription plan, where you pay $251.64 upfront. The renewal price will be around $754.92 for the next cycle.
HostGator offers 3 shared hosting plans priced between $2.75/mo and $5.25/mo.
When it comes to the best value, HostGator suggests its Baby plan. And I must agree. For just an additional $0.75/mo on top of Hatchling’s price, you are free to host as many sites as you wish.
To get the best deal for the lowest price, opt for the Baby plan with a 3-year subscription. The upfront payment will round up to only $126, while the renewal will increase to $358.20 for the next 3 years.
One thing to note is how different the 2 hosts are when looking at their money-back guarantees. A2 Hosting is so confident in its services that on top of a standard 30-day money-back guarantee policy it offers any time money-back guarantee for unused services. At the same time, HostGator also comes with a slightly extended 45-day money-back guarantee.
All in all, looking at the cost alone, HostGator does offer cheaper prices. The host includes all the basics, like a free domain, SSL, and generous server resources, free of charge.
Hosting management: ease of use
Both HostGator and A2 Hosting are pretty simple to use and use cPanel for website management. However, HostGator takes the lead in this round. It’s because of the clean native user interface that provides short links to cPanel features like domains and Softaculous app installer.
When it comes to management, A2 Hosting uses a combination of a simplistic WHMCS panel and a cPanel. Now talking about the account management panel, it has a standard layout but might seem outdated for some users. However, it is mainly used for billing and accessing the cPanel, so you won’t spend too much time there.
As for the cPanel – it’s very straightforward and user-friendly. It has all the standard features like domain names, files, databases, and security tools. More so, you can easily track your resource usage here too.
This is what cPanel looks like:
More so, you can easily track your resource usage here too. Most importantly, this is where you’ll find the Softaculous 1-click app installer, which will be needed to install WordPress or any other CMS of your liking.
Now talking about HostGator, in terms of ease of use, it is very straightforward. The provider comes with a clean and functional native user interface as well as a cPanel integration for more advanced settings.
The native user interface is used for both billing and site management, as it contains all the key shortcuts to the cPanel. These include domain, SSL, and email management, as well as a 1-click WordPress installation. Simply put, you can set up your website without even leaving this interface. However, if you wish to manage all aspects of your site, the cPanel is also there to assist.
The cPanel enables you to add/remove domain names, activate the SSL, install any content management system (CMS) via Softaculous app installer, manage website backups, restore data, and access the file manager. Further, you can monitor resource usage and optimize the disk space.
As for the design, HostGator’s cPanel comes with a custom skin that makes it look more stylish and modern than A2 Hosting's cPanel interface.
In the end, both web hosting providers are quite easy to use and come with cPanel integrations. Yet, HostGator is leading with its intuitive design and a slightly more user-friendly panel.
A2 Hosting vs HostGator performance
HostGator and A2 Hosting are not much different from each other when it comes to performance. Both of them provide an impressive 99.99% uptime, however, HostGator overall is a more responsive and faster option
Uptime and response time
The first test aims to evaluate how reliable both hosts are in terms of uptime. The pair have been examined for around 2 months’ time, and throughout the period proved to be very reliable, with HostGator taking a slight top.
In 2 months, A2 Hosting had 4 outages, which equaled 7 minutes of downtime. This still has led to a very impressive 99.99% uptime.
Considering that the host only gives a standard uptime guarantee of 99.9%, I consider this a big win.
Looking at the response times, A2 Hosting has an average of 597ms. While this is nothing to be worried about, the time is a little close to the market’s average of 600ms.
Moving to HostGator, in a little over 2 months, the host experienced only 3 outages, which lead to 5 minutes of downtime in total. This has led to a near-perfect >99.99% uptime.
The uptime results become even more appreciated when knowing that the official uptime guarantee promises 99.9%.
Now focusing on the response times, HostGator showed an average time of 525ms. Similar to A2 Hosting, HostGator is a little close to the market’s average of 600ms. Yet, it did prove to be slightly speedier than the former.
All things considered, both providers demonstrated very reliable uptime results. However, HostGator took the lead with its slightly better uptime and little faster response time.
The second test aims to compare how fast each provider is in terms of website loading speed. And it seems that HostGator takes the crown yet again.
To effectively compare the two, here are the main measures I took into consideration:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) - is the time it takes for the largest element on the site. Since Google takes this measure into consideration when ranking sites on the search result page, aim for a time that's under 2.5 seconds.
- Fully loaded time - this notes the time in which the site and all elements on it got fully loaded. For the best user experience, aim for a time under 3 seconds.
To guarantee equal testing conditions, both hosts have been hosted in and tested from the US.
Looking at A2 Hosting, the provider showed a very speedy LCP of 1.3s, which leaves a lot of wiggle space until you hit the undesired 2.5s.
As for the fully loaded time, it was right behind - at just 1.4s. Not even half of the recommended max of 3 seconds.
One thing to note, for faster page load, pick the server closest to your audience. In addition to the US, A2 Hosting also offers data centers in Asia and Europe.
If you now shift your focus to HostGator, it demonstrated an LCP of 1.1s, which is not even half of the unwanted 2.5s.
The fully loaded time was a close follow, being at 1.2s. Very fast indeed.
However, when it comes to server locations, HostGator has its data centers in the US alone. However, if you use CloudFare CDN (content delivery network), you cache your site on a global network of servers.
In short, when talking about load times, both providers went hand in hand, yet HostGator managed to come out just a bit on top.
All things considered, both providers are very reliable in terms of uptime. However, HostGator proved to be slightly speedier out of the two, by showing better uptime and faster load times.
When it comes to security, A2 Hosting takes the lead and comes with a very well-rounded set of security tools. At the same time, HostGator’s offerings are on a more basic side.
Here are the tools both hosts include even in their entry-level plans:
- Free SSL certificates,
- Server-level firewalls,
- 2-factor authentication.
While this is everything you can get with HostGator for free, A2 Hosting goes a mile further and throws in a few more security tools, free of charge.
- A2 Hosting offers an advanced Let's Encrypt SSL certificate for free with all its plans, whereas HostGator charges an extra $39.99/year for this.
- All A2 Hosting plans (except Startup) come with automatic daily backups. To get automated backups with HostGator you’ll have to spend an additional $23.95/year.
- A2 Hosting includes DDoS protection, brute force defense, virus scanning, auto-heal, and Patchman security tool. To get a remotely similar offering with HostGator will cost you an extra $1.99/mo for the first year and will come back to a regular price of $5.99/mo.
In sum, A2 Hosting takes the crown in terms of security. The provider comes with a very well-rounded set of both basic and advanced security features, which makes it one of the most secure web hosting solutions.
In terms of customer support, both A2 Hosting and HostGator offer help via 24/7 live chat and phone. Additionally, A2 Hosting also offers help via the ticketing system. Regardless, each host has an extensive knowledge base too.
Whenever I test the quality of the hosting provider’s customer support team, I prefer to use the live chat option, as that is the fastest way.
Talking about A2 Hosting, I got connected to an agent almost right away. The agent was very fast and knowledgeable in helping me with my issues. In 5 minutes, the problem was solved and I was on my merry way. However, A2 Hosting’s preferred support channel is ticketing, which means that your queries might be redirected to the ticketing system. And that will take longer.
As for HostGator, the situation was pretty similar. The connection took seconds, and the agent was very friendly and quick on his feet. I have fired loads of questions and, in no more than 10 minutes, I had all the answers back.
However, keep in mind that with live chat the human factor has a big impact on the quality of support. This meanest that your experience will vary greatly depending on the agent you’ll get connected to.
If communication with a living person is not preferred, both providers also have very extensive and informative knowledge bases. Here you can find anything from setup to more advanced issues.
As a whole, HostGator and A2 Hosting both might have their pros and cons in terms of support. However, since A2 Hosting prefers ticketing over live chat support, HostGator proves to be just a tad quicker to help.
A2 Hosting vs HostGator: final recommendations
All things considered, both HostGator and A2 Hosting are very simplistic and affordable hosting solutions. At the same time, A2 Hosting is exceptional, when it comes to security, while HostGator is slightly more beginner-friendly and quicker to help.
|Price||HostGator is more affordable than A2 Hosting, with hosting plans starting from $2.75/mo, while A2 Hosting’s plans start at $2.99/mo.|
|Ease of use||HostGator provides a straightforward user interface and control panel, while A2 Hosting comes with a mix of standard WHMCS +cPanel.|
|Performance||HostGator was both more reliable and significantly faster than A2 Hosting. The former’s uptime and site’s load time were>99.99% and 1.2s, compared to A2 Hosting’s 99.99% and 1.4s.|
|Security||While HostGator provides reliable standard security features like free SSL and firewall, A2 Hosting is way ahead with a dual firewall, advanced SSL certificate, automatic backups, and more.|
|Customer support||A2 Hosting offers excellent phone and live chat support, but HostGator is much more efficient and fast while providing the same features.|
In the A2 Hosting vs HostGator debate, HostGator emerges as the clear winner. HostGator hits it out of the park by offering you affordable and resource-rich plans, user-friendly controls, and efficient customer support.
However, this does not mean that A2 Hosting is not a suitable candidate. If you’re seeking a really secure hosting solution, A2 Hosting is a highly suitable candidate.
Alternatives to A2 Hosting and HostGator
While A2 Hosting and HostGator are both excellent options, they might not suit your personal needs. If that’s the case, there is an abundance of good hosting solutions out there, with Hostinger and Bluehost being some of the most preferred ones.
Hostinger is famous for its cheap shared web hosting plans starting at $2.59/mo. Even though the price is very affordable, the host is full-equipped in terms of speed-enhancing features like LiteSpeed Web server, numerous data center locations, and built-in caching.
More so, the host boasts efficient customer support and a user-friendly interface.
Bluehost is another highly affordable and beginner-friendly hosting service, with prices starting at $2.95/month. The provider also comes with all the essential features like a free domain and an SSL certificate, to start a site fast.
More so, Bluehost values ease of use and come with a well-organized native user interface +user favored cPanel.
Other A2 Hosting comparisons you might like to check out
Other HostGator comparisons you’d like to read
- Bluehost vs HostGator
- HostGator vs GoDaddy
- SiteGround vs HostGator
- Namecheap vs HostGator
- Hostinger vs HostGator
- DreamHost vs HostGator
- Wix vs HostGator
- HostGator vs InMotion Hosting
A2 Hosting vs HostGator FAQs
Is HostGator better than A2 Hosting?
Yes, HostGator is better than A2 Hosting due to its slightly more affordable prices, good performance, and ease of use. Although A2 Hosting offers a better security package.
Which one is more affordable: HostGator or A2 Hosting?
HostGator offers more affordable shared hosting plans starting at $2.75/mo, whereas A2 Hosting pricing starts at $2.99/mo.
HostGator vs A2 Hosting for WordPress hosting – which is better?
HostGator is more convenient for WordPress, as it offers you a 1-click WordPress installation. You can also set up templates and plugins easily.
Do both HostGator and A2 Hosting offer money-back guarantees?
Yes, HostGator and A2 Hosting both come with money-back guarantees. A2 Hosting gives you an anytime money-back guarantee, whereas HostGator has a 45-day money-back policy.
Is HostGator faster than A2 Hosting?
Yes, HostGator is the faster option, with a speedier fully loaded time and LCP than A2 Hosting.
Do I get a free domain with both HostGator and A2 Hosting?
No, you won't get free domains if you choose A2 Hosting, while HostGator includes a free domain with all its shared hosting plans.