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A2 Hosting vs Bluehost: what’s the difference?


In this A2 Hosting vs Bluehost comparison, I’ll examine how these 2 providers stack up against each other in terms of pricing, ease of use, performance, and more.

Are you looking for a reliable web hosting service that has been around for a while and knows the ins and outs of the hosting industry? Both providers are massive names in the industry and have around 20 years of experience under their belts. However, they are not quite the same.

For starters, A2 Hosting mainly focuses on speed and claims that it offers “blazing fast hosting”. Meanwhile, Bluehost prides itself on offering beginner-friendly hosting solutions, with a high emphasis on WordPress hosting.

While this gives a bit of an insight into what you can expect from each host, this is only scratching the surface.

So to find out the good, the bad, and the dirty, I tested both providers in terms of pricing, ease of use, performance, security, and support to present you an in-depth Bluehost vs A2 Hosting comparison. Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

A2 Hosting vs Bluehost: general info

Both hosts offer numerous fairly-priced solutions for beginners as well as advanced users. While A2 Hosting is a highly performance-oriented hosting provider, Bluehost mainly focuses on WordPress and business-related features.

Here is a quick overview of how both providers stack up against each other. Now, if you wish to see the final verdict, feel free to jump to the final recommendations at the end.

BluehostA2 Hosting
Rating
4.5
4.1
Price fromFrom $2.95/monthFrom $2.99/month
Free domainYesNo
Payment typesCredit card and PayPalCredit/Debit card, PayPal, Skrill, bank wire transfer, and check or money order
Hosting typesShared, WordPress, WooCommerce, VPS, and dedicated hostingShared, managed WordPress, VPS, reseller, and dedicated hosting
Control panelModern native dashboard with the classic cPanel integrationcPanel-based hosting management
Average speed361ms597ms
Monitored uptime99.99%99.99%
Uptime guaranteeNone99.9%
Server locationsThe USAMichigan (US), Arizona (US), Amsterdam (Netherlands), and Singapore (Singapore)
SecurityFree SSL, 24/7 server monitoring, and Cloudflare DDoS protectionFree SSL, DDoS protection, server-level firewall, 24/7 server monitoring, server hardening, virus scanning, brute force defense, and 2-factor-authentication
Support24/7 live chat, ticketing, and phone24/7 live chat, ticketing, and phone
Website migrationFree automated WordPress migration or paid ($149.99) professional site transfer Free site migration
ExtrasStaging, emails, website builder, Cloudflare CDN (content delivery network)Staging and email accounts
Money-back guarantee30 daysAny-time
Websitewww.bluehost.comwww.a2hosting.com

A2 Hosting vs Bluehost: pricing comparison

In the battle of prices, Bluehost is the slightly cheaper option. A2 Hosting’s shared hosting plans range from $2.99/month to $12.99/month. Meanwhile, Bluehost’s marginally more affordable shared packages start from $2.95/month and go up to $13.95/month.

In addition to shared hosting, both providers also offer:

  • Managed WordPress (A2 Hosting - $12.99/mo vs Bluehost - $9.95/mo)
  • VPS (A2 Hosting - $4.99/mo vs Bluehost - $18.99/mo)
  • Dedicated server (A2 Hosting - $129.99/mo vs Bluehost - $79.99/mo)

Additionally, A2 Hosting offers reseller hosting from $18.99/mo, while Bluehost offers WooCommerce hosting from $15.95/mo. In any case, shared hosting remains the most popular product for both companies and also the focus of this Bluehost vs A2 Hosting comparison.

One thing to note, A2 Hosting doesn’t include a free domain in any plans, shared hosting included. So, you’ll need to buy one directly from the host for $14.95/yr or from domain registrars like Namecheap.com or Name.com for at least $7.98/yr. Meanwhile, Bluehost includes a free domain with all of its plans.

Talking about A2 Hosting and Bluehost’s cheapest shared hosting plans, both providers let you host 1 website and come with a free SSL certificate.

At the same time, there are some differences:

  • A2 Hosting Startup ($2.99/month) includes 100GB disk space and unlimited email accounts. More so, you get DDoS protection, server-level firewall, server hardening, virus scanning, and brute force defense.
  • Bluehost Basic ($2.95/month) offers 50GB storage space, unmetered bandwidth, a free domain, and Cloudflare DDoS protection.

Clearly, A2 Hosting’s cheapest plan is twice as generous with its 100GB disk space and security features. Although, if you’re just hosting 1 website, even Bluehost’s 50GB is more than enough. More so, you get a free domain too.

While the cheapest plans look tempting, the providers have more options than that. So, which one should you choose?


A2 Hosting has 4 shared hosting plans, with prices ranging from $2.99/month to $12.99/month.

If you’re looking for a plan that both packs good resources and comes with improved speed, check out Turbo Boost. For $6.99/mo, you get to host unlimited websites on a speed-oriented Turbo server. More so, essential features like unlimited NVMe storage and LiteSpeed web server are also included.

Best Value

To get the best deal, opt for Turbo Boost, with a 3-year subscription, and check off its paid add-ons as well as a domain. That totals $251.64 upfront for 3 years, and the renewal price will round up to $755.64 for the next billing cycle.

Meanwhile, Bluehost has 4 shared hosting plans, priced from $2.95/month to $13.95/month.

If you’re looking to run a single website, the Basic plan just might cut it for you. However, if the entry plan is too limiting, the next best choice is Plus. While Bluehost recommends Choice Plus as the best option, Plus offers the same unlimited websites and storage, while the renewal rates are much lower.

Best Value

To secure the best deal for the Plus plan, pick the 3-year subscription. The initial payment will cost $178.20 and it’ll renew for $431.64.


One thing to note is that while Bluehost offers a standard 30-day money-back guarantee, A2 Hosting goes above and beyond that. On top of its 30 full refund policy, A2 Hosting also includes an any-time money-back guarantee for unused services.

All things considered, Bluehost is the cheaper option. While the differences might not seem like much at first, they do add up, especially with the long billing cycles and increased renewal rates. Plus, Bluehost already comes with a free domain.

Hosting management: ease of use

Both A2 Hosting and Bluehost are very easy to use, with Bluehost taking the lead. A2 Hosting offers a simplistic account management panel and a cPanel. Meanwhile, Bluehost has its own custom user-friendly control panel as well as an integrated cPanel for more advanced tasks.

Now while both providers come with functional and easy-to-use panels, they did take slightly different approaches to website management. So to see what differs, I’ll talk about each host individually.

With A2 Hosting, things are old-school but simple. For starters, its account management panel is quite outdated with a simple layout. To me, it’s slightly bland and lacks the sleekness of a modern interface. But, the good news is that you really only need it for billing and accessing cPanel.

Speaking of cPanel, A2 Hosting uses the standard cPanel and it's the main panel for your site’s management. So, if you’re already acquainted with the popular panel, it’s a familiar sight.

When it comes to looks, A2 does not use any custom skin or branding on its cPanel. However, the design has no impact on the panel's functionality. It’s still very organized and intuitive for both seasoned webmasters and beginners alike.

This is what cPanel looks like:

a2 hosting cpanel

This is where you’ll find key functionalities and vital tools all within reach. It includes things like domain, email, file, and database management, app installations, metrics, and essentially everything you need for website management.

As for Bluehost, the provider is double-barreled – it has its own custom control panel as well as cPanel for more advanced settings.

The native Bluehost panel can be used as a stand-alone interface for website management. Here, you’ll find helpful things like a checklist on how to create a WordPress site as well as all the main elements such as domains, email accounts, SSL certificate settings, and plugins.

This is what Bluehost’s native interface looks like:

Bluehost main website management dashboard

As you can see, it’s fresh, clean, and organized. Everything is also clearly labeled and easily accessed with all your day-to-day website management tasks on the left.

Now, for more advanced features like file and database management, security configurations, or content management system installations, Bluehost offers cPanel. To locate the cPanel, simply click the Advanced option on the left side menu.

If we were to compare A2 Hosting vs Bluehost cPanel looks-wise, Bluehost’s cPanel looks like a part of its native management panel, rather than a separate panel. You’ll see that the provider has even added its own skin for seamless integration.

Both A2 Hosting and Bluehost are very easy to use. However, Bluehost comes out ahead thanks to its more functional and intuitive custom control panel that includes all the necessary site management features like domains, SSL, emails, and many more.

A2 Hosting vs Bluehost performance

When it comes to A2 Hosting vs Bluehost performance, the providers go head to head with 99.99% uptime for reliability. But, for everything else, it’s a close match with good results from both providers. A2 Hosting is the overall faster option but Bluehost’s server is more responsive.

Uptime and response time

In around 2 months' time, both A2 Hosting and Bluehost maintained a very reliable uptime of 99.99%. However, talking about the average response time, A2 Hosting fell behind Bluehost.

Let’s start with A2 Hosting. The provider’s 99.99% uptime was praise-worthy as it worked out to just 4 short outages totaling 7 minutes of downtime. That’s very close to 100%, and exceeded its SLA’s 99.9% uptime guarantee.

A2 hosting response time

As for response times, A2 Hosting was mediocre, averaging at 597ms. That’s extremely close to the market average of 600ms. But, to give it credit where it’s due, its response times were very consistent and stable.

Bluehost, too, did very well for reliability with a 99.99% uptime for over 2 months. There were 6 outages but they only totaled up to 11m, which is very good.

My only worry with Bluehost is that it doesn’t have an uptime guarantee in its SLA. So, you’ll not be compensated in the event that your site goes down for an extended period.

Bluehost responce time

Moving on to the response times, Bluehost did much better than A2 Hosting, with a 361ms average response time. Sure, there were some inconsistencies but nothing too concerning.

Overall, both providers excel in terms of reliability, but Bluehost has the better response times.

Website speed

I also created Bluehost vs A2 Hosting WordPress hosting sites to run simple page loading speed tests. A2 Hosting triumphed with better Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and fully loaded time.

For the A2 Hosting vs Bluehost speed test battle, I’m checking:

  • LCP – better results help to boost search engine ranking. 2.5s is the maximum norm that Google sets.
  • Fully loaded time – it shouldn’t be higher than 3s for the best user experience and relatively low bounce rates.

A2 Hosting excelled in both regards. Its LCP was just 1.3s and its fully loaded time was 1.4s.

a2 hosting lcp fully built website

Here, I’m testing my US-hosted site from the US. However, it also has servers in Europe and Asia too. So, your target audience – wherever they’re at – should see similarly good results if you pick the server closest to them.

Compared to A2, Bluehost had a slightly slower LCP of 1.8s. This also happens to be its Fully Loaded time too. That said, the provider is still very much faster than both 2.5s and 3s benchmarks.

Bluehost fully built WordPress site load speed test

But, Bluehost only has servers in the US. So, if your target audience is abroad, there’s no option to pick the server closest to the audience for faster speeds.

In brief, both providers passed muster with above-average LCP and fully loaded time, but A2 Hosting takes the cake by simply being faster.

Ultimately, both A2 Hosting and Bluehost are equally reliable with close to perfect uptime. But, A2 Hosting is the faster of the two candidates.

Website security

When it comes to security, A2 Hosting is more generous with its protection. Meanwhile, Bluehost covers the basics and has lots of advanced options but charges for them.

Both A2 Hosting and Bluehost come with:

  • SSL certificates via Let’s Encrypt in all hosting plans with advanced options available for purchase;
  • 24/7 server monitoring;
  • DDoS protection (A2 Hosting has built-in DDoS protection, while you can set up one for Bluehost by using Cloudflare).

And, this is how they’re different from each other:

  • A2 Hosting includes daily automatic backups with its Drive plans and above. Meanwhile, Bluehost’s backups are free with Choice Plus and up. Otherwise, it costs $2.99/mo via a third-party tool.
  • A2 Hosting offersPerpetual Security, Patchman Enhanced Security tool, and 24/7 network monitoring for all of its plans.
  • Bluehost offers SiteLock as a paid add-on for $5.99/mo.

For A2 Hosting vs Bluehost security edition, there’s one clear winner. While Bluehost does offer free SSL and server monitoring, A2 Hosting comes with a more comprehensive security package.

Customer support

You can reach A2 Hosting and Bluehost customer support team via 24/7 live chat, phone, emails, and ticketing system. Additionally, the duo also has knowledge bases.

A2 Hosting’s main support channel is the ticketing system. Hence, more often than not, you’ll find your phone and live chat inquiries are redirected to that channel – especially if you have a technical question. So, do expect a little bit of a wait. Generally, though, questions and issues are solved fairly efficiently.

If you aren’t one for waiting, A2 Hosting also has an extensive knowledge base. They cover everything from setups to common problems and more.

Now talking about Bluehost, the provider mainly focuses on live chat support. And generally speaking, the wait times are minimal, the agents are very friendly and eager to help. However, as always, this could be a hit or miss depending on the individual agent’s knowledge.

Beyond that, Bluehost’s knowledge base is wide-ranging – covering both basic and advanced topics. That said, a number of its articles and guides could use an update.

Overall, neither of them is flawless when it comes to support. But, I’d say that Bluehost has the lead as it has more support channels and a shorter waiting time.

A2 Hosting vs Bluehost: final recommendations

There’s no clear winner in the A2 Hosting vs Bluehost battle. Bluehost is slightly cheaper and very beginner-friendly. Meanwhile, A2 Hosting is a little faster and comes with comprehensive security measures.

FeatureBluehostA2 HostingVerdict
Price
Bluehost is slightly cheaper with its prices starting from just $2.95/month. Plus, each plan comes with a free domain, which is sorely lacking in A2 Hosting’s plans.
Ease of use
Both services are very easy to use. But, A2 Hosting’s interfaces are more outdated and crude, while Bluehost’s panels are more modern and user-friendly.
Performance
The two performed well and are extremely reliable with 99.99% uptime. But, A2 Hosting loads faster than Bluehost.
Security
A2 Hosting has more security features included by default, even some of advanced ones too. Bluehost covers the essentials as well, but more advanced tools are paid.
Support
A2 Hosting has fewer support channels than Bluehost and most inquiries are redirected to tickets. Meanwhile, Bluehost has a shorter waiting time.

All things considered, Bluehost comes out on top. It’s cheaper, more beginner-friendly, and quite similarly fast as A2 Hosting. It’s a top-notch option for small to mid-sized websites.

However, if you’re looking for a fast and secure web hosting solution for a small business site, A2 Hosting is a very good candidate.

Alternatives to A2 Hosting and Bluehost

Both A2 Hosting and Bluehost are solid providers with proven track records. But, if they aren’t to your liking or simply not a good fit for your current project, there are other equally attractive options in the market. Here are 2 of them: Hostinger and HostGator.

Hostinger

If you’re on a budget, there’s no better alternative than Hostinger. The provider’s plans start from just $2.59/month. But, despite its dirt-cheap pricing, Hostinger doesn’t compromise on quality.

The provider is every bit as performance-focused as A2 Hosting with plenty of optimizations like LiteSpeed web servers and 7 data centers around the world. Plus, Hostinger puts user-friendliness at the forefront with its intuitive custom hPanel and helpful support team.

HostGator

HostGator is an ideal fit for those looking for generous resources for affordable prices. For just $2.75/month, you get unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts. Additionally, the provider also includes a website builder, Gator, in all its plans for an easy way to get a website up ASAP.

More so, on top of generous server resources, HostGator also comes with an easy-to-use cPanel and speedy customer support.


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