A2 Hosting vs SiteGround: which shared hosting provider is better?
In this A2 Hosting vs SiteGround comparison, I’ll check how these 2 major web hosting companies fare in terms of pricing, value, ease of use, performance, security, and customer service.
There’s shared hosting, and then there’s premium shared hosting. Both A2 Hosting and SiteGround fall under the second category.
But they are hugely different. And in this comparison, I’ll show you exactly how.
Without any further ado, let’s see which of the providers would do a better job hosting your sites.
A2 Hosting vs SiteGround: a quick comparison
A2 Hosting is a pretty standard web hosting provider that uses cPanel, but its Turbo servers plans are the main attraction for speed optimization they offer. Meanwhile, SiteGround’s all focus is on WordPress and in-house tools to make it better – more secure, and speedier.
So let’s do a quick overview of the main features. Or, if you’re in a rush, simply skip to the conclusion to get more detailed insights.
|Pricing||From $3.99/mo||From $2.99/mo|
|Ease of Use||Custom Site Tools control panel||cPanel-based hosting management|
|Performance||99.99% uptime and 217ms response time||99.99% uptime and 597ms response time|
|Security||SSLs, server monitoring, WAF, anti-bot system, automatic backups||SSLs, server monitoring, patching, DDoS protection|
|Support||24/7 live chat, tickets, and phone||24/7 live chat, tickets, and phone|
A2 Hosting is cheaper than SiteGround, with a starting price of $2.99/mo. Meanwhile, SiteGround prices start at $3.99/mo. However, you’ll get more value by choosing mid-range and high-end hosting plans with both providers.
While A2 Hosting also has multiple other options – cheap VPS (from $4.99/mo), dedicated (from $99.59/mo, and reseller ($18.99/mo), SiteGround’s scalability is covered only by Cloud hosting (from $80/mo).
At the same time, the main product of both providers is shared hosting. So let’s focus on that today.
No matter which of the plans you choose, both providers will give you an SSL certificate, yet domains are not included. Here’s how the cheapest ones compare:
- A2 Hosting’s Startup ($2.99/mo) – 1 website, 100GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited email accounts
- SiteGround’s StartUp ($3.99/mo) – 1 website, 10GB SSD storage, 10k monthly visits, unlimited email accounts, automatic backups, CDN, and caching
So while A2 Hosting is a tiny bit cheaper and includes much more storage space, SiteGround comes with plenty of additional features that would cost a lot separately.
But one website limit is usually not enough for many. So which of the plans of each provider hide the best value?
A2 Hosting has 4 plans in total ranging from $2.99 to $12.99 per month.
My recommendation is to skip the first 2 plans altogether. All of the attractive premium features with A2 Hosting are with the Turbo-labeled more expensive plans – Turbo Boost and Turbo Max. The most eye-catching features are the faster NVMe storage on AMD Epyc servers and LiteSpeed web server optimizations.
Meanwhile, the initial 2 plans are neither very affordable nor have some special attractive features to be worth the price. If you’re looking for cheaper high-quality hosting, look at options such as Hostinger or HostGator.
Now, to get the most bang for your buck, get the Turbo Boost plan. It’s $6.99/mo (just a $1 extra to the Drive) and includes powerful servers with software optimizations for business websites that need to beat all of their competitors
On the other side of the equation, SiteGround has 3 plans ranging from $3.99 to $10.69 a month.
While even the first plan is quite attractive, the 1 site limit and lack of staging make it a no-go option for me. It would be better to look at GrowBig for small business websites or GoGeek, which is good for growing businesses and even agencies.
By doing so, you’ll get all of the features that earned SiteGround its name – staging, UltrafastPHP, on-demand backups, and more.
Generally, I recommend starting with GrowBig. 20GB storage can host 2 large or 4 smaller sites – enough to get started. Meanwhile, the performance will definitely beat the competition
To sum it up real quick, both A2 Hosting and SiteGround “play” in the same price category. They are slightly more premium options that deliver quality hosting solutions to businesses.
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Hosting management: ease of use
The main difference between A2 Hosting and SiteGround is the hosting management. A2 Hosting takes a traditional approach and provides users with a standard cPanel. Meanwhile, SiteGround goes for a custom, more intuitive and modern solution built in-house – Site Tools.
With A2 Hosting, if you’ve ever used any hosting before, everything is as simple as it gets. You go to cPanel, where app installations (such as WordPress), domains, databases, and files are accessible from one familiar interface.
It takes almost no time to get used to, and everything’s reachable in just a couple of clicks. You can take a look at how easy it is to start a website in our full A2 Hosting review.
Meanwhile, SiteGround’s interface is more advanced. To begin with, you get the main user dashboard where both billing/account details and websites are managed – you can install WordPress here or delete any of the sites that you have.
It takes some time to get used to SiteGround, but everything’s generally intuitive – we talk more about that in our SiteGround review. Plus, you get explanations and guides for every tool built-in.
Briefly, A2 Hosting is a completely standard option, while the SiteGround control panel is made more functional. Depending on what you like, there’s hardly one winner here.
A2 Hosting vs SiteGround performance
When it comes to A2 Hosting vs SiteGround performance, both providers prove their reliability with 99.99% uptime results. At the same time, SiteGround comes out as an overall faster option, loading a website in less than a second.
Uptime and response time
A2 Hosting and SiteGround showed excellent 99.99% uptime results (both exceeding their 99.9% uptime guarantee), but SiteGround servers were much speedier.
A2 Hosting, over the period of 2 months, had 4 short outages, totaling in 7 minutes of downtime.
The response time was absolutely average at 597ms. As a reference, 600ms is considered to be the shared hosting industry average.
Meanwhile, SiteGround had 3 short outages and the same 7 minutes of total downtime in 2 months.
Its response time was much better, averaging at 217ms. That’s almost 400ms faster than A2 Hosting.
While these numbers are both very small and hard to imagine, I have an example. An eyeblink takes around 200ms. So SiteGround’s server reacts in one eyeblink, while you’d have time to blink 3 times till A2 Hosting responds.
Page loading speed
When it comes to real-life data, A2 Hosting was fast, yet slower than SiteGround, which stole the show with in all of our speed tests.
I’ve tested how fast A2 Hosting and SiteGround can load fully-built WordPress sites. The key metric here is the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – should be less than 2.5 seconds. It shows when the biggest piece of content on the website is loaded.
So looking at A2 Hosting results, it absolutely nailed the test. The LCP is just 1.3 seconds.
Also, take a look at the test server location. We are testing A2 Hosting from the United States as our website is hosted in the US data center. A2 Hosting has servers in North America, Europe, and Asia – this allows achieving good performance (such as above) for your target audience by picking the server closest to them.
Now, if A2 Hosting was impressive, SiteGround did even better. The LCP was just 872ms. That’s less than a second.
Again, the LCP was tested from the US, where our website is hosted. Yet, with SiteGround, you have servers in the US, Europe, Asia, and even Australia.
So long story short, both A2 Hosting and SiteGround are fast (across the globe), yet SiteGround really jumps to the win here by showing some premium business class results (and it's in our fastest web hosting list!).
Altogether, SiteGround has a faster server set up, which shows when comparing page loading time. Meanwhile, both providers are identically reliable.
The security department is covered equally well by both A2 Hosting and SiteGround. Providers include both essentials such as SSL certificates and more advanced tools to protect from web attacks.
The basic feature set of both is the same:
- Free SSL certificates
- Web application firewalls
- Automatic backups – in all SiteGround’s plans and starting with Drive on A2 Hosting
Now, A2 Hosting additionally includes software patching and DDoS protection through the Imunify360 app.
SiteGround comes in with some in-house tools – 24/7 proactive monitoring, AI protection against bots, and WordPress security plugin for common vulnerabilities.
In total, A2 Hosting and SiteGround both are secure web hosting companies and cover the most common vulnerabilities with their extensive security tools. A2 Hosting relies on 3rd party tools, while SiteGround develops the majority of the things in-house.
If you ever need assistance, you can contact A2 Hosting and SiteGround in the same ways: 24/7 live chat, ticket, and phone. However, the approaches in which these are dealt with are wildly different.
A2 Hosting has all 3 options available if you’re their client. However, it prefers you to use tickets. How’s that?
If you contact A2 Hosting support via live chat, there’s a big chance that a ticket will be created. Especially if it’s a technical task and not a simple question.
Meanwhile, SiteGround has a system of referring you to the correct “help” option. Before you choose one, you need to select the category of your problem and, then you’ll either get to create a ticket or choose to call/chat with some agents immediately. This is a streamlined and very quick process.
And in this case, my vote goes to SiteGround. Each time, you know what to expect, and the help arrives quickly.
Now, when it comes to the self-help section, there’s the option of preference.
- A2 Hosting has a standard knowledge base that I’d like to call “documentation.” It explains the products, how to set up certain things and solve common problems. Nothing you wouldn’t have seen in an instruction manual
- SiteGround’s approach is more modern and user centered. The knowledge base is written as a blog and updated regularly. It’s there, it’s helpful, and it does the job well
So the final verdict on support is based on my preference purely. And for me, I prefer the streamlined approach of SiteGround.
A2 Hosting vs SiteGround: final recommendation
To be completely honest with you, A2 Hosting vs SiteGround comparison is not a battle of 2 providers. They are both great. It’s the battle of 2 concepts of doing the same thing. A2 Hosting takes the safe and standard approach, while SiteGround goes for the modern and completely custom way of ‘doing’ hosting.
|Pricing||The entry-level pricing is cheaper with A2 Hosting by a whole dollar. But the value is with the premium options, where the difference equals out.|
|Interface||A2 Hosting uses the standard cPanel, while SiteGround implemented a custom Site Tools control panel.|
|Performance||In terms of reliability, A2 Hosting and SiteGround are the same. But speed-wise, SiteGorund is faster.|
|Security||Both providers cover the security department equally well, providing both basic and more advanced security tools.|
|Support||24/7 customer support is available via live chat, phone, and tickets with both SiteGround and A2 Hosting.|
So, what’s my final recommendation?
Based on the facts, SiteGround comes out on top – it offers more tools, better speed, and a more functional user interface. It’s an excellent hosting option for business websites working in competitive niches.
That being said, A2 Hosting is not worse at all. It’s just different. While SiteGround is a custom-made provider, A2 Hosting is more of a classic option. So the choice here is based on your preference.
Alternatives to A2 Hosting and SiteGround
If A2 and SiteGround didn’t catch your attention or you want to migrate to another hosting provider, there are a couple of other options to consider. For example, WP Engine is an entirely dedicated WordPress hosting service, while Hostinger provides quality hosting much cheaper.
WP Engine is a WordPress-only premium platform that aims to help businesses and agencies scale. Just like SiteGround, it’s a custom option with in-house built essential features and tools. The prices are not the lowest, starting at $22.50/mo, but quality and tools are worth it.
On the other end of the spectrum, Hostinger is one of the cheapest providers you can get, with prices starting at $1.39/mo. Yet, it focuses mostly on performance, providing A2-hosting level optimizations with LiteSpeed web servers and data centers in 7 locations worldwide.
A2 Hosting vs SiteGround FAQs
Should I choose A2 Hosting over SiteGround?
You should choose A2 Hosting over SiteGround if you’re looking for classic web hosting with cPanel. However, if your focus is speed and functionalities such as staging – stick with SiteGround.
Does A2 Hosting have a better refund policy than SiteGround?
A2 Hosting has a better refund policy as it refunds full price for 30 days after the purchase and gives you a refund for unused services any time you want to cancel. SiteGround refunds follow a standard 30-day money-back guarantee policy.
Is SiteGround better for WordPress than A2 Hosting?
Yes, SiteGround is better for WordPress as it focuses on it entirely. Meanwhile, A2 Hosting treats all content management systems equally.