The Truth About A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting Facts, Host Profile & Hosting Reviews

Facts - A2 Hosting

By Mark Shroyer

We researched over 200 web hosts and narrowed it down to the best Web hosts called the "Web Host 'Straight A' HOT List." To qualify for this list we required each web host have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) at the time of our review. BBB ratings indicate how well companies have satisfied their customers and resolved complaints. The BBB rated A2Hosting with an A-.

But we did further research.

Next, we emailed A2 Hosting twice with 40+ tough questions about their shared Web hosting. We wanted to check out their response time and the depth of their answers. Both times were during "off" hours. (i.e., First set of questions were emailed on a week night somewhere between 7 PM to midnight. The other set were emailed on a weekend.)

It took A2 Hosting 3 hours and 21 minutes to answer our first set of questions and 25 hours to answer our second set. 24 hours or less for a response is considered quick by industry standards. A2Hosting easily made the cut with their first response. We received their second response one hour past our 24 hour deadline. Frankly, we almost disqualified them for that. But oversights and mistakes do happen. Since they responded so quickly the first time they made the cut.

Here are the answers to our questions straight from A2 Hosting themselves:

  1. Question: How long have you been in business?

    Answer:
    2005

  2. Question: What are all the different ways I can contact technical support?

    Answer: Phone, live chat & email based ticket system

  3. Question: Do you offer a simple user-friendly Web site builder for beginners to make creating web pages quicker and easier? (i.e., WYSIWYG online HTML Editor or something similar?)

    Answer: Yes - we do offer a Web site builder called A2SiteBuilder, and we also offer a WYSIWYG HTML Editor.

  4. Question: On average how long should I expect to wait before I get a reply back from technical support on an urgent high priority request?

    Answer: 12 hours or less.

  5. Question: Will I share an IP number or will I have my own?

    Answer: A shared IP comes on shared plans by default. You can get a dedicated IP for $3/mo. VPS packages and Dedicated servers include dedicated IP's.

  6. Question: How many sites do you normally put on one shared server?

    Answer: This varies by server and package you choose as to how many sites run on a server; as well as by the capabilities of the server.

    (Note: In our research we found at least 201 web sites sharing a server.)

  7. Question: How do you decide what constitutes a full server?

    Answer: We monitor load averages and other statistics closely to determine this.

  8. Question: Will I be contacted in advance about routine maintenance?

    Answer: Yes

  9. Question: What is your bandwidth, transfer, file or hit limit?

    Answer: Bandwidth/transfer/disk is unlimited on Executive shared hosting. However, inodes are limited to 300K and all files must be related to the site.

    (Tip: Every time you create and upload a file to a server, an inode is created. Inodes are the count of the files on your web hosting account.)

  10. Question: Can I have telnet access?

    Answer: We have SSH access on all our plans. We do not offer telnet since it is insecure.

  11. Question: Is a CGI directory included?

    Answer: Yes

  12. Question: Can I run CGI scripts outside of the CGI directory?

    Answer: No, they need to be in CGI directory.

  13. Question: Is there a limit to how many scripts I can install?

    Answer: No, as long as you are not using excessive resources compared to other users, you will be ok.

  14. Question: Do you provide full shell access?

    Answer: Yes

  15. Question: What version of Perl do you use? Does it contain a full set of modules?

    Answer: Perl 5 (multiple versions). We can install modules that you need, but most are included.

  16. Question: Do you offer a Web statistics package?

    Answer: Yes, they are included.

  17. Question: Will I have access to the raw statistical log files?

    Answer: Yes, you can activate this.

  18. Question: Does the space used by my logs count against my allotted disk space?

    Answer: This would only be a factor of Startup Hosting (our cheapest package).

  19. Question: How much space am I alotted for databases such as MySQL?

    Answer: Unlimited

  20. Question: Do you offer Frontpage extensions?

    Answer: No

  21. Question: Do you offer Secure Socket Layer?

    Answer: Yes

  22. Question: How many email accounts, forwards, and email aliases can I have?

    Answer: Unlimited

  23. Question: Is sending to opt-in email lists allowed? (i.e., e-newsletters, autoresponders, etc.)

    Answer: Yes

  24. Question: How many emails can I send out per hour and day?

    Answer: 500 per hour on shared hosting.

  25. Question: Is your package upgradable and what should I expect if I ever need to upgrade to a larger package?

    Answer: From shared hosting, one can upgrade to a VPS and then to a Dedicated server as needed.

  26. Question: Do you have a money-back guarantee?

    Answer: Yes. You must contact them within 30 days from effective date of the particular services you wish to cancel. Only monthly fees are refundable as long as isn't paid by check or money order.

  27. Question: What are your billing and cancellation policies?

    Answer: Must use the online cancellation form.

  28. Question: What is your acceptable usage policy in a nutshell?

    Answer: We do not allow adult sites. Our network must be used for lawful purposes only and not endanger our network. You must email to 500 recipients or less and any complaints received will be considered spam.

    (Note: See their Web site for the rest of their policies.)

  29. Question: Are there any penalties or fees for exceeding basic allocations and what should I expect if it accidentally happens? (i.e., Going over my bandwidth, etc.?)

    Answer: Generally we do not have such fees.

  30. Question: Can I set up a free trial period?

    Answer: We have a 30 day moneyback policy.

  31. Question: How soon can I expect to obtain access to my Web site after I submit my order?

    Answer: Normally within 20 minutes

  32. Question: Do you impose file size upload limits and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: Yes we have a 32 MB limit on file size for PHP uploads

  33. Question: Do you impose any limits to how many files can be stored in a single sub-directory and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: No, but many FTP clients will not view more than 2000 files in a directory. We do have an overall 300,000 file size limit on our shared plans.

  34. Question: Do you impose a size-load limit that a directory can have and, if so, what is it? (i.e., 100 MB worth of files per directory)

    Answer: No

  35. Question: Do you have any CPU, RAM, or Inode limits that I need to know about and stay under and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: We do have a 300,000 inode limit. We do not have hard caps on CPU or RAM but, on our shared hosting, your account is compared to others on the server, and if it is using significantly more resources than any others on the server, an upgrade to VPS or dedicated is required.

  36. Question: Is there a limit to how many simultaneous HTTP connections there can be and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: Yes, we have a limit of 35 simultaneous HTTP connections on shared hosting.

  37. Question: Is there a limit to how many simultaneous PHP connections there can be and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: No limit

  38. Question: Is there a limit to how many simultaneous database connections there can be (i.e., MySQL, etc.) and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: No

  39. Question: Is there a limit to how many simultaneous FTP connections there can be and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: No

  40. Question: Do you offer IMAP and, if so, is there any limits to how many IMAP connections I can have and what are they?

    Answer: Yes, we offer IMAP, and there are no limits on IMAP connections.

  41. Question: What should I typically expect to happen if any of the limits above accidentally went over their limit? (i.e., Would my visitors see a message saying "account temporarily suspended" or what should I expect? Please elaborate.)

    Answer: If your site is causing the server to crash or have a very high load, our system administrators would need to suspend some or all services and we would contact you immediately so you can resolve the issue or upgrade.

  42. Question: Do you offer ffmpeg for video conversion and video sharing? If so, are there any limitations and what are they?

    Answer: No, we do not offer this on our shared accounts.

  43. Question: Do you host adult content or web sites?

    Answer: No we don't

  44. Question: How can I ensure your network and my (shared) IP address you give me won't get blocked or blacklisted as spam by ISP companies when I send and receive emalis through your server?

    Answer: We do not allow spam to be sent from our servers, and if someone does send spam, their account is suspended and we work to get removed from any blacklist. If you sign up for a dedicated IP, you can also avoid this issue from ever occurring.

  45. Question: Do you automatically make back up copies of all my files and, if so, how often, and is there any limits?

    Answer: Yes, we make daily backups of all files, and they are saved going back daily for the past week and then weekly for the past month. They are accessible through the control panel.

  46. Question: What is the typical procedure you recommend that I take (other than companies like PayPal) if I want to accept credit cards from my web site, and what do I need to know to make it happen and how much extra will it all cost?

    Answer: You can use a merchant account such as Authorize.net, go through our own A2Hosting merchant account, or you can sign up for an SSL certificate through us and accept payment information directly on your site.

  47. Question: How long will you give me to retrieve all my files if, for any reason, either one of us decides to terminate our service with each other?

    Answer: If we were forced to terminate services due to a terms of service violation, we would provide the files for download for up to 24 hours. If you decide to cancel, you can choose to cancel immediately or at the end of your billing cycle.

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