A2 Hosting vs Bluehost : Find out which is a better host
A2 hosting is widely regarded as one of the top hosting providers for optimized web hosting packages that have the highest customizable features.
Bluehost on the other hand, is one of the top hosting companies with some awesome features that allow users to build any kind of standard web application on top of it.
Both of them provide cloud hosting for their users but A2hosting allow more customizability as compared to Bluehost. Bluehost, on the other hand, allows users to only select from a pre-configured cloud configuration on which they can deploy their web applications.
Apart from that, there is little you can do to modify the existing config and build custom applications. The plans are just like shared hosting plans along packed with some additional features that you can always find in packages from some other companies.
A2 hosting on the other hand, provides full flexibility to control your custom deployment and allows you to build any kind of application on top of its highly optimized cloud architecture.
There are a lot more differences between the companies and these differences set them apart. Let’s find out which one is the ideal solution for your requirements.
Also Read: A2 Hosting VPS Review
Plans and Pricing Comparison
Plans and pricing of the two companies vary quite a lot depending on the features you want. However, Bluehost and A2 Hosting plans often remain constant.
For shared hosting, A2 Hosting provides 3 unique plans depending on the amount of resourced required, while Bluehost also provides 3 variants. A2hosting has the cheapest prices but the plans also come with quite a lot of features when compared to its pricing. The lowest priced plan in Godaddy costs only $4.90 per month while Bluehost’s cheapest plan costs only $3.95. Here is a detailed survey into each of the plans provided by both the companies.
Also Read: Bluehost Cloud Sites review
- Starter: The starter plan is ideal for beginners as it provides all inbuilt features for quick website deployment without deep technical know-how. Users can host one website and use up to 100 GB of web space. Although the website can consume unlimited bandwidth, the server load must be below CPU throttling limits. Users also get one free domain name that they can keep until they are hosting with Bluehost. Along with that, users can have up to 5 parked domains, 25 subdomains, 100 email accounts with 500mb of storage in each account. The plan is costs only $3.49 per month.
- Plus: The plus plan is ideal for experienced website administrators or people who have already hosting and maintained websites before. It costs only $5.95 per month and offers unlimited resource usage for all parameters including the number of websites that can be hosted, bandwidth usage, server space, email accounts and storage per email accounts. The plan includes a free domain name and comes with marketing offers worth $200. Users can also deploy a global CDN and ne Spam Experts to further secure their websites against DDOS or penetration attacks.
- Business Pro: Priced at $13.95 per month, this is one of the most powerful shared hosting plans in the market. All resources allow unlimited usage and the plan comes with free add-ons worth $180 per year. It also has 2 Spam Experts with one dedicated IP and one domain privacy feature. The associated SSL certificate is ideal for ecommerce websites and other secure online transactions. You can also backup your website with Site Backup Pro and therefore enable high maintenance features that increase your page speed and deliver your content through optimized content delivery networks.
A2 Hosting Plans
- Lite: starting from $3.92/month, it comes with solid state drives and optimized server software like WordPress, Prestashop, Drupal etc. It also comes with unlimited raid-10 storage, unlimited bandwidth, 25 email addresses, 1 free domain name, 5 databases, etc. The plan also includes basic cloud flare CDN support with the ability to upgrade to cloud flare pro at $3/month. The self-customized Swift Server comes with 1GB/s redundant network, minimum 2-core server with minimum 64 GB Ram configuration.
- Swift: starting at $4.90/month Swift comes with even more services like unlimited data transfer, unlimited domain names, unlimited databases, unlimited email addresses with 2.1 GHZ processor that has a 1GB physical memory and 8GB virtual memory. It includes all the features provided in the lite edition and comes with additional features like server rewind backups used to recover any file or directory from a previously saved snapshot whenever recovery is necessary. All snapshots are automatically backed up and maintained which allows the user to restore either a single file, a MySQL database or the entire account. You can access server control backup from the control panel and it is provided completely free with the Swift and Turbo plans
- Turbo: starting at $9.31/month this plan comes with the turbo server which is up to 20x faster than traditional web servers along with solid state drives and Turbo cache. The plan also includes HTTP/2, SPDY support, ESI support and easy web sockets and proxy integration that allows users to establish a two-way communication between the server and client creating a real time web experience. This is ideal for all kinds of complex development environments as the developers can use the numerous language support along with speed and web socket connectivity to host their custom application and serve them directly in a production environment. With enhanced user control and security all the servers are production ready and users can further modify the configuration as per their security requirements.
Along with the above hosting plans A2 hosting also provides cloud hosting solutions that are easily scalable and have numerous additional resources like unlimited bandwidth, memory, resources, custom CPU cores, custom CPU speed and high availability.
You can easily set up your own custom server through the hosting custom server panel by selecting the amount of memory you require and the number of CPU cores your application would consume. Along with that you can also control the amount of inbound and outbound data that you would be using to create your own cloud hosting plan.
This allows maximum flexibility along with the ability to customize the configuration which lacks in most web hosting companies. Even Bluehost doesn’t provide such flexibility when it comes to its scalable cloud hosting plans.
Features and Add-ons Comparison
A2 Hosting comes with numerous features and add-ons that focus on increasing speed and performance of web hosting platforms. Ranging from Edge Side Includes that allow users to easily cache parts of the webpage instead of relying on whole cached web pages in case of caching failures to HTTP/2 protocols that allow faster loading of web pages due to its ability to parse and deliver higher number of web pages in the same time span. The server also allows users to create web socket connections with the browser to allow seamless experience in live web games and other media intensive applications that may be run by the user on the hosting platform.
Cloud flare is now built into the server configuration that automatically caches your web pages with a single click on the control panel to not only speed up delivery of web pages but to also maintain temporary caches in case of server failures.
Moreover, the server configuration for PHP also includes APC that is a special alternative PHP cache which caches PHP bytecode compiler output and reduces parsing on the server side to further increase its performance and reduce server load. A2 also supports Railgun that helps in caching dynamic web pages which Cloud flare can’t cache. HHVM which is the new trend in PHP development introduced by Facebook to speedup PHP application while at the same time avoid unnecessary language constructs is also supported by the hosting company.
Bluehost on the other hand comes with all the basic features like unmetered (not unlimited) bandwidth, domain management, email addresses, automatic backups with PRO features that cost additional bucks, resource protection that automatically relocates your websites to new clusters if you are consuming more resources than the average user, scalability options along with a decent enough CPanel that is modified to make it easier to work with the server.
You also get basic Cloud flare CDN support that automatically caches your websites along with SSH control to navigate your directory structure from command line.
Additional features like SSL certificates, unique IP addresses, domain privacy, site lock, site backup pro and spam protection cost on top of the basic server costs and are thus not included in the plans.
Performance and Reliability Comparison
Very few companies have remained popular for their web host performance and reliability. A2hosting and Bluehost has always remained among of the top hosting companies. With over a million customers and arrays of optimized server hardware that also compete with hosting companies like Godaddy and Hostgator, they offer some of the best plans to their customers.
Fortunately, their performance is also average when compared to their competitors. The server uptime, page speed and customer support benchmarks over a limited period have remained quite steady and have therefore proven to be invaluable to customers.
When compared with major hosting companies that claim to provide exceptional services, A2 hosting fares average in its benchmark tests than Bluehost. Let find out more about each of the parameters.
Also Read: Bluehost vs iPage vs InMotion Hosting
Page Speed Comparison
Page speed is perhaps the most important aspect of any website. Without the necessary configurations on the server side, it is impossible to build any kind of web application that delivers its web pages without any lag.
A2 hosting excels at this by deploying all kinds of features including compression, browser cache and also server side caching.
However, Bluehost is ideally suited for web applications that work like standard websites instead of high optimization and caching features. Bluehost only supports the standard mechanisms of page speed optimization and does not allow further modifications to its server.
However, A2 hosting allows users to modify their servers as per their requirements and are thus the most powerful servers available to users. In our test, A2 hosting served pages at 2.56s while Bluehost took up to 4.03s. As A2 hosting leverages optimized CDN and browser caching the pages are already present in your browser unlike in Bluehost. This is a huge advantage when it comes to serving highly optimized web pages at faster page speeds.
Serve Uptime and Downtime
Bluehost is one of the major web hosting companies with its array of servers located all across the world. However, they still face some server outages and have to maintain their performance metrics with continuous uptime.
Although A2 hosting has a very limited and relatively smaller cluster of web servers, they serve web pages and remain up all the time in our tests, A2 hosting had one of the best uptime ratios relative to major web hosting companies on the web.
With more than 99.98% uptime guarantee, they definitely fare better than Bluehost that serves until 99.92% of the time.
User Experience and Customer Service
Bluehost definitely has a better UI as compared to A2 hosting. They have completely redesigned the CPanel to include all necessary features in a easy to access and manage pattern. This allows users to build and manage their server configuration quite easily in comparison to other web hosting companies.
A2hostin also provides a familiar CPanel but it is not as good as Bluehost. They have stuck to the traditional CPanel and Softaculous that comes prepackages and use their inbuilt themes to modify the appearance of the control panel
When it comes to customer service, both the companies fare wonderfully. Although A2 hosting provides support only in a localized area within certain business hours, they have the best support teams that can easily help you with any kind of queries relating to setting up your website, managing your server resources or even modifying your server configuration to suit your requirements.
As Bluehost is a larger organization with a huge geographic span, they have customer service agents that are available all time. They are as helpful as the guys from A2 hosting but they cannot help you modify their server as the company doesn’t allow such modifications in the first place.
When it comes to selecting between the two, I would definitely go with A2 hosting. It has much more resource flexibility when compared with Bluehost and also allows users to build custom applications on top of its server architecture.
Although Bluehost is also a decent web hosting company, it lacks the resource flexibility that core developers and experienced web administrators require.
It is great for starters but once you are a bit experienced, you will have to move on to other web hosting companies like A2 hosting that provide better features at the same price.
Moreover, the flexible cloud hosting solutions with easy scalability options provided by A2 hosting attract most of its users.