A2Hosting Turbo WordPress Hosting Performance Plus 28$/month

A2Hosting is a well-reviewed and highly-praised web hosting company on the internet. Both their shared and reseller hosting packages come by default with cPanel and their prices start from 10$ per month for shared web hosting and from 30$ for their reseller offer.

After seeing their high price tag, you would expect a top-notch, premium service.

This is definitely not the case with A2Hosting and their shared hosting services.

Hosting plan

We are going to review their most expensive plan, the WordPress Hosting Turbo with the Performance Plus addon within Amsterdam/Europe. As far as location availability, the following are available for this service in particular:

  •  Michigan (US East Coast)
  •  Arizona (US West Coast)
  •  Amsterdam (Europe)
  •  Singapore (Asia/India)

The package comes with the following features and resources:

  • Unlimited SSD space
  • Unlimited Monthly Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Addon Domains, FTP & Email accounts, MySQL databases
  • Shared IP
  • Free SSL by AutoSSL
  • LiteSpeed web server
  • Memcache
  • 2GB of Virtual/Physical memory; 200% CPU, Entry processes 35, Number of Processes 50, I/O 2.44 MB/s, 1024 IOPS

With the “Performance Plus” option we theoretically get x2 CPU power and +1GB of ram, giving us a total of 3GB of RAM and 400% CPU (4 cores). This should definitely help our uncached tests and benchmarks. Total cost is 25$ for the hosting package + 3$ the Performance Plus addon.

Hardware

Their server configuration was not present on the site and when asked about it they refused to disclose these details.
But, by using various tricks and workarounds I was able to obtain the following data:

Germany, Amsterdam Node:

  • CPU: 2x E5-2620v4 (32 cores)
  • RAM: 64 GB
  • SSD: 2TB SATA SSD Storage (presumed Raid 10 with 1TB SSDs) (22% used)
  • 1Gbps uplink

USA, Arizona Node:

  • CPU: 2x E5-2620v3 (24 cores)
  • RAM: 64 GB
  • SSD: 2TB SATA SSD Storage (presumed Raid 10 with 1TB SSDs) (89% used)
  • 1Gbps uplink

The “Server Informations” section within cPanel is limited in details, this suggests that the server might be overcrowded and they are trying to hide it.

Support

A ticket was submitted on Tuesday at 17:55 Pacific Time. Their first response was within 11 minutes.

The second response was after 1 hour and 46 minutes, followed by my reply and their third response which was actually the solution was after 4 hours and 11 minutes. Overall I would say their support is Fast for a response but only Decent in actually solving the issue since it took 6 hours and 8 minutes to solve the issue.

Payment methods & Refund policy

  • PayPal
  • Credit Cards & Debit Cards
  • UnionPay
  • Skrill
  • PayU
  • Bank Transfer, Check or Money Order

Their refund policy is “ANYTIME MONEY BACK GUARANTEE” which translates roughly to a full refund with no questions asked within the first 30 days.

Benchmarks

GTMetrix (loading speed)

A2Hosting Turbo WordPress Hosting Performance Plus 28$/month

We were able to obtain an average of 2.46s loading speed, with a minimum of 1.9s and a maximum of 3.1s (from 5 samples).
This is a great loading speed, taking into consideration the initial size of our page (3.46MB)

But since this server utilizes LiteSpeed as a web server, we can also benefit from LiteSpeedCache.

A2Hosting Turbo WordPress Hosting Performance Plus 28$/month

After installing the corresponding plugin and configuring it accordingly, we have obtained an average loading speed of 1.34s, with a minimum of 1.0s and a maximum of 1.7s.
This is roughly 50% faster compared with the previous results.

Loader.io (stress test)

Loader.io helps us stress test the website by using multiple concurrent clients to simulate a real-world traffic spike.

A2Hosting Turbo WordPress Hosting Performance Plus 28$/month

Our initial uncached results were…sad, the test website was able to handle a maximum of 18 concurrent/simultaneous clients for roughly 8 seconds before becoming unreachable and timing out.

After reenabling our LSC plugin, we have reanalyzed our website:

A2Hosting Turbo WordPress Hosting Performance Plus 28$/month

Our WordPress site was able to handle a maximum of 1013 concurrent/simultaneous clients and was able to withstand this traffic for a minute without any timeouts!
In English, by using a caching plugin combined with the LiteSpeedCache we were able to increase our traffic spike endurance by 55x

Artificial Benchmarks

By using the scripts presented in our Methodology we have obtained the following timings:
Bench1.php average (5 samples):

  • PHP: 0.864s

Bench2.php average (5 samples):

  • PHP: 0.435s MySQL: 0.815s

FTP and Network Speeds

Their transfer speed was plain horrible, by using a 1Gbit connection (in EU) we were only able to upload with ~350kb/s within their European location (~45ms ping) and ~90kb/s within their USA location. We have tried both the File Uploader within cPanel and a separate FTP client, there was no noticeable difference.
This was also the reason why these tests were made only within their European location, I did not have the patience to upload the test files on the USA server.

A2Hosting Turbo WordPress Hosting Performance Plus 28$/month
A2Hosting Turbo WordPress Hosting Performance Plus 28$/month

Summary and overall Pros & Cons

For 28$ / month this is definitely not worth it. There are many cheaper, more affordable and just as fast alternatives out there.

Pros

  • LiteSpeed
  • Memcache
  • 30 day refund
  • Live chat

Cons

  • Slow network speed
  • Low I/O speed limit

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A2Hosting Turbo WordPress Hosting Performance Plus 28$/month

 

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