Whether you already have a website for your business or just thinking of getting one, there is one thing that is a ‘must have’:
There are many hosting companies out there vying for your attention (and dollars!) and all ‘bamboozle’ you with bells, whistles and technical jargon.
You are more than welcome to do your own research if you like in order to find the best web host for you.
However, if you’d rather ‘piggyback’ on my personal research and experience as a paying customer , you might want to consider taking a long hard look at A2 Hosting.
I would never recommend any third party service unless I have tested and used it myself for an extended period of time and this is especially the case with something as important as web hosting!
I’ve been a paying customer of A2 hosting in my own business for almost three years now and have been recommending them to all my clients for the last 12 months.
The main reasons why I use & recommend A2 Hosting:
1. Their servers are FAST, very fast!
Did you know that one of the most important factors Google uses to rank sites in their search results is speed?
Google prefers to rank higher those websites which load faster because they offer a better user experience.
User experience is the MOST important factor for Google because this ensures people will keep using their search engine as opposed to any of their competitors.
A2 Hosting have a number of unique features in place to ensure that sites load FAST even on a shared hosting plan.
Based on my own personal testing (using tools such as Pingdom), websites hosted on the A2 Hosting servers load faster than any other major hosting company which offers plans that are affordable for most small business owners.
2. They allow you to optimise your site based on where most of your visitors are coming from
As a general rule, the shorter the physical distance between your visitor and the server hosting your website, the quicker it will load.
A2 Hosting allow you to host your website in one of three physical locations: Michigan in the US (where the company is based), Amsterdam and Singapore.
They also include a Content Delivery Network (CDN) on top of that for no extra charge.
A CDN automatically replicates your website files across many servers spread around the world and then delivers them to users based on where they are. It also helps manage traffic spikes and offers many other additional security benefits.
Here is a 90 second video providing a brief explanation of how the CDN offered by A2 Hosting works.
3. They offer both an up-time and any time refund guarantees
A2 Hosting guarantee that your website will not be down for more than 0.01% of the time every month (scheduled maintenance excluded) even on the lowest shared hosting plan.
If they fail to meet this guarantee, they will provide you with credit towards your hosting plan.
Furthermore, if you are not happy with them for whatever reason, they will refund your money in full in the first 30 days and also provide a prorated refund at any time after that.
Most other hosting companies will not offer any refunds after 60-90 days.
Only a company which is confident of delivering quality service to its customers can afford financially to offer such a generous money back guarantee.
4. They don’t overload their shared servers
The cheapest hosting product (and the one most small business owners start with) is shared hosting.
With shared hosting, you share your server with other websites and the server resources are allocated based on the demand for processing power by each website.
Many hosting companies put waaaay too many websites on each server in their shared hosting plan because it allows them to make more money from their existing hardware.
A2 Hosting on the other hand, makes sure that they don’t put more websites on the same shared server once it starts affecting the speed & performance of other websites on it.
They do charge slightly more as a result for their shared plan than those hosting companies who ‘pile high’ their servers with websites, but based on my own personal experience, this small premium is well worth it.
5. They offer 24/7 support by phone
Most big hosting companies offer 24/7 support (you should stay away from any hosting company that doesn’t!).
However, some of them only offer support via email, online chat and a ticketing system (Dreamhost being a prime example).
Others offer phone support but you need to dial an overseas number in order to access it.
A2 Hosting offer 24/7 tech support as well as a billing hotline via local phone numbers in most countries (so you don’t need to dial a US number if you’re outside the US or Canada).
6. They will transfer your website from your existing host for FREE!
Many people tend to stay put with their current host simply because they think moving their website across will be just too much work and take too much of their time.
Some even think they will need to hire experts and pay someone to migrate their websites for them.
Well, A2 Hosting are very well aware of that and as a result, offer to move your website for you from your current host across to them free of charge!
This is not just because A2 Hosting are keen to provide good customer service (which they are) but also because it makes good business sense for them.
The easier they make it for people to start using their hosting services, the more customers they will attract.
It’s not rocket science really 😉
7. They install SSL certificates automatically free of charge on websites hosted with them
A2 Hosting are one of very few hosts which currently provide unlimited SSL certificates free of charge to all their customers.
Better yet, the process is completely automated and doesn’t require the website owner to fiddle around with complicated installation scripts or other technical stuff.
An SSL certificate will allow your website to run on HTTPS instead of HTTP.
To understand what that means and more importantly, why you must have that, read my explanation here.
These are the main reasons why I recommend A2 Hosting for small business owners and why I use them myself in my own business.