|Plan in review||Drive||GrowBig|
|Price before discount||$||$|
|Price (12-mo)||$12.99 / month||$24.99 / month|
|Price (24-mo)||$6.99 / month||$14.99 / month|
|Special Discount||Special signup discount, save 51% - 63% on first bill||-|
|Promo Code||WHSR / SAVE63||-|
Reliable server, hosting uptime above 99.99%
Well-optimized for best performance
Reasonable renewal rates and signup discount
Anytime money back guarantee
Free websites migration for first time customers
Choice of 4 different server locations
Specialized developer environment (Node.js, python, etc)
Extremely reliable – 100% host uptime at most times
Excellent server performance - Test site loads below 200ms
Choice of five server locations in three continents
Free let’s Encrypt Standard & Wild Card SSL
Innovative - Full SSD, HTTP/2, Built-in Cacher, NGINX, etc
Save 60% on your first bill
Best for WordPress and Drupal websites
Positive feedback from other SiteGround users
Good after sales support
Site migration chargeable when you downgrade
Many A2 Hosting speed features cost extra now
A2 Turbo Plan does not support Ruby or Python
Hosting price increases after first bill
Uptime guarantee does not cover outages in the event of DDoS
|Storage Capacity||Unlimited||20 GB|
|Extra Domain Reg.||$14.95/yr for .com domain; prices vary for different TLDs.||$15.95/yr for .com domain; prices vary for different TLDs.|
|Private Domain Reg.||$9.95/year||$12/yr|
|Auto Script Installer||Softaculous||Softaculous (incl. 320+ apps)|
|Custom Cron Jobs||Yes||Yes|
|Free SSL||Let's Encrypt||Let's Encrypt|
|Built-in Site Builder||A2 Website Builder||Yes, Weebly|
In a battle of the giants it is often difficult to discern who the winner will be and that is sort of the case we have between A2 Hosting and SiteGround. Both are very recognizable names in the web hosting business and have been around since the early 2000s.
A2 Hosting has stayed true to its roots in Ann Arbour, Michigan while SiteGround has spread out a little bit across a few countries, but both offer server choices in various key locations to their users – in the US, Europe and Asia.
In terms of performance, A2 as usual offers excellent TTFB of below 550ms but SiteGround speeds vary a little across various data centres. Availability is good with both offering uptimes well above industry standards.
Compare Speed Test Results at Bitcatcha
A2 Hosting speed test (server located in United States): A
SiteGround speed test (server located in Singapore): A
It is a little puzzling about SiteGround performance since they apparently offer full SSD, HTTP/2 with built-in cache and more. Perhaps the difference lies in A2 Hosting’s famed Turbo server and custom optimization. The only major drawback we can see from the setup is that A2 Hosting’s Turbo servers don’t support Ruby on the Rails or Python.
While we used to complain a little about A2 not having a stable and always available live chat support service, SiteGround seems to improve on that a little. It offers 24/7 live chat, BUT, do note that is sales support, not for technical issues.
What does make me more comfortable with both of these hosts is that their business practices seem very much above board. They have solid customer feedback and anytime money back guarantees to back the fees they are changing.
Expect to pay a little more above the industry norm for A2, but significantly higher than that (almost double) for SiteGround. Thankfully, if you opt for a longer buy-in period those fees drop by a lot. I feel that there is no issue with the long term buy in if you couple that with the anytime money back guarantee.
What I do feel slightly unhappy about is the rather steep renewal fee that SiteGround users will be looking at. I feel that $19.95 is a little steep for a plan to renew at, especially for standard shared hosting.
With advantages to long term buy-in pricing and solid reputations and infrastructure, either of these hosts would be a good choice. However, I feel that more advanced users and business owners will benefit more as the will be able to take full advantage of the enhanced features both these hosts offer.
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