A2 Hosting is a generic web hosting company that can be a budget-friendly option if you’re looking for a starter plan. However, while WordPress hosting is included in its offerings, it is not a WordPress-specific host. Rather, it specializes in shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting.
This means that there are some fundamental differences between A2 Hosting vs Kinsta, which is important to know if you’re looking for the best managed WordPress hosting provider. To put it simply, A2 Hosting isn’t backed by the same innovative technologies, support experience, and WordPress-optimized platform that Kinsta is.
Every day, we hear from frustrated clients looking for an A2 Hosting alternative, curious to learn what makes Kinsta so unique. That’s what we’ll answer here. We’ll discuss what sets Kinsta apart from other providers such as A2 Hosting, and explain the many benefits of using us as your managed WordPress host.
How Kinsta Compares to A2 Hosting in a Nutshell
Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of Kinsta vs A2 Hosting, we first want to take a quick look at some of the key differences between the two.
Most importantly, Kinsta is the first host to be powered exclusively by the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We use Google’s premium-tier network to maximize the speed, security, and performance of every site hosted on our platform.
We are also the highest-rated managed WordPress host on G2, the world’s leading software review and comparison site:
#1 WordPress Hosting Provider by G2
Let’s break down some additional differences between Kinsta vs A2 Hosting:
- Kinsta is a leading managed hosting provider, and is specific to WordPress. A2 Hosting is a general host that offers shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting plans.
- All sites hosted at Kinsta are backed by powerful Google Cloud C2 servers. A2 Hosting plans don’t leverage Google’s premium-tier network, nor do they offer the speed and security expected from a managed WordPress host. To boost the performance of your site, the provider recommends upgrading to a ‘Turbo Server’.
- Kinsta has clear, easy-to-understand plan tiers and packages for WordPress hosting. A2 Hosting’s tiers and pricing packages can be difficult to understand, and misleading in terms of add-on costs and features.
- Kinsta provides a custom-built online portal, called the MyKinsta dashboard, which was created specifically for WordPress site management. It includes a collection of one-click tools, as well as detailed analytics about your site and usage. A2 Hosting uses the generic and sometimes confusing cPanel control panel for shared WordPress hosting plans, and Plesk for managed WordPress plans.
- Kinsta has a unique system that automatically caches pages on the server level, eliminating the need for any plugins or add-ons. A2 Hosting uses its LiteSpeed Web Cache Manager on Turbo plans.
- Kinsta offers a free, one-click CDN setup with all plans. A2 Hosting provides a free Cloudflare CDN, but you have to set it up yourself.
- Kinsta offers six different types of backups (automatic/daily, optional hourly, manual, system generated, downloadable, and external) on every plan. A2 Hosting only offers automated backups through Jetpack on managed WordPress hosting plans.
- Kinsta plans include everything you need to maximize site performance and security, including a premium DNS, uptime monitoring, and firewalls. At A2 Hosting, managed WordPress plans only come with basic features via Jetpack. To leverage speed-enhancing features, you’ll need to upgrade to a Turbo server.
- Kinsta provides weekly automatic database updates, as well as a site healing feature and 720 daily uptime checks. Most A2 Hosting plans require you to handle database updates yourself.
- Kinsta doesn’t offer tiered support. Premium support is included with every plan. Unlike A2 Hosting, our support team consists of WordPress experts and engineers.
- Kinsta has 24 data centers across the globe, which are fine-tuned for WordPress. For its managed WordPress plans, A2 Hosting only offers one location (Michigan). Unmanaged plans have four locations to choose from (Michigan, Arizona, Singapore, and Amsterdam).
- Kinsta provides free, human-performed website migrations on all plans.
- We provide a free hack-fix guarantee for all your sites.
- There’s reverse proxy support on all plans.
- Kinsta support multisite setups out of the box.
- The Kinsta infrastructure is highly optimized for WooCommerce stores.
- Kinsta has a very attractive affiliate program with recurring commission.
- You can try Kinsta risk-free thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Kinsta is Built for Performance and Scalability
From day one, the Kinsta platform was built for performance and scaling. So you won’t ever have to worry about your WordPress sites staying online, even during sudden traffic surges. Our unique and powerful infrastructure delivers unparalleled speed, support, and security on all plans, which don’t fit into any of the categories of traditional hosting.
Kinsta plans start at just $30 per month, and leverage compute-optimized C2 Google Cloud machines, LXD managed hosts, and orchestrated LXC software containers for each website. Unlike A2 Hosting, we don’t offer shared hosting. This means you don’t ever have to worry about sharing resources on overloaded servers.
What’s more, every WordPress site has its own isolated container. This has all of the software resources required to run the website, including Linux, Nginx, PHP, and MySQL.
Our platform offers more than 30 different software packages and PHP extensions, as well as custom-compiled Linux packages and Nginx rulesets, to help maximize the performance of your WordPress site. Our auto-scaling infrastructure enables you to upgrade or downgrade with ease.
At first glance, the entry-level costs of A2 Hosting plans may seem like a benefit. However, in order to use any of the performance-enhancing features, you need to upgrade to one of the Turbo servers, which are available only with certain plans.
Even then, you’re limited to 2GB of bandwidth. This means you could also have to pay for bandwidth overage fees. This doesn’t even include the additional costs you’ll likely incur from having to pay for premium add-ons such as offsite backup storage, premium CDN plans, etc.
With Kinsta, every client benefits from the GCP premium tier network. As such, simply switching to Kinsta can help you see significant response time improvements, because our servers are fine-tuned for WordPress sites.
Another benefit of using Kinsta as your WordPress hosting provider is our unique caching system, which helps to optimize speed and performance and eliminates the need for any caching plugins. We cache everything on the server level and offer a variety of caching systems to reduce server load and speed up response times, including Bytecode, Query cache, Page, CDN cache, and Object cache.
MyKinsta: A Dashboard That’s Better Than the Competition
When you use A2 Hosting for your WordPress hosting, you’ll either have to use cPanel (shared) or Plesk (managed). At Kinsta, we aren’t fans of either of these control panels, and believe that our clients deserve better.
This is why we built our own custom user portal, the MyKinsta dashboard, which is optimized and designed specifically to make WordPress site management as simple and straightforward as possible:
Some of the powerful features that make our MyKinsta dashboard so awesome, which you won’t necessarily get with A2 Hosting plans, include:
- One-click staging environments, and the option to restore backups to production or staging.
- Premium Amazon Route 53 DNS, so you can manage your DNS records directly in the dashboard.
- New Relic integration for when you need to dive further into performance issues on your site. A2 Hosting only supports New Relic for managed VPS or Flex Dedicated plans.
- Detailed analytics and insights, including bandwidth and visitor data, CDN usage and insights, performance analysis data, and cache HIT and MISS ratio.
- Free, one-click CDN setup. A2 Hosting includes a free Cloudflare CDN that you have to configure yourself. Cloudflare Basic or Plus CDNs are only available with certain plans.
- A WordPress debugging tool.
- A search and replace tool, so you can perform bulk updates with ease.
- One-click PHP version switching on all plans, as well as the option to restart PHP when needed. With A2 Hosting, PHP version switching is only available via cPanel, which requires more steps in changing your PHP version than with the Kinsta one-click feature.
- A dashboard tool to purge the site cache.
- Free, one-click Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, and the ability to import your own. A2 Hosting offers free Sectigo SSL certificates, which provide basic SSL encryption but lack many of the benefits of traditional Certificate Authority (CA) providers.
- Simple password protection for your environment, and the option to strengthen login security by adding your SSH keys to the dashboard.
- A multilingual dashboard that’s available in 10 languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, and Dutch.
Don’t just take our word for it, though. Try the dashboard out for yourself with our MyKinsta demo! Simply register for a free account to explore the user-friendly interface, tools, and features. Learn for yourself what makes MyKinsta superior to traditional control panels such as cPanel or Plesk!
At Kinsta, we value our clients’ feedback and are always looking for opportunities to improve. This is why we regularly incorporate the requests and feedback we get from clients. If there’s a way for us to make your site or hosting experience even better, you can guarantee that we’ll be happy to look into it!
Optimized for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads
Kinsta’s platform is optimized for ecommerce sites, which we know can be particularly demanding and generate a lot of cache-bypassing dynamic page loads. Fortunately, our hosting plans and platform can help you increase the performance of your WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads stores.
Some of the methods we use to deliver lightning-fast speed for your online stores include:
- Excluding pages that shouldn’t be cached by default, including ‘my account’, checkout, and cart pages.
- Automatically bypassing the cache for users when “edit_items_in_cart” or “woocommerce_items_in_cart cookie” are detected, ultimately ensuring a quick, smooth, and seamless checkout process.
- Implementing server-level page caching with specific rules to enable EDD and WooCommerce functionality.
To demonstrate just how fast and impressive our platform is, it helps to look at some concrete data. Every year, Review Signal performs an annual performance testing review with some of the most popular hosts. For five consecutive years, Kinsta has earned “top tier” performance!
In the most recent round of benchmark reviews, A2 Hosting’s managed VPS plan was tested. We’ll be comparing that below with our Kinsta Pro plan.
Web Performance Benchmarks (Pro Plans)
Review Signal created identical WordPress dummy websites with the same plugins installed, in order to conduct its web performance benchmark tests. First, let’s take a look at the results of the WebPageTest.org test, which was used to measure (in seconds) the overall loading time in 11 geographical locations around the world:
As you can see, Kinsta outperformed A2 Hosting in seven of these tests.
Two services were used to perform uptime tests: UptimeRobot and StatusCake. Kinsta got a perfect score on both tests, while A2 Hosting did not:
Next up is the Load Impact test, which was used to assess the caching system’s performance on each site:
|Data Transferred (GB)||33.49||20.67|
|Peak Average Load Time (seconds)||608||4,330|
|Peak Average Bandwidth (Mbps)||571||235|
|Peak Average Requests/Sec||1,220||526|
Even with more requests and data transferred, Kinsta edged out A2 Hosting for average loading time. Kinsta also had zero errors while serving a lot more requests.
The Load Storm tests were used to simulate real users visiting each site:
|Peak Response Time (ms)||2,372||15,104|
|Average Response Time (ms)||440||753|
A2 Hosting had nearly three times as many errors as Kinsta. It also showed increased response times as the test scaled.
Kinsta is Developer-Friendly
Many of our team members at Kinsta are developers, engineers, and WordPress contributors. That’s why, from day one, we built our platform and tools with developers in mind.
When you choose Kinsta as your managed WordPress host, we provide you with a ton of developer-friendly tools, features, and accessibility options to help streamline your workflow and enhance your productivity. Some of these include:
- Unrestricted access to your site’s critical files, including Git, WP-CLI, and SSH access on all plans.
- One-click staging environments for all plans, and a feature to easily push changes from staging to production. A2 Hosting offers staging sites through Softaculous.
- The option to load your site over reverse proxy. A2 Hosting offers this via Websocket, but only on Turbo plans.
- Six different types of backups: automatic/daily, optional hourly, manual, system generated, downloadable, and external backups to Google Cloud Storage or Amazon S3. For A2 Hosting’s managed WordPress hosting plans, automated backups are available through Jetpack. On shared plans, it provides backup and restoration services on a “best effort basis” via its own file recovery program.
- The ability to restore backups to staging as well as production, with a one-click backup restoration feature directly in the MyKinsta dashboard. A2 Hosting backups options vary by plan. Its ‘Server Rewind’ backups aren’t offered on entry-level plans.
- A Redis add-on for quicker database performance, and an Elasticsearch add-on for faster search. A2 Hosting only offers support for Redis on VPS and dedicated plans.
- The option to use custom setups such as Bedrock and Trellis. A2 Hosting only supports Trellis.
- The ability to run a different version of PHP for each live and staging site, and one-click PHP version switching. A2 Hosting only lets you toggle between PHP versions if you have a shared WordPress plan with cPanel.
- Post and page revisions enabled by default.
Great performance and excellent, responsive support. As a managed WordPress provider, a lot of the performance tuning that you would be trying to implement on your own in the case of a lower-end provider is taken care of here. The ability to clone a site back and forth between a staging environment, to make multiple changes before pushing them live in one go, is great.
Feature Comparison Overview
At this point, let’s take a moment to review some of the key differences between Kinsta and A2 Hosting:
|Pricing||Plans start at $30/month||Plans start at $2.99/mo (shared), $11.99 (managed)|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days on all plans||30 days on all plans|
|Plan Tiers||10 (not including custom)||7 (4 shared, 3 managed)|
|Premium 24×7 Support||All plans||All plans|
|Core Infrastructure||Same across all plans (GCP)||Varies by plan|
|SSH Access||All plans||All plans|
|Global Data Centers||24 locations||4 (varies by plan)|
|Network||Low-latency and redundant premium Google Platform network on all plans||Limited carriers|
|Bandwidth Limits||No limits (within AUP)||0.7 GB (shared), 2 GB (managed)|
|Container Technology||100% resource isolation on all plans||Varies by plan|
|Free Migrations||All plans||All plans|
|Staging Environment||All plans||All plans|
|PHP Versions||PHP 7.3, 7.4, 8.0||PHP 4.4, 5.x, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4|
|Switch PHP Engine||One-click change in dashboard||Varies by plan|
|Free CDN||34 (All regions)||Cloudflare|
|Free Premium DNS||Amazon R53||Anycast DNS|
|Free SSL Certificates||All plans||All plans|
|Uptime Monitoring||All plans||Not specified|
|Resource Limits||Only limited by PHP workers||Varies by plan|
|Multisite Support||Pro plans and higher||Not specified|
|Free APM Tool||Kinsta APM||Not specified|
|Reverse Proxy Support||✓||Varies by plan (VPS and Dedicated)|
|Redis Add-on||✓||Varies by plan (VPS and Dedicated)|
|New Relic APM Support||✓||Varies by plan (VPS and Dedicated)|
|Multilingual Dashboard||English, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, French, Swedish, Danish, Japan||Not specified|
Free Performance Monitoring Tool
WordPress is a dynamic CMS, which means it’s constantly executing PHP code in the background. Depending on your theme and plugin configuration, it’s possible for your site to get bogged down with bloated and inefficient code.
That’s where APM (Application Performance Monitoring) tools can help. An APM monitors requests to your site, and tracks various metrics like external API requests, database queries, PHP execution time, and more. This information allows you to quickly debug and troubleshoot performance bottlenecks.
All Kinsta plans come with a free custom-built APM tool that can be easily accessed right in the MyKinsta dashboard. Kinsta APM provides you with key WordPress performance insights without the need for expensive third-party subscriptions to New Relic and other APM services.
With Kinsta APM, you can debug the following and more:
- Slow WordPress plugins and themes.
- Long calls to external APIs and domains.
- Unoptimized MySQL database queries.
A2 Hosting plans do not come with a free APM tool, which makes it very difficult to quickly troubleshoot performance issues on your WordPress site. Some of their plans support New Relic APM, but that requires a separate New Relic subscription which starts at $99/month.
Safe and Secure
At Kinsta, we make the security of your WordPress site and servers a top priority, no matter what plan you have. We take both active and passive measures to safeguard your server and WordPress sites to protect them from hackers.
Our security features include:
- Monitoring your sites every two minutes for uptime, which adds up to 720 times every day
- Strict software-based restrictions
- Real-time DDoS attack detection
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
- GeoIP blocking
- A Google Cloud Platform firewall
- Automated backups
- Isolated LXC containers
- Self-healing PHP
- Only support for encrypted SFTP and SSH connections (no FTP)
We provide premium uptime monitoring for all WordPress sites hosted on our platform, via our in-house developed monitoring system. On the off-chance that anything were to happen to your site, we’ll get in contact with you immediately. We also offer a 100% hack-fix guarantee, meaning we will resolve the issue free of charge.
A2 Hosting’s security features vary depending on which plan you have. A Jetpack Personal License is included on managed WordPress plans, which can help with basic tasks such as daily backups, brute-force protection, and spam filtering.
Kinsta Has a Global Presence
Another advantage of using Kinsta as your managed WordPress host is our massive global footprint. Our 24 data centers (and counting) span five continents, making it easy for you to pick a different one for each of your websites. Plus, there are no hidden fees or extra charges!
Our data center locations include:
- Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
- London, UK
- Sydney, Australia
- St. Ghislain, Belgium
- Changhua County, Taiwan
- Mumbai, India
- The Dalles, Oregon, USA
- Ashburn, Virginia, USA
- Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Seoul, South Korea.
- Salt Lake City, USA.
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Jurong West, Singapore
- Tokyo, Japan
- Montréal, Canada
- Eemshaven, Netherlands
- Hamina, Finland
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Hong Kong
- Zürich, Switzerland
- Osaka, Japan
- Las Vegas, USA
- Jakarta, Indonesia
With A2 Hosting, the data center locations vary depending on whether you have a shared or managed WordPress hosting plan. For managed plans, the only data center location is Michigan, USA. Shared plans only have four location options: Michigan, Arizona, Singapore, or Amsterdam.
Free WordPress Migrations
A2 Hosting claims to offer free website migrations for new customers. However, in its Terms of Service, it also clarifies that this transfer service is only meant for migrating from a cPanel hosting environment. If you’re migrating from a non-cPanel host, the migration “may incur a charge determined by the migration team”.
At Kinsta, we provide hassle-free migrations to all customers, no matter where you’re coming from. Whether you want to move one site or 100, our WordPress experts handle the entire migration process for you. You won’t have to deal with complex technology or risk losing critical data.
If you’re interested in moving your site to Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting, we’re now offering unlimited free migrations from A2 Hosting!
All you have to do to get started is fill our site migration request form. Then a member from our team will contact you to schedule the best time for the migration. You can even track the migration status directly from your MyKinsta dashboard.
Their support was helpful and they responded right away. My website is much faster. Their control panel is easy to use. I have had no downtime issues or lag time with my new host. I just had to give them my logins. I was able to update the IP address myself. They took care of the SSL migration.
Turbocharging Your Content Delivery with Kinsta CDN
In addition to free bandwidth, all Kinsta plans include a free CDN, which you can easily enable for your sites directly through the MyKinsta dashboard. This is a premium HTTP/2 and IPv6-enabled CDN.
Built specifically for high throughput and low latency, our content delivery architecture delivers and caches your content from its 34 POPs across the globe. These locations span all major regions, including North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa!
A2 Hosting also offers the CloudFlare CDN for its WordPress hosting plans. However, Cloudflare Basic is the default for Startup and Drive WordPress shared hosting plans, and CloudFlare Plus is only available on Turbo Boost and Turbo Max plans.
Expert Support for WordPress
At Kinsta our customers always come first, and we treat each inquiry as a mission-critical priority. It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger or a Fortune 500 company: we provide 24/7 premium support on all plans.
What’s more, the Kinsta support team is made up of experienced engineers and experts who specialize in WordPress. This means you can always expect knowledgeable advice and technical expertise for any question or concern.
Kinsta support is also quick and convenient, with an average initial ticket response time under two minutes! In fact, in the past two years, more than 97% of Kinsta customers left a chat support session happy or satisfied.
They do business differently than any other host I have worked with. They use Google Cloud and have an awesome 1-click scaling feature for traffic spikes, while other hosts require you to migrate to another server for at least a one-month contract. Also, their support is top-notch, backed by experienced WordPress engineers.
We use the Intercom customer messaging platform to make communications readily available. All communications are automatically logged, so you won’t ever have to repeat yourself to multiple support agents. We also offer multilingual support, which includes a knowledge base with resources available in 10 languages.
Best Affiliate Program in the Industry
Kinsta has become one of the fastest-growing managed WordPress hosts in the industry, thanks in part to our many happy customers helping to spread the word. This is why we’re proud to offer true profit sharing through our affiliate program, which is one of the highest-paying affiliate programs in the industry.
As a Kinsta affiliate partner, you can earn as much as $500 (depending on the plan) for every signup you refer to us. Additionally, you’ll receive a 10% monthly recurring commission for the lifetime of the referred customer! Considering that our customers have an impressively low churn rate, this is a powerful opportunity to earn a passive income.
We also built our WordPress hosting affiliate dashboard from the ground up, so you won’t have to deal with a confusing or cluttered third-party platform. Our developers can easily build in new features to the affiliate dashboard as needed.
With the A2 Hosting affiliate program, you’ll only earn up to $125 per sale for new customers, with a second-tier commission of $5 per new customer.
Join Others Making the Switch to Kinsta
We take pride in always innovating and improving, to provide the fastest and latest technology possible. If you don’t believe us, simply check out our many feature updates. You’ll see that we push out new integrations, tools, and features at a faster rate than anyone else in the industry!
We stand behind our service and solutions, and want you to be completely satisfied with your hosting. That’s why we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re ready to make the move away from A2 Hosting and switch to a new managed hosting provider, try out Kinsta risk-free for 30 days!