WP Engine vs. A2 Hosting: which provider truly has the best managed WordPress hosting services? A2 Hosting and WP Engine are both leading WordPress hosting providers on the market, but it’s time to choose the real champion.
While WP Engine is a WordPress-centric managed hosting solution, A2 Hosting provides you with a wide variety of hosting options, including managed WordPress hosting. In our unbiased WordPress hosting comparison between A2 Hosting and WP Engine, we’ll explain how they differ from each other. We’ll also help you decide which one is the best solution for your budget and needs.
WP Engine vs. A2 Hosting – Overview
A2 Hosting offers a wide range of hosting options, including WordPress hosting. They’re a developer-friendly hosting company that provides all the features you’ll need to get your site up and running. They also allow you to choose your preferred data center when signing up for their hosting services.
Best of all, A2 Hosting provides an anytime pro-rated money back guarantee if you’re not fully satisfied.
WP Engine, on the other hand, is one of the world’s best managed WordPress hosting providers. They’re one of the first companies to offer WordPress-centric managed hosting solutions. They boast an impressive customer list including Yelp, Asana, National Geographic, PBS, and MyFitnessPal.
Whether you’re running a personal blog, or an enterprise-level business with off-the-chart growth, you’ll find the perfect hosting option with WP Engine.
WP Engine vs. A2 Hosting – Page Speed and Uptime
Without a doubt, speed and uptime are the most important factors you need to consider when choosing a web host.
To test whether A2 Hosting and WP Engine actually live up to their hype, we decided to analyze their page speed and uptime guarantees by signing up with each of them and creating 2 test sites.
To mirror the live environment on our test sites, we installed a WordPress theme and published dummy content along with some images.
Then, we conducted a few different experiments on these test sites with the following tools:
- Pingdom: To analyze the website speed.
- Load Impact: To monitor how these hosting servers handled a traffic surge during a peak load time.
- Bitcatcha: To determine how these hosting servers perform from 8 different geographical locations.
According to Pingdom’s website speed test, our WP Engine test site only took 582ms to load, which is faster than 96% of all tested sites.
However, our A2 Hosting site took 1.28 seconds to load, meaning the site was only faster than 84% of all tested sites.
Then we conducted a test on each hosting server with Load Impact. WPEngine performed consistently throughout the test. The number of live visitors on the site didn’t have an impact on the server’s performance.
On the other hand, our A2 Hosting test site performed consistently until there were around 40 visitors on the site. The website slowed down for a while and then reverted to its normal state.
After our Load Impact test, we conducted a test with Bitcatcha to monitor the server response times from 8 different geographical locations: New York, LA, London, Brazil, India, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. The speed for each location was measured 3 separate times, and then the results were averaged.
As you can see, our WP Engine site was rated A by Bitcatcha; whereas our A2 Hosting site was rated C.
Winner: WP Engine
WP Engine vs. A2 Hosting – Ease of Use
WP Engine is focused on high-traffic websites and enterprise-level businesses. They handle all the technicalities of optimizing your server for improved performance. You get a fine-tuned hosting setup that’s built specifically to operate WordPress sites. However, they don’t allow you to install any plugins for boosting your site speed, like CDN or caching plugins.
Conversely, for managing your Linux-based web hosting account, A2 Hosting provides cPanel access to users. Plus, their 1-click installers help you quickly install popular website scripts such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
Alternatively, if you opt for Windows hosting, then you’ll get access to Plesk for managing your hosting account.
Winner: WP Engine
WP Engine vs. A2 Hosting – Features
A2 Hosting is primarily geared towards beginner-level users, so you can expect all beginner-level features for starting your blog or website, including unmetered bandwidth, SSD storage, free SSL, 1-click installers, etc.
Unlike other traditional hosting providers, A2 Hosting allows you to choose from Windows or Linux hosting and install your preferred website script on your hosting account.
One of the main things that make A2 Hosting stand out is their anytime money-back guarantee. Within 30 days, you can cancel your account for a full refund. After the first 30 days, you’ll be eligible for a prorated refund for any unused services.
Being a managed WordPress hosting solution, WP Engine promises high availability, powered by Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.
Their hosting plans come with a wide variety of built-in tools to help you build, test, and migrate your site. With every hosting plan, you’ll get premium access to 35+ StudioPress themes for free. On top of that, you’ll also have 1-click tools to set up development, staging, and production environments.
Winner: WP Engine
WP Engine vs. A2 Hosting – Support and Documentation
With their starter plan, WP Engine offers live chat support only. Phone support is provided with their higher plans. And ticket-based support is provided with their custom dedicated server plans.
A2 Hosting provides 24/7 support via 3 modes: live chat, phone, and email. Their robust knowledge base explains everything you need to know about building a website with A2 Hosting, step-by-step.
Winner: A2 Hosting
WP Engine vs. A2 Hosting – Pricing
The regular price for WP Engine starts at $30 per month. We’ve negotiated a deal with WP Engine, so our users will get a 33% discount on their plans. Meaning, you only need to pay $20 per month.
The price for A2 Hosting’s cheap hosting plan starts at $2.99 per month. Their VPS plan starts at as low as $2.99 per month thanks to their unmanaged VPS hosting option.
Winner: A2 Hosting
Recap – WP Engine vs. A2 Hosting
When it comes to managed WordPress hosting, we believe that WP Engine is the better option overall.
However, the ideal customer base for A2 Hosting and WP Engine are entirely different.
While A2 Hosting focuses on entry-level users, WP Engine targets specific customer segments such as developers, marketers, SMBs, agencies, and enterprises.
For example, with WP Engine, developers can focus only on development and design without having to shoulder the hosting maintenance responsibilities. Similarly, marketers can quickly build and personalize their websites using their extensive built-in tools.
For beginners, A2 Hosting is the better choice as it offers more affordable plans.
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We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress hosting for your website. If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to check out our complete WP Engine review or our full A2 Hosting review.