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Cloudways vs A2 Hosting (2021): Which Hosting Provider is Better?

If you are looking to create a website, choosing a hosting provider can be tricky. Do you go with cloud hosting companies or should you choose a more traditional hosting provider? Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and in this article, we’ll be comparing two of the more popular hosting providers on both sides—Cloudways and A2 Hosting. We’ll take a look at their performance, features, customer support and other factors, so that you can choose which one is right for you.

Cloudways vs A2 Hosting Comparison Chart

CloudwaysA2 Hosting
 
PriceCheck Price at Cloudways.comCheck Price at A2Hosting.com
Hosting OptionsManaged Cloud HostingShared, Cloud Hosting, WordPress Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Server, Reseller Hosting
Payment OptionsPay-as-you-go monthly or hourlyUpfront monthly, annually or every three years
Cloud ServersDigital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services, Google Compute EngineA2Hosting Servers
SSL CertificateFreeFree (not all plans)
StorageSSDSSD (SATA & NVMe)
CDNCloudwaysCDN, Cloudflare CDNCloudflare CDN
1-Click Software InstallationYesYes
Free Trial3 daysNone
Customer Support24/7 chat and tickets
Paid phone support
Knowledge base
24/7 tickets, chat and phone
Knowledge base
Money BackNoneAnytime money back guarantee (full refund within 30 days, prorated after)

Hosting Plans

Cloudways only offers managed cloud hosting, while A2 Hosting offer various types.

Cloudways offers cloud hosting plans from Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, AWS and Google.

Both Cloudways and A2 Hosting are hosting providers, but they function differently. A2 Hosting is more of a traditional hosting company that offers several hosting options, and they use their own servers. Cloudways, in contrast, offers IaaS or Infrastracture-as-a-Service. Basically, they are the middleman that offers to manage the technical side of hosting for you, so that you can focus solely on your sites. They don’t have their own servers, but they make use of cloud infrastractures from other companies such as Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon and Google.

If that’s the case with Cloudways, can’t you just go directly to those cloud hosting providers for hosting? Well, yes, you can, and you can also save a bit of money by doing so. However, if you go that route, you’ll need to deal with everything yourself. You’ll have to set everything up on the back-end, as well as manage and grow your site at the same time. For some users, this is too much of a hassle, and Cloudways offers to alleviate that for them.

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As for their hosting options, Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting using data centers from other companies, while A2 Hosting has a bunch of hosting packages available. A2 Hosting offers shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS, dedicated server hosting and reseller hosting. They also have managed WordPress, VPS and dedicated server hosting plans.

Pricing

A2 Hosting offers cheaper hosting for people with tight budgets.

A2 Hosting offers several hosting options including shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated server hosting.

Cloudways and A2 Hosting also differ when it comes to payment schemes. With Cloudways, you can choose to be billed either monthly or hourly. They have a pay-as-you-go model, wherein you only pay for resources that you used in the previous month.

As previously mentioned, Cloudways has partnered with five cloud server providers, and each of these partners offers several plans. The cheapest plan is priced at $10.00/month with Digital Ocean, and the most expensive plan is from Amazon, which costs $3569.98/month.

A2 Hosting on the other hand, offers a more traditional style of upfront payment for their hosting services. You can pay monthly, annually or every three years. As for the available plans, the cheapest shared plan starts at $2.99/month, while their most expensive managed dedicated server plan costs $290.49/month.

A2 Hosting offers an anytime money back guarantee that allows you to get a full refund if you cancel within 30 days. If 30 days has passed and you still want to cancel your subscription, you’ll get a prorated refund. With Cloudways, there’s no money back guarantee, because it doesn’t make much sense to have one with their payment scheme. They do offer a free 3-day trial if you want to test them first before committing.

Features

Cloudways offers better features, but that doesn’t mean that A2 Hosting’s offerings are bad.

Some of the features that you get with Cloudways.

When it comes to features, both Cloudways and A2 Hosting offer most of the standard features that you can expect, such as 24/7 support, CDN integration, backups, free SSL and more. However, missing from these basic features list is a free domain, which is usually a freebie with most hosting providers. For some reason, both providers opted to not give one to their customers, which is a shame, but not a deal breaker.

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As for exclusive features, both have their offerings as well. With Cloudways, it is easier to scale because of how their system is set up. You can easily upgrade or downgrade your resources if you are expecting a surge in traffic or if you are expecting low traffic. They also offer collaborative tools so that working with a big team is seamless.

However, the most unique feature that you will get with Cloudways is the use of data centers from large companies such as Google and Amazon. You’ll be able to take advantage of these powerful and secure platforms without needing to have the technical know-how to do so. Since Cloudways offers managed hosting, they take care of everything on the backend for you.

With A2 Hosting, you’ll also get useful features such as their anytime money back guarantee, free emails, unmanaged hosting options and the use of cPanel. Unmanaged hosting is basically the opposite of managed hosting, wherein you get full access to your server to do anything that you want. This is great for users that need full control over their hosting environment. Also, being able to use the standard cPanel is great, because a lot of webmasters are already familiar with it and it is very easy to use.

Performance

Cloudways has the edge over A2 Hosting when it comes to uptime.

Cloudways partnered with some of the best cloud server infrastractures to provide excellent performance for their users.

Speed and uptime are the main considerations when talking about performance. Speed is how fast your site loads, while uptime is the time that your site is accessible to visitors. That said, both providers performed extremely well, with Cloudways having a slight edge over A2 Hosting.

With Cloudways, it’s almost a given that you’ll be able to maintain a 100% uptime because of how cloud hosting works. It also helps that they’ve partnered with cloud server providers that routinely maintain and improve their networks.

With A2 Hosting, performance varies, depending on the type of hosting that you choose. Their shared hosting service is good, while their higher tier hosting packages—VPS and dedicated servers—are excellent.

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When it comes to speed, both providers kept loading times at a minimum. Both Cloudways and A2 Hosting use SSDs for storage, so that helps. Also, they both feature Cloudflare CDN integration for even better speed, with Cloudways also giving you the option to use their own CloudwaysCDN. Overall, you can’t go wrong with either, if performance is what matters the most to you.

Ease of Use and Support

Both Cloudways and A2 Hosting offer 24/7 support and easy to use control panels.

A2 Hosting offers more support channels for their customers than Cloudways.

With Cloudways, it is very easy to set up your sites and configure your server. Cloudways has their own control panel that is very different from industry standards such as cPanel and Plesk. Their control panel is very easy to navigate, minimalistic and easy to use. Of course, it’s a bit limited because they only offer managed cloud hosting, but everything that you’ll ever need is there.

With A2 Hosting, getting your sites up and running is also easy. They use cPanel as their control panel, so users with hosting experience will be right at home with them. The standard cPanel is a bit cluttered, but once you get used to it, it’s actually easy to use.

Both hosting providers offer 24/7 support, but only A2 Hosting offers free phone support. You can ask A2 Hosting for assistance via chat, phone and tickets. They also have a knowledge base full of articles regarding common issues. With Cloudways, you’ll get 24/7 chat and ticket support, but if you want to contact them via phone, you’ll need to pay extra. Cloudways also has a knowledge base and a support center for common hosting issues.

Verdict

Both are great hosting providers that target different types of users.

Cloudways

Best for those that want to focus on their site and not worry about technical stuff

A2 Hosting

Best for technical users that want more control over their hosting environment

If you want to focus only on your site and let your hosting provider manage your server for you, you should definitely go with Cloudways. Although A2 Hosting also offers managed hosting plans, Cloudways’ partnership with some of the best cloud server providers allows them to provide a better cloud hosting service than A2 Hosting.

A2 Hosting is also a good hosting provider, and they offer more hosting options for different types of users. For instance, they offer shared hosting for individuals with extremely tight budgets, and they also offer VPS hosting and dedicated server hosting for individuals or businesses that have the budget for them. Additionally, they also offer unmanaged hosting plans for more technical users that need to have total control over their server.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is better: Cloudways or A2 Hosting?

Both of these hosting providers are good. They both provide excellent performance, with Cloudways having the edge when it comes to uptime. If you’re only looking at cloud hosting, Cloudways is the better option.

๐Ÿ“Œ How long is Cloudways’ free trial?

The trial period for Cloudways hosting is 3 days.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is A2 Hosting any good?

Yes, they offer very good performance even with their shared hosting. They offer even better uptime and speed with their higher tier hosting plans such as VPS, dedicated and managed WordPress.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does A2 Hosting use cPanel?

Yes, A2 Hosting comes with cPanel.

Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.