Hosting Tutorial & Guide

Are A2 SSD Hosting Plans Really Fast and High Performance?

updated on Apr 24, 2017
Are A2 SSD Hosting Plans Really Fast and High Performance? A2Hosting is exactly one of those companies devoted to speeding up customers' websites. The company offers high speed SSD hosting plans which are said to be able to help websites run several times faster than those websites hosted with other companies. However, are the plans really delivering such a fast speed?

A2Hosting has 3 SSD hosting plans covering web hosting, VPS hosting and managed VPS. In this article, we mainly discuss the SSD plans for web hosting.
A2Hosting SSD Hosting Review
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    $3.92/mo, 51% off regularly

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What are A2Hosting SSD hosting plans?

As the name indicates, A2Hosting SSD plans are web hosting packages that utilize high performance SSDs (Solid State Drives) instead of the traditional HDDs (Hard Disk Drives), which is designed for webmasters who desire super fast web hosting speed for their websites.

The plans come with all the standard features, such as unlimited RAID-10 storage, unlimited monthly data transfer, etc. Moreover, they include several features and technologies that can certainly benefit the website performance, like the high performance SwiftServer platform, CloudFlare CDN, and Railgun optimizer.

In below, we will analyze the factors influencing speed to see whether the SSD plans arehelpful in speeding up websites. But Before introducing the technologies used by A2Hosting to guarantee the amazing hosting performance, we firstly want to showcase a testing result concerning about the page loading speed and online reliability achieved by the SSD plan in the past 30 days.

The tested website is a newly-launched blog site, containing a lot of images, music files, and audio files. We have monitored this blog for 2 months uninterruptedly, and have found that the site hosted by A2Hosting SSD only consumes 397ms for server response averagely.

SwiftServer platform

A2Hosting SwiftServer Platform With 10+ years of development, A2Hosting now has 2 data centers located in Southfield, Michigan, US and Reykjavik, Iceland, both of which are optional and leverage high performance SwiftServers.

Tuned by the Guru Crew team, the SwiftServer platform features CloudLinux OS, 8 core server minimum, 24 GB RAM minimum, 10 GB redundant network, and no server overloading, which helps a lot in both reliability and performance. Besides, the redundant network, redundant power supply and closely regulated environment also ensure that customers' websites and data are accessible with the shortest latency.


Unlike HDDs use spinning platters to record data, SSDs use flash memory. HDDs have electromechanical moving parts, and need to take some time to spin to locate the information that users need. However, SSDs contain no moving mechanical parts, so there is no latency. Standard HDDs are only able to perform hundreds of input/output operations per second, while SSDs can perform thousands per second thus dramatically reduce the response time and loading time.

According to experiments and surveys, pages using a SSD may load up to 300% faster than using a HDD. For instance, the average page loading speed with SSD, based on performance tests, is 0.3 second, while that with HDD is 1.1 seconds. And the MySQL transactions with SSD average 19.9 KB per second, while those with HDD average 6 KB per second. It can be easily seen that SSDs is a wonderful performance boost feature.

For more information about SSD, read The Benefits of Using SSD in Web Hosting.

A2Hosting SSD

CloudFlare CDN & Railgun Optimizer

When talking about "speeding-up", CloudFlare CDN (Content Delivery Network) is mentioned frequently. Currently, CloudFlare operates 23 data centers around the world. Once its CDN is enabled, the static files of a website are automatically cached and served to its visitors from the geographically closest servers. The result is that the website loads 200% faster to the visitors regardless where they are located, and there are 65% fewer requests and 60% less bandwidth consumed.

Generally speaking, 65% of the resources of a website can be cached by CloudFlare CDN, while the other 35% are often the initial HTML that are unable to be cached for they are dynamically generated. The Railgun optimizer, which is also developed by CloudFlare, exactly works to speed up the HTML.

Instead of transferring the entire request between CloudFlare and the website's server, Railgun only transfers changes in markup from one request to the next, and caches the differences in memory. The optimized process significantly reduces the transfer time as well as the page loading time. With Railgun turned on, A2Hosting customers can see 143% faster HTML loading times.

A2Hosting CloudFlare CDN

Other speeding-up technologies adopted in A2 SSD plans

Besides all the technologies discussed above, A2Hosting also offers the following things for those who need even faster speed. Some of the features below are exclusive to higher-level plans.
  • A2 Optimized Software. The web host has created their own A2 Optimized after endless testing and optimization of their hosting platform. This feature auto-configures the poplar software like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and PrestaShop for the best performance and security. The auto-optimization includes compression, caching, and more.
  • Turbo Servers. They are a replacement for Apache that delivers up to 20x faster page loads.
  • A2 Optimized Caching. A2Hosting has built an exclusive site accelerator which comes with caching options including Turbo Cache (caching the entire HTML contents), OPcache/APC (cutting PHP page response speed) and Memcached (Increasing the speed of MySQL databases).
  • Performance Plus, which doubles your CPU cores and adds additional RAM to your account to help you maintain the website speed during traffic spikes.
Note that these features are not included in the cheap plans by default. So if you expect extremely fast speed for online businesses, you'd better purchase a more expensive SSD plan with less users on a server and more speeding-up technologies.

Is A2Hosting SSD hosting really fast and high performance?

The answer is definitely YES. Running on the SwiftServer platform with the addition of SSD, CloudFlare CDN and Railgun, websites hosted with A2Hosting are certainly expected to run over 600% faster than most other websites. What's better is that all of these additions are available for free for customers subscribing to the SSD hosting plan.

Regularly, the SSD hosting plans for web hosting start from $7.99/mo, but with the exclusive promotional link, you are entitled to get a 51% discount off the 1/6/12-month subscription and get the price down to $3.92/mo. This plan includes:
  • PHP 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, MySQL 5.5, PostgreSQL 9.1, phpMyAdmin, SSH, Ruby on Rails 2.3.x, 3.0.x, Python 2.4, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2 & Perl 5.10
  • cPanel control panel, server rewind backups & Softaculous 1-click installer
  • 99.9% uptime
  • 24x7x365 Guru Crew technical support via email, live chat & phone
  • Various extras like $25 Bing/Yahoo ad credits, $20 Bidvertiser ad credits, Attracta SEO, free iContact email marketing trial, clicktale heatmap analytics, etc.
Note that all of these are included into the 30-day money back guarantee offered by A2Hosting, meaning that customers can stop the account and get the money refunded if they are not satisfied with any of these aspects.

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