After all, each of those hosting providers is fit with reasonable pricing and a plethora of features, which can make picking the right choice for your website quite the daunting task. Worry not, though, as there are still differences between those services even if all of them are excellent.
In this article, we’ll cover the differences and similarities between A2 Hosting, NameCheap, Hostinger, and GoDaddy so that you can choose the right hosting provider for you and kickstart your online journey the right way. Without further ado, here’s the A2 Hosting vs NameCheap vs Hostinger vs GoDaddy comparison!
The great number of features that A2 Hosting offers can be overwhelming. For instance, you get all the essentials you’d expect from a hosting provider, including website staging, unlimited solid-state storage, security features, as well as a data recovery program. All of that already seems pretty appealing, but what’s really keeping A2 Hosting ahead of the pack is the company’s unique feature: “Turbo” servers. The people at A2 Hosting claim that their turbo servers offer up to 20 times more speed compared to other providers, with fewer users per server and more resources per user. Yes, all of that does sound too good to be true, but even though 20-times speed increase might be a bit far-fetched, A2 Hosting’s turbo servers are indeed some of the fastest we’ve tried. Other great features offered by A2 Hosting include:
- Free migration
- Free automatic backups
- Free SSL certificate
- Speed optimization for WordPress
- And much, much more.
NameCheap is – hey, surprise! – pretty darn cheap compared to other hosting providers, which makes the list of features the company provides quite impressive. That said, some basic features are missing, which means that you’ll have to give up some functionalities if you’re looking to pay as little as possible for hosting. Thankfully, all the essentials are covered. Should you go with NameCheap, you’ll enjoy free domain privacy, daily backups, a ton of free SSL certificates, and integration with several Google Apps. It’s worth noting that, unlike other hosting providers that offer “.com” domains for free, NameCheap offers a free “.website” domain with its plans. NameCheap also has a website builder, but it’s not nearly as good as what you can build using WordPress or dedicated website builders like Wix.
Although Hostinger is a hosting provider that mainly focuses on inexpensive services, the company offers a wide range of features and options with each of its plans, making it quite the attractive option for those on a budget. First and foremost, you get weekly backups for free. Daily backups are available with higher plans, and you can get this feature separately if you wish to. You also get SSD storage, free SSL certificates, Cloudflare integration, and an intuitive website builder. Other features offered by Hostinger include:
- DDoS protection
- Domain privacy
All of that makes Hostinger pass a feature-rich web host rather than a cheap one.
Just like A2 Hosting, GoDaddy is one of the most feature-packed web hosting providers out there. On the flip side, most of GoDaddy’s unique features, such as business phone numbers and website builders, come a la carte, which means that the more features you get, the higher your monthly hosting bill. To get a clearer idea of what we’re talking about, take a look at GoDaddy’s shared hosting plans. You’ll quickly notice that the first two plans lack a free SSL/TLS certificate and come with a limited number of databases.
Furthermore, none of the shared hosting plans include daily backups or malware scanning. Even GoDaddy’s website builder costs extra, which makes it seem that GoDaddy just wants more money around every corner. In other words, when you buy a hosting package from GoDaddy, that’s exactly what you get: a bare hosting package. All of that makes GoDaddy lacking behind when it comes to the features.
Winner: A2 Hosting
2. Plans and Pricing
A2 Hosting’s pricing structure may seem a bit confusing at first, but it’s quite simple to understand. The hosting provider offers four shared hosting plans:
- Startup, which costs $8.99 per month (or $2.99 monthly when paid triennially) and includes one website, 100 GB of SSD Storage, and free site migration.
- Drive, which costs $11.99 per month (or $4.99 monthly when paid triennially) and includes unlimited websites, SSD storage, and free backups.
- Turbo Boost, which costs $19.99 per month (or $9.99 monthly when paid triennially) and includes unlimited websites, NVMe Storage, and backups. The plan also includes the Turbo feature we mentioned earlier.
- Turbo Max, which costs $24.99 per month (or $14.99 monthly when paid triennially) and includes unlimited websites, NVMe Storage, and backups. The plan also includes the Turbo feature and 5 times more resources compared to the other plans.
What’s unique about A2 Hosting is the fact they offer Anytime Money Back Guarantee. You read that correctly. If you ever feel unsatisfied with the service, you can easily get your money back, but we assure you that that’s never going to happen. A2 Hosting accepts all kinds of payment methods except cryptocurrency. When getting a plan from this web host, you can pay using a credit card, bank transfer, PayPal account, Skrill account, or even PayU Latam.
The “CHEAP” in the name doesn’t come from nothing, as NameCheap is one of the cheapest web hosting services you can find today. Not only that, but NameCheap’s pricing structure is easy to understand, thus making picking a plan from this web host a breeze. NameCheap has three shared and WordPress hosting plans, which are:
- Stellar, which costs $2.88 per month or $17.28 the first year (renews at $33.88/year) and includes 3 websites, 20 GB of SSD storage, and a free “.website” domain name.
- Stellar Plus, which costs $4.88 per month or $29.28 the first year (renews at $57.88/year) and includes unlimited websites, unmetered SSD storage, automatic backups, and a free “.website” domain name.
- Stellar Business, which costs $8.88 per month or $52.88 the first year (renews at $104.88/year) and includes unlimited websites, 50 GB of SSD storage, automatic backups, Cloud Storage, and a free “.website” domain name.
If you don’t like the service that you’ve purchased, you can make use of NameCheap’s 30-day money-back guarantee, which covers everything except VPS servers, for which the refund window lasts for two weeks. That’s nothing near what A2 Hosting offers in terms of the money-back guarantee, but it’s still the industry’s standard. To pay for a service from NameCheap, you can use a credit-debit card, PayPal, or Bitcoin.
Not only does Hostinger have some of the cheapest prices for hosting packages, but the web host also has a well-structured pricing scheme that makes choosing the right plan for you a walk in the park.
Hostinger’s shared hosting comes in three flavors:
- Single, which costs $2.15 and includes one website, one email account, weekly backups, and a one-click app installer.
- Premium, which costs $3.49 and includes unlimited websites and email accounts, weekly backups, a one-click app installer, one free domain, and two times the processing power and memory.
- Business, which costs $7.95 and includes unlimited websites and email accounts, daily backups, a one-click app installer, one free domain, webmail access, and four times the processing power and memory.
Simply put, if you want to get the bang for your buck, Hostinger is the way to go. That said, you still have to pay extra for some additional features, such as SSL certificates. Hostinger offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is the industry’s standard. As for the payment methods, Hostinger accepts PayPal, credit card, and Bitcoin payments.
GoDaddy is one of the biggest web hosts available today (you practically see their ads everywhere), which explains why it has an extensive list of plans, each of which priced differently. Add that to the fact that the pricing structure is quite complicated, and you’ll understand why many have abandoned GoDaddy just because finding the right plan can be confusing. When it comes to shared hosting, GoDaddy has four plans in place, each of which can be purchased either on a 3-month, yearly, bi-annually, or triennially basis, which are:
- Economy Shared Hosting, which starts at $5.99 per month and includes 1 website, 100 GB of storage, 10 databases, and a free domain name for the first year.
- Deluxe Shared Hosting, which starts at $7.99 per month and includes unlimited websites and storage, 25 databases, and a free domain name for the first year.
- Ultimate Shared Hosting, which starts at $12.99 per month and includes unlimited websites, storage, and databases, a free domain name and SSL certificate for the first year, and two times the processing power and memory.
- Maximum Shared Hosting, which starts at $19.99 per month and includes unlimited websites, storage, and databases, a free domain name and SSL certificate for the first year, two times the processing power and four times the memory.
As mentioned above, the features included in each of GoDaddy’s plans aren’t that attractive, even though they cost more than the industry’s standard. Extra features, such as backups, SSL certificates, and security options, cost extra, making GoDaddy one of our least favorite hosts when it comes to the prices. Granted, GoDaddy isn’t the most expensive web host we’ve tried, but considering the limited number of features you get with each plan, it’s really hard to trust the advertised price. The money-back-guarantee makes things even worse, as although you get 30 days to get a refund, you’re only eligible for one if you purchased a year or more of hosting. GoDaddy accepts all major credit cards as well as PayPal and bank transfers.
3. Ease of Use
A2 Hosting’s client area is easy to understand and navigate. You can easily view your services, invoices, support tickets, and more, all from a single, streamlined interface. To manage your websites, you’ll have to use cPanel, which is provided for free with any of A2 Hosting’s plans. Anything that you can do in the client area you can do in cPanel, which is pretty convenient.
For a domain registrar, NameCheap’s dashboard is quite intuitive and convenient, but for a hosting provider, it’s a bit disappointing. Why? Because basically, all the tabs point you toward getting hosting for the domains you’ve registered through NameCheap. That makes finding essential features, such as cPanel, difficult. Fortunately, managing your websites shouldn’t be that hard considering that you’ll be doing it using cPanel.
Hostinger has a great no-nonsense dashboard that makes managing your account and services a piece of cake. On the flip side, the web host doesn’t offer cPanel as part of their plans. Instead, you’ll have to use Hostinger’s proprietary hPanel to manage your websites, which isn’t as intuitive and feature-rich as cPanel. That said, Hostinger’s control panel is still pretty robust and user-friendly, so you won’t be missing out on much if you’re not a power user. Then again, you wouldn’t be needing cPanel either if you were a power use, would you?
Just like NameCheap, GoDaddy’s dashboard is more focused on domain management rather than hosting. On the bright side, the client panel is clean and minimalistic, making it easy to find and use essential options like cPanel.
Winner: A2 Hosting
4. Speed and Uptime
As mentioned before, A2 Hosting is one of the fastest services that we’ve tested. Of course, that comes at a steep price, but the end result is worth it. The company owes such a great performance to LiteSpeed, which is an Apache alternative server software that guarantees less network overhead and includes caching that can drastically decrease load times. Between the decreased overhead provided by the LiteSpeed servers and the cache that goes along with it, A2 Hosting can make your site load in less than a second. When we tested our dummy website using Pingdom, we noted that very little time was spent on the “wait” metric, thus showcasing the true power of A2 Hosting’s Turbo feature. As for the uptime, A2 Hosting guarantees a 99.9% uptime.
NameCheap can certainly hold its own when it comes to speed and performance, but we’ve seen better. The first two plans don’t include caching, which can make your site a bit slower. Should you go with one of NameCheap’s higher plans, you’ll get access to eAccelerator and xCache, which should improve the performance significantly. Depending on your plan, Namecheap has an uptime guarantee of either 99.9% or 100%.
Hostinger’s plans are cheap, which explains why this web host is not the best around in terms of speed and performance. When running the dummy website we hosted on Hostinger through Pingdom and other similar tools, we got around a 70-percent score on all of them. Keep in mind that many factors come into play when it comes to how fast your page loads, not all of which are on the shoulders of the web host. Those factors include how well your images are optimized, caching, etc. Should you plan and optimize your site strategically, Hostinger can be fast for you. As for the uptime guarantee, Hostinger guarantees a 99.9% uptime, which is what most web hosts offer these days.
In terms of speed, GoDaddy took less time to load our test site than NameCheap, but it had several blocked requests, which bloated the amount of data needed to be transferred between the user and the server. GoDaddy has a 99.9-percent uptime guarantee, but eligibility is determined solely by the company, and it doesn’t cover FTP and email outages nor maintenance.
Winner: A2 Hosting
Choosing the right web host for your website is no small feat, as it can make or break your experience as a webmaster. Several factors come into play when it comes to picking the best hosting provider, including the ones we’ve mentioned above. A2 Hosting, NameCheap, Hostinger, and GoDaddy are all reputable names in the web hosting world, but each of them shines in its own way. There’s no best web host here, there’s only what can work for your specific use case, which shouldn’t be that hard to determine after going over our comparison. A2 Hosting is the winner in most of these comparisons and it is also the host Private Proxy Guide is using for this website.