A2 Hosting offers a variety of hosting services while DigitalOcean’s network of virtual machines (VMs) is designed for developers. Though their cloud hosting services have certain similarities, they’re quite different. I tested both these web hosts on multiple parameters and found A2 Hosting doing much better on almost all. That explains why it wins this A2 Hosting vs. DigitalOcean competition quite convincingly.
You can click here to see A2 Hosting’s latest deals or continue reading to find what makes it outshine DigitalOcean.
1. Plans and Pricing
A2 Hosting wins with its beginner-friendly features and money-back guarantee
For budget-friendly shared hosting, you’ll have to go to A2 Hosting as DigitalOcean doesn’t offer them. But if you need cloud plans, DigitalOcean’s cloud VMs are worth considering along with A2 Hosting cloud hosting plans. Though the starting cloud hosting plan of both costs the same and use SSDs, DigitalOcean offers more variety to choose from. However, with A2 Hosting, you’ll get more beginner-friendly features, which makes it deliver value for money.
With A2 Hosting, you can get a full 30-day refund. If you cancel after the first 30 days, you’ll get a prorated refund of unused service. DigitalOcean doesn’t have any refund policy.
A wider variety of hosting plans plus user-friendly features helps the green host win
A2 Hosting is a carbon-neutral hosting provider that offers shared, managed WordPress, email, and reseller hosting along with managed/unmanaged VPS, cloud VPS, and dedicated servers.
DigitalOcean offers developer-friendly SSD cloud servers.
DigitalOcean’s Standard Droplets (VMs) offer more resources than A2 Hosting’s cloud VPS (25GB SSD-3,840 GB SSD vs. 20GB SSD-50GB SSD, 1-32 vCPUs vs. 1-4 cores, etc). In terms of cloud infrastructure, A2 Hosting VPS uses the high-performance SwiftServer Platform with SSDs and Turbo Servers to deliver up to 300% faster page load speeds and up to 20X faster page load times. It also offers root access and VPS customization.
DigitalOcean’s VMs come with floating IP addresses, load balancers, cloud firewalls, API, CLI, and client libraries, multiple pre-installed software, 1-click apps, free Let’s Encrypt SSL, and automated backups.
With A2 Hosting’s shared hosting, you’ll get a quadruple redundant network, free SSL certificate, RAID-10 storage, 1-click installer, website builder, free migrations, and free automatic backups (except the basic plan).
To compare DigitalOcean and A2 Hosting’s key features, check this feature comparison table.
|Hosting Types||Shared, managed WordPress, email, and reseller hosting plus managed/unmanaged VPS, cloud VPS, and dedicated servers||Developer-friendly SSD cloud servers|
|Free SSL Certificate||✓||✓|
|Disk Space||20GB SSD-50GB SSD (cloud VPS)||25GB SSD-3,840GB SSD|
|Automatic Backups||✓(files only with managed VPS)||✓|
|Control Panel||cPanel, Plesk||Plesk, CyberPanel, and VPSrobots|
|Email accounts||Unlimited||Not mentioned|
|Free Site Migration||✓||×|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days; prorated refund after the first 30 days||×|
Despite almost neck-and-neck cloud plans, A2 Hosting wins, thanks to its wider range of hosting plans and user-friendly features.
Multiple speed-enhancing features plus a decent performance helps A2 Hosting edge past DigitalOcean
A2 Hosting has servers in Europe, the U.S., and Asia. It uses multiple speed-enhancing features including LiteSpeed servers, SSDs, Cloudflare CDN, APC (Alternative PHP Cache), Memcached, SPDY, and WebSocket, to name a few.
Though DigitalOcean has 12 global datacenters, all locations aren’t available for its Droplet plans. It uses SSDs and free CDN for enhanced hosting performance.
A2 Hosting offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee backed by a credit system where you get money back after the first 0.1% per month. It also did well across North America in our performance tests but could have done better in other regions. Check its performance details at our expert A2 Hosting review.
Digital Ocean offers a 99.99% uptime guarantee and performed well in our tests. Check our in-depth DigitalOcean review to find out more.
A close match but A2 Hosting manages to win
With A2 Hosting’s Perpetual Security (including KernelCare and HackScan), your website will always stay protected. Other notable security features (with shared hosting) include free Patchman enhanced security tool, automated backups, two-factor authentication, reinforced DDoS protection, dual firewall, and brute force defense.
Some fundamental security practices of DigitalOcean include SSH keys, firewall, VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) networks, service auditing, unattended updates, disabling the directory indexes, and regular backups.
Thanks to its Perpetual Security, A2 Hosting wins this round.
Both hosts fair badly but A2 Hosting has a slight edge over DigitalOcean
A2 Hosting delivers 24/7 support through its Guru Crew. You can reach it via phone, live chat, and support ticket. Though its support claims to be one of the best in the industry, our expert reviewer’s experience wasn’t so great. Its huge knowledgebase offers adequate self-help though.
Support tickets are the only way to reach DigitalOcean but you could have trouble submitting them just like I did.
For self-help, you can use DigitalOcean’s tutorials, articles, documentation and resources, and its online community.
With its slightly better support, A2 Hosting wins this closely-fought round.
Despite some tough competition from DigitalOcean, A2 Hosting wins convincingly
A2 Hosting won in all five categories though DigitalOcean gave it some tough competition in some of these. A2 Hosting’s support leaves room for a lot of improvement though, especially if it really aims to deliver top-notch support as it claims.
So, I would recommend A2 Hosting in this matchup, which is also featured on our list of the best web hosting services.