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  5. A2 Hosting vs Liquid Web – Hard to Choose, But I Did [2021]

A2 Hosting vs Liquid Web – Hard to Choose, But I Did [2021]

Mark Holden
Mark Holden
February 01, 2021

It’s hard to decide between two powerful hosts like A2 Hosting and Liquid Web. They both offer reliable service and a diverse range of hosting solutions, but there are a few key differences that will help you choose the right one for your needs.

A2 Hosting is more affordable and better suited to small companies, freelancers, or growing businesses. Liquid Web is tailored to high-end users like developers, webmasters, agencies, and enterprises.

To help you decide, I evaluated both services across different categories. Liquid Web won three out of five categories to become the overall winner of this battle.

Click here to get Liquid Web’s latest deals, or keep reading to find out how each host performed.

Plans and Pricing

A2 Hosting Offers Cheaper Prices, but Liquid Web Offers More Plans and a Better Value for Money

Both A2 Hosting and Liquid Web offer an array of hosting plans. However, A2 Hosting focuses on small to medium websites, whereas Liquid Web meets different hosting requirements especially enterprise-grade and heavily trafficked websites.

A2 Hosting offers shared, VPS, reseller, managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting, and dedicated servers. Liquid Web offers premium managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, reseller hosting, fully managed VPS, and dedicated servers. It’s also very popular for its cloud-based options across all of the above categories.

With A2 Hosting’s three managed WordPress hosting plans (1-Site, 3-Sites, and Unlimited), you’ll get from 10 GB to 40 GB SSD storage, unlimited email accounts, unlimited databases, and the ability to host from 1 to unlimited WordPress sites.

On the other hand, Liquid Web offers seven managed WordPress hosting plans that give you from 15 GB to 800 GB storage, up to 250 hosted websites, from 2 TB to 10 TB bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, no overage fees, unrestricted traffic, unlimited pageviews, and full server access.

Liquid Web doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, but it does provide a 14-day trial with WordPress hosting. In contrast, A2 Hosting offers a 30-day full money-back guarantee. Plus, it has an “anytime money-back guarantee” policy where you can cancel your contract at any time (even after 30 days) and get refunded for the unused period.

The winner? A2 Hosting. A2 Hosting is cheaper, and has the anytime money-back guarantee. It’s a close race, however, because Liquid Web’s Nexcess managed WordPress plans (and free trial) offer great value for money.

Features

A2 Hosting Is Good, but Liquid Web Offers More Quality Features

A2 Hosting and Liquid Web both offer feature-packed hosting plans, but the quality varies. I’ve compared the features in their managed WordPress plans to give you an idea of how they differ.

First, let’s start with the similarities. Both A2 Hosting and Liquid Web offer free Cloudflare CDN, site staging (to develop and test your website before deployment), SSH access, and pre-installed WP-CLI (makes it easier to run WordPress with each host).

Now let’s take a look at the differences between Liquid Web and A2 Hosting. A2 Hosting offers a free Jetpack Personal licence with all plans for a secure and smooth WordPress hosting experience. With this toolkit, you’ll get a CDN, 100+ free WordPress templates, automated daily backups, BruteForce protection, Website Stats, and Lazy Loading Images.

Liquid Web does put more effort in providing more WordPress-optimized packages. For starters, all WordPress plans run on Nexcess’s high-performance cloud platform giving it an advantage over A2 Hosting. These servers are even more powerful than A2 Hosting’s Turbo servers. It also offers daily backups (kept for 30 days).

Moreover, Liquid Web offers Beaver site builder free of charge allowing you to easily create and launch your website (especially if you don’t have a background in web design). Other freebies include  iThemes Security Pro/iThemes Sync (to manage and maintain multiple WordPress sites from one place) and Git integration (a local development environment that enables you to keep track of every time modifications are saved).

I’ve compiled all the important features into this table so you can see, at a glance, how A2 Hosting and Liquid Web compare for WordPress hosting.

A2 HostingLiquid Web
Hosting TypesShared, managed WordPress hosting, VPS, reseller, dedicated serversVPS hosting, managed WordPress hosting, managed WooCommerce hosting, dedicated servers, cloud dedicated servers, reseller hosting, and other cloud-based hosting solutions
Free Domain
Free SSL Certificate
Disk Space10 GB – Unlimited150 GB – 800 GB
Bandwidth400 GB – Unlimited2 TB – 10 TB
Automatic Backups
Control PanelcPanel, PleskInterWorx, Plesk, cPanel
Email AccountsUnlimitedUnlimited
Free CDN
Free Site Migration
Money-Back Guarantee30 daysNo, but offers 14-day free trial with WordPress Hosting

The winner here is Liquid Web, thanks to its more value-added features that are provided free of charge with its managed WordPress hosting plans and stronger Nexcess cloud servers as opposed to A2 Hosting’s above average feature set.

Performance

Liquid Web Delivers Faster Speeds Than A2 Hosting (Despite Having Fewer DataCenters)

The closer your website visitors are to your host’s data centers, the faster your website will load. That’s the theory, anyway, but despite the fact that A2 Hosting has more data centers (two in the US, one in the Netherlands, and one in Singapore) than Liquid Web, its performance isn’t the best.

When we tested A2 Hosting, its page loading speeds were poor around the globe, and for Asian test locations, the test website took twice as long to load as the Liquid Web test website did.  You can find the full details in our expert review.

A2 Hosting's performance scores
A2 Hosting’s loading speeds aren’t very good, in spite of having more data centers than Liquid Web

Liquid Web shows promising page loading speeds from almost any location around the world. Find out the full details in our expert’s in-depth review of Liquid Web.

Liquid Web page loading speed
Liquid Web manages better overall loading speeds in more locations than A2 Hosting

In terms of reliability, both web hosts are dependable. A2 Hosting promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee and Liquid Web promises a 100% uptime guarantee. Both hosts achieved impressive actual uptimes in our tests.

In spite of A2 Hosting’s Turbo servers (with high-value plans) and data center in Singapore, Liquid Web’s heavy investment in creating a robust and sophisticated infrastructure enables it to deliver faster speeds (even with its small plans) even in remote locations such as Singapore. As a result, Liquid Web wins the performance challenge.

Security

Both Are Proactive About Security, but A2 Hosting Includes More Security Features with Its Plans

With Liquid Web and A2 Hosting, you can enjoy a safe and secure hosting environment as both services provide a variety of useful security features/plugins with their plans. However, it all comes down to which host goes the extra mile to decide who wins this round.

Both Liquid Web and A2 Hosting offer built-in DDoS/Brute-Force protection and web application firewalls, plus free SSL certificates, and free automatic website backups with their plans (to safeguard your data). Their hosting plans use CloudLinux OS, too, which has higher levels of security than regular Linux OS

There are some notable differences, though. A2 Hosting includes extra security features, including HackScan, Auto-Heal hosting protection, Barracuda spam filtering, and virus scanning. Liquid Web’s only notable added security feature is its daily security audits.

Even though Liquid Web provides top-level security features with its packages, A2 Hosting offers a wider range of inclusive high-quality security features making it the winner of this round by a hair.

Support

It’s Easier to Get Help from Liquid Web

An extensive knowledge base is available on both of the hosts’ websites with numerous articles and tutorials covering most major topics. In addition, each host has its own blog with articles covering new topics.

A2 Hosting’s customer support is available 24/7 via live chat, phone, support ticket, and email. Unfortunately, getting in touch with the live chat wasn’t a thrilling experience. I had to wait for sometime to get connected to an agent followed by a few time gaps between questions and answers, and some of the information provided was inaccurate.

A2 Hosting Support Live Chat
I found it frustrating having to wait for responses from A2 Hosting’s support agent.

Liquid Web’s support is also available 24/7 through live chat, phone, and support ticket. Like with A2 Hosting, I went straight for the live chat. Unlike A2 Hosting, I was instantly connected to an agent who was very helpful, and provided me with all the information I needed.

Liquid Web Live Chat support
I was impressed by how quickly Liquid Web’s support agent responded.

Liquid Web’s support is more attentive and reliable than that of A2 Hosting, which makes it the winner of this round.

Liquid Web Defeats A2 Hosting by a Thin Margin

It was definitely a close call between A2 Hosting and Liquid Web. Both hosts offer powerful hosting solutions and top-quality managed WordPress hosting. It’s no surprise that they’re both featured in our list of the best web hosting services for 2021.

Nevertheless, Liquid Web’s robust cloud infrastructure, high-end features, more helpful support, and faster performance make it the winner of this comparison.

Comparison Table

A2 HostingLiquid Web
Plans and PricingCheaper shared plans. Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Plus, anytime money-back guarantee.More expensive managed WordPress plans, but better value and competitive pricing on VPS and dedicated servers. Offer a 14-day free trial.
Key FeaturesFree site migration, free Personal Jetpack license, free SSL,  unlimited email accountsFree site migration, free SSL, unlimited email accounts, free Beaver Builder Lite, iThemes Security Pro and iThemes Sync
PerformanceFree CDN with all plans, 99.9% uptime guarantee, slower loading speedsFree CDN with all plans, 100% uptime guarantee, faster loading speeds
SecurityKernelCare, DDoS/Brute-Force protection, dual web hosting firewall, HackScan, Auto-Heal hosting protection, Barracuda spam filtering, virus scanning, CloudLinux OS, free automatic backupsKernelCare, 24/7 server monitoring, DDoS protection, advanced firewalls, HTTP intrusion protection, daily security audits, CloudLinux OS, free automatic backups
SupportComprehensive knowledge base, blog, 24/7, live chat, phone, support ticket, email, low responsiveness, staff isn’t very helpfulComprehensive knowledge base, blog, 24/7, live chat, phone, support ticket, highly responsive, staff is very helpful

FAQ Section

Which is better, A2 Hosting or Liquid Web?
It depends on your hosting needs. If you’re running a small to medium-sized business, or on a limited budget, then I recommend A2 Hosting. However, if you have a scaling business or are looking for sophisticated hosting solutions for bigger sites, you can’t go wrong with Liquid Web.

Both A2 Hosting and Liquid Web are listed among the top 10 web hosting services on the market.

Does Liquid Web offer VPS hosting?
Liquid Web has an impressive range of fully managed VPS hosting plans for both Linux and Windows. Some key VPS features include SSD storage, free CloudFlare CDN, control panel licenses, and DDoS protection. Liquid Web is also recommended by our experts as one of the best managed VPS hosting services.
Does A2 Hosting use cPanel?
Yes, it does. You can get free cPanel with any of A2 Hosting’s four shared hosting plans. cPanel isn’t quite right for you? A2 Hosting includes Plesk with its managed WordPress hosting plans. Or check out our list of top cPanel alternatives.
Does Liquid Web offer a free domain?
No. Liquid Web doesn’t offer free domain name registration with any of its hosting plans. But it’s easy to register a domain with Liquid Web, and you can transfer an existing website for free.

Not sure which domain name is right for you? Don’t miss this ultimate guide to choosing and buying a domain.

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