A2 Hosting and Bluehost are two popular hosts. However, based on our tests, A2 Hosting has a certain edge over Bluehost in terms of performance.
A2 Hosting Vs. Bluehost
A2 Hosting has been around since 2001 and has been a very reliable hosting service, characterized by excellent speed, security, and support. A2 is one of those services that are looked up to for their excellent speed, and this company has laid utmost emphasis on speed right from its inception.
Started in 2003, Bluehost is one of the oldest hosting services and is also recommended by WordPress.org. The service allows you to build and grow WordPress sites with great ease. Bluehost has tailored plans for websites, blogs, and online stores.
Many find it difficult to choose between these two services since they aren't sure of these two services' aspects. In this post, I will get you familiar with every aspect of A2, as well as Bluehost. Once you read this post till the end, you should conveniently choose between the two.
A2 Hosting Vs. Bluehost: Performance
Server Response Time
Performance is a crucial factor and needs in-depth analysis. My first performance test is the server response time test. What I tried to find out is which of these two services loads faster or, in other words, has a faster response to the server. As a part of the performance test, I had demo sites hosted with both the services.
As I tested the server response time for my demo sites, my A2 site recorded an average server response time of 314 ms. My Bluehost site had an average server response time of 460 ms. Hence, you can see that my A2 site had a comparatively better server response time than my Bluehost site. However, it wouldn't be wrong to say that Bluehost also had a decent response time.
Online stores and blogs need constant availability to make the most out of their potential traffic. I tested the uptime of my sites hosted with these two services for 3 months to understand their availability. Both A2 Hosting and Bluehost recorded 99.99% uptime and I can say both the hosts are reliable here.
Load Testing is another critical performance test, and I test the services by sending random 1000 traffic in 1 minute to my sites and then a constant 500 clients in 1 minute and checking how fast they respond to it.
My A2 site recorded 26 ms in random 1000 clients in 1 minute and 163 ms in constant 500 clients in 1 minute, while my Bluehost site recorded 54 ms in 1000 clients in 1 minute and 374 ms in 500 clients in 1 minute. Going by the results, you can see that the response time of my Bluehost site is more than double of my A2 site. Hence, A2 gets a leading edge over Bluehost.
The Global TTFB test involves testing the TTFB of sites across multiple global locations and is exceptionally effective for sites that rely on multiple global locations for traffic. I pinged the sites from 10 global locations.
The TTFB of my A2 site had been exceptionally good in all the places except for Sydney, where the TTFB had gone up to 996.69 ms. The site had an average of 418.08 ms. My Bluehost site's TTFB had also been pretty impressive in all the places, with an average TTFB of 438.82 ms. The site's TTFB was especially good in New York, Dallas, and San Francisco.
Core Web Vitals
Performance check would be incomplete without testing the Core Web Vitals, which is an important way of checking the user experience of sites and hosting services. Most importantly, Core Web Vitals is expected to impact the rankings from now on largest.
My A2 site had a ‘Largest Contentful Paint’ of 0.703 s, a ‘Total Blocking Time’ of 0 s, and a ‘Cumulative Layout Shift’ of 0, while my Bluehost site recorded a ‘Largest Contentful Paint’ of 1.080 s, a ‘Total Blocking Time’ of 0.002 s, and a ‘Cumulative Layout Shift’ of 0.021 s. Both have decent Core Web VItals.
A2 Hosting Vs. Bluehost: Features
Data Center Locations
Hosting a site from the closest server location to your targeted traffic is a huge advantage for sure. A2 has 4 data centers located across the USA, Europe, and Asia, while Bluehost has just one data center in Utah in the USA.
Both seem to have limited data center locations. However, this shouldn't be a problem as long as you find your desired data center among the available options. Just in case you don't find your desired data center location among the available options, you can overcome this issue by using CDN.
CDNs help sites load at a lightning-fast speed backed by many advanced speed optimization technologies. Both A2 and Bluehost use Cloudflare CDN and it provides sites with the advantage of improved page load speeds, low bandwidth usage, and low CPU usage on the server. It includes some advanced features such as reverse-proxy, auto minification of scripts, image optimization, and over 155 global server locations. Both A2 and Bluehost offer Cloudflare CDN for free on all plans.
Staging or creating copies of live sites for testing is a pretty useful feature. Both A2 and Bluehost have this feature for free on all plans. A2 allows you to create staging sites by using the Softaculous app installer from the cPanel. Deploying the final changes takes just about a single click, and you can do it by clicking on the ‘Push to Live' button.
Bluehost allows you to create staging sites from your WordPress dashboard itself, and you can do it by going to the Bluehost tab and then to the Staging tab. Once you finish testing, you can push your final changes to the live site by choosing between the three deploy options.
It's time to check the backup systems of the two services, and A2 has an extremely reliable backup system in place for sure with free automated daily backups. Users can restore a copy of the backup anytime, and the process is straightforward. However, free automated daily backup isn't available in the StartUp plan.
Bluehost has a good backup system in place as well, with free automated daily backups. However, the feature is not available in the lowest tier plan and only available in the higher plans.
Constant online security threats surround sites, and it is important to pay close attention to the site's security before it's too late. A2 is well-known for its perpetual security that comprises KernelCare rebootless kernel updates, brute force defense, a dual firewall, and (DDoS) Protection.
As far as the Bluehost security system goes, it isn't as advanced as the A2 security system, and it comprises resource protection, traffic encryption, automated malware scanning, and expert monitoring. For better protection, users can get paid security add-ons such as SiteLock and Domain Privacy.
A reliable support team can be the greatest relief at times when you run into some technical difficulties. The A2 support team has been very reliable over the years in helping their customers. A2's Guru Crew has experienced executives to help the customers 24×7 through live chat, phone, and tickets.
Bluehost also has a dedicated support team with competent executives to assist the customers with their technical difficulties 24 x7 through live chat, tickets, and phone.
I am sure you now have good clarity on the two services. I have shared with you the important performance details of the services alongside their features. Performance-wise, both A2 and Bluehost are pretty reliable.
The only limitation that may come your way is the limited data center locations. However, it shouldn't be a huge problem as long as you use CDN, and as already mentioned, both offer Cloudflare CDN for free on all plans.
A2 has a better security system than Bluehost, for sure. However, none of the services had any major security issues in the recent past. Further, you can also opt for the security add-ons in Bluehost for better security. When choosing a plan, it's wise to avoid the lowest tier plan in both the services and choose a mid-tier plan if not the highest-tier plan since the lowest-tier plan has many limitations.
In the end, there is no much difference between A2 Hosting and Bluehost. However, A2 Hosting offers better performance and holds good in handling high traffic better than Bluehost. Also, their pricing is affordable with global data center options. Hence, I recommend A2 Hosting over Bluehost for all users.