Are A2 Hosting Turbo Servers Worth It?

Are A2 Hosting Turbo Servers Worth It?

Are A2 Hosting Turbo Servers worth it? I run a reseller web hosting business as a side hustle. You can read about that here, or get my free mini-course here on how I do that, if you’re interested. I’ve been doing this for a number of years now, and so far, it’s created a fairly decent side income for me, adding up to well over $1000/month, working significantly less than part time.

Obviously, it took months to build up to that point, but I’m glad I put in the work so that I’m able to reap the rewards today. When I first sought out to start a web hosting company, I knew that I wanted to host my websites through a reputable company that wasn’t going to break the bank, had decent speeds, and consistent uptime. The main reason for this was because I knew that if I didn’t choose a good company, it would come back and reflect poorly against me and my business.

This was back in 2016 (or around there), and before I began, I reviewed a lot of different companies. I looked at Dreamhost, Reseller Club, InMotion, and more. Ultimately, I wasn’t happy with any of their offerings or prices, and I decided to give A2 Hosting a try.

Over the last five years that I’ve been with A2, I haven’t had any issues. No downtime (that wasn’t my own fault) whatsoever, customer support has always been helpful and responsive, and I felt like their pricing was fair, or at least competitive.

Since using A2 Hosting, one thing that has always piqued my interest were their “Turbo” servers. Periodically, I’d peruse their website and be enticed to upgrade to a Turbo server, as they advertise “up to 20x faster load times!” Although I knew those claims would be a bit aggressive, I still wondered just how close they were to being accurate.

This past week, I finally decided to make the jump, and I purchased their “Turbo Scale” plan.

A2 Hosting Turbo Server

Obviously, “Turbo Scale” is the most expensive of the plans, but I currently have over 70 clients that I host on my original reseller server, and the “Turbo Scale” plan is the only one that would allow me to keep all of my websites on a single server. $63/month, even to this day, seems a little steep, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.

Initial Impressions

Initial impressions with A2 Hosting’s Turbo Servers were actually very good. After logging into my WHM Control Panel, general responsiveness was greatly improved compared to my original server. It was the very first thing I noticed — everything just felt fast. As I was clicking around the Admin Panel, everything felt very snappy and significantly quicker than my other Reseller Server.

I tried some basic tasks, too, such as uploading files, compressing files, creating databases, etc, and everything I tried felt very quick and snappy, though nothing close to the “20x faster” speeds advertised. I felt that the “20x” claim seemed a bit aggressive anyway, but from my unscientific initial impressions, in general everything felt at least 2x as fast.

In-Depth Testing

I have to admit that even though I say this was “In-Depth” testing, I was still a bit lazy. My process was very simple. I wanted to test two sample websites, one on the Turbo Server, and one on my old Reseller server, then compare site loading speeds. I used Pingdom Speed Test to compare the differences. The first website I tested was a completely stock/blank WordPress installation using the 2020 theme.

In testing, I found that the Turbo Server loaded the base WordPress installation 1.3x faster than the blank WordPress installation on my old non-Turbo’d reseller server.

From there, I wanted a more “real world” test, and I took an exact copy of one of my client’s websites, and copied it over to the Turbo Server. Testing an identical website on two separate servers gave me a much better feel for how much faster the Turbo Server really was, rather than testing a blank WordPress install. Again, testing using Pingdom, I found that the Turbo Server loaded my client’s website 1.56x faster than my old server. Though this is incredibly far off from the advertised 20x performance, it still managed to load my client’s website roughly 3.5 seconds quicker than before.

Obviously these tests could have been done in a more scientific manner, but in general, the websites hosted on the Turbo Server felt significantly snappier than before.

First Contentful Paint

I have a love-hate relationship with the Google PageSpeed tool. I constantly have to educate my clients and tell them that even the largest, most optimized websites in the world don’t achieve a 100/100 score. It’s a consistent battle. That being said, it’s still a great metric to gauge performance.

On my original server through A2 Hosting, it seems that the biggest factor to slow pagespeed scores was due to the “First Contentful Paint” metric. If you’re not familiar, this metric basically says, “It took your server this long to reply to the first page request, and start sending over data.” I’ve seen this be as slow as 7 seconds, in many cases.

Once again I performed this test using the same two websites (Non-Turbo’d version vs Turbo’d version), and these were the results:

Non-Turbo Server:

A2 Hosting Reseller Server

Turbo Server:

A2 Hosting Turbo Server

Holy WOW. This absolutely blew me away. An identical website on the non-turbo vs turbo server really performed significantly quicker — in this case, about 4x. This alone caused my Pagespeed score to jump from 36 to 64.

TLDR

Again, this is probably the least scientific test around. I should have tested dozens of websites, over months of use, etc, etc, but ain’t nobody got time for that. Long story short, I’ve been incredibly impressed with the speed produced from A2 Hosting‘s Turbo Servers. Are they expensive? Yes, however, I’m significantly happy with the increase in performance and that more than makes up for the cost.

Previously, I was paying $44 for my reseller server. For ~$20 more, I’m getting a massive improvement in speed, and my clients have already commented on the increase in speed they’ve seen in their sites. I can’t recommend them enough, if you’re serious about site speed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *