Having had the unfortunate experience with A2, I set about finding an alternative host. I was rather losing the will to live, and more or less decided just to go with Bluehost. It still irked me though that their product information page was rather sparse. The checkout page was a lot simpler than A2, and by each of the additional options was a link to explain what it meant.
That’s good, although at the time the search engine link gave me an error.
I was feeling a bit under-informed, so pushed myself to one last review. Of particular help was hostadvice.com. Not only does this site have reviews, but there is also a free 24×7 live chat, which I used. The person at the other end asked me about what I was looking for, and as a result recommended Siteground.
I’d been put off Siteground initially as their plans are more limited in storage and bandwidth, but realistically unless something extraordinary happens, and people start reading this, it’s not going to be an issue. It does though speak to an interesting psychological point. I imagine that there are many people paying for faster bandwidth, or more phone minutes than they need. Just the fact that ‘more’ is available, makes people want it, because otherwise you are getting ‘less’. So from a business point of view, when broadband providers in the UK advertised ‘unlimited’ bandwidth, but it really wasn’t, it was nevertheless an attractive proposition, and the limits imposed by the ‘fair use’ policies had no impact on the vast majority of users. The real problem was that ‘fair use’ wasn’t really fair, because then ‘unlimited’ didn’t mean unlimited, and the policies weren’t made obvious. Even so, another provider who offered a capped plan, even if it was more than the ‘fair use’ of the unlimited plan, didn’t have as good a marketing proposition.
So I put my rational hat on, and went with Siteground, where this blog is hosted. Checkout was simple and informative, much like Bluehost. The post-purchase experience was a million miles away from A2. When I was offered mutually exclusive choices of two things I wanted to do (one was set up WordPress, I can’t recall the other), I asked live chat, who not only immediately told me what to do – but did it for me. It was really easy. There was no mucking about with URLs to point to one domain, no issues with SSL certs, or .htaccess files. What had been painful to do on A2 turned out to be very easy on Siteground.
I would emphasise again that I’m just one user, with a specific use case. There could be other scenarios where A2 is a better choice. Nevertheless, I think there are obvious things that A2 could improve on, and congratulations to Sitehost for getting it right.