Here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial to help you start with your WordPress website on A2 Hosting.
Bill Gates once said that if your business is not on the Internet, your business will be out of business.
True. You don’t need the inspiration to sell online when you can see the dairy people doing it.
And the best way to jump on the online bandwagon is to start a website. WordPress helps you to do that far more easily than any other content management system (CMS).
Before jumping to the procedure to install WordPress on A2 hosting, let’s justify our CMS and hosting provider picks.
First, it’s simple.
Second, WordPress is greatly supported with countless plugins and a huge community. This helps you to get answers to almost every problem you may face.
You can use WordPress to build a single-page portfolio or a high-traffic online store. It has everything for everyone.
And finally, a fact to seal this in its favor–more than 60% of websites use WordPress. Period.
Now, let’s evaluate our next choice.
Why A2 Hosting?
As of this writing, A2 Hosting was home to more than 180,000 domains. It had more than 260+ five-rated reviews out of 299 on Webhostinggeeks.
That’s a pretty solid reputation for any hosting company.
Besides, A2 Hosting claims to put the latest software in their plans. Additionally, they commit to 99.99% uptime and a refund if they fail.
And all its higher-tier shared hosting plans come with turbo features such as:
LiteSpeed Web Server
This web server is a drop-in replacement for the conventional Apache and Nginx web servers. Put simply, it is at least 6x faster than both. You can expect a brisk-loading website.
This stands for Non-Volatile Memory express technology. This is a new communication interface. Along with SSD (solid-state drives), it offers 3x faster read/write speeds. It will boost your website’s performance, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and conversion rates.
It’s the latest version of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). And as with every update, this promises even faster and secure connections for websites and APIs.
Edge Side Includes (ESI)
ESI is a markup language that divides a web page into separate elements. This assists in creating caches of all pages, including the pages having some non-cacheable elements. In layman’s terms, your users will be delighted with fewer loading times.
This is short for a low-latency transportation protocol developed by Google, Quick UDP Internet Connections. QUIC is here to reduce connection times and is a must-have for speed-intensive connections such as gaming, streaming, etc.
Their most economical plan starts from USD 2.99 a month for a 3-year subscription for one website. However, you should subscribe to at least a USD 6.99 plan to enjoy the above turbo features.
Select according to your requirements and complete the purchase.
Installing WordPress with Softaculous
The first thing in installing WordPress is to add the domain. But there is an additional step if you’ve purchased the domain from anywhere else other than the A2 hosting.
You must use the nameservers from your hosting provider and update them with the domain registrar. While this may sound scary, it’s analogous to updating your experience details on LinkedIn.
For that, log in to your A2 hosting dashboard and click the Account Details below Connection Details.
Now copy your nameserver information and update that at your registrar’s domain section. This process is specific to a registrar. So, please search for your domain registrar and be done with it before proceeding.
So you got your domain pointing at your hosting provider, now, let’s move to the cPanel area. For that, head over to the client area and click cPanel Login.
Now scroll down and click Domains.
Now select Create A New Domain. Since we have this domain already added, it’s showing this warning on the next screen. But you can enter any new domain and click Submit at the end to make it available for the further WordPress installation process.
Now that the domain is created, it’s time to install WordPress from the Softaculous Apps installer. You can find that in the cPanel or from the client area in the My Services section. But since we are already in the cPanel, we’ll navigate from here.
Usually, it’s the first option in the Softaculous menu–WordPress A2 Optimized, click that, and afterward, click Install.
It will ask to choose the installation URL. Select the one you just added in the Domain section of cPanel. Subsequently, you will be asked to enter details like Site name, Site description (tagline), username, password, etc. And finally, at the bottom, there are Advanced Options for backup location, frequency, etc., and the Install button.
After going through all that and clicking Install, it will approximately take 5 mins for the installation to complete. Save the Administration URL for logging into your WordPress dashboard.
While the standard procedure to enter the WordPress dashboard is to visit websitename.com/wp-admin, A2 hosting assigns specific login URLs to prevent malicious login and hacking attempts.
If the process fails or gets stuck in between, don’t bother. Re-run the installer, and you will get through.
You can visit your site after the installation.
Post Installation Tweaks and Checks
One good thing with A2 hosting is that the SSL certificate gets activated along with the standard installation. Other hosting providers, for instance, with SiteGround managed WordPress hosting, have a separate process (although just a few clicks) to install an SSL certificate.
You can verify the SSL certificate with a padlock showing on the left of the URL. Without the SSL, there will be a Not Secure warning instead of the padlock, like this:
A2 hosting has a few tools preinstalled to tweak the performance and security further. We will measure the changes before and after using these optimizations with our in-house website-audit tool and Pingdom website speed test.
First, let’s switch on the recommended configurations.
A2 Optimized Tool
Login to your WordPress dashboard with the admin credentials. Next, click the A2 Optimized to view the performance boosters.
In addition to this, you can turn on the Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network) in the Advanced Optimizations. Check out this article to know about how to add your domain to the Cloudflare network.
Put simply, a CDN maintains a version of your website in various global locations (Cloudflare has 194!) to cut the distance between the web browser and server. This results in a swift-loading website for a worldwide audience.
So that now we have almost all suggested optimizations turned on, it’s time to check the impact on the speed matrices.
While the speed depends on numerous factors–website data, number and type of plugins, etc., this test is just to check out the A2 hosting in-house optimization methods. Here are the results:
It appears the optimizations have no significant effect. And correctly so. Well, you can’t optimize a website beyond a point.
We had done similar testing for a managed WordPress plan on SiteGround, and their in-house optimizer had notable effects on the performance. Because, in the default conditions, the website hosted at SiteGround wasn’t as greatly optimized as in the case of A2 hosting.
And this becomes even more plausible as we were testing shared hosting and not a managed WordPress server.
Conclusively, A2 hosting’s default settings leave little room for improvement. Now I can make sense of their tagline–Our Speed, Your Success; they are quite right in that.
That being said, you may still see some improvements for a fully-loaded website with images, animations, etc.
Adding Email Account(s)
One of the perks of having a website is a business email. It makes you look professional and on par with other businesses. In addition, some of the online registrations specifically ask for a business email.
With your A2 hosting, you can create unlimited email addresses for you and your team.
For creating an email, move to your cPanel area and click Email Accounts.
Now click the +Create button on the right side. Subsequently, enter the username (we’ve entered admin), generate or enter the password, and select +Create at the bottom.
Finally, you will be able to see the newly created email in the Email Accounts.
Website Uptime is the time for which a site remains operational for its audience in a given period. It’s a crucial parameter for every website.
Most hosting providers, including the A2 hosting, claim a 99.99% uptime. To check the reality, we have added this website for Uptime monitoring.
This was the status as of this writing:
While the uptime is excellent, A2 hosting can work on the response time. It currently shows 1.7 seconds. Though anything below 2 seconds is tolerable, ideally, this figure should be less than 1.2 seconds.
Admittedly, A2 Hosting is one of the most efficient hosting providers, and we have numbers shouting that out loud.
Conclusively, if you’ve some passion for the do-it-yourself culture, there’s no good reason to opt for managed WordPress hosting plans. This holds especially true for small-scale bloggers and businesses.
And with A2 hosting, you can rest assured to be in good hands.