SiteGround Hosting VS A2 Hosting VS GreenGeeks Hosting

As a WordPress web designer I get a lot of opportunity to work with different web hosts and services.

One of the major problems I find with web hosting and WordPress, on shared hosting, is slow load times and long timeouts.

Most shared hosting these days offers unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth. This sounds great because people think that unlimited bandwidth means they can transfer as much data across the web to their visitors as they want…. and they would be right. However, and this is the big catch, nowhere does it say how quickly you can transfer data from your unlimited storage across your unlimited bandwidth.

So, you build a beautiful e-commerce website with lots of plugins and an events calendar. Your load times slow to 20-30 seconds per page. Simple admin tasks in the back-end of the site can take a minute or more to complete.

What is happening is that although you have unlimited bandwidth and storage, most share hosting give you very little CPU and Memory.

“What is this?” You say, “Nowhere in the signup process did it talk about CPU and Memory.”

True, they don’t like to advertise that when it comes to the things that make your website load quickly, you are getting very little.

Here are some important measurements of performance for your hosting:

All these stats are typically found in the cPanel area of your hosting.

CPU Usage: When you reach the maximum, new processes have to wait for old ones to complete.

Virtual Memory Usage: Processes can use this memory to run, hitting the limit will cause ‘out of memory’ errors.

Entry Processes: The maximum number of processes that can run at one time.

Physical Memory Usage: Actual real memory available to by used by your processes. Hitting this limit will cause ‘timeout errors’ and slow everything down.

Input/Output Usage (I/O Usage): Processes are limited to a certain number of input/output connections to the database, when the limit is reached all other processes slow down… (Backups and database dumps are I/O intensive. )

IOPS: (Input/output per second.) The rate that input / output operations are happening.

Lets take a look at some snapshots from three different hosting companies:

A2 Hosting, SiteGround, and GreenGeeks.

These snapshots were taken under normal admin usage, logged in, saving posts, clearing the cache. A2 and GreenGeeks offer very similar stats, so it is easy to compare. SiteGround has a different approach, so is harder to A/B with the other two, but we’ll give a try.

A2 Hosting vs Greengeeks vs SiteGround


  • A2 Hosting: gives 2 CPU cores per cPanel.
  • Siteground: flexibly assigns its resources to adapt to usage.
  • GreenGeeks gives one CPU core.

Virtual Memory:

  • A2Hosting: 8GB
  • SiteGround: It is hard to tell exactly how much, but their allocation system seems to work well.
  • Greengeeks: 1GB


  • A2 Hosting: 1GB
  • Siteground: flexibly assigns its resources to adapt to usage.
  • GreenGeeks: 256k (In the snapshot, this site is at its limit and going very slowly.)

Entry Processes:

  • A2 Hosting: 35
  • Siteground: 20
  • GreenGeeks: 20

I/O Usage:

  • A2 Hosting: 2500KB/s
  • Siteground: Very detailed breakdown of running processes.
  • GreenGeeks: 2048 KB/s

I use A2 hosting for my site and many of my client’s sites. I am an affiliate with A2 as well because I feel good about referring people to use them.

I have also recently become an affiliate with SiteGround because of their reputation, my own positive experiences with their service and speed at WordPress hosting.

I don’t recommend GreenGeeks, Arvixe, GoDaddy, or BlueHost.

To keep your WordPress site running quickly, it is necessary to use a cache plugin and make sure that your database tables are optimized. Try and use the minimal plugins necessary and get rid of unused plugins.

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  1. Jason · August 27, 2016 Reply

    A2 Hosting seems promising and i like to try them for few months and see how they work for me.

  2. Paraglider Pilot · March 15, 2021 Reply

    do you have any experinece with I/O usage limit with A2? I am having a problem with a2 and that is hittin i/o usage limit 2 3 times per day. I optimised my website, upgraded to Turbo max. Nothing changed,
    I saw a subreddit other people claiming this too.

    • Aaron Jerad · March 15, 2021 Reply

      Hi, I have run into I/O issues but only rarely. A2 support was helpful in identifying the problem. It is sometimes admin-ajax.php that is the culprit. In one instance it was pretty steady BOT traffic, so blocking bots with a firewall fixed it. Another common issue that stacks up with bot or excessive traffic is that every hit runs WP Cron. If you disable WP Cron and run it as as a real cron job, that can help. Enable Heartbeat control in Litespeed cache (If you are on Turbo max and aren’t using Litespeed cache, you are not getting everything you paid for with the hosting.) Switch your css, js optimization from asset manager to Litespeed. Test speed scores with and without merging your .css and .js, that is not necessary with http/2 and can sometimes slow you down.

      Use Query Monitor to look for plugins or theme files that are running slow or excessive queries, poorly coded plugins or plugin conflicts can be an issue.

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