In the ever-evolving world of web hosting, A2 Hosting stands out as a unique and resilient player. Founded over 20 years ago by Bryan Muthig, the company has grown from a side project into a significant enterprise, serving over 120,000 customers globally. In this blog post, we explore the fascinating journey of A2 Hosting, the challenges faced by its founder, and the strategic decisions that have driven its success.

The accidental entrepreneur

Bryan Muthig, originally a systems engineer, never intended to start a hosting company. What began as a hobby, hosting websites for family and friends, quickly snowballed into a business. With a technical background, Muthig and his then-business partner leveraged their skills to create a reliable hosting service.

Reflecting on his unexpected entrepreneurial journey, Muthig shared, “I like to call myself an accidental entrepreneur. I wasn’t trying to start a hosting company necessarily. We started hosting websites for family and friends…and at some point, we just said, ‘Why don’t we put up a website and see if anybody out there wants some website hosting on our server?’ We thought it would be kind of a fun thing to try out“​​.

Their technical prowess allowed them to support emerging technologies like PHP5, which were not widely available on other platforms at the time. This technical edge became a key differentiator in the early days of A2 Hosting.

Scaling up: challenges and strategies

As A2 Hosting began to grow, Muthig realized that technical expertise alone wouldn’t suffice. The company needed to develop robust business strategies, particularly in marketing and sales. Learning the ropes of business management and bringing in experts to handle these areas was crucial. This shift allowed A2 Hosting to grow more rapidly, understanding market demands and positioning themselves effectively against competitors.

Back in the beginning, we were certainly strong in the technical area, but growing the business, understanding the business model, marketing, and sales, that was definitely a weaker area that I had to learn about. We managed to grow by doing some simple things, like putting ourselves in areas where we knew customers were looking for service, but over time, we got better at the marketing aspect. One of the big realizations for me was, it’s not ‘if you build it, they will come.’ You can have the best platform, but if nobody knows about you, you don’t even have the opportunity to showcase why you’re a better solution“​​ – as he mentioned..

Konrad responded, highlighting the common struggle among technical founders: “It’s interesting you mention that, Bryan. Many technical founders I’ve spoken with face a similar challenge. They have a great product but struggle to get the word out effectively. How did you overcome this?

Muthig replied, “It was a process of ongoing learning and bringing in people who had the marketing expertise. Over time, we became more sophisticated in that area. Understanding what channels work, how to attract customers, and the importance of having a solid foundation in marketing was crucial. This realization and adaptation were key turning points that allowed us to grow more quickly“​​.

The turning point: speed as a unique selling proposition

One of the most significant turning points for A2 Hosting was identifying and capitalizing on a unique selling proposition: speed. Around 10-12 years ago, customer feedback highlighted the importance of site load speed.

Muthig explained the strategic shift: “We did a customer survey…and one of the things that came out of that was site load speed. That one ranked incredibly high, much more so than we knew at the time…There was a desire for having websites that loaded quickly…So we made the decision that this was going to be our thing. We were going to be the fastest hosting company out there“​​.

Recognizing a gap in the market, A2 Hosting decided to focus on becoming the fastest hosting provider. This decision was bolstered by the adoption of SSD drives, which significantly improved performance. The introduction of their Turbo line of servers in 2014 marked a pivotal moment, establishing A2 Hosting as a leader in performance.

Staying passionate and independent

Despite numerous opportunities to sell the company, Muthig remains passionate about A2 Hosting and its mission. He values the autonomy and the ability to continually innovate and improve the service. This founder-led approach is increasingly rare in the industry, where many companies are acquired and consolidated. Muthig’s commitment to maintaining control has allowed A2 Hosting to stay true to its core values and continue delivering exceptional service.

Today, A2 Hosting employs nearly 200 people and serves customers worldwide, with data centers in the US, Amsterdam, and Singapore. The company’s strategy includes organic growth and maintaining a strong presence in both domestic and international markets. Looking ahead, A2 Hosting plans to enhance the user experience further, focusing on automation and AI to simplify web management tasks for their customers.

Muthig highlighted their international presence and future plans: “We have employees and team members from all over the world, 23 countries the last I counted. We are fully remote, serving customers globally. Our main strategy is natural growth, especially in English-speaking countries. We’re not making a specific push outside the US but focusing on organic expansion. We’re also investing heavily in automation and AI to make managing WordPress sites and other web services as easy as possible for our customers“​​.


A2 Hosting’s journey from a small hobby business to a prominent player in the web hosting industry is a testament to the power of passion, technical excellence, and strategic growth. Bryan Muthig’s story is inspiring for any entrepreneur, showcasing the importance of adapting, learning, and staying committed to one’s vision. As A2 Hosting continues to evolve, it remains a beacon of performance and reliability in a crowded market.