A Small Orange Review: Is This Small Host any Good?
In this post we’ll go through an in depth A Small Orange review. We’ll cover some things that many seem to ignore, and if it’s a good fit for you.
Website hosting companies come in all sizes, from large global efforts to small, regional companies. For the most part, a typical hosting company will start off small. If they can build a strong customer base they will expand their services around the world.
However, there are exceptions to the standard growth principle in which most businesses operate. One of the more intriguing website hosting companies is A Small Orange. Although they have been around for more than 15 years, they are not like many of their competitors. They seem to have a very different focus.
The small, dedicated team that runs A Small Orange keeps things relatively simple. They offer simple packages and features for individuals, professionals, and small business owners.
What is A Small Orange?
Established in 2003, A Small Orange in an EIG company that is built around two guiding principles. To create solutions which help customers build their online presence and to offer a workplace environment that allows employees to grow and prosper. What started as a small endeavor has grown over the years. It has become an alternative to larger web hosting companies.
A Small Orange describes their services as “Homegrown Hosting”. They try to put people at the center of everything that they do. The focus of this type of hosting is to provide quality support for customers to solve problems and walk them through how to use the services. Plus, answering questions about technology for specific needs.
A Small Orange Hosting Plans
There are four basic hosting plans offered by A Small Orange. Each of them are designed to handle a specific need.
This type of hosting package is the most affordable. It’s designed for personal, professional, and small business owner usage.
There are four pricing packages within the Shared hosting system provided by A Small Orange. All plans include the following features;
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- 24/7 Expert Support
- Unlimited Websites, Email Accounts, & Mailing Lists
- Fast Solid-State Drive (SSD) Servers – 15x Performance & More
Tiny: 500MB of Storage, 5GB of Bandwidth, and Single Website
Small: 5GB of Storage, 50GB of Bandwidth, Free .com Domain, and Unlimited Websites
Medium: 15GB of Storage, 150 GB of Bandwidth, Free .com Domain, and Unlimited Websites
Large: 30GB of Storage, 500GB of Bandwidth, Free .com Domain, and Unlimited Websites
With all Shared plans, you get Enterprise Standard, cPanel, WordPress Optimized Servers, and Weebly Website Builder.
For those who want flip domains and resell websites to customers, this is the hosting plan for you. All plans include;
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- 24/7 Support
- Fast SSD Servers for 15x Performance
- Reseller WHM Access
There are three packages under the Reseller Plan.
Small: Best suited for designers and individuals selling hosting sites.
- Price: $20 per Month – 20GB of Storage, 250GB of Bandwidth, and 30 Hosted Websites
Medium: Best for businesses to migrating customers to quality host site.
- Price: $28 per Month – 25GB of Storage, 500GB of Bandwidth, and 50 Hosted Websites
Large: Best for marketing agencies, web hosts, and web designers
- Price: $40 per Month – 50GB of Storage, 1500GB of Bandwidth, and 100 Hosted Websites
For those who need to rapidly expand their site as they grow, A Small Orange offers several packages. Under cloud VPS plans, providing easy expansion for your online site to grow.
All Cloud VPS packages offer the following:
- World-Class Datacenters
- 24/7 Support
- Full Root Access
- Enterprise Quality Hardware
There are eight separate plans that range from $22 per month up to $165 per month. The plans themselves offer the following;
- 30GB to 200GB Storage
- 1024MB to 10240MB RAM
- 500GB to 5TB Bandwidth
You get a free domain for your first year for all Cloud VPS annual plans. Providing flexible, secure hosting for your needs.
For the best in security, A Small Orange provides dedicated servers for your site. All plans involving dedicated servers include the following;
- Five Dedicated IP Addresses
- Softaculous on each cPanel or WHM server
- 24/7 Management Support
- All Disks use Raid-1
You can choose either single or multiple CPU servers for your efforts. The single CPU servers offer three different packages with two sets of options each;
- $109 per Month – 4GB Memory, 128GB SSD or 1TB Disk
- $149 per Month – 8GB Memory, 256GB SSD or 1TB Disk
- $193 per Month – 16GB Memory, 256GB SSD or 1TB Disk
The Multi CPU Servers offer greater expansion possibilities with the security of having your own server system.
- $303 per Month – 512GB SSD or 1TB Disk
Both the single and multiple CPU server packages are set up, maintained, and secured by A Small Orange. This allows you to focus on running your site and not having to worry about the servers that are in place.
Using a drag-and-drop program, the website builder can be used by those without any web design experience. No code is needed. The builder itself is designed so that a person with little to no experience can quickly build up a website.
To build a website, A Small Orange offers two plans that are designed to fit the needs of professionals and e-commerce business owners. Each plan has their own range of features and price structure. Below are the plans, and plan details.
Professional Plan: This plan was created for professionals and those who want to build a portfolio. It is the least expensive while still offering numerous features including the following;
- Price: $13 per month
- No ASO Branding
- Unlimited YourName.com Emails
- Bandwidth: 75GB
Business Plan: This is designed for E-Commerce sites that may expand over time as the customer base grows. It is more expensive compared to the Professional Plan but does offer expanded bandwidth.
- Unlimited Pages
- No ASO Branding
- Unlimited YourName.com Emails
- Bandwidth: 300GB
There are more features to the website builder for both plans that include the following;
- Custom Domain & Pages
- Expanded Stats
- Players Slideshows
- Password Protectors
- Site Search
- cPanel Access and More
You can use any or all these features when building your website on A Small Orange.
A Small Orange Hosting Support
The company offers live chat services, but no phone support which is unusual and a major negative. While live chat offers some advantages, it is no absolute solution for phone support. There are times where you just want to speak to a person working for the company.
This means that while you may be able to contact A Small Orange quickly, getting answers to your questions or receiving effective support in case something goes wrong is not guaranteed.
Considering the size and scope of A Small Orange, it does seem counter-intuitive. This really caught me by surprise because they put such an emphasis on customer.
Most successful small businesses will emphasize their customer support features as a way to provide a superior alternative to larger companies within their industry. However, this could all be linked to EIG acquiring them years ago.
Only 2 Datacenters
Another issue that A Small Orange has for international customers is that there are only two datacenters. They are located in Dallas, Texas, and Dearborn, Michigan.
Having datacenters in these two locations works well for US customers. However, the lack of an overseas location means that international customers will have less access to the prime services offered by A Small Orange.
This means that A Small Orange is well suited for those living in the US. International customers should probably look for a company with closer data center locations. The lack of an overseas presence means that the reach of A Small Orange is limited. They simply can’t offer to those living outside the US and particularly in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia the speed other hosts can.
Uptime and Speed
As with all hosts we review on AddWP we check the uptime and speed. For A Small Orange the results weren’t awful, but they were far from the best we’ve seen before.
The overall uptime wasn’t bad. We averaged just over 99.4% for site uptime. This is almost an exact tie with TMDHosting who we also reviewed.
However, the speed load times were 1,120 ms per load on average. This is slower than the large majority of hosts we’ve tried.
A Small Orange Money Back Guarantee
If there is one aspect to the features offered by A Small Orange, it is the 90-Day Money Back Guarantee. This is almost unheard of in the website hosting industry. Most companies will offer a standard 30-day money back guarantee, a few might have a 45-day version.
A 90-day money back guarantee means you can use their services for up to three months and still get your initial payment back and end the service without any issues.
Such a guarantee forces anyone, especially in the US, who is looking for website hosting services to give A Small Orange a try.
The extended money back guarantee lets you build, tweak, and market your site for up to 90 days before deciding whether it is for you.
For anyone who is unsure of the services that A Small Orange offers, knowing that you can get your money back up to three months after you pay is something special.
A Small Orange Review: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, we need to know if A Small Orange is a good fit for our needs. Would I recommend giving them a try? Yes, if you’re in the USA, but no if you’re located elsewhere.
To me, the data center issue is a big deal. Additionally, the lack of support options isn’t ideal for all customers. The speed and uptime weren’t the worst I’ve seen, but there are better options out there.
If you do decide to try them out, I’d certainly keep in mind when your 90 day refund period is up.
In my opinion there are better options out there. Better options are HostPapa, SiteGround, or A2 Hosting to name a few. You can see a complete list on my WordPress hosting comparison post.
Overall I give A Small Orange a 7.5 out of 10.
What do you think of this A Small Orange review? If you’ve used them before I’d love to hear your mini A Small Orange review below in the comments!