A Small Orange is one of those hosting companies that you would never guess is a hosting company.
In reality, they’ve been around since 2003 and have been steadily growing in the face of other, larger companies.
With humble roots in Atlanta, Georgia, and an honest, no-frills approach to hosting, does this company truly deliver? Find out today in this in-depth A Small Orange review.
Find out today in this in-depth A Small Orange review.
Join me as we look at the company’s plans and features before discussing my personal experience and looking at the opinions of other users. Before we start, here are some quick facts about A Small Orange:
- Founded: 2003
- Current location: Durham, North Carolina
- Hosting Plans: shared, reseller, business, cloud VPS, and dedicated hosting
- Uptime Guarantee: 99.9%
- Control panel: cPanel (modified for ease of use)
- 45-day money-back guarantee (only for shared or business hosting)
- Live chat customer support/email support
- Linux-based shared hosting (no Windows)
- Clementine Managed Hosting offered for updates, patches security, etc.
My Experience With A Small Orange
A small hosting company like ASO has a lot to prove if it wants to stand out from the rest of the competition. My approach when testing A Small Orange was to go with something intermediate that I could use to test the power of the site. I decided on the mid-range shared hosting that is most popular according to the company.
Having looked at all the services and tried a few myself, I’d like to pass along the things I loved about ASO, and some of the things that I would have changed. Read on to learn more!
What I Liked About A Small Orange
ASO’s simple approach to hosting is refreshing. All of the terms are straightforward and easy to understand. The various plans cover a wide range of hosting choices and offer plenty of choices from beginners all the way up to advanced users.
The company clearly has a huge focus on customer service, but since they’re so small, they don’t have the same means as larger companies. The company’s 99% uptime has held up during my experience as well.
The ability to use cPanel, WordPress, or the Weebly website builder is a great range of options for various needs. While I wouldn’t personally use it, I appreciate that ASO offers website building services and Clementine Managed Hosting for those who need assistance getting things up and running or maintaining them.
For example, the basic Clementine plan for $45/month offers the power of a server with 2 CPU cores, 2 GB of RAM, 30 GB SSD, 1 TB monthly bandwidth, and 1 cPanel user account. You get the same feel and ease as a shared plan, but ASO handles all of the updates, patches, and security maintenance.
This particular option is also paired with Clementine Plus for $145 a month. For someone who doesn’t have a team of people working with them, this represents the rock-solid focus that ASO has on customer service.
The last thing that I really enjoyed about ASO is the web building options they present. While these can be expensive, they offer a fully developed site with up to 10 pages of content and 2 revisions beyond the first draft. Once the site is functional, full control is given over to you.
What I Didn’t Like About A Small Orange
A Small Orange is a small hosting company with big ideas. Unfortunately their lack of size and manpower results in a few shortcomings. For starters, the company doesn’t have the option for Windows-based servers, so you’re left with only using Linux. This isn’t a deal breaker, of course, but the option is something most people would expect.
Another missing feature is the option for managed WordPress hosting. Again, this isn’t a requirement for people who don’t need it, but for beginners or small businesses, this is a feature that they would want in their hosting.
Another symptom of ASO’s small size is a lack of customer service representatives or a dedicated place for them to handle support tickets. All of ASO’s reps work remotely and therefore don’t have the time or resources to compete with the offerings at larger hosting companies.
Finally, the plans on offer don’t have the same horsepower as other competitors. While the company does promise 99.9% uptime, the servers have had downtime issues in the past. In most cases the downtime was only an hour or two, but that kind of issue is detrimental for sites that are hosting a business.
A Small Orange Pros
- Simple and easy to understand plans, terms, and services
- Options for major CMS platforms and Weebly web builder
- Managed hosting available
A Small Orange Cons
- No Windows servers, only Linux
- No managed WordPress hosting
- Past downtime issues.
Recent Customer Reviews
I reached out to several customers who purchased hosting from A Small Orange to see how they are liking the service. Here are some of the responses I received:
“With a small host like ASO, it’s hard to find numerous reviews on the internet. Most places will only have between 10 and 20 user reviews and a lot of them will focus on downtime issues. In reality, I have been with A Small Orange for three years now, and I haven’t encountered a single issue.
The downtime issues are few and far between and they haven’t been significant enough to cause a problem. I think it’s important to point out quality in a growing service like this, I would absolutely recommend them.”
– Jeremy Clarkson
“I have a small website, and while it’s growing, my experience with A Small Orange has been great. I have noticed some of the recent down time, otherwise I’ve had great experiences with their customer service helping me understand and troubleshoot aspects of my site. I would recommend them based on the customer service alone!”
– Lisa Millford
“I have a reseller plan from A Small Orange and I’ve been selling their hosting services for about a year now. Overall my customers have been satisfied, but the recent downtime has strained my relationship with several high-profile clients. If you’re considering a reseller plan, keep in mind that large websites/businesses will expect a little more than what ASO is capable of.”
– Sid Thompson
A Small Orange Hosting Plans and Features
A Small Orange, also known as ASO for short, is a hosting company with a lot of options and relatively low prices compared to the competition. They don’t have the massive status of today’s top hosting providers, but they do offer a no-frills approach to hosting that doesn’t try to blind you with fancy wording and features that don’t make sense.
These are the various types of hosting you can purchase from ASO:
- Cloud Hosting
1. Shared Hosting From ASO
Each of the shared hosting plans from A Small Orange offer a suite of features:
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- Solid State Drive (SSD) servers with 15x performance
- Expert customer service based in the U.S.
- Unlimited Domains (excludes the “tiny” plan)
- Unlimited Email Accounts and Mailing Lists
- Weebly Website Builder
- WordPress optimized servers
- Daily backups, password-protected directories, IP-blocking, hotlink/leech protection
- cPanel included with each plan
For less than $40 per year, you can start out with the Tiny plan, which offers 500 MB of storage, 5 GB of bandwidth, 1 domain, and both email/live chat support.
From there, you have the Small plan, which is apparently the most popular option. This plan is $5 per month and offers 5 GB of storage, 50 GB of bandwidth, unlimited domains, and the essential customer support available in live chat and email forms.
Next up we have the Medium Plan. This is $10 per month with 15 GB of storage, 150 GB of bandwidth, unlimited domains and world-class customer support like the other plans.
Finally we have the Large Plan. This is $20 per month and brings 30 GB of storage, 500 GB of bandwidth, unlimited domains, and support along the way.
If you decide to sign up for a 1, 2, or 3-year plan you also receive a free domain and 2 months of free hosting!
2. Reseller Plans
Reseller plans allow you to sell the same hosting offered by A Small Orange with prices and packages that you decide. Everything you earn is yours to keep, so if you’re thinking about setting up a hosting business of your own, check out these plans.
Each reseller plan comes with these features:
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- Access to Reseller WHM
- Solid State Drive Servers with Xeon E5 Dual Hex Core processors
- US-based Customer Service
- Access to full FTP & SFTP as well as database management via phpMyAdmin
- POP3, IMAP, and webmail access is included along with spam and virus filters.
- Same security features as shared hosting plans
- Softaculous script installer
- Flexible upgrade options
The reseller plans begin with the Small option which is $15 per month. This plan is perfect for those who are just starting out and want to use their design skills to sell hosting services. It offers 20 GB of storage, 250 GB of bandwidth, support for 30 hosted websites, and access to support.
The next option is the Medium plan which will cost $25 per month. This is a great option for businesses who want bring their current customer’s websites over to ASO as their new host. Here you’ll have 25 GB of storage, 500 GB of bandwidth, support for 50 hosted websites, and customer support.
The final reseller plan is known simply as Large. It’s designed for those who are growing and need support for their clients and their business. Here we have 50 GB of storage space, 1500 GB of bandwidth, 100 hosted websites, and support through it all.
In addition to these options, there are also a variety of Add-ons to choose from:
- Drag and Drop Website Builder – $11/month
- 5 Page Custom WordPress Website – One time fee of $799
- SiteLock – $20/year
- Managed Pay Per Click Services – $250/month
- Managed SEO Services – $99/month
3. Business Plans
The business hosting plans offer the same basic features and servers as the previous categories, but there are a few interesting additions unique to this type of hosting:
- PCI Compliant Servers – Payment Card Industry data security standards are followed and checked regularly
- Lower Customer Densities – Server resources are managed with available headroom to handle eCommerce software
- Free SSL Certificate – This is required to ensure sensitive customer payment information is properly encrypted.
- Enterprise Database Support – Industry standard database management including PostgreSQL and MariaDB
- No Limits – There are no hidden limitations on functionality. Features include unlimited email accounts, databases, mailing lists, forwarders, subdomains, parked domains, addon domains, FTP account, and daily backups are all standard with each plan.
The base level business hosting plan from A Small Orange is known as the Startup Plan. It is $20 per month and features 40 GB of storage, 600 GB of bandwidth, a Free SSL certificate, and PCI compliance.
Next up we have the Small Business Plan. This is $40 per month with 50 GB of storage, 800 GB of bandwidth, a Free SSL Certificate, and PCI compliant.
Finally there’s the Enterprise Plan which is $60 per month. Here you’ll get 60 GB of storage, 1,000 GB of bandwidth, a Free SSL certificate, and the usual PCI compliance.
4. Cloud VPS Hosting
Cloud hosting is a relatively new technology that allows you to tweak exactly how many resources you need from remote servers and scale as your business or website grows. This type of hosting through ASO has a number of unique features:
- Enterprise-grade Storage Area Network (SAN) which provides data protection in addition to off-cloud backups daily.
- Automatic failover and hot migration tools protect against hardware failure. As a result, there is almost 100% uptime and availability.
- Scalable resource are available whenever you need them. You have complete access to all of your hosting to alter it and modify your settings as needed.
- Cancellation is simple and easy, provided you pay for the period you committed to. There aren’t any long-term contract requirements.
- The network is monitored 24/7 with SSD caching for increase page loading speed
- Level II or higher Cloud VPS plans receive cPanel and WHM for free.
- Free on-demand backups and weekly backups
- Free migration assistance for customers transferring from a Linux host with cPanel
There are eight different plants for A Small Orange’s cloud vps hosting:
- The base plan is $20/month with 30 GB of storage, 1024 MB of RAM, and 500 GB of bandwidth.
- The second plan is $30/month with 50 GB of space, 2048 MB of RAM, and 1 TB of bandwidth.
- The third plan is $45/month 75 GB of space, 3072 MB of RAM, and 1.5 TB of bandwidth.
- The fourth plan is $60/month 100 GB of storage, 4096 MB of RAM, and 2 TB of bandwidth.
- The fifth plan is $75/month with 125 GB of disk storage, 5120 MB of RAM, 2.5 TB bandwidth.
- The sixth plan is $90/month with 150 GB of space, 6144 MB of RAM, and 3 TB of bandwidth.
- The seventh plan is $120/month, 200 GB storage, 8192 MB of RAM, and 4 TB of bandwidth.
- The Eighth level plan is $150/month with 10240 MB of RAM and 5 TB bandwidth.
5. Hybrid/Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting is the big leagues where you have a server of your own to use. A Small Orange offers several tiers of this hosting, along with some excellent features:
- Complete root access and support for basic issues that may arise.
- Free license to cPanel and WHM which allows you to set up your own web hosting environment.
- 5 Dedicated IP addresses
- RAID-I on every server to protect against data loss.
- Softaculous for one-click installations of software
Here are the various single CPU server plans offered by A Small Orange:
- 3.1 GHZ, turbo 3.5 GHZ with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD (or 1 TB HD) for $99/month.
- 3.3 GHZ, turbo 3.7 GHZ with 8 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD (or 1 TB hard drive) $135/month.
- 3.5 GHZ, turbo 3.9 GHZ with 16 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD (1 TB HD) for $175/month.
There is also an option for Multiple CPU servers:
- 2.0 GHZ, Turbo 2.5 GHZ with 512 GB SSD (1 TB HDD) for $275/month.
The Bottom Line: Hosting With A Small Orange
In a world filled with different hosting companies, A Small Orange stands out as being a small company with a strong dedication to customer service. While they don’t have the same capacities or options as a larger hosting company, they do offer a lot of great options at reasonable prices.
At the end of our A Small Orange review, choose a company like ASO if you have a small website or business, but know that as it scales upward, you may surpass what this hosting company has to offer.
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