A Small Orange Review
Updated: June 2018
A Small Orange is one of my favorite shared hosts, but before I get into why, let me get this out of the way: this site is all about honest reviews. I’ve been in the computer & web development industry for over 10 years and have experience with almost every major hosting company out there.
I’m sick of seeing crappy fake affiliate-driven review websites that don’t truly paint both sides of the picture when it comes to web hosting and what can be both good and bad about a host.
Yes, this site (and this page) has affiliate links to help compensate me for my time to create content, and to pay for expenses, but this isn’t an “affiliate site” like the others. I’ll tell you what’s truly good and bad about a host based on my experience, whether it leads to you clicking on something or not; I truly want people to understand, what I believe to be the truth about hosting as well as provide tips (see a long list of hosting companies I don’t recommend regardless of commissions here). With that said, let’s move on to the review of A Small Orange.
What I Like About A Small Orange
I think there are a variety of different things that make A Small Orange a good host, and I’ll explain those below (as well as some of the cons, which I think are relatively minor).
One thing that I hear a lot is that ever since Endurance International Group (EIG) bought out A Small Orange, it’s gone downhill. Although EIG is definitely a big conglomerate, I haven’t seen any major problems with A Small Orange. To be entirely honest, I didn’t use their services before the EIG acquisition, but with that said, I don’t see a lot of the things that people are complaining about to be true, at least from my perspective. The things I hear a lot are low uptime, poor service, etc. And honestly, I’ve found their uptime to be as good as any other mainstream shared host, and their techs are more willing to do customization and go the extra mile than a lot of other more well-known hosts.
In fact, there have been multiple times that I’ve requested something as simple as moving a new shared account to a different server and other companies have said no. Bluehost has been terrible about this…they literally wouldn’t move one shared account without a site on it to another server. I talked to multiple technicians and no one would help me, yet at A Small Orange I purchased a multiple shared accounts on a holiday sale and they were more than willing to put each one on a different server. Funny, huh? What’s even stranger is that they are both EIG companies, but who knows what their internal policies might be on something like that. A Small Orange Maintains that they are a “homegrown” hosting company, so maybe that’s why they appear to look after their customers a little bit better. So Let’s look closely at some of the different things I like about A Small Orange.
All of their staff is super friendly and knowledgeable
I’ve never had a tech from A Small Orange say “no” to a change I wanted to make (see above) and they’re always more than willing to do custom things, help out and are just nice people in general. Their support ticket response time has always been good, and while they don’t have telephone support, they do have chat support which is almost always online.
Their sales team is super nice too, and they have always been more than willing to supply small discounts here and there, or help me set up bulk purchases. This is really nice because it allows a person to be able to take advantage of their sales and get multiple accounts if need be. I’ve always been able to just hop onto chat and grab someone from the sales team to help me with a request. If it’s something that requires a little more looking into, they might open a ticket and take care of it there, but that’s a pretty standard practice for web hosts.
They have a lot of different hosting options and each one is solid
One thing I like about A Small Orange is that they have a full range of hosting options. They have everything from a small “Tiny” web hosting plan, which is a deal at $35/year (at the time of writing), all the way up to a fully dedicated boxes. This is nice because if you try them and like their company, you have room to either expand or downsize depending upon your needs. They’ve always been super good about changing services, and I never felt like I was hassled if I wanted to downgrade something for one reason or another.
I’ve never had any major issues with uptime or reliability with A Small Orange. I’ve had a few hiccups here and there, but it’s nothing that I wouldn’t expect. That haven’t been as unbelievably bulletproof as Liquidweb (no one I’ve ever used has been), but that’s quite rare. I can honestly say they’ve been solid, reliable, and I have never really had any big problems, even with their cheap shared hosting package.
They don’t constantly try to upsell you on things
If you’ve used Hostgator or Bluehost, iPage, or some of the other “big box” shared hosting companies (also EIG), you probably know that their interface is littered with offers, upsells, and all kinds of other crap (at least in my opinion). This is incredibly annoying, and it’s really nice to have a host that doesn’t do this. I can honestly say that they live up to their “homegrown” hosting slogan because they are a bigger host with a more personal, small-time feel in terms of the way they treat their customers.
The interface at A Small Orange is super clean, and they aren’t constantly emailing you crap trying to get you to sign up for new services. When I do receive and email from A Small Orange, I actually read it because it typically alerts me to some type of sale, not bogus offers all the time and other stuff. I’ve actually unsubscribed from a lot of hosting emails because of this. There are some hosts that have such a tricky interface that I sometimes wonder why more of their customers don’t terminate their service. It’s almost like having a used car salesman in your face all the time, and this is a problem that I’ve never had with A Small Orange; they’re interface is clean, simple, and they don’t bug you with all sorts of different upsells.
Coupons are pretty easy to find
They don’t discount their service to extreme levels like iPage, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have good deals. They frequently have coupons, and these are often for things like 10-30% off, and some of their best deals are around holidays like Black Friday, St. Patricks Day, the 4th of July, etc. All that being said, A Small Orange coupons are pretty easy to come across.
They also have random coupons that don’t fall on holidays, and Iike I mentioned before, they are pretty good about alerting people on their email list to things like that without being overbearing and spammy. Usually when I want to buy something from A Small Orange I either wait a month to see if coupons pop up, or I just go on chat with sales and they are usually willing to give a small discount that way.
Their prices are great
As I already mentioned, it’s pretty easy to find A Small Orange coupons, but even without the coupons their prices are great. At the time of writing, their smallest hosting package is $35/year (at the time of writing) for shared hosting with one website and it’s really hard to find reliable shared hosting in that price range that doesn’t renew at a million dollars. Well, OK, not a million dollars, but a lot of money. There are hosts that reel you in with a $12 deal and then renew at over $100 dollars (iPage). In my opinion, that’s kind of crappy. With A Small Orange, their prices are low, but they stay that way. They $35 cost for shared hosting is recurring, so you don’t get surprised at the end of the year either.
I’ve also had a VPS from A Small Orange, and that was pretty cheap too. It was about $30/month and nicely spec’d too. I believe it had 2 cores, 2GB ram, 30GB storage, and 1TB of bandwidth. Not bad for that price at all. So yes, in my opinion, A Small Orange is a great value.
What I Don’t Like About A Small Orange
They don’t seem to be as vigilant about resource hogs as some other hosts
Some of the few (and it has been very few) times that I’ve experienced a slowdown with A Small Orange, I’ve been told that someone was hogging the bandwidth and then shortly they fixed it. There are some hosts that are immediately on top of this (Liquidweb) and I’ve never seen it, but for most hosts this is a problem from time to time, especially on shared hosting. This can also be problematic if you’re hosting a WordPress site and need to making frequent calls to a SQL server.
I can’t say that I’ve seen this be a frequent problem in any way, but like I said, the few times that I’ve had problems with A Small Orange, this seems to have been the case.
They make you click and extra “terms and conditions” box when signing into your hosting account
This is something that’s a minor annoyance, but still worth mentioning. They didn’t always do this, but I’ve noticed that for the last few months they seem to be doing it. I think it’s just a legal safety measure for them, but it’s just one more step that you need to go through in order to access your account.
Again, this is a minor annoyance (it’s literally just checking a box on the sign in page) but I still find it to be just a tiny bit irritating (it might not be to other people) because I frequently clear my cache/cookies and it seems like I always have to check the box and there’s no way to get around that. If they at least had it “pre-checked” it would avoid this step, but who knows, maybe that’s just something that only bothers people like me.
The Bottom Line: A Small Orange is a Solid, Low-Priced Host With Lots of Options and Great Service
I always talk about how this is and honest review site, and this is the truth; there really isn’t much I can say about A Small Orange that’s bad. Obviously if you want a super powerful dedicated box or someone who is a VPS specialist you might want to go with a different provider, but for everything else and to cover most people’s needs, they are awesome.
They frequently have coupons, they have great service, and great prices. I can attest to the fact that I have a lot of different plans with them, and they are definitely one of my go-to hosts. For most people who have a small to moderately-sized website, it’s hard to go wrong with them. You can click here to visit A Small Orange if you’re interested in checking them out!
Alternatives to A Small Orange
As mentioned in this review, A Small Orange isn’t a bad host but they truly are a budget host in my opinon. If you’re looking for something a bit upgraded from ASO but without breaking the bank, I’d recommend the following hosts.
#1 – HostGator
They are primarily a shared host although they offer more options than ASO (such as VPS and dedicated servers). The quality of their hosting is better than ASO too. It’s a bit more expensive, but not much as HostGator is owned by the same parent company.
#2 – Bluehost
Bluehost is also similar to ASO (again owned by the same parent company) and is very popular for their shared hosting which is relatively inexpensive. They are a good choice if you’re looking for something better than ASO but without spending too much money.
#3 – SiteGround
SiteGround is an excellent shared host and one of our absolute favorites. If you’re looking to get hosting with premium support and features for the price of regular shared hosting, SiteGround is an excellent option.