Do you still get your hosting services from the website development teams that design your blog or website?
If yes, then, think again!
Web hosting is not a tedious task that requires technical expertise.
If you know your exact requirements and want to pay only for the hosting features you will use, you can opt for a reliable service provider like ‘A Small Orange’ that has hosting plans for all your different needs.
It makes sense to avoid paying for things that you may not use when your site is still in the initial growth phase.
Most of the features of an ‘unlimited’ hosting plan often go unused by new websites.
If you think your new website’s traffic will grow tremendously in the near future, you need to understand that such increases only happen over a long period of time, so you don’t need to opt for costly unlimited bandwidth plans from the start.
What you need is a flexible hosting provider like ‘A Small Orange’ that allows easy upgrades to higher plans to tackle increased traffic demands as and when needed!
Let’s take a closer look at the advantages, features, plans, and pricing offered by A Small Orange (ASO) hosting provider. As we want to do an honest review of this service provider, we will talk about their disadvantages as well.
A SMALL ORANGE COMPANY BACKGROUND
The company has been in the hosting business since 2003. It has been around since about the same time as Hostgator and Bluehost. ASO was originally founded in Atlanta, Georgia, US by a web designer, Tim Dorr. The current headquarters of ASO is in Durham, North Carolina.
An ex-Hostgator employee named Douglas Hanna, who bought it from Tim Dorr in 2010, currently runs A Small Orange. Even though ASO is not often heard among the top web hosting providers, it has managed to grow at a rapid pace because it does live up to the customer expectations.
FEATURES OF A SMALL ORANGE HOSTING
Positive reviews posted on social media, blogs, and websites such as the Better Business Bureau play a crucial role in helping us decide whether we should try a new product or not. The same thing applies for any hosting provider.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) website hosts ratings of various web hosting services along with the most common complaints and issues other people have encountered. The BBB gives ASO the highest possible, A+ rating.
The reason for such a high rating is the number of satisfied customers, and the features ASO offers. Let’s take a look at those services.
PERFORMANCE – SPEED AND UPTIME
Do you know the physical location of servers of any hosting services that you have used in the past?
If you are wondering why it’s necessary to know their server locations, then you should understand that the geographic location of servers plays a crucial role in the performance of your own website.
ASO offers speed, reliability, and connectivity by maintaining two distinct data centres in the U.S. in Dearborn, Michigan and Dallas, Texas. This is evident when your ASO hosted website loads quickly. You can even use the PageSpeed Optimiser to fine-tune the load speed of your website.
ASO publishes an uptime guarantee of 99.9% and delivers it effectively. We opted for a free trial of their Cloud VPS hosting plans and checked the uptime percentage for about 45 days.
It was indeed up to our expectations. Also, user reviews about ASO’s actual uptime on different sites suggest that they are indeed pretty good in these terms. Once you login to your ASO hosting account, you even get access to a ‘live status page’ in order to track the performance of your website and server.
The security of data centres (and hence the security of servers) is managed well by ASO. Their data centres are under full CCTV surveillance at all times, along with provision for digital recording on file for a period of 90 days.
You can opt for SiteLock security to scan for any potential malware threat to your website. This helps you to ensure timely detection of security breaches on your website to help you keep your hosted site malware-free and protect it from hackers.
When we tried to check out their customer support just to see what their wait time is like and how helpful their support is, we were pleasantly surprised.
They respond quickly whenever a customer contacts them for support via the different mediums offered. We sent them an email with a few queries related to their shared hosting plan and we got a comprehensive reply within an hour.
ASO customer support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. You can contact them via live chat, email support ([email protected]) and live support code. Even their knowledge base (support centre) is very exhaustive and most of your queries will have already been answered there.
Once you login to your A Small Orange account, you will see the industry standard cPanel. This cPanel is kept very simple with no unnecessary styling or customisations. The stock cPanel look makes it easier to follow tutorials and guides that come with it and quickly get what you are looking for on the dashboard.
It is very easy to navigate through this panel and use the various, useful options available there such as the Cloudflare one-click install (to accelerate your website), PHP selector, SiteLock Security, and R1Soft backup access.
VARIOUS PLANS AND PRICING
A Small Orange is probably one of the rare hosting service providers that offer a long list of hosting plans to cater to the varied hosting needs of your websites. The different categories with various plans under them are listed below:
SHARED WEB HOSTING
The Tiny Plan is available at $35 per year with 1 domain, 5GB bandwidth and 500MB storage
The Small Plan is available at a low price of $5 per month with unlimited domains, 50GB bandwidth and 5GB storage
The Medium Plan can be bought for $10 per month with unlimited domains, 150GB bandwidth and 15GB storage
The Large Plan is available at $20 per month with unlimited domains, 500GB bandwidth and 30GB storage
These plans give you access to live chat support and 24/7 email support. You are also entitled to two months of free hosting and one free domain with all annual plans (except the Tiny Plan).
The Startup Plan is available for $20 per month with 40GB storage and 600GB bandwidth
The Small Business Plan is on offer at $40 per month, with 50GB storage and 800GB bandwidth
The Enterprise Plan is available for $60 per month with 60GB storage and 1TB bandwidth
The above business plans entitle you to PCI compliant servers and free SSL certificates.
The Small Plan is available for a price of $15 per month with 20GB storage, 250GB bandwidth and 30 hosted websites
The Medium Plan is available for a price of $25 per month with 25GB storage, 500GB bandwidth and 50 hosted websites
The Large Plan is offered at a price of $35 per month with 50GB storage, 1.5TB bandwidth and 100 hosted websites
With these reseller plans, web designers can host their clients’ websites themselves.
CLOUD VPS HOSTING
You can opt for cloud VPS hosting to dynamically adjust resources for your fast-growing website as per your needs, scaling up or down as your website traffic evolves.
These plans start at:
$20 per month (with 20GB storage, 500GB bandwidth, 1024MB RAM)
$30 per month (with 30GB storage, 1TB bandwidth, 2048MB RAM)
$45 per month (with 45GB storage, 1.5TB bandwidth, 3072MB RAM)
$60 per month (with 60GB storage, 2TB bandwidth, 4096MB RAM)
$75 per month (with 75GB storage, 2.5TB bandwidth, 5120MB RAM)
$90 per month (with 90GB storage, 3TB bandwidth, 6144MB RAM)
$120 per month (with 120GB storage, 4TB bandwidth, 8192MB RAM)
$150 per month (with 150GB storage, 5TB bandwidth, 10240MB RAM)
All Cloud VPS plans include Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) technology, and free backups (on-demand as well as scheduled).
Apart from some of the useful features discussed above, here are some advantages that ASO gives its customers.
90-DAY MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE
This 90 day, money-back guarantee applies to all ASO services and shows that they are dedicated to customer satisfaction. If anything, it simply tells consumers that ASO is confident about their services.
Highly Knowledgeable Support and Seamless Plan Upgrades
The ASO support staff is well trained and possesses comprehensive knowledge about their various products and services. They also help make upgrades as smooth as possible.
Every ASO server offers daily automatic backups that ensure that you will never lose your data. The backups are stored in a secure data centre, and you can retrieve the data as and when you want.
CONFUSING HOSTING PLANS
This service provider offers too many plans in each category. It is always good to have options, but, sometimes, having too many is simply confusing, especially if you are subscribing for web hosting for the first time.
LACK OF TELEPHONE SUPPORT
For the basic plans from ASO, you do not get access to telephone support. Therefore, if you prefer to pick up the phone and get in touch with customer support when you encounter any problems, then you may not like their basic plans. However, phone support is available for their more expensive plans.
THE FINAL VERDICT
We simply loved the fact that ASO is completely focused on offering value for money to its customers with dedicated plans for varied hosting needs. This is even more evident when you come to know that they don’t offer any freebies to lure customers.
This proves that A Small Orange is very confident about its hosting plans and services. They simply don’t need to offer any unnecessary freebies. For them, the customer comes first and they prove it by offering monthly payment options (which is not often the case with most, popular service providers) and better cancellation or refund options. So, they deserve a thumbs-up!
So have you used A Small Orange to host your own websites? What kind of experience did you have with them? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!