A Small Orange was founded in 2003 and currently has over 30 employees and serves tens of thousands of customers worldwide. Their headquarters are located in Durham, North Carolina and are actively seeking job applicants for five job openings, which is a strong indication of company growth.
In this review, I’m taking a look at the A Small Orange website, packages, pricing, customer support options, and more. I’ll also take a look at outside resources to see how satisfied their customers are on independent verified resources.
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A Small Orange is a unique company because they refused to follow the rest of the companies that offer “unlimited everything” for an impossibly low price. It simply isn’t physically possible to offer 300GB+++ of actual space and Terabytes of bandwidth for a measly $4.95 a month (see any site that offers dedicated servers that has this much space). What these companies do instead is hide limitations, upsell you, and terminate your site if you use too many resources.
Instead, A Small Orange offers plans that offer the exact resources you’ll need with no worry about hundreds of emails that upsell to other products and services and they promise to only email you with billing, customer support, and the occasional random customer survey for measuring customer satisfaction.
Featured A Small Orange Video
This video shows you how to purchase a domain and setup hosting through A Small Orange. This video gives you a good idea of how hosting from A Small Orange works as well as setting up WordPress after signing up.
A Small Orange Available Hosting Options
- 250 MB
- 5 GB
- Only allows one domain.1
- Not enough space for Ecommerce
- 3 GB
- 30 GB
- 30 Separately Hosted Domains30
- 10 GB
- 100 GB
- Only allows one domain.1
- Free SSL!
Above is just a small sampling of the packages and plans that they offer. A Small Orange includes what I feel are too many hosting choices which can turn the average customer away. Take a look at the screenshot below. It may not seem like much from the image, but there are up to five choices of web hosting under each category which really makes me cringe. There can be a lot of confusion which I’ll get into after I lay out your options:
Shared Web Hosting
- Tiny: $35/year with 250MB Disk & 5GB Bandwidth
- Small: $5/month with 1GB Disk & 20GB Bandwidth
- Medium: $10/month with 5GB Disk & 100GB Bandwidth
- Large: $20/month with 15GB Disk & 300GB Bandwidth
- Super: $30/month with 25GB Disk & 500GB Bandwidth
Reseller Web Hosting
- Small: $15/mo with 3GB Disk, 30GB B/W, & 30 hosted sites
- Medium: $25/mo with 5GB Disk, 50GB B/W, & 50 hosted sites
- Large: $35/mo with 10GB Disk, 100GB B/W, & 100 hosted sites
Business Web Hosting
- Startup: $20/mo with 10GB Disk & 100GB Bandwidth
- Small Business: $40/mo with 20GB Disk & 200GB Bandwidth
- Enterprise: $60/mo with 30GB Disk & 300GB Bandwidth
* The business web hosting plans include a Free SSL Certificate, dedicated IP, and PCI Compliance which are needed for Ecommerce web hosting.
A Small Orange also offers Cloud VPS (Virtual Private Servers) and Dedicated Servers. I will get into these in a separate comparison page soon. If these are what you are looking for, please visit their site and take a look.
With all of these options made available to you, how do you choose? Let’s say your budget is $20 a month for premium web hosting. Your options include the Large shared web hosting plan that offers 15GB space, the Small reseller plan that offers 3GB space but allows 30 separate sites, or the Startup business hosting plan that offers 10GB space but includes everything you need for hosting an eCommerce website. For me, there’s just too much decision!You have to choose based on how many sites you think you’ll need, how much space you need, and assume there’s actually a difference in hosting quality depending on the package you choose from.
On the awesome: A Small Orange prices are up-front and honest. The prices I quoted above are actually the per-month price for their hosting services. They actually offer a discounted rate if you choose to pre-pay 3 months, 6 months, or a year in advance. Trust me when I say, most companies (like over 90%) quote you the 12-36 month prepay monthly price and no the real monthly price which is refreshing and a near shock to me as a long-time host reviewer.
Are They Reliable and Trustworthy?
One of the best ways to determine reliability is to take a look at their money back guarantee. A Small Orange offers a 45 day money back guarantee and guarantee a 99.9% uptime. Since they do not oversell their servers, they also do not attract the type of client that will abuse their service with high resource usage whose consumption can slow or even bring down shared servers.
Technicians are available 24/7/365 and are monitoring their data centers around the clock. Their data centers are patrolled by guards, monitored over CCTV, and are located behind multiple redundant lines of physical security.
What if I want to cancel? With A Small Orange, if you want to cancel your service after the 45-day money back guarantee, they will offer you a pro-rated refund for any unused services you’ve paid for. However, as I’ve said above, you aren’t forced into a 1-year, 2-year, or even 5-year commitment. If you want to pay monthly, A Small Orange actually allows you to do so.
My recommendation: For A Small Orange, because it’s important for hosts to earn your trust, I recommend signing up to your preferred package on a monthly basis. After three months of using their service, checking uptimes, and verifying the service is right for your site, then contact them and upgrade to a yearly plan to lock in their pre-pay discounts. Not many hosts offer this option, so take advantage of it.
Opening a Store Online – Your ECommerce Solution
With A Small Orange, your best bet for ECommerce web hosting is their Business Web Hosting plans. These plans include a free SSL certificate which is needed for any online credit card transactions. Their business plans also include a dedicated IP address, also needed for the SSL certificate, and finally, the business class includes full compatibility with PCI compliance.
After you sign up for their business class hosting, shoot them a quick email and let them know your domain that you want your free SSL cert and they will take care of the rest.
Customer Service Review
A Small Orange offers several customer support options that you can use. From my research these options include:
- Email Support via Support Help Desk
- Live Chat Assistance
- Discussion Forums
Unfortunately, A Small Orange does not offer telephone technical support as of the time of this review. This is actually a common occurrence with smaller web hosts because the costs associated with offering this outweigh the benefits until they attract more customers. Some hosts opt to outsource their telephone support to offer the appearance of better support, however, these hosts quickly discover that the language barrier associated with overseas support actually can permanently damage reputations.
A Small Orange is dedicated to offering reliable customer service. In fact, they are one of only few companies that offer a support response time openly on their public web pages as shown to the left.
Note: Please understand that the waiting time shown is a screenshot at the time of this review and not their actual current waiting time.
Scott’s Final Thoughts
After my in-depth review above, I’m actually quite impressed with A Small Orange. I love the small host feel and the site really gives me the impression that they care about their clients and are here for the long haul. A Small Orange does many things right including offering monthly payment options, discounted pre-paid pricing, and up-front quoted pricing based on the monthly price, not on some ridiculous three to five year prepaid plan. I really love the honesty here and you should too!
Things they need to work on: After continued growth, I would like to see them offer a telephone customer support option for clients. I’d also like to see less choice on their hosting offering because too many choices can often create confusion for a person who is new to web hosting and still unsure of how much space or bandwidth they will need. It’s good service to actually answer as many questions as possible without the client needing to email support for suggestions and a smaller package lineup would do just that.
Have you had any experience with this host? I hope that you’ll spend five minutes and share your experience with this host in the comments below. Feel free to share anything from good to bad experiences as well as your website.