A Small Orange Hosting
A Small Orange Hosting Review 2017
In this review, we will primarily take a look at the features and pricing of A Small Orange’s shared hosting plans.
Originally founded in 2003, A Small Orange was acquired by hosting behemoth EIG in 2012. EIG is the company which has quietly amassed hosting holdings such as Hostgator, Bluehost, and many other popular brands.
Despite its odd name, A Small Orange offers affordable shared hosting with transparent plan limits. While this review will focus mostly on those shared hosting plans, A Small Orange also offers business, reseller, VPS and managed plans for individuals and businesses who need more hosting power.
Overview of A Small Orange Features
Before diving deeper into all the features A Small Orange offers, we’ll give you a quick overview of what you can expect:
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee – This is fairly standard in the hosting industry now, but it’s still good to know that your site will always be available.
- SSD Storage – SSDs offer far superior performance to physical drives and don’t usually come with such affordable shared hosting.
- cPanel – You can easily manage your sites with industry-standard cPanel.
- Daily Backups – All of A Small Orange’s plans include daily backups to protect your data.
- One-Click Software Installs – Install WordPress, Joomla, and other software with a single click.
- 24/7/365 Support – Get help whenever you need it via live chat or email.
- Sizable Knowledge Base for Self-Support – You can also get self-support in the form of a 450+ article knowledge base.
Now let’s take a deeper look…
A Small Orange Performance – Real Testing Data
In our real-world tests, A Small Orange had 99.96% uptime, which was about middle-of-the-road for the shared hosts we tested and in line with their stated uptime.
We also tested A Small Orange’s “Time to First Byte”, a measure of a hosting server’s responsiveness. A Small Orange’s Time to First Byte was .5 seconds, which is again about in the middle of the pack for the shared hosts we tested.
And finally, A Small Orange’s average load time for our test site was 1.95 seconds. Again, right in the middle! Notice the trend?
Overall, A Small Orange’s performance is perfectly average. It’s not the absolute fastest, but it is definitely competitive with other shared hosts when it comes to speed and uptime.
A Small Orange Data Centers
Data centers are the physical locations where your website’s hosting servers are located. Because of how important page load speed is on the modern web, you want your physical servers located as near as possible to your readers.
To help you accomplish this, A Small Orange offers two distinct US locations: Dallas, Texas and Dearborn, Michigan.
These options are great for US-based websites, but internationally focused websites may not be satisfied with A Small Orange’s lack of international data centers. Using a CDN can help mitigate this issue, though.
SSD Storage for Better Performance
Unlike old-style HDDs which required a disk to physically spin, there are no moving parts in SSDs. This means far superior performance for sites hosted on SSDs.
A Small Orange includes SSDs for all their shared hosting plans. This is definitely a nice perk given that SSD usage isn’t fully adopted yet amongst affordable shared web hosts.
Transparent Plans and No Overselling
Unlike other hosts who promise you the moon when it comes to “unlimited traffic and storage” (but very often fail to deliver on those promises), A Small Orange is 100% transparent about the limitations of its plans.
You’ll know exactly how much bandwidth and traffic your plan includes so you’re never blindsided by sudden overages or service outages. This does require you to pay attention to your statistics in order to avoid exceeding those limits, though.
NGINX, but no PHP 7 or HTTP2
If you’re not a techie, these terms might not mean a lot to you. So let me try to explain them in a way regular humans can understand.
NGINX is a type of software that your web server runs. In comparison to other software shared hosts often use, NGINX can offer leaner and better performance.
Unfortunately, while A Small Orange wins with NGINX, it loses with a lack of PHP 7 and HTTP2.
PHP 7 is the newest version of the PHP coding language and offers major performance improvements over PHP 5.6, which is what A Small Orange currently runs on. This isn’t a dealbreaker if your site is small, but if you’re pushing the limits of your hosting, that extra performance is nice.
Similarly, HTTP2 is another new technology which, in the most simple sense, offers performance increases over HTTP, which is what A Small Orange’s shared plans use. This isn’t a huge knock, though, because most shared hosts don’t offer HTTP2 at this time.
A Small Orange Shared Plans and Pricing
A Small Orange offers a variety of shared plans which should fit most customers’ needs.
Their cheapest plan, Tiny, starts at just $2.92 per month, though it’s limited to a single site and 5GB of bandwidth.
Their most popular plan, Small, offers unlimited websites, a free domain name, and 50GB of bandwidth for just $5 per month.
Finally, their Medium and Large plans offer further bandwidth and storage increases for $10 and $20 per month respectively.
Note – A Small Orange’s Tiny plan is only available for annual billing and does not include a free domain name. Month-to-month billing starts from their Small plan and up.
For that reason, we recommend going with the Small plan over the Tiny plan. The Small plan offers some major upgrades and increased billing flexibility for a very minimal premium.
A Small Orange’s Business, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated Plans
A Small Orange’s business plans start at $20 per month and offer business-centric features like SSL and PCI compliance for processing credit card payments. Anyone looking to run an eCommerce store or accept online payments should consider one of the business plans.
Reseller plans start at just $15 per month and VPS plans start at $20 per month for 30GB of storage, 1024 MB of RAM, and 500GB of bandwidth.
Finally, A Small Orange’s dedicated servers offer full root access, 5 dedicated IP addresses, and a variety of other features starting at $99 per month.
Should You Choose A Small Orange Hosting?
A Small Orange’s shared hosting plans are great for site owners who are running low-traffic sites that don’t require the latest and greatest hosting technologies. While A Small Orange’s shared plans include NGINX and SSDs, they lack PHP 7 and HTTP2.
Additionally, if you’re targeting international users, A Small Orange’s lack of international data centers should give you pause. But if you’re focus is on the USA, their two data centers provide more than enough coverage. If you’re planning to implement a CDN (content delivery network), this lack of international data centers becomes less of a factor.
Finally, while A Small Orange’s plan limitations may seem restrictive at first glance, it’s actually refreshing that they don’t oversell their offerings like many other budget hosts do.
Overall, A Small Orange’s affordable prices, 24/7/365 support, and transparent plans make them a solid option for affordable shared web hosting.
A Small Orange offers a generous 90-day money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose by giving them a shot!
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We do not receive any money for positive reviews and all opinions on this page are our own.