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A Small Orange review: Everything you need to know

a-smallA Small Orange is an exclusively Linux-based hosting company that offers a variety of hosting options for personal or business sites.

Their shared hosting plans are decent for beginners and small businesses with low traffic websites, but more experienced web masters could run into issues.

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A Small Orange continues to stay relevant in the hosting space, despite tough competition (see: DreamHost, FatCow, and Arvixe).

Here is how they’ve trended over the years:

Features

A Small Orange has some cool features for the novice website owners.

1) Clementine Managed Hosting: A Small Orange offers what they call Clementine Managed Hosting, which is their turnkey service for managed servers. Under this plan, the company performs all updates and maintenance for you, including O/S updates, new software and tool installation, security patches, server optimization, and backups. Clementine Managed Hosting offers the best of both worlds: it’s easy to use as a shared hosting account, but with the performance of VPS or dedicated server. Your website is on a private Linux container with low-density configuration, but without the cost you’d normally incur with having a dedicated server.

The regular Clementine Plan is $45 a month and comes with 2 CPU cores, 2 GB RAM, 30 GB SSD, 1 TB monthly bandwidth, and 1 cPanel user account. The higher tier, Clementine Plus, comes with 8 GB RAM, 2 x 128 GB SSD (or 1 TB HDD), 5 TB monthly bandwidth, and 1 cPanel user account.

2) Business Hosting: A Small Orange has special emphasis on businesses. They have a separate level of plans dedicated just for businesses that are not part of their regular shared plans. Their business plans have 3 tiers – startup, small business, and enterprise. All three levels include a free SSL Certificate, which is normally valued at $39.

They also have PCI-compliant servers, meaning their servers meet the data security standards guided by the Payment Card Industry. This is an important feature for business accounts that are online merchants and regularly deal with accepting payments. All business plans come with enterprise database support, including PostgreSQL and MariaDB designed to power heavy ecommerce needs. In addition, all business plans ensure your websites have lower customer densities than on regular shared plans, to accommodate and execute the processes of any heavy ecommerce software.

3) Two Data Centers: Having two or more data centers isn’t completely unheard of, but those with two data centers tend to be bi-coastal. They typically have one data center in the east coast and one in the west coast (see: Web Hosting Hub and InMotion).

A Small Orange is different in that their two data centers are located in Dallas, Texas, and Dearborn, Michigan. There’s no mention of whether you can choose one or the other, but it can be assumed your website will be allocated to the server that’s closer to where you are. The location of your hosting server is important to your sites overall performance, speed, and reliability. Both data centers have high performance, carrier-neutral networks, and provide all the amenities, security, and redundancy you’d expect from any other hosting company.

Customer Support

A Small Orange has a support team, but you’re only able to reach them via live chat.

So if you like to have a phone number readily available for 24/7 phone support, these guys might not be your best option.

Also, no reports of any support ticketing system, a common system in many of the top hosting companies implemented to help streamline customer support and make sure all customers are assisted in a timely manner.

Reviews

We have looked over several online reviews for A Small Orange. We found customers happy with resolution times and set up speed.

One happy customer writes: “Their resolution time is amazingly low… You ask them for any assistance and they will make sure that the correct thing is delivered to you. Their uptime is excellent, I have never faced any downtime so far.”

Another reviewer states: “A Small Orange set me up in a matter of minutes. This was the fastest set-up I ever experienced, compared to other hosting companies I have used.”

Not all reviews were positive however. We also found customers frustrated with their uptime guarantee and support ticketing system.

One disappointed customer warns: “Their 99.9% uptime guarantee only applies to their cheap plans (makes no sense). Our sites are constantly down. Constant issues. Seriously terrible uptime.”

Another reviewer complains that: “Every ticket response is replied by a different person and they don’t read back the full ticket case just the last response.”

Pros

1) 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee: A Small Orange offers a very generous 90-day money-back guarantee, with the usual limitations. For example, your domain cost or any extras won’t be refunded.

2) Uptime Guarantee: According to the terms of service by the company, they offer 99.9% uptime guarantee in a given calendar month. Although there is no uptime tracker available on their site.

3) cPanel Included: For lovers of cPanel, A Small Orange provides this popular control panel.

4) Weebly Website Builder: A Small Orange offers website builder powered by Weebly. Weebly is simple and intuitive to use, and you can upgrade to have more functions for $11 per month.

5) Free Migration: A Small Orange offers a free migration service if you’re coming from another hosting company.

Cons

1) Limited Support: The support seems limited only to live chat, as no other information (phone number or ticket system) is published on the website.

2) No Proprietary Website Builder for Free: While the company uses Weebly as their website builder, they don’t have a proprietary free website builder that other companies provide with more robust functions.

3) Limited Storage and Bandwidth: A Small Orange’s shared plans offer limited storage and bandwidth, even for higher-tiered plans. The lowest tier has 500 MB of storage for $2.92 per month and the highest tier has 30 GB of storage for $20 per month.

Summary

A Small Orange offers a variety of plans, but their emphasis and attention to businesses stand out.

They have 3 plans dedicated solely for business owners, whether small or enterprise. Some of the features are limited where other hosting companies would provide them for free. For example, there is no proprietary website builder and no unlimited storage and bandwidth. However, with free migration and a generous money back guarantee, you can feel good about giving A Small Orange try.

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About the author: “JP Smooth” is a tech entrepreneur and owner of too many websites lol. He created HostAuthority with 3 other entrepreneurs to prove that web hosting doesn’t have to be complicated.

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