- Review Updated: Oct 24, 2018
A Small Orange (ASO) founded in Atlanta more than a decade ago in 2003.
Somehow the company was then co-owned and lead by Douglas Hanna a few years later. And in 2012, A Small Orange was quietly acquired by Endurance International Group, which also owns dozen of popular hosting brands including iPage, Hostgator, and BlueHost.
Today, the company is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has a dynamic 80-person team and host more than 45,000 websites.
In order to provide the best possible service, ASO maintains two different U.S.-based servers in Dallas, Texas, and Dearborn, Michigan.
Both data centers boast high-performance, carrier neutral networks.
ASO is committed to keeping your data secure, and its data centers include a range of security features, including 24/7/365 on-site support technicians; physical ID checks, biometric access, and keycard access; and full CCTV surveillance that is backed by digital recording on file.
* Note: We no longer hold an account with A Small Orange at time of writing.
Compare A Small Orange with Other Hosts
For your reference, here’s what you’ll get at less than $5/mo with other cheap hosting services.
|Features / Web Host||ASO||BlueHost||InMotion||A2 Hosting||Face|
|Plan in review||Small||Plus||Launch||Swift||Extra|
|Data transfer||50 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Storage||5 GB||50 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Free daily backup|
|Server location||US only||US only||US only||US, EU, Asia||US, EU, Asia|
|Full refund trial||90 days||30 days||90 days||Anytime||30 days|
A Small Orange Hosting Plans
ASO shared hosting plans come in three different sizes: Tiny Plan (500 MB storage, 5 GB bandwidth, 1 domain), Medium Plan (15 GB storage, 150 GB bandwidth, unlimited domains), and the Large Plan (30 GB storage, 500 GB bandwidth, unlimited domain).
Prices range from $7.17/mo to $25/mo.
All shared hosting plans include SSD hard drives, 24/7/365 live chat support, email hosting with POP3, IMAP, and webmail access, FTP & SFTP access, Weebly website builder, and database management via phpMyAdmin.
Customers are also able to install and configure a variety of different scripts with the Softaculous automatic script installation, which is included free with every hosting account.
My Experience with A Small Orange
I started testing ASO shared hosting service in March 2015 and here are my findings.
- Room to expand – Basically you don’t have to worry about outgrowing your web host at ASO.
- No overselling – ASO does not oversell – you get what you paid for.
- Additional services for busy websites owners – In addition to its hosting services, ASO offers web design, server management, and SEO services, which I believe it’s a huge plus for busy business owners.
- Not very Reliable – The average uptime score for A Small Orange is 99.8%, which is below average for hosting services at this price range.
- Lack of choice in server location – You can only host your websites in United States; whereas some other hosting companies with the same price tag allow you to choose your hosting location.
- Slightly Pricey – You can only host one website at $7.17/mo – this slightly expensive and inconvenient for users with multiple websites.
- Account suspension rules – If you exceed the allocated bandwidth, your ASO account might be suspended until further payment has been made (read TOS quoted below). Imagine your site got lucky, landed on Reddit’s front page, and you didn’t know about it – disaster.
A Small Orange TOS (11 – Bandwidth Usage)
11.2. Should your account pass the allocated amount, A Small Orange reserves the right to: a) suspend the account until the start of the next allocation, b) suspend the account until more bandwidth is purchased at an additional fee, c) suspend the account until you upgrade to a higher level of package, and/or d) charge you an additional fee for the overages.
A Small Orange Uptime Review
We setup a WordPress dummy site on ASO in March 2015 and the following is the uptime scores we recorded (using Uptime Robot). Note that the last record we gathered was dated in July 2016 – we no longer track A Small Orange hosting service at time of writing.
ASO Uptime Score for July 2016 – 99.83%
ASO Uptime Score for February 2016 – 99.87%
ASO Uptime Score for February 2016 – 99.79%
ASO Uptime Score for September 2015 – 100%
ASO Uptime Score (July 2015)
ASO Hosting Uptime Score (Mac – Apr 2015)
A Small Orange Server Speed Test
We check our test site’s response speed from 8 different locations and compare the results with 10 million other websites at BitCatcha.
The results are as follow –
User Feedback: Others’ Experience at A Small Orange
Note from Jerry: We did a number of surveys and worked with some website owners for their hosting review.
For A Small Orange, we have Ryan Chang, owner of Nuke Blogger, as our guest to share his experience. His blog was previously hosted on A Small Orange and the following is his unedited ASO review. This opinion solely belongs to Ryan and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of mine or team WHSR.
ASO Review by Ryan Chang
When starting my website Nukeblogger, I was looking for a web hosting plan that had premium features, had some scale, and offered great support. I stumbled upon ASO after some looking around. If you’re an industry expert, you may know that ASO is owned by Endurance International Group (EIG), a group owning many low quality and generally scammy hosts. I didn’t know about EIG when I signed up and was quite worried when I found out. Luckily, ASO was an exception to the EIG rule (so far). I signed up for the “small” shared hosting plan.
Plans and Specs
It’s quite clear that ASO isn’t overselling – their plans are not very expensive but have very little “value” – for example, while other hosts may offer 10gb or 50gb for $5/month, ASO offers 1GB. However, this 1GB is SSD space. Although my website wasn’t very fast, it almost never was slow or down. I never had any database issues or PHP problems like I would with many budget hosts. It also has all the standard functions like cPanel and Softaculous.
What I like the best – Customer Support
The most amazing part about A Small Orange is their support. Their support staff ALWAYS responded within 1 hour (in ticket support). Most of the staff are professional. In fact, their level 3 support was often better than the level 1 support that I enjoyed from many EIG hosts. As far as I remembered, the staff was quite helpful and the chat staff replied within 10 seconds to every message I sent them.
What I dislike – Lack of “Value”
I’ve discussed lots of positives about A Small Orange, but it’s not perfect – one of its pitfalls is its price. It’s not extremely expensive (the basic plan is only $35 per year), but it gives VERY little disk space and bandwidth for that price – only 500mb in fact. You definitely can’t host more than a site on that amount of space.
For example SiteGround provide a lot more addons (pre-configured server, daily backup, malware scan, unlimited domains) at a cheaper rate when you compare with A Small Orange Large plan.
- Great Support
- Good Uptime
- Industry Standard Specs
- Bad Value
- Bought by EIG
Who should use A Small Orange?
To sum it up, I think A Small Orange is great for beginners to web hosting who need the extra support and optimization to help out their websites – it’s definitely not for people who value price a lot, and if you’re an advanced professional who’s looking for speedy hosting, there’s really not much need to pay for A Small Orange’s premium price in return for quality support that you won’t need.
However, for beginners who need some hand-holding, it is a great host.
Bottom line – Is A Small Orange right for you?
In my opinion, A Small Orange does not offer the best hosting service in town. The major drawback I see is their expensive price tag – paying $15/mo just to host multiple websites on a basic hosting account is a turn off for most business owners and bloggers (domain names are so cheap these days).
Their quality customer support and no overselling policy might be something users dig in though.
A Small Orange Alternatives
- Budget options: A2 Hosting, Hostinger, InMotion Hosting
- VPS / Premium options: Kinsta (WordPress only), SiteGround, TMD Hosting