A Small Orange Review
A Small Orange was established in 2012 by Endurance International Group (EIG). EIG is the same group of companies that is behind BlueHost and HostGator. Even though A Small Orange is not notable as those brands, it has the same direct approach as them.
So, for the review process, we set up a basic WordPress website on A Small Orange’s cheapest hosting plan; ‘Tiny Plan’. We purchased that in June 2015 and kept monitoring their uptime and speed stats during the past two years. Let’s take a look at how they compete with their own sibling brands.
Advantages of A Small Orange Hosting
A Small Orange originally launched again in 2003 by Tim Dorr. Now they have two server locations in Dallas, Texas, and Dearborn, Michigan. Unlike its cute name and small status, they are doing a great job in the Industry.
1. Strong Uptime (99.98%)
How would you feel if your site keeps knocked offline by an underperforming web host? Even though your site is a well-performing one? Sounds terrible right. What will happen if the uptime statistics are poor in your host?
Thankfully, A Small Orange won’t let you suffer like that.
According to our analysis, they have shown an uptime of 99.98% during a two year period. That shows they are performing the same as the notable companies in the industry.
Average uptimes during last year:
- January 2020 average uptime: 100%
- December 2019 average uptime: 100%
- November 2019 average uptime: 100%
- October 2019 average uptime: 100%
- September 2019 average uptime: 99.94%
- August 2019 average uptime: 100%
- July 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- June 2019 average uptime: 100%
- May 2019 average uptime: 99.95%
- April 2019 average uptime: 100%
- March 2019 average uptime: 99.97%
- February 2019 average uptime: 100%
2. Quick Load Time (645 ms)
As I have already mentioned in the previous reviews, page loading speed is an important factor for a site’s performance.
According to studies a one-second delay in site loading time can result in a 7% conversion loss. Around 40% of your site traffic will leave you if the speed drops below three seconds.
But that won’t be a problem with A Small Orange. They were able to deliver an average page speed of 645ms which is far better than the industry average.
Average load times during the last year:
3. Friendly and Helpful Customer Support
All sites require great and efficient customer support. Considering the customer support of A Small Orange, they were able to get back to us quickly with detailed and well-informed responses.
We had a wonderful experience with them. The best thing is they didn’t send us links to solve the issue. They took the time to speak with us to give a better solution.
4. Honest, Transparent Business Approach
I used the word “honest” because A Small Orange doesn’t have a hidden agenda or language to deceive you. They inform you in simple English. You will know what will you get for the value of your money.
Moreover, they provide all the premium features for every plan except for the Tiny Plan. These features include unlimited email, 24/7 U.S. based support, SSD servers, and unlimited domain names.
5. 90 Day Money Back Guarantee
Money-Back Guarantees are very helpful because you don’t have to stay with a particular host if you are not satisfied with their service.
Most of the hosts will give you a 30-day money-back guarantee. But A Small Orange gives you a 90-day money-back guarantee. That specifically shows how confident are they about their service.
Another hosting company that will offer a 90-day money-back guarantee is InMotion Hosting.
There is a thing you have to keep in mind. That is the refund policy of A Small Orange is only applicable for some payment methods. As their Terms of Service mentions, “you won’t be able to get a refund if you pay with a bank wire transfer, Western Union payment, check, or money order.”
So, please make sure to pay with a debit card, credit card, or PayPal. Then you will be eligible for refunds.
Disadvantages of A Small Orange Hosting
Up to now, A Small Orange managed to impress us. But there are some other things you must know before committing with them.
1. Risks of exceeding their limits
If you exceed the limits of your plan, They might suspend your account immediately. Actually this is mentioned in A Small Orange’s Terms of service. Though most of their plans give you an adequate amount of bandwidth, just be alert about this possibility. A Small Orange claims that a customer is required to use as few server resources as possible to allow good performance for all their customers.
As CPU and memory are shared resources, A Small Orange might suspend or terminate your account for using many resources, saying that it is abusive’.
The following are the limits on shared and reseller packages according to the Terms of Service.
- 50 Running Processes
- 15 Minute Max Execution Time
- 100,000 Total Inodes
- 10% CPU Usage
- 5% Memory Usage (or 512 MB)
- 500 outgoing email messages within each hour (they will discard all excess messages without delivering them)
The limit is the same as bandwidth usage. Based on your hosting package they allow you a monthly bandwidth. If you exceed the allocated bandwidth for a month, they can suspend your account till,
- More bandwidth is allocated,
- You buy more bandwidth for an extra fee,
- You upgrade to a package that has more total bandwidth.
And A Small Orange can charge you an additional fee regardless of how you are going to reactivate your account.
2. No Phone Support
Even though they had impressive customer support, they don’t have phone support. You have to rely on their in-depth knowledge database, live website chat, and email.
This will be a con or pro depending on your preference actually.
3. Poor Reputation Management
A Small Orange was able to pass all the primary tests including uptime, speed, and customer support. But the online reviews are not so shiny.
A number of Twitter users are speaking negatively about their services. One user has said that A Small Orange won’t transfer their domain to a new web host in 2016. In 2017 also the conversation stayed at the negative side. But we are not with them. And the company attempted to clarify the issues.
A Small Orange Pricing, Hosting Plans and Quick Facts
- Tiny Plan
500 MB storage
5 GB bandwidth
24/7 email with live chat support
Maximum one domain name
You have to prepay for at least one year
- Small Plan
$94.60 ($7.88/month) per year (or $8.80 monthly)
5 GB storage
50 GB bandwidth
Unlimited domain names
24/7 email and live chat support
- Medium Plan
$250.80 ($20.90/month) annually (or $27.50 monthly)
30 GB storage
500 GB bandwidth
Unlimited domain names
24/7 email and live chat support
Except for the Tiny Plan, all other plans have support for unlimited domain names, unlimited emails, 24/7 support, and SSD.
- Ease of signup
Yes, only a single page
- Payment Options
Credit Card, PayPal
- Hidden Fees and Clauses
No hidden fees. A limit of 10 percent CPU usage, 5 percent memory usage, 50 running processes, 15 minutes max execution time, 100,000 total nodes, and 500 outgoing email messages per 60 minute period is enforced for all shared and reseller packages.
- Account Activation
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc)
One-click installation with Softaculous
Do We Recommend A Small Orange?
Yes and No.
Their best features were stable uptime, fast page loading, impressive customer support. But there is something unacceptable. That is they might suspend your account if you exceed the allowed limits. That will leave a second thought.