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A Small Orange was initially founded in 2003 in Atlanta, Georgia with one of their aims being to provide top customer service. They also believe in giving back to the community by offering discounts to approved non-profits and charities. A Small Orange was acquired by the behemoth of web hosting which is the Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2012. EIG own some of the largest and most well-known web hosting companies such as Bluehost, HostGator and iPage.
The company’s four shared hosting plans are reasonably well specified. Even the cheapest supports unlimited email and FTP accounts, NGINX-powered WordPress-optimized servers, cPanel management and Weebly Cloud for simple drag-and-drop website building. There’s 24/7 email and live chat support if anything goes wrong.
Unusually, A Small Orange has storage and bandwidth limits on all shared hosting plans. If you’re looking for unlimited hosting, that may seem to be a problem, but keep in mind that no host really offers ‘unlimited’ anything; it’s just a marketing term. At least A Small Orange tells you up-front what its limits are.
The Tiny plan has some extreme limits, at 500MB storage, 5GB bandwidth and support for a single website. It looks a little overpriced at $6.51 a month on the annual plan.
A Small Orange hosting review
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In this A Small Orange review, you’ll learn about some of the key advantages that make a small orange a unique and attractive option for businesses of all sizes.
While it has plans to fit a business of just about any size, its main goal is to provide hosting for small businesses and startups. That’s why they offer such affordable plans that are packed with features that smaller businesses need to grow.
Review of A Small Orange product lineup
This is the most popular plan and it’s easy to see why. At just $5 per month, it’s one of the cheapest plans available. It offers a modest 5GB of storage and 50GB of bandwidth. But it also allows you to have unlimited domains which is a nice perk.
This is a really great plan to start with if you’re not yet sure about how much storage or bandwidth you’re going to need and just want to test the waters and get yourself out there. It’s also great for people who want a personal website and don’t want to pay the higher prices for a business level plan.
For $20 per month you can get a small business plan that includes 40GB of storage, 600GB of bandwidth and free SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is what establishes a secure connection between the web server and the browser. When you visit a site and see “https” in the URL, that means it has an SSL certificate, making it a more secure and reliable website.
Basically, this is a great starter package that will suit the needs of any startup. You can get more bandwidth and storage but when you’re just starting up and haven’t yet built up a lot of visitor traffic, there’s no real reason to pay extra when you’re probably not even going to go over these current limits yet.
And if you do start to need more storage or bandwidth, it’s easy enough to upgrade to a bigger plan.
This is the next level up from the startup business plan. For $40 per month, you get 50GB of storage and 800GB of bandwidth. That’s a nice increase over the 40Gb and 600GB respectively that you get in the startup plan.
And in addition to keeping your free SSL certificate, you also get a website that is PCI compliant. That means that you’ll be able to accept online payments using credit cards. If you don’t have this PCI compliance, you can’t offer credit card payment as an option.
PayPal and other online payment services can help you work around that but the ability to pay with a credit card on your website definitely helps you to build your reputation as an established, reliable business.
When your business starts to outgrow the small business plan, you can upgrade to the enterprise plan which offers another step up in storage and bandwidth. For $60 per month, you’ll keep your free SSL certificate, your PCI complaint, and get a boost to 60GB of storage and 1,000GB of bandwidth.
A Small Orange Pros And Cons
- Excellent control panel
- Daily backups
- Full SSD hosting
- Integration with Weebly
- Cloud VPS plans offered
- No SSL certificate included
- No phone support
- No managed WordPress hosting
- Poor Load Impact performance
A Small Orange Shared Hosting
None of that is unique, though. What is rare is that A Small Orange provides shared users with dedicated resources. Your bandwidth and storage are limited based on the tier of shared hosting you choose, which ensures that websites aren’t stepping on one another’s toes.
Plus, servers are protected with ModSecurity, distributed denial-of-service protection, hotlink and leech protection, password-protected directories, IP blocking and daily backups. Though we appreciate all the features A Small Orange has to offer, we’d like them more if the servers were using LiteSpeed.
LiteSpeed is an alternative to the Apache server software that boasts impressive performance over the platform on which it’s based. It shares the ability to use many of the tools that make Apache so great, including ModSecurity, but results in fewer errors when installed on a shared server.
As we’ll see in the “speed” section, A Small Orange could be better when it comes to load times. Though not bad, the lessened overhead of LiteSpeed would help A Small Orange accommodate more users without errors.
A Small Orange Website Builder
A Small Orange makes it easy to install any platform you want with the Softaculous app installer. If you’d rather use a drag-and-drop builder, though, Weebly is available. Every hosting package comes with access to a free version of Weebly that’s tied to your domain, which usually runs around $5 per month.
As you can see in our Weebly review, it’s one of the best website builders, so the fact that you get free access to it is great. If you want to add email, remove A Small Orange branding and use unlimited pages, there are dedicated website builder hosting packages, too.
A Small Orange review: our conclusion
If any of their web hosting plans interest you, you should definitely check out their website. A Small Orange web hosting is often doing special offers and giving away coupons to help you save even more money on their already low prices. It’s a great option for those who are in need of a very budget-friendly and the flexibility to upgrade your plan as you go.
However, if you’re not experienced at building websites already, you’ll definitely want to get the Weebly site-building tools to help you make a site that is attractive, functional, and intuitive to use for your visitors. And since that is sold as an extra service, you’re monthly savings might not be quite as great as you were hoping for. But A Small Orange is still very competitively priced even if you do have to tack on a couple extra fees.