Hosting for the meek.
A Small Orange is great for webmasters who know their goals and want a really good value. Not feature rich, but not basic by any means. Everything you need to run a successful website by today’s standards.
This is a host that is hyper-focused on the beginner and all their process walks with you at every step. If you’ve never used hosting and are terrified of messing things up, you may find yourself right at home here.
Individuals with bigger hosting needs and site owners with grand ambitions may look to other options that offer more resources with their plans.
That said, a large number of site owners would be pleased with the offerings brought to the table by A Small Orange.
For a budget host, A Small Orange has a full-suite of quality hosting plans.
The shared plans are pushed harder due to their beginner focus, but the cloud VPS plans are a real value.
The basic cloud plan offers standard resources that match up with other hosts. 30GB of storage and 500GB of bandwidth and they go up from there. The difference here are the features you get for the price.
A few head-turning aspects include:
- File Safety: The failover system in place means that your files are safe even in the event of total hardware failures.
- Security: A firewall and other security redundancies mean that your data and that of your users will be as safe as possible.
- Scalability: More budget hosts are offering cloud plans, but aren’t that scalable. A Small Orange offers full scalability based on your needs as they grow and diminish.
The shared, dedicated, and business plans are very solid as well. But the cloud hosting is high above average.
The servers for shared plans aren’t overcrowded. Budget hosts have a bad reputation of cramming all the users they can into a single server.
This practice slows down the sites on the drive and can also cause problems if sites generate a large number of traffic and file requests (people visiting and looking at web pages).
The promise from A Small Orange is to keep the servers a bit more sparse to ensure you have the resources you need to take care of the visitors you have. It shouldn’t be a novel concept—but it is.
Unfortunately, many features available cost extra. Some things are understandable like a custom-designed 5-page WordPress site or managed search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) services.
But the sitebuilder is an additional (monthly) fee as well as some extra security options.
Depending on your plan, you may have additional features included. For instance, the business plans all come with shared SSL certificate which is necessary to have credibility when you’re selling stuff online.
It’s costs an extra fee, but the sitebuilder is far more comprehensive than most other tools of it’s kind.
It’s Weebly powered, meaning that it’s simple enough to allow anyone to build a beautiful site. Aside from that, your site can be more powerful than if using other builders. Things like:
- Options available to password protect pages—giving you the ability to start a membership site or something similar.
- Analytics and other stats are available to help you keep track of your progress in different ways.
- Gizmos for your site like slideshows, video players, and a site search function.
Getting in touch with A Small Orange are limited to live chat and email.
This is a bit rough for those who want to speak with a rep about their hosting issues instead of typing everything out. Things can also get lost in translation in this format and it’s hard to communicate complex issues via text in a short time frame.
On the plus side, reps are very knowledgeable and take time to fully explain and speak to any issues their users may have.
There is a knowledge base that is limited to only their current users. Each common matter is met with an in-depth explanation, but the resource doesn’t seem to be as comprehensive as other options.
It’s enough for the basic questions and queries, but it’s not a hosting/web design college by any means.
A Small Orange is possible the only host that can help your site perform well (speed wise) for such a low price.
The equipment in their data centers is top-of-the-line. The solid state drives (SSDs) are new and reportedly up to 15 times faster than the older equipment being used by some other budget hosts.
The processor in their server drives is also top shelf. Their website promises to “use only Intel Xeon E5 Dual Hex Core Processors or better”. Essentially, the processor helps your data move faster to where it’s going to go.
There are also two different data centers (one in Michigan and one in Texas). These locations help improve speed by sending your visitors the files from the closest data center. If someone in Oklahoma wants to see your blog post, the files will come from Texas—make sense?
If your site is based outside of the states or relies heavily on international traffic, just these two centers may be an issue.
There are usually two attitudes that can be picked up on with hosts concerning uptime. Those who focus and care about it and those that don’t really focus on it.
A Small Orange cares about and focuses on their user’s uptime.
99.9% uptime is guaranteed by the company and measures are taken to keep your data safe from problems that could arise.