A Small Orange Reviews

Read our expert opinion of A Small Orange, along with unbiased reviews from 60 real users

Like so many other web hosting providers purchased by EIG, a great web host has been turned incredibly bad. Check out the rating over time graph in the review dashboard, and you will see a clear contrast when our user reviews turned from high praise to outright disgust.

We kept a close eye on A Small Orange after the purchase, and although some negative reviews started to appear, things were still very respectable, and indeed we used their Cloud & Dedicated servers for some time after the purchase ourselves.

We first took note on how bad things had become, after the Arvixe migration debacle (another company that EIG bought), and how there was a total break down in the support provided by Arvixe, lost files, broken website resulting in the sacking of the majority of the Arvixe staff. This has relevance to A Small Orange, as it was their support and management team that was charged with picking up the pieces. As you can imagine, at that time, things has got so bad (support response times in excess of a week) that A Small Orange was always going to face a losing battle.

Unfortunately, the policy of EIG to move all their ticket support to India has, and unfortunately, still is a disaster.

Editor's note: We hate to be negative about hosting providers, especially when we have past dealings with them, but for the time being we recommend you avoid EIG owned hosting providers. Fortunately, you can filter out all EIG-owned hosting providers in our Hosting Review tables.

A Small Orange key points

Top considerations

SSD Hosting

Platform

Linux

Control Panel

cPanel

Server Location

US

Developer features

Node.js, Ruby on Rails

Expert Opinion

A Small Orange Shared Hosting Review

A Small Orange Shared Hosting Plans — A choice of Standard or Business plans

If you have read our warning about A Small Orange Support and reliability being subpar, you may be surprised by some of the seemingly positive comments about their hosting plans. If you are lucky enough not to have server issues, then the plans themselves, at least on paper look pretty good.

Unless you need PCI compliance (you wish to store credit card details on your server, rather than use a third party processor), or want to ensure the servers are not overcrowded, then you will need their Business Hosting. Otherwise, their standard hosting plans look pretty good.

Let's take a look at the plans, list the features and then we can move on to the more detailed discussions:

Shared Hosting:

Tiny Small Medium Large
SPACE 500 MB 5 GB 15 GB 30 GB
TRANSFER 5 GB 50 GB 150 GB 500 GB
WEBSITES 1 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
FREEDOMAIN No Yes Yes Yes
FREE SSL No No No No
PRICE $2.92 $5 $10.00 $20.00

They offer four different plans,  which mainly differ in the amount of Storage and Bandwidth, although their cheapest "Tiny" plan only allows one domain to be setup on the hosting.

As you can see all but the Tiny Plan come with Unlimited Domains, and 24/7 Email and Live Chat Support.  All plans use SSD storage, which is at least 15 times faster than the mechanical counterpart making the website seem extremely responsive.  Other features of the plans include:

  • 90 day Money Back Guarantee — This is one of the longest in the industry, giving you ample time to try out the service.  Note that domains are not included in this offer, so if you refund after taking advantage of a free domain, the standard domain cost will be deducted.  This is pretty standard practice.
  • cPanel — They provide the standard cPanel control panel.
  • Fully Scalable — Easily upgrade and downgrade as you need.
  • Two months free — When you pay for a year up front, you get two months free hosting, as well as a free domain.
  • Unlimited everything else — Unlimited Emails, Databases, Mailing Lists, Email Forwarders, Subdomains, and FTP Accounts come as standard.
  • Daily Backups — Automated daily backups are taken, although we do recommend taking your own off-site backups as well.
  • Ghost blog hosting — They are one of the few shared hosting providers that have Node.js installed.  This means the new Ghost Blogging Platform can be installed.
  • Ruby on Rails — Unlike most hosts that use a cPanel plugin for Ruby (which is not always updated to the latest version), they use Passenger for their Ruby, meaning it is always up to date with the latest Gem's installed.
  • US-based Data Centers — A Small Orange's data centers are located in the US in both Dallas, and Dearborn, Michigan. Unfortunately, you cannot choose the location of your server.

If you need a little extra, you may wish to consider their Cloud VPS plans, or alternatively their Clementine Managed plans, which have the power of dedicated resources but are completely hands off. That means that while you will receive cPanel details, you won't have to worry about server configurations or anything else. We think this is ideal for people that want a bit more power, but don't want the hassle of setting up and managing the server environment.

Business Hosting:

Startup Small Business Enterprise
SPACE 40 GB 50 GB 60 GB
TRANSFER 600 GB 800 GB 1,000 GB
WEBSITES Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
FREEDOMAIN NO No No
FREE SSL Yes Yes Yes
PRICE $20 $40 $60

These are virtually identical to the standard hosting plans, but they have less accounts on each server and are PCI compliant (including regular scanning). This allows you to store credit card details on your server, rather than having to use third-party processors such as PayPal.

They are also one of the few shared hosting plans that offer PostgreSQL Database Support.

5 Reasons to use A Small Orange Shared Hosting for your website or Blog

#1 Easy to Use Control Panel and admin. area

A Small Orange has a rather smart Client area for support and billing, and gives you access to their extensive knowledgebase and video tutorials.  You can see a screenshot of the client area below:

Customer Area ASO

For the management of the website, they use the industry standard cPanel, and as you can see from the screenshot below, they have some nice added options, ... such as PHP selector, Pagespeed Optimizer, CloudFlare one-click install, SiteLock security, R1Soft backups access, as well as their Ghost Installer (via Softaculous):

A Small Orange Control Panel

One thing we like about them is that they have kept the standard cPanel styling, rather than jazz it up like some other hosts do.  Sure whilst we like the look better of some of the custom styles, having the standard version makes it easy to follow any cPanel guides or tutorials as well as find what you are looking for very easily.

#2 No "unlimited everything"

Most companies will try to pitch you the line that they have 'unlimited everything' and that just simply isn't true about the websites bandwidth and disk space. They have clearly separated themselves from the pack and provides you with a clear-cut picture of the disk space and bandwidth they offer. However, you can purchase additional bandwidth for your shared hosting at just $0.50 per GB per month.

#3 SSD Driven

Experience blazing fast shared hosting with their fully SSD driven shared hosting environment. SSD drives are at least 15 times faster than the traditional mechanical drives used by most other hosts and are more reliable as well. Typically, you will only see SSD driven hosting on a VPS or Dedicated server, and even then this is only a recent trend. This explains the lower storage space within the plans than competitors, but believe us ... it is worth it.

#4 Different types of hosting

They you a platform of different web hosting options to choose from varying in price and outlook. Cloud VPS, Dedicated servers, re seller hosting, business web hosting and shared web hosting are all offered at reasonable prices. You, therefore, have an excellent upgrade path should you need it.

#5 Node.js and Ghost Blogging Platform Support

They are one of the few companies that offer this kind of support on a Shared Server. Ghost is an upcoming blogging platform that is quickly gaining traction. You can read more information in our review here, including instructions for setting up Ghost blogging platform.

What are the negatives of using A Small Orange Hosting?

#1 Extremely slow, terrible support

As mentioned in the introductory paragraph at the top of this review, A Small Orange's support has become a disaster zone since it was taken over by EIG, especially after the Arvixe migration debacle where they had to take responsibility for dealing with that mess.

Ultimately, the complaints (and there are many of them) boil down to the following issues:

  • Unresponsive live-chat
  • No telephone support
  • No responses to email or tickets

This means that any issues you have with the server or your website are amplified. Where a company such as SiteGround will respond to tickets in 10 minutes, and deal with any issues straight away resulting in any downtime or other issues being kept to an absolute minimum, A Small Orange may not respond for over a week. 

You are strongly advised to look at the User Reviews at the end of this review, but also, just take a look at some of the following tweets directed at @smallorange:

#2 Account suspensions without notice

There are multiple reports on Twitter of ASO suspending accounts of its users. Coupled with the slow customer support, rectifying any issues can take considerable time.

Do we recommend A Small Orange?

A small orange bad supportNo.

Users report that the support at this company is so bad that you will be lucky to get a response to your support request by ticket within two weeks.

You only have to check out the rating over time graph in the dashboard at the top of this page and read the user reviews below to see how their acquisition by EIG has caused severe quality issues.

Sure, on paper, the SSD and optimized servers look great, and as a previous customer of A Small Orange they did work very well. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong, or you need help you may find none available. If your website is offline due to that issue, then you may find your website offline for many days, if not weeks.

We don't say this lightly; Avoid this web hosting provider.

Editor's Note (12 March 2017): While the advice to avoid this hosting provider still stands, EIG (the parent company) looks to be making significant changes. This year they plan to fire many of their existing support staff, with the purpose of hiring new staff in a central location in order (we think) to significantly improve their support service.

A Small Orange Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of support is available?

All plans include 24/7 Email + Live Chat Support. Many other EIG brands have discontinuted Email \ ticket support in favor of phone support, so we wonder if A Small Orange will be doing this too in due course.

Can you advise which hosting plan I should choose?

A Small Orange is one of the few hosts that use SSD storage for increased performance. As a result, a number of resources with each plan is more limited and defined. The Tiny Plan for instance only comes with 500MB storage and 5GB Bandwidth. For most small websites this is ample, but while your website may only take around 200MB you need to consider the space that might be attributable to any custom backups you may take, and any files created by your Caching Solution (see our W3 Total Cache Settings for recommended setup).

The Tiny Plan also only allows one website to be hosted, whereas the Small Plan and above offers unlimited websites. There are no differences in CPU or RAM Allowance between the different shared hosting plans. If you need an SSL certificate and PCI compliance you can choose one of their Business plans starting at $20 per month, noting that they have lower account densities on these servers for increased performance.

Ultimately, though, at the present time we do not recommend any plans due to the lack of support offered by A Small Orange.

What people are saying

Find out what people are saying about A Small Orange below, or alternatively, if you have experience with them yourself, feel free to leave your review.

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: Yes

10.0
Support
10
Features
10
Speed
10
Uptime
10
Value
10

For me the biggest reasons to stay with them is their amazing customer service. No matter how I try and contact them I get really prompt responses. I've had other hosting companies take days to get back to me and that was really frustrating.

This speed of response seems to be really standard with this company too. When I decided to activate my hosting with them I think it took 20 minutes to have everything set-up and ready to go. Every time I need to set up something new it goes really fast as well. I think I have a bigger web presence because they make it so easy.

As far as price goes I feel like they could be a little cheaper per month but I also feel what I pay is fair. I don't think they would be able to provide the service they do if they were cheaper. They are right on the edge of budget hosting which means I can still afford them as a poor college student. On the other hand I feel really professional when I deal with them.

As far as the actual hosting goes I have no complaints. I have barely any downtime so I feel like I'm getting what I pay for whenever I look at my site. The servers seem to be really fast so I never get complaints about things loading which can be really nice. All together I don't think there is anything I would change with the hosting itself.

A Small Orange is the best hosting company I have tried. From personal sites to the start of business products I have found them to be really helpful. No matter the expertise level I have they are always there to help. They are, at their core, great hosting with a commitment to service.

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: Yes

10.0
Support
10
Features
10
Speed
10
Uptime
10
Value
10

ASO has had great up-time for me. I really never have to worry about my host being down or extended maintenance. This has made it really easy to manage my business in a short amount of time instead of worrying about it constantly. This has got to be one of my many favorite things about this company.

I know that this is a bigger company, but when I deal with them I feel like I'm dealing with a local business. Their customer service never acts like they don't have time for my questions. Instead I feel like I get all the help I need and then some. Some of the representatives will even make jokes with you making me feel like I'm talking to a friend instead of technical support.

Speaking of support, trying to contact them gets you results within literal minutes. I have traveled a lot all over the world so I contact them at weird times. I have never had to wait more than a few minutes for someone to help me with my problems. I think that is one of the things that makes me really stay with them.

Unlike some other companies they don't expect me to know everything when dealing with the interface. If I need to get something set up as far as hosting they are always willing to answer my questions. This is really helpful when I know I need to do something but I'm not quite sure how to go about making it happen. I never end up feeling like an idiot when trying to do things I need.

Overall A Small Orange is the best hosting solution I have been able to find for my business. They work well with being a traveler and understand the importance of prompt service. They put a lot of care into their products and this makes it easy to work with them. Overall they are just a great hosting company.

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: Yes

9.0
Support
10
Features
8
Speed
8
Uptime
9
Value
10

They are the best host I have ever been with. I moved upwards of 15 domains to them because their service and support is fast and great. If I have ever had an issue the answers are very quickly given. If you are not with A Small Orange you should seriously consider moving to them.

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: Yes

9.0
Support
10
Features
8
Speed
8
Uptime
9
Value
10

I seriously love A Small Orange. I switched from GoDaddy back in January because their pricing was deceptive with some hidden costs which made me a little annoyed. I got my website setup in minutes, and I was very surprised how fast the hosting was compared to other hosts I have used (GoDaddy, Hostgator, Liquidweb and Site5).
It wasn't an hour before my new site was all online, and my dealings with support were incredible. Some of the best support I have experienced out of all the hosting companies I have been with.
The service is a little more expensive than the other hosts I have used, but despite that I am very happy with them.

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: Yes

8.6
Support
9
Features
8
Speed
9
Uptime
9
Value
8

The SSD hosting may cost a little more than other hosts, but hell it is definitely worth it. They by far the best host I have ever had, and their support is second to none. Some hosts will charge a fortune to install a third party SSL, but A Small Orange quite happily installed one I purchased from Namecheap. They have a customer for life.

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: No

6.2
Support
5
Features
6
Speed
8
Uptime
8
Value
4

Gotta love calling tech support the minute they open and hearing 'All of our agents are currently assisting other callers', then sitting on hold for a half hour. They're a good host, but they're completely incorrigible in their negative ways.

Had to contact live chat to get their phone number.

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: Yes

8.0
Support
8
Features
8
Speed
8
Uptime
8
Value
8

Easily the best host I have had the pleasure of being with. I have a small blog that I work on in my spare time, and regularly hop on to live support to ask stupid questions. Without fail they have always helped point me in the right direction even if it ends up not being a hosting issue. I am very happy with the speeds at A Small Orange, and have never really had a problem with downtime (once or twice in the last 6 months) and even when there has been a problem they have kept me up to date with what is happening. Their twitter account is very active so you can always reach out to them on there which is great. I will definitely not be moving away from A Small Orange any time soon!

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: No

5.8
Support
6
Features
5
Speed
6
Uptime
6
Value
6

SSD or HD should not impact bandwidth. I can live with the small storage space allotted, but the limited bandwidth is what might keep me from using them.

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: Yes

8.4
Support
10
Features
8
Speed
8
Uptime
8
Value
8

Another very happy ASO customer here, I have always had tip top support from their online chat staff. In the one scenario I had in 2 years with them that could not be sorted out right away by the initial chat operator, they followed through and I got the promised contact email from the right person in the right department. And all this well within the time frame I was promised!

I am in the IT industry professionally, so I know there are some 'cheaper' places. But really, by the time you know and understand the tradeoffs you make for those 'cheaper' places, you realise the ASO premium is not much of a premium at all. For me, I had the chance to save about $5 bucks a month. For headache free support when/if I have a problem, more than happy to shell out that little bit extra.

If you keep your eyes open and prepay for a year, you can get some great discounts. This year, I prepaid for the year, got a free domain, and 50% off the whole invoice (which was already 12 months for the price of 10).

No affiliate links, no coupon codes here, just 100% satisfied customer.

PS. Strongly considering hosting my new startup with ASO on one of their larger VPS plans. I get it FULLY MANAGED as part of the deal! Search around and see what that can cost you in the marketplace =)

Review type: Shared Hosting

Overall review score

Recommended: Yes

10.0
Support
10
Features
10
Speed
10
Uptime
10
Value
10

My only comment is that I have one domain hosted on asmallorange and these folks are aces. If you are creating a commercial site you can find great deals on price all over the web.

But when it comes to service my experience is that so-called "24-7 support" often means "you can send us emails" any time day or night and we'll respond as quickly as we can, but it could take 12 to 24 hours. That is simply not good enough if you have a real problem.

It is in the area of support that asmallorange shines. They respond to many support issues with online chat. I had an issue at 7pm on a Sunday evening and after waiting about ten minutes online someone came on the chat and started working with me to solve the issue. Throughout the short wait the message int he chat window kept me appraised of the declining wait-time.

When I set up my hosting I was able to speak to someone here in the states LIVE who walked me through the solution.

This means more to me than a lot of the bells and whistles many hosts celebrate. When I need help I need to know someone is there now and not tomorrow or the next day. I don't think you can go wrong with a smallorange.

BTW I don't work for or know anyone with this company and I am not part of any affiliate program they may have. I am just a happy customer.

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