Hosting Review: A Small Orange

[ Icon: A Small Orange ] Perishable Press switched to A Small Orange [ASO] in March of 2007. At the time, I was looking for highly recommended shared hosting with several key features:

Update 2011/02/05: ASO is no longer my host. As this article explains, ASO service was great at the start, but after three years quality of service has declined considerably. There are some great people at ASO, but I can no longer recommend them for serious web hosting. For more information, check out my post on switching to Media Temple.</update>

  • Solid customer service and extremely reliable server uptime
  • Unlimited domains with plenty of disk space and bandwidth
  • Unlimited Email accounts, MySQL databases and everything else

A Small Orange delivers all of the above in every shared hosting plan. ASO provides hosting plans perfect for any size operation:

Plan Space Bandwidth Price
Tiny 75 MB 3 GB $25/year
Small 400 MB 10 GB $5/month
Medium 1000 MB 25 GB $10/month
Large 2500 MB 60 GB $20/month
Super 4500 MB 100 GB $30/month

Plus, ASO will give you 2 free months of service with any 12-month purchase.

Excellent Service

Without a doubt, A Small Orange provides the best customer service I have ever experienced. Regardless of severity or complexity of the issue, the professional ASO support team deftly deals with all requests and quickly resolves every concern. ASO provides five excellent avenues of support:

  • Live chat support (when available) — great for diagnosing problems and quick questions
  • Support ticket system — absolutely excellent support: responsive, expedient, and effective
  • Active Community Forums — an excellent resource for common questions and insider secrets
  • ASO Community Wiki — a growing library of tutorials and useful information
  • ASO Knowledgebase — a categorized listing of frequently asked questions

Excellent Features

ASO’s shared hosting packages truly deliver everything you need to take your online empire to the next level:

The Essentials
Lightning fast Linux servers running Apache/PHP/MySQL
Quality Service
Solid customer service and extremely reliable server uptime
Unlimited Domains
Unlimited domains, subdomains, addon domains, and parked domains
Unlimited Everything
Unlimited Email accounts, FTP accounts, MySQL databases and everything else
Control Panel
Comprehensive account management via the latest Ajax-powered version of cPanel
Automatic Installs
Fantastico — “one-click” installations of WordPress, Wikis, eCommerce tools, and much more
htaccess Control
Complete control over all directory htaccess files
Reseller Hosting
Hosting reseller access featuring WHM and ASObill
Virtual Private Servers
ASO also offers virtual private servers
Dedicated Addresses
Dedicated IP addresses for SSL sites ($2 per address per month)
Extra Bandwidth
Extra monthly bandwidth ($0.50 per GB per month)
Affiliate Program
Affiliate program that credits your account for every referral
30-Day Guarantee
Full refund within 30 days. Partial refund thereafter.

Excellent Reliability

A Small Orange delivers consistent, reliable uptime. As shown below, ASO provides an average uptime of 99.95% for my sites. As we all know, reliable server uptime is of the utmost importance. Plenty of hosts promise 99% uptime, but few actually deliver it. Using BasicState.com, I have been monitoring Monzilla Media on an ASO server for many months. Here is what I mean by “excellent reliability”..

DAILY UPTIME AND PERFORMANCE SUMMARY


monzilla.biz                           
----------------------------------------------------------------------
date          uptime       dns   connect   request      ttfb      ttlb

2007-07-18    100.00     0.000     0.030     0.030     0.151     0.153
2007-07-17    100.00     0.000     0.015     0.015     0.066     0.067
2007-07-16    100.00     0.000     0.015     0.015     0.072     0.073
2007-07-15    100.00     0.000     0.015     0.015     0.078     0.078
2007-07-14    100.00     0.000     0.015     0.015     0.070     0.071
2007-07-13    100.00     0.000     0.036     0.036     0.121     0.126
2007-07-12    100.00     0.000     0.080     0.080     0.152     0.161
2007-07-11    100.00     0.000     0.018     0.019     0.188     0.199
2007-07-10    100.00     0.000     0.017     0.018     0.108     0.116
2007-07-09    100.00     0.000     0.017     0.017     0.106     0.115
2007-07-08    100.00     0.000     0.036     0.036     0.093     0.094
2007-07-07    100.00     0.000     0.015     0.015     0.072     0.073
2007-07-06     99.35     0.001     0.078     0.078     0.224     0.228
2007-07-05    100.00     0.000     0.099     0.100     0.278     0.280

----------------------------------------------------------------------
minimum        99.35     0.000     0.015     0.015     0.066     0.067
maximum       100.00     0.001     0.099     0.100     0.278     0.280
average        99.95     0.000     0.035     0.035     0.127     0.131
----------------------------------------------------------------------


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source: http://basicstate.com/
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Overall, A Small Orange truly delivers superior service. I have been working online since 1999 and have experienced countless web hosts. None of them provide the level of care, support, and service that I have experienced while here at ASO. I can honestly say that, for my needs, they are the best that I have been able to find. I highly recommend A Small Orange for your next web hosting provider.