A Small Orange. When I first read about this web host, the name struck me as being memorable (if rather cutesy), but not very promising one way or the other. What mostly caught my eye was the fact that a lot of people in the WordPress community were giving it great reviews. Same with the folks at WebHostingTalk, which was also very encouraging. At $5 a month, the “Small” canadian hosting service package was cheaper than the deal I was already getting elsewhere. For 400MB of space and 10GB of bandwidth, the value looked good. Maybe too good. Were there any hidden costs?
I contacted A Small Orange and asked them if there were any setup fees in addition to the monthly cost, or perhaps any other fees I should know about. The answer came within minutes: “Nope. No setup fees, no hidden costs.” I could also choose another billing cycle if I wanted to (quarterly or semi-annual), and just pay the first billing up front. I could also get two months free if I decided to pay for a whole month of hosting.
Originally I was doing this research for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy, whose website had outgrown its WordPress.com account and needed a web host that would fit the group’s needs and budget. Although we decided to go with another web host for the group, I remained keenly interested in A Small Orange. Since I was rather disappointed with my other web host at the time, I decided to move my website over to A Small Orange.
So far, I have not been disappointed. A Small Orange’s tech support answers questions within minutes, the payment options are flexible, the features are good, and there have been no downtimes. They support a fair variety of programming languages (PHP, Perl, Ruby on Rails, Python), and they have the Fantastico service which will easily install anything from a content management system, a blogging platform (like WordPress), a forum, or a shopping cart on your website. The only thing that could be better is the control panel, which is dominated by little icons that give it a more cluttered, confusing look. On the other hand, I’ve seen worse.
If you’re in need of a good web host and your website doesn’t require a ton of bandwidth, I highly recommend A Small Orange. They have different hosting options, so you can visit their website and see which one is right for you.