Webhosting Review – asmallorange.com

Update: This review is many years old. Since the time of writing, ASO (asmallorange) has changed ownership. Beyond that, the web hosting landscape has changed drastically. With that in mind, if you’re interested in seeing what things looked like in 2006, continue on!

The first web host I ever used was CanadianWebHosting.com. It wasn’t for me, rather my father’s site, and we were looking for a Canadian-based web host for his small business. They offered domains for $15/year, and 100mb monthly storage / 5GB montly transfer for about $5/month.

A couple years later, I was looking to obtain my own domain name and web space for a small site. While searching for a host that accepted Paypal, and one that would be cost effective, I found GoDaddy.com – one of the more popular big name hosts, and ordered a domain for $1.99 and hosting (5GB space / 250GB transfer) for somewhere in the neighborhood of $4/month. I uploaded my site and was good to go.

All was well, and I didn’t really have problems except for one… Stats tracking. GoDaddy gives you poor tracking unless you pay to upgrade to their “Traffic Facts” for an extra $3/month. For a while I used a free online stats tracker called Ritecounter, but Ritecounter was slow-loading, and went down at times. A pretty fantastic tracker, free, but less than perfect. Looking at my father’s website still hosted with CanadianWebHosting.com, he had better stats tracking than what GoDaddy was giving me, so I started to search elsewhere.

Finally, while viewing the WHT forums, I came across a company called “asmallorange”. People seemed to like them, and they had a “tiny” hosting package for $30/year, which works out to under $3/month. It only offers 75MB of disk space and 3GB monthly transfer, but for my static eyeglass review site with pictures, that was plenty. They offered cPanel (as many hosts do, including my father’s host) which has a few stats tracking components in it.

Not long after signing up, things were set up and I was good to go. I changed the settings at GoDaddy to point my domain to the name servers at asmallorange, and the website was up and running.

One thing that asmallorange.com provides for free is a lot of ‘unlimiteds’. These are things that seemingly don’t cost them extra to provide, and unlike many other hosts, they give them to you for free. These include (taken from their site):

  • Unlimited POP3/IMAP Mail Accounts
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases
  • Unlimited Mailing Lists
  • Unlimited Email Forwarders
  • Unlimited Subdomains
  • Unlimited Parked and Addon Domains
  • Unlimited FTP Accounts

One day, I decided to start up a site providing free Warcraft Map information and downloads. While trying to decide whether to use static html pages (like the eyeglass review site), or go to something new, I came across “Joomla” while browsing through the Fantastico scripts offered through asmallorange. After reading up on Joomla, I thought I’d give it a go, and it installed quickly and easily through Fantastico, automatically setting up the MySQL database in the process.

Over the next while, new ideas started coming to me for other websites. The only cost of course was the domain names, since with asmallorange’s “Unlimited Parked and Addon Domains”, I could simply point whatever domains I registered to my space at asmallorange. I ended up with a total of 2 regular websites, 1 subdomain forum, 1 Joomla site, and 2 link directory websites. As you might guess, 75mb is a bit low, and I ended up upgrading to the $5/month plan, which happened quickly and painlessly.

Another option offered by asmallorange.com is “reselling access” for an additional $5/month, which I have also added to my plan. With reselling access, you can create other cPanel accounts using your existing web space and monthly transfer allowance. You can sell these other cPanel accounts, give them to friends, or use them for your own sites rather than creating add-on domains. With my own reselling access, I plan to create an account for my father so he can transfer his small business site. A brother of mine also has a band that is looking to set up their own website in the near future, and I will likely do the same for them.

When looking for a host, I have found that you must look far beyond the “$x.xx/month for x MB space and x GB transfer”. You have to see what else is included with the plan, and if you require any options, how much cost those are going to add. For myself, asmallorange gives me a lot for the money. Their email support has been very good, they don’t charge a heck of a lot, and they don’t give you a bunch of artificial limits.

If you had a bunch of small sites, you could feasibly host them all for $30/year. If you’re on their $5/month plan and wanted to start creating accounts for others, you could do so for another $5/month.

And even if you only have one site (which I did when I started), it’s still a great deal. Service and support are both there for you, and there’s no limit if you all of a sudden decide to run more sites, or create subdomains on your current site. You can always upgrade your plan if you need more space/bandwidth, and they also provide VPS and dedicated servers if your needs ever grow to be that large.

In short, a great host for now, and a great host for your future needs.

Links to the web hosts mentioned above:

4 Comments | Leave a Comment

  1. Mike Dammann on March 20, 2006 - click here to reply
    I use a small orange for a few sites. Lately they've been down quite a bit for me. Overall I'm still satisfied, just hoping it will stay this way :)

  2. Wayne on April 3, 2009 - click here to reply
    Are you still using asmallorange.com for your hosting? How would you rate their recent performance?

    What about CanadianWebHosting.com? Any thoughts on their recent service?
    • Wayne:

      I'm no longer using ASO as of a couple months ago - the websites outgrew shared hosting and are now on a VPS. Performance towards on ASO was alright - towards the end there were times of slowness and the occasional server hiccup here and there though. Service was amazing right through to the end though. I checked out their site recently, and they now have new shared plans that place less customers on each server for a little more $ (a little more business oriented it seems) which is probably what I'd have sprung for if I hadn't moved to a VPS.

      CanadianWebHosting.com was fine, it was just a bit on the expensive a few years back for what was needed. No idea how the recent service is now though.
  3. Richard on March 31, 2010 - click here to reply
    CanadianWebHosting.com is absolutely horrible if you run a database driven website... I had issues every single day with our sql queries, our database crashing, email server not working, crashes for memory etc...
    It was really amazing how I endured all that in the 3 mons I was with them. They kept asking me to upgrade and that would solve the problem: well it never die. I ended up being upgraded to a package that was 3 times the original price and the servers were even worst. I ended up on their most expensive VPS and still my site would not perform accordingly and I would wake up to a crashed website every day....

    Anyway, good luck to any of you who actually use their server. Canadianwebhosting.com was a big flop for me.

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