Hosting Tutorial & Guide

BlueHost VS A Small Orange – Which Is the Better Choice for Hosting Open Source Applications

updated on Nov 15, 2016
BlueHost VS A Small Orange – Which Is the Better Choice for Hosting Open Source Applications As 2 big brands of EIG, BlueHost and A Small Orange both have been offering web hosting service for more than 10 years. They share a large number of similarities, and at the same time, keep many differences. Therefore, we have made a comparison between them with the purpose of figuring out which company offers the better service for hosting open source applications.

The comparison is mainly made on price, web hosting features, supported technologies, uptime, speed, technical support and company reputation. Based on the information we have collected and hundreds of real customer reviews, we have made the following table which shows the brief ratings that the 2 companies have got.

RatingBlueHostA Small Orange
Plan in ComparisonBasicTiny
Loading Speed
Customer Reviews10860
Customer RatingN/A
ReviewBlueHost ReviewA Small Orange Review

Packages & Price

Packages & Price BlueHost has been offering 3 shared hosting packages as well as several packages at the virtual private server and dedicated server level to give webmasters full flexibility to make a proper choice. Priced from $7.99/mo, the shared plans are now purchasable at prices starting from $2.95/mo for subscribers signing up through the following promotional link.

People purchasing with any billing cycles have access to a free domain name and free advertising credits for Google AdWords, Twitter, Facebook, Yellowpages and Bing. Besides, the packages include an anytime money back guarantee which allows asking for a refund whenever customers cancel their accounts for any reason.

BlueHost Promotional Link Activation

Being different from its competitor, A small Orange has 5 upgradable packages at the shared level. Named Tiny, Small, Medium, Large and Super, the packages are priced from $2.92/mo, $5/mo, $10/mo, $20/mo and $30/mo respectively.

A free domain name is included in the annual plans of all packages except for Tiny. The registration fee for one domain name is $15/year. The company offers 90 days money back guarantee, which means that customers are entitled to receive a full refund for account cancellation within the first 90 days.

Web Hosting Features & Supported Technologies

Web Hosting Features BlueHost packs its shared packages with unlimited bandwidth as well as the support for PHP 5.4, MySQL 5.5 and Apache 2 to ensure the compatibility with nearly all the open source projects developed on PHP scripting language. Besides, the company allows hosting multiple domains on a single account. The shared packages from BlueHost can meet the demands for hosting both small sized and medium sized websites.

A Small Orange has set strict limits on the server resources that each account is allotted with. Tiny, the basic package, comes with only 250 MB disk storage and 5 GB monthly data transfer, which is not enough even for hosting a blog with hundreds of single pages (no large images included). As the company allows adding additional bandwidth, it charges $0.5/mo per GB.

For more information about the features offered by the 2 companies, check the following table for details.

FeatureBlueHostA Small Orange
Plan in ComparisonBasicTiny
Free Domain
Disk Storage50 GB250 MB
BandwidthUnlimited5 GB
Email Accounts5Unlimited
MySQL Databases20Unlimited
Control PanelcPanelcPanel
1-Click InstallerSimpleScriptsSoftaculous
Daily Backups
Uptime Guarantee99.9%99.9%
Regular Price$7.99/mo$2.92/mo
Current Price$2.95/mo$2.92/mo
How to ClaimLink Activation-

Uptime & Speed

Performance Both BlueHost and A Small Orange use multiple state-of-the-art data centers to host customers' websites to ensure the best possible reliability. All of the data centers are equipped with climate control, fire suppression, redundant power supply and diesel backup generator.

We have kept monitoring the uptime of BlueHost shared hosting service and the Tiny plan from a Small Orange, and the records we have received are as following.
  • BlueHost: Averages 99.99% in the past 30 days.
  • A Small Orange: Averages 99.95% in the past 30 days.

To speed up the hosted websites, BlueHost has taken many measures. For example, the company has developed a resource protection technology which identifies overusing resources and then temporarily reassigns them into an isolated environment. In this way, the common risk of compromising performance associated with shared servers is migrated. In addition, the company provides free access to CloudFlare CDN for speed-boosting. Below are the statistics of BlueHost server response speed in the past 30 days which is much faster than the average of the industry.

A Small Orange has also made large investments in improving the performance of customers' websites. One of the most important is the utilization of Solid State Drives which are expected to speed up the page load to be more than 300% faster. As we have been monitoring, the average server response time of the company' shared servers is 598ms.

Technical Support

Technical Support BlueHost and A Small Orange are 2 leading providers with 24x7 US based support via toll-free phone, live chat and email. Both of them have a professional support team consisting of hundreds of experts that are passionate with resolving problems for troubled people.

Promising a short holding time for all the communication channels, the 2 companies remain to be a little bit different in the real situation. We have personally contacted their support teams with the 3 ways, and found that the responses from BlueHost is approximately 35 seconds faster than that of A Small Orange via phone and live chat.

Which Company Is the Better Choice?

BlueHost and A Small Orange are nearly an equal to each other in affordability, technology, uptime and technical support. However, the former wins slightly in the amount of server resources, web hosting speed and support response speed. Therefore, we would recommend BlueHost more to people planning to build a website based on open source technologies.

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