A Small Orange is a hosting company that believes in the customer-first approach. They work hard to keep customers happy, employees having fun, and their hosting business prosperous. Joomla Hosting had a chance to interview CEO, Douglas Hanna, about A Small Orange and their philosophy.
Q: What is the history of A Small Orange Hosting. When and why was it established? Where did the name come from?
Hanna: A Small Orange was founded in 2003. The company was created on the foundation to really be a differentiator on how we work with customers. At the time, there was a lack of focus on customer support and helping people get their website online and we felt we could provide that along with quality hosting services.
SO what is with the name A Small Orange? Because we’re different. Though we’ve grown to service lots of customers, we still act like a small, nimble, and fun company. We care about our customers, our employees, and the world we live in, so comparing us to the big guys is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.
From looking at your site and products it is clear that ASO is not a typical hosting company. What is the Philosophy behind ASO?
Hanna: We started out with a simple philosophy in mind: provide the best quality service and support to customers at an affordable cost. Since then, we have refined our mission to provide service and not just servers. We realize that our customers have many choices when it comes to web hosting and we want our service to set us apart from the competition.
How many people work at ASO? Where are your offices located?
Hanna: We have over 40+ employees that work at A Small Orange. Most of our employees work remotely across the U.S. (with a few Internationally), and we also have a small office in Durham, NC.
What is the ASO Company Culture like? What is a typical day like?
Hanna: I think the truly unique aspect of our company is our culture. As mentioned early most of our employees are remote, so we have a real focus on being connected via Email, an internal updates blog, and chat. Occasionally, we will have internal contests, share funny viral videos or MEMEs- anything that keeps things light hearted.
Since we have a wide range of talents employed at A Small Orange from Technical Support and Development to Marketing and Sales, everyone’s day is slightly different. One thing that almost all employees have access to is our customers. We all pitches in on support inquiries in some fashion and we constantly are listening to even the smallest issues customers communicate to us.
What can you tell us about your servers and datacenter(s)? Where are they located? How is the technology kept current?
Hanna: Our data centers are dispersed around the world in order to protect our customers against catastrophic natural disasters. We do not employ or resell secondhand servers- only new equipment is selected for our customers.
Our shared hosting environments feature low account concentrations in order to provide you with faster load and response times. We don’t offer unlimited hosting plans that attract resource hogs whose consumption can slow or even bring down shared servers.
Of course, you’ll find that our hosting facilities provide all of the security and redundancy that you expect. Our data centers are patrolled by guards, and monitored over CCTV, and our servers are located behind multiple redundant lines of physical security. Climate control, fire suppression, redundant power batteries and diesel power are all standard.
ASO provides a wide range of hosting plans. Can you tell us about the plans? Is it possible for a company to start with a basic hosting plan and grow into larger plans?
Hanna: All of our plans were created so that customers can find the right plan that fits them. We offer cost-effective shared plans (Starting at $35/year), Business Hosting plans, Our new Cloud VPS, as well as powerful dedicated servers.
All of our plans are backed by our exceptional customer support and when a customer might outgrow their plan, they can easily move to another one.
What sets ASO apart from the other hosting companies?
Hanna: We don’t promise “unlimited plans” that are actually hindered by hidden limitations. Instead, customers are only responsible for paying for the resources they need. We also respect our customer’s time. We don’t send a hundred emails trying to upsell customers on different products, and our website isn’t cluttered with marketing videos.
Our main differentiator though is how we work with customers to resolve any issues they might have with their hosting accounts. Our customer support folks are actual human beings that care and are willing to to help out with any technical difficulties customer might encounter.
What is something people don't know about A Small Orange?
Hanna: We make a special effort to really work together to solve our customer’s issues. Often times customers are amazed that most of our employees haven’t met face to face, yet work together harmoniously! Since a majority work from home some think we all are in the same office.
Any future plans you can tell us about?
Hanna: We have a lot of plans to really take A Small Orange to the next level. Much of them center around new server locations outside of North America, more product offerings and partnerships that would fit well with our customer’s hosting plans, as well as additional services.
Anything else you would like to add?
Hanna: We appreciate Joomla Hosting for thinking of us and thanks for the interview! Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.
CEO, A Small Orange