It is becoming more and more important for users to select a trustworthy web host when enjoying the amazing features and functions of Drupal, one of the best open source CMSs.
In this case, we start this comparison between A Small Orange and BlueHost, two frequently-mentioned hosting providers that have launched multiple plans targeted for Drupal users.
Based on our years of hosting review experience, we have selected various top aspects that users concern to evaluate which of the two wins this comparison, including scalability, affordability, ease of use, server resource, uptime, speed, technical support, and more.
Common Points of The Two Companies
Having been around the field for more than 12 years, A Small Orange and BlueHost are favored by a certain amount of users around the world. By our investigations and users’ feedback, they share the following strong points.
Scalable & Affordable Hosting Package
To meet the demands of different type of users, A Small Orange has designed four plans titled as Tiny, Small, Medium, and Large.
Without offering any discounts for the moment, the company prices these plans at $2.92/mo, $5/mo, $10/mo, and $20/mo severally. Even though the latter two plans are a little bit expensive, the hosting services available with this company are affordable in general.
BlueHost, on the other side, projects three packages for hosting Drupal, include Basic, Plus, and Prime. Under normal circumstances, this company rates these plans at $7.99/mo, $10.99/mo, and $14.99/mo.
At present, fortunately, it is offering an up to 63% discount for new users’ sake through the exclusive promotional link, which cuts the prices to $2.95/mo.
All-inclusive basic Drupal hosting features
The hosting packages of both A Small Orange and BlueHost are all-inclusive regarding basic Drupal hosting features. They support the most useful programming scripts, including PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, etc. Also, they provide the latest version of PHP, Apache, MySQL to make their hosting environment 100% compatible with Drupal 6, 7, and 8.
Besides, there are some other common and respective features with the two companies.
- They both include a cPanel control panel and a 1-click installer for users to manage their websites as well as install applications like Drupal in an effortless way.
- Both the companies run PHP as suPHP to enhance Drupal security.
- They support other critical features, such as Cron Jobs, SSH access, and .htaccess.
- BlueHost solely includes features like a free domain, free marketing credits, CDN, Custom PHP.ini, and Mojo Marketplace.
Highlights of BlueHost Drupal Hosting
Since the inception in 2003, BlueHost has dedicated itself to delivering the most quality hosting services. As a widely-acknowledged reliable Drupal hosting provider, BlueHost has survived the rigorous long-term tests of users and the market for the following reasons.
Relatively richer server resources
In the sections above, we have reviewed the basic hosting features available with A Small Orange and BlueHost, from which both companies have almost equal shares of honor. However, when it comes to the perspective of server resources, BlueHost wins a little over its rival. Refer to the following table for detailed illustrations.
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From the table above, it is obvious that BlueHost provides more server resources, especially disk storage and monthly transfer, than A Small Orange. If this table is not convincing enough (as some may entangle in the domains and several cents differences), let’s take another example.
The most premium plans of A Small Orange and BlueHost, as we mentioned before, are Large and Prime. While the latter company sets no limit on domains, disk space, bandwidth, and more, the former one still upholds to its restrictions, offering 30GB storage and 500GB bandwidth merely. BlueHost, as a result, is more cost effective than the opponent.
Better hosting reliability
It is indisputable that downtime issues annoy every user, whether it is a hosting newbie or a savvy developer. Therefore, most quality companies have paid much attention to this part. From the perspective of hosting infrastructures and service records, BlueHost is more reliable than A Small Orange.
Unlike many other hosts who leverage the data centers from some third-party companies, BlueHost has invested a lot in building and maintaining its self-held data centers. Located in Utah, the three data centers feature impressive UPS power backups, diesel generators, 24×7 network monitoring, high-performance servers, and other top-notch facilities and technologies.
Thanks to these solid infrastructures and up-to-date technologies, BlueHost has ample confidence to ensure users that their websites are not easily knocked offline in any case. As the following chart shows, the company has achieved 100% uptime in the previous month, which is quite stunning in the whole industry.
As for A Small Orange, this company has also made some efforts to grant users with reliable connectivity. It utilizes two distinct data centers in Dallas and Dearborn that are also superior considering features and facilities. However, by monitoring results, the company has barely kept its words of guaranteeing 99.9% uptime.
Faster page loading speed
Besides providing the excellent uptime, BlueHost also has the capability to power Drupal sites with blazing fast speed, from which point of view it wins the match with A Small Orange in succession.
Presented in the chart below, BlueHost has cut the averagely 400ms request response latency to 320ms, making sure that its users’ websites are available in an extremely prompt manner, roughly 108% faster than A Small Orange 665ms.
More satisfying technical support
Technical support is a somehow abused term in the field for some disreputable companies only use it as an empty element of their hosting services. However, this is by no means the case of BlueHost.
Being award-winning, the technical support of BlueHost is responsive and professional. As the following list displays, BlueHost support has several merits that have distinguished it from A Small Orange and other competitors.
- This company provides all popular support channels like live chat, phone, and email for users to get assistance. A Small Orange, however, lacks the phone support offering.
- BlueHost abides by its promise of being responsive. Its average waiting time for support is less than 30 seconds, faster than most peering hosts.
- With more than 700 employees on the payroll, BlueHost backs users with the most experienced and patient support experts.
- BlueHost maintains a fairly informative knowledgebase and a blog for promoting self-help support and interactions among users.
Highlights of A Small Orange Drupal Hosting
It is true that each sword has two sides. The same principle goes with a hosting company. Despite multiple shortcomings, A Small Orange hosting services have the following two highlights.
Longer full refund period
To minimize the risks that users may face after a purchase, both companies have formed a reasonable refund policy. A Small Orange renders a 90-day full money back guarantee for users and promises to issue a pro-rated refund for unused services of the term.
BlueHost also accepts any valid pro-rated refund requests. However, the standardized full money back guarantee is a little bit shorter than that of the former company, lasting for 30 days.
2-month free trial
A Small Orange offers a 2-month free trial with a .com domain included for users who have signed a 12-month or greater contract. This bonus feature is frankly not a big deal yet to some extent beneficial for those who want to try the company’s services ahead of time. It is worth mentioning that this free trial applies to Small, Medium, and Large plans only.
Summary – Who Is the Final Winner?
According to this in-depth A Small Orange vs BlueHost comparison, it is not difficult to draw a conclusiorn on who is the final winne of this “battle”. Being one of the top 5 Drupal hosts, BlueHost outperforms the rival on features, speed, reliability, and many other aspects. As re result, we sincerely suggest you sign up BlueHost to endow your hosting journeys with a brand new start.