I came upon a small orange hosting by suggestion of one of my clients who was looking to move a site from a more expensive option (that site is now elsewhere). The transfer went great, and I was immediately impressed with the speed and quality that I saw with a small orange. Fast forward a year... It became time for me to build new web sites for my businesses, so I chose a small orange without question. The first year and a half were great, and I experienced almost no issues. Support / customer service were also remarkedly better than any other hosts that I had dealt with previously. At some point, I figured out that I was really hosted on a server at hostnine, but under the name a small orange, and it did not bother me at that time.
At some point, my server location changed and the performance level that I experienced suffered significantly. After three years, I have split ways with a small orange and the corporate conglomerate that now owns their trademark name. The final straw was that they let the SSL certificate on my e-commerce site lapse TWICE, and their excuse is to tell me that as the customer I hold all responsibility to maintain the certificate. So it is my responsibility to open a support ticket X number of days in advance of the SSL expiring so that they can renew it at their leisure. On top of that, my renew date for the SSL gradually shifted backwards (about two weeks a year).