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LittleOak Hosting is specialized in offering premium hosting packages for websites created on Mac computers either with RapidWeaver, a popular web design software created exclusively for Mac, or other Mac OS specific web-authoring programs. The owners of LittleOak are Mac specialists and Mac enthusiasts themselves, and the entire support staff is thoroughly trained on the Mac OS X platform.
LittleOak Hosting Overview
Founded in 2007, LittleOak is a small, family-owned company headquartered in Torrance, California. As a RapidWeaver Web Hosting Partner, LittleOak currently hosts over 400,000 accounts.
Despite being a small company, they own and operate a private data center and claim to never outsource any of their services. The company maintains its own network through the One Wilshire building (known as the most connected building in Western US), they use a load-balanced cluster of dual-core Intel based servers with Netapp network-attached storage array file delivery.
All LittleOak servers run Apache 2.2+ and CentOS 6. LittleOak performs nightly backups to dedicated storage servers and updates all software regularly.
Apart from web hosting, the company also offers domain registration and domain privacy services as well.
LittleOak Plans & Pricing
Since LittleOak is marketed as a premium Mac web hosting service, plans are slightly more expensive than competitor plans with similar features and resources. At the time of this writing, LittleOak provides only cloud-based shared hosting plans, however, dedicated hosting and VPS hosting (both Linux and Windows based) are currently in the works. Their website feature links to these packages, but these plans are not yet available for purchase.
LittleOak offers three types of shared hosting accounts for Mac users: Sapling Cloud at $80/year, Habitat Cloud at $160/year, and Chestnut Cloud at $320/year. Plans are configured as follows:
- Sapling Cloud: hosting for unlimited websites, 5 GB disk space, 50 GB/month bandwidth, 100% uptime SLA, 24×7 Toll-free Phone & Live Chat Support;
- Habitat Cloud: hosting for unlimited websites, 15 GB disk space, 500 Gb/month bandwidth, 100% uptime SLA, 24×7 Toll-free Phone & Live Chat Support;
- Chestnut Cloud: hosting for unlimited websites, 25 GB disk space, 1 TB/month bandwidth, 100% uptime SLA, 24×7 Toll-free Phone & Live Chat Support.
LittleOak does not offer monthly plans, only yearly plans as opposed to other hosting companies that require a 2-year commitment time to qualify for discounted monthly plans.
LittleOak Shared Hosting Features
All LittleOak cloud-based shared hosting accounts come with the following hosting features:
- Free website builder (with possibility to upgrade to Pro and eCommerce packages);
- Unlimited domain hosting, unlimited domain aliases and subdomains, unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited POP3/IMAP4Email Accounts;
- Free shared SSL;
- 100% SLA uptime (you get hosting credit, should your site go down);
- Free firewall and virus protection;
- 24×7 live USA-based support;
- Site traffic statistics tracking;
- Email privacy, virus and spam protection;
- DNS management;
- Proprietary control panel (not cPanel or vDeck).
Hosting plans include a free Mac compatible site builder tool, which allows you to create 3 pages for free, 450 templates to pick from, logo templates, form creation and guestbook creation tool. You have the option to upgrade to the Pro version of this site builder, which allows you to create up to 40 pages, includes 700 templates, an image editor tool, photo album, logo templates, etc.
Those looking to add an eCommerce component to their sites can opt for the eCommerce version of the site builder that includes shopping carts and allows you to create up to 70 pages.
Customer Support at LittleOak
LittleOak prides itself with offering USA based, English-speaking customer support. Customers can reach the support team via live chat, email and phone 24×7.
The company website also features a FAQ section and a keyword searchable knowledgebase, which doesn’t seem to be very populated at the moment (searches for “WordPress” returned a single result, while searches for “website migration” or “refund” returned no results).
LittleOak’s Blog section doesn’t seem to be maintained either, the last article on the blog dates back to September 2016. Social media presence is limited to Twitter and Facebook, both of which are updated with industry news and promotions.
Should you search for LittleOak customer support reviews on the web, you’ll find only a handful of reviews, both positive and negative, but not enough reviews to draw a strong conclusion about the proficiency and responsiveness of LittleOak’s customer support.
Pros & Cons of LittleOak
To summarize the points discussed in our LittleOak Hosting review, here are the pros and cons of LittleOak hosting:
- Mac oriented hosting;
- US-based customer support (live chat, phone and email);
- 100% uptime guarantee backed by Service Level Agreement;
- Free firewall.
- No monthly plans;
- Only shared hosting plans (for now);
- No free trial or money-back guarantee.
Although LittleOak is geared towards the Mac community, its infrastructure and hosting features are pretty standard, with some elements being outdated even (e.g. dual core Intel based servers count as outdated compared to today’s standards). If you plan on expanding your website or adding a strong eCommerce side to it, for the time being, you’re limited to shared hosting plans only. It is unclear when LittleOak is going to launch their dedicated and VPS offerings.
LittleOak Review Conclusion
Since LittleOak doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee nor a free trial, signing up for 1 year can a big commitment, especially if your site is on the verge of outgrowing shared hosting plans within the year. Even so, if you are a Mac user creating smaller websites on RapidWeaver and you value English-speaking customer support knowledgeable in Max OS X, signing up for one of the LittleOak shared hosting plans may be tempting.
Those looking for more flexibility (e.g. month-to-month plans), stronger eCommerce features, and the possibility to upgrade accounts to dedicated or VPS servers are encouraged to check out competitor packages, which may even come with more resources.