If you’ve been shopping around for a web hosting provider you’ve probably come across one “top 10 web host” site after another. It seems every site has its own listing of the best web hosting services, and often the lists look nothing alike. The top ranked providers vary from one review site to the next. How can you tell which to believe?
The sad truth is that almost all of these review style sites are scams. They are not the honest, unbiased, and impartial reviewers they claim to be. In fact they are usually paid by the web hosting providers themselves!
In my experience there are 3 types of review sites on the internet. Learn to recognize each of them and you’ll be able to spot the unbiased reviews from the fakes.
The next time you visit one of these review sites look around for a link that says “Advertise” and click on it. What you’ll discover is that the top rankings are not achieved by great values or superior customer service. They are simply bought by the highest bidder. Some hosting review sites are able to charge hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars every month for their top spots.
If the site doesn’t offer its top spots for cash does that mean their reviews can be taken at face value? Maybe.
The Sneaky Affiliates
Some sites don’t receive payment from hosting providers through advertising fees. Instead they receive a commission on each person who signs up for an account through the review site’s affiliate links. These affiliate commissions can top $100 per referral so there’s a lot of temptation to give top reviews to the best paying web hosts and forget about the rest.
The Upfront Affiliates
These are the types of sites you want to look for. Instead of the same old reviews with 5 stars handed out all around, you’ll find realistic reviews as well as customer comments and complaints. Giving readers an opportunity to review web host providers themselves is a sign of an unbiased web site. They offer both positive and negative information and allow the reader to make the choice themselves.