Are you looking for web hosting? If you want to set up a personal website, or a modest commercial one, you are probably in the market for an inexpensive shared hosting plan. Those entry-level plans may cost $5-10 per month, and often boast very generous features for that modest prize. However, the strong competition often causes the companies to oversell, and then have difficulties living up to their promises. And how do you go about telling the good ones from the bad?
Maybe you go to one of the many web hosting review sites. Those places may offer extensive listings of various web hosting companies and their features; which is certainly helpful. But be aware of the fact that these review sites are out there to make money by referring new customers to the hosting companies! Therefore, they tend to praise those companies that pay them the best.
I used to be naive about these things, trusting the review sites. That was until I began some serious research on the subject myself. Were they really so good, those much-praised web hosting companies? Soon, I was able to uncover large amounts of customer testimonials that told a different story.
It became clear that several very large and well-known web hosting companies had surprising amounts of negative customer ratings against them. There were many angry customers that related stories about incompetent or non-existent customer support, billing disputes where the company kept charging ex-customers after they had cancelled their accounts; and more.
One may say that any company with many customers is likely to have a few that are hard to please. But in these cases, there were scores of reviews, and the majority was negative! Since there are also cases where hosting companies have tried to prosecute those who have criticized them in public, I will not mention any names here.
In conclusion: I advice anyone looking for a reliable and honest web hosting provider to be very careful and not put too much trust in the web hosting ratings commonly found at hosting review sites and similar places. Also be aware that the customer feedback published by the web hosts themselves on their sites is of course filtered – and may even be faked.