Are Web Host Review Sites Full of It?

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 Advertisers

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.

Web Hosting Ratings – What You Need to Know When Considering Hosting For Your Website

When you are looking over web hosting ratings you need to make sure that there is more than one website that is going to tell you that the particular web host that you are looking at is a five star host. If you find a review that is great and another that is bad then you need to undertake deeper investigation. You can also investigate the background of the hosting company to see what kind of service they have been offering and if their customers are satisfied.

Do you need a dedicated server for your website? After looking over your web hosting ratings you may find that the site does not offer dedicated servers so you will have to move on if your needs are greater than that required to set up a basic site.

Usually the only people that need a dedicated server are those planning on having extremely high website traffic, or requiring the capacity to install a lot of different scripts and software. A dedicated server will prove much more costly than a normal host so it is important to research this aspect of hosting before making any commitments.

Are you going to be installing scripts on your site such as WordPress? If you are then you should try to find a host that rates well and has Fantastico Deluxe available. Fantastico Deluxe can instantly install around 50 scripts within minutes and is a necessity these days.

When you are looking for a web host ensure that the hosting comes at a good price. With so many companies fighting for your business there are always good deals around.

So it boils down to just doing a bit of homework on your part and you should be able to find a web host that fits both your needs and budget. Do not be too concerned if the company you choose is not within your neighborhood, as I have used hosts from both USA and Canada and I am half a world away in Australia.

Web Hosting Ratings – Asking the Right Questions

When viewing sites that feature web hosting ratings, you need to ask many questions with the most important question being; which provider is the best value for your business needs. I’m not speaking of this theoretically, I’m saying pick up the phone and ask some hard questions of your prospective web host: how long they have been in business, how many sites are they currently hosting, how do they provide support to their customers. Ask if they have a dedicated customer service department that is available 24-hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365-days-a-year. If they don’t have a toll-free number for you to call to find out this information, forget about them. Any good hosting company worth their salt will allow their customers to call them without charge if they are having technical difficulties.

Web hosting ratings should tell you how long the hosting company has been in business for, but this is not always the case. Industry insiders say to avoid host companies that have been in the hosting business for less than two years. Anyone who has been a host for less time than this does not have a fully-established record of response times to their customer’s technical issues for you to examine.

When you are checking out web hosting ratings, a key feature you need to examine is how the hosting company keeps your own and your customer’s data safe. Many businesses have e-mail lists that collect customer data such as names and e-mail addresses, or your company might have online credit card processing. When you are speaking to the hosting company about their technical support expertise, addressing data security concerns at that time as well would be highly appropriate.

Another question that web hosting ratings should address is whether or not the company requires a set up fee to get you up and running. What seems to be a great deal on hosting can suddenly lose its luster when you work a hefty set up fee into the month hosting costs. Speaking of monthly, your hosting contract should be month-to-month only. Don’t get locked into a long term contract to save money, because if the hosting service lets you down, it can be next to impossible to get out of your contract with them. It’s much better to keep a level playing field by only signing up for hosting services one month at-a-time. This keeps the hosting company honest, and much more likely to try to keep you happy and as their customer for as long as possible.