You can way too many options when looking for a web hosting plan. It is very hard to decide which hosting company to choose, especially if you have no experience. But you can do some online research to find which web hosting company is good. By searching for best web hosting and similar keywords in Google you will come across different websites that are specialized in product and service reviews.
But can you trust these websites? Are they legit reviews or they only wanted to sell you the service or product? In the following I will give you answers to these questions and will tell you few tips on how to know if a hosting review site is fake or not.
I don’t want to mention any website because I don’t have any intention of causing any harm or loss to any business. I just want to share my opinion about hosting review sites in general. I want to help you, the potential customer, who is looking to make a purchase. That’s all!
“Expert” Hosting Reviews
I don’t know about you, but when I’m reading an “expert reviews” I want to find out details about the company I want to sign up with. I don’t want to read again some general info about the services, features and history. I want to know if that hosting provider is good and if it will be suitable for my needs.
A very common practice of top web hosting review sites is that there is very little or no personal opinion in the reviews. It is obvious that the “expert” who wrote the review has no clue about the hosting service.
In many cases there is no actual review, just enumeration of plans and features that you can also find on the hosting company’s official website.
Is that an actual review?
Usually these review sites will only tell you positive things about these companies. Now if you read only positive reviews, how can you know which is the best hosting site? Will you trust the rating that is given by the experts? How they actually rated the company? There are many questions that I can’t answer, but something is certain: no web hosting is perfect, and each has its downsides. Now the question is these downsides are revealed in the review. Probably not.
Customer Reviews and Ratings
Most review sites also allow customers to submit their opinion and rate the company. But how can you know if those who shared their opinion are actual or customers? Well, it is almost impossible to find out. I will explain why.
Review websites have no access to the clients’ database of different hosting companies, so there is no option to verify if a review is real or fake. Also a customer can use a nickname or other email address that is different from the one which has been used to create an account at a certain hosting provider.
Competition or angry customers can submit negative reviews, trying to create a bad impression about the company. The hosting company or some sub-contractor, for instance a reputation management company can create hundreds of positive reviews just to get rid of the negative opinion.
Now it is at the website discretion to approve or reject certain reviews. You, the reader, the potential customer won’t even know what is in the background. But something is certain: too many positive or too many negative reviews are sign that tell you to further investigate and do not trust that source. Just think about it: how many times did you review a product or service when you were happy? Would you spend your free time submitting reviews all over the web without gaining any benefit? I doubt you would search all the review websites to tell everybody how happy you are with your hosting plan. That is the truth!
Where can You Find Real Hosting Reviews?
Certainly not all review sites are fake. There are few that provide valuable information about many hosting providers. The combination of personal experience and customer reviews makes these websites more trustworthy.
My suggestion is to not rely only on one source of information. Take your time and read reviews on different websites. Compare different hosting providers and always look for alternatives. There is no best web hosting, but there are hosting companies that are better in certain areas. At the end the most important is that you find the service you need.
Besides gathering info from top review sites, you should also ask people’s opinion on different webmaster forums such as WebHostingTalk or V7N. Blogs are also a very good source of reviews. Bloggers will reveal their opinion on their current hosting service, so this can be a good reference to start with while collecting information about a hosting firm.
My web hosting reviews are real and are honest. I don’t write review of bazillion of providers, I only review the companies I use. I do receive commission from these companies if you decide to sign up using my website. But you should know that I do not only write positive things about them, I tell my opinion, even if it is harsh.
Conclusion – Should You Trust Review Websites?
Hosting review sites are part of the industry. Most of them are created and maintained only for generating revenue through affiliate sales and they do not provide actual value to the customer. There is no problem in making money as an affiliate. But recommending a service or company that isn’t reliable, is just wrong.