When browsing the web for reviews of hosting providers, you’ll find many sites offering starred reviews, similar to what you see on Amazon.com, often arrange by “best” on top. There are a few problems with these review sites, however, and you may want to consider these before entrusting your business website with what may be a poor quality host.
First, many “web hosting review” sites offer only what seem to be real reviews, whereas behind the scenes one of the web hosting companies themselves is the owner of the actual review site! Coincidentally, the host owning the site seems to come up at the top of all lists and is the best rated. In other words, the review site is just a promotional front.
Secondly, and related to the first problem, even if the review site isn’t actually owned by any hosting company it can be quickly overrun by phony reviews from employees of the hosting companies. And the bad hosts are more motivated to do this as they may have a bad reputation elsewhere on the web. This is quite common on Amazon.com, with authors’ friends creating fake accounts and reviewing just the one book, giving it five stars.
And finally, most web hosting review sites are created out of a motivation to receive commissions. This is fine in theory, except many of theses types of sites will only rate the highest-paying commission sites with five stars, at the top of lists. So all you are really seeing are lists of web hosts who pay the website owner the most for getting people to sign up. You certainly won’t find reviews of free web hosts on such sites.
Keep these caveats in mind when searching for web hosting reviews, or potentially end up with a poor quality hosting provider that gives you endless headaches when you attempt to house your website with them. One way to avoid these problems is to seek out user comments on forums and blogs instead of looking for actual named “reviews.” You can often find many people complaining about or praising web hosts like this that don’t ever mention they are actually “reviewing” a site.