Monday, November 4, 2013

Web Host Review Sites - Can You Trust Them?

Unfortunately the answer to that question is no, well at least for the most part. I'm going to go over the more popular formats of review type sites for the web hosting industry. I will tell you what they do, what to look out for, why they do it the way they do it, and what good uses they can have.Top 10 Ranking SitesMany of the "top 10 ranking" sites rank their top web hosts based on the affiliate pay out of that host. When a person clicks through that link and buys a hosting package from a host they get paid a commission from that web host. A lot of the top ten ranking sites will put the highest affiliate pay outs towards the top so they can make the most money from that web host. It is easy for them to hide that they are affiliate for the web host. What I mean by this is that the link to the web host will look like a normal text link or picture link to that web host. For a lot of them it will also appear as a normal link on the bottom left of your window. The one way for you to tell if a site is collecting affiliate sales is by clicking view source in the file drop down menu of your browser and reading the HTML to find the link. If it says affiliate or aff or any affiliate type of html identifiers than the site is collecting affiliate sales from your click through. Web Host Review SitesThis goes along the same lines as the top 10 ranking sites. They will tell you their web hosts are the best web hosts in the industry, they never ever have problems and they are just flat out amazing. This is just simply not true. Anytime you see reviews that just rave about how great a host is without providing you with any type of problem they have had then the reason they are doing it is because all the links to the web hosts are affiliate links. The site's owner will go out into the industry find out who has the highest affiliate pay out and they will write a review about them hoping that people like you will see the review, see that X host is great, and then buy a hosting plan via the affiliate link they provide you with. This way they get paid, which is all they care about. The site could really be sending you to a bad host or at the least a host that is not right for your needs, but as long as they get paid they don't care.Hosting DirectoriesThese are sites that direct you to a web host via a database of different web hosts that they have. The separate them into different categories such as shared, dedicated, colo, etc. This method is more reliable than the previous two methods but these sites are still generated by money. Instead of affiliate pay outs these sites rely on advertising dollars from banner ads and PPC ads in certain sections of their websites. This makes them more reliable, but still make sure it is a reputable directory, they are not using affiliate links, and they have a wide variety of web hosts.Web Host ForumsHosting forums are where customers come together to ask questions of each other as well as experts in the industry come to answer questions. There are some great forums out there, but the one thing I warn against here is that the people giving you the advice could be working for a hosting company. They could be monitoring for people asking questions and then tell them to go to the host that they work for.User Review SitesThis goes along the same lines of the web hosting forums. User review sites can be great but there are two things that I must warn against here. It could be the web host themselves posting great reviews about themselves to boost their own sales. Another problem to think about is the fact that the majority of the time it is only the people who have had a bad experience who post user reviews. Many times if a person is having a great experience with a web host they won't write a positive review about it, but if a person is having a bad experience with a web host they feel so scorned and upset that they will go on a campaign against the web host where they write anything bad that they can anywhere they can.Concluding RemarksThis article is not by any means meant to bash sites that do this type of reviews. There are good sites out there that do every single one of these different review strategies. Some are better than others but there are good ones out there. Also this is not to say that every time you see an affiliate link it means that the site is bad and can not be trusted. There is nothing wrong with finding a good host, referring that host to other people, and getting paid to do it. That is something that I encourage. The point of this article is to merely warn you about certain types of review strategies and why they can be bad. The best strategy for finding a good host is to do a lot of research in a bunch of different ways. You should visit forums, review sites, user review sites, and ranking sites and take them for what they are worth. If you combine all the pieces of information you hear about a particular host, both the good and the bad, it will give you the best picture of what hosting a website with that web host will be like and allow you to pick the best one for your website. Good Luck and Get Started!