How to Reliably Research Web Hosting Companies

Q: How do you research web hosting companies without feeling like you’re getting filthed on by a bunch of guys who used to lurk around the dead mall?

A: Wait, I was hoping you’d have the answer to this one because I sure don’t know!

I’ve been thinking of changing web host companies after a few years with ABN Hosting. The main impetus behind my shift is that I have a few domains that mostly sit on a shelf and get very little traffic, but they’re wonderful little side projects I just don’t have time for right now. I don’t want to shut them down completely, but I also don’t want to pay for them to be separately hosted and ABN doesn’t allow multiple domains on an account (domain add-ons).

So, I’m trying to hunt around to get honest appraisals of uptimes, customer service availability, responses to emergency issues like security hacks, etc and all I can find are what appear to be heavily biased hucksters trying to shine you on about whichever hosting company is paying them the most to push their site.

There simply doesn’t seem to be any reliable info out there and it’s no wonder people stick with the devil they know – the notion of shifting hosts is daunting!

I have encountered a few sites that give fairly detailed reviews. Sure, there’s still plenty of opportunity to manipulate the ratings, but you have to approach this with a very critical eye. I wanted to save these here for my future edification should my new host choice be a bomb and I have to do this again (I think I’m going with HostGator – thoughts?).

ClickFire has a lot of great, thorough and comparatively unbiased reviews. Plus, it’s apparently the pet project of a guy who claims to have found Christ, which, for me, is code for “if I lie, I believe I’m going to Hell.” Call me biased, or just plain ignorant, but I’m prone to trusting the word of someone who’s attempting to run a ministry over someone whose first motivation is making money, at least in this shady area. Downside: The one downside to ClickFire is that there’s basically only one review per hosting service, so you can’t do a lot of comparisons from different people. All the same, they’re excellent reviews.

WebHostingStuff seems like the Epinions of web hosting. Basically, it seems anyone can rate and write experiences of hosting companies on this site. This is great because you get varied experiences, but the downside is that hosting companies can stuff fake claims into their and their competitors’ review pages. So, just like I eyeball reviews on Yelp with a wary eye (sure, it’s 4 stars… but how many reviews say that?), so too do I assess reviews on WebHostingStuff.

WebSecretRevealed claims to do unbiased reviews. Um… sure… they’re unbiased as long as you can wade through the sycophantic hyperbole! The site does, however, have a lot of original content that explains a fair amount about each hosting service’s offerings.

This entry was posted in 2010, Things I Learned Today, Web Hosting and Domains and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How to Reliably Research Web Hosting Companies

  1. Thanks for the mention and constructive feedback. I like the way you researched this to try and distill the facts. Sticking with the “devil they know” is a great metaphor for web hosting and I suspect that many hosts understand the concept well themselves.

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