Saw this video on YouTube the other day, which leads to this website that exposes dirty secrets of web hosting review sites.
It is basically preaching the same message that DreamHost blogged about almost 2 years ago. None of these web hosting review sites are reliable because top spots can usually be bought with monthly subscription fee. Either that or a hefty affiliation payout. Basically they should have renamed the top 10 hosting companies to the Top 10 Web Hosting Companies that Pay Me The Most. Funny that the site is hosted on GoDaddy, which quite often appears on those “top web hosting site” lists as well.
What About Paid Reviews?
I guess the same issue goes to many web hosting related articles/blog site as well, where sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether a review on a blog is genuine or not. Any money changed hands for this particular post? Are the links full of affiliation IDs? I was reading Daw Web Hosting Blog and Dimitar has pointed out an increasing number of paid-review blogs on web hosting, and those paid reviews can usually mislead consumers over purchasing decisions, as many people search for “<company name> review” thinking they got postive reviews from genuine customers.
I am not saying I am sinless in this department. I did a paid review a year ago on a UK hosting company when I tried out ReviewMe (although I can’t see any sale pitch in that article). As Dimitar said, I think doing those paid reviews might hurt the credibility of this site in the long run. I have since cancelled my ReviewMe account, and turned down many review requests — most are generic oversellers that offer nothing unique anyway.
Any Genuine Reviews Out There?
With paid listing and paid reviews littering the net, I am afraid to say that it can be almost impossible to find genuine reviews. Most website owners don’t write about them when things are smooth sailing so all the positive reviews ended up coming from the paid review sites.
One alternative is to search through Web Hosting Talk forums (where all the disgruntled customers whinged about their web hosting companies). Again, lots of negative reviews and sometimes I doubt how genuine some of the positive reviews are over there.
I guess there is no “The Best Host” where everyone raves about unconditionally. Do a bit of research making sure there are not too many negative reviews. Give them a try without committing too much up front. Make sure you do not purchase domain from the same place where you purchase hosting accounts. And this is important — do daily backups so you can move over to the next host if anything does go wrong…